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5 Tips for Health on the road - abroad

2012 has started off with great enthusiasm and promise for an exciting year of rebound. As work takes you abroad for your company’s global initiatives, or you plan an exotic tropical vacation here are some quick tips from the World Health Organization on planning for a healthy trip. Read More

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Urbanization - does it help or hinder Health?

The rapid increase of people living in cities is one of the most important global health issues of the 21st century. A study was conducted by the World Health Organization in partnership with UN-Habitat aimed at unmasking and overcoming health inequities in urban settings and includes practical examples and recommendations on specific evidence-based interventions. Read More

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Optimizing Health and Wellness in 2012

2012: As we make resolutions for the New Year, it is important to make little changes that are sustainable. The easier it is to make the change the longer we will be able to embrace it for.  Optimizing what we eat, how much we work out and rest, all adds up to our overall health.

Eating right:
We all focus on counting calories. But balancing nutrition is a lot more than calories. It is important to keep  fat, cholesterol, sugar and salt under a certain amount daily while ensuring enough vitamins and minerals. Finally based on our gender, age and weight, it is also important to balance proteins and carbs in each meal.

 Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Human Services provides science-based nutrition guidance for Americans ages 2 and older to promote healthy lifestyles and dietary habits. Some simple tools to customize our  meals are available @ https://www.choosemyplate.gov/SuperTracker/default.aspx

Staying fit
Walking, running, working out, taking the stairs all count towards exercise that keeps we fit. 30 Minutes every day or 150 minutes a week. Count our steps every day up-to 10,000 steps a day which works out to walking about 5 miles. And in a recent study, walking that distance proved critical to both cardiovascular fitness and blood sugar levels. A science-based guidance to help Americans aged 6 and older improve their health through appropriate physical activity can be found Physical Activity Guidelines from US Department of Health and Human Services @ http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/default.aspx

Resting well
According to Center for Disease Control, while we often consider sleep to be a “passive” activity, sufficient sleep is increasingly being recognized as an essential aspect of health promotion and chronic disease prevention in the public health community. Insufficient sleep is associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditions—such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression—which threaten our nation’s health.

Although individual needs may vary, adults typically need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. It is difficult to make up for lost sleep because each time we don't get enough sleep, we add to our sleep debt (the accumulated sleep that is lost due to poor sleep habits, sickness, awakenings due to environmental factors or other causes.) As a result, the sleep debt may make we feel sleepier and less alert at times.

Many people follow an exercise program to stay healthy. It’s important to have a smart sleep program as well. Detailed information on facts, myths, disorders and solutions about sleep are available @ http://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/index.htm


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Probiotics: research shows high potential

Probiotics are live microorganisms (in most cases, bacteria) that are similar to beneficial microorganisms found in the human gut. They are also called "friendly bacteria" or "good bacteria."  Probiotics are available to consumers mainly in the form of dietary supplements and foods.

Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center investigated how Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC PTA 6475 might work to slow the growth of certain cancerous tumors. Their study documented the molecular mechanisms of the probiotic's effects in human myeloid leukemia-derived cells—i.e., how it regulates the proliferation of cancer cells and promotes cancer cell death. The researchers noted that a better understanding of these effects may lead to development of probiotic-based regimens for preventing colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease.

In another study, researchers at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and Ohio State University looked at whether Lactobacillus acidophilus might enhance the immune-potentiating effects of an attenuated vaccine (a vaccine prepared from a weakened live virus) against human rotavirus infection—the most common cause of severe dehydrating diarrhea in infants and children worldwide. The investigators' tests on newborn pigs found that animals given both a vaccine and the probiotic had a better immune response than the animals given the vaccine alone. The researchers concluded that probiotics may offer a safe way to increase the effectiveness of rotavirus vaccine in humans.

In both studies, the investigators called for additional research into the mechanisms behind the health-related effects of probiotics.

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