Mikes Last Stand

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

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Friday, October 07, 2005

Chronic Disease

...This past Wednesday, Oct. 5th, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a new report warning of a "global epidemic of chronic disease" and further went on to say that...
"...the global epidemic of chronic disease can be stopped. The report projects that around 17 million people die prematurely each year from chronic disease. The economic consequences are also significant, with countries forgoing billions of dollars over a decade as a result of heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes."Here are some interesting WHO health facts:"Chronic disease is responsible for 60% of all deaths worldwide ...and... around the world, chronic disease affects women and men almost equal.""One billion adults are overweight - without action, this figure will surpass 1.5 billion by 2015 ...and... 22 million children under five years old are overweight.""If the major risk factors for chronic disease were eliminated, at least 80% of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes would be prevented; and 40% of cancer would be prevented."The bottom line here is that chronic diseases are preventable...and a great deal of prevention comes down to lifestyle improvements...the topics we discuss here.
To your good health...in all its forms!
And Happy Thanksgiving to all of our Canadian subscribers. ;-)Jim UtzingerHealth Matters Minutes Editor
P.S. A recent court decision could strengthen the meaning of organic on all foods by excluding those with chemically-derived ingredients. Surveys show that most consumers do not want artificial ingredients in organic foods. Ask Congress to support the court decision to strengthen the organic standard by clicking on the link below. http://cu.convio.net/organics


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Feature Article: By Ira Marxe © 2005

What Is It That All Banana LoversShould Know?

To read this featured articleonline please visit now.
Dear mike,I’m Going "Bananas" Cause I Didn’t Know That!Now here’s what I didn’t know about bananas and what all banana lovers should know.
I am a banana lover so I am glad I found this information which will help us derive greater nutrition from the bananas we eat and to know when we should not eat bananas. Here’s the story: Bananas are not left to ripen on the tree because they would soon split open and become infested with insects. Therefore, they are picked when two-thirds ripe and continue to ripen during shipment.
The ripening process involves a chemical change in which protopectin is converted to soluble pectin, and starch is converted to sugars of 66% sucrose, 14% fructose, and 20% glucose. As the banana ripens, it gives off ethylene gas which, not only causes ripening, but the development of color as well.
Most fruits do this, but bananas give off an exceptionally large amount, so much so that they are able to help other nearby fruits to ripen. A ripening banana put into a closed container with green tomatoes will turn them red in a very short period of time and help an avocado ripen overnight. (Here’s something I did know. Green oranges are put into a chamber and exposed to ethylene gas which then turns the orange’s color from green to orange. They do this because the general public’s perception is that green colored oranges are not ripe, when indeed they are.) The principal aroma of bananas is caused by amyl acetate. Bananas also contain tryptopha, an amino acid that is converted to serotonin, a brain inhibiting neurotransmitter which makes bananas a calming food. Bananas can also be an internal lubricator. Green ones are used as an astringent in the treatment of diarrhea and hemorrhoids.
When fully ripe, they can be beneficial in the treatment of constipation and ulcers. Some native peoples rubbed banana peels on their skin problems. Modern research has since confirmed that rubbing banana peel on red, scaly patches of psoriasis can provide relief without the side effects of conventional remedies. The active ingredients in banana peels, called esterified fatty acids, have been isolated and incorporated into a patented lotion (Exorex lotion) and sold commercially.Bananas are rich in potassium, riboflavin, niacin, and dietary fiber. They also contain Vitamins A and C, B6 (good for carpel tunnel sufferers), some calcium, iron, and magnesium.
Because of their sweetness, they have a high energy value, making them a good supplement for active people. They have long been a natural cure to help replenish lost potassium during bouts of diarrhea or vomiting.
Bananas are low in sodium and contain small quantities of the indigestible fibers cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin and moderate amounts of pectin, the food fiber that prevents the absorption of fats and may help lower blood cholesterol levels. Because of this trait, foods containing pectin should not be eaten at the same time as the consumption of essential fatty acids such as in fish, which the body requires. A banana begins with more starch than sugar. As the fruit ripens, that role is reversed. Eating unripe bananas can be harmful because they contain proteins that inhibit amylase, an enzyme that digests complex carbohydrates.
Ripe bananas can be stored in the fridge. The cold air will slow the natural enzyme action that ripens the fruit, eventually rotting it. Cold storage will darken the banana's skin by releasing polyphenoloxidase, an enzyme that converts phenols to dark brown compounds. The fruit inside, however, will remain tasty for several days. For a quick "banana ice cream", bananas can be frozen in their skins then quickly peeled and eaten immediately before they turns mushy. Using bananas this way in a blender makes a drink that is also excellent. Overripe bananas need not be thrown out. They make excellent additions to banana bread or pancakes. On the flip-side, bananas can interfere with the action of some drugs, especially for those taking MAO inhibitors (monoamine oxidase) which are used as antidepressants or antihypertensives. They inhibit the action of enzymes that break down the amino acid tyramine so it can be eliminated from the body. Tyramine is a pressor amine, a chemical that constricts blood vessels and raises blood pressure. By eating a food such as a banana that contains tyramine while taking an MAO inhibitor, the pressor amine cannot be eliminated. The result can be abnormally high blood pressure or a hypertensive crisis. Bananas can also create a false-positive for testing tumor markers. Carcinoid tumors can arise from tissues in the endocrine system, the intestines, or the lungs. These tumors secrete serotonin, a natural chemical that makes blood vessels expand or contract.
Because serotonin is excreted in the urine, these tumors are diagnosed by measuring the levels of serotonin by-products in the urine. Bananas contain large amounts of serotonin, and eating them within three days of an endocrine tumor test can produce a result that will suggest the presence of a tumor that is really not there. Other such foods that can create a similar false-positive tumor test are avocadoes, eggplant, pineapple, plums, tomatoes, and walnuts. I Didn’t Know That!
And What You May Not Know About Apples, Too...Now about apples, another of my favorite fruits. There’s lots to write about but at some other time. For now I’ll just give you some new-to-me information that made me think, “I Didn’t Know That!”Apples contain tartaric and malic acids which inhibit gastric fermentation, thereby preventing bacteria proliferation in the digestive tract. Apples are said to aid in removal of such toxic metals as lead and mercury from the body, and are very beneficial in binding radioactive residues and helping to excrete them from the body.
Apples can cleanse the lungs of phlegm, boost overall immunity and stimulate the appetite. Freshly-pressed apple juice is very cleansing for the liver and gall bladder. It is little wonder that the familiar phrase "An apple a day can keep the doctor away" became so popular. However, the one problem with apples is that most are grown with the help of chemical spraying. This does not only stay on the outside of the fruit to be washed off, but travels through the root system of the tree and enters the fruit from the inside.
Organically grown apples and other fruits have a superior flavor even though they may not look as uniformly beautiful. Although the nutrient content may not be any different, they are certainly healthier. Eating a conventionally grown apple, or any other fruit for that matter, is like having a dish of healthy food with a dash of poison added. To receive the benefits, you need to eat only organic apples. If you cannot get organic apples locally, here are a couple of web sites you can go to and have organic apples shipped to you:www.organicfujis.com and www.rockymountainfruit.com
To your good health and longevity,