Category Archives: Home Life

Will FTC End Homeopathy?

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is going after the natural medicine system known as homeopathy.  In November of 2016 the FTC stated that homeopathic remedies were lacking sufficient proof to claim they are effective.  The remedies must state there is no scientific evidence that the product works.  The FTC further stated that in order to not mislead consumers homeopathic remedies lacking sufficient proof must communicate to consumers that the product’s claims are based only on theories of homeopathy from the 1700’s, and not accepted by most modern medical experts.

The truth is, about 5 million adults and 1 million children in the U.S. use homeopathy every year and the remedies are known to be generally safe and unlikely to cause severe adverse reactions according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.  Why is it then that the FTC is slapping it makers with so much increased enforcement?  The Business Insider, who advocates more stringent rules on homeopathic remedies, says it’s to hold these products of the same standard as other similar products, which means going through the same rigorous studies as synthetic drugs made by pharmaceutical companies.  Homeopath Dana Ullman, MPH, CCH says it is clear that this governmental agency is ignoring important scientific evidence, so we must wonder if they are protecting Big Pharma from competition more than protecting us, the consumers.

Homeopathy was founded at the turn of the 18th century and is a medical system based on the theory that like cures like, when the cure comes in small doses.  Health conditions can be healed by treating a person with minute doses of a substance that would produce similar symptoms to their health condition if given in larger doses.  As an example, if you drink too much coffee you might feel agitated and have trouble sleeping.

Homeopathy is nearly mainstream in many other countries where more than 500 million people worldwide have accepted it.  There is scientific backing in support of homeopathic medicine that includes:

  • Those with allergies reported improvements in nasal airflow compared with a placebo group.
  • Those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) it significantly reduced stringy tracheal secretion.
  • Homeopathy lessened tender point pain and improved quality of life in people with fibromyalgia.
  • It was effective in treating acute childhood diarrhea, decreasing the durations of the diarrhea and the number of stools per day.
  • It also significantly reduced the severity and duration of chemotherapy-induced stomatitis in children.
  • Homeopathy has positive effects in children with ADHA, particularly in the areas of behavioral and cognitive functions.

The placebos have been found to have powerful healing effects without side effects, much like the homeopathy.  It has been discovered, however, that while homeopathy has been proven to work better than a placebo, another widely accepted medication, antidepressants, has not.

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine revealed that medical errors in hospitals and other health-care facilities are the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S.  These errors lead to 251,000 deaths every year, according to the study.  This highlights the importance of taking control of your health.  By recovering from a health condition, using a non-invasive and virtually side-effect-free treatment like homeopathy, it’s definitely worth a try, especially when looking at the state of U.S. medical care today.

                                                                                                                                          Dr Fredda Branyon

image c/o pixabay


Can You Dye Easter Eggs and Eat Them Too?

In many cultures around the world, the egg is a symbol of new life and rebirth. Easter eggs, in particular, are dyed red to represent the beliefs and symbolisms of the Christian Church. Though not everyone is religious, almost everyone celebrates Easter. In fact, dyeing eggs have become an annual tradition enjoyed by children and adults alike. The question is, how safe are they to eat?

If you don’t handle eggs with care, this holiday ritual may impact the health of you and your children. Egg safety is serious business, with 142,000 people getting sick each year after eating eggs contaminated with salmonella, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Handling eggs is far from rocket science, but it is possible to prepare them incorrectly. Here are three helpful tips to ensure that your Easter eggs are safe for consumption:

1.Use homemade dyes

Dyeing Easter eggs is best enjoyed with kids. Thus, it’s important to make sure that they are handling FDA-approved food coloring additives that are carefully assessed and deemed safe for consumption. However, if you prefer not use commercial dyes on your eggs, there are several ways to make your own with produce such as beets, red cabbage, and red onion — all of which secrete a vibrant hue of red or purple.

To create homemade food coloring, use a food processor to blend your vegetable of choice with water until smooth. Using a fine-mesh sieve and strain the skins from the mix. You may store the mixture in an airtight container for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

2.Buy quality and USDA-marked eggs

Sometimes, we forget to check the expiration date on items we buy at the grocery store. When it comes to eggs, always look for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) mark of inspection and establishment to guarantee its quality and expiry. It is also best to make a stern habit of checking for cracks or chips since bacteria can easily pass through openings in the shell and contaminate the egg.

3.Cook the eggs thoroughly

If you are planning to serve dyed deviled eggs at your Easter feast, it’s important to cook your eggs until the whites and yolks are firm. The American Egg Board recommends boiling eggs by submerging them in cold water and heating over high until the water boils. Then, take the pan off the stove and allow the eggs to sit in hot water for 12 minutes.

If an egg cracks or chips during the boiling process, it is still safe to eat. However, you should not dye them since the extra handling can result in attracting more bacteria.


Can you dye Easter eggs and eat them, too? Absolutely! As long as you practice proper handling, you should have nothing to worry about. Just remember that eggshells are porous, which allows bacteria to penetrate with ease. Keep fresh eggs refrigerated until it’s time to cook them, and make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before the cooking, cooling, dyeing, and hiding process.

image c/o pixabay

Sugar Has Many Names

Sugar is supplied to our bodies from natural sources in our fruits and vegetables. Combining this with additional fiber, vitamins and minerals, natural sugar is processed slightly differently than the refined white sugar, or sugar by other names, to disguise sugar in your food. It’s difficult to avoid those foods that are laced with sugar, unless you have switched to a diet of nearly exclusively whole foods. Processed foods quite often come with the addition of sweeteners to tempt our palates.

Sugar can trigger an addiction that’s hard to break, and is one of the most damaging substances to your body. Sugar addition is unchecked in adults and children and defined as a specific “bliss point” for products by manufacturers, that bring customers back for more. The junk food industry doesn’t want us to know that sugar has significant and deadly effects on your health, therefore the label may not even list sugar as an ingredient.

About 45 grams of sugar was consumed every five days for people in 1812, which would equal the amount of sugar in one can of soda. Americans were consuming sugar in 2012 to the equivalent of 17 cans of soda every five days. That’s a jump that can have disastrous effects on our lives. Hiding sugar under names we aren’t aware of can have devastating effects.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) put out new Dietary Guidelines for Americans along with the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) that limit the amount of sugar to 10% of your total daily calories. If you consume a 2,000-calorie diet this amounts to 10 to 12 teaspoons, which is over the amount of sugar in one 12-ounce coke. It is estimated by the National Cancer Institute that the average American consumes 15 teaspoons of added sugar every day. Not only is sugar in candy and sweet treats, but also those condiments, salad dressings, canned goods and drinks in addition to sodas.

You may not know by the labels of what sugar is contained in your foods, as they may be listed as sugar, sucrose, fructose, Dextran, Ethyl Maltol and Panela. Some companies are reducing their sugar content in some foods.

Some of the sugars may be described as syrup or with an “ose” at the end of the word, such as galactose or fructose. Following is a list of some sugars under unknown names: blackstrap molasses, buttered syrup, cane juice crystals, evaporated cane juice, caramel, carob syrup, fruit juice, honey, fruit juice concentrate, brown rice syrup, corn syrup solids, Florida crystals, golden syrup, maple syrup, molasses, refiner’s syrup, sorghum syrup, sucanat, treacle, turbinado, barley malt, corn syrup, dextrin, dextrose, diastatic malt, ethyl maltol, glucose, glucose solids, lactose, malt syrup, maltose, d-ribose, rice syrup, galactose, maltodextrin and castor.

The liquid sugar is even more dangerous to our health than any other form of sugar. Fruit juice contains the same amount of sugar as other sugary drinks, even though they are marketed as healthier choices. They have the same negative effects on your body as other drinks with added sugar.

The other bad news is that cancer has a sweet tooth and thrives on sugar. Researchers have found through a study that sugar developed pancreatic cancer. Other research tells us cells thrive on sugar and don’t burn other fuel as effectively, and cancer cells rely on sugar to maintain cell function. Some strategies can help you to reduce or eliminate your intake of added sugars as: knowledge in power, reduce your net carbs, eat real food, read labels, use safe sweeteners, increase your healthy fat intake at meals, include fermented foods in your nutrition plan and try turbo tapping.

Remember that it’s up to each and every one of us to take control of our health and do everything possible to avoid the risk of cancer. Starting with our diet is an extremely important step.

Dr Fredda Branyon


Craving Ice, an Iron Deficiency?

We all crave that cold, refreshing ice on a hot summer day to relieve the heat, but if you are craving it frequently, there just might be something more it’s telling you. The craving to eat something non-nutritional is called pica, and chewing ice is a symptom of this.

Most often pica is seen in children, but the addiction of chewing ice crosses all age boundaries. Usually this non-nutritional substance craving is related to a nutritional deficiency. Iron deficiency or anemia may be the case in some instances. To fit the addiction to chewing ice, or pagophagia, a person must persist in chewing ice for one month or more. Some people who are addicted to chewing ice will even go to the point of eating freezer frost to meet their needs. Not that’s just being desperate.

There is a complex interaction between nutritional requirements and behavior. Just simply supplementing with iron may fix the problem for many who are craving ice. Our iron levels can create significant problems when too high or too low, and it’s important to understand the process and monitor your iron levels.

A study evaluated the behavior of 81 patients who suffered iron deficiency anemia and found pagophagia was a common form of pica. About 16% of the participants who experienced pagophagia exhibited relief from the symptoms faster with an iron supplement rather than the recovery of their hemoglobin levels may have indicated. Physicians should look closely for chronic blood loss in those patients who exhibit pica behaviors. It may be an indication of slow blood loss and iron deficiency. Anemia is caused when your level of red blood cells is lower than normal and reduces the amount of oxygen your body can deliver to your cells. Without oxygen, your body is unable to function effectively.

Chewing ice can damage your teeth and jaws and there is less damage than from those side effects of addiction to chemicals, such as tobacco, drugs or alcohol, but

it may cause dental damage, and lack of treatment of the anemia can cause heart damage. Some of the gastrointestinal symptoms of an iron deficiency are a sore tongue, dry mouth, altered sense of taste, difficulty swallowing and mouth sores. Other symptoms of iron deficiency and anemia are fatigue and exhaustion that can affect the cognitive skills and ability. Chewing ice may trigger changes in the brain’s vascular system that could lead to an increased amount of oxygen delivery.

Some effects of iron deficiency anemia can be gastrointestinal polyps, chronic heavy menstrual periods or chronic bleeding stomach ulcers. If you feel you are iron deficient, have a simple blood test called a serum ferritin test to measure the molecule in your blood that carries iron. A healthy range is between 20 and 80 nanograms per milliliter. Your iron level can be boosted by consuming beef, ham, lamb, turkey, chicken, veal, pork, shrimp, clams, scallops, oyster, tuna, spinach, sweet potatoes, peas, broccoli, string beans, beet greens, kale, watermelon, dates, figs, raisins, prunes, tomatoes, dried peas, lentils, dried beans, molasses and tomato products.

Choose your foods wisely and be sure to include the above foods in your diet to help keep your body and that of your family, healthy.

–Dr Fredda Branyon


Butter Yellow, Milk White

Butter Yellow, Milk White?

Butter Yellow, Milk WhiteWhy would butter end up yellow in color when the beginning product of milk is white? The cows eat grass and flowers, which contain the yellow pigment beta-carotene, and then store the pigments in their fat. Therefore, the cream, butter and other diary foods from cows contain the fat containing the beta-carotene as well as the yellow pigment. Whole milk is mostly water and has a little more than 3% fat. Cream will usually contain between 30% and 40% fat, but at least 80% of the butter content is saturated fat.

The butter being made from a sheep, goat or water buffalo will be white, because those animals do not store beta-carotene like the cows do. Their milk is actually converted to vitamin A, which contains no color. When the cows are grazing in spring and summer, it will produce yellow butter, but in off seasons the cows aren’t getting the beta-carotene- rich grass and flower diet. They are fed grain, which doesn’t have a lot of beta-carotene.

Cows don’t digest grains that will radically alter their gut bacteria and promote disease. The raw milk from organic, grass fed cows contains better nutrients and poses a lower risk of contamination from growth hormones, antibiotics and pathogens. Some dairies freeze yellow butter so that it can be sold year-round. Some cows never see grass, flowers, pastures or even the light of day when in an industrialized diary centrated animal feeding operation. That butter isn’t naturally yellow any time of the year.

Butter is not the killer it’s always been made out to be, and the medical community is beginning to backpedal on its stance regarding fat. The plasticized pseudo-butter known as margarine is the culprit that will destroy your heart. While people are avoiding butter and trying to cut fats of every kind, they don’t realize they are putting their health at risk.

Studies now say that there was not a connection between saturated fat and heart disease. The Framingham Heart study has shown unequivocally that the minute people started replacing their butter with margarine, the rate of heart disease and an array of interrelated disorders skyrocketed.

The bottom line is that saturated fats lower cardiovascular disease. The saturated fats actually raise the beneficial HDL cholesterol, and changes the LDL from small and dense, which is very bad to large LDL, making it benign. A prominent study examined the effects of butter and margarine on cardiovascular disease and revealed that margarine does increase your heart attack risk, while butter lowers it. So eating full-fat grass-fed butter might lower your heart attack risk by as much as 69%, in part because of its vitamin K content.

Other positives in regard to butter consumption is butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that is created by bacteria in your colon when in contact with dietary fiber. This may be one of the reasons why fiber is so beneficial and makes up to about 4% in the butter.

The less dairy products as butter, milk, yogurt and cheese are messed with, the better they are for you. Pasteurized milk is not better for you than raw. The assumption that pasteurized milk is safer, is proven untrue. The FDA and CDC maintain that raw milk can carry harmful bacteria, but fail to disclose that those bacteria may be most likely to result from the way industrial dairies raise diseased cattle in CAFOs.

Pasteurization actually destroys many valuable nutrients and enzymes in the milk. You can even go further and make your own butter at home. Haven’t you ever noticed that if you whip your cream too long, you will end up with butter and not whipped cream? So get out there and use that tastier, healthier butter in your baking.
–Dr Fredda Branyon

Flowers that Looks Taste Good

Flowers that Looks & Taste Good

Flowers that Looks Taste GoodFlowers aren’t always just something pretty to look at and smell good. They can taste good, too. That profusion of color and fragrance is wonderful in our living spaces, but just think of the culinary value they have. Some edible flowers can be used in soups, casseroles, salads, roasts, desserts, jellies and cold drinks. Some well-known flowers that we all know about are chives and mustard blooms.

The recommendation is to trim away the white base of flower petals that can be bitter, however the entire Johnny-jump- ups, honeysuckle, violets and clover can be consumed. If you like lettuce, the gladiolus flowers taste a little like this and can be used in salads. The hibiscus has a citrus-like cranberry essence that is good for salads or can be dried for making tea. Besides being used by bees to make honey, tulips, roses and dahlias are gaining popularity in the kitchen. Over the last 100 years they have been popular in ancient Roman, Middle Eastern and Chinese cultures. Romans used roses for creamy puree dishes but they are traditionally known now as an ornamental flower.

Some flowers and their flavors are as follows:
· Marigolds can be spicy, bitter, tangy or peppery
· Pansy petals impart a vaguely sweet, grassy essence and introduces a wintergreen flavor
· Queen Anne’s Lace has a flavor similar to carrots and lovely in soups
· Clover has a sweet, anise-like taste
· Dame’s Rocket has lavender and purple flowers and related to mustard plants
· Begonia leaves impart a sour citrusy flavor
· Day Lilies have a flavor between sweet lettuce or melon and asparagus
· Bachelor Buttons have a sweet, clove-like essence
· Carnations are sweet and work well added to desserts or as a garnish
· Honeysuckle has a sweet, honey flavor, but don’t eat the toxic leaves
· Chrysanthemums have a faint spicy flavor like cauliflower

A study that tested 12 flower species found antioxidants, phenolic and flavonoids, with mineral content found in the chrysanthemum, dianthus and viola, with high amounts of potassium. The Polytechnic Institute of Braganca in Portugal examined the nutritional aspects of flowers that were already known in the scientific world as having carotenoid content. Marigolds had the highest concentration of polyunsaturated fats like linolenic acid and alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E). Rose contained the highest amounts of total proteins and organic acid while centaurea had the lowest percentage of saturated fats.

Flowers that we know as vegetables are artichokes, broccoli and cauliflower. The flowers of most vegetables and herbs are edible, but be sure to do your research first for any exceptions to the rule. Not all flowers are edible and may cause headaches, rashes, nausea or worse. Some of these to avoid are Lily of the Valley, Monkshood, Ageratina altissima, Foxgloves and Autumn crocus.

Use flowers in your culinary endeavors but keep the dish simple and never use flowers you find on the side of the road. Use only those flowers you can positively identify and be sure to shake all insects, then clean thoroughly in water before using.
–Dr Fredda Branyon

Inherited Salt Perception

Inherited Salt Perception

Some people who find they have an enhanced bitter taste perception are almost twice as likely to consume too much sodium as those with less acute tasting ability. Gene variations that allow people to taste bitter more intensely may also taste salt more intensely and enjoy it much more, which can lead to sodium intake, according to researchers.

This inherited difference in taste perceptions may help to explain why some people tend to eat more salt than what is recommended. This is offered through a preliminary research that was presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2016. Lead author Jennifer Smith, B.S.N., R.N., a Ph.D. student at the University of Kentucky College of Nursing said “Genetic factors in taste perceptions that influence taste aren’t necessarily obvious to people, but they can impact heart health by influencing the foods they select.”

According to the authors, previous research has shown that people who have one of the two most common variants of a gene (TAS2R38) that enhances bitter taste perception, are likely to avoid heart-healthy foods with bitter properties, such as broccoli and dark leafy greens. They sought to determine if that bitter-enhancing genetic variation would also influence other food choices. The diet habits of 407 people (average age of 51, 73% female) who have two or more heart disease risk factors and were participating in a cardiovascular risk-reduction study in rural Kentucky were analyzed.

When those with one or two of the TAS2R38 gene variants that enhances bitter taste perception was compared to those without this variant, they found people who taste bitterness more strongly were nearly twice (1.9 times) as likely to eat more than the minimum recommended daily limit of sodium. The American Heart Association recommends a minimum reduction of sodium to no more than 2,300 mg a day and an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg per day. It is a risk factor for developing high blood pressure that can lead to heart attacks and strokes by consuming too much sodium. This excessive sodium is from processed, pre-packed and restaurant foods.

It was also found that the study participants who had the bitter-enhancing gene variants were no more likely to consume more of the recommended daily amounts of sugar saturated fats or alcohol, which can have a negative impact on heart health. This research does suggest that those who taste bitter more intensely may also taste salt more intensely and enjoy it more, which in turn increases their sodium intake. They may also use salt to mask the bitter taste of foods and again, consume more sodium.

Perhaps some day the information about genetic influences on taste perception might help people select heart-healthy foods they can enjoy rather than to try to fight against their inborn preferences. Identifying which gene variant a person has might help them to make better food choices through education that is personally tailored to them.

Other factors as age, weight, smoking status and the use of blood pressure medications was taken into consideration in the analysis. The study participants were mostly white, but the results are likely to be similar in other ethnic groups because more than 90% of the U.S. population has one of the two gene variants. The research will continue to work and will include an ethnically diverse group of participants.

The study was funded by the University of Kentucky Center for the Biologic Basis of Oral/Systemic Diseases, the Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence, the National Center for Research Resources and the National Institutes of Health Resources and Services Administration.

–Dr Fredda Branyon

Screening For Adolescent Cancer Survivor

Screening For Adolescent Cancer Survivor

The Childhood Cancer Survivors Study has completed research that identified profiles of psychological symptoms in adolescent cancer survivors. This is expected to advance mental health screening and treatment. No psychological symptoms have been reported by most of the adolescent survivors of childhood cancer. However, an analysis by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital found that those who do, often have multiple symptoms and distinct symptom profiles. The Journal of Clinical Oncology has published the findings that highlight strategies to improve mental health screening and interventions.

Author Tara Brinkman, Ph.D., an assistant member of the St. Jude Department of Epidemiology and Cancer Control stated that mental health symptoms in childhood cancer patients were studied in isolation. She further said that this shows psychological symptoms typically occur together in adolescent cancer survivors rather than in isolation. With more screening efforts and identification of treatments we can help to prevent behavioral, emotional and social symptoms in adolescence from becoming chronic problems that persist into adulthood.

About 3,893 adolescent survivors of childhood cancer enrolled in the federally funded Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS) that were included in the study and treated between 1970 and 1999 at one of 31 medical centers. Those between 12 to 17 years old when their parents or guardians completed the questionnaires used in this analysis survived at least five years. Behavioral, emotional and social symptoms were focused on.

Like adolescents in the general population, most adolescent survivors of childhood cancer were well adjusted with no significant reported psychological symptoms. Most survivors had no significant psychological symptoms, but when reported, they occurred together and never in isolation. They also found survivors had distinct symptom profiles that often corresponded with their cancer treatments or the late effects of treatment.

The need for more robust screening for attention problems alone might miss symptoms of anxiety, depression or headstrong behavior, which means missed treatment opportunities. Those adolescents with untreated attention problems and headstrong behavior are at risk for substance abuse as adults and survivors with those symptoms may benefit from substance abuse prevention effort during adolescence. Also, while stimulant medication is recommended for those with attention problems, survivors who also have anxiety may benefit from alternative therapies.

The study shows there is an opportunity to improve the quality of life for the growing population of childhood cancer survivors and underscores the need for robust screening that includes survivor and parent reported symptoms. They tend to persist into adulthood if they are not successfully treated in adolescence. The study was supported in part by grants from the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health and ALSAC.
–Dr Fredda Branyon

Vetiver Oil The Soothing Grass Oil

Vetiver Oil: The Soothing Grass Oil

Vetiver oil is also known as khus oil and is a lesser-known plant oil offering a heavy, earthy fragrance that is reminiscent of patchouli, but with a touch of lemon. This oil is believed to give a grounding, calming and stabilizing result, and provides a range of essential oil uses and benefits.

The original name for vetiver oil is Chrysopogon zizanicides and is a perennial grass that belongs to the Poaceae family and native to India. This plant is known as khus in Western and Northern India. The name is derived from a Tamil word that means “hatched up” and grows up to 4.9 feet tall with tall stems and long, thin, rigid leaves.

The roots have particularly been used since ancient times. It is extensively utilized in perfumery for the body, room fresheners and coolers, as well as soaps, cosmetics and oils. It can also be a flavoring agent in beverages, sorbets and other foodstuffs.

Besides having an aromatic effect on the mind for grounding, calming and balancing, other uses are as antiseptic, antispasmodic, immune stimulating, warming and sedative to the nervous system. It also stimulates the circulatory system.

Benefits of vetiver oil are:
➢ Helps enhance libido and awaken sexual desire
➢ Helps speed up eradication of scars and other skin marks
➢ Helps provide relief from all types of inflammation
➢ Assists in rejuvenating the body and helps boost immunity
➢ Helps provide relief to insomnia patients
➢ Has antiseptic properties
➢ Helps improve and maintain good nerve health
➢ Helps heal wounds by promoting growth of new tissues

Some of the benefits of those suffering from insomnia, anxiety, absentmindedness, acne, arthritis, ADHD, depression, joint stiffness, menstrual cramps, mental fatigue, sore feet, tendonitis and vitiligo are also found in the use of vetiver oil.

The essential oils are extremely potent, so it is advised it should be diluted with a carrier oil such as coconut oil. Start with 1 drop to 1 to 3 teaspoons of carrier oil. Use caution when increasing the essential oil. The oil works in vapor therapy and can address nervous complaints, dispel anger and irritability and relieve insomnia this way. Blend it in a massage oil or diluted in the bath. It can assist with mental and physical exhaustion, nervous complaints, rheumatism and arthritic pain and skin healing, when used this way. It can also be used in a cream or lotion in moisturizing and nourishing skin. It will benefit dry, irritated and dehydrated skin and helps to reduce wrinkles and stretch marks, but NOT recommended to be taken internally.

Vetiver oil is considered non-irritating, non-sensitizing and non-toxic, and therefore is generally safe. Pregnant women should not take the oil and be sure to use extreme caution and consult a doctor before using it on children. Conduct a sensitivity patch test on the skin, prior to use.

Any possible side effects of vetiver oil are not known, according WebMD. However, it is unsafe for breastfeeding women to take vetiver, and might cause a miscarriage for pregnant women.

–Dr Fredda Branyon

Cancer-Promoting Protein Levels

Cancer-Promoting Protein Levels

Maintaining a healthy diet and exercising frequently can lower blood protein associated with promoting cancer development. There was a study published in the journal Cancer Research that found a reduction in the levels of a blood protein involved in angiogenesis when overweight and obese women experienced weight loss through their diet and exercise.

The process by which damaged blood vessels are repaired and new blood vessels formed is angiogenesis. Both the healthy cells and cancer cells cannot survive without oxygen and nutrients. Signals are sent out called angiogenic factors, and these encourage new blood vessels to grow and cancer cell to grow into a tumor. Without a blood supply, tumors are unable to grow beyond a few millimeters in size, but once cancer cells stimulate growth of a blood vessel, they can develop quickly.

Principal staff scientist in the Public Health Sciences Division at the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA, Catherine Duggan, Ph.D., explained that researchers have suggested that preventing angiogenesis can prevent tumor cell growth. She also concluded that although this angioprevention may work as a strategy to prevent cancer in healthy individuals, the drugs involved in blocking this process have potential adverse effects that restrict their use in preventing cancer.

They took blood samples from 439 postmenopausal, overweight and obese women who were considered healthy and sedentary and aged 50-75. These are the four groups they were split into:

✓ Calorie restriction diet group with intake of no more than 2,000 kcal per day that included less than 30% of fat calories.
✓ Aerobic exercise group performing 45 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise 5 days a week.
✓ Combined diet and exercise group.
✓ The control group with no intervention.

The results were that after 12 months of intervention, the women in the diet, exercise, and combined diet and exercise groups, lost an average of 8.5, 2.4 and 10.8% of body weight, respectively. This weight loss was higher than the average of 0.8% in the control group.

After 12 months the participants in the diet and combined diet and exercise groups had significantly lower levels of the angiogenesis-related proteins than the control group. In the aerobic exercise group, these lower levels were not observed.

The ending results of the study show that weight loss is a safe and effective method of improving the angiogenic profile in healthy individuals. A trend was seen in the reduction in angiogenesis-related proteins that showed the higher the amount of weight loss the women experienced, the greater the reduction in protein levels.

Although exercise is important to prevent weight gain and maintain weight loss, exercise alone does not have a significant effect on the amount of weight lost by an individual. Making lifestyle changes to reduce weight can lower the risk factors for cancer.

–Dr Fredda Branyon