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25 minutes of meditation for 3 consecutive days can reduce stress - study

Meditating can have an almost instant effect on reducing stress, researchers have found.

They say three consecutive days of 25 minute sessions can have a dramatic effect.

Researchers studied 'mindful meditation' - a technique developed in the 1970s, which is even available online via websites such as calm.com

'More and more people report using meditation practices for stress reduction, but we know very little about how much you need to do for stress reduction and health benefits,' said lead author J. David Creswell, associate professor of psychology in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

For the study, Creswell and his research team had 66 healthy individuals aged 18-30 years old participate in a three-day experiment.

Comment: The Eiriu Eolas breathing and meditation program has had profound rejuvenating effects in its those who practice. For more information visit the Eiriu Eolas website. You can also read about stress-relieving (and healing) experiences from practitioners on our Forum.

Pills

How do statin proponents deal with debate? They stifle it

Last month, one of my blog posts featured a letter written by a group of doctors, expressing their concerns about the mooted expansion of statin therapy. The letter detailed six major objections to the plan, including the mass-medicalization of millions of healthy individuals, the unreliability of the evidence regarding the adverse effects of statins, and the facts that almost all the evidence is industry-funded and that multiple conflicts of interest exist on the 'expert committee' that is adjudicating on the statin issue. The letter received widespread coverage in the press and other media, and I think it did much to stoke the flaming debate that some have described as the 'statin wars'.

Those strongly supportive of the plans to widen statin prescriptions are hardly going to go away without a fight, though. And this week six professors convened a press briefing at the Science Media Centre to put forward their arguments. The briefing was reported in the British Medical Journal this week [1].

Two of the 'usual suspects' were Professor Sir Rory Collins (head of the Cholesterol Treatment Trialists collaboration) and Professor Peter Weissberg (medical director of the British Heart Foundation).

Comment: They are getting desperate!

Vascular surgeons write a damning report about lowering cholesterol drugs

Heart

Low-carbohydrate diet shown to protect against type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a condition characterised by generally elevated levels of blood sugar (glucose), usually as a result of 'insulin resistance' (insulin not doing its blood sugar-lowering job very well). Between a state of health and type 2 diabetes, the medical profession has defined a state known as 'impaired glucose tolerance' (IGT). Here, insulin functioning tends to be impaired and blood sugar levels on the high side, but not so bad as for the criteria of type 2 diabetes to be met.

In some respects, IGT can be thought of as a potential stepping stone between health and type 2 diabetes: 25 - 75 per cent of people with IGT go on to develop type 2 diabetes within a decade, apparently.

If someone was to give three words of advice for someone with IGT they would undoubtedly be 'cut the carbs'. Cutting back on sugar and starch in the diet is what I have found works best for improving blood sugar control and perhaps retaining some insulin sensitivity. There are other things that might be considered too (such as physical activity, if this is not currently a feature of someone's life), but scaling back carbohydrate intake would be my number one piece of advice.

Comment: For more studies, check out 23 Studies on Low-Carb and Low-Fat Diets - Time to retire the fad. See also Type 1 diabetes...cured?

Cow

How to eat more organ meats

While organ meats have gotten a little more attention in the Paleo community recently, many people still don't quite appreciate how vital it is to include these nutritional powerhouses in their regular diet. Plus, knowing we should be eating offal and actually eating these foods are two very different things. Though some people do love the taste of foods like liver, most people (myself included) don't like the taste of organ meats and need to be persuaded to eat them.

In an effort to help you take the plunge into eating the whole animal, here are my thoughts on the top three organ meats to start out with and why.

Beef Tongue

Because tongue is still technically muscle meat, the nutritional profile is similar to that of other beef muscle meats. It's a good source of iron, zinc, choline, vitamin B12, other B vitamins, and trace minerals. (1) Tongue is a fatty cut of meat, with about 70% of its calories coming from fat, making it one of the most tender cuts of beef you can find.

Surprisingly, one of tongue's biggest claims to fame is the taste. It's also one of the easiest organ meats to cook. Once people get over the fact that it's a tongue, they often find they like it better than other, more 'normal' meats! If you're venturing into the world of organ meats for the first time, tongue is a great starting point. It will probably take a couple tries to get completely over the 'ick' factor (after all, it looks like a tongue), but the ease of cooking and the agreeable taste should make that process easier. Further, it should prepare you mentally for other organ meats, which can be a little harder to tackle!

Comment: For some delicious and anti-inflammatory cooking options, visit our Recipes forum discussion.

Attention

UN warns Ebola outbreak could become a pandemic

ebola workers
© unknown
Health ministers from 11 West African countries began a two-day Emergency Ministerial meeting in Accra, Ghana, Wednesday amid concern the outbreak of the Ebola virus that began in Ghana could spread across their region as an uncontrolled pandemic.

In a statement distributed at the United Nations, the World Health Organization, WHO, classified the current Ebola outbreak as the worst ever.

The outbreak traces back to cases appearing in rural Guinea in March, which spread across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. So far, a total of 750 cases and 455 deaths have been reported in the affected countries, according to WHO
Syringe

Big-Pharma vaccines deemed "safe" by big-pharma funded "study"

Vaccine
© Land Destroyer Report
RT's article, "​Vaccines don't cause autism, complications extremely rare - study," states that:
There is no evidence that immunizing vaccinations cause autism while any complications arising from their administration to children are extremely rare, new analysis comprised of 67 research studies has discovered.
"There is strong evidence that MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) vaccine is not associated with autism,"the study's results said.
RT cites a Pediatrics: Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics study titled, "Safety of Vaccines Used for Routine Immunization of US Children: A Systematic Review," which claims:
We found evidence that some vaccines are associated with serious AEs [adverse effects]; however, these events are extremely rare and must be weighed against the protective benefits that vaccines provide.
The report's conclusions are hardly convincing. But what's more troubling, is the immense conflict of interest from which the report itself was written. The authors include Margaret A. Maglione, Lopamudra Das, Laura Raaen, Alexandria Smith, Ramya Chari, Sydne Newberry, Roberta Shanman, Tanja Perry, and Courtney Gidengil, all of the corporate-funded think tank, RAND Corporation.
Ambulance

Ebola outbreak killed at least 337 people in Africa this year

ebola_guinea
© Livescience.com
As of June 18, an Ebola outbreak has killed at least 337 people in Africa. The outbreak, rst reported in Guinea in December, has spread to neighboring Sierra Leone and Liberia, where a combined total of 528 cases have been reported.
Syringe

Nano Medicine: Treatments for antibiotic resistant bacteria

Bugs1
© Sebastian Kaulitzki/ Science Photo Library/Corbis
Antibiotic resistance is now a bigger crisis than the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, a landmark report recently warned. The spread of deadly superbugs that evade even the most powerful antibiotics is happening across the world, United Nations officials have confirmed. The effects will be devastating - meaning a simple scratch or urinary tract infection could kill.

Tuberculosis (TB) is a scourge that is threatening to get ugly because TB is usually cured by taking antibiotics for six to nine months. However, if that treatment is interrupted or the dose is cut down, the stubborn bacteria battle back and mutate into a tougher strain that can no longer be killed by drugs. Such strains are scaring the heck out of the medical community for good reason. Tuberculosis is highly contagious, holding the potential to wipe out wide swaths of humanity in the case of an epidemic of these drug resistant strains.

Australia's first victim of a killer strain of drug-resistant tuberculosis died amid warnings of a looming health epidemic on Queensland's doorstep. Medical experts are seriously concerned about the handling of the TB epidemic in Papua New Guinea after Catherina Abraham died of an incurable form of the illness, known as XDR-TB (extensively drug resistant TB) in Cairns Base Hospital. Of course we always get big scares from the mainstream medical press, who are big cheerleaders of big pharmaceutical companies as our governmental medical officials.

Now medical experts are warning that drug resistant tuberculosis is such a problem in the Asia Pacific region that it could overwhelm health systems.

A drug-resistant TB case did touch off a scare in U.S. - "We don't know too much about a Nepalese man who's in medical isolation in Texas while being treated for extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis, or XDR-TB, the most difficult-to-treat kind."

XDR-TB is resistant not only to isoniazid and rifampin but also a class of drugs called fluoroquinolones and one or more potent injectable antibiotics. This is one of the nastiest of all antibiotics, which easily destroys peoples' lives by itself.

TB germs become drug-resistant when patients fail to complete a course of treatment. When a partly-resistant strain is treated with the wrong drugs, it can become extensively resistant. There are about 60,000 people with XDR-TB strains like the Nepalese man who's in isolation. That means there are other people with XDR-TB traveling the world at any given time.

Comment: Medicine certainly has created a huge problem with indiscriminate use of antibiotics - but this is far from the worst: 6 out of 7 antibiotic doses today are given to healthy cattle to make them grow faster. For more info see:
Fatter Cows, Sicker People
FDA may approve cow drug

While the jury is still out on such nanoparticles (because they behave totally different in human bodies than anything else known to medicine) the best way to move forward at this point would be to bolster one's immune system to let the body fight all invaders on its own. One of the best ways to do that is to limit all carbohydrates (ketogenic diet), reduce exposure to environmental toxins and de-stress body and mind.

See the following threads for more information:
Ketogenic Diet - Path To Transformation?
When the Body Says "no" - Gabor Mate
Eiriu Eolas

Bacon

Bone marrow fat tissue secretes hormone that helps body stay healthy

raw bones
Researchers find that with calorie restriction, a less-studied fat tissue releases adiponectin, which is linked to reduced risk of diseases like diabetes.

It has been known for its flavorful addition to soups and as a delicacy for dogs but bone marrow fat may also have untapped health benefits, new research finds.

A University of Michigan-led study shows that the fat tissue in bone marrow is a significant source of the hormone adiponectin, which helps maintain insulin sensitivity, break down fat, and has been linked to decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity-associated cancers. The findings appear in today's online-ahead-of-print issue of Cell Metabolism.
Alarm Clock

Evening exercise leads to better sleep

exercise

Night-time exercise: not so bad after all?
Young adults who exercised vigorously before bed ended up getting better sleep than their peers who reported less strenuous evening activity, a new study found.

The results, based on sleep patterns during a single night, go against the usual advice to avoid being too active before bed.

"We believe that the present study has the potential to shed light on the issue of whether evening exercising should be discouraged," Serge Brand of the University of Basel in Switzerland and his colleagues write.

"The findings may also have practical implications, since, for most employed adults and parents, evening hours often provide the only opportunity for exercise," the researchers add.

They studied 52 Swiss high school students who were an average of 19 years old and played sports two or three times per week.

The participants followed their normal routine on the day and night of the study, including playing sports for 65 to 90 minutes in the evening and ending about one and a half hours before their usual bedtime.

Before going to bed, students rated their mood and hunger levels and filled out a questionnaire that was designed to evaluate how vigorously they had exercised. That night they used a device that measures sleep patterns, called a sleep-EEG.

Brand's team found that students who reported more exertion during sports fell asleep faster, woke up fewer times during the night and slept more deeply than those who had exercised less vigorously.
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