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The findings from a new study suggest another reason why diets that contain low glycemic loads may be of benefit. Not only can they improve insulin sensitivity, this type of diet also appears to clear up acne as well.
Data from earlier studies suggest that dietary factors such as the glycemic load are involved in the pathogenesis of acne. Therefore, changes in diet could impact symptoms of this common skin disease, the researches hypothesize.
Foods that produce a high glycemic load—or high levels of blood glucose—such as white bread and potatoes tend to cause a rapid surge in blood sugar. Conversely, other carbs, such as high-fiber cereals or beans, create a more gradual change and are considered to have a low glycemic index.
Dr. Robyn N. Smith, from the RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues assessed acne symptoms in 43 male patients, between 15 and 25 years, who were randomly assigned to a low glycemic load diet or a normal diet for 12 weeks. The intervention diet consisted of 25% energy from protein and 45% from low-glycemic-index carbohydrates.
The findings are published in the July issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The low-glycemic diet was associated with a significant reduce in total acne compared with the normal diet. In addition, the low-glycemic diet produced significantly greater reductions in body weight and body mass and a greater increase in insulin sensitivity. Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body’s cells become insensitive to the effects of insulin, so the body’s response to a normal amount of insulin is reduced. As a result, higher amounts of insulin are needed for this hormone to work in the body.
Smith and her associates point out that this study is the first randomized controlled trial to examine the influence the effects of glycemic load on acne.
“Although we could not isolate the effect of the low glycemic load diet from that of weight loss,” they add, the findings support the hypothesis of a relationship between acne and high insulin levels.
Reuters, July 20, 2007
Botox and plastic surgery may promise to reduce wrinkles and worry lines, but some New Yorkers are turning to facial yoga to achieve a youthful appearance.
At a recent class in Manhattan’s wealthy Upper East Side, yoga instructor Annelise Hagen teaches several facial exercises designed to stretch and tone facial muscles.
A group of women practice moves including “The Lion,” showing the tongue hanging out and eyes rolled up. Hagen encourages class members to hold the position for 60 seconds, joking: “You can do this any time. It really helps you get a seat on the train.”
Hagen recently released a book, The Yoga Face: Eliminate Wrinkles with the Ultimate Natural Facelift (Avery, 2007). She said she developed a workshop using facial yoga because women wanted to look their best, “but they weren’t really thinking about how to exercise their facial muscles.”
She said facial muscles become weak and flabby and need regular workouts and circulation to reduce wrinkles.
Besides “The Lion,” other exercises include “Satchmo,” in which the cheeks are blown out Louis Armstrong-style, and ”Marilyn,” in which glamorous kisses are blown to strengthen mouth muscles for full and firm lips.
“It uses the same principles of exercise you would use for any other parts of your body,” Hagen said. “Facial muscles also become more toned, so it is a natural way of getting a lift.”
Hagen recommends facial yoga for those wanting to find outer and inner beauty, saying, “the emotional aspect is just as important as the physiological.”
But she does not rule out plastic surgery or Botox. “I don’t rule it out for myself. One day I may feel like I need that. But regardless, maintaining elasticity and tone is really crucial, especially if you have had Botox and plastic surgery,” she said.
While making faces in front of strangers might intimidate some, those who attended the class thought it the perfect way to combat busy New York lifestyles. “Working in New York is very stressful,” Kathy Healey said. ”It’s a perfect way to end the week.”
Reuters, September 5, 2007
The R&D department of the Dermscan Group has developed a series of new tests that evaluate the well-being effect of beauty products on a consumer.
A study involving nearly 3,500 women in several countries suggests that Chinese herbs might be more effective in relieving menstrual cramps than drugs, acupuncture or heat compression.
Australia-based researchers said herbs not only relieved pain, but reduced the recurrence of the condition over three months, according to the Cochrane Library journal.
“All available measures of effectiveness confirmed the overall superiority of Chinese herbal medicine to placebo, no treatment, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), OCPs (oral contraceptive pill), acupuncture and heat compression,” said lead author Xiaoshu Zhu from the Centre for Complementary Medicine Research at the University of Western Sydney.
Period pain affects as many as 50 percent of women of reproductive age and between 60 percent to 85 percent of teenaged girls, leading to absences from school and work.
While the cause is still under debate, it is believed to be linked to an imbalance in ovarian hormones.
Chinese herbal medicine has been used to treat the condition for hundreds of years and women are increasingly looking for non-drug treatments.
The survey involved 39 trials — 36 in China, and one each in Taiwan, Japan and the Netherlands.
Participants given herbal concoctions were prescribed herbs that regulated their ‘qi’ (energy) and blood, warmed their bodies and boosted their kidney and liver functions.
Some of these include Chinese angelica root (danggui), Szechuan lovage root (chuanxiong), red peony root (chishao), white peony root (baishao), Chinese motherwort (yimucao), fennel fruit (huixiang), nut-grass rhizome (xiangfu), liquorice root (gancao) and cinnamon bark (rougui).
In one trial involving 36 women, 53 percent of those who took herbs reported less pain than usual compared with 26 percent in the placebo group.
But the researchers said more studies were needed because of the relatively small numbers of participants in each of the trials.
Reuters, October 17, 2007
Scientists have discovered that an extract of broccoli sprouts protects the skin against the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays.
The Coca-Cola Company today announced the official opening of The Coca-Cola Research Center for Chinese Medicine at the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences in Beijing.
Increasing its menu options, Enhance Face & Body Spa in Hartsdale, NY, has introduced a chiropractor-provided Cold Laser Therapy for extremity injuries and an age-lifting acupuncture face lift treatment from a licensed acupuncturist. 914-997-8878
Personal care workers have the highest rates of depression among full time workers in the United States.
For many, wintertime means holidays spent with loved ones, warm nights snuggled by the fire and cool, sunny afternoons on the slopes. However, for up to eight million Americans who suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), this time of year can be very difficult. In fact, even more people experience sub-syndromal SAD, a mild form of SAD often referred to as "the winter blues" or "the winter blahs." The nonprofit organization Mental Health America answers questions about SAD so that you can help yourself and your clients deal with symptoms during this time of year. What is SAD? Who gets it? What are the symptoms? Is it treatable? How is it treated? What should I do if I think I have SAD?
SAD is a mood disorder associated with depression and related to seasonal variations of light. Brought on by the shorter days and longer nights, symptoms disappear completely in the spring.
People in northern geographic areas, where days are shorter, are most affected. Women get SAD four times more often than men and women in their thirties are most at risk. It is not common in children and, for adults, risk decreases with age.
Symptoms may include sleep problems, lethargy, overeating, depression, social problems, anxiety, loss of libido and mood changes.
There are many effective options for treating SAD. Regardless of which treatment a person determines to work best, relief is possible.
Primary treatment options include phototherapy (exposure to bright light for 30 minutes per day throughout the fall and winter) and increasing exposure to natural light. Antidepressant medications and psychotherapy are also possible treatments.
If a person worries they may have SAD, he or she should talk with a health professional.
For many, wintertime means holidays spent with loved ones, warm nights snuggled by the fire and cool, sunny afternoons on the slopes. However, for up to eight million Americans who suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), this time of year can be very difficult. In fact, even more people experience sub-syndromal SAD, a mild form of SAD often referred to as "the winter blues" or "the winter blahs."
The nonprofit organization Mental Health America answers questions about SAD so that you can help yourself and your clients deal with symptoms during this time of year.
What is SAD?
Who gets it?
What are the symptoms?
Is it treatable?
How is it treated?
What should I do if I think I have SAD?
The best way to reap the health benefits of fruits and vegetables without exposing yourself to potentially harmful pesticides is to choose organic produce whenever possible, especially those varieties which are more likely to be contaminated. But if organic produce is cutting into your budget, it's okay to buy non-organic varieties of the fruits and vegetables listed below, which tend to contain the least amount of pesticides. However, make it a habit to wash them thoroughly before eating or cooking, to remove dirt and bacteria.
- Corn (sweet, frozen)
- Peas (sweet, frozen)