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Yoga Plus Grounding: A Powerful Wellness Combination

David Gelfand | Wakeup world

yogaWhether you’re in class, getting onto your yoga mat, or just getting home from work, it’s not uncommon to overhear someone talking about “getting grounded”.

In practice, grounding is a mechanism seen on three levels. It’s 1) a physical connection to the earth beneath you, 2) a shift in mental focus, allowing you to center your thoughts, and 3) whatever else brings your mind and body to ease in the here and now.

Grounding yourself is a mechanism by which you’re able to stabilize your energies, center your mind, and focus on the moment. As a result, you’re able to take a deep breath, step back, and focus onyou for that very moment – no matter the time and place.

Let’s Start with Yoga

Incorporating the practice of grounding into your life can be done any number of ways, but one of the most recognized and impactful is through the practice of yoga. Through certain yoga poses, this sort of grounding presents your body and mind with the opportunity to release anxieties and physically root yourself to the earth.

The root chakra, in particular, is based entirely on how our bodies are connected to the earth and acts as a natural energy pathway. Through the root, base chakra (pulling from the earth through the feet and into the lower spine), the body maintains an entry point for universal energies and sustains a healthy foundation for your bodily function.

It’s not surprising that, with this concept in mind, Chinese tradition holds a heavy focus on strengthening and sustaining this root point. Earth Qi represents the patterns of energy and the earth’s magnetic field that we are surrounded by. Many exercises that are meant to strengthen the body and mind, including yoga, are done barefoot. A central practice within Chinese tradition includes the growing of a “root”. The Kidney 1 point (also known as the “yong quan point”) involves the opening of a conduit and connection between the earth’s surface and a person’s feet/body.

With yoga as a grounding mechanism, you’re forced to rely on both your mental focus and connection to the earth in order to sustain a balance. A few poses that are particularly helpful in grounding (both mentally and physically) include:

  • Mountain Pose
  • Tree Pose
  • Downward Facing Dog
  • Child’s Pose (an all-time favorite)

For more information on the health benefits of yoga, please see: How Yoga Heals The Diseased Heart.

To learn about the practice of yoga, check out: The 5 Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation: 108 Movements to a Meditative Mind State.

The Earth Connection

If yoga isn’t always an option given your hectic schedule, don’t worry – there are other options. What’s most important to remember is that grounding is what works for you. Just because the downward dog is what grounds your neighbor, that doesn’t mean it’s the only option out there.

While grounding is partly psychological, it’s also physical and can be done very easily by stepping outside. Our bodies desparately yearn for a healthy connection to nature and to the earth. This connection is what nurtures us, it keeps us alive and energized. More importantly, this connection with nature reminds us what an immaculate world we have around us. As humans, we spend far too much time insulated in our synthetic environments and disconnected from the outside world. This disconnect poses significant risks to our health and wellbeing.

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Green Tea Helps Treat Obesity, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s Disease, and More

Dr. Mercola

Pure water is by far the ideal beverage of choice, but high-quality tea can be a valuable addition. Not only does tea rehydrate as well as water does, most teas also have additional health benefits.1

High-quality tea—green tea in particular—contains polyphenol antioxidants that are recognized for their disease prevention and anti-aging properties. Polyphenols can account for up to 30 percent of the dry leaf weight of green tea.

Within the group of polyphenols are flavonoids, which contain catechins. One of the most powerful catechins is epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), found in green tea. EGCG has been shown to positively impact a number of illnesses and conditions.

Previous research2 has shown that green tea polyphenols act on molecular pathways to shut down the production and spread of tumor cells. They also discourage the growth of the blood vessels that feed the tumors.

EGCG even acts as an antiangiogenic and antitumor agent, and helps modulate tumor cell response to chemotherapy.3 Study results also show EGCG can be helpful for the prevention of arterio­sclerosis, cerebral thrombus, heart attack, and stroke—in part due to its ability to relax your arteries and improve blood flow.4

Green Tea Lowers Blood Pressure Naturally

Some of the latest research in this area again confirms such health benefits. After analyzing 25 randomized controlled trials, the systematic review, published in the British Journal of Nutrition in October5 concluded that long-term tea intake significantly improved blood pressure. As reported in Time Magazine:6

After 12 weeks of drinking tea, blood pressure was lower by 2.6 mmHg systolic and 2.2 mmHg diastolic. Green tea had the most significant results, while black tea performed the next best…

Reducing systolic blood pressure by 2.6 mmHg ‘would be expected to reduce stroke risk by 8 percent, coronary artery disease mortality by 5 percent and all-cause mortality by 4 percent at a population level…’”

While unable to determine exactly how much tea you need to drink to receive these benefits, a number of previous studies have suggested the ideal amount lies around three to four cups of tea per day.7 

For example, one 2007 study8 found “clear evidence” showing that three or more cups of tea—in this case black tea—reduced the risk of coronary heart disease.

Similarly, drinking three to four cups of green tea daily has been shown to promote heart and cardiovascular health,9 again courtesy of its ability to relax blood vessels and protect against blood clots.

Green Tea—Helpful Against Obesity, Diabetes, and Alzheimer’s Disease

There are certain compounds and nutrients that seem to have near limitless health potential, and catechins are part of that pack. Fortunately, high-quality green tea is an excellent source of these antioxidants, making them easily available.

Besides its beneficial effects on your circulatory system, previous studies have demonstrated that EGCG in particular has a regulatory effect on fat metabolism, thereby increasing fat oxidation and preventing obesity. It can even help improve exercise performance.

One 2010 study10 evaluating EGCG’s potential in weight loss found it increases fat oxidation by a respectable 33 percent. EGCG may also aid weight loss by inhibiting fat cell development and increasing fat excretion. Obesity and diabetes tend to go hand in hand, and what is beneficial for one is usually beneficial for the other as well.

Indeed, one animal study11 found that EGCG was as effective as the diabetic drug Avandia in moderately diabetic mice, suggesting green tea, or a high-quality green tea extract, could be helpful for the prevention and/or treatment of diabetes.

Researchers have also discovered that green tea has the potential to enhance the function of your brain, and prevent age-associated brain degeneration.

Specifically, EGCG appears to decrease the production of the protein beta-amyloid, which can over-accumulate in your brain, resulting in nerve damage and memory loss over time12 – a condition related to Alzheimer’s disease.

In one study,13 published in 2005, researchers injected pure EGCG into mice genetically programmed to develop Alz­heimer’s; the results showed a decrease of as much as 54 percent in the plaque associated with Alzheimer’s.

Other Health Benefits of Green Tea

Catechins in green tea may also help protect against glaucoma and other eye diseases. In one study,14 scientists analyzed eye tissue from rats that drank green tea and found that eye tissues such as the lens and retina had in fact absorbed green tea catechins.

According to the authors, oxidative stress causes biological disturbances such as DNA damage and activation of proteolytic enzymes that can lead to tissue cell damage or dysfunction—and, eventually, ophthalmic diseases. Green tea catechins have also been found to:

  • Lower your breast cancer risk
  • Ease inflammation and pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA)15
  • Reduce your risk of autoimmune diseases
  • Promote healthy gums
  • Improve digestion

A botanical ointment containing a green tea extract was even found to be an effective treatment for external genital and anal warts, according to the results of one 2008 study.16 Genital and anal warts are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), and there has been a lack of effective, well tolerated treatments.

The researchers assigned over 500 adults with up to 30 warts to receive either an ointment containing sinecatechins, or a placebo. In the sinecatechins groups, warts cleared completely in roughly 57 percent of patients, compared to just 34 percent of subjects in the control group.

Quality Green Tea Is Green

Out of the seemingly endless varieties of tea out there, there is only a handful I would recommend drinking. My two favorites are Matcha green tea and Tulsi—a powerful adaptogenic herb that also provides important therapeutic benefits.

Green tea in general is among the least processed kinds of tea, which is why it contains some of the highest amounts of EGCG. Unlike other teas that you steep and strain, Matcha tea comes in the form of a powder that you add right into the water…

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8 Surprising Ways to Live a Longer (and Better) Life

 | Naturalsociety 

Happy-older-coupleMaybe you don’t care to live to be 123-years-old like this Bolivian man, documented as the oldest person ever to walk the green Earth. But perhaps you are interested in expanding both the quality and quantity of your years, living a fuller, happier life for longer. The ways to go about this may surprise you.

Here are 8 ways to live longer and feel better while doing it:

1. Find a Lasting Love

A study by Harvard Medical School found that communities with a much higher percentage of either males or females caused the minority sex to have shorter lifespans. Sure, it’s O.K. to be single (for a certain amount of time), but not too long. Another study found that never getting married could increase risk of death over a lifetime by 32 percent. Want to live longer? You’ve got to find love!

2. Shorten Your Commute

Commutes of about an hour increase stress levels and have been linked to the same negative effects as sitting too long (yes, that can shorten your life span, read on to see why). Researchers at Sweden’s Umeå University found that women were especially negatively affected by commutes of 31 miles or longer. If you’ve thought about working from home, now is the time to make the change. Driving too much is taking years off your life.

3. Sleep Enough, but Not too Much

Life expectancy significantly decreases in subjects who average less than five or more than nine hours of sleep per night. In fact, the cost of too many sleepless nights is more than you can afford to pay. The price is years off your lifespan; a single night of lost sleep can age your brain significantly. Here are 8 foods that increase natural melatonin creation, the hormone that supports sound sleep.

4. Skip the All-You-Can-Eat Buffet

Most individuals are already aware that Americans generally eat too much, which can lead to diseases that can shorten your life. According to the National Institute on Aging, the very process of extracting energy from food—metabolizing food—creates stress on your body. Overeating creates even more stress on the body. While you don’t have to drastically restrict your caloric intake, try to eat more healthful, and smaller portions.

5. Turn off the Tube

Another Harvard study says that watching just two hours of television a day can lead to an increased risk of premature death, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Yikes! Since much of modern television programming causes stress already with sensationalized (and constant) bad news, consider spending time doing something away from the TV. Call a friend and go on a walk – exercise is an obvious prerequisite for living longer, too.

6. Hang out with People You Like More, and Less with People You Don’t

Some of the oldest people on Earth, in places like China and Tibet, are highly socialized even into their senior years, but even who we spend time with is just as important. According to researchers at Tel Aviv University, “Peer social support, which could represent how well a participant is socially integrated in his or her employment context, is a potent predictor of the risk of all causes of mortality.”

This means if you are constantly annoyed by people at your work, in your family, or among your friends even, it may be time to find new friends. What’s more, a study conducted among older Australians found that the more nurturing friendships one has, the longer you are likely to live. Your social network is aevidently paramount to your longevity, just as much as eating right and exercise.

7. Stop Sitting so Much

Sitting for more than three hours a day at a time can take two years off your life. While this can be difficult to work around if you are living at a desk job, there are ways to cut down on the sitting. Take breaks, don’t eat at your desk, and stand or stretch as often as possible throughout your workday. If your boss asks what you are doing, tell them it is part of your longevity plan.

8. Be Intimate

Findings from the Caerphilly cohort study showed that mortality risk was 50% lower in a group with higher rates of pleasure between partners than in a group experiencing less pleasure, with evidence of a dose-response relation across the groups. This is kind of a no-brainer since pleasure leads to stress release. There is also research which supports the idea that sex promotes better sleep, increases the flow of feel-good endorphins, and that making love just 3 times a week is the equivalent of burning an extra 7,500 calories in a year. You’d have to jog 75 miles to do that!

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Kimberly Carter Gamble: Can Cannabis Cure Cancer?

Kimberly Carter Gamble  | ThriveMovement.com | Aug 23 2014

In the movie THRIVE, I acknowledged that cancer had run through my family like a raging river. Two weeks ago that river found its way back into my life when I got a call from a close friend who was diagnosed with metastasized head and neck cancer. Like so many who are now going outside Western medicine’s one-size-fits-all approach of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, I wanted to figure out the current state of alternative options, and especially the latest with medical marijuana now that it is gaining exposure and funding through its legalization.  

CannabisBody

I live in California, which has led the nation in medical marijuana legalization dating back to 1992. Specifically, I live in Santa Cruz County, which is home to a collective that is one of few client-service organizations in the US that can assay (determine the specific quantities) of the plant’s different components. I also have fact-based knowledge about how pharmaceutical companies have suppressed cures in the past, a knack for research, and a sincere motivation to help my friend. So for the past two weeks I’ve been immersed in the latest developments, and this is what I have found:

Patenting Nature for Profit

From my previous research for THRIVE, I discovered the role that patenting plays in determining which treatments are sanctioned and which get suppressed. The gist is that naturally-occurring substances cannot be patented in their natural state. Developing a synthetic version of a natural substance is what most pharmaceuticals do to create a patentable product, and that is what allows them to reap such huge profits.  

CannabisPharmacopoeia

Today cancer treatment represents a 200 billion dollar a year industry and is largely derived from synthetic versions of natural plants. For example, Bristol-Myers Squibb owns the patent for Taxol/Paclitaxle, a chemical discovered in the Pacific Yew tree. It is now the first drug of choice for several tumorous cancers including breast cancer. They also own the patent for Etoposide, a semisynthetic derivative of a plant chemical epipodophyllotoxin, discovered in the Mayapple plant family. Eli Lily owns the patent for Vinblastine, a chemical discovered in the Madagascar Periwinkle in the 1950s. Vinblastine is first on the list for many doctors in treating a variety of forms of leukemia.

This is one of the reasons indigenous rain forests are being decimated. Pharmaceutical companies (often under the guise of environmental protection) team with developers to relocate tribes, steal their knowledge of the indigenous healing plants, modify and make a synthetic version of the plant, and patent the derivative they create. No benefit is awarded the keepers of this knowledge, nor is the land protected from which it is found.

Because natural remedies can’t be patented, they aresuppressed in favor of patentable (i.e. financially profitable) synthetic treatments. This includes cannabis, a plant that was considered a mainstay of treatment for a wide range of ailments until the late 1930’s and early 1940’s, at which time it was officially removed from the US Pharmacopeia and National Formulary, the organization that mandates the standards for all prescription and over the counter drugs. In fact, a law was passed in 1937 that made it illegal for any US physician to prescribe cannabis in any form.

Can Cannabis Cure Cancer?

Like a lot of people, I used to think of cannabis primarily as simply a remedy for side effects of chemo. However, over the course of the movement to legalize medical marijuana these past few years, a lot of information has resurfaced

about its effectiveness as an actual cure for cancer and other diseases.  MarijuanaTherapy

Sources as varied as the federally-funded National Cancer Institute and MAPS — Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies — conclude that cannabis appears to have anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic and anti-bacterial agents. One remarkable fact is that humans actually have naturally occurring cannabinoid receptors, which seem to respond to cannabis in profoundly healing ways. The plant can be bred to have different ratios of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD, non-psychotropic), cannabigerol (CBG) and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), and the effects can be targeted to treat specific ailments depending on the ratios of the ingredient’s phytochemical composition.

Because of the suppression of the potential effectiveness of whole plant cannabis, it has been challenging to standardize processes associated with its use. The film Run from the Curedocuments the story of Rick Simpson and his success using hemp oil to cure many people of cancer in Nova Scotia.

Fellow Canadian Rick Dwyer was the head of the Maccan Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion when he got exposed to Rick Simpson and experienced for himself the curative properties of cannabis in the form of hemp oil. Mr. Dwyer’s father was cured of lung cancer using the oil. When he hosted a meeting for fellow Legionaires about the healing benefits he and others personally experienced from cannabis oil, the branch was shut down by the main office. Stories like this abound, and I have links below to the videos and articles I have found most useful in documenting this.

Mind/Body/Consciousness Connection

In Santa Cruz, the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana,WAMM collective, offers one of the few places in America that can assay the substance to target specific illnesses with customized proportions. The co-founder and director of WAMM, Valerie Corral, is a dedicated leader who claims to have personally witnessed dozens of people reverse their death sentence and live healthfully after undergoing cannabis treatment.

This includes claims of healing everything from stage 4 metastasized cancer — Stage IV Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinasepositive (ALK+) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) to myoclonic-astatic epilepsy (MAE or Doose syndrome) in children. Many have utilized combination therapies that include chemotherapies, other have opted not to engage in pharmaceuticals and have experienced success with alternative modalities alone.

According to Valerie,

“The potential for healing is inherent in each of us and requires that we influence and inspire our systems. Our work focuses on the endogenous cannabinoid system and the symbiotic interface with our other systems. Clearly there is no panacea, no magic potion or simple solution that “cures.” While cannabis proves to provide extraordinary curative potential, the modality for healing is as complex as each individual and is as interdependent as the systems that reside within us all. We speak of inspiring self-healing through environment, both externally and internally, when we include cannabis and our Milagro Oils as part of the mind-body-consciousness application.”

“One of the greatest threats to sustaining the purity of medicine is genetic modification of this ancient plant. As legislation moves forward, the hidden agenda of the early funders of the medical marijuana movement arises; the laws that apply to marijuana will be the laws that apply to all plants. This threatens every aspect of nature, for what has grown unfettered naturally for thousands of years may be subjugated to potential corporate autocracy.”

It is my personal understanding that our physical bodies have an innate self-healing/repair intelligence, and that all healing is the result of the body’s own self-healing and self-repair abilities getting what they need to do their innate job of restoring wholeness. Given the mind/body/consciousness connection, our belief in the effectiveness of whatever healing modality we choose, and our confidence in our capacity to recover, influence the outcome. I do not believe our confidence, belief and alignment entirely determine the outcome, only that they are major components. As Valerie said, these alternative modalities inspire self-healing through both the external and internal environment, and that includes our sense of the treatment’s value and our belief in its power to influence our particular imbalance.

So consider the negative impact of the Western scenario that my friend was offered: The biopsy did not reveal if his head and neck cancer was HPV positive or HPV negative. Only HPV positive responds to chemo and radiation. So what was the oncologist’s plan? To go ahead and begin him on an intense chemo/radiation treatment with no diagnostic reason for him to have confidence that it would work. My friend felt that his own immunity and confidence would be forfeited for the benefit of pharmaceutical research.

As it is, whether traditional or alternative, the stage of the cancer, tolerance of the medicine, spiritual perspective, and past treatment all seem to play a role in the effectiveness of any treatment.

Increased Mainstream Acceptance — Opportunity and Danger

Whether I’m talking to people who are traditionally conservative, liberal or those outside the political belief system, when I turn the conversation to cannabis and medical applications of marijuana I have not found anyone who is opposed to exploring the treatment further. The expressed sentiment: If it can work, why not? Well, once again, that is the multi-billion dollar question. Natural cures such as cannabis threaten the pharmaceutical stranglehold on cancer treatment. This is where the danger, and the opportunity, come in.

Having more mainstream participation can add research dollars and credibility to the issue. However, there is a lot of evidence that the goal of the pharmaceuticals is to find a way to patent cannabis and add it to their arsenal of cancer treatment, in a form by which they can maintain their profit machine and squeeze natural growers and individuals out of the process.

Genetically Engineering Cannabis for the Pharmaceuticals

One way this is already happening is in a secret lab in the South of England, GW Pharmaceuticals, which extracts, refines and studies the plant in their six different greenhouses, where they raise 10,000 plants each. At this undisclosed location, GW uses genetic engineering to create modified varieties and then clones each strain. They are already marketing one of their genetically engineered cannabis products in Canada as a sublingual (under the tongue) spray for treating muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis.

If the cloned strains were to cross pollinate with naturally-occurring strains, we could easily see the organic cannabis plants compromised and ultimately eliminated. As the story of GMO corn demonstrates, with companies driven by profit and control, this threat to corner the market is not one we should take lightly.

It behooves us to check the funding, motivation, associations and transparency of the mainstream organizations and corporations joining in on cannabis research and dissemination. In our desire to see this plant regain its rightful place in the array of natural treatment modalities, we had better not abdicate our discerning judgment or historical awareness of who runs these pharmaceuticals and what they have revealed their motives to be.

Monsanto merged with Searle, Upjohn, and Pfizer to form Pharmacia, a huge competitor in the pharmaceutical arena. Their egregious history shows no sign of abating. Indeed, their power has only grown, with the Obama administration limiting their liability through the Monsanto Protection Act. In fact, one of the main funders of the legalization movement is George Soros, who is also a major stockholder in Monsanto. This is the kind of alliance we need to watch carefully and take seriously.

Here’s why: George Soros is reported to have contributed $3.5 million dollars to the campaign in Uruguay for the legalization of marijuana. Soros sits on the board of the New York-based Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), the world’s most influential organization for legalization. His Open Society Foundation is also listed as a major financial supporter of Uruguay’s legalization. These efforts were successful and Uruguay now has legalized state controlled use of the plant. Uruguay’s President Mujica has made it clear his goal is and has been to create a unique genetic code for cannabis in his country. He says this is to “keep the black market under control.” In other words — to stifle the free market in favor of government control. Genetically modified cannabis seeds from Monsanto would grant such control, and more.

Monsanto has been behind Uruguay’s GMO-soybean and GM corn for decades. Combined with Uruguay’s State regulations and protection, the mega-giant is now poised to partner in the “experimentation” of cultivating a GMO cannabis product to be used as a patented pharmaceutical for medicinal purposes. Follow the money.

Our Right to Heal

Our discerning self-determination is what’s called for, and our right to heal is what’s at stake. The research ignited by my friend’s recent diagnosis further fuels my belief in the exquisite healing powers of nature in supporting our bodies’ own healing abilities, and excites me about the potential for cannabis’ true, lasting and curative powers in treating cancer and other debilitating and otherwise-fatal diseases. It also sobers me about the insidious ways that mainstream research can be used to corner the market on something nature provided for us all to explore and apply.

I will continue to post further information on how we can protect natural cannabis, and support the transparent research that is needed, as well as other info I find while navigating the challenging and promising field of medical marijuana.

I also encourage you to watch THRIVE and check out our website to review the full picture of how all this fits together with other efforts to consolidate power and control, as well as effective actions people are taking to empower real, lasting solutions all over the world.

Below are links to films and articles that I have found to be informative in the past few weeks. I do not vouch for their factual integrity, only their value to me as resources in my inquiry. Please share your resources and experiences as well. Together we will be unstoppable as we reclaim our right, and our true capacity, to heal.

Resources

General Information

Efficacy

University Research

Videos and Documentaries

Legality and Policy

Patenting

Genetic Modification

Cannabinoid Drugs Already on the Market

  • Dronabinol — MedlinePlus (National Institutes of Health)
  • Nabilone — MedlinePlus (National Institutes of Health)

Organizations

  • International source for cannabis seeds.
  • Realm of Caring
  • The Realm of Caring is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has been formed to provide a better quality of life for residents of Colorado affected by Cancer, MS, HIV/AIDS, Epilepsy, Parkinson’s, among many other debilitating conditions through the use of concentrated medicinal cannabis oil (Realm oil) provided by Indispensary/Stanley family.
  • Constance Pure Botanical Extracts
  • Offers cannabis-based treatments for cancer.
  • WAMM – The Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana (Santa Cruz, CA)
  • WAMM is a collective of patients and caregivers providing hope, building community and offering medical marijuana on a donation basis.
  • Medical Marijuana Blog — Arizona Hemp Center
  • The Arizona Hemp Center seeks to build a community by connecting eligible medical marijuana patients with doctors and dispensaries.
  • Michigan Medical Marijuana Association
  • Cure Your Own Cancer
  • Website for creation and treatment of cancer with cannabis.
  • Cureyourowncancer.org — Facebook
  • Constance Finley’s formula for cancer-curing cannabis.

 




Prolonged Sitting Wrecks Your Health: Here’s What You Can Do About It

Dr. Mercola | Aug 5 2014

There is a growing scientific consensus that the more time you spend sitting, the shorter and less healthy your life may be. Excessive sitting, such as at a desk or in front of the TV, significantly impacts your cardiovascular and metabolic function.

This raises your risk for heart attack, type 2 diabetes, insomnia, arthritis, and certain types of cancer—and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Sitting for extended periods of time increases your risk for premature death. This is especially concerning given the fact that you may be vulnerable to these risks even if you are a fit athlete who exercises regularly.

One recent study correlated sitting time and TV viewing time with increased fibrinogen and C reactive protein, which helps explain this increased cardiovascular risk.1

Science now shows us that temporary vigorous exercise cannot compensate for the damage incurred by prolonged daily sitting.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that intermittent movement is critical for health and longevity, even more so than a regular workout routine. In order to be healthy, you have to get up off your behind—and you have to do it often.  

SittingSpine

Sitting: Your Brain’s Mortal Enemy

Not only is excessive sitting detrimental to your physical health, but studies show it does nothing good for your mental health either.2, 3 Just like the rest of your body, your brain depends on strong blood flow, good oxygenation, and optimal glucose metabolism to work properly.

When you sit, your skeletal muscle fibers aren’t contracting, particularly the large muscles of your lower limbs. When this occurs, they require less fuel, and the surplus glucose accumulates in your bloodstream and contributes to obesity, diabetes, and other health problems.

An Australian study, published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, set out to determine if prolonged sitting and lack of exercise have an effect on depression. Researchers analyzed the habits of nearly 9,000 women, ages 50 to 55, over several years’ time.

Women who sat for more than seven hours a day were found to have a 47 percent higher risk of depression than women who sat for four hours or less per day.

Women who didn’t participate in ANY physical activity had a 99 percent higher risk of developing depression than women who exercised. The findings were crystal clear: excessive sitting and lack of exercise resulted in an increase in depression symptoms among middle-aged women.4

Researchers concluded that increased physical activity could alleviate existing depression symptoms and possibly even prevent future symptoms. And reducing the amount of daily sitting time may relieve existing symptoms of depression.

Sitting Increases Psychological Distress, Decreases Feelings of Well-Being

Other researchers have come to similar conclusions about the mental effects of spending too much time on your derriere. British researchers reviewing data from a national wellness project found that spending leisure time on the computer and watching TV were associated with reduced feelings of well-being.5

The work habits of more than 3,000 government workers in Australia were studied, and those who spent more than six hours seated per workday were more likely to score higher in psychological distress than those sitting fewer than three hours, regardless of how active they were outside of work.6

Why does sitting have such a negative impact on your mental health? Psychology Today may be on to something:7

“Some of the psychological effects of sitting may be rooted in what people tend to do while in their chairs. They may stare at an electronic screen, rather than connecting emotionally with others. They may watch mindless TV shows, rather than engaging intellectually with the world. Or they may multitask ceaselessly—flitting between work emails, personal texts, social media, and the Internet—rather than honing their attention.”

Spending excess time at your computer may lead to insomnia and depression. A British study involving 25,000 people found that those working long hours in front of computers complained of feeling depressed, anxious, and reluctant to get up for work in the mornings. They found that working just five hours per day in front of a computer screen is enough to produce depression and insomnia.8

Sitting in Front of a Computer Is Bad for Your Child, Too!

It’s already well established that insufficient physical activity is significantly contributing to our childhood obesity epidemic. But if your child spends a lot of time in front of an electronic screen, his or her mental health may also be at risk. In one UK study, excessive screen time produced negative effects on children’s self-worth, self-esteem and level of self-reported happiness.

The children who spent four hours or more computer gaming reported lower levels of well-being than their peers who spent less time in this activity. Children spending more time in front of computer screens also experience more emotional distress, anxiety, depression, and behavioral difficulties.9

It is very difficult if not impossible to refrain from sitting altogether, given today’s lifestyle. However, the good news is that there are some excellent strategies to help counter the effects of sitting—and they are not that difficult to learn and incorporate into your daily routine. So don’t take this news sitting down!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDhXJGZJJd4

Last summer, I interviewed Dr. Joan Vernikos,10 former director of NASA’s Life Sciences Division and author of Sitting Kills, Moving Heals, about the hazards of chronic sitting and how to avoid succumbing to its effects. Space medicine has done quite a bit to help us understand why sitting is so detrimental. Dr. Vernikos was in fact one of the primary doctors assigned to keep NASA astronauts’ health from deteriorating in space.

She explains that the human body deteriorates at a faster speed in anti-gravity situations, and as it turns out, sitting for an extended period of time actually simulates a low-gravity environment. On the other hand, physical movements such as standing up or bending down, increase the force of gravity on your body. Anti-gravity environments speed up cellular deterioration, so the key is to disengage from this low anti-gravity situation as much as possible by standing up and moving about. A reasonable goal is to get up every 15 minutes whenever you are engaged in prolonged seated activities.

Once involved in a project, it is admittedly rather difficult to remember to do this, so I have found an alarm is helpful. I personally use XNote timer, which can be downloaded for free. Once you download the software, go to the “More” section at the bottom of the application and click “Always On Top,” so that the app doesn’t get buried in your computer. Then, click on “Timer” and set it to 15 minutes. Once you hit “Start,” in 15 minutes a flash will appear on your screen (not an annoying audible alarm) to remind you to stand up and perform the exercises.

Quick and Easy Workplace Workouts

The easiest strategy is to merely stand up, and then sit back down. But evidence suggests you’d be wise to go a little further—especially if you only exercise a few times a week or not at all. There are plenty of ways to increase your movement at work.

The following videos, featuring Jill Rodriguez, offer a series of helpful intermittent movement beginner and advanced exercises you can do right at your desk. For a demonstration of each technique, please see the corresponding video in the two tables below. I suggest taking a break to do one set of three exercises, anywhere from once every 15 minutes to once per hour. For even more  suggestions, please refer to our previous article on intermittent movement.

Technique #1: Standing Neck-Stretch: Hold for 20 seconds on each side.

Technique #2: Shoulder Blade Squeeze: Round your shoulders, then pull them back and pull down. Repeat for 20-30 seconds.

Technique #3: Standing Hip Stretch: Holding on to your desk, cross your left leg over your right thigh and “sit down” by bending your right leg. Repeat on the other side.

Technique #4: The Windmill: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, then pivot your feet to the right. Push your hip out to the left. Raising your left arm skyward, and your right arm toward the floor, lower your body toward the floor while looking up, and then raise your torso back to standing position. Repeat on the other side.

Technique #5: Side Lunge: Starting with your feet together, take a medium step sideways, and bend down as if you’re about to sit. Use your arms for balance by reaching out in front of you. Return to starting position, and repeat 10-20 times. Repeat on the other side.

Technique #6: Desk Push-Up: Place hands a little wider than shoulder-width apart on your desk. Come up on your toes to make it easier to tip forward. Do 10 repetitions.

Technique #7: Squat to Chair: With your feet shoulder-width apart, sit down, reaching forward with your hands, and stand back up in quick succession. Do 15-20 repetitions.

Technique #8: Single Leg Dead Lift: Place your right hand on your desk, and place your weight on your right leg. Fold your torso forward, while simultaneously lifting your left leg backward. Do 10 repetitions on each side.

Technique #9: Mountain Climber: Get into a push-up position on the floor. Pull your right knee forward to touch your right wrist or arm, then return to push-up position. Repeat on the other side. Try to pick up the pace, and do 20 quick repetitions.

Read the rest of the article




Grounding for Body Equilibrium and Health

[Editor’s Note: This is a succinct update on Dr. Joseph Mercola’s previous writings on grounding, or earthing. Plus, he introduces a trailer for a second documentary on grounding, entitled ‘The Grounded 2,’ due out by the end of 2014. The sequel  features Step Sinatra, son of cardiologist Stephen Sinatra MD, astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell, and Dr. Mercola, among many others. ] 

Dr. Mercola

Have you ever noticed how good it feels to walk barefoot on a sandy beach, or in a forest? There is a reason for that—it’s called the grounding effect. The reason for this sense of well-being is due to the fact that you’re receiving a surge of potent healing electrons from the ground.

The earth has a slightly negative charge, so when you stand barefoot on that sand, electrons from the earth flow into your body, giving you a virtual “transfusion” of healing power.

The featured documentary, The Grounded 2, is a sequel to the film The Grounded, released in 2013. The sequel features Step Sinatra, the son of cardiologist Stephen Sinatra MD, astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell, and yours truly, among many others.

Step was a Wall Street trader until his health suddenly began to decline, bringing him to the brink of death. He credits his ultimate recovery to learning about grounding, along with a switch to an all-organic diet.

In 2010, his father, Dr. Stephen Sinatra released a book on the healing power of grounding called Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever?, co-authored with Clint Ober, one of the pioneers in this field.

The Ultimate Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory

Grounding or Earthing is defined as placing one’s bare feet on the ground whether it be dirt, grass, sand, or concrete (especially when humid or wet). When you ground to the electron-enriched earth, an improved balance of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system occurs.

The earth is a natural source of electrons and subtle electrical fields, which are essential for proper functioning of immune systems, circulation, synchronization of biorhythms and other physiological processes and may actually be the most effective, essential, least expensive, and easiest to attain antioxidant.

Modern science has thoroughly documented the connection between inflammation and all of the chronic diseases, including the diseases of aging and the aging process itself. It is important to understand that inflammation is a condition that can be reduced or prevented by grounding your body to the Earth, the way virtually all of your ancestors have done for hundreds if not thousands of generations.

How the Modern Running Shoe May Be Destroying Your Health

Materials such as metals are electrical conductors. They contain free or mobile electrons that can carry electrical energy from place to place.

Your body is somewhat conductive because it contains a large number of charged ions (called electrolytes) dissolved in water. Your blood and other body fluids are therefore good conductors. Free or mobile electrons can also move about within your body

Other materials, called insulators, have very few free or mobile electrons. Plastic and rubber are good insulators and are used to cover electrical wires to keep the conductors from touching each other and from touching your skin, which could otherwise give you a shock.

Traditionally, shoes were made of leather, which actually conducts electrons and therefore maintains a conductive contact between the earth and your feet. However, modern day rubber and plastics are electrical insulators and therefore block the beneficial flow of electrons from the Earth to your body.

Grounding Is a Foundational Aspect for Optimal Health

Free radical stress from exposure to mercury pollution, cigarettes, insecticides, pesticides, trans fats, radiation, and many others, continually deplete your body of electrons.

This is one of the primary reasons why antioxidants are used, which actually donate electrons back into your body, to help ward off free radical damage to your tissues.

You can also get these electrons by going outside, barefoot. Touching the earth helps neutralize the damaging positive charges of free radicals in your body.

According to Clint Ober, this lack of grounding appears to be an underlying thread in most chronic disease—a phenomenon he calls “electron deficiency syndrome.” 

For a visual demonstration of this, review my previous article, which features an experiment conducted by Gary Schwartz, PhD, at the University of Arizona. Using sunflowers, he demonstrates the powerful biological effects of grounding.

The Health Effects of Grounding

When your body is exposed to a lot of free radical stress, your blood tends to thicken, and positive charges accumulate in your body. This causes chronic inflammation, which is a hallmark of most chronic and degenerative diseases.

Grounding effectively helps alleviate inflammation in your body. It also helps thin your blood, by providing your red blood cells with a surplus of electrons so they can effectively repel each other and avoid being sticky, which can lead to blood clots that can cause a heart attack or stroke. Research has demonstrated it takes about 80 minutes for the free electrons from the earth to reach your bloodstream and transform your blood cells.

For example, early (and even some current) birth control pills were notorious for causing heart attacks in women. One of the mechanisms responsible for this increased risk is that synthetic estrogens and progesterones increase blood viscosity. Other biochemical alterations caused by grounding include changes in:

  • Phosphorus
  • Calcium metabolism
  • Fibroid metabolism
  • White blood cells

Grounding also helps calm your sympathetic nervous system, which supports your heart rate variability, which plays an important role in balancing, in your autonomic nervous system. Pain relief, improved sleep, and a generally enhanced sense of well-being are but a few of the health benefits reported by people who try grounding.

Last but not least, when you are grounded to the earth, the negatively charged electrons you receive increase the structure of the water in your cells—just as water increases in structure when a negative charge is introduced by an electrode.

As explained by Gerald Pollack, PhD, author of The Fourth Phase of Water: Beyond Solid, Liquid, and Vapor, living water is negatively charged water. This water can hold energy, much like a battery, and can deliver energy too. In essence, when you ground, you are charging every single cell in your body with energy your body can use for self-healing.

Continue reading to learn HOW to ground yourself

 




How to Bankrupt the National Health Service

Lynne McTaggart

The attack on What Doctors Don’t Tell You is part of a larger concerted campaign to demolish alternative medicine of every variety.  Small, organized groups, the self-styled guardians of ‘true’ medicine and science, have been systematically harassing many alternative individual practitioners and professional organizations, while Brussels and the UK government, lobbied by the pharmaceutical industry, have been busily putting into place a series of laws that are restricting access to high dose vitamins, herbal supplements and other natural medicine.

The problem is that no one  — skeptics, politicians and even the drugs industry lobbyists — has paused long enough to join the dots about out how this campaign could accelerate the decline of the system they purport to defend.

The following is to do with Britain and the National Health Service, but it equally could apply to any Western country with a health care system.

Consider a few inconvenient statistics, as Dr. Robert Verkerk, director of the Alliance for Natural Health, discusses in a forthcoming issue of WDDTY.  The think tank The King’s Fund is predicting a financial crisis for the NHS within two years, as it struggles to support its 1.7 million employees (the NHS is the fifth largest employer in the world, says Dr. Verkerk).

Both political parties recognize that the demographics of the British population are shifting.  At the moment, one in six of us is over 65, but in 35 years, the over 65s will represent one of every four citizens.  And we’re not enjoying rude good health.  Although we’re living a bit longer, we’re getting ill earlier than we used to.

Small wonder that the Labour Party is kicking around the idea of a ‘death’ tax of 15 per cent on the estates of the recently deceased to pay for care of the swelling numbers requiring the NHS while still alive. And the current conservative government plans to cut the NHS budget by $2 billion and replace hospital care with extra ‘care at home’ initiatives meaning that you may not be able to get seen by a hospital at the point where you might really need it.

While handling emergencies admirably, the medical profession is woefully ill equipped to help this ageing population prevent chronic illness.  As Dr. Sarah Myhill, outspoken British doctor who specializes in treating many chronic conditions holistically, writes, when it comes to actually understanding disease, all of doctor-induced disease – from medical mistakes to the side effects of prescription drugs – ‘pales into insignificance when compared with the intellectual neglect demonstrated by doctors failing to understand, recognize and prevent the two major causes of death; namely heart disease and cancer. The worst example of this neglect is the nonsense propagated by doctors that a high fat diet results in high cholesterol and so heart and arterial disease – indeed this has become the popular accepted wisdom.’

So just imagine for one moment if all those attempting to suppress natural medicine are successful and all of alternative medicine disappears.

Natural medicine is a £6 billion pound industry in the UK alone.  Aside from the disastrous effect destruction of this sector would have on the British economy, think of the impact this would have on the already collapsing NHS.  For many years now, more visits have been paid to alternative practitioners than to GPs in Britain.

Imagine, for a moment, that all those millions of patients now have to line up to see their GPs, instead of going to their nutritionist, homeopath or acupuncturist.

Imagine the millions more who get will ill earlier than they would have because they are unable able to get hold of dietary supplements that are increasingly necessary giving the declining nutritional value of most food.

Imagine the effect on the population if our only recourse with chronic illness is to rely on a system of medicine that is now the third leading cause of death in the US after heart disease and cancer.

Are you starting to get the mental picture?  Millions more sick people requiring more hospital care earlier.

The bottom line, pure and simple, is that killing natural medicine would kill free medicine.  If the politicians and the drug industry have their way, destroying alternatives will do more than anything else to accelerate the end of the NHS.

Lynne McTaggart is an investigative journalist and author, and a sought-after public speaker whose talks and workshops have transformed the lives of the thousands around the world who have heard her. She edits the monthly health journal What Doctors Don’t Tell You and was also the editor of the 48-lesson partwork, Living The Field, perhaps the most definitive work yet to bridge the worlds of physics and spirituality in its 768 pages.

 




Hemp Seed-Eating Village in China Holds Oldest, Healthiest People in the World

 | Naturalsociety | July 22nd 2014

hemp seed eating village in chinaWhile there is a man in Bolivia said to be the oldest living person in the world, at 123 years of age, a village in China is boasting ages far older than the global average, and few suffer from any health problems. Scientists believe the secret is in their diet, which actually includes lots of hempseed.

It also helps that the water and air in Bama Yao, China are exceptionally clean, and that their food contains noticeably less fat, animal proteins, salt, and sugar than let’s say, the standard American diet. But according to some experts, the villagers’ consumption of a superfood high in essential fatty acids (omega 3 and 6) is also part of the reason they live so long. Their primary source of receiving these fatty acids is through a diet rich in hempseed.

Life expectancy in Bama Yao is well over 100 years for its inhabitants, one of only five places on the planet where people can expect to live so healthfully for so long. Centenarian hot spots, called ‘blue zones,’ include Sardinia, Italy, Okinawa just off Japan, and Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica. Among these rare places, there is a commonality of lifestyle habits: they eat a plant-based diet, often with several super foods, invest heavily in family, get moderate exercise daily, and have a sense of faith and purpose in their lives.

It is well known that plant sterols and antioxidants can help reduce the risk of many cancers including breast and colon cancer, as well as control sugar levels in diabetics. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids found in hemp seed are also full of plant-based protein, vitamins A, E, and D, and many B vitamins – all important antioxidants that help eliminate free radicals in the body.

Hemp seed is also rich in calcium, dietary fiber, and iron. The high amount of soluble fiber in hemp seed helps to prevent over-eating since it makes you feel full, longer, and it can help keep the digestive system healthy.

Furthermore, omega 3 and 6 ratios that are in balance also contribute to a healthy brain as we age. Omega 6 polyunsaturated fats are used by the body to make certain hormones and signaling molecules. Roughly speaking, the omega 6′s are the precursors for many of the molecules that make up our body’s inflammatory response. As an example – the omega 6 linoleic acid is a precursor for many molecules, among them the prostaglandins that the enzymes COX-1 and COX-2 work on. But these must be balanced with Omega 3s or we have some highly inflammatory chemicals running rampant in our body.

In hemp seed oil, the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is about 3:1. This favorable ratio helps to compensate, at least partially, for the general over-consumption of omega-6 fatty acids in the typical American diet, and likely leads to the overall anti-inflammatory health benefits that villagers in Bama Yao enjoy.

More from Naturalsociety




The Story of Stress (Hint: We’re Addicted to It)

Dr. Mercola

“Stress is not a state of mind… it’s measurable and dangerous, and humans can’t seem to find their off-switch.” These words of warning come from renowned author and award-winning neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky in the documentary Stress: Portrait of a Killer.1The film, jointly produced by National Geographic and Stanford University where Dr. Sapolsky is a professor and scholar, shows just how dangerous prolonged stress can be.As we evolved, the stress response saved our lives by enabling us to run from predators or take down prey. But today, we are turning on the same “life-saving” reaction to cope with $4 per gallon gasoline, fear of public speaking, difficult bosses, and traffic jams—and have a hard time turning it off.Constantly being in a stress response may have you marinating in corrosive hormones around the clock.This film shows the impact stress has on your body, how it can shrink your brain, add fat to your belly, and even unravel your chromosomes. Understanding how stress works can help you figure out ways to combat it and reduce its negative impacts on your health.

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Dr. Sapolsky has learned a great deal about the human stress response and its effects on your body by studying primates in Africa. Every year, he spends a few weeks in the Kenyan wilderness studying baboon societies that have intraspecies social and psychological tumult that mimics the stress of modern man.He monitors their adrenal hormone levels, namely adrenalin (epinephrine) and glucocorticoids (such as cortisol). The fact that baboons live in communities with hierarchical structures led Dr. Sapolsky to one of his most profound discoveries: baboon stress is related to hierarchy, or social rank.The higher a baboon’s rank, the less stress it experiences. The lower its rank, the higher its stress. More importantly, Dr. Sapolsky discovered that the low ranking “have-nots” of the baboon world experienced higher heart rates and blood pressure than the “haves.”Arteries in the “have-not” monkeys filled up with plaque, restricting their blood flow and increasing their heart attack risk. This was the first time stress was scientifically linked to deteriorating health in wild primates. As it turns out, the same is true for other primates—for example, us!

Mortality Rates Follow a Social Gradient

Professor Sir Michael Marmot performed a 40-year long stress study in which he followed 18,000 men occupying various positions with the British Civil Service. His findings paralleled what Sapolsky found for the baboons: the higher your status, the lower your risk for stress-related diseases.2Marmot found that men in the lowest employment grades were much more likely to die prematurely than men in the higher grades—there is in fact a “social gradient” for mortality. Subsequent studies involving women had similar findings. But why would this be—what does your status have to do with your stress?

It’s All About Your Locus of Control

Dr. Sapolsky explains how psychological distress may turn on your stress response in this short video clip. If the link does not work for you, you can access it on the Stanford University website (click on “Related to this Story” in right column, then the tab “More on Stress”). Sapolsky explains how you are more vulnerable to stress if the following factors are true:

  • You feel like you have no control
  • You’re not getting any predictive information (how bad the challenge is going to be, how long it will go on, etc.)
  • You feel you have no way out
  • You interpret things as getting worse
  • You have no “shoulder to cry on” (e.g., lack of social affiliation or support)

Like baboons, people at the top of the social pyramid feel a greater sense of control because they are the ones who call the shots, as well as typically having more social connections and resources at their disposal. This results in less stress, which over the long run translates to lower rates of disease.

Stress is also closely related to the experience of pleasure, related to the binding of dopamine to pleasure receptors in your brain. The brains of “primate CEOs” light up brightly in PET scans, whereas the brains of subordinate monkeys do not, indicating that life is less pleasurable for the subordinates.Like primates, people of lower socioeconomic status appear to derive less pleasure from their lives. Perhaps this is why laughter therapy is so effective!34

Overall, men and women suffer from the same stress-related illnesses, but they differ in the types of situations they experience as most stressful. The genders also experience stress differently. For example, women suffer more stress-induced anxiety and depression than men.5 One thing is known to be true for both genders: higher stress equates to a shorter life expectancy.

Are You a Stress Junkie?

The paradox here is that humans have essentially become addicted to stress. There is “good stress” (eustress) and “bad stress” (distress)—meaning, you experience certain stressful experiences as unpleasant and seek to avoid them, but others you may actually seek out because they’re fun. For example, snowboarding, skydiving, rollercoasters, and scary movies are experiences that may flip your thrill-switch—and your body responds to those stresses in the same way as if a tiger were chasing you. Your muscles tense, your heart pounds, your respirations increase, and your body stops all of its non-essential processes.This can be pleasantly exhilarating, and for some rather addictive… you might know someone whom you could describe as an “adrenalin junkie.” A thrill is simply the relinquishing of a bit of control in a setting that feels safe. But when you’re in that heightened state of arousal 24/7, stress takes its toll on your body—whether you perceive the stress as “good” or “bad.”

Stress Takes a Toll on Your Brain and Adds Inches to Your Waistline

Science has established that stress can lead to cardiovascular disease, but did you know that it can also lead to weight gain—of the worst kind? Stress-induced weight gain typically involves an increase in belly fat, which is the most dangerous fat for your body to accumulate, and increases your cardiovascular risk. Stress alters the way fat is deposited because of the specific hormones and other chemicals your body produces when you’re stressed.Prolonged stress can also damage your brain cells and make you lose the capacity to remember things. The brain cells of stressed rats are dramatically smaller, especially in the area of their hippocampus, which is the seat of learning and memory. Stress disrupts your neuroendocrine and immune systems and appears to trigger a degenerative process in your brain that can result in Alzheimer’s disease. Stress can also accelerate aging by shortening your telomeres, the protective genetic structures that regulate how your cells age. In the words of Dr. Lissa Rankin, author of Mind Over Medicine:6

“Our bodies know how to fix broken proteins, kill cancer cells, retard aging, and fight infection. They even know how to heal ulcers, make skin lesions disappear and knit together broken bones! But here’s the kicker—those natural self-repair mechanisms don’t work if you’re stressed!”

According to Dr. Sapolsky, the following are the most common health conditions that are caused by or worsened by stress:

Cardiovascular disease Hypertension Depression
Anxiety Sexual dysfunction Infertility and irregular cycles
Frequent colds Insomnia and fatigue Trouble concentrating
Memory loss Appetite changes Digestive problems and dysbiosis

The Dutch Famine Study

The Dutch Famine Birth Cohort Study (Hungerwinter Study) shows that stress in utero might be followed by a lifetime of poor health. Survivors of the Dutch famine are now in their 60s, and those conceived during the famine have higher rates of cardiovascular disease and diabetes and are in poorer overall health than those conceived after the famine ended. Researchers postulate that stress hormones in the blood of those pregnant women triggered changes in their babies’ developing nervous systems as they battled against starvation. Decades later, their bodies still “remember” this prenatal stress.7

The Dutch Famine Study is not the only scientific research to show that your mental and physical health can be permanently affected by childhood stress and trauma. The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study is an ongoing research project that analyzes the relationship between stressful childhood experiences and health outcomes later in life. There is a very strong correlation between childhood stress and many diseases, including cancer, depression, and heart disease.8

Cortisol Can Be an Important Health Challenge

The stress hormone cortisol, released by your adrenal glands as part of the “fight-or-flight” response, is the master hormone that regulates many aspects of your body’s stress response. However, cortisol levels are typically elevated across the board in today’s culture, to the detriment of mental and physical health. The impact stress is having on society as a whole is so profound that Psychology Today calls cortisol “Public Enemy Number One:”9

“The ripple effect of a fearful, isolated and stressed out society increases cortisol levels across the board for Americans of all ages. This creates a public health crisis and a huge drain on our economy.”

For example, elevated cortisol levels are a potential trigger for mental illness and reduced resilience, especially among adolescents. Evidence of the societal affects of unmanaged stress is disturbingly evident on the evening news, with seemingly ever-increasing episodes of bullying, suicides, and mass shootings, which are unfortunate, albeit extreme examples of what happens when people cannot cope. When you have effective stress reduction tools, you and your children are mentally and physically healthier, more resilient and less likely to be depressed, sick, or violent.

Is It Time to Send Yourself to Cortisol Rehab?

Sapolsky’s baboons prove that stress is not inevitable. You can change your environment and your responses. And as you learn how to effectively decrease your stress level, your cortisol will stabilize, your blood pressure will drop, and your health will improve in just about every way. It’s important to realize that stress management isn’t something you save up to do on the weekend—it needs to be done on a daily basis, because that’s how often stress rears its ugly head. There are many different stress reduction techniques, and what works for you may not work for another.

One may enjoy meditating, but another may feel calmer by cleaning house! Stress management is a highly individual thing, and the last thing you want to do is be stressed by your supposedly stress-busting activity. You’ll have to find what works best for you. Of course, making good food choices will support your overall health and increase your resiliency.

Keep reading for effective stress management tools

 

 




Monoatomic Gold Supplementation: Is it Safe?

 

PL Chang | Energy Fanatics | July 4 2014

Many people are claiming that monoatomic gold, also known as white powder gold, holds the key to health, energy, and longevity, but is monoatomic gold even real? According to some archaeologists and scientists, this exotic white powder gold is real and was used by certain ruling class of the Egyptians, Sumerians, Babylonians, and secret societies for esoteric rituals, and to increase vitality and longevity. Many researchers of occultism believe that monoatomic gold is still being used for esoteric rituals by secret societies of today.

 

What is monoatomic gold?

Monoatomic elements, such as monoatomic gold, are made of single atoms not bound to one another. One strange and exotic property of monatomic gold is that when heated to certain temperatures, it becomes very light, even to the point where it produces antigravity properties. For this reason, understanding how monatomic gold works may hold some of the keys to unlocking the secrets of antigravity and superluminal technology.

As mentioned at BlueEmeraldAlchemy.com.

The center of the periodic chart of elements consists of what are known as the “transition elements,” meaning that they can transit from metallic to monatomic or diatomic via chemical treatment or through other means (what some would refer to as “shadow chemistry” or “arcane chemistry” or even “alchemy”). Take gold for example. When you have two or more gold atoms in a microcluster, it will have metallic properties, but if you have only one atom, it will then have ceramic properties, which means that it becomes chemically inert but at the same time will have superconductive capabilities even at room temperature. The weight of these amazing materials can also change by heating, becoming lighter, even to the point of levitation. Because it is chemically inert, it can be ingested for health, wellbeing and super-energizing at the cellular level.

Conventional science is aware of six phases of matter, which are gas, liquid, solid, plasma, Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC), and liquid crystal. What conventional science isn’t aware of yet or doesn’t want to accept are monoatomic elements. These monoatomic elements are only a few examples of many other phases of matter that are yet to be discovered. Monoatomic elements are sometimes refer to as ORME (orbitally rearranged monatomic elements). According to Jim Marrs, ORME actually means the “Tree of Life” in Hebrew. This could be why some people like to associate monatomic gold or white powder gold with immortality.

The relationship between microclusters and monoatomic elements

In the late 1980s, some nuclear physicists discovered that the atoms of certain elements are arranged in microclusters, which are very tiny groups of atoms, ranging from two to several hundred atoms. In certain metals, when a specific number of atoms is present in a microcluster, the atoms will rearrange themselves into a lattice structure with metallic properties. However, if fewer than that critical number of atoms is present, the microcluster will disaggregate into monatomic atoms with ceramic properties. These microclusters can also be detected in water. It is believed that these microclusters give water unique characteristics and have the ability to store information.

Since monoatomic elements have atoms that aren’t arranged in a rigid lattice pattern, their physical characteristics are quite different from elements with atoms that are arranged in a rigid lattice network. In other words, the physical characteristic of an element isn’t only determined by the number of neutrons and protons, but also its microcluster or grouping of atoms. For example, in a metallic element, if there isn’t a lattice network present, there is no physical metal, even if its atoms are identical to a metallic element with a lattice network. This example shows that the determine factors of the characteristics of matter aren’t limited to the numbers of neutrons and protons in atoms.

According to scientists, the critical number of atoms for gold is two and the critical number of atoms for rhodium is nine. The significance of this critical number is that when there are two or more gold atoms in a microcluster, the gold will exhibit metallic characteristics. In rhodium, when there are nine or fewer atoms in a microcluster, the atoms will disaggregate to become a group of monoatomic atoms.

Scientists believe that the valence electrons of monoatomic elements are unavailable for chemical reactions and thus monoatomic atoms are chemically inert. As a result, it is currently impossible to use standard analytical chemistry techniques to study and identify properties of monoatomic atoms. This is why monoatomic elements have remained hidden for so long. With our current technology, the best way to detect a monatomic element is to first convert it from its monoatomic state to its normal state, allowing it to be detected with conventional scientific instruments.

The effects of monoatomic gold

Monoatomic gold displays physical characteristics that are very different than its metallic form, which are still being studied by certain physicists; therefore, many of the properties of monatomic gold are still unknown to the public. However, some scientists claimed that this white powder gold has a fluorescent-like glow and superconducting properties. Its superconducting properties are some of the reasons why it has the power of levitation.

According to some historians, the Sumerians and Egyptians believed that white powder gold can encourage spiritual transformation, and increase energy and longevity, because of its exotic healing effects on the body, brain, and pineal gland. Certain scientists have also found that monoatomic gold has very strange and mystical properties, because they believe it can help alter time and space. Could this be why monoatomic elements are used in superconductors?

Many monoatomic gold experts are claiming that when this white powder gold is consumed or injected into the body, it can increase the current functional capacity of the nervous system by ten thousand times.

Continue reading




Vegetarian Diets Produce Fewer Greenhouse Gases and Increase Longevity, Say New Studies

Science daily | June 17th 2014

vegetablesConsuming a plant-based diet results in a more sustainable environment and reduces greenhouse gas emissions, while improving longevity, according to new research from Loma Linda University Health.

A study and an article, produced by researchers at Loma Linda University School of Public Health, will be published in full in the July issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and were first presented at the 6th International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition in 2013.

Based on findings that identified food systems as a significant contributor to global warming, the study focuses on the dietary patterns of vegetarians, semi-vegetarians and non-vegetarians to quantify and compare greenhouse gas emissions, as well as assess total mortality.

The mortality rate for non-vegetarians was almost 20 percent higher than that for vegetarians and semi-vegetarians. On top of lower mortality rates, switching from non-vegetarian diets to vegetarian diets or even semi-vegetarian diets also helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The vegetarian diets resulted in almost a third less emissions compared to the non-vegetarian diets. Modifying the consumption of animal-based foods can therefore be a feasible and effective tool for climate change mitigation and public health improvements, the study concluded.

“The takeaway message is that relatively small reductions in the consumption of animal products result in non-trivial environmental benefits and health benefits,” said Sam Soret, Ph.D., MPH, associate dean at Loma Linda University School of Public Health and co-author of the studies.

The study drew data from the Adventist Health Study, which is a large-scale study of the nutritional habits and practices of more than 96,000 Seventh-day Adventists throughout the United States and Canada. The study population is multi-ethnic and geographically diverse.

“The study sample is heterogeneous and our data is rich. We analyzed more than 73,000 participants. The level of detail we have on food consumption and health outcomes at the individual level makes these findings unprecedented,” Soret said.

The analysis is the first of its kind to use a large, living population, since previous studies relating dietary patterns to greenhouse gas emissions and health effects relied on simulated data or relatively small populations to find similar conclusions.

“To our knowledge no studies have yet used a single non-simulated data set to independently assess the climate change mitigation potential and actual health outcomes for the same dietary patterns,” said Joan Sabate, MD, DrPH, nutrition professor at Loma Linda University School of Public Health and co-author of the studies.

The accompanying article makes the case for returning to a large-scale practice of plant-based diets, in light of the substantial and detrimental environmental impacts caused by the current trend of eating diets rich in animal products. Making a switch to plant-based foods will increase food security and sustainability, thereby avoiding otherwise disastrous consequences.

Both papers demonstrate that the production of food for human consumption causes significant emissions of greenhouse gases and compare the environmental impacts of producing foods consumed by vegetarians and non-vegetarians.

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Eat, Fast and Live Longer

Dr. Mercola | June 13 2014

https://vimeo.com/103656060

In the featured documentary, Eat, Fast, and Live Longer,1 British author and journalist Dr. Michael Mosley documents his journey as he decides to try fasting, to see if it might improve his health.At the outset, his blood work revealed he was borderline diabetic and his cholesterol was high, which his doctor wanted to treat with medication.Concerned by this diagnosis—especially as he considers himself somewhat of an expert on conventional health strategies—Dr. Mosley sets out to investigate his alternatives.

“I have always been interested in self-experimentation as a research device because so many of the most important discoveries came from scientists and doctors who used themselves as test subjects,” he says, “but I had never before performed a series of trials on my own health.”

His journey takes him across the United States, where he meets with both long-lived, healthy folk, and health and longevity experts, to learn the secrets of their success.

Your Body Was Built for Periodic Cycles of ‘Feast and Famine’

Fasting, it turns out, has a number of health benefits that most people seek: from improved cardiovascular health and reduced cancer risk, to gene repair and longevity.

In short, he discovers that part of what appears to be driving the disease process is the fact that we’re eating too frequently. When you’re in constant “feast mode,” your body actually forgoes much of its natural “repair and rejuvenation programming.”

It’s true that severe calorie restriction promotes both weight loss and longevity in animal models, but this kind of “starvation diet” is not a very appealing strategy for most people.

However, newer research shows that you can get most if not all of the same benefits of severe calorie restriction through intermittent fasting, i.e. an eating schedule where you feast on some days, and dramatically cut calories on others.

This effectively mimics the eating habits of our ancestors, who did not have access to grocery stores or food around the clock. They would cycle through periods of feast and famine, and modern research shows this cycling produces a number of biochemical benefits. In short, by altering what and when you eat, you can rather dramatically alter how your body operates. And that’s great news.

Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Fasting is historically commonplace as it has been a part of spiritual practice for millennia. But modern science has confirmed there are many good reasons for fasting, including the following:

  • Normalizing your insulin and leptin sensitivity, and boosting mitochondrial energy efficiency: One of the primary mechanisms that makes intermittent fasting so beneficial for health is related to its impact on your insulin sensitivity.

While sugar is a source of energy for your body, it also promotes insulin resistance when consumed in the amounts found in our modern processed junk food diets. Insulin resistance, in turn, is a primary driver of chronic disease—from heart disease to cancer.

Intermittent fasting helps reset your body to use fat as its primary fuel, and mounting evidence confirms that when your body becomes adapted to burning FAT instead of sugar as its primary fuel, you dramatically reduce your risk of chronic disease

  • Normalizing ghrelin levels, also known as “the hunger hormone”
  • Promoting human growth hormone (HGH) production: Research has shown fasting can raise HGH by as much as 1,300 percent in women, and 2,000 percent in men,2 which plays an important part in health, fitness, and slowing the aging process. HGH is also a fat-burning hormone, which helps explain why fasting is so effective for weight loss
  • Lowering triglyceride levels and improving other biomarkers of disease
  • Reducing oxidative stress: Fasting decreases the accumulation of oxidative radicals in the cell, and thereby prevents oxidative damage to cellular proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids associated with aging and disease

There’s also plenty of research showing that fasting has a beneficial impact on longevity in animals. There are a number of mechanisms contributing to this effect. Normalizing insulin sensitivity is a major one, but fasting also inhibits the mTOR pathway, which plays an important part in driving the aging process.

Intermittent fasting is by far the most effective way I know of to shed unwanted fat and eliminate your sugar cravings. Since most of us are carrying excess fat we just can’t seem to burn, this is a really important benefit. When sugar is not needed as a primary fuel, your body will also not crave it as much when your sugar stores run low.

As mentioned above, the other mechanisms that makes fasting so effective for weight loss is the fact that it provokes the secretion of HGH—a fat-burning hormone that has many well-recognized “anti-aging” health and fitness benefits.

Last but not least, intermittent fasting has also been identified as a potent ally for the prevention and perhaps even treatment of dementia. First, ketones are released as a byproduct of burning fat, and ketones (not glucose) are actually the preferred fuel for your brain.

In addition to that, intermittent fasting boosts production of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which activates brain stem cells to convert into new neurons, and triggers numerous other chemicals that promote neural health. It also protects your brain cells from changes associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Research by Dr. Mark Mattson, a senior investigator for the National Institute on Aging, suggests that alternate-day fasting (restricting your meal on fasting days to about 600 calories), can boost BDNF by anywhere from 50 to 400 percent, depending on the brain region.3

The 5:2 Intermittent Fasting Plan

Intermittent fasting is an umbrella term that covers a wide array of fasting schedules. As a general rule, it involves cutting calories in whole or in part, either a couple of days a week, every other day, or even daily. Dr. Mosley became so convinced of the health benefits of intermittent fasting he wrote a book on the subject, called The Fast Diet: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, and Live Longer with the Simple Secret of Intermittent Fasting.4

The fasting schedule he ultimately suggests in the book (after trying a couple of variations in the film), is to eat normally for five days a week, and fast for two. This schedule is sometimes referred to as the “5:2” intermittent fasting plan. On fasting days, he recommends cutting your food down to one-fourth of your normal daily calories, or about 600 calories for men and about 500 for women, along with plenty of water and tea. Dr. Mosley claims to have lost 19 pounds in two months by following this 5:2 intermittent fasting plan.

calories-per-day copy

Alternate-Day Fasting—Another Alternative

Yet another variation that is quite common is the alternate-day fast. This fasting protocol is exactly as it sounds: one day off, one day on. When you include sleeping time, the fast can end up being as long as 32-36 hours. The drawback is that it requires you to go to bed with an empty stomach every other day, which can be tough for most people—at least initially.

However, according to Dr. Krista Varady, author of The Every-Other-Day Diet:The Diet That Lets You Eat All You Want (Half the Time) and Keep the Weight Off, the alternate-day fasting schedule does have a much higher compliance rate than many other fasting schedules. In the endthe best fasting schedule is the one that you will comply with. If you’re constantly cheating, it won’t work.

Dr. Varady’s research shows that alternate-day fasting, where you consume about 500 calories on fasting days and can eat whatever you want on non-fasting days, works equally well for weight loss as complete fasting, and it’s a lot easier to maintain this type of modified fasting regimen.

In her study, which was recently completed, participants ate their low-calorie fasting day meal either for lunch or dinner. Splitting the 500 calorie meal up into multiple smaller meals throughout the day was not as successful as eating just one meal, once a day. The main problem relates to compliance. If you’re truly eating just 500 calories in a day, you will lose weight. But when eating tiny amounts of food multiple times a day, you’re far more inclined to want more, so the cheat rate dramatically increases.

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The Man Who Defied A Terminal Diagnosis to Outlive His Doctors

Dave Mihalovic  |  Waking Times  |  May 7 2014

You could say that Stamatis Moraitis forgot to die. The Greek war veteran was diagnosed by 9 different American doctors with lung cancer in 1976. He was given 6 months to live and was encouraged to pursue aggressive cancer treatment. He declined and instead moved back to his native land of Ikaria. Then something incredible happened.

At first, he spent his days in bed, as his mother and wife tended to him. He reconnected with his faith. On Sunday mornings, he hobbled up the hill to a tiny Greek Orthodox chapel where his grandfather once served as a priest. When his childhood friends discovered that he had moved back, they started showing up every afternoon. They’d talk for hours, an activity that invariably involved a bottle or two of locally produced wine. I might as well die happy, he thought.

In the ensuing months, he started to feel stronger. One day, feeling ambitious, he planted some vegetables in the garden. He didn’t expect to live to harvest them, but he enjoyed being in the sunshine, breathing the ocean air. Others could enjoy the fresh vegetables after he was gone.

Six months came and went. Moraitis didn’t die. Instead, he reaped his garden and, feeling emboldened, cleaned up the family vineyard as well. Easing himself into the island routine, he woke up when he felt like it, worked in the vineyards until midafternoon, made himself lunch and then took a long nap. In the evenings, he often walked to the local tavern, where he played dominoes past midnight. The years passed. His health continued to improve. He added a couple of rooms to his parents’ home so his children could visit. He built up the vineyard until it produced 400 gallons of wine a year. Three and a half decades later, he was 97 years old — according to an official document he disputes; he said he was 102 in 2012– and cancer-free. He never went through chemotherapy, took drugs or sought therapy of any sort. All he did was move home to Ikaria.

“It just went away,” said Moraitis. “I actually went back to America about 25 years after moving here to see if the doctors could explain it to me.”

“My doctors were all dead.” Moraitis passed away at 102 years of age

The Lessons To Learn 

Avoid conventional therapy for cancer if you want to live a long life. We don’t have the statistics yet, but it’s unlikely that any person on Earth who has pursued aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatment will live to 100. In most cases they die within 15 years of their treatment. The restoration of health comes from connecting back to our environment and foods that heal us, not medicine.

The Greek Islands are famed for healthy cuisine, so it may come as no surprise that Grecians have fewer cases of heart disease. Staples, including virgin olive oil, greens like arugula and Swiss chard, carbohydrates like chickpeas, lentils and whole-grain bread, and herbs like oregano, parsley and chives, are great for heart health. The traditional diet also minimizes meat consumption with no more than one red meat dish per week.

Although unemployment is high — perhaps as high as 40 percent — most everyone has access to a family garden and livestock. People who work might have several jobs. Someone involved in tourism, for example, might also be a painter or an electrician or have a store. “People are fine here because we are very self-sufficient,” said Thea Parikos who owns a guesthouse in western Ikaria. “We may not have money for luxuries, but we will have food on the table and still have fun with family and friends. We may not be in a hurry to get work done during the day, so we work into the night. At the end of the day, we don’t go home to sit on the couch.”

In the United States, when it comes to improving health, people tend to focus on exercise and what we put into our mouths — organic foods, omega-3’s, micronutrients. We spend nearly $30 billion a year on vitamins and supplements alone. Yet in Ikaria and the other places like it, diet only partly explained higher life expectancy. Exercise — at least the way we think of it, as willful, dutiful, physical activity — played a small role at best.

Ask the very old on Ikaria how they managed to live past 90, and they’ll usually talk about the clean air and the wine. Or, as one 101-year-old woman put it, “we just forget to die.” The reality is they have no idea how they got to be so old. And neither do we. To answer that question would require carefully tracking the lifestyles of a study group and a control group for an entire human lifetime (and then some). We do know from reliable data that people on Ikaria are outliving those on surrounding islands (a control group, of sorts). Samos, for instance, is just eight miles away. People there with the same genetic background eat yogurt, drink wine, breathe the same air, fish from the same sea as their neighbors on Ikaria. But people on Samos tend to live no longer than average Greeks. This is what makes the Ikarian formula so tantalizing and proven in scientific study.

If you pay careful attention to the way Ikarians have lived their lives, it appears that a dozen subtly powerful, mutually enhancing and pervasive factors are at work.

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Alzheimer’s Symptoms Eased by Caring for Horses

Pam Frost Gorder | MedicalXpress.com | May 5 2014

In the first study of its kind, researchers have determined that spending time with horses eases symptoms of Alzheimer’s dementia.

A collaboration between The Ohio State University, an equine therapy center and an adult daycare center found that people with Alzheimer’s were able to safely groom, feed and walk horses under supervision—and the experience buoyed their mood and made them less likely to resist care or become upset later in the day.

The small pilot study, which appears in the journal Anthrozoös, suggests that equine therapy—a treatment used today for children and teens who have emotional and developmental disorders—could work for adults, too.

Holly Dabelko-Schoeny, associate professor of social work at Ohio State, said that equine therapy could supplement more common forms of animal therapy involving dogs or cats and provide a unique way to ease the symptoms of dementia without drugs.

“We wanted to test whether people with dementia could have positive interactions with horses, and we found that they can—absolutely,” Dabelko-Schoeny said. “The experience immediately lifted their mood, and we saw a connection to fewer incidents of negative behavior.”

In addition to memory loss, people with Alzheimer’s often experience personality changes, she explained. They can become depressed, withdrawn—even aggressive. As researchers look for a way to prevent or treat the disease, today’s therapies are becoming more focused on how to ease the emotional burden for patients and their families.

“Our focus is on the ‘now.’ What can we do to make them feel better and enjoy themselves right now? Even if they don’t remember it later, how can we help in this moment?” she said.

At the adult daycare center, a National Church Residences Center for Senior Health in downtown Columbus, clients normally partake in crafts, exercise and other activities to manage their dementia. For this study, sixteen of the center’s clients who had Alzheimer’s—nine women and seven men—volunteered to break with their regular routine.

Once a week, eight of the clients would remain at the center and pursue other activities while the other eight took a bus trip to the Field of Dreams Equine Education Center in Blacklick, Ohio. There, they visited with horses under the supervision of National Church Residences caretakers, as well as faculty and students from the College of Social Work and the College of Veterinary Medicine at Ohio State.

The clients visited the farm once a week for a month, so that every participant had four visits total. They groomed and bathed the horses, walked them, and fed them buckets of grass.

The four horses were chosen for their gentle dispositions and calmness when facing new people and new situations. All participate in therapeutic riding programs for children and teens at Field of Dreams.

The researchers saw obvious signs that the clients enjoyed their time on the farm: they smiled, laughed and talked to the horses. Even those who normally acted withdrawn became fully engaged in the experience.

There was a clear improvement in dementia-related behavior among the clients who visited the farm. To track behavior, the researchers used a scoring system called the Modified Nursing Home Behavior Problem Scale, in which staff at the center rated the frequency with which the participants fidgeted, resisted care, became upset or lost their temper on days they went to the farm or stayed at the center.

Keep reading to learn how horses helped these clients push the boundaries of their limitations




Older Adults: Build Muscle and You’ll Live Longer

Sciencedaily | March 14th 2014

body builder oldNew UCLA research suggests that the more muscle mass older Americans have, the less likely they are to die prematurely. The findings add to the growing evidence that overall body composition — and not the widely used body mass index, or BMI — is a better predictor of all-cause mortality.

The study, published in the American Journal of Medicine, is the culmination of previous UCLA research led by Dr. Preethi Srikanthan, an assistant clinical professor in the endocrinology division at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, that found that building muscle mass is important in decreasing metabolic risk.

“As there is no gold-standard measure of body composition, several studies have addressed this question using different measurement techniques and have obtained different results,” Srikanthan said. “So many studies on the mortality impact of obesity focus on BMI. Our study indicates that clinicians need to be focusing on ways to improve body composition, rather than on BMI alone, when counseling older adults on preventative health behaviors.”

The researchers analyzed data collected by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) III, conducted between 1988 and 1994. They focused on a group of 3,659 individuals that included men who were 55 or older and women who were 65 or older at the time of the survey. The authors then determined how many of those individuals had died from natural causes based on a follow-up survey done in 2004.

The body composition of the study subjects was measured using bioelectrical impedance, which involves running an electrical current through the body. Muscle allows the current to pass more easily than fat does, due to muscle’s water content. In this way, the researchers could determine a muscle mass index — the amount of muscle relative to height — similar to a body mass index. They looked at how this muscle mass index was related to the risk of death. They found that all-cause mortality was significantly lower in the fourth quartile of muscle mass index compared with the first quartile.

“In other words, the greater your muscle mass, the lower your risk of death,” said Dr. Arun Karlamangla, an associate professor in the geriatrics division at the Geffen School and the study’s co-author. “Thus, rather than worrying about weight or body mass index, we should be trying to maximize and maintain muscle mass.”

This study does have some limitations. For instance, one cannot definitively establish a cause-and-effect relationship between muscle mass and survival using a cohort study such as NHANES III. “But we can say that muscle mass seems to be an important predictor of risk of death,” Srikanthan said. In addition, bioelectrical impedance is not the most advanced measurement technique, though the NHANES III measurements were conducted in a very rigorous fashion “and practically, this is the best situation possible in a study of this size,” she noted.

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