IFA News and Opinion
Issue Date: April 1, 2006
Yes, Quit Smoking, Carefully
Smoking is dangerous to your health, but a study published in the
British journal Nature shows that quitting can be a little risky too. It
puts you in danger of having an accident, at least in the day or two
after you quit.
Nicotine withdrawal symptoms appear to make people less careful at work
and elsewhere. Study leaders analyzed a decade's worth of accident
reports in industry and found a small but persistent surge in the number
workers sent home with injuries on the day of The Great American
Whatever day it is when you quit for good, remember to be a
little more careful in everything you do.
Chili Can Keep You Healthy
It's a great dish to make, especially on a cold day when you need to
feed a lot of people.
Chili is not really a Mexican dish. Some say the first recipe was
written by a Spanish nun, Sister Mary of Agreda, in 1618. That was just
the beginning. By the 1850s, Texas trail cooks planted chili peppers,
oregano, and onion in mesquite patches (that kept cattle away) to be
used on future trail drives.
As a health-conscious cook today, your first priority is to start with
good quality ground beef. Choose 83 percent to 85 percent lean in order
to reduce fat content.
Meat being its main ingredient, chili is high in protein, iron that
fights fatigue, zinc that boosts immunity, and vitamins, B-6 for
vitality, B-12 for healthy blood cells, niacin for nerves, and thiamine
to convert blood sugar into energy.
The tomato paste in chili brings abundant lycopene which fights free
radicals before they can cause cancer.
The onions in chili can raise HDL, the good cholesterol, thin the blood,
and prevent hardening of the arteries. And they contain quercetin, a
The capsaicin in chili peppers is an anticoagulant that helps to keep
blood clots from forming. It is also used to treat asthma and migraine
Low Back Pain and Physical Therapy
A new study reported in the British Medical Journal shows that physical
therapy exercises can reduce low back pain as much as spinal fusion
Patients in the exercise program took 75 hours of treatment led by
physical therapists. Daily exercises tailored to the patients'
individual capabilities included stretching of muscle groups, spinal
flexibility and stabilization exercise, muscle strengthening, aquatic
therapy, and cardiovascular endurance exercise such as treadmill
walking, stepups, cycling, and rowing.
Psychologists in the program helped patients overcome fears and
unhelpful beliefs that many developed when they were in pain.
An equal group of patients in the study had spinal surgery including
spinal fusion, and/or titanium cylinders placed between spinal discs,
bone grafts, and stabilization surgery.
After six, 12, and 24 months, results of physical therapy were just as
favorable as the results of back surgery.
New Home HIV Test
The FDA is slated to approve a new over-the-counter
HIV test very soon.
The $15 OraQuick Advance gives a positive or negative
diagnosis within 20 minutes. The kit requires a swab of saliva from the
HIV is now treatable with anti-viral drugs.
Protein Keeps Hunger Away
It's true that protein suppresses appetite in a way
that fats and carbohydrates can't. The success of high-protein diets
attests to that.
Protein has a second quality that may be equally
important to people who are losing weight. One of protein's amino acids,
leucine, appears to be the key to keeping muscle while losing fat, say
researchers at the University of Illinois. Other studies show that
leucine can promote muscle building when overall calories are low.
To get plenty of leucine from protein and still avoid
the animal fat in meat, consider these low-fat sources as recommended by
1/2 cup of firm tofu, 1,511 mg.
1/2 cup 1% fat Cottage cheese, 1,440 mg. of leucine.
8 ounces fat-free milk, 818 mg.
1 ounce reduced-fat mozzarella cheese, 670 mg.
1 ounce reduced fat cheddar cheese, 608 mg.
Hard-boiled or soft-boiled egg, 538 mg.
1 cup coucous, cooked, 464 mg.
Statins Do a Body Good
Millions of people who take statin drugs to lower
cholesterol appear to be enjoying more benefits than they bargained for.
Those who regularly take medicines like Lipitor,
Lescol, Pravachol, and Zocor may have just half the usual risk for
cancer of the colon, prostate, pancreas, and esophagus.
Additionally, a three-year study reported in the
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, & Psychiatry concludes that statins
slow the progress of Alzheimers Disease.
Asthma Doesn't Have to Control Your Life
Experts say that virtually all asthma deaths are
preventable, but more than 5,000 people in the U.S. die from it each
year. Asthma accounts for a quarter of all emergency room visits, is the
fourth leading cause of work absence, and is the leading cause of school
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
has a new set of treatment guidelines aimed at changing those numbers.
It calls for an individualized and often-modified treatment plan aimed
Most patients aren't reaching their asthma control
goals. Of the 88 percent who believe they are in control, more than half
have to catch their breath while running upstairs, have to interrupt
exercise because of symptoms, and wake during the night because of
breathing problems. This is not control. Asthma is controlled if:
Symptoms occur twice a week or less.
Bronchodilator medication is used twice a week or less.
There are no breathing problems at night or early in the morning.
Peak air flow is normal or at a personal best.
One difficulty is that circumstances are constantly
changing. Allergic triggers, other illnesses, exercise, and stress can
change asthma from day to day.
The new guidelines are:
1. Patients should use a peak-flow monitor daily and
keep a peak-flow chart so they can quickly see when their condition is
2. They should visit their doctors regularly and
bring their chart. With this information, doctors can design a treatment
plan that incorporates needed medicines such as inhalers, inhaled
steroids, and rescue medications as needed.
3. Keep the bedroom allergy free. Use
allergen-impermeable covers for pillows and mattresses and keep rugs and
pets out of the bedroom.
Pueblo Reduced Heart Attacks
The city of Pueblo, Colo., passed smoke-free
ordinances which banned smoking in restaurants, offices, and other
indoor spaces. Within the following 18 months, heart attacks were
reduced by 27 percent. Heart attack numbers fell soon after the
ordinances went into effect.
Almost all heart attack patients in Pueblo are
treated in one of two hospitals, both of which maintain electronic
medical records. This made gathering of statistics relatively simple.
Moderate Alcohol Use Produces New Brain Cells
It is well known that one or two glasses of alcohol,
especially red wine, is good for the nerves and good for the heart.
Now there is more good news. Drinking moderately over
a long period of time can enhance the formation of new nerve cells in
the adult brain. Research published by the Karolinska Institute in
Stockholm, Sweden, shows that the new brain cells discourage dementia in
Researchers at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical
Center studied the effect of alcohol and determined that older women who
drank a moderate amount each day performed better on cognitive functions
and reason, and suffered less dementia than women who abstained.
Antibiotic Decreases Osteoarthritis Progression
Osteoarthritis (OA), the wear and tear form, affects
about 21 million Americans. Until now, treatment was mainly for the
symptoms and didn't alter the course of the disease.
New research suggests that doxycycline, an
inexpensive antibiotic can inhibit the degradation of the cartilage that
cushions the ends of bones in joints, allowing joints to move smoothly.
Further studies by Indiana University School of
Medicine show that after 30 months of treatment with doxycycline,
patients lost 33 percent less joint space than those who took a placebo.
Joint space narrowing indicates loss of cartilage and osteoarthritis
You CAN Get a Cold If You Are Chilled
Though infectious disease specialists have long said
that getting chilled or having cold, wet feet can't give you a cold,
research proves they are wrong.
Studies at Cardiff University's Common Cold Centre in
Britain show that chills can lower the nose's natural defenses and
unleash latent viruses. They say we all carry cold viruses, but
respiratory defenses keep them in check.
For everyone you see with a cold, there are two or
three who have a subclinical infection. It's those people who are prone
to developing a common cold when they are chilled, say the researchers.
Dog Walking Beats Dieting
Studies reported in the Tufts University Health &
Nutrition Letter show that walking a dog regularly can encourage people
to lose more weight than dieting can. The study showed that those who
walked dogs for 50 weeks lost an average of 14 pounds. They began
walking 10 minutes daily, three times a week, working up to a routine of
20 minutes a day, five times a week.
Participants in the study said they knew it was good
for their health, but they mostly enjoyed walking because it was good
for the animals.
Fish is Food For Your Brain
Want your brain to stay young or get younger? Eat
fish. Research at Rush University studied mental function of people age
65 and older. They found that those who ate fish rich in omega-3 fatty
acids once a week slowed their rate of cognitive decline by 10 percent.
Don't Use Peroxide on Cuts
The American Academy of Family Physicians says
peroxide can damage living tissue. Application of the powerful
disinfectant can lead to a wound that heals slowly or not at all.
Soap and water are a much better choice. If you're
worried about infection, consider a triple-antibiotic cream such as
© 1995 - 2017 by IFA www.ifafitness.com
INTERNATIONAL FITNESS ASSOCIATION
12472 Lake Underhill Rd, #341, Orlando, FL 32828
800-227-1976 or 407-579-8610
Mon - Fri 9:00am - 5:00pm, Sat 9am - 1pm ET