As with many scientific and medical breakthroughs, the discovery of the link between gum and cardiovascular diseases started off rather unexpectedly. Back in 1989, a group in Finland wanted to find out if heart disease could be linked to other chronic diseases. They did the usual blood analysis to detect heart problems and also conducted other medical examinations not unlike what a family doctor might do. They expected something but never imagined they would find a link between the inevitably fatal problems with a rather common condition many of us have: gum disease.
Those approaches, for unhealthy eating in particular, can be a real challenge, because they bang hard against the reactor core of our economic system -- consumption. Consumption and lots of it. Like tobacco, the fight for healthy eating will challenge the heart of what companies do: sell as much as they can.
Heart health is a complex study and requires a proper lifestyle to maintain. Yet, as the researchers have shown, should there appear to be signs of problems, such as continual chest pains, palpitations, lightheadedness, shortness of breath and fatigue; there may be yet another option for diagnosis and treatment to avoid a heartbreaking end.
With growing wealth in many developing countries around the world, diet and lifestyle changes are showing dramatic increases in obesity and related diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. But more than rising standards of living, lack of education seems to contribute to these dismal trends.
As a dietitian and health counselor, I have no problem with declaring obesity a disease, especially considering the complexity of potential causes, some of which are indeed beyond an individual's control. Having said that, I also believe that the only appropriate response to illness is to make every effort to overcome it as quickly possible.
Rehtaeh Parsons will live on in the lives of others thanks to the organ donations made after her death. I received a letter from an organ recipient. This unnamed person found out this year they needed a new heart. Their family and friends were scared because they almost died. Then the words hit me, the recipient is "only 17 years old." Rehtaeh's age.
I do not think society has been as intentionally naïve with the effects of first and second hand smoke as it has been with air pollution. Municipalities are making it much harder to smoke on outdoor patios as well. Needless to say, smokers do not attempt to minimize the effects of smoking, nor are tobacco manufacturers able to market their products freely.
What is your gut instinct telling you about probiotics? Do you need more information? You're not alone. Over the past decade, dietitians and gastroenterologists have been discovering exciting new findings about probiotics, the gut and health. Here are my top five facts that will help you understand probiotics.
Dr. Oz, "America's Doctor," burns my biscuits. Recently, he and homeopath Bryce Wylde offered up what they consider to be the next revolutionary anti-aging super-food: red palm fruit oil. Red palm oil does look like a promising dietary supplement, but the miraculous anti-aging promises by Oz and Wylde never materialize in the data. We just don't have the evidence yet.