Tai Chi Improves Quality Of Life


Researchers at Harvard Medical School found that men and women with chronic heart failure who practiced tai chi for 1 hour, twice a week, for 12 weeks, in addition to their regular medical care showed an increase in their overall quality of life.  After practicing tai chi, the patients increased the distance they would walk in 6 minutes significantly more than did the control group that received only routine medical care. The age range was 51-77 years. American Journal of Medicine, Oct 04.  Sleep comes easier, stays longer and is more enjoyable with Tai Chi.


Men and women with trouble sleeping were able to fall asleep more quickly, stay asleep longer and enjoy sleep more following 24 weeks of tai chi practice compared to a control group who did low impact exercise.


Those in the tai chi group also showed more improvement in being able to stand on one leg and speed walk 50 feet than those in the low impact exercise group. The 118 men and women in the randomized study, 60-92 year olds (so there’s hope for us all!), exercised an hour three times a week. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, June 04.



Broccoli Compounds May Protect Joint Health

Heavy exertion can cause an increase in levels of COX-2 enzymes in joints which triggers inflammation and pain and suppresses the activity of phase 2 anti-inflammatory enzymes. The beneficial phase II enzymes occurring naturally in broccoli seemed to prevent the activation of the inflammatory COX-2 enzymes. The phase enzymes inhibited inflammation and apoptosis (chondrocyte cell death). This has the potential for stopping pain and inflammation before they start. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences:v102 (39), 14010-14015.


Pain is never the problem; it means you are doing something wrong. Be careful of any repetitive activities and sports that put stress on the joints. Drugs that turn off pain only delay and compound the damage. Natural compounds found within real foods can not only ease the pain but also facilitate healing.



Excess Red Meat – Risk Marker For Cancer

A study investigated associations between intakes of meat, other animal products, fat and cholesterol and pancreatic cancer. Findings revealed that the strongest association was with processed meat. There were no associations of pancreatic cancer risk with poultry, fish, dairy eggs, total fat, saturated fat or cholesterol. The study concluded that carcinogenic substances related to meat preparation methods may be responsible for the positive association.

Nothlings, U., Wikens, L.R., Murphy, S.P., Hankin, J.H., B.E. Henderson, Kolonel, L.N. (2005) Meat and Fat Intake as Risk Factors for Pancreatic Cancer: The multiethnic Cohort Study. J National Caner Inst, V. 97 (19)pp. 1458-1465.



Primrose Oil Fatty Acid blocks Cancer-Causing Gene

A new study shows that Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) a polyunsaturated fatty acid present in evening primrose oil and several other plant oils, inhibits action of Her-2/new, a cancer gene that is responsible for almost 30% of all breast cancers. Since GLA exerts selective toxic effects on cancer cells without affecting normal cells this ‘reveals a valuable means by which an inexpensive oil might regulate breast cancer cell growth, metastasis formation and response to chemotherapies and endocrine therapies’ concluded the study.

Javier A. Meneddez, J.A,. Vellong, L., Colomer, R., and Lupu R. (2005) Effect of Gamma-Linolenic Acid on the Transcriptoinal Activity of the Her-2/neu (erbB-3) Oncongene. J natl Cancer Inst; 97: 1611-1615

By and large people on modern processed diets are fat deficient, getting plenty of processed fats but not enough of the health giving natural fats found in natural foods. Every cell in our body is encased in a membrane made of two layers of fat. Hormones are made of fat and some important vitamins are fat soluble. Fresh natural raw foods provide fats as we were designed to have them. Given that very few people have adequate amounts of raw food in their diets then taking properly balanced essential fatty acids is an excellent idea.



Broccoli Fights Cancer Causing Bacteria

Broccoli’s ability to fight Helicobactor pylori, the bacterium responsible for most stomach cancers, has been demonstrated in a human study for the first time. H. pylori is known to cause gastritis and is believed to be a major factor in peptic ulcers and stomach cancer. Vegetables like broccoli and cabbage (cruciferous vegetables) contain glucosinolates which is broken down in to active sulforaphane compounds when cut or chewed. The study showed over a 2 month period that those eating 100g of 2-3 day old broccoli sprouts (all were infected with H. pylori) showed significantly less H.pylori compared with controls.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2002) may 28;99 (11):7610-5.



Also see: Paper Trail and Did you Know? 1