Thursday, May 9, 2013

Green Tea

What can you find that comes iced or hot, as an extract, pills, supplements and even ice cream? They all can have one common thread: green tea.  That is right, this ancient Asian blend has become very popular throughout the country for its multitude of health benefits. For some they drink it hot in a grande size, while others prefer it unsweetened and iced.  No matter what the form, it is become a trendy flavor found to be enjoyed by many. Young and old have all come to make green tea a part of their daily regimen as they try to lead a healthier lifestyle.  So what are the benefits that has us hooked?


Green tea is full of polyphenols, which are phytochemicals with antioxidant properties.  It is these components that protect the body from cancers, that also give tea its somewhat bitter taste. There are more primary phenols, called catechins, in green tea than in the more traditional black teas. 


Along with these benefits many studies show that green tea helps with weight management, by allowing the body to increase its metabolism; as well as lower cholesterol and help fight heart disease.  Preventing cavities? Better skin? Yes green tea has been found to do that as well.


While most research is still relatively new, those who are interested in maximizing the benefits should understand how to get the most out of their green tea.  In fact the hot version allows for the greatest amount of catechins to be released.  The older the tea leaves, the greater the number of catechins as well.  It is suggested that having about 3 cups, 8 ounces each, will do the trick on giving you the recommended amount.


Any disadvantages?  Green tea contains a large amount of caffeine so beware as it might be an issue for those with heart issues or may affect sleep patterns.  Truth be told that ounce for ounce green tea still has less caffeine than one cup of coffee.


Green tea which has always been and still remains the most popular tea in China, is slowly but surely well on its way to being the top pick here as well.

10 dieting tips

Bottle-Feeding May Raise Risk

Infants who are bottle-fed face a higher risk of developing a serious intestinal condition that can lead to surgery, Danish researchers report. 
With pyloric stenosis, the lower part of the baby's stomach narrows and restricts the amount of food the infant gets, and results in forceful vomiting, dehydration and salt and fluid imbalances. The reason it develops is unknown, but bottle-feeding has been suggested as a possible risk factor, the study authors noted.
"Bottle-feeding is a rather strong risk factor for pyloric stenosis, and this adds to the evidence supporting the advantage of exclusive breast-feeding in the first months of life," said lead researcher Dr. Camilla Krogh, from the department of epidemiology research at the Statens Serum Institute in Copenhagen.
Pyloric stenosis is a severe and potentially fatal condition, Krogh added. "It is the most common cause of gastrointestinal obstruction in early childhood, and the most common condition requiring surgery in the first months of life," she explained.
"Although treatment of pyloric stenosis has been known for almost 100 years, its etiology [cause] remains unclear. The results of this study contributes with new insight into the etiology of pyloric stenosis and brings us closer to solving the enigma of pyloric stenosis development," Krogh added.
The report was published online Sept. 3 and in the October print issue of Pediatrics.
To look at the connection between bottle-feeding and pyloric stenosis, Krogh's group used data on more than 70,000 infants to identify 65 who had to have surgery for pyloric stenosis. Of these infants, 29 had been bottle-fed.
The researchers found bottle-feeding increased the odds of developing pyloric stenosis 4.6-fold.
Moreover, the risk was seen even when the baby was breast-fed before being bottle-fed and it started within 30 days after bottle-feeding began, they noted.
Commenting on the study, Dr. Jesse Reeves-Garcia, director of pediatric gastroenterology at Miami Children's Hospital, said that "there is a lot not known about this disease."
Although this finding only shows an association between bottle-feeding and pyloric stenosis, and not a cause-and-effect link, it suggests that breast milk is protective against this disease, he added.
"Breast-feeding is really best for the kids," Reeves-Garcia said. "Breast milk has a lot of things formula doesn't have."
More information
For more information on pyloric stenosis, visit the Nemours Foundation.
Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Balding Men's Other Problems

Study lead author Dr. Tomohide Yamada, of the department of diabetes and metabolic diseases at the University of Tokyo‘s Graduate School of Medicine, in Japan, reported his findings in the current issue of the journal BMJ Open and called for more research on the topic. Although the research review found an association between baldness and heart disease risk, it did not prove a cause-and-effect link. 

New research out of Japan shows a potential link between male baldness and an increased risk for coronary heart disease.

But it only affects men who are balding on top. Those with a receding hairline are not at risk, the researchers reported. The findings stem from an analysis of six published studies on hair loss and heart health that involved approximately 37,000 men. And although the researchers admitted the small study size was a limitation, they reported that men whose baldness affected the crown on their head faced a 32 percent to 84 percent increase in the risk of developing heart disease compared to men with a full head of hair or a receding hairline.
Male pattern baldness (technically referred to as "androgenetic alopecia") affects up to 40 percent of adult men and is the most common type of hair loss, the researchers reported. By age 80, about four in five men will experience this form of baldness.
To explore the link to heart disease, the researchers analyzed databases covering the period 1950 through 2012. Out of 850 related investigations, they selected six studies, all published between 1993 and 2008 in the United States, Denmark or Croatia.
In the three studies that tracked patients for a minimum of 11 years, the research showed that, overall, balding men face a 33 percent greater risk for heart disease than other men, and those between 55 and 60 years old faced an even higher risk (44 percent).
The other three studies, comparing the cardiac health of balding men to non-balding men, showed a 70 percent bump in heart disease risk among the balding group, and an 84 percent risk for younger balding men.
What‘s more, a balding man‘s heart disease risk appeared to be dependent on the severity of his hair loss, with more severe loss translating into greater risk, the studies showed.
Yamada‘s team said the driving mechanism behind the connection is unknown, but they theorized that baldness could be a marker for insulin resistance, chronic inflammation or an increased sensitivity to testosterone, all of which are factors in the onset of heart disease.
Regardless, Yamada said, balding men should do what all men should do when it comes to controlling heart disease risk. "I recommend adapting a heart-healthy lifestyle that includes a low-fat diet, exercise and less stress [in order to mitigate against] classical coronary risk factors," such as age, high blood pressure, blood lipid disruption and a history of smoking, he said.
Cardiologist Dr. Gregg Fonarow, of the University of California, Los Angeles, agreed that the tried-and-true approach to heart health stands -- regardless of your hairline.
"Clearly, wearing a toupee or a hat is not going to lower the risk," he said with a chuckle. "But what is true is that well-established means of maintaining a healthy diet and weight, exercising, and watching blood pressure and cholesterol levels can all lower your risk for heart disease."
Dr. Christopher Cannon, a cardiologist at Brigham and Women‘s Hospital in Boston, agreed.
"Unfortunately, this is bad news for me personally," he said. "But if you are at a higher risk for heart disease, as I myself would appear to be, then you have to try and reduce that risk by doing the things that have long been shown to help. And stay tuned for future research that may help us understand what is underlying this."

More information
For more on male pattern baldness, visit the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
Health News Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.