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The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) has designated May 6th as Melanoma Monday® to raise awareness and encourage early detection through self-exams. As a Melanoma cancer survivor, I encourage you to consider making May, which is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, the time to schedule an annual appointment with a dermatologist, who can give you a thorough total body screening. You can also take advantage of a AAD’s FREE SPOTme® Skin Cancer Screening program available at participating dermatologists nationwide. MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Saira George, M.D., takes on some common myths about skin cancer as well as offers tips to reduce your risk in 10 skin cancer myths debunked post and Mayo Clinic offers a slide show with Melanoma pictures to help identify skin cancer.
National Walnut Day is on May 17th. If you are looking for come creative new ways to include these healthy nuts in your diet, the California Walnut Board offers a variety of interesting recipe suggestions on their website, Walnuts.org/recipes plus Eating Well Magazine offers more ideas on their Healthy Walnut Recipes page. A tip from the California Walnut Board for storing walnuts, “To keep walnuts as fresh as possible, store them in your refrigerator if you plan on using them right away. If you’ll be storing them for a month or longer, store them in your freezer!”
May is also High Blood Pressure Education Month! The first step is to find out your numbers if you don’t already know. If your blood pressure is above normal, an eating plan that was designed to help the 1 in 3 Americans with high blood pressure (hypertension) is the DASH plan. "Developed more than 20 years ago through research by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the NIH, the DASH—Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension—eating plan emphasizes vegetables, fruits, and whole grains and includes fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and healthy oils. It focuses on reducing sodium and limits foods that are high in saturated fat—including fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, and tropical oils—as well as limiting sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages.”
Straight Talk About Side Effects of Targeted Therapies - presented by LIVING BEYOND BREAST CANCER
Free Webinar - Thurs. May 23rd, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Eastern Time
”During this program, nationally recognized medical oncologist Minetta Liu, MD, will discuss side effects of targeted therapies and how to work with your doctor to prevent and manage them.”
Annual Symposium of the UC San Diego Center for Healthy Aging
June 6, 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM PDT at Atkinson Hall Auditorium on the UC San Diego campus - Free
RELIEF! Managing Your Pain and Stress, presented by Cleveland Clinic at LaCentre Conference and Banquet Facility, Westlake, OH
June 13, 5:30-8:30pm Discussion & Dinner ($10 fee includes meal)
Dr. Michael Roizen moderates a panel discussion featuring specialists from Cleveland Clinic's Center for Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine, who will answer your questions and share their expertise on how to live a healthier life.
April-May Book Releases
5/21 - No Crumbs Left: Whole30 Endorsed, Recipes for Everyday Food Made Marvelous
5/21 - Vegetables Unleashed: A Cookbook
5/14 - Plant-Based on a Budget: Delicious Vegan Recipes for Under $30 a Week, in Less Than 30 Minutes a Meal
4/23 - Ruffage: A Practical Guide to Vegetables
4/16 - Mostly Plants: 101 Delicious Flexitarian Recipes from the Pollan Family
4/16 - The Kripalu Kitchen: Nourishing Food for Body & Soul
4/16 - Well+Good: 100 Healthy Recipes + Expert Advice for Healthy Living
4/15 - Plant Power Bowls: 70 Seasonal Vegan Recipes to Boost Energy and Promote Wellness
4/9 - The College Vegan Cookbook: 145 Affordable, Healthy & Delicious Plant-Based Recipes
4/5 - Whole Bowls: Complete Gluten-Free and Vegetarian Meals to Power Your Day
4/4 - Dash Diet Cookbook for Beginners: 21-Day Dash Diet Meal Plan to Lose Weight and Lower Your Blood Pressure
4/2 - Love and Lemons Every Day: More Than 100 Bright, Plant-Forward Recipes for Every Meal
Since bookstores seem to be an endangered species these days, a great opportunity to preview a book is through your town or city library card, which should allow you access to any new release. I still enjoy having a hard covered cookbook and my library card gives me a chance to check out a new release before I decide to buy.
Research Highlighting Cancer Risk & Detection
May 15 - LA BioMed-led Study Finds Low Fat Dietary Pattern Decreases Deaths from Breast Cancer. "... Dr. Chlebowski and his team concluded that a low-fat dietary pattern, including increased vegetable, fruit and grain consumption is an effective way to reduce the risk of death from breast cancer in postmenopausal women."
April 17 - Moderate red and processed meat eaters show increased risk for Bowel (Colon) Cancer according to UK researchers. The study found that people eating on average around 76g (2.6 oz) of red and processed meat a day, had a 20% higher chance of developing colon cancer than those who only ate on average about 21g (.74 oz) a day.
April 8 - Nutrients from food, not supplements, linked to lower risks of death, cancer. ‘“Our results support the idea that, while supplement use contributes to an increased level of total nutrient intake, there are beneficial associations with nutrients from foods that aren’t seen with supplements…”’
March 31 - Excess Body Weight Before age 50 is Associated With Higher Risk of Dying From Pancreatic Cancer. Researchers examined data from 963,317 U.S. adults with no history of cancer and those with a higher body mass index (BMI) had an increased risk.
March 28 - "New research from Marshall University links walnut consumption as a contributing factor that could suppress growth and survival of breast cancers." The research “…team revealed that consumption of two ounces of walnuts a day for about two weeks significantly changed gene expression in confirmed breast cancers” in the women who participated in the clinical trial. ‘“Additional research through a larger-scale study would be needed to clinically confirm that walnut consumption actually does reduce the risk of breast cancer or breast cancer recurrence.”’
March 20 - Hot tea linked to increased risk of esophageal cancer. Drinking more than 700 milliliters [23 oz.] of tea at higher than 60 degrees Celsius, or 140 degrees Fahrenheit, was linked to a 90 percent increased risk of esophageal cancer, according to a study published Wednesday in International Journal of Cancer. "It is, therefore, advisable to wait until hot beverages cool down before drinking," advises American Cancer Society researcher and lead study author, Farhad Islami.
March 19 - “The use of digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT), also known as 3-D mammography, may significantly reduce the number of women who undergo breast biopsy for a non-cancerous lesion following an abnormal mammogram, according to a new study published in the journal Radiology.”
Feb. 15 - French researchers investigate consumption of ultra-processed food and risk of cancer. "A 10% increase in the proportion of ultra-processed foods in the diet was associated with a greater than 10% increase in the risk of overall cancer.."
Health Research in the News
May 20 - Why lack of sleep is bad for your heart. A University of Colorado Boulder study “…found that people who sleep fewer than seven hours per night have lower blood levels of three physiological regulators, or microRNAs, which influence gene expression and play a key role in maintaining vascular health."
May 16 - Faster walkers more likely to live longer. "The research, using data from UK Biobank found those with a habitually fast walking pace have a long life expectancy across all levels of weight status..."
May 14 - "A new study from the University of Pittsburgh, published today in Molecular Cell, provides the first smoking gun evidence that oxidative stress acts directly on telomeres to hasten cellular aging."
May 14 - Glucosamine supplements may be linked to lower risk of cardiovascular disease. “Findings suggest possible preventive role, but further trials needed to test this theory.” Some limitations with this study include lack of information on dose and duration.
May 13 - “Preschoolers who watch TV sleep significantly less than those who don’t, according to new research by University of Massachusetts…”
May 10 - Following DASH diet can reduce heart failure risk in people under 75."The observational study of more than 4,500 people showed that those individuals under 75 who most closely adhered to the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet had a significantly lower risk of developing heart failure than those whose eating habits were least in keeping with the diet."
May 3 - FOLLOWING A HEALTHY PLANT-BASED DIET MAY LOWER KIDNEY DISEASE RISK. Study participants who ate mostly healthy plant-based foods were 14 percent less likely to develop kidney disease according to research published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
April 28 - Stressed at work and trouble sleeping? It’s more serious than you think according to the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. "Work stress and impaired sleep are linked to a threefold higher risk of cardiovascular death in employees with hypertension [high blood pressure]."
April 24 - Could a popular food ingredient raise the risk for diabetes and obesity? “Consumption of propionate, a food ingredient that’s widely used in baked goods, animal feeds, and artificial flavorings, appears to increase levels of several hormones that are associated with risk of obesity and diabetes, according to new research led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health…”
April 22 - Plant-based Diets Can be Effective in Reducing Heart Failure Risk. “Plant-based diets are associated with a lower risk of heart failure in adults without known heart disease, while Southern diets consisting of more fried and processed foods and sweetened drinks are associated with greater risk, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology that looked at the association between five dietary patterns and risk of heart failure.”
April 12 - Want to learn a new skill? Take some short breaks. "In a study of healthy volunteers, National Institutes of Health researchers found that our brains may solidify the memories of new skills we just practiced a few seconds earlier by taking a short rest. The results highlight the critically important role rest may play in learning."
April 10 - Substituting healthy plant proteins for red meat lowers risk for heart disease. "… researchers found that diets higher in high-quality plant protein sources such as legumes, soy, and nuts resulted in lower levels of both total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol compared to diets with red meat."
April 5 - U-M Collaboration Led by Prof. MaryCarol Hunter Shows Time in Nature Lowers Stress. "The data revealed that just a twenty minutes nature experience was enough to significantly reduce cortisol [stress hormone] levels. But if you spent a little more time immersed in a nature experience, 20 to 30 minutes sitting or walking, cortisol levels dropped at their greatest rate. After that, additional de-stressing benefits continue to add up but at a slower rate."
April 5 - Workplace yoga can indeed lower employee stress. “For the current study, researchers examined data from 13 trials with about 1,300 participants. Some workers in these trials were randomly assigned to participate in workplace yoga programs while others were not” and results showed “…yoga did have a positive effect on mental health and in stress reduction in particular.”
April 3 - New study finds poor diet kills more people globally than tobacco and high blood pressure. “Poor diets were responsible for 10.9 million deaths, or 22% of all deaths among adults in 2017, with cardiovascular disease (CVD) as the leading cause, followed by cancers and diabetes.” The study also reported “… tobacco was associated with 8.0 million deaths, and high blood pressure was linked to 10.4 million deaths.”
March 27 - Vegans found to have highest amount of disease-fighting biomarkers in a study out of Loma Linda University.
March 26 - The risks of eating red meat (even in small portions) according to a new study out of Loma Linda University Health which evaluated the deaths of over over 7,900 individuals over an 11-year period and 90 percent of those individuals only ate about two ounces or less of red meat per day. “… the total intake of red and processed meat was associated with relatively higher risks of total and cardiovascular disease deaths.”
March 25 - A new study from researchers at the American Cancer Society finds that even light levels of physical activity are healthier than just sitting. Replacing 30 minutes of sitting a day with activities like slow walking and light housework was linked to a 14% lower risk of dying and moderate activity such as brisk walking to vigorous activity like jogging or running was linked with a 45% lower risk of dying.
March 19 - Getting active later in life brings benefits.'“Midlife is not too late to start being active,” Saint-Maurice says. “People who have been physically inactive throughout much of their adulthood can gain substantial health benefits by increasing their physical activity.”'
March 19 - A nutty solution for improving brain health. “By eating more than 10 grams (or two teaspoons) of nuts per day older people could improve their cognitive function by up to 60 per cent– compared to those not eating nuts…” according to research out of University of South Australia. The study involved Chinese adults aged 55+ years and those who regularly ate nuts demonstrated better mental functioning which including improved thinking, reasoning and memory.