Opposites Day

The theme for today will be counter-intuitive stories that I have stumbled upon. The first one relates to vitamins and more supplements generally. You cannot just double the dose and hope for the most. That is a dangerous way to take medications. Vitamin A is fat soluble and thus taking too much can damage your body, regardless of your exercise levels:

Too Much Vitamin A May Increase Risk of Hip Fracture

Vitamin A – a nutrient important for healthy skin, hair, and bone – may actually weaken bones when taken in large quantities. Recent studies revealed that women with the highest total intake of vitamin A – both from supplements and from food – had double the risk of hip fractures compared with women with the lowest intake.

Scientists can only guess at this point what might cause this weakening of the bones. One theory is that too much vitamin A could inhibit the ability of vitamin D to help the body absorb calcium. According to Diane Feskanich of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, “There is a biologic reason to support what we’re observing, but we don’t know what those reasons are.”

However, researchers did point out that these negative effects appear to be caused by retinol – the true form of vitamin A – which is found in liver, fish oils, and some supplements. Beta carotene-found in green leafy vegetables and converted into vitamin A by the body-does not seem to increase the risk of hip fracture.

For those who like to imbibe a beverage now and then, there is the nice fact that having a drink a day helps wit dementia. See, now you don’t need to feel bad and while you may lose your memory now and then from drinking, it wont make you permanently lose your memory, except on opposites day.

A Drink a Day Keeps Dementia Away

In another study, Dutch scientists discovered that moderate alcohol consumption can actually lower the risk of developing dementia, including Alzheimer’s. The type of drink-wine, beer, whisky, etc.-made no difference. In a study of 8,000 people, those who drank lightly or moderately (up to three drinks per day) had a 42% lower chance of developing dementia and a 70% lower chance of developing vascular dementia.

The researchers theorized that alcohol’s ability to release acetylcholine, a protein that helps the brain transmit information between cells, may explain this effect. But the they also warned that the negative effects of alcoholism are well documented, and heavy drinking was not as beneficial in the fight against dementia.

And while we hear lots in the media about cancer and how scary it is… truth-be-told this is the healthiest time to be alive…EVER! We are just more aware of these illnesses and issues now and so they receive more attention, but that doesn’t mean we are sliding backwards as a society! Throwback to my first post!

Cancer Deaths Decline but Cases Expected to Rise

New data for 1999 show that death rates for all cancers combined continued to decline in the US. However, the number of cancer cases can be expected to increase because of the growth and aging of the population in coming decades, according to a report released by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The “Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1973-1999” is published in the May 15, 2002 issue of Cancer.

The initial Report to the Nation, issued four years ago, documented the first sustained decline in cancer death rates—a notable reversal from increases reaching back to the 1930s.

Lung cancer is still the leading cause of cancer death in the US. During the most recent reporting period, it accounted for almost one-third of cancer deaths in men and about one-fourth of cancer deaths in women. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death, followed by breast and prostate cancer.

So, again, stay cheery! And, since I can’t post that often, here’s a nutrition blog I really enjoy!

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