Health & Wellness


Obesity crisis in UK army: British soldiers failing basic fitness tests

obesity _ Uk _ troops
© Reuters
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond speaks to troops during a visit to the temporary Army barracks at Tobacco Dock, a former shopping centre in east London
The UK army may be getting 'too fat to fight', failing basic fitness tests, with more than 22,000 overweight and at risk of serious health problems, according to recently released Ministry of Defence figures.

Some 32,000 personnel failed a "basic" fitness test within the last three years, according to MoD figures released Sunday, the Sunday Times reported. The statistics are starting to ignite fears of an obesity crisis in the ranks.

The personal fitness assessment is an obligatory undertaking twice a year. If the test is failed it must be retaken within seven days.

A total of 29,600 men and 2,819 women failed their fitness tests between April 2011 and March 2014, according to the paper.

"This figure represents 11 percent of the army serving in that period and many of those who failed will have subsequently passed their fitness test," the MoD said.

"All personnel are provided with the support and training necessary to meet the army's physical standards, with additional help for those personnel who fail to meet this criteria...personnel who remain unable to meet the standard could ultimately be discharged," the statement added.

The test for men involves soldiers under 29 having to finish 44 press-ups in 2 minutes, 50 sit-ups, and a 2.4-kilometer run in under 10 and a half minutes.

Women have to complete a slightly different test - 21 press-ups, the same number of sit-ups, and have an extra 2 1/2 minutes to complete the run.

Professional singer has tumor removal surgery under hypnosis

© Aude-Emilie Dorion/Alama Kante
Alama Kante
A professional singer is ready to perform again, two months after doctors in France removed a tumour from her throat while she was under hypnosis.

In a world first, surgeons at the Henri-Mondor hospital, at Créteil near Paris, performed the operation to remove the tumour from her vocal cords while their patient was awake.

She had only a local anaesthetic to numb her throat during the delicate procedure.

Alama Kante, the niece of Guinean singer Mory Kante, even performed her song Tolong for the medics, allowing them to see how the procedure - to remove a parathyroid gland tumour - was progressing.

According to Gilles Dhonneur, the doctor who carried out the operation, the only way of knowing if her vocal cords had been protected was to get Miss Kante to sing during the procedure.
Heart - Black

How stress can clog your arteries

atherosclerotic plaques inside blood vessels
© pixologicstudio
Signs of stress. Chronic stress causes dangerous changes to atherosclerotic plaques inside blood vessels—like the one shown here.
There's a reason people say "Calm down or you're going to have a heart attack." Chronic stress - such as that brought on by job, money, or relationship troubles - is suspected to increase the risk of a heart attack. Now, researchers studying harried medical residents and harassed rodents have offered an explanation for how, at a physiological level, long-term stress can endanger the cardiovascular system. It revolves around immune cells that circulate in the blood, they propose.

The new finding is "surprising," says physician and atherosclerosis researcher Alan Tall of Columbia University, who was not involved in the new study. "The idea has been out there that chronic psychosocial stress is associated with increased cardiovascular disease in humans, but what's been lacking is a mechanism," he notes.

Comment: For those actually interested in a solution to stress - and not magic pills that will make some rich person richer and sick person sicker - the freely available Éiriú Eolas program has helped many editors and forum members to manage stress, and improve their general well-being. Even a simple switch to a non-inflammatory diet would begin alleviating symptoms in no time. But these scientists, assuming they're even aware of the power of a truly healthy diet, must of course please their sponsors by reassuring them their discoveries will lead to the marketing of yet more profitable pills...


West Africa Ebola outbreak 'out of control' and 'unprecedented' says Doctors Without Borders

© AP
The Ebola outbreak ravaging West Africa is "totally out of control," according to a senior official for Doctors Without Borders, who says the medical group is stretched to the limit in responding.

The outbreak has caused more deaths than any other of the disease, said another official with the medical charity. Ebola has been linked to more than 330 deaths in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, according to the World Health Organization.

International organizations and the governments involved need to send in more health experts and increase public education messages about how to stop the spread of the disease, Bart Janssens, the director of operations for the medical group in Brussels, told The Associated Press on Friday.

"The reality is clear that the epidemic is now in a second wave," Janssens said. "And, for me, it is totally out of control."

Comment: See:
  • New Light on the Black Death: The Viral and Cosmic Connection


New Zealand woman found to be pregnant while in surgery for ovary removal

© Rebecca Oldham
Rebecca Oldham and baby James
New Zealand woman who goes to hospital to have ovaries removed due to pain is found to be pregnant

A 25-year-old New Zealand woman in the hospital to have her ovaries removed due to pain and cramps was instead found to be pregnant.

Rebecca Oldham had already been put under anesthesia in November when surgeons discovered she was 32 weeks pregnant with a 9-pound baby.

"I was facing not being able to have any more children because they thought there were problems with my ovaries and all of a sudden we had a son," she said, adding that she and husband James Tipene have a 20-month-old daughter, Hayley.

Doctors woke Oldham up from anesthesia to tell her they would perform a caesarian section to deliver her baby instead of remove her ovaries.

Scores of scientists working at the CDC potentially exposed to anthrax

© Reuters
As many as 84 scientists working at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta may have been exposed to the anthrax bacteria after failing to follow safety procedures, the US government said.

According to information released by the CDC earlier on Thursday and first reported by Reuters, the possible exposure to live anthrax began within a high-level bio-security lab. Researchers evidently failed to follow set procedure to inactivate the deadly bacteria.

Potentially live anthrax samples where then transferred to CDC labs with a lower biohazard protocol, leaving open the possibility for infection. Typically, inactivation procedures dictate the inactivation of Anthrax to be given 48 hours prior to any transfer to a lower biohaz environment.

Still, the CDC says that the potential for anthrax infection to spread widely over the incident is low.

"CDC believes that other CDC staff, family members, and the general public are not at risk of exposure and do not need to take any protective action."

The FBI is now collaborating with the CDC to investigate how scientists were exposed to anthrax, although they say there is no evidence of wrongdoing.

Nearly four percent of U.S. babies born before full-term without medical reason

© Phil Masturzo
Study showed that early elective deliveries made up more than 3 percent of U.S. births each year over the past 20 years.
New University of Minnesota research out this week is the first of its kind to show who is having early elective deliveries between 37 and 39 weeks gestation, and whether these deliveries happen following labor induction or cesarean.

Labor induction or cesarean delivery without medical reason before a baby is considered full-term at 39 weeks, or an "early elective delivery," is associated with health problems for mothers and babies.

The study, led by University of Minnesota School of Public Health Assistant Professor Katy Kozhimannil, Ph.D., M.P.A., in collaboration with Children's Hospital of Philadelphia researchers Michelle Macheras, M.A., and Scott A. Lorch, M.D., M.S.C.E., appears in this month's edition of the journal Medical Care.

Researchers reviewed data linking birth certificates with hospital records for all births in California, Missouri and Pennsylvania between 1995 and 2009. The three states represent approximately 20 percent of all U.S. births and encompass a wide range of sociodemographic characteristics and geographic locations.

"Our study showed that early elective deliveries made up more than 3 percent of U.S. births each year over the past 20 years. This may seem to be a small number, but with 4 million births a year in the U.S., each percentage point represents 40,000 babies," said Kozhimannil. "In addition, we showed that there are important sociodemographic differences in the chances a pregnant woman has an early electivecesarean or an early elective induction of labor."
Cupcake Pink

Elevated blood sugar relates to dementia

David Perlmutter, MD, FACN, ABIHM is a Board-Certified Neurologist and Fellow of the American College of Nutrition who received his M.D. degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine where he was awarded the Leonard G. Rowntree Research Award. After completing residency training in Neurology, also at the University of Miami, Dr. Perlmutter entered private practice in Naples, Florida where he serves as Medical Director of the Perlmutter Health Center and the Perlmutter Hyperbaric Center. He is recognized internationally as a leader in the field of nutritional influences in neurological disorders.

Dr. Perlmutter is also the author of the international #1 bestseller "Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs and Sugar - Your Brain's Silent Killers." Dr. Perlmutter explains what happens when the brain encounters carbs and gluten, why your brain thrives on fat and cholesterol, and how you can spur the growth of new brain cells at any age.

Comment: For more information, see:

- The Ketogenic Diet - An Overview
- Food for thought: Eat your way to dementia - sugar and carbs cause Alzheimer's Disease
- If You Have High Levels of Insulin Resistance, You Have a 65% Higher Risk of Alzheimer's
- High-carb diets increase rise of Alzheimer's disease


Ketogenic diet beats chemotherapy for almost all cancers says Dr Thomas Seyfried

The low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet can replace chemotherapy and radiation for treating even the deadliest of cancers, said Dr. Thomas Seyfried, a leading cancer researcher and professor at Boston College.

In an exclusive interview, Dr. Seyfried discussed why the ketogenic diet has not been embraced by the medical community to treat cancer despite its proven track record both clinically and anecdotally.

"The reason why the ketogenic diet is not being prescribed to treat cancer is purely economical," said Dr. Seyfried, author of Cancer as a Metabolic Disease. "Cancer is big business. There are more people making a living off cancer than there are dying of it."

Comment: See the following links for more information:

- Low-carb ketogenic diet can combat brain cancer, says scientist Adrienne Scheck
- Low carb ketogenic diet can combat cancer because cancer is a metabolic disease
- Has cancer been completely misunderstood?
- 'World Cancer Day 2014' - The Cancer Pandemic: Forget Sugar! Blame The Smokers!
- Can a High-Fat Diet Beat Cancer?
- Diet for cancer cure: Starving cancer ketogenic diet a key to recovery
- 97 Percent of the time, chemotherapy does not work! Bigpharma greed and profits assure it's continued use, despite more effective and less toxic alternatives
- Terminal Cancer Patients Spend Final Days Suffering from Radiation Therapy That Does Nothing

On the ketogenic diet, see:

The Ketogenic Diet - An Overview

A great additional help is to reduce stress in the way of working on one's psychological issues and practicing meditation and breathing exercises. See the book When the Body Says No by Gabor Maté, M.D., for more information.


Surprise! How the American diet has failed

© Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg News
Enriched, and ingrained.
If you took a little bit of dairy, added a slightly larger serving of vegetables, fruits and proteins, and then piled on as many superfluous oils, fats, and grains as possible, you'd have a mock, but also a reasonably accurate picture of the modern American diet.

The Americans on average eat nearly 2,600 calories a day, almost 500 more than they did thirty years ago, according to the USDA, which uses food production data, along with spoilage and waste estimates, to approximate per capita consumption.

That increase alone should be enough to raise an eyebrow (or three hundred million), but what's most troubling isn't the increase in our caloric intake, so much as its make-up. Over 92% of the uptick in per capita caloric intake since 1970 is attributable to oils, fats, and grains. Thirty years ago, the combination was responsible for roughly 37% of our daily calories; today, it makes up closer to 47% of our diet.

Comment: While the author mentions oils and fats in the article, he is not clear or specific in his definition about what 'types' of oils and fats are bad and/or good.

Processed oils, such as vegetable oil, soy, canola and corn are toxic! The comment in the article below gives plenty of 'food for thought'