Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Health Risks Of Heavy Metals

Like heavy metal? Think again.

We are not talking Ozzy here, but in fact heavy metals that can be very harmful to your health if found in your drinking water.
Severe effects include reduced growth and development, cancer, organ damage, nervous system damage, and in extreme cases, death.

Exposure to some metals, such as mercury and lead, may also cause development of autoimmunity, in which a person's immune system attacks its own cells. This can lead to joint diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, and diseases of the kidneys, circulatory system, and nervous system.

The young are more prone to the toxic effects of heavy metals, as the rapidly developing body systems in the fetus, infants and young children are far more sensitive.

Childhood exposure to some metals can result in learning difficulties, memory impairment, damage to the nervous system, and behavioural problems such as aggressiveness and hyperactivity. At higher doses, heavy metals can cause irreversible brain damage. Children may receive higher doses of metals from food than adults, since they consume more food for their body weight than adults.

Toxic metals can be present in industrial, municipal, and urban runoff, which can be harmful to humans and aquatic life. Increased urbanization and industrialization are to blame for an increased level of trace metals, especially heavy metals, in our waterways.

There are over 50 elements that can be classified as heavy metals, 17 of which are considered to be both very toxic and relatively accessible. Toxicity levels depend on the type of metal, it's biological role, and the type of organisms that are exposed to it.
The heavy metals linked most often to human poisoning are lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium. Other heavy metals, including copper, zinc, and chromium, are actually required by the body in small amounts, but can also be toxic in larger doses.

Heavy metals in the environment are caused by air emissions from coal-burning plants, smelters, and other industrial facilities; waste incinerators; process wastes from mining and industry; and lead in household plumbing and old house paints. Industry is not totally to blame, as heavy metals can sometimes enter the environment through natural processes.

For example, in some parts of the U.S., naturally occurring geologic deposits of arsenic can dissolve into groundwater, potentially resulting in unsafe levels of this heavy metal in drinking water supplies in the area. Once released to the environment, metals can remain for decades or centuries, increasing the likelihood of human exposure.

In addition to drinking water, we can be exposed to heavy metals through inhalation of air pollutants, exposure to contaminated soils or industrial waste, or consumption of contaminated food.

Because of contaminated water, food sources such as vegetables, grains, fruits, fish and shellfish can also become contaminated by accumulating metals from the very soil and water it grows from.

Sip with confidence, use the Heavy Metal Screen Test and see if your local water supply contains any of these harmful metals.

For more information click on the picture above.

Until Next Time,


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Healthy Habits Might Stave Off Depression

Maintaining healthy habits such as exercising regularly and avoiding too much alcohol not only help you look good, but such habits might also stave off depression.

A study of more than 1,100 adults found that those who reported excessive alcohol use (an average of three or more drinks daily) at the beginning of the study were more likely to suffer from depression six years later, as were those who were overweight at the beginning of the study. And those who reported exercising for more than 30 minutes daily at the beginning of the study period were less likely to be depressed six years later.

The study's authors suggested not only that "physical exercise may be an effective element in the treatment of depression but that the maintenance of regular physical exercise over a relatively long period of time may protect against" developing depression. They suggested schools and workplaces adopt policies to make following healthy habits easier, such as offering only low-fat, high-fiber meals in cafeterias.

[From: "Associations Between Lifestyle and Depressed Mood: Longitudinal Results From the Maastricht Aging Study." Contact: Coen H. van Gool, Department of Health Care Studies, Section of Medical Sociology, Universiteit Maastricht.]

For more on this topic click the title link above.

Until next time,


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Health Benefits Of Water

How 8 Glasses A Day Keeps Fat Away

Incredible as it may seem, water is quite possibly the single most important catalyst in losing weight and keeping it off. Although most of us take for granted, water may be the only true "magic potion" for permanent weight loss. Water supresses the appetite naturally and helps the body metabolize stored fat.

Studies have shown that a decrease inwater intake will cause fat deposits to increase, while an increase in water intake can actually reduce fat deposits. Here's why: The kidneys can't function properly without enough water.

When they don't work to capacity, some of their load isdumped onto the liver. One of the liver's primary functions isto metabolize stored fat into usable energy for the body. But if the liver has to do some of the kidney's work it can't operate at full throttle.
As a result, it metabolizes less fat more fat remains stored in the body and weight loss stops.

Drinking enough water is the best treatment for fluid retention.When the body gets less water,it perceives this as a threat to survival and begins to hold on to every drop. Water is stored in extracellular spaces (outside the cell). This shows up as swollen feet, legs and hands.
Diuretics offer a temporary solution at best. They force outstored water along with some essential nutrients.

Again, thebody perceives a treat and will replace the lost water at thefirst opportunity. Thus, the condition quickly returns.The best way to overcome the problem of water retention is to give your body what it needs -- plenty of water. Only then will stored water be released.
If you have a constant problem with water retention, excess salt may be to blame.

Your body will tolerate sodium only in a certain concentration. The more salt you eat the more water your system retains to dilute it. But getting rid of unneeded salt is easy -- just drink more water. As it's forced through the kidneys it takes away excess sodium. The overweight person needs more water than a thin one. Larger people have larger metabolic loads.
Since we know that water is the key to fat metabolism, it follows that the over weight person needs more water.

Water helps to maintain proper muscle tone by giving muscles their natural ability to contract and by preventing dehydration. It also helps to prevent the sagging skin that usually follows weigh loss -- shrinking cells are buoyed by water which plumps the skin and leaves it clear, healthy and resilient. Water helps rid the body of waste. During weight loss, the body has a lot more waste to get rid of -- all that metabolized fat must be shed.

Again, adequate water helps flush out the waste. Water can help relieve constipation. When the body gets too little water, it siphons what it needs from internal sources.The colon is one primary source. Result? Constipation.

But when a person drinks enough water, normal bowel function usually returns. So far, we've discovered some remarkable truths about water and weight loss: The body will not function properly without enough water and can't metabolize stored fat efficiently.
Retained water shows up as excess weight.

To get rid of excess water you must drink more water. Drinking water is essential to weight loss. How much water is enough? On the average, a person should drink 8-ounce glasses every day. That's about 2 quarts. However, the overweight person needs one additional glass for every 25 pounds of excess weight.

The amount you drink also should be increased if you exercise briskly or if the weather is hot and dry. Water should preferably be cold. It's absorbed into the system more quickly than warm water. And some evidence suggests thatdrinking cold water can actually help burn calories.

To utilize water most efficiently during weight loss, here is a suggested schedule to follow: Morning: 1 quart consumed over a 30-minute period. Noon: 1 quart consumed over a 30-minute period. Evening: 1 quart consumed between five and six o'clock.

When the body gets the water it needs to function optimally, it's fluids are perfectly balanced. When this happens, you have reached the "breakthrough point." What does this mean? Endocrine-gland function improves. Fluid retention is alleviated as stored water is lost. More fat is used as fuel because the liver is free to metabolize stored fat. Natural thirst returns. There is a loss of hunger almost over night.

If you stop drinking enough water, your body fluids will be thrown out of balance again, and you may experience fluid retention, unexplained weight gain and loss of thirst.

To remedy the situation you'll have to go back and force another"breakthrough."