Fried Foods and Sugary Foods May Make You Old Before Your Time



The foods you eat might affect the aging process, new research suggests. According to a study published in the American Journal of Medicine, food that are processed, fried, or high in sugar have an adverse effect on the aging process. Such a finding may encourage some folks to carefully consider precisely what type of food they put into their mouths.

Tasnime Akbaraly from the University College of London and colleagues came to the above conculsion after an lengthy study which focused on whether adherence to a healthy diet would affect the aging process. To find the answer the research team assessed data from 5350 relatively young (average age 51.3 years) adult participants in the Whitehall II cohort study.

The Whitehall II cohort study investigates how social class affects health, making it ideal for examining the effects that diet would have on the aging process.

Akbaraly and colleagues assessed the participants' diets at the beginning of the study and used hospital data, screenings and registry linkage to gather information about mortality, chronic diseases and functioning every five years. After 16 years the research team had collected a robust amount of information about the associations between the participants' diets and the aging of their bodies.


Foods Effect Cardiovascular Health, Cognition and Muscular Function

Akbaraly and colleagues noted that "Western-type" diets i.e. consisting of fried foods, processed and red meat, refined grains, high-fat dairy products and sugary foods were associated with higher cardiovascular disease and noncardiovascular disease deaths.

On the other hand, participants whom adhered to the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI) tended to live longer and suffered fewer aging-related infirmaries than people who didn't follow it.

Essentially, Akbaraly et al present evidence that eating empty calorie foods that are high in fat and sugar aren't good for for.

Although the Whitehall II Study draws its data from a select population i.e. British civil servants rather than the general population, a vast store of research substantiates their findings.

Fatty foods are associated with inflammation and cardiovascular disease. For example, fat cells produce cytokines which are tiny molecules that perform a variety of biological functions including cellular communication. This comes in handy when the body requires white blood cell needs to fight off disease.

But cytokines molecules can also create chaos within the body. Take rheumatoid arthritis (RA), for example. RA is an autoimmune disease i.e. the body's immune system begins to attack other cells in the body.

Two primary symptoms of this disease - pain and inflammation - are caused by cytokines. With RA, one of the things that happens is the body goes haywire and produces far too many of these protein molecules which then instruct immune cells to attack healthy tissue. Immune cells are designed to kill organisms that pose a threat to the body, so you can imagine what happens when these cells are unleashed upon healthy tissue within the body. 

(They also play a role in the inflammation associated with other forms of arthritis.)

Cytokines are also involved in inflammatory heart disease. For example, cytokines may interfere with the functioning of the muscle wall which can cause heart attacks. In fact there is such a large body of evidence surrounding the role of inflammatory cytokines in chronic heart failure that some researchers suggest targeting these proteins for the treatment of cardiovascular disease.

Another common symptom of aging is cognitive decline. Akbaraly's team noted that fatty foods are associated with decreased mental function. The finding that fatty foods can impair your judgement shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who has read my article "Diets High In Saturated Fat Make You Less Smart".

In that article I discussed how Harvard researchers, using data from participants in the Women's Health Study (WHS), observed that heavy consumption of foods high in saturated fats caused women to gradually become less intelligent over time.

On the other hand, women who consumed high amounts of monosaturated fats didn't suffer cognitive decline which suggests that saturated fat - and low density cholesterol - is not good for your brain.

Sugar has also been implicated in decreased intellectual abilities. Scientists in Australia and Pakistan independently demonstrated that excess sugar impairs cognitive function which adds to the ever growing mountain of evidence that what we take into our body can either help our harm us.

Then, of course, there's obesity. People tend to become heavier with age. Most often this is caused by poor diet and lack of physical exercise. But you might be surprised to know that fat cells release inflammatory cytokines, too.

In other words, eating large amounts of sugary foods e.g. ice cream or candy bars will not only increase the odds that you'll develop type 2 diabetes, but may also cause you to gain lots of weight, feel less energetic, inflame your tissues and make you feel absolutely miserable.

Upon looking at the results of their data analysis, Akbaraly and colleagues concluded: "By considering healthy aging as a composite of cardiovascular, metabolic, musculoskeletal, respiratory, mental, and cognitive function, the present study offers a new perspective on the impact of diet on aging phenotypes."

When you stop to think about the ways food can impact the quality and quantity of your life, keeping a mindful eye on what you're eating might be worth considering. Because what you eat right now, could accelerate your body's aging process.


For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, nor things that are present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).

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Article Sources 

 Akbaraly, T., Sabia, S., Hagger-Johnson, G., Tabak, A., Shipley, M., Jokela, M., Brunner, E., Hamer, M., Batty, G., Singh-Manoux, A., & Kivimaki, M. (2013). Does Overall Diet in Midlife Predict Future Aging Phenotypes? A Cohort Study The American Journal of Medicine, 126 (5), 411-419000 DOI: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2012.10.028 

Damås JK, Gullestad L, & Aukrust P (2001). Cytokines as new treatment targets in chronic heart failure. Current controlled trials in cardiovascular medicine, 2 (6), 271-277 PMID: 11806813

Diets High In Saturated Fat Make You Less Smart

Too Much Sugar May Shrink Your Brain



"Fried Foods and Sugary Foods May Make You Old Before Your Time" copyright 2013 Living Fit, Healthy and Happy(SM). All Rights Reserved.



Chronic Sinusitis at a Glance

Chronic Sinusitis at a Glance

Chronic Sinusitis at a Glance
By Bruce Kaler M.D.

Sinusitis makes you and almost 30 million people each year feel miserable. The combination of facial pressure, headache, fatigue, sneezing, runny nose, drainage of thick colorful mucus from the nose and severe nasal congestion contribute to the misery. The worst part is it is often difficult to treat, in many people is very slow to improve, and recurs frequently. The chronic recurring condition known as chronic sinusitis or rhinosinusitis is a bit of a puzzle. We do not really understand all the factors that promote the symptoms that make you so vulnerable to recurrence.

Although the causes are not understood, there are several theories and observations floating around. Clearly, this is a stubborn condition often slow to resolve. Infections are a common component but not the only piece to the puzzle. Research suggests there is a certain amount of swelling and inflammation in the sinuses and nasal passages that cause the congestion blocking airways and connections between sinus cavities. Any time there is warm moist closed off space in the human body it predisposes to problems. Many factors may stimulate the swelling and inflammation. Environmental allergies are common and probably underrated contributor to the inflammatory response. The presence of some kinds of bacteria without actually causing an infection may also irritate the immune system to produce inflammation. Structural abnormalities to the septum or polyps, which also result from chronic inflammation, may serve to block nasal airways as well. Other medical conditions can be part of the problem. This can range from simple allergies, acid reflux from the stomach reaching nasal passages while asleep, cystic fibrosis, or any chronic conditions that affect immune system response. The importance of identifying chronic sinusitis and initiating management can help provide greater comfort and prevent serious complications.

The history and clinical findings are most helpful in identifying this condition. Diagnostic testing may include nasal culture from the nose or imaging studies such as x-rays or MRI. If allergies are suspect, more in depth allergy testing may be helpful to identify triggers. Treatment should aggressively address infections when they are present. Since so many clues point to the role of inflammation nasal steroid sprays have become a cornerstone of management. There are several non-sedating antihistamines available without prescriptions that are effective when allergies play a role. Many people find benefit from daily use of saline irrigation done with an inexpensive neti pot or irrigation bottle. Regular use of simple saline spray also is very helpful to help open and provide added moisture to nasal airways. Over the counter decongestants such as Sudafed or Afrin nasal spray should be avoided. Although they provide quick short-lived relief, they just as quickly become less effective and can actually stimulate rebound congestion. This means they become part of the problem rather than the solution. Surgery should be left as a last resort for only extreme cases that have failed all other measures.

Chronic sinusitis is undoubtedly a stubborn and all too common problem. Although we do not understand completely why, many treatment options are available. Consult your health care provider to tailor a regimen that suits your needs. Do not ignore it and keep suffering. There is help!

As a physician with over thirty years of diverse clinical experience, Dr Kaler recently published the Owners Manual for Injury Prevention by Bruce Kaler M.D. It is a user friendly guide to understanding prevention and injury care. He also authored a mystery novel Turnabout by Bruce Kaler MD an engaging medical thriller and must read for all mystery buffs. Both are available through, and many other retail outlets. Visit his website

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Childhood Allergies Are On The Rise - CDC



In honor of National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, we present this article discussing recent trends in food allergies among children as well as links between food allergies and asthma.

The number of children suffering from allergies is on the rise, a government report says. According to a survey from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the prevalence of childhood allergies increased during the last years of the 20th century, extending through 2011. The findings of that report could have profound implications on the quality of life of asthmatic childhood allergy sufferers. 

Lead researcher Dr. Lara J. Akinbami from the National Center for Health Statistics and her colleagues learned about the increased prevalence after surveying parents of young children. The government scientists compared data from 1997 - 1999 to 2009 - 2011 and discovered the following

  • during 2009-2011 , 5.1 % of American children ages 0 - 17 years have food allergies compared to 3.4 % in 1997 - 1999
  • Hispanic children have lower rates of food, skin and respiratory allergies than non-Hispanic white and black children
  • black children had the highest prevalence of skin allergies (17.4 %) compared to 12.1 % for non-Hispanic whites
  • younger children tended to suffer from skin allergies, while older children were more prone to respiratory allergies
  • food and respiratory allergies were more prevalent among children of higher incomes

In the next section, you will learn why this problem may have implications for children with asthma.


Allergies Can Adversely Affect Children's Lives In Many Ways

Research has shown a link between increased asthma risk among children with allergies. For example, according to the results of the National Cooperative Inner City Asthma Study (NCICAS), scientists learned that asthmatic children who were highly sensitive to immunoglobulin E in one type of food, had a greater sensitivity to foods.

In fact, government statistics show that children with food allergies are four times as likely to have other allergies and to suffer from asthma compared with children who don't have allergies.

This can be underscored by the results of recent a study that looked at risk factors for food allergies and their relationsip to asthma. Andrew H. Liu from the University of Colorado School of Medicine and his colleagues investigated associations with food allergies with asthma and other allergies. These scientists used National Health and Nutrition Examination Study (NHANES) data to show that children with asthma and food allergy were at greater risk for a worsening of severe asthma compared to asthmatic children who didn't have allergies.

Allergies also increase hospitalizations. According to Amy Branum and Susan Lukacs from the Office of Epidemiology & Analysis at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, among children age 0 - 17 years, hospitalizations with a diagnosis of food allergy have been increasing through 2006.

What all this means is that allergies are not merely an inconvenience, they can in fact be deadly.

While the reasons for the increased prevalence of allergies among children remains a mystery, officials stress that early intervention can make life easier for children suffering from allergies.


God is a beautiful God.


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Article Sources

Kristen D. Jackson, M.P.H.; LaJeana D. Howie, M.P.H., C.H.E.S.; Lara J. Akinbami, M.D. Trends in Allergic Conditions Among Children: United States, 1997–2011. NCHS Data Brief Number 121, May 2013

Amy M. Branum, M.S.P.H. and Susan L. Lukacs, D.O., M.S.P.H. Food Allergy Among U.S. Children: Trends in Prevalence and Hospitalizations. NCHS Data Brief Number 10, October 2008

Wang J, Visness CM, & Sampson HA (2005). Food allergen sensitization in inner-city children with asthma. The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology, 115 (5), 1076-80 PMID: 15867869 

Liu AH, Jaramillo R, Sicherer SH, Wood RA, Bock SA, Burks AW, Massing M, Cohn RD, & Zeldin DC (2010). National prevalence and risk factors for food allergy and relationship to asthma: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2006. The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology, 126 (4), 798-2147483647 PMID: 20920770


"Childhood Allergies Are On The Rise - CDC" copyright 2013 Living Fit, Healthy and Happy(SM). All Rights Reserved.


Don't Let Allergies Ruin Your Spring Time Fun



Ah, spring. That glorious season of blossoming flowers, shaded trees and soft green grass. Don't you just love it? Oh, wait, that's right. That's not what you remember this season for. To you this is the season of runny noses, coughs, sneezes and terrible terrible aches and pains. Who needs the hassle of spring? You'll do just the opposite of the bears - you'll stay inside and won't come out til winter. Now that sounds like a plan, doesn't it?

But why miss fun in the sun and all the other great stuff spring has to offer when you can arm yourself with home remedies? Right? Right. 


Foods Can Ease Allergy Suffering

If you suffer from mild seasonal allergies, natural remedies may provide some relief. You might be surprised to know that many plant based foods contain naturally occuring chemicals that can ease allergy symptoms. Naturopathic physicians and specially herbalists have known about these effectiveness of these chemicals for many years.

Back in 2002 the BMJ published the results of a remarkable Swedish study which found that the butterbur plant was an effective allergy treatment. The Swedish scientists recommended butterbur as an alternative to ceterizine, an ingredient found in pharmaceutical anti-histamines, which tends to cause drowsiness in some patients.

Butterbur contains high concentrations of alkaloids, a type of basic compound, which decreases histamines and leukotrienes which are susbtances secreted during an allergic reaction. It's important to note that the high concentrations of alkaloids within the butterbur plant are toxic to the human liver, so you should consult your doctor before taking it. 

Oranges and other citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C popularly known for its anti-oxidant and tissue repair properties, is a natural anti-histamine. People who suffer from the flue tend to notice their symptoms gradually subside after drinking a hot cup of lemon water.

This is in part due to the vitamin C inhibiting histamine release. So if you suffer from seasonal allergies, you might want to keep fresh citrus fruits on hand. Freshly squeezed lemon juice or snack of fresh oranges may ease your runny nose and watery eyes.

Green tea is also effective against seasonal allergies. Tea contains quercetin a special class of flavonoid anti-oxidant compounds. Quercetin interferes with the inflammatory response by preventing histamine synthesis and release. As a matter of fact, quercetin is found in a large variety of foods e.g. tomatoes, turnips, rhubarb, etc. Since this compound is effective against seasonal allergies, this is yet another reason to include fruits and vegetables in your daily meals.

Quercetin does have some negative side effects, though. The compound can amplify the effects of anticoagulants thereby increasing risk of bleeding in patients who have been prescribed blood thinners. So if you are on any heart disease medications you should check with your doctor before taking quercetin.


Other Ways You Can Protect Yourself From Allergies

Even though its impossible to completely shield yourself from allergies, there are steps you can take to minimize your risk of becoming sick. For example, to prevent pollen from getting into your home, close your windows on particularly windy days. Stay indoors until winds die down, wind can carry that pollen right up to your nose and make you sick. Pollen also clings to clothes, skin and hair so make sure to clean yourself daily. It would also be a good idea to pay attention to the weather forecast for pollen count updates in your area.

As you can see, there should be absolutely no reason to let seasonal allergies hold you back from enjoying yourself. If you take the right precautions, you can cut down on your chances of becoming sick with allergy. Have fun and be safe this season.


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I'm living fit, healthy and happy(SM). Are you? All Rights Reserved.


Article Sources

USDA Database of Flavonoid Content of Selected Foods.

Schapowal, A. Randomised controlled trial of butterbur and ceterizine for treating seasonal allergic rhinitis. BMJ. Jan 2002. 324:144.



"Don't Let Allergies Ruin Your Spring Time Fun" copyright © 2011 Living Fit, Healthy and Happy(SM). All Rights Reserved. Registered & Protected


What Are Seasonal Allergies?

What Are Seasonal Allergies?
By Christine Crotts

Some people wonder why their allergies only act up during
certain parts of the year. Most people think that if they have
them that they will affect them all year around. Both of these
are common misconceptions. They most commonly depend on the
season. This article will describe the different types and how
they affect people.

Before getting into the different seasonal allergies it is
important to know what they are. They are caused by inflammation
in mucus membranes. These mucus membranes are on the inside of
the nasal passage. When the membranes become inflamed it causes
irritations. They are very common among people and, as stated
before, they can vary dependent on the season.

The first type is winter allergies. Winter allergies mainly
consist of animal, dust, and mold allergies. People are more
prone to be allergic to these things because they are likely
inside your home during the winter. During this time of year
things such as the furnace are constantly running which causes
an excess amount of dust. Mold is also common in warm palaces
therefore in the winter it will mostly grow in the house.
Animals, like the other two, are likely to be inside during the
winter months. Because of this your allergic reactions are more
likely to act up in the winter. This does not mean that you will
only sneeze and cough during the season, however it does mean
that you will most likely have worse experiences with allergies
during this time.

The next season is spring. During this time many people are
working outside in their flower beds getting ready for the nice
weather ahead. This season is not only good for planting; it is
also good for plants to grow. When they grow they release a
substance called pollen. Many people cannot tolerate pollen, and
most likely their condition will act up during this time of
year. Other things such as grass and weeds cause reactions and
are most likely to occur during this time.

This leads to the next topic, summer conditions. Summer
allergies are most commonly related to grass and weeds. During
this time grass and weeds grow at record speeds and this means
you will be cutting them down more frequently. When you cut the
lawn on a frequent basis, people are more likely to react to
them. For example, if after you cut your grass you come inside
with itchy watery eyes, you probably have them.

The last season of the year is fall. During this time many
people have this condition, however there are not normally as
severe. During this weather plants are more likely to begin to
die, therefore they are not releasing as much pollen. Some
things from the summer months may still bother you, for example
grass, but they are not likely to be as irritating.

Depending on what you suffer from you may experience any type
of these seasonal conditions. Seasonal allergies are very
common. It is important to be tested to see what you are
allergic to, so that you can take the proper treatments.

About the Author: Christine Crotts does know about email and
texting but still enjoys writing a letter on paper. Christine
has written a site containing reviews on address stamps -


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