Could periodic fasting improve your blood sugar and weight?

Fasting has been a part of many religions’ traditions for a long time, but some people are fasting for health reasons. Since at least the 1970s, researchers have studied the effects of occasional or "periodic" fasting, or reduction in daily caloric intake, on animals and humans. Now we know that fasting may increase antioxidant activity and help to lower blood sugar and insulin levels. The consensus on the topic is growing, and indicates that fasting can have many health benefits.

Be proactive and reduce your risk for congestive heart failure

It’s estimated that there are 5.8 million people in the U.S. who have congestive heart failure, with approximately 1 million hospitalizations as a result each year. Most of the hospitalizations for congestive heart failure tend to be for patients who are 65 or older, but the rate of congestive heart failure hospitalizations for males under 65 has been increasing over the years. With millions of people in the U.S. being affected by this condition, there’s a chance you may be at risk. But you've taken the first proactive step by educating yourself about congestive heart failure.

Ladies, testosterone isn't just a male hormone!

What comes to mind when you think about testosterone? Images of beefy men in the gym? Aggression? A strong sex drive? While testosterone is considered one of the most important male hormones, you should also be aware of how it affects women’s health too!

Gotta have that java? Know the pros and cons of coffee!

If the coffee shops on every corner are any indication, we sure love our coffee! The U.S. is now drinking twice as much as in the 1970s and three times as much as in the 1960s. About 54 percent of the people over 18 drink daily coffee. The average coffee size is nine ounces and the average coffee drinker has three cups of coffee a day. And it seems demand for coffee is increasing worldwide.

Be proactive to prevent opioid addiction

Addiction to opioids such as morphine, heroin and prescription painkillers is a growing global problem. Generally, opioids have an important role in the treatment of certain types of pain, but they have inherent risks and side effects, including being highly addictive. Even infrequent use can lead to dependence.

Understand how marijuana can affect your teen’s health

Marijuana use is widespread and very popular for recreational use among teens and young adults. As you know, here in California, medical marijuana use is permitted to people with certain health conditions. For young people under 18, if they are not an emancipated minor, they would need parental/guardian consent. So let’s examine the effects marijuana can have on teenagers.

Is your family’s medical history writing your future?

You are the product of your mother and father. That fact becomes clearer with each new genetic discovery. Very specific genetic testing can determine whether your blood is likely to clot and cause a heart attack, whether you are likely to have diabetes, and whether you are at risk for dementia or schizophrenia.

Proactive employers can lower health care costs, boost productivity

Americans are more likely to be overweight than not! That sobering conclusion from the latest analysis of the NHANES study, which stands for National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, has major implications for our nation’s health. Employers should pay attention, as rising insured employee health care costs can put a squeeze on businesses financially.

Fluid retention: Swollen ankles a sign of something more?

Humans – we're made of water, right? So why is fluid retention a problem? Generally speaking, the normal water content in a female body is between 45-60 percent and 50-65 percent in a male body, and these percentages tend to decrease with age. So for example, a 160-pound person may contain just under 100 pounds of water. But sometimes water pools where it shouldn’t, such as in the lower legs and ankles, the abdomen, the fingers or the face.

Two birds, one stone: Fight obesity and diabetes together

Type 2 diabetes has been on the rise in the U.S. Of the people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, about 80 to 90 percent are also diagnosed as obese. This provides an interesting clue to the link between diabetes and obesity. So, how exactly can obesity cause Type 2 diabetes? Read on to find out.

What is oleic acid and how much do you need?

Most people are familiar with the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, but what is oleic acid, and why is it important? Oleic acid is a naturally occurring, odorless, colorless oil. Oleic acid is found in flaxseed oil, borage (a Mediterranean herb) oil, evening primrose oil, olive oil (less in virgin olive oil), pecan oil, canola oil, peanut oil, macadamia oil, sunflower oil, grape seed oil, sea buckthorn oil and sesame oil. You can also find it in animal fat. Oleic acid at appropriate levels has been implicated in cancer prevention in some (but not all studies), and reduces cholesterol levels.

Is your doctor giving you the time, attention and care you need at your age?

You don't get much time with your doctor, and your doctor doesn’t have much time to think about you. This can lead to problems. For example, doctors might be in such a rush to get to the next patient that they can’t take the time to pick the best medication regimen for their patients. Less-than-ideal meds can lead to side effects and drug interactions. This is especially concerning for older patients.

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