In recent years, the medical community has put a lot of effort into educating people about reducing their cholesterol levels in order to protect their heart health. Of course, those who do have elevated cholesterol levels are often prescribed statin drugs like Lipitor, Zocor and others to lower these levels. In fact, these are among the most prescribed drugs of all time.
Nonetheless, these toxic drugs carry serious side effects, including muscle pain and weakness, increased liver enzymes, asthma complications, and birth defects in pregnant women, to name just a few.
This doesn’t mean, though, that there isn’t a healthy solution to reducing cholesterol levels naturally. In addition to maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly, a recent study has unlocked another key to taking care of your heart: eating dark chocolate and extra virgin olive oil together. (Related: How dark chocolate really is the “food of the gods” – Fight inflammation, Alzheimer’s, cancer and more.)
The study, undertaken by researchers from the University of Pisa in Italy, who presented the results at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress in August, concluded that dark chocolate enriched with extra virgin olive oil can lead to improved heart health and a better cardiovascular risk profile.
“A healthy diet is known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease,” said Dr. Rossella Di Stefano, a cardiologist at the University of Pisa, and the lead author of the study.
According to a study published in 2016, scientists have discovered a bacteria “alarm clock” that can wake dormant Salmonella in the body which enables the bug to trigger a relapse.
The researchers from Imperial College London say that the “alarm clock” is common among various types of bacteria, such as Salmonella and E. coli. Their discovery could explain why some people suffer repeated bouts of infections, like ear or urinary tract infections, even though they take antibiotics. The team aims to use these findings to look into “hard-to-treat infections.”
Dr. Sophie Helaine, the lead author of the research from the Department of Medicine at Imperial, said, “Whenever bacteria such as Salmonella invade the body, around a third of the bugs ‘cloak’ themselves as a defence mechanism against the body’s immune system. They enter a type of stand-by mode possibly to hide from the body’s immune system, that means they are not killed by antibiotics. The bacteria stop replicating and can remain in this dormant state for days, weeks or even months. When the immune system attack has passed, some bacterial cells spring back to life and trigger another infection.”
If you know someone who eats whatever they want and never seems to gain any weight, it’s normal to feel a little envious. However, they could be doing their body just as much harm as they would by gaining weight. This is according to a new study that reveals the quality of your food counts more than your weight when it comes to cancer risk.
Scientists already knew that obesity raises the risk of certain types of cancer, namely that of the kidney, breast, pancreas, esophagus, colon and uterus. But these researchers set out to find out how dietary energy density (DED) – the ratio of energy to food weight – affects your cancer risk.
DED is considered one of the best measurements of food quality as it looks at the relationship of the calories in a food to its nutrients. Foods with more calories for each gram of weight have higher DEDs. This means that whole foods that pack a lot of nutrients into very few calories like lean protein, vegetables, beans and fruits are low in DEDs.
Processed foods, on the other hand, are high in DEDs because you must eat more of them to get the nutrients you need. Foods like pizzas and hamburgers fall under this category. Not surprisingly, past studies have linked the regular consumption of these foods with weight gain in adults.
Researchers looked at data from 90,000 post-menopausal women who took part in the Women’s Health Initiative. They examined their diets and any cancer diagnoses, and they discovered that the women who ate higher-DED foods had a 10 percent greater likelihood of developing an obesity-related cancer regardless of their body mass index. Not only that, they found that the higher risk was limited to women who had a normal weight at the program’s inception.