Wednesday, April 30, 2008

3 Odd Cures For Bad Breath

When toothpaste and mouthwash don't work, what can you do to quell your bad breath? Here are three odd--but medically sound--cures for halitosis.

Cure No. 1: Take zinc
HealthDayNews reports that research published in the French journal Revue De Stomatologie Et De Chirurgie Maxillo-Faciale concludes that the main cause of chronic bad breath is a group of compounds that contain sulfur. The sulfur-producing bacteria gather on the back of the tongue and on the teeth. (Mind you, chronic bad breath is caused by more than just eating onions for lunch.) Zinc apparently makes your breath smell better because it binds to the sulfur. So look for mouthwashes, gum, toothpaste, and even cold lozenges that contain zinc to zap that bad breath.

Tung Gel, Fresh Mint with Zinc
Clinical research shows that odor-causing bacteria on the tongue is the #1 cause of bad breath. There are no better tools to get rid of that nasty bacteria and "tongue gunk" than the Tung Brush™ and Tung Gel™.
* Loosens sticky plaque from the tongue.
* Zinc neutralizes bad breath.
* Works better than standard toothpaste
* Great-tasting formula leaves tongue feeling fresh.

Cure No. 2: Get the right toothpaste
The best toothpaste for sweet breath is one with stannous fluoride, according to research published in the Journal of Clinical Dentistry. Every toothpaste promotes itself as a cavity-fighter and breath-freshener. But when it comes to that sweet extra something for your breath, which one does the best job?

When researchers compared three types of toothpaste--one with stannous fluoride, an anti-tartar, and an anti-microbial--among three groups of people and gave a fourth group bottled water to act as a control, they found that the toothpaste that contained 0.45 percent stannous fluoride actually produced better breath, reports HealthDayNews.

Crest Pro-Health Toothpaste, Clean Night Mint
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* Provides Dentist Recommended Benefits
* Cleaner Mouth in the Morning
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With regular twice a day brushing, Crest Pro-Health provides these benefits:
* Fights Cavities
* Fights Plaque
* Fights Gingivitis
* Builds Increasing Protection Against Painful Sensitivity
* Fights Tartar
* Whitens Teeth by Removing Surface Stains
* Freshens Breath

Cure No. 3: Zap it with a laser
An Israeli scientist has developed a 15-minute laser treatment that has worked successfully in 53 patients whose bad breath emanates from their tonsils. According to New Scientist magazine, the laser treatment developed by Yehuda Finkelstein of Meir Hospital at the Sapir Medical Centre in Kfar Saba, Israel is used for a rare type of halitosis that wafts relentlessly from the tonsils.

For most of us, bad breath is caused by the build-up of bacteria around the gums and teeth; those bacteria then release foul-smelling gases. But for about 6 percent of people who suffer from bad breath, the bacteria breed in grooves in their tonsils. The laser treatment zaps the infected tonsil tissue and creates a scar that seals the grooves so bacteria cannot grow back. Of the 53 patients who have received this treatment, more than half were cured after just one treatment. The others required two or three more sessions--but all were cured.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Panasonic Oral Irrigator

Panasonic Oral Irrigatoricon
* "Flossing" with water is faster, easier and more effective than string for curbing the build-up of plaque.
* Its 1,600 water pulses per minute spritzes away microscopic debris caught between teeth.
* Massages the gumline for healthier gums.
* Features 40% more tank capacity than earlier models. Compact and cordless for easy travel.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Your Pregnancy Self-Care Plan

How to nurture your health across your five Centers of Wellness

I wish I could offer you a magical formula for a perfect pregnancy and baby. But no such formula exists because “perfection” is a word that has no place in describing the human endeavor of childbearing. What’s more, differing backgrounds, histories, tastes, habits, starting points, and so on mean that no one-size-fits-all health plan can possibly have the same effect on every person. Every birth is different, too. Sure, all female bodies are designed to gestate and give birth, but while some lucky people can just step out of the way and let the body do its thing, more often challenges arise–nausea, anemia, preterm labor– where our attention and involvement can make a difference. In addition, certain aspects of birth simply fall beyond anyone’s control or understanding. We don’t know why some women develop preeclampsia or why some fetuses refuse to come out of a breech position, for example. Your goal should be to move toward a lifestyle that will support your pregnancy in an optimal way. And that’s something I can give you.

Whatever your starting point, this season of change is an ideal time to make some improvements in the way you take care of yourself. Whether you work to bring better balance into your life, shed unhealthy habits, or improve the good habits you already have, a child is the ultimate motivation. What’s more, these benefits reverberate well beyond pregnancy and childbirth. You can create new habits that persist long after your baby is born, setting yourself upfor a healthier midlife and beyond. By modeling those behaviors in motherhood, you’ll send out powerful messages that shape your child’s health as she or he grows, too.


Good health consists of five different (but overlapping) domains that must be individually strong as well as balanced overall. These five Centers of Wellness are:

1. Nutrition: food, drink, and supplements.
2. Movement: exercise for fitness as well as movement that brings you joy.
3. Mind: the state of your mind, including your stressors and your perceptions.
4. Spirit: a feeling of connectedness to self, to other beings, and to an entity larger than yourself (such as God or nature), whether via spirituality, community, religion, or other vehicles.
5. Sensation: sensuality (the senses: touch, taste, vision, hearing, and smell) and sexuality.

It’s through these five centers that you nourish your body and soul. They’re listed in no particular order of importance, because all five are important! Conventional medicine tends to value the first two and give a nod to the third. The last two are rarely even considered in a medical setting. But I believe all five interconnect to impact your well-being. For example, when you are eating well, you often feel less depressed, more energetic and apt to exercise more, and your relationships are also better. When you are not managing stress well, you may overeat and stop exercising, and your relationships and sex life may suffer.

What’s so interesting is that your needs within a given center are constantly shifting–especially in pregnancy. The way you move, your appetites and food preferences, your stress level, your libido, your sense of connection to God or to your own mother or your friends–all will be impacted across the arc of this experience and all will vary from trimester to trimester, and even from day to day. That’s why paying attention to all five of your Centers of Wellness is so important, and why you need a flexible plan that changes as you do. The Basic Self-Care Plan for Pregnancy is simple and life-changing.

In each of your five Centers of Wellness, I’ve mapped out a handful of daily goals. These are the minimum steps necessary to bring consciousness to that aspect of your health each day. Then I’ve listed a number of suggestions as to how you can attain each goal. Although the following summary of base-plan goals may sound like small steps, the ways you meet them, which I’ll outline in the following pages, add up to big health changes.


Mind Center goals
· Try to bring awareness to your level of stress every day.
· Trigger the relaxation response at least once a day.
· Explore ways to use mind-body techniques to support the specific needs of your body and your soul.

Nutrition Center goals
· Explore and understand your relationship with food.
· Bring meal-by-meal consciousness to your food choices.
· Eliminate substances that are known dangers.
· Shift to a more pregnancy-friendly, balanced diet, with:
oMore essential nutrients
oMore fruits and vegetables
oHealthier fats, especially omega-3s
oMore whole grains
oHealthier proteins
oFewer empty calories

Movement Center goals
· Make conscious choices about the kinds of activity that your body needs and enjoys every day.
· Do a low-impact aerobic activity that you enjoy at least three times a week on nonconsecutive days.
· Strength-train at least three times a week nonconsecutive days.
· Stretch every day.

Spirit Center goals
· Think about your sense of your life’s meaning and purpose.
· Build a “sacred time” into each day.
· Do one thing every day to fuel or feed a relationship that you care about.

Sensation Center goals
· Pay attention to which of your senses you are most nurtured by.
· Actively nurture the full range of your senses and sensuality each day.
· Explore and support your sexuality as it evolves throughout your pregnancy and beyond.


Your mind is the interface between reality (the world, your outer life) and your body’s response. I look forward to the day when this powerful connection is more routinely woven into the fabric of pregnancy care, because it so clearly impacts the health of the mother and her baby.We now know the state of your mind can influence your reproductive hormones, your blood pressure, your glucose levels, and the time and progress of your labor, among other things. Your body responds not to the reality of the circumstances you are in but to your perception of those realities. If you’re resting on the sofa with your feet up and a glass of lemonade in your hands after a long workday, but you’re ruminating about the dish-throwing argument you just had with your husband and what shape your unsettled marriage will be in by the time the baby arrives, your body responds as if still in the middle of the fight. Your brain goes on alert and the fight or-flight response built into your system kicks in, poising your body for action. The stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline jump, your blood pressure and heart rate increase, muscles tense, and glucose and cholesterol are released to provide quick energy. These changes are collectively known as the stress response.

On the other hand, you could be in the stressful throes of labor and yet, if your thoughts and breathing are aligned to a calm, relaxed mode, your body will respond accordingly and relax. This physiologic reaction is called the relaxation response. It can happen naturally–say, because you are actually lying there drinking lemonade and enjoying it–or you can use mind-body tools to trigger this response to counter stress.

Relaxation is to the mind what sleep is to the body. Sleep is a time when the body can truly unplug and be at rest.Your mind needs rest, too. And yet, when push comes to shove in a busy day, this center is one of the first my patients seem to ignore. Failure to relax can impact the likelihood of conceiving or of carrying a healthy baby to term. The following are some ways to nurture this center and achieve the basic mental goals of pregnancy. (Trimester-specific advice appears in the chapters that follow.)

GOAL: Try to bring awareness to your level of stress every day.
· Reflect on your stress level. Whether pregnant or not, we grow accustomed to chronic stress. Our bodies adapt to it and our minds begin to consider this state normal. Over time, we keep setting our baseline a little higher and higher, so that eventually we don’t even notice how stressed out we really are. Stop and bring a level of awareness to what you’re feeling each day.
· Reflect on your stress points. Your stress points are how stress manifests itself. Notice how and where your body holds stress. Reflect on which body systems or parts of you are most affected by stress. Do you get headaches or backaches? Are you more likely to get sick? Are you simply tired or fatigued under stress? Does your gastrointestinal system take the hit (for example, changed bowel habits such as constipation or diarrhea, or indigestion)? Do you get depressed? Do your relationships suffer? Often an individual’s stress points change or intensify while on the Fertility Pathway. Places in your musculoskeletal system that previously manifested stress–the lower back, for example–may be even more vulnerable, while areas that might never have given you much of problem–your GI system, for example–may start responding noticeably to stress. Reflect on whether and how your stress responses have changed.
· Be conscious about how much sleep you’re needing and getting. The average nonpregnant woman needs eight hours of sleep a night–and one-quarter of us don’t sleep enough to be fully alert the next day. Now add in the demands of gestation. At various points in pregnancy, your body may require more sleep than what you’re used to. Be aware that sleep is an arena that can change a lot on the Fertility Pathway, and throughout pregnancy. Pay attention to your individual needs, and honor what you learn. If your body is telling you it needs more sleep, then listen and get more sleep. Pay attention to sleep surroundings as well. During pregnancy, you may find that you require more space, more pillows (to support your body), different room temperature, or more/fewer blankets.

GOAL: Trigger the relaxation response at least once a day.
· Find a form of meditation that works for you. Essentially, meditation is a way to quiet the mind and is often done with an inner focus, in contrast to the outer-focused, preoccupied unconsciousness that we use to get through much of everyday life. Meditation is sometimes also called “centering.” It’s been used for centuries in the Far East as a practice for attaining spiritual enlightenment.You can learn this kind of formal meditation, which sometimes involves special postures and mantras, or you can attain a similar state of deep calm through such practices as deep breathing, meditative prayer, yoga, or other deeply relaxing pursuits. Meditation activates the relaxation response, quieting the mind and clearing it of anxiety and worry while also causing such physical changes as reducing blood pressure and stress hormones, and relaxing the muscles. Experiment with different forms of meditation until you find one that is comfortable and effective for you, then try to incorporate it into every day.
· Practice mindfulness. Are you connected and living in the present, or preoccupied with the future (for example, what’s next on your to-do list), the past (the argument you had last night), or a different place (such as text messaging while you’re lunching with a friend)? A certain amount of shifting out of the present is necessary to function, but when you find yourself doing too much of it, you tend to feel out of balance and more stressed. (Not to mention you’re probably missing a whole lot of your life!) Begin to notice how much of the time you are fully present and practice this skill consciously. Put down the BlackBerry or cell, and turn all of your attention to your friend, for example, or to the food on your plate.
· Try breathing exercises when anxiety creeps in. Conscious breathing is a great way to catch a few quick moments of relaxation, even in the midst of stress. Any kind of slow breathing–such as taking deep rhythmic breaths or doing the following breathing exercise–can put a brake on rising stress.

4/7/8 Breathing (Paced Breathing)
1. Rest the tip of your tongue on the ridge behind your front teeth throughout the exercise.
2. Breathe in through your nose for a count of four.
3. Hold for a count of seven.
4. Exhale through the mouth for a count of eight.With your tongue in the same position as in step 1, you should hear a hoosh sound as the air goes out. Repeat four times. Do this as often as needed throughout the day.

Try It:
Take a few minutes to practice 4/7/8 breathing right now. See how easy and relaxing it is? This simple breathing pattern, which Andrew Weil taught me years ago, has become my favorite secret sanity-saver since I became a mom. When we get really stressed, we tend to take shallow, panting breaths. Paced breathing, which is based on an ancient yoga practice, helps reverse that tendency, whether it’s subtle or pronounced, and sends a relaxation message to the body.
· Calm your mind and relax your body with mental muscle relaxation.
We hold tension in our bodies without even being aware of it. Examples include tooth-grinding at night, or a tight back that’s not in pain yet flinches when touched. This exercise–ideal to do at bedtime– relaxes major muscle groups to release stress.

Mental Muscle Relaxation

1. Sit or lie in a comfortable and quiet place with your body fully supported by a chair or the floor. (Do not lie on your back after the fourth month of pregnancy.) Close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths: deep inhale, deep exhale.

2. Begin at the top of your head, with your scalp and your forehead, noticing whether there is any tension there. Give it permission to let go.

3. Progress down your body, from head to toe, mentally assessing the muscles along the way and then mentally releasing any tension you find. Move from your head to your neck, your shoulders, your upper arms and lower arms, your fingers, all the way down your spinal column, around to your chest, your belly, your hips, your buttocks, your thighs, your knees, your calves, the arches of your feet,your toes. Let the tension go with your mind.

4. Take all the time you need. If there are places that still seem to be holding tension after you finish, return there. Only when you feel completely relaxed should you slowly bring your attention back to the present.
· Try progressive muscle relaxation (PMR). Instead of patrolling for tension and then mentally letting it go, as you do in mental muscle relaxation, in this exercise you actually tense the muscle and then physically release it. PMR helps make you more aware of when your muscles are tensed and can help invite the relaxation response in your body.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

1. Lie on your back with your arms at your sides, on a firm but soft surface such as a soft carpet or a workout mat. (A bed is too soft.) After the fourth month of pregnancy, you should sit in a chair that supports your head and neck. Loosen any tight clothing and remove your shoes.

2. Ideally, when you are first learning this exercise, you should have someone slowly read the instructions below to you, or make a tape of them for yourself.

3. First, tense the muscles throughout your body, from head to toe. Tighten your feet and your legs, tense your arms, and clench your jaw. Pull in your stomach. Hold the tension while you sense the feelings of strain and tightness. Notice the difference between how this feels and how the muscle feels when it is relaxed. Notice that as you tense the muscles, you most likely naturally hold your breath. Hold it for a few seconds more, and exhale long and slowly as you relax all your muscles, letting the tension go. Notice the sense of relief as you relax.

4. Now you will tense and relax individual major muscle groups. Keep the rest of your body as relaxed as you can. You will hold the tension for a few seconds until you get a clear sense of what the tension feels like. Then inhale deeply, hold the breath, and release the tension as you exhale.

5. Start by making your hands into tight fists. Feel the tension through your hands and arms. Relax and release the tension. Now press your arms against the surface they’re resting on. Feel the tension. Hold it . . . and let it go. Let your arms and hands go limp.

6. Shrug your shoulders up tight, toward your head, feeling the tension through your neck and shoulders. Hold . . . and release. Drop your shoulders down, free of tension.

7. Now wrinkle your forehead, sensing the tightness. Hold . . . and let it go so your forehead is smooth and released. Shut your eyes as tightly as you can. Hold . . . and let it go. Now open your mouth as wide as you can. Hold . . . and let it go, letting your lips gently touch. Then clench your jaw, teeth tight together. Hold . . . and relax. Let the muscles of your face be at ease.

8. Take a few moments to tense your arms and shoulders, up through your face. Now take a deep breath, filling your lungs down through your abdomen. Hold your breath while you feel the tension through your chest. Then exhale and let your chest relax, your breath natural and easy. Suck in your stomach, holding the muscles tight . . . and relax. Arch your back . . . hold . . . and ease your back down gently, letting it relax. Feel the relaxation spreading through your whole upper body.

9. Now tense your hips and buttocks, pressing your legs and heels against the surface beneath you. Hold . . . and relax. Curl your toes down so that they point away from your knees. Hold . . . and relax, letting the tension go from your legs and feet. Then bend your toes back up toward your knees. Hold . . . and relax.

10. Now feel your whole body at rest, letting go of more tension with each breath. Your face relaxed and soft . . . your arms and shoulders loose . . . stomach, chest, and back relaxed . . . your legs and feet resting at ease . . . your whole body calm and relaxed.

11. Take time to enjoy this state of relaxation for several minutes,feeling the deep calm and peace. When you’re ready to get up, move slowly, first sitting, and then standing up
· Take a mental vacation. This is one of my favorites! Get relaxed using any technique you like and then let an image come to mind of a place where you feel completely at ease and safe. It may be a place you’ve been before, or a place you have never been but would like to go, or an imaginary world that does not exist. Notice every detail about the scene with each of your senses: What do you see, smell, hear, feel, and taste? Who else, if anyone, is there? Spend as much time as you would like in the scene. Relax and enjoy it. And best of all, know that you can go back anytime you wish. When you feel ready, slowly return your attention to the reality around you–and don’t be surprised when your body actually feels like you have been on vacation!

Excerpted from

Body, Soul, and Baby: A Doctor's Guide to the Complete Pregnancy Experience, from Preconception to Postpartum

by Tracy W. Gaudet
Buy this book at Barnes & Noble

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

10 Diet and Exercise Myths--Busted!

As we pound the treadmills, deny ourselves dessert and snack on baby carrots instead of a candy bar in an attempt to lose weight, bear in mind that everything you think you know about weight loss and exercise isn't necessarily true.

Julie Bender, a dietitian with Baylor University Medical Center, and Phil Tyne, director of the Baylor Tom Landry Health and Wellness Center "weigh in" on the most popular diet and exercise myths.

1. Crunches will get rid of your belly fat.
FALSE. "You can't pick and choose areas where you'd like to burn fat," says Tyne. "In order to burn fat, you should create a workout that includes both cardiovascular and strength training elements. This will decrease your overall body fat content."

2. Stretching before exercise is crucial.
FALSE. Some studies have suggested that stretching actually increases muscles' susceptibility to injury. They claim that by stretching, muscle fibers are lengthened and destabilized, making them less prepared for the strain placed upon them by exercise. "You might want to warm-up and stretch before a run, but if you are lifting weights, wait until after the workout to stretch the muscles," adds Tyne.

3. You should never eat before a workout.
FALSE. "Fuel" coming from food and fluids is required to provide the energy for your muscles to work efficiently even if you are doing an early morning workout. "Consider eating a small meal or snack one to three hours prior to exercise. Load up your tank with premium 'fuel' and choose some fruit, yogurt or whole wheat toast," says Bender.

4. Lifting weights will make women bulky.
FALSE. "Most women's bodies do not produce nearly enough testosterone to become 'bulky' like those body builders on TV," says Tyne. If you find yourself getting bigger, use less weight and higher repetitions.

5. Fat is bad for you, no matter what kind.
FALSE. Contrary to popular belief, there are plenty of "good fats" that are essential to promoting good health and aid in disease prevention. "They are the ones that occur naturally in foods like avocados, nuts and fish, as opposed to those that are manufactured," says Bender. "Including small amounts of these foods at meal times can help you to feel full longer and therefore eat less."

6. Restricting calories is the best way to lose weight.
FALSE. Both cutting back on calories and moving more will help you lose weight and maintain the lean muscle mass needed to boost metabolism. "Drastic measures rarely equal lasting results. Start small and eliminate 100 to 300 calories consistently from your daily diet and you will reap the reward," says Bender.

7. As long as you eat healthy foods, you can eat as much as you want.
FALSE. A calorie, is a calorie. Although oatmeal is healthy, if you have four cups of oatmeal, the calories add up. "Healthy or otherwise, you still must be aware of portion sizes," says Bender. "You must limit your caloric intake in order to lose weight; however, understanding how to 'balance' calorie intake throughout your day can help you avoid feelings of deprivation, hunger and despair," adds Bender.

8. Exercise turns fat into muscle.
FALSE. Fat and muscle tissue are composed of two entirely different types of cells. "While you can lose one and replace it with another, the two never 'convert' into different forms," says Tyne. "So fat will never turn into muscle."

9. Eating late at night will make you gain weight.
FALSE. "There are no 'magic' hours," says Bender. "We associate late night eating with weight gain because we usually consume more calories at night. We do this because we usually deprive our bodies of adequate calories the first half of the day. Start the day out with breakfast and eat every three to four hours. Keep lunch the same size as dinner, and you will be less likely to overindulge at night, yet you can enjoy a small late night snack without the fear of it sticking to your middle," explains Bender.

10. You have to sweat to have a good workout.
FALSE. "Sweating is not necessarily an indicator of exertion. Sweating is your body's way of cooling itself," explains Tyne. It is possible to burn a significant number of calories without breaking a sweat. Try taking a walk, doing some light weight training or working out in a swimming pool.

--From the Editors at Netscape

The Galloper Health Exerciser by Verseo
The Galloper Health Exerciser by Verseo
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This, combined with the multidirectional movement (or galloping motion) enables your body to balance itself and engage a variety of muscle groups. In addition to toning and firming your body, The Galloper will help to improve your coordination and posture.

Gallop your way to firm abs and thighs while you watch TV. All you have to do is hop on and go for a ride! This is the most fun you'll ever have working out. Most people think that getting into shape requires lots of hard work, like running on a treadmill, or working for hours on one of the countless "ab exerciser" machines you see advertised on TV. The Galloper gives you even better results, with none of the headache of traditional exercise machines. Shape and tone your body, and enjoy the ride, with The Galloper Health Exerciser by Verseo. Includes a multi-speed timer to help you customize your workout.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Ultrasimple Diet

Why the UltraSimple Diet?

"I lost 3 pounds right away, my sugar levels stabilized, and my energy level shot up."

My entire life, even after having children, I have been plagued with depression, chronic fatigue, allergies, debilitating headaches, constant mood swings, and anxiety. After hearing for years from doctors that it was all "in my head," I decided to jump on Dr. Hyman's program, because I had nothing more to lose. Immediately after following his instructions, I started to feel calm and began sleeping throughout the night. I naturally started eating less, because I was full and satisfied. I lost 3 pounds right away, my sugar levels stabilized, and my energy level shot up. For the first time, I can live in the moment. I feel better, my heart palpitations are gone, the ringing in my ears has diminished, my headaches have stopped, and my focus and concentration have improved dramatically. This simply happened as a result of removing the toxins from my diet and eating nourishing whole foods. This experience on The UltraSimple Diet has completely changed my life.
Carla Goodrich - Columbus, NE

Could this be you? This was one user of the program, although not all results were this striking. More dramatic results are at the beginning of each chapter.

For more success stories, go to

In this chapter you will learn:

  • The 6 steps of The UltraSimple Diet

  • The 4 additional steps of The Enhanced UltraSimple Diet

  • Why the program works

  • Who I am

We have all the scientific information we need to address theobesity epidemic facing our society and threatening our children and our longevity.

The problem is most of you are not hearing about it. It takes an average of 20 years for new medical discoveries to be applied in practice.

But, you don't have to wait -- it's available right now, here in this program.

I have to admit something to you: The term diet in the title of this book is a bit misleading. This is really a 7-day health program wherein one of the natural consequences is healthy weight loss as I'll explain in a second.

After working with thousands of patients for more than 20 years; heading the medical department of one of the world's top health resorts, Canyon Ranch, for 9 years; and being the founder and medical director of The UltraWellness Center, I have discovered what works and what doesn't to give people quick, yet safe results for revitalizing their health and achieving weight loss.

And I have the results to prove it, which you can see for yourself by going to where you'll find hundreds of success stories from people who have already been through this program.

In fact, throughout this book, I've included comments from real people who have actually already gone through the program so you can see how well it has worked for them.

Even after looking at these success stories, if you are still skeptical that you can't lose up to 10 pounds in 7 days, you are right -- you shouldn't believe it. There are so many false weight-loss claims flying around today that it's tough to believe what works and what doesn't.

The only way to know that it's true is to try the program and prove it to yourself. This program won't work for everybody, but it should work for most, and in many cases you may get the kind of dramatic results I've highlighted in this book.

The real trick is that the same things that make people sick make them fat. In fact, being overweight is actually a symptom of an underlying health problem.

So, it's not really a trick or a gimmick at all -- in this program, you'll be working on some of the underlying, fundamental problems that make people fat.

And being fat creates even more sickness and disease -- including heart disease, cancer, arthritis, dementia, and diabetes.

The answer to effective, long-term weight loss is addressing the underlying causes of obesity and disease. For most of you out there suffering with weight issues there are two key causes: toxicity and inflammation.

In fact, for many of you, toxicity in particular may be what's been frustrating your weight-loss attempts. As I'll explain in chapter 3, you may be carrying around a truckload of toxins in your body that are disrupting your body's natural mechanisms for health. And as you'll see, getting healthy is the key to losing weight.

This can frequently explain why people seem to reach a plateau or "hit the wall" when attempting to lose weight, where, after an initial drop in weight, further weight loss proves to be next to impossible. Just restricting calories is a recipe for disaster and inevitably leads to failure. Unless you get rid of this toxic load, you might find yourself continually hitting this wall.

Take the "Toxicity and Inflammation Quiz" in chapter 2 and you may be surprised to find out how toxic and inflamed you really are. Don't worry; I'll explain what those two terms mean after you have taken the quiz.

The UltraSimple Diet provides a quick-start plan for dramatically, powerfully, and simply addressing toxicity and inflammation.

Dealing with toxicity and inflammation may not only help you lose up to 10 pounds in 7 days, but may also provide you with a feeling of robust health and relief of many chronic symptoms.

Some of you may ask "Isn't it all just water weight?" or "Isn't it unhealthy to lose more than 1-2 pounds per week?"

The truth is that you WANT to lose water weight.

Inflammation and toxicity cause fluid retention. Cleaning up your system for one week, by consuming a detoxifying and anti-inflammatory diet, may help you drop fluid and toxins quickly. This may lead to rapid weight loss, which is both safe and healthy under these circumstances.

Once you have eliminated the initial toxic fluid and inflammation, and you continue to follow my simple guides, your weight loss may continue at a rate of 1'ÅÑ2-2 pounds per week until you are at your healthy weight.

During this week you may lose both fluid and fat. How much of each varies from person to person.

You may also notice other benefits.

Besides increased energy, you may lose the puffiness in your face and around your eyes, and your skin may even glow. Your senses may be heightened. You may sleep better, have fewer allergies, and more mental clarity. Your joint and muscle aches may disappear and all your digestive problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome and reflux, may vanish.

This will also be the beginning, I hope, of a new way of life for you. Not because I say it is good for you. NO! Your life will change, because you may not only lose weight, have more energy, and feel fantastic, but you may -- probably for the first time in your life -- have a taste of vital well-being and experience for yourself what it means to live an UltraWellness lifestyle.

What Is The UltraSimple Diet?

As I mentioned above, this program is founded on two fundamental principles of biology. To regain health and achieve consistent, permanent weight loss, you need to address the underlying cause of diseases and obesity: toxicity and inflammation.

It gives you an opportunity to achieve IMMEDIATE weight loss, but more importantly offers you renewed energy and relief from many chronic diseases in just 7 short days.

But how, you may ask, can you achieve such results in just 7 days?


Take away the things that make you toxic and inflamed.

Provide your body with foods and activities that help you detoxify and cool inflammation.

Your body does the rest automatically. It has a natural ability to find balance and heal once you stop doing things that throw it off balance and provide things that put it back in balance.

By eliminating the major sources of toxins in your life -- addictive habits such as coffee, sugar, alcohol, processed food, fast food, junk food, trans fats, and high-fructose corn syrup -- and reducing toxic stress for only 7 days, your body can renew and rejuvenate itself.

By eliminating the major sources of inflammation in your diet -- food allergens, sugar and flour products, and bad fats -- your body can heal.

Then, by eating whole, detoxifying, anti-inflammatory foods, the power of the program can take full effect.

Let me be completely honest here.

My motivation is not to help you "lose a quick 10 pounds," although that is a nice side effect. My desire is for you to experience in one week the power you have to harm or to heal your body, the power wrong foods have to create sickness, and the power right foods have to promote weight loss and health.

That way you can make the connection between your behaviors, what you put in your mouth, how you treat your body, and how you feel and look every day.

I am amazed at how the smartest people don't make the connections between what they eat, how they live, and how they feel.

You have the power to transform your life forever by choosing to work with your body, rather than against it.

You see, the primary reason that I designed this program was based on feedback that I received about my UltraMetabolism program that I outlined in my recent New York Times best-selling book, UltraMetabolism: The Simple Plan for Automatic Weight Loss.

The problem that many people ran into was that they thought 8 weeks was too long a commitment and never gave the program a chance. In reality it's not; however, as a consequence of receiving that feedback, I designed this program to be only 7 days (which anybody can do) to prove just how good you can actually feel once you have addressed the core problems of toxicity and inflammation.

And as my patients and the hundreds of people who have helped me evaluate this program have seen, some of the results can be quite amazing. I had many people comment that they were surprised at just how good they could feel and never realized that by simply changing their diet, they could feel more energized, sleep better, have better-looking skin, lose weight, improve their mood, and more in only 7 days.

This program will give you the power to make this transformation.

Here's how you do it:

Get Rid of Bad Foods -- Eliminate foods that create toxicity and inflammation.

Add Good Foods -- Eat foods that are detoxifying and anti-inflammatory.

Detoxify -- Drink a special, cleansing and detoxifying UltraBroth, and keep your bowels clear during the program by taking an herbal laxative as needed.

Reduce Inflammation -- Make delicious, anti-inflammatory UltraShakes.

Relax -- Take a fabulously relaxing and detoxifying UltraBath every night before bed.

Reflect -- Reflect and write in your journal about what you're learning and how you're feeling during the program.

That's it.

Do it for 7 days and watch the transformation take place.

In fact, if many of you are thinking of this as a "diet" in the traditional sense, you are also probably worried about several things. Remember, this isn't so much a diet as it is a medically designed eating program, and, as such, you won't have to worry about:

Going Hungry -- This is not a starvation diet. You shouldn't be hungry over the course of the diet, and you won't be as long as you follow my recommendations. In fact, one of the most common points of feedback I've received from people who have been on this program has been how they actually had too much food prepared and didn't need it all since they simply weren't hungry.

Having Cravings -- You're worried about cravings? Forget it! My patients have overwhelmingly reported that their cravings decrease when they do the program.

Eating Gross Foods -- You also don't have to worry about disgusting or tasteless food. The food options I offer are delicious, and even if you don't like things exactly as I have outlined them in the book, I give you enough flexibility to adjust them to your tastes. Moreover, I've provided a special set of bonus recipes (which I will keep updated) that you can download by going to

Exercising Too Much -- Think you are going to have to go to the gym and sweat for 2 hours every day? Don't worry. Although I always do recommend getting exercise on a daily basis, for just these 7 days, the eating program is powerful enough so that you don't have to exercise if you don't want to.

Waiting Too Long -- Frequently people complain that it takes too long to see the benefits of any "diet"; however, remember, by using a medically designed eating program, we are working with the natural forces of your body, instead of against them as traditional diets do, and as a consequence, you typically see the benefits very quickly.

So what have you got to lose'ÄÖ.'ÄÖ.'ÄÖ.'ÄÖexcept a few extra pounds.

Start the 7-day plan on a Sunday so you have the weekend to ease into it and prepare for your work week. You'll want to also reserve your Saturday to make the necessary preparations, go shopping, and get everything organized for the upcoming 7 days.

Don't take my word for it. Experience it.

For those of you who want to take full advantage of the healing potential of this 7-day program, I encourage you to add a few things that will maximize the long-term benefits.

I call this The Enhanced UltraSimple Diet.

You simply add the following components to supercharge your health:

Nutritional Supplements -- These are designed to enhance elimination and cellular detoxification, and reduce inflammation. Basic lifelong supplementation is also encouraged to support your body's normal functions, and provide the essential nutrients our modern depleted diet cannot.

Liver Detoxification -- A special, simple olive oil and lemon juice cocktail to promote liver detoxification by increasing bile flow.

Easy Exercise -- 30 minutes of walking a day'ÄÖ.'ÄÖ.'ÄÖ.'ÄÖthat's it.

Reduce Stress -- Simple relaxation and stress-reduction techniques.

Following either of these simple, scientifically proven programs may help you lose up to 10 pounds in one week. But more importantly, it will give you all the tools you need to become the thin, fit, healthy, energetic person you want to be.

A Not-So-Uncommon Story of The UltraSimple Diet

One day a man showed up in my office who looked familiar. I had seen him at one of my lectures. On his own he decided to start The UltraSimple Diet.

He just changed his diet, and miracles happened. He lost 10 pounds the first week and 20 pounds in 3 weeks.

He is a 32-year-old father of two who works in insurance. When he got married, he was a fit 185 pounds. Over the last 11 years he gained 55 pounds and was up to 240 pounds when he came in.

He worked hard, didn't exercise, ate lunch at his desk, and felt horrible all the time. He was tired of not living life to the fullest.

After hearing my talk, he started the program you will find in this book. Before he started he had a laundry list of symptoms that would have been bad for an 80-year-old, but was scary for a 32-year-old. He was headed toward heart disease, diabetes, and stroke within a few years.

He was exhausted, and addicted to sugar, carbs, and caffeine. He had no stamina, suffered from headaches, sweated constantly, and had lost his sex drive. He had acne, bumps all over his back, waist and chest, bloating, bad gas, reflux, postnasal drip and congestion, muscle cramps, anal itching, and dry skin. He also had sleep apnea, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and shortness of breath. Whew!

His blood tests showed a high level of inflammation with a high C-reactive protein test. And his liver was toxic and fatty.

He was a physical wreck and felt horrible. His idea of the perfect meal was a cheeseburger, fries, and coke. Within days he changed his life dramatically by cleaning up his diet, giving up sugar, caffeine, and junk food, and simply eating whole foods. In short, by feeding his body the way it was designed.

He simply changed the type of food he was eating -- choosing anti-inflammatory and detoxifying foods instead of the junk food he was accustomed to consuming.

He got off dairy, gluten, eggs, sugar, and yeast -- the most common food intolerances or allergens. He didn't even exercise or add supplements.

What happened was remarkable.

Not only did he lose 10 pounds in 7 days (and 10 more pounds over the next two weeks), but his cravings disappeared, and he stopped waking up every morning with a sneezing, runny nose.

His energy and his sex drive increased, his muscle cramps went away, and his skin cleared up. His irritable bowel syndrome and gas went away, and his reflux stopped.

All this in only 7 days.

When the program ended he kept the good habits he created, and was able to continue living a healthy lifestyle.

When he came in to see me, I encouraged him to start exercising, and gave him a good multivitamin, fish oil, and herbs and nutrients to help his liver such as milk thistle, lipoic acid, and n-acetylcysteine.

After 4 months he lost more than 40 pounds, his liver healed, his inflammation went away, his testosterone levels improved, and he was a different person.

Not only did he lose weight, but he got his health and his life back.

Now he won't end up with heart disease, diabetes, and morbid obesity like the rest of his family.

The power of this program is not just a quick-fix, rapid-weight-loss program, but a process for beginning a way of living that can heal a host of chronic health problems, help you sustain and maintain weight loss, and give you your life back.

Just try it! You won't need me to convince you.

Why the Program Works

The plan works for one very simple reason.

For one week you take out all the toxic and inflammatory foods and substances (especially sugar and the common food allergens) from your diet, and replace them with detoxifying and anti-inflammatory foods and behaviors.

Then your body's natural intelligence does the rest.

It is that simple.

The body knows what to do if you simply get out of the way. If you give it a rest and a chance to repair and heal, it will.

You may even discover how bad you were feeling and how great you can really feel, if you address toxicity and inflammation (especially by eliminating common food allergens).

Most of us have no idea how our choice of foods and our behaviors influence how we feel. After all, if we knew what made us get fat or feel bad, wouldn't we stop?

This program gives you a chance to discover just how good you can feel in one short week.

A Little Bit about Me'ÄÖ.'ÄÖ.'ÄÖ.

I tell you these things, not because I have read them in a book, or learned about them through medical research (although there are thousands of studies that support the foundational principles of the program you are about to learn).

No, I tell you these things, because I have seen them work over and over again. They have given thousands of my patients back their health and vitality. And they have helped those same patients lose thousands of pounds.

I have applied these principles for more than 20 years in medical practice, in my work as co-medical director at Canyon Ranch (one of the world's top health resort), and as the founder and medical director of The UltraWellness Center.

I have conducted workshops founded on this plan all over the world, guiding people through the experience you are about to embark on, and the results possible within one short week are remarkable.

You can now take advantage of the system I have developed to help you achieve quick weight loss, the opportunity to reset your metabolism, and begin a different way of being in the world -- a way free of chronic symptoms and excess weight, and full of energy and robust health.

And the best part is it's simple, it's easy, it's fast, and it works!

To get started, simply take the quiz in the next chapter to discover how much this program can change your life.


  • The program works by reducing toxicity and inflammation -- 2 key causes of obesity and disease.
  • Simply eliminate foods that create toxicity and inflammation, and eat detoxifying and anti-inflammatory foods.
  • Balance, relax, and detoxify your system with the help of the UltraShake, the UltraBroth, and the UltraBath.
  • Enhance the side benefits of the program by adding extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, supplements, exercise, and relaxation.

What's Next

In the next chapter discover just how toxic and inflamed you are.

Copyright © 2007 by Mark Hyman, M.D

Excerpted from

Ultrasimple Diet: Kick-Start Your Metabolism and Safely Lose up to 10 Pounds in 7 Days

by Mark Hyman

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Masturbation may prevent prostate cancer

Men can reduce their risk of developing prostate cancer by masturbating regularly, the BBC News reports of a new study by the Cancer Council Victoria in Melbourne, Australia. Why? Cancer-causing chemicals can accumulate in the prostate. Ejaculating regularly removes those potentially deadly chemicals.

The study included more than 1,000 men who had developed prostate cancer and 1,250 who had. Each man was quizzed about his sexual habits. The Australian researchers found that the men who had ejaculated the most between the ages of 20 and 50 were the least likely to develop the cancer. The protective effect of frequent masturbation was greatest for men in their 20s. Specifically, they found that men who ejaculated more than five times a week were 33 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer later in life.

It appears that sexual intercourse does not have the same protective effect because of the possibility of contracting a sexually transmitted infection, which can increase men's cancer risk, reports the BBC. In fact, previous research suggested that a high amount of sexual activity and high number of sexual partners increased a man's risk of developing prostate cancer by up to 40 percent. Lead study author Graham Giles concluded that this early work missed the protective effect of ejaculation because it focused on sexual intercourse, which has an associated risk of sexually transmitted diseases. Giles told New Scientist, "Had we been able to remove ejaculations associated with sexual intercourse, there should have been an even stronger protective effect of ejaculations." Ejaculation appears to prevent carcinogens from accumulating in the prostate gland, while fewer ejaculations may mean the carcinogens build up. "It's a prostatic stagnation hypothesis. The more you flush the ducts out, the less there is to hang around and damage the cells that line them," Giles explained to New Scientist.

A similar connection has been found between breast cancer and breastfeeding. Lactating appears to "flush out" carcinogens and reduce a woman's risk of the disease, New Scientist reports.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

In the USA, 66% Go to Bed by This Time

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If you're in bed by midnight, you have a lot of company. Fully two-thirds of Americans are peacefully snoozing before the midnight hour, reports Reuters of a worldwide survey on sleep habits.

Meanwhile, they're sleepless in Asia. Fully 40 percent of people on this continent stay up long past midnight, compared with 34 percent in the United States and 32 percent in Europe. Oddly, Asians are also the earliest to rise. Half of the 10 places with the most early-risers were in Asia, led by Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation where 91 percent said they are out of bed by 7 a.m., reports Reuters.

The poll of 14,100 people in 28 countries and regions was conducted by the market research firm AC Nielsen. "There is evidence all around us that people are pushing back their bed times," Vicky Santos, executive director of AC Nielsen's Singapore office, told Reuters.

What are we doing instead of sleeping? The distractions include late night entertainment, all-night shopping, and the Internet.

Fun facts about who sleeps when:

  • Fully 75 percent of people in Portugal stay up past midnight, the highest percentage of any country.
  • Seven of the top 10 nocturnal areas were in Asia, led by Taiwan where 69 percent turn in after midnight.
  • The Japanese sleep less than anyone else on the planet with 41 percent snoozing just six hours or less each night.
  • Australians go to bed the earliest and sleep the longest. Nearly one-quarter of Australians polled went to bed by 10 p.m., and 31 percent say they average more than nine hours of sleep every night.
We human beings are hardwired to sleep eight hours a day. When we miss out on this, there are significant physical and mental consequences. Dr. Rafael Pelayo of Stanford University's Sleep Disorder Clinic doesn't mince words. Sleep deprivation is dangerous, he told Healthology Inc. If your body is deprived of sleep, you'll have problems with memory and concentration, including finding the right word when you speak or write. You will get irritable. Neurotransmitters in the brain become altered, and children's growth will be stunted. You'll also become more susceptible to infection, and at its extreme, sleep deprivation can lead to death.

Surprisingly, if you sleep six hours a night, that's considered too little and could lead to sleep deprivation, according to researchers from the Penn State College of Medicine.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Scary Risk of Drinking Colas -- Even Diet


The good news: Drinking coffee--even a lot of it every day--will not increase your risk of hypertension. The bad news: Cola drinks will.

A new study from Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Mass., concludes there is a significant link between high blood pressure in women and the consumption of sugared or diet cola drinks. This was a surprising discovery even to the researchers since colas do not contain any ingredients known to cause hypertension.

The study: Led by Wolfgang C. Winkelmayer, M.D., the team followed 155,594 women for 12 years, all of whom participated in the Nurses' Health Studies I and II. While all the women had normal blood pressure when the studies began in the early 1990s, 33,000 developed hypertension during the follow-up years.

The results: Caffeine intake was not directly linked to incident hypertension. When the team dug down further and analyzed the beverages the women consumed, they concluded habitual coffee drinking was not linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure, but sugared and diet colas had a significant link.

Is it the caffeine in the colas that causes the high blood pressure? The researchers think not. "We speculate that it is not caffeine but perhaps some other compound contained in soda-type soft drinks that may be responsible for the increased risk in hypertension," the wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association. "If these associations are causal, they may have considerable impact on public health."

Approximately 50 million people in the United States have hypertension, and the prevalence is increasing. Hypertension is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease, stroke and congestive heart failure.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Hate to exercise? This might be why

Does the thought of running three miles or furiously pedaling your stationary bike for 20 minutes make you moan and groan and whine? If you hate to exercise, blame your mother.

At least, that's the word from researchers at Auckland University in New Zealand who have determined that when a fetus is undernourished during pregnancy he or she grows up to prefer a sedentary lifestyle, reports Britain's Guardian newspaper.

In other words, couch potatoes may be born and not self-made. Pass the TV remote, please.

The study: Pregnant rats were divided into two groups. One was undernourished throughout the pregnancy. The other had free access to food. The rats' weights and daily food intake were recorded throughout their pregnancies. After birth and weaning, the undernourished and well-fed male pups were each separated into two groups to be fed a standard diet or a high-calorie diet.

The results: The pups who were undernourished in the womb were significantly more sedentary after weaning, compared with the rats whose mothers had free access to food during pregnancy, leading researchers to conclude that abnormal eating and exercise behaviors could have been caused by the prenatal environment. What's more, when the sedentary pups were given a high-calorie diet, their sedentary behavior worsened and persisted as they aged.

What does this mean for humans? The Guardian notes that the unborn baby adapts to clues about the world beyond the womb--a world where there is not enough food--and adjusts physically to ensure its future survival. That is, if there isn't enough food in the womb, the fetus prepares itself by storing up fat, setting the stage for adult obesity. The researchers maintain that instead of spending public health dollars urging adults to exercise, the money should be spent on prenatal care. It could pay off big time decades later if it prevents metabolic and cardiovascular disorders in the next generation.

The study findings were reported in the journal of the American Physiological Society.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

So THIS Is Why We Have an Appendix!

Long denigrated as a useless part of the human anatomy, it appears the appendix actually serves a very functional purpose. According to immunologists from Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., the appendix is a kind of "safe house" for the beneficial bacteria living in the human gut.

Basically, it's a place where good bacteria can be produced and live safely until they are needed. Some diseases, such as cholera or amoebic dysentery, clear the gut of useful bacteria, called flora. When that happens, the appendix kicks in to reboot the digestive system.

A slender two- to four-inch pouch located near the juncture of the large and small intestines, the appendix's exact function in humans has been debated by physicians for decades. One thing doctors do know for sure: The appendix contains immune system tissue.

Lots of different microbes live in our gut to help the digestive system break down the foods we eat. In return, the gut provides nourishment and safety to the bacteria. Lead study author William Parker, assistant professor of experimental surgery at Duke, now believes that the immune system cells found in the appendix are there to protect, rather than harm, the good bacteria.

For the past ten years, Parker has been studying the interplay of these bacteria in the bowels, and in the process has documented the existence in the bowel of what is known as a biofilm. This thin and delicate layer is an amalgamation of microbes, mucous and immune system molecules living together atop the lining of the intestines. "Our studies have indicated that the immune system protects and nourishes the colonies of microbes living in the biofilm," Parker explained in a statement announcing the study findings. "By protecting these good microbes, the harmful microbes have no place to locate. We have also shown that biofilms are most pronounced in the appendix and their prevalence decreases moving away from it."

If the appendix is so important, why do we get appendicitis, a disease that can be deadly without prompt medical attention? Parker theorizes that people who live in "hygienic" industrialized societies have more allergies and autoimmune diseases because they haven't been challenged by a host of parasites and other disease-causing organisms. So when our immune systems are challenged, they can overreact. "This over-reactive immune system may lead to the inflammation associated with appendicitis and could lead to the obstruction of the intestines that causes acute appendicitis," Parker explained. "Thus, our modern health care and sanitation practices may account not only for the lack of a need for an appendix in our society, but also for much of the problems caused by the appendix in our society."

Here's a fun trivia fact: Other than humans, the only mammals known to have appendices are rabbits, opossums and wombats, and their appendices are markedly different than the human appendix.

The study findings were published in the Journal of Theoretical Biology.
--From the Editors at Netscape

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Safest Soft Drink For Your Teeth

Love an icy cold soft drink? Then choose a root beer. Of all types of soft drinks and canned teas, this one does the least damage to your teeth.

Researchers from the dental school of the University of Maryland, Baltimore determined that non-cola soft drinks, including ginger ale, Mountain Dew, and Sprite, as well as canned iced tea are much harder on teeth enamel than any other kind of canned drink, due in large part to acidic flavor additives, such as such as malic acid or tartaric acid, reports Medical News Today. Root beer has the least additives, making it the best soft drink for your teeth.

The study: For 14 days the researchers exposed healthy dental enamel to a variety of popular soft drinks, including Coke, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Dr. Pepper, Sprite, Canada Dry ginger ale, and canned Arizona Iced Tea.

The results:

* All of them weakened and permanently destroyed the tooth enamel.
* Diet sodas had the same bad effect as the sugared versions since the main culprit is the acidic additives.
* The most harmful were non-cola drinks, which caused two to five times the damage as darker cola drinks.
* Root beer, which contains the least amount of flavor additives, was found to be the "safest soft drink to safeguard dental enamel."
* Canned iced tea caused 30 times the damage to tooth enamel as brewed tea or coffee.
* Brewed black tea, root beer, coffee, and water had a minimal effect.

Adding to the problem is our own mouth acidity. If that increases, the chemical reaction with the soft drink hurts our teeth even more, according to lead study author J. Anthony von Fraunhofer. The end result: tooth decay. One thing you can do to protect your teeth is to rinse your mouth with water after drinking a soda.

We love soft drinks in this country. A whopping 95 percent of Americans drink soda. Soft drinks account for about 27 percent of the beverages consumed in the United States. The average 12- to 19-year-old drinks about 28 ounces of soft drinks every day.

The study results were published in the General Dentistry, the newsletter of the Academy of General Dentistry.
--From the Editors at Netscape

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Ideal Amount of Water to Drink Daily

For less than $1/day, get bottled water deliveredThe ideal amount of water you should drink daily isn't eight eight-ounce glasses. That's just a myth. The ideal amount? As much as you need to stay hydrated. No more. No less.

The benefits of drinking eight glasses of water a day aren't backed by solid medical evidence. While it is clear that humans cannot survive for longer than several days without water, very little research has assessed how an average individual's health is affected by drinking extra fluids. Experts have claimed that consuming water is helpful for everything from clearing toxins and keeping organs healthy to warding off weight gain and improving skin tone. But is any of that true?

That's what Dr. Dan Negoianu and Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, both kidney specialists at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, wanted to find out. So they did an exhaustive review of published clinical research on this topic in a study they titled "Just Add Water."

They found that people who live in hot, dry climates, as well as athletes, have an increased need for water, as do individuals suffering from certain diseases. Drinking water does clear various substances from the kidneys, including sodium and urea, but there is no clinical benefit to this.

Fun facts they learned:

  • Water that is sipped slowly is retained by the body, while water that is gulped is excreted.
  • There is no proof that drinking water will help people feel full and curb their appetite so they can more easily lose weight.
  • Headaches are not caused by water deprivation.
  • Staying hydrated is not an elixir for improved skin tone.
Bottom line: There is no clear benefit to drinking a lot of water. If you're thirsty, drink water. If not, don't worry about it.

The study findings were published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Too Little of 1 Vitamin Hurts Sperm

Men: If you want to father a child someday, you had better eat foods rich in folate now. Without this important nutrient, there is a far higher risk that your sperm will contain either too few or too many chromosomes, according to researchers from the University of California, Berkeley. Such sperm are more likely to lead to birth defects and miscarriages.

The health benefits of folate for women in their childbearing years have long been known. Too little folate in the diet causes birth defects, such as spina bifida and miscarriages. But until now, it was not known that it also affected men, reports HealthDay News.

What is folate? It's one of the B vitamins that is found naturally in spinach, asparagus, chickpeas and lentils. In addition, many foods, such as bread, cereal, rice and pasta, have been fortified with folate.

A man's sperm has 23 pairs of chromosomes. Normally there is one set of each, but sometimes a man may have two pairs of a particular chromosome or none at all. "We looked at sperm to find different kinds of genetic abnormalities," lead researcher Brenda Eskenazi, a professor of maternal and child health and epidemiology and director of the Center for Children's Environmental Health at Berkeley's School of Public Health, told HealthDay News. "The abnormalities we looked at here were having too few or too many chromosomes." When a normal egg is fertilized with an abnormal sperm, it can result in a birth defect, such as Down's syndrome, or increase the risk for miscarriage.

The study: The team looked at three specific chromosomes: X, Y and 21, and they analyzed the sperm from 89 healthy men. Each man was asked about how much zinc, folate, vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene he consumed.

The results: Men who consumed the most folate had the lowest incidence of sperm abnormalities. Specifically, these men had a 20 percent to 30 percent lower frequency of several types of sperm abnormalities, compared with men who consumed less folate. "We saw an association between [male] folate intake and how many abnormal sperm there were, in terms of the chromosome number for these three different chromosomes," Eskenazi explained to HealthDay News.

The takeaway: This is the first study to suggest that a father's diet may play a role after conception in the development of a healthy fetus. While the link is not conclusive, Eskenazi advises men who are thinking about becoming fathers to increase their folate intake, which can be done by eating more folate-rich foods or taking a vitamin supplement./p>

The study findings were published in the journal Human Reproduction.

--From the Editors at Netscape

Thursday, April 17, 2008


by Mark Hyman

The Modern Myths Quiz

How knowledgeable are you about today's medicine? Take this test to find out.

1. As a busy professional, you must often eat many meals out that you might otherwise prefer to skip or prepare at home. Tomorrow you have a breakfast date. Because you are starting to pay more attention to your diet, you are determined to order the healthiest breakfast possible. Which of the following would be your best choice?

a. Half a bagel with a tablespoon of jam and a glass of orange juice b. Instant oatmeal and two slices of whole wheat toast with a small amount of margarine c. Raisin-bran cereal with a cup of skim milk d. A mushroom, onion, and pepper omelette Answer:

If you picked (a) you have been misled by too many ads for low-fat foods. This breakfast has little nutritive value. It is made up almost entirely of empty calories and has a high glycemic index. In other words, its main ingredient is sugar.

Choice (b) sounds good, but it isn't. Processed and instant oatmeal, as well as most breads labeled "whole wheat," are actually surprisingly low in fiber, no matter what the ads on television say. And the addition of the hydrogenated fat in margarine makes this breakfast downright unhealthy -- among other problems, consuming such fats can lead to premature aging.

If you chose (c), you are once again falling into the sugar trap. Most commercial raisin-bran cereals have a great deal of added sugar, which probably negates the benefit of the small amount of fiber in the bran.

The correct answer is (d). Despite suffering from a lot of bad publicity, eggs are very low in saturated fat, and do not increase your cholesterol. Organic omega-3 eggs are particularlyhigh in healthful fats, and are an excellent source of protein and folic acid. And as you probably know, the veggies add nutrients that are important for your antioxidant and detoxification systems.

2. You are finally slated to take that physical examination you've been avoiding. But your busy, much-in-demand doctor is always rushed, and you want to remind him to give you that one crucial test that will provide you with an inside track on preventing diseases such as heart attack, stroke, dementia, and some forms of cancer. The test is for levels of:

a. Cholesterol b. Blood sugar c. Vitamin E d. Homocysteine Answer:Cholesterol levels (a) alone tell very little about the risks ofserious illness; checking the type of cholesterol is much more valuable. Levels of LDL, or bad cholesterol, are important, but now we know there are even good and bad LDL types. And, of course, levels of HDL (the good cholesterol) may be more critical than LDL numbers in many people. Add in your triglyceride levels (which may indicate possible heart disease, brain deterioration, and potentially stroke) and you have a much more telling tale of yourrisk.

If you picked (b), sorry -- by the time your blood sugar has become elevated, the imbalances that lead to diabetes have been progressing for years! There are much more sensitive and earlier ways to detect and prevent this tendency.

Although vitamin E (c) is an extremely important nutrient, it does not act alone but in concert with many other nutrients and antioxidants. Checking your antioxidant system is far more valuable than checking this single antioxidant component; this involves looking at the status of various nutrients in your body, certain levels of antioxidant enzymes and reserves of antioxidant nutrients, as well as the activity of free radicals.

If you chose (d) -- correct! More than any other single test, homocysteine correctly identifies the risk of such conditions as heart attack, stroke, and dementia years before the onset of any symptoms. More important, if found to be elevated, homocysteine can be easily lowered using the correct dose of B vitamins such as folic acid, B6, and B12. (What is homocysteine? You'll find out on page 42.)

3. Like anyone else who reads the papers regularly, you have become increasingly aware of the dangers in our day-to-day environment. But because it sometimes seems as though everything can be hazardous, it's hard to remember what's really bad for you. This weekend you are going to a friend's country home where you may encounter all of the following. Which is the most common toxin with the potential to become the most serious toxic threat in the United States?

a. Pesticides b. Artificial sweeteners c. Radiation d. Mercury Answer:

If you picked (a), sorry -- although pesticide exposure can be quite toxic and serious, pesticide residues are unlikely to be the single cause of diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's, or degenerative ailments.

Same with (b) -- artificial sweeteners can have deleterious effects on the brain and nutrition, but they are not as dangerous as other common toxins.

Ditto for (c). Radiation is extremely toxic, but except in high-risk workers (e.g., X-ray technicians, radiologists, nuclear facility workers, et cetera), excessive exposure to background radiation is unlikely to be as common as exposure to...

Mercury (d). Toxic levels are now epidemic as a result of eating contaminated fish (especially large predatory marine fish such as tuna, swordfish, and halibut, and coastal shellfish) as well as the prevalence of silver (amalgam) dental fillings containing mercury. Mercury, one of the more toxic substances common to everyday life, has been associated with such conditions as dementia, heart attacks, neuro-pathy, multiple sclerosis, and congestive heart failure. This means that you are not doing yourself any favors when you eat your friend's special swordfish for lunch.

4. Although you've been able to accomplish many goals in your life, you've always struggled with your weight. No matter how virtuous you seem to be, dietwise you're never able to maintain any long-term weight loss. Your weight just keeps creeping up, maybe three to five pounds per year. The most helpful exercise regime to reach your goal would be:

a. Go to a spa for a week b. Begin walking thirty minutes three times per week c. Perform strength-training exercises with weight machines three times per week d. Chew gum all day long Answer:

(a) Going to a spa is a great way to jump-start your overall health program. But although you're likely to lose a few pounds in a week, unless you make some meaningful long-term changes and stick with them, a spa week alone won't solve your problem.

Although (b) sounds right, it's not. Walking is relatively good for you, but unless you walk up hills very briskly, the number of calories burned isn't very high.

Strength training (c) is correct; especially focusing on large muscle groups such as the thighs, hips, and buttocks builds the large muscles that are the engine of your metabolism. Building muscle is like adding two cylinders to your car's engine -- it will burn more gas even when idling. Strength training has the greatest effect on improving metabolism and will actually help you burn calories while you sleep.

Chewing gum (d) is not as silly as you might think. Chewing gum all day can burn significant calories and can produce weight loss of up to eight to ten pounds per year. But it's not as good as (c), and it might put you at risk for TMJ (temporomandibular joint) syndrome, or pain in the jaw.

5. Today you opened your daily paper and read about another danger from another commonplace activity. By now you've read so many of these stories you don't know what's hazardous and what's hype. Among the following, which is the most perilous?

a. Golfing three times a week b. Taking antibiotics periodically c. Sending your clothes to the dry cleaners d. Talking on your cell phone daily Answer:

We don't mean to scare you (too much) but the answer is all of the above.

Golf courses (a) are maintained using large amounts of chemicals, which means that while on the greens, your body, as you walk, drive, and putt, must expend energy detoxifying itself. Most adults already have overburdened detoxification systems; repeated exposure to these chemicals can lead to accumulation of these fat-soluble toxins in the body.

Antibiotics (b), although occasionally necessary (and at times even lifesaving), are grossly overprescribed. This has led to extreme antibiotic resistance and superbacteria that aren't killed by any of the known antibiotics. Every course of antibiotics leads to your body being inhabited by more and more resistant organisms, which are tougher and tougher for your antibodies to fend off. Periodic antibiotic use also kills many of the healthy, beneficial bacteria in our bodies that live in harmony with our immune systems.

The dry-cleaning process (c) employs many toxic chemicals that leave a residue on clothes. This may explain the link between socioeconomic status and breast cancer in women.

The electromagnetic fields and radiation levels emitted from most cell phones (d) are above those considered safe by the government. They have been linked to many problems, including high blood pressure and cancer (as well as to more frequent car accidents).

6. You know you're supposed to take your vitamins daily. But you don't do it -- and you're armed with a ready excuse if your doctor questions you. Join the crowd. Everyone has a host of excuses. Which of the following is the most valid reason for not taking vitamins?

a. Vitamins have never been shown to be beneficial in scientific studies b. Recent studies show that vitamin C can clog arteries c. As a vegetarian I watch what I eat carefully, so I get all my necessary vitamins from food d. I eat plenty of good food so I don't need to take an additional supplement e. I eat lightly Answer:

Statement (a) is simply wrong. Multiple studies have proven the value of several vitamins in the treatment and prevention of a number of disorders. Misleading studies looking at supplementation with single nutrients have erroneously created a myth that taking vitamins is bad for you, or that you can meet all of your nutritional needs through food alone.

Not long ago a highly publicized study supporting (b) appeared in the media -- but it did not actually show any clogging of arteries. It talked about a potential, but unproved, thickening of the artery walls in older male smokers. This study was misinterpreted and overpublicized by the media before it could be peer-reviewed or published in any medical journal.

And (c) is also wrong. Vegetarians who do not take supplements cannot get enough vitamin B12, since plants do not produce it (and vitamin B12 is essential for memory, nerve function, energy metabolism, regulation of homocysteine, red blood cell formation, and much more).

Actually, the opposite of (d) is true. The more people eat, the more vitamins they require. Excessive food intake (calories) is the main cause of oxidative stress and increases the body's antioxidant requirement significantly. (In brief, oxidative stress, which you will read about on pages 145-46, means that you are suffering from free radical damage, which can be compared to our bodies developing too much oxidation, or "rust.")

This means that (e) is correct. Eating less means a lower antioxidant and vitamin requirement. Vitamins and antioxidants are required for the processing of food; less caloric intake means lower vitamin and antioxidant requirements.

7. Although for years you didn't care, recently you've made a real effort to improve your health and you see your doctor for checkups regularly. Now, after improving your blood pressure and your weight, your doctor is telling you to lower your cholesterol level. The best way to do that is to:

a. Start taking a cholesterol-lowering medication, such as Lipitor, Zocor, Mevacor, or Pravachol b. Increase your exercise by going to the gym and lifting weights with a trainer three days per week c. Reduce your fat intake: cut down on red meat, butter,and eggs d. Eat more fat from sources such as walnuts and avocados,eat more eggs, cut out bread, sugar, and pasta Answer:

Yes, the medications listed in (a) will lower your cholesterol, but they won't change the fundamental reasons why your cholesterol is high, which is a poor diet, hydrogenated fats, insulin resistance, and so on. In other words, for the most part, these drugs are just a temporary fix.

Although strength training (b) is an important form of exercise and can help build up metabolism, it does not have as much of an effect on cholesterol levels as aerobic exercise.

Eating lots of red meat and butter is not necessarily healthful, buteliminating these (c) won't help lower your cholesterol as much as (d).

The best answer is (d). Your body needs these healthy sources of fat. Cutting down on refined carbohydrates will help your cholesterol levels much more than cutting down on fat. Walnuts, by the way, are tremendously helpful in lowering cholesterol.

8. Life is pretty good. You've got a wonderful family and some hard-earned financial security. Now that you've worked so diligently to get where you are, you'd like to make sure you can enjoy life for years to come. Specifically, you'd like your brain to function well past the time that you're supposed to be old and feeble. The best "brain insurance" you can buy right now is:

a. Cut tuna fish and swordfish from your diet b. Reduce your intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates c. Drink one glass of red wine daily d. Take 1 mg of folic acid daily Answer:

Once more, all of the above. Fish is supposedly "brain food," but tuna and swordfish (a) are extremely high in mercury, a toxic heavy metal that deposits in the brain and accumulates over long periods of time, causing neurological damage that can lead to further disease.

Sugar and refined carbohydrates (b) can aggravate insulin resistance, a common cause of brain fog and long-term brain injury.

Research shows that red wine in moderation (c) may protect the brain from oxidative stress. But drinking too much reduces any benefit you might be getting.Folic acid (d) controls levels of homocysteine, which is closely linked to Alzheimer's disease.

9. You're walking on the beach and you stub your toe on a large object in the sand. You uncover it and find that it's an old lamp. You know the rules, so you rub the lamp and out pops a white-coated genie. However, he's not just any genie; he's the healthcare genie, and because of recent cutbacks from the Genie HMO, he's only allowed to grant one wish instead of the usual three, and it must be from the list below. Your best choice would be:

a. Protect me from cancer for the rest of my life b. Allow me to eat as much as I want and never gain an ounce c. Protect me from the dangerous effects of our health care system's errors d. Eliminate all stress in my life Answer:

Although (a) would certainly be nice, the leading cause of death is not cancer but heart disease -- you're much more likely to die of a heart attack or stroke than cancer.

And (b) would also be nice, but it's not our weight that leads to disability and disease so much as the amount that we eat. Eating fewer calories reduces oxidative stress, the chief cause of disease.

Adverse effects of our health care system (c) are not only common but often fatal, and add up to the third leading cause of death after cardiovascular disease and cancer. But a better choice would be...

Stress (d), which plays a major role in disease and disability, and contributes to all of the leading causes of death, from heart disease to stroke to cancer. That is why this is your best health care wish. Stress also causes weight gain, loss of muscle and bone strength, Type 2 diabetes, brain atrophy, and loss of sexual function.

10. (For women only.) You're healthy and you take good care of yourself. But your main concern is breast cancer, because your grandmother died of it. The most important step you can take to reduce your risk of breast cancer is:

a. Eat more broccoli b. Get on a diligent schedule of monthly breast self-exams c. See a breast specialist every year and have an annual mammogram d. Reduce fat in your diet Answer:

Yes! Broccoli (a), and other members of the brassica family, such as cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, and bok choy, are important in that they provide an excellent means of preventing breast cancer by assisting your body in the processing and elimination of harmful hormonal or toxic substances.

Unfortunately, there is no good evidence that monthly breast self-exams (b) actually reduce mortality from breast cancer. Monthly exams do not seem to detect breast cancers in a more curable stage than do occasional or periodic exams or annual mammograms.

Although an annual mammogram (c) may be one of the best ways of detecting breast cancer, it in no way prevents or reduces the risk of breast cancer. Mammography is simply a screening test for detection. There is also considerable debate as to whether annual mammograms actually reduce mortality from breast cancer.

Statement (d) is simply wrong. Low-fat diets could potentially increase the risk of breast cancer, particularly if your diet is high in sugar and leads to weight gain. Omega-3 fat from flaxseed and fish, and monounsaturated fats (found in olive oil, avocados, and nuts), reduce the risk of breast cancer, so it's important to include these sources of healthy fat in your diet.

If you answered all of these questions correctly, you are one of the few people in this country who isn't confused by the many myths of modern medicine. You may not even need this book. In fact, you could probably come to Canyon Ranch and help us spread the word.

The rest of you, however, should take this next little quiz. What do all the following statements have in common?

  • Tylenol is a safe over-the-counter drug.
  • The more you eat, the less vitamins you need.
  • Your sex life worsens as you age.
  • When you have a sour stomach, you should take antacids.
  • Eggs cause heart disease.
  • Heart disease is a disease of the heart.
  • There's no need to worry about dental fillings.
  • Antibiotics are a practical way to deal with infections.
  • Vitamin RDAs meet your nutritional needs.
  • Chocolate is always bad for you.
  • You can't reverse biological aging.
  • Disease is genetic.
  • A calorie is a calorie.
  • Water is a healthful drink.
  • Milk is the best source of calcium.
  • My lab tests came back okay so I must be healthy.
  • Doctors know what they are talking about.

The answer? It's not unlikely that you believe some, if not all, of these statements to be true. But they aren't. They are myths, myths that have been promulgated by the media, by uninformed health care consumers, and, unfortunately, by doctors.

In fact, it's not unlikely that because your doctors believe some of these myths to be reality, they may be damaging your health more than they are promoting it -- which is why we often say that what your doctor doesn't know may be killing you.

Not only that, but because your doctor isn't doing the best job of promoting your health, whether you're thirty, forty-five, or seventy years old, you are simply not feeling as good as you could, and should, be.

But you don't know that. This morning you woke up with a small ache in your back, your energy level was a little less than it was a few years ago, your stomach was a bit queasy. You're thinking: This is just what happens when you grow old.

But we're saying: Those little aches, those strange creaking sounds, those small pains -- you don't have to have them. That's why we tell our patients that, after they visit us, they will feel as though we've rewound their internal clock, making them feel five, ten, maybe even fifteen years younger.

We promise we can do this for you, too. Once you stop believing in these myths, and you start following our program, your chances of being healthy for the duration of your life will increase dramatically.

The fact is, health care in the United States is not as good as we tend to imagine. Most Americans think our health care is the world's best -- and when it comes to certain medical treatments, they're right. We often hear about patients around the world with burns, injuries, or unusual diseases being flown to the United States for emergency treatment of a kind that tops the rest of the world.

That's because our model of medicine is based on acute care -- we know how to deal with emergencies better than anyone else. But when it comes to medicine in general, the results are startling. A recent Journal of the American Medical Association article reviewed the status of health here and declared: "Of 13 countries in a recent comparison, the United States ranks an average of 12th for 16 available health indicators."

Not only is our system ailing, but the application of this acute care model to chronic illness creates an enormous burden of suffering (in-hospital errors or adverse reactions accounts for 225,000 deaths per year, amounting to the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer) and an economic disaster of $77 billion in extra costs resulting from the adverse effects of outpatient care alone.

There are two areas in which to fight this decay in our health. The first is on a national level, and that involves confronting politicians, drug and insurance companies, health maintenance organizations, and the other groups that constitute what we call the medical-pharmaceutical complex. That's a tough fight, and one for which most people don't have the resources, or the stomach. But there's another place where you can take on the health care system: in yourself. You don't have to fall for the myths that are creating an increasingly expensive system that seems to be failing in many ways.

How? First, read Part I, where you will learn to debunk all those myths you believe are truths.

Then move on to Part II, where you will learn the new reality of health and medicine in the twenty-first century. Here we talk about our theory of ultraprevention, a method of thinking, evaluation, and treatment derived from the scientific study of health. Through this system we provide our patients (and now our readers) with a personalized road map to health by addressing and controlling what we consider to be the five most important processes of health management -- five forces that are found wherever and whenever we trace an illness back to its roots. The five forces are:

  • Malnutrition, or what we call sludge
  • Impaired metabolism, or burnout
  • Inflammation, or heat
  • Impaired detoxification, or waste
  • Oxidative stress, or rust

These five forces are the new realities of modern medicine, unlike the myths you must dispel to understand health.

Finally, in Part III, we offer our six-week ultrapreventation plan, which will help you live your daily life in a healthy, reality-based manner.

There's an old Peanuts cartoon in which Lucy is lecturing her younger brother, Linus, about all sorts of information that makes no sense, such as how a little elm sapling will grow into a mighty oak. Meanwhile, Charlie Brown is watching. He eventually comments that poor Linus is going to have to go to school twice as long as everyone else: First he must unlearn all the nonsense that Lucy has taught him, and then he must learn the truth.

We feel that most of you out there are like Linus. You've been taught countless myths, which you believe as though they were truths. They're not. But unlike Linus, who learned harmless fabrications, you're building up a belief system that could endanger your health. It's time to change, by learning about the seven most common myths of modern medicine.

Copyright © 2003 Mark Hyman, M.D., and Mark Liponis, M.D

Excerpted from

Ultraprevention: The 6-Week Plan That Will Make You Healthy for Life

by Mark Hyman
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