Archive for August, 2012

Cancer Update: Low Cholesterol Can Ward Off Prostate Cancer

According to a recent report put out by, new studies show that many men may be able to lower their risk of acquiring the most aggressive form of prostate cancer if they keep their cholesterol levels in the healthy range.

The report states that “men whose cholesterol was under 200 had less than half the risk of developing high-grade prostate tumors compared to men with high cholesterol.”

While having high cholesterol is typically a consequence of aging, young people are not in the clear either. Luckily there are preventive measures that anyone can do to help lower their cholesterol levels.

There are four basic ways to help maintain a healthy cholesterol level:

1. Eat a healthy diet
2. Exercise
3. Lose weight
4. Take medicine – in some cases

Some people will need to implement only one of these, while others will require a combination of these tips to help regulate their cholesterol.

Back to School and Back to Sleep: Ways to Get Your Child Back on a School Sleeping Schedule

As parents and their children enjoy their last month of summer, school is looming right around the corner. Now is the time to get back into a school sleeping schedule, after having such a lax sleeping schedule over the summer months. According to the Federal Citizen Information Center, children between the ages of 6 and 9 require at least 10 hours of sleep per night and older children require at least 9 hours. To get your child in the school sleeping schedule:

• Create a regular bed time and make sure you and your child stick to it.

• Make sure your child avoids eating a heavy meal before their bed time.

• Make sure your child avoids caffeine at least 6 hours before their bed time.

• Allow for play and relaxation time before their bed time.

• Create a bed time routine that is relaxing for your child, instead of stressful.

All of these pieces of advice will help to make the transition to a school sleeping schedule a smooth one for you and your child.

Back to School 101: Tips to Keep Your Children Healthy When Heading Back to School

It’s already that time of year again when your children will be heading back to school. While it may be a time of relief for parents, it can also be a time of stress when you are dealing with all of the illnesses and germs that children are susceptible to at school.

So, how can you help keep your child healthy throughout the school year? Follow these tips to keep your child in school and out of the doctor’s office:

• Remind your child of the importance of washing their hands, not only before lunch and after using the rest room, but also when they get home from school.

• Remind your child to keep their fingers and hands out of their mouth. So many germs are spread this way and infections could ensue.

• Give your child a daily vitamin. This will help them to build their immune systems and fight infections better.

• Remind your child not to drink from other children’s cups or use their utensils.

• Make sure your child gets a physical before the school year starts. This will help to target any health problems prior to the start of the school year.

• Make sure that your child gets 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night. Getting the right amount of sleep is important to keeping your child healthy.

• Make sure to feed your child a nutritious and balanced diet each day. Getting the appropriate vitamins and minerals in their diet will also aid in building their immune systems and will lead to an overall healthier child.

Straight From the Headlines: Eating Junk Food An Addiction?

According to a recent study published in the journal “Nature Neuroscience,” a high-calorie diet, including junk food, may be as addictive as drugs like nicotine or even cocaine.

The study, conducted on rats, shows that overconsumption of high-calorie foods can trigger addiction-like responses in the brain, thereby turning the rats into compulsive eaters.

Decreased levels of a specific dopamine receptor – a brain chemical that allows a feeling of reward – have been found in these overweight rats, as they are found in humans with drug addictions.

The research was conducted in conjunction with the announcement that obesity-related diseases cost the U.S. and estimated $150 billion each year and an estimated two-thirds of American adults and one-third of children are obese or overweight.

Researchers say that eating snack foods are okay to eat from time to time, it’s when we repeatedly overindulge that the problems begin.

Healthy Eyes: Getting the Nutrition You Need for Optimum Eye Health

We’ve heard that there are certain foods you can eat to get healthier looking hair, stronger bones and to prevent diseases. But there are also foods and nutrients that many doctors recommend to help keep our eyes healthy for many, many years.

The eye is a highly complex organ made up of lipids, or fatty tissue. As light enters our eyes and breaks down into free radicals, these free radicals cause major damage to our eye’s lipids. These free radicals cause the degenerative effects of aging and eventually the loss of vision over time.

Two of the major effects that these free radicals cause are macular degeneration and cataracts.

Luckily, free radicals can be neutralized by antioxidants because they help to slow down the damage done and wash the free radicals out of the body completely.

To get your share of antioxidants, doctors suggest eating your vegetables. Fresh fruits and green, leafy vegetables are chock full of antioxidants.

To keep your eyes healthy you need a regular dose of the antioxidants found in vitamins A, C and E. These antioxidants help to ward off the need for glasses or contacts and fight the negative effects of eye aging. Vitamin A can be found in carrots, Vitamin E can be found in nuts and sunflower seeds, and Vitamin C is found in green, leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, broccoli and sweet peppers.

By adding fish to your regular diet, you can also help to get the nutrition you need for healthy eyes. Experts suggest that with two servings a week of fish, you can add essential fatty acids to your diet, thereby improving your eye’s health.

Keeping an eye on your sugar intake is also important in maintaining healthy eyes, as refined carbohydrates can spike your glucose levels, increasing your chances of acquiring macular degeneration.

Just by keeping these tips in mind and being cautious about what you eat, your eyes will be healthy well into your older years and your vision will only improve over time.