Inflammation a Concern for You?
We usually think of inflammation as the heat and pain around an
infected cut. In this case, inflammation is good. It's the body's way of
destroying invaders and eliminating damaged cells.
Inflammation of a less obvious type is now the focus of medical
studies. This type is involved in diseases such heart disease, cancer,
You can't feel inflammation in the blood vessels, and without a
specific test, your doctor can't detect it. Yet it is probably one big
cause of unexplained heart attacks.
Hidden inflammation isn't fully understood. It could develop in
response to a bacterial or viral infection.
Reported in Healthy Years, doctors recommend that patients at risk
for heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease be tested for
C-reactive protein. It is an indicator of inflammation.
C-reactive protein could be a better indicator of heart disease than
cholesterol readings. It can also be an indicator of such autoimmune
diseases as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and asthma.
Over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen
have not been proven to decrease inflammation in the blood vessels.
Statins such as Lipitor and Pravachol are primarily used to lower
cholesterol. Since the depositing plaque in arteries seems to be related
to ongoing inflammation, evidence suggests that reducing one could help
in reducing the other.
Researcher Dr. William Joel Meggs of East Carolina University in
Greenville, N.C., says, "Healthy habits help you avoid inflammation.
Diet, exercise, weight control, and even your emotions can determine how
our body deals with inflammation."
Meggs is the author of The Inflammation Cure (McGraw-Hill)
Flu is Coming
Health officials have worked to predict which strains of flu virus
are most likely to cause widespread illness in 2006. These strains are
contained in the vaccine for this year, the strains you will build
immunity to after getting the shot.
The immunization usually works to prevent the flu, but its
effectiveness in part depends on your general health. Illness and age
can influence its effectiveness. People over 50 may have less of an
immune response to the vaccine.
Even so, if you do get the flu, the vaccine will provide important
protection and prevent a severe case. The shot will prevent prolonged
illness, hospitalizations, pneumonia, and death.
It's impossible for the flu shot to give you influenza. Some people
experience a mild fever, and fatigue soon after receiving the vaccine.
The symptoms are caused by the body's immune system, which is producing
Pork Tenderloin, Pretty Lean
A new U.S. Department of Agriculture analysis shows that a lean
3-ounce pork tenderloin contains only 2.98 grams of fat. That's a little
less than a 3-ounce serving of chicken breast, which has 3.03 grams of
Fried pork tenderloin contains more fat, but is still a good addition
to the diets of people who are watching their fats. Breaded and fried
pork tenderloin contain even more, according to the University of
California-Davis. Pork tenderloin that is roasted or grilled is a good
alternative to skinless chicken breasts.