List of Articles
Exercise Decreases Death From All Causes
Coriander May Prevent Foodborne Illness
10 Reasons to go Organic
Contact Your MP to Protect Your Health Choices
Vitamin Supplementation in Pharmaceutical Industry's Sight
Why Green Tea Would be Healthy EXCEPT for This One Dangerous Issue ________________________________________________________
Lack of Veges & Fruit is NZ's Number 1 Killer - Ministry of Health - Dom Post 3/4/2004
Not eating enough fruit and vegetables killed more people in 1997 than alcohol, drugs and acts of violence combined, a new Health Ministry report says.
The ministry has taken old data and combined it in new ways to get a better idea o the top 20 causes of death - information that it says is still relevant today.
Report author Martin Tobias has drawn links between health conditions and known health risks. For example, statistics showed that between 1996 and 1998, heart disease remained NZ's No 1 killer, closely followed by strokes. These two conditions claimed more than 9000 lives.
But when 1997 deaths were analysed by their health risk factors, a new picture emerged. Dr Tobias said diet and insufficient physical activity were considered responsible for 11,000 deaths that year, nearly 40% of all deaths in 1997. High blood pressure caused the deaths of 4700 people and obesity claimed 3200 lives. Air pollution was blamed for 970 deaths, with 40 per cent of them believed to be attributable to vehicle emissions.
The ministry's acting director of public health, Douglas Lush, said the report would help policymakers decide which risk factors deserved more attention. The top 20 killers by health conditions were ischaemic heart disease, strokes, chronic obstructive lung disease, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, pneumonia and flu, diabetes, breast cancer, suicide, dementia, road trafic injuries, prostate cancer, aortic aneurism, valvular heart disease, pancreatic cancer, non-hodgkinson lymphoma, stomach cancer, cardiac dysrhythmia, leukemia.
The top 20 cause of death by risk factor were diet, tobacco, deprivation, cholesterol, blood pressure, elevated body mass index, insufficent physical activity, pre diabetes, infection, inadequate vegetables and fruit, adverse in-hospital health care events, air pollution, alcohol and drugs, violence, injury (non traffic), road traffic, cancer screening access, ultraviolet radiation, occupation, unsafe sex."
So, according to the Ministry of Health's statistics the best single thing to do to improve our health is to choose to choose a healthy diet!
Exercise Decreases Death From All Causes - Archives of Internal Medicine 2001;161:825-831
New study findings should give "couch potatoes" one more reason to get moving--being in good physical shape appears to reduce middle-aged men's risk of dying not only from cardiovascular
disease, but from cancer and other causes as well.
In fact, Finnish researchers report that poor cardio-respiratory fitness increases the risk of premature death as much as well-known risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes.
Physically unfit men, who had the lowest oxygen uptake, were almost three times more likely to die from any cause, even after the researchers accounted for factors that could have influenced the results, such as age, smoking and alcohol use. The risk of death was similar in men who could only complete a short exercise test.
Even though being physically fit is usually thought to help the heart most of all, the benefits of staying in shape appeared to be wide-ranging. Men with high oxygen uptake and long exercise tests were less likely to die not only from cardiovascular disease, but from all causes, including cancer, according to the study.
While the effects of exercise on cardiovascular health are well known, the link between good physical fitness and a reduced risk of death from other causes is not well understood, the report indicates.
10 Reasons To Go Organic - Soil Association Of New Zealand & United Kingdom
1. You protect future generations throughout the world
2. You pay the real cost of real food
3. You have an independent guarantee with Bio-Gro certification
4. You protect water quality
5. You enjoy greater flavour and nutrition
6. You keep chemicals off your plate and out of your body
7. You reduce global warming and save energy
8. You prevent soil erosion
9. You help small farmers
10. You help restore and maintain biodiversity
Eating organic food (where to buy it) is one of the most important contributions any of us can make to save the planet. Over 3,000 tons of pesticides, including insectisides herbicides and fungicides are used in New Zealand every year. More than half of these are known to cause cancer, birth defects, genetic changes or serious irritation if ingested directly, but somehow we have allowed ourselves to be convinced that food can be exposed to such poisons without absorbing them. This has been proven to be wrong. pesticide use has been associated with a variety of health risks, including cancer, fetal abnormalities, chronic fatigue, and Parkinson's disease. One study revealed that women with breast cancer are five to nine times more likely to have traces of pesticides in their blood than women who don't have the cancer.
In 1998, government tests showed detectable residues in all types of fruit, and in 87% of the types of vegetables that they sampled. See article on contaminated food.Besides the obvious benefits of not ingesting pesticides, additives, and GM organisms, organic foods have been found to be more nutritious than conventionally grown foods. The Soil Association of UK conducted a study to compare the vitamin and mineral content of organic foods vs. non-organic foods. The organics won out with higher levels in all 21 of the examined nutrients.
The vitamin C and magnesium levels in the organic foods were 27 percent and 29 percent higher, respectively, compared to the non-organic samples. And minerals were found to be significantly higher in organic spinach, potatoes, cabbage, and lettuce.
Similar results were reported in tests of organic livestock animals that foraged for fresh food compared to livestock that was given processed feed. The organic livestock had higher concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) š two key nutrients whose value is well known to HSI members.
Also, crops that are stressed by insects produce polyphenolic compounds, which are naturally potent antioxidants. But crops that are treated with pesticides don't need the natural protection of polyphenolics, and produce less of the compounds. So when crops are denied pesticides, consumers get a double benefit: better nutrition without the residue of chemical pesticides in the food.
Buying organic food is the best way to encourage organic production and stop the spread of poison in the land, the water supply and our food. The term organic is protected by EC law. It means that the product has been rigorously inspected from the farm to the shop by an independent control body such as Bio-Gro New Zealand in NZ and the Pacific or by an equivalent organization abroad.
Organic food may seem to cost more in the short term. However, the long-term cost of non-organic agriculture, both to ourselves and the environment, is incalculable. Apart from leaving chemical residues in the water and land, and poisoning wildlife, conventional farming uses more crude oil than any other industry, in the manufacture of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides. Million of tons of topsoil are washed into the seas because soil structure is broken down by chemical fertilisers.
Meanwhile, mountains of surplus food are created that are never used or are dumped in Third World countries, putting their small farmers out of business. Although organic food is more widely available now than ever before, it is still necessary to encourage your local shop or supermarket to stock organic food by buying regularly.
Contact Your MP to Protect Your Health Choices
Please visit the website of the New Zealand Health Trust (http://www.nzhealthtrust.co.nz). It contains information important to your future health choices.
Did you know that Annette King, signed a Treaty with Australia on 10th December 2003, that would effectively give control of our health choices to an overseas body, to be lead by an unaccountable managing director. Our health choices and our natural health product industry will be directly effected by these changes - but it's not too late to stop it in it's tracks - it has yet to be passed into law by our parliament.
The website we are sending you the link for, focuses on keeping our Health choices here in NZ with sensible regulations that encourage cost efficiency, safety and choice for consumers and innovation for the industry.
The NZ Health Trust is fighting to stop the Government proposal and asks for your support. If you are interested please use their website to contact some or all of the MPs (http://www.nzhealthtrust.co.nz/cgi-bin/massmailerMPs.cgi) and let them know you are concerned about the Government's proposal. You would be surprised to know just how much effect sending an email/letter/fax to the MP's has on the decisions that parliament makes.
When legislation is introduced to parliament NZ Health Trust may ask you to contact your MP's again.
We also suggest you subscribe to their newsletter so that you can be kept up to date, informed and alerted when action is needed. Here is the link to subscribe (http://www.nzhealthtrust.co.nz/list/?p=subscribe&id=1)
In the meantime you can read all about the course that Annette King is agressively pursuing to give away your choice and rights to an Australian body - you can read information on the document section of the website (http://www.nzhealthtrust.co.nz/documents.html). Start with the "Brief Overview".
It is important that everyone who is likely to be affected/interested knows what is going on so please forward this to as many as you think would be interested from your address book.
Now is the best time to support the NZ Health Trust if we want to make a difference.
Vitamin Supplementation in Pharmaceutical Industry’s Sight - Health Science Institute
By now, you've probably heard about the big meta-study that put vitamin E into Big Pharma's crosshairs. Headlines have been emblazoned with warnings that supplementing with vitamin E could kill you. Granted, it's selling a lot of newspapers. But here at Nutrition & Healing, we're not concerned. Nor is Dr. Wright changing any of his recommendations involving vitamin E. Here's why…
First, a "meta-study" sounds impressive -- they estimated that it included over 135,000 participants. That makes it sound like any conclusions that come from such a big sample are carved in stone. Here's the problem: A meta-study compiles data from other studies and tries to make conclusions and spot patterns. In this case, I believe they have failed miserably.
The data comes from combining a total of 19 studies, and here are just a few of the flaws they contain that cast serious doubt about the conclusion: All of the studies included patients who already had one or more chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, or kidney failure. All of these subjects were already at risk for early morbidity. Yet the study's conclusion extrapolates this data to all healthy individuals without taking any of the many complicated factors into account.
Out of the 19 studies examined, only one of them showed data that was statistically significant for "high" doses of vitamin E as a possible cause. But half the people in that study were taking other vitamins and minerals in addition to vitamin E, so the conclusion that E was the culprit can't be proven. Also, they examined "all-cause" death, which means that the participants, who were already at high-risk for morbidity, could have died from any of a number of causes. No real link to vitamin E can be even remotely proven with so many other competing factors.
Oh, and how could I forget? The icing on the cake is that the meta-study was partially funded by the pharmaceutical industry, which, as you know, doesn't make any profits when people take un-patentable supplements such as vitamin E, but stands to gain a great deal if they can convince people to take pharmaceuticals instead.
Taking all of these factors into account, this one report doesn't even come close to outweighing the thousands of previous studies that have shown vitamin E to be a highly beneficial tool for disease prevention and overall health maintenance.
I hope this little dose of reality puts you at ease. It's like our mothers always tried to tell us: You can't believe everything you read.
Why Green Tea Would be Healthy EXCEPT for This One Dangerous Issue - SixWise.com
Green tea has emerged as a major natural player in fighting diseases like heart disease and cancer and helping with weight loss. Many people sip it religiously everyday in the hopes that it will make them healthier. Here is just a short list of some of the conditions green tea is supposed to help:
· Rheumatoid arthritis
· High cholesterol levels
· Heart disease
· Impaired immune function
· Obesity, overweight
· High blood sugar levels
And, in fact, green tea would be healthy-largely because it's a rich source of catechin polyphenols, namely epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is a potent antioxidant-except for one glaring issue: Green tea contains large amounts of fluoride. Black tea also contains fluoride, but the amount in green tea is about double that in black tea. A study in the January 2005 issue of the Journal of American Medicine also found that instant teas appear to contain excessive levels of fluoride.
How Does Fluoride Get Into Tea?
"The tea plant is known to accumulate fluoride from the soil and water," says Michael Whyte, M.D., professor of medicine, pediatrics and genetics. "We don't know how much variation there is from brand to brand and year to year."
Is Fluoride Harmful?
Drinking high levels of fluoride can cause bone-forming cells to lay down extra skeletal tissue, which increases bone density. At the same time, it also increases bone brittleness that can result in a disease known as skeletal fluorosis. So while bones are more dense, they are also more brittle. Skeletal fluorosis can produce:
· Bone, muscle and joint pain
· Calcification of ligaments
· Bone spurs
· Fused vertebrae
· Difficulty moving joints
Says Dr. Whyte, "When fluoride gets into your bones, it stays there for years, and there is no established treatment for skeletal fluorosis, No one knows if you can fully recover from it." In other words, fluoride accumulates in your body.
And according to one estimate, the first phase of skeletal fluorosis could easily develop in as few as five years if a person were to consume the amount of fluoride found in three or four cups of green tea every day. That's because studies have shown that most green teas have more fluoride than the EPA's safe limit for drinking water, which is 4 parts per million (ppm).
Fluoride can also affect the thyroid. Specifically, it suppresses thyroid function, leading to hypothyroidism. This is a well-known fact, as, ironically, the amount of fluoride in a typical cup of tea is actually much higher than amounts that were used decades ago as medication for hyperthyroidism, to reduce thyroid activity.
Fluoride, Fluoride Everywhere
Perhaps the tea on its own would not be as much of an issue if people weren't already exposed to fluoride from other sources, but this isn't the case. Fluoride comes from fluoridated water (which is also likely used to steep the tea), toothpastes, Teflon-coated cookware, some wines and sparkling mineral waters and chewing tobacco.
Even so, British and African studies conducted in the 1990s have found that some people are drinking between 5.8 ppm and 9 ppm of fluoride everyday from tea alone! Remember that the EPA's safe limit for drinking water is 4 ppm.
Fluoride Together With Aluminum?
Another issue? The fluoride in tea exists along with aluminum. When these two compounds are combined it can actually increase the potential toxicity of fluoride, especially in relation to neurological and renal damage, and increases the extent to which aluminum can be absorbed by the body, which has been linked to Alzheimer's disease.
One Final Thought …
As an aside, it's also been found that green tea can contain high levels of the pesticide DDT and a similar one called Dursba. So, if you do choose to drink green tea, you may be better off buying organic. This won't affect the fluoride content, but at least you will be spared drinking pesticides in your cup of tea.
For more information: http://www.bruha.com/pfpc/html/green_tea___.html