Cholesterol ‘fuels’ breast cancer

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According news in BBC, based on group of scientist research , a by-product of cholesterol can fuel the deadly growth and spread of breast cancer.

According to them, It raises the prospect that taking cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins could prevent cancer. The work, published in the journal Science, helps explain why obesity is a major risk factor for the disease. However, cancer charities cautioned that it was too soon to advise women to take statins.

Thus, obesity has been linked with many cancers including those of the breast, bowel and womb. The fat in overweight people can pump out hormones, such as oestrogen, which drive the growth of cancers.

The researcher says as a treatment in to this issue, their findings raise the prospect that lowering cholesterol can lower the risk of breast cancer developing. A healthier diet is another way to cut levels of cholesterol in the bloodstream.

Dr Hannah Bridges, from leading charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer, says: “Up until now research into the links between cholesterol levels, use of statins and breast cancer risk has been inconclusive.

“The results from this early study are promising and if confirmed through further research could increase our understanding of what causes some breast cancers to develop.”

“As things stand, until we know more about the effects of statins on cancer risk, the best ways to cut the risk of developing breast cancer are to stay a healthy weight, cut down on alcohol and keep active.”

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Menopause and sexual

A woman’s production of sex hormones, in particular oestrogen, falls significantly around menopause. Her testosterone levels will have declined slowly since she was about 20 years of age. A woman in her forties has, on average, half the testosterone circulating in her bloodstream that a woman in her twenties has. The reduction of these hormones may directly affect libido or sex drive and sexual function in some women. Menopause may also cause physical and psychological changes that will affect sexual function.

Menopause, the final menstrual period, occurs when a woman stops ovulating and her monthly period (menstruation) ceases, marking the end of her reproductive years. Menopause can affect a woman’s sex drive or libido. Contraception, physical changes such as a dry, painful vagina, body image, hormone changes, relationships and social issues may also affect sexuality and libido.

However, Pregnancy is possible, though rare, before and even after your last period. It is generally advised that menopausal women should use contraception until at least one year after their natural periods have ceased. This is because a pregnancy late in a woman’s reproductive life increases the risk of birth defects for the child and health problems for the mother.

Both during and after menopause, a woman may notice certain physical changes that affect her sexuality in positive and negative ways. These may include a woman’s vagina and bladder become more susceptible to bacterial infections,  a woman who was troubled by heavy or painful periods may feel relieved and positive about her change of life. This can lead to a renewed interest in sex and  can include hot flushes, night sweats, insomnia and unusual skin sensations like prickling or itching.

Important factors influence a woman’s sexual desire at menopause, including contraception, body image, hormone changes and relationships. Seek advice from a professional if you need help with any sexual problem.

Breathing and stress

Breathing is an automatic function of the body that is controlled by the respiratory centre of the brain. When we feel stressed, our breathing rate and pattern changes as part of the ‘fight-or-flight response’. Many people use their breathing to help promote relaxation and reduce stress. The types of conditions that controlled breathing might help include asthma, anxiety, high blood pressure, and stress.

When a person is under stress, their breathing pattern changes. Typically, an anxious person takes small, shallow breaths, using their shoulders rather than their diaphragm to move air in and out of their lungs. This style of breathing disrupts the balance of gases in the body.

When a person is relaxed, they breathe through their nose in a slow, even and gentle way. Deliberately copying a relaxed breathing pattern seems to calm the nervous system that controls the body’s involuntary functions.

There are different breathing techniques to bring about relaxation. In essence, the general aim is to shift from upper chest breathing to abdominal breathing. You will need a quiet, relaxed environment where you won’t be disturbed for 10 to 20 minutes. Set an alarm if you don’t want to lose track of time.

Sit comfortably and raise your ribcage to expand your chest. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen. Take notice of how your upper chest and abdomen are moving while you breath. Concentrate on your breath and try to gently breathe in and out through the nose. Your upper chest and stomach should be still, allowing the diaphragm to work more efficiently with your abdomen rather than your chest.

 The stress response can be reduced by consciously breathing using the diaphragm. Abdominal breathing helps to control the nervous system and encourages the body to relax, bringing about a range of health benefits.

Malaysians from eating their way to health problems

Based on the news published in News Straits Times, WHILE awareness about health has improved over the years, it has not stopped Malaysians from eating their way to  health problems.

According to the interview source of Prince Court Medical Centre chief executive officer Dr Chong Su-Lin, said,” Malaysians are eating way too much”.

“Food is available 24 hours and people eat burgers or nasi lemak at odd hours,” she said.

She added that such eating behaviour would lead to obesity, diabetes and kidney-related diseases.

It was reported that Malaysia had the most number of fat or obesity people and diabetics in Southeast Asia.

Dr.Choong said, “nowadays, parents work long hours and they don’t keep an eye on what their children are eating.”

She said children often bought candy or drinks with high sugar content after school.

A big health issue related to the burgeoning obesity in the country is diabetes.

The NHMS 2011 highlighted an alarming figure, that one in five over 30 is a diabetic.

“The thing with diabetes is there are no symptoms. By the time a person realised he has it, it’s too late.” And also plan your diet and exercise,” she said, adding that it was important to eat meals on time. It was better to eat at home rather than eating out.

“Eating at home enables you to control your salt, sugar and oil intake.

Diet and Women

When women diet to lose weight, especially after menopause, they will not be able to continue losing weight unless they also exercise. This is because exercise prevents the decrease in metabolism that occurs when women diet without exercising. Exercise also prevents loss of muscle. If you diet without exercising, you lose muscle along with the fat, which is not healthy.

Exercise for weight loss does not have to involve working out in the gym. Actually, the “right” exercise is simply the one you will actually do. Walking daily, for example, is typically sufficient to prevent the plateau in weight loss that occurs with dieting alone. If lower body aches and pains prevent walking or impact aerobics, a woman can try upper-body exercise, for example with a rowing machine. Sometimes, swimming or exercise bicycles are tolerated when weight-bearing exercise is too painful.

A healthy diet gives you energy, supports your mood, maintains your weight, and keeps you looking your best. It can also be a huge support through the different stages in life. Healthy food can help reduce PMS, boost fertility, combat stress, make pregnancy and nursing easier, and ease symptoms of menopause. Whatever your age, committing to a healthy diet will help you look and feel your best so that you stay on top of your commitments and enjoy life.

By making smart food choices and developing healthy eating habits, you’ll find it much easier to stay slim, control cravings, and feel energetic all day long.  So, do not skip breakfast, eat regularly, cut the junk food and focus on complex carbohydrate such as baked potatoes, whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, oatmeal, whole grain breads, and bananas.

Foods that can give you a headache

Headache is defined as a pain arising from the head or upper neck of the body. The pain originates from the tissues and structures that surround the brain because the brain itself has no nerves that give rise to the sensation of pain.

Referring to the “The Times of India” in one of the article about headache,  a migraine is a common type of headache that usually occurs on one side of the head. A family history of migraine, apart from stress, food and beverages may be responsible for up to 30 per cent of migraines. If you consider some other triggers such as hormonal changes, stress, sleeping habits, and depression , it’s possible that the percentage is actually higher.

 

Diet

One of the most common reasons for headaches due to dietary changes is suddenly switching to a very low calorie diet, in other words, crash dieting. Also, if you start skipping meals or have long intervals between your meals, headache sets in. Even a very low water intake can trigger headaches.

Chocolates

The amount of chocolate can be an issue too, as migraine patients with the diets highest in fat tended to have more frequent headaches.

Sugar

A very small percentage of people intolerant to the sweeteners suffer from headaches. However, this is more common with the sweetener aspartame and not with the newer sweeteners that use sucralose.

Alcoholic beverages

For some people, drinking any kind of alcohol can bring on a migraine. Other compounds in beer, whiskey, and wine that deplete levels of serotonin in the brain could also be triggering migraines.

Palm oil for health

According to the American Palm Oil Council, palm oil, naturally semi-solid at room temperature, does not require hydrogenation. It is a good replacement for partially hydrogenated oils for many reasons.

  • Palm oil is trans fat free.
  • Palm oil provides the same “hard or solid” fat that is required for pastries, cookies, crackers  and other items that require long shelf stability and a particular texture.
  • Palm oil is odourless and tasteless, perfect for consumers and manufacturers alike looking for a healthy oil for cooking and baking needs.
  • Palm oil is rich in antioxidants.
  • Palm oil increases good HDL to promote a healthy cardiovascular health.Source: www.americanpalmoil.com

NO CHOLESTEROL

Studies have shown that adding palm oil to our diet can actually remove plaque build-up in arteries. In turn, this reverses the process of plaque and prevent blockages.
In addition, palm oil can also improve cholesterol values and help maintain proper blood pressure. The protective effects come from its high antioxidant, anti-inflammatory content.

While it is true that red palm oil is high in saturated fat, what researchers have discovered is that it actually protects against heart disease. In the cardiovascular system, saturated fats contribute to plaque. And this is where it gets interesting.

Palm oil is a vegetable oil and therefore, contains absolutely no cholesterol. Like all other unrefined vegetable oils, palm oil (and in particular red palm oil) contains a modest amount of plant sterols which are similar in structure to cholesterol. Plant sterols or phytosterols are not involved in the anthyerosclerotic process and do not promote heart disease. Plant sterols can, however, lower blood cholesterol.