May 29, 2013
A new study reveals that prolonged exposure to pesticides, bug and weed killers, and solvents raise the risk for developing Parkinson’s disease.
Italian investigators who reviewed more than 100 prior studies found exposure to such agents boosted Parkinson’s disease risk by anywhere from 33 percent to 80 percent, they reported in the May 28 issue of the journal Neurology.
“Due to this association, there was also a link between farming or country living and developing Parkinson’s in some of the studies,” study leader Dr. Emanuele Cereda, of the IRCCS University Hospital San Matteo Foundation in Pavia, said in a journal news release.
Some studies specifically explored how home or work environment affected disease risk. Where individuals got their water also was the subject of some investigations.
Environmental toxins absolutely contribute to this disease and there are ways to test the blood and urine which we regularly do for our patients at HealthBridge to identify possible exposure and associated damage to neural tissue years before a disease like this has the opportunity to manifest. We implement customized purification programs to assist in lowering the toxic burden and risk of disease.
April 30, 2013
Here is a link to a great article highlighting the benefits of exercise, especially outdoor exercise, as an inexpensive, readily accessible remedy for anxiety, insomnia, back pain, and more.
April 15, 2013
A new article in the Los Angeles Times helps to shed light on the value of yoga as part of a treatment plan for anxiety and depression.
Los Angeles Times (latimes.com) – Yoga Might Help Boost Mental Health – By Amber Dance – (Saturday, April 13, 2013)
As you stretch into warrior pose and inhale and exhale, you’re not just stretching those hamstrings and lungs; you’re also doing good for your brain with a practice that can stave off or relieve problems such as stress, depression and anxiety.
Yoga “gives some sense of sanity,” says Sat Bir Khalsa, a neuroscientist at Harvard Medical School in Boston. “You’re no longer washed away by the avalanche of your emotions. You are more in control.”
Yoga practice can also lower heart rate, breathing rate and blood pressure, and may make people less sensitive to pain.
In some cases – particularly for anxiety, depression and stress – yoga might be more effective than medication, though this hasn’t been proved, says Dr. Murali Doraiswamy of the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. While it won’t get rid of whatever is causing you distress, it could make it easier for you to deal with the issues. Doraiswamy compares learning yoga to learning to surf: Once you’ve got the skills, you can ride the wave instead of drowning underneath it.
April 11, 2013
From the The New York Times (nytimes.com) – Air Pollution Tied to Birth Defects – By Nicholas Bakalar – (Monday, April 08, 2013)
Exposure in the first two months of pregnancy to air pollution from traffic sharply increases the risk for birth defects, a new study has found. Researchers used data from two large studies carried out in eight counties in the San Joaquin Valley in California. One has tracked birth defects since 1997, and the other has recorded concentrations of nitrogen dioxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and particulate matter at 20 locations in the valley since the 1970s. The results are posted online in The American Journal of Epidemiology. Setting aside defects attributable to other known causes, there were 849 cases of birth defects.
The researchers adjusted for smoking, maternal age and other variables, and compared these cases with 853 healthy control subjects.They found that a mother living in areas with the highest levels of carbon monoxide or nitrogen oxide concentrations (the top 25 percent) was almost twice as likely to give birth to a child with neural tube defects — severe and often fatal defects of the brain and spinal cord— as one living in areas with the lowest concentrations.
I hope that all of us do the best that we can, to pay attention to the impact of environmental pollutants on health, and take action to reduce the toxic load on our planet and our children.
March 30, 2013
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March 5, 2013
A new double-blind study that was published on line in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that pregnant women who consumed DHA (an omega 3 essential fatty acid) had larger babies, a longer gestation, and fewer preterm births.
In the study, 154 healthy women were randomly assigned to consume 600 mg of DHA per day during the second half of pregnancy and 147 women were assigned a placebo.
After the researchers adjusted for maternal education, socioeconomic status, prior pregnancy, smoking and other risk factors they discovered that the babies of the DHA mothers weighed nearly a half a pound more, were longer and had slightly larger head circumferences. And in the group of mothers on placebo, 5% gave birth at 34 weeks or less, whereas among the DHA group, only 0.6% gave birth early. The lead author, Susan E. Carlson, a professor of nutrition at the University of Kansas, says that is a dramatic reduction in preterm labor as compared to the general population.
There were no side effects reported.
Most Americans consume too much of the other essential fatty acids (omega 6 and omega 9) and not enough of the omega 3 (which DHA is classified as). So balance here is key. DHA is rich in sea foods and meat however I do not advise pregnant women to consume these foods in order to get DHA, as they also contain high levels of toxins (heavy metals and other environmental toxins that get stored in the animal fat).
I will often recommend the vegetarian source of DHA available on the market today, that is derived from algae. One easy way for a pregnant woman to be sure she has the right balance of essential fatty acids, including DHA is by consuming 1-2 tablespoons per day of Udo’s DHA Oil Blend while avoiding vegetable based cooking oils and packaged foods that contain oil, like chips and crackers. Just be sure to keep the Udo’s DHA Oil Blend refrigerated and do not cook with it. Always keep it cold as the fatty acids are vulnerable to heat sources.