Nearly 4 out of 10 Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes, and it remains the second-leading cause of death for Americans, but nearly half of all cancer cases can be prevented. Research shows that diet, exercise and weight play a critical role in cancer prevention. To live a cancer-preventive lifestyle, consider taking these 10 steps.
10 Steps to Help Prevent Cancer
(Family Features) Nearly 4 out of 10 Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes, and it remains the second-leading cause of death for Americans, but nearly half of all cancer cases can be prevented.
Research from the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) shows that diet, exercise and weight play a critical role in cancer prevention.
“Making changes in what you eat, being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight have strong and clear links to your risk for cancer,” said Alice Bender, MS, RDN and director of nutrition programs at AICR. “We know from decades of research and a thorough review of the science that there are simple things we can all do to reduce our risk.”
To live a cancer-preventive lifestyle, consider taking these 10 steps recommended by the scientific experts at AICR:
Refraining from smoking, avoiding other exposure to tobacco and limiting sun exposure are also important in reducing cancer risk.
Because it can be hard to make lifestyle changes, AICR aims to help people adopt healthier behaviors through efforts like the Cancer Health Check, a tool that shows people how their lifestyle stacks up against known cancer risks and recommends changes that can improve health.
For recipes, tips and other resources, visit aicr.org.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
American Institute for Cancer Research
(BPT) - A new survey reveals Americans are not aware of what to report prior to a blood test. Only half (52 percent) believe it is very important to report use of supplements to their healthcare provider before getting a blood test.
With recent interest in the use of supplements like biotin as beauty treatments, it’s especially critical for consumers, doctors and lab personnel to talk before blood tests because very high doses of supplements could interfere with some test results.
The possibility of interference in blood testing is low, but if you’re taking high-dose biotin for hair, skin or nail health, for example, it is best to inform your doctor before a blood test. Just as you may need to fast before certain types of tests, you may need to hold off on taking supplements like biotin for at least eight hours before blood work.
The survey, commissioned by Roche Diagnostics, also found that most Americans (85 percent) expect their physician to provide complete instructions on how to prepare for a blood test.
“Many factors — from stress, to prescription medication, to vitamins — can affect blood test results, so it’s important to be proactive in communicating about medicines or supplements you’re taking rather than waiting to be asked,” said Dr. Emily Jungheim, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
Ask your healthcare provider about ways to prepare for blood tests. Here are some simple tips to follow:
* Write down all your prescription medicines the night before a blood test so you can share up-to-date information with the lab technician or your doctor.
* Also report vitamins, supplements, nutraceuticals and any over-the-counter medications.
* Know the doses of the medicines and supplements you are taking. The dose matters. You may not be aware that 5 mg of biotin per day, for example, is equal to the amount of biotin in 100 capsules of a typical daily multivitamin.
Lack of proper sleep can lead to impaired focus at work, trouble remembering, fatigue, stress and even weight gain. To get a good night’s rest, take advantage of these tips and consider shutting off all electronics before climbing into bed.
Powering down before bed for a good night's rest
(Family Features) Checking email or flipping through channels instead of sleeping? Playing video games or browsing social media in bed? If you want to catch some quality ZZZs, you should put down that smartphone.
The National Sleep Foundation reports nearly 90 percent of adults sleep with at least one electronic device in their bedroom. However, staring at a screen after 9 p.m. can zap your body of energy, turning you into a zombie the next day. To get a good night's rest, consider shutting off all electronics before climbing into bed.
How Electronics Affect Your Sleep
Your body functions on a 24-hour internal clock. This clock is influenced by your physical environment and daily schedule. Using electronic devices around bedtime can throw off your body clock and negatively affect your quality of sleep.
Light and darkness affect your body clock. Staring at the blue glow of electronic devices - computers, tablets, televisions, gaming systems and/or smartphones - before bedtime can trick your body into thinking it's still daytime. The artificial light sends messages to the brain to wake up and activates the body. This, in turn, can reset your body clock, delaying your normal sleep cycle.
Studies show that staring at bright screens within four hours of bedtime reduces melatonin, a hormone that makes you naturally tired when it's time to sleep. This can cause difficulty when trying to fall asleep, poor quality of sleep or sleep disorders, such as insomnia.
In the long run, problems sleeping at night can impact you during the day. Lack of proper sleep can lead to impaired focus at work, trouble remembering, fatigue, stress and even weight gain.
It is important to get 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. To get a better night's sleep, experts recommend:
If your smartphone is your alarm clock, set your phone to sleep mode (do not disturb function) so all calls and texts will be silenced unless it's an emergency. Be sure to put your phone face down on the nightstand so incoming messages don't wake you up.
Power down tonight and don't let your technology keep you from a good night's rest.
Find more resources to help you get a better night's rest from Guard Your Health, a health education campaign by the Army National Guard, at guardyourhealth.com.
Night Time Stimulants to Avoid
While using electronic devices is one night time distraction, here are some other common things to avoid to get a good night's rest:
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (man stretching)
(BPT) - There’s no denying proper nutrition and a balanced diet are essential for good health. Yet with research on diet and lifestyle recommendations constantly evolving, it can be difficult to make sense of the varying news reports and seemingly endless barrage of information.
Fortunately, when it comes to omega-3s the fundamental science is clear: Omega-3s, which are considered essential fatty acids, are necessary for human health. Since the body can't make them on its own, it’s critical to obtain this important nutrient through your daily intake of omega-rich foods, primarily oily fish, or supplements.
Let’s take a deeper look at the science behind omega-3s.
With a number of gold-standard studies to point to, experts believe EPA and DHA (eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid), the two omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil, help reduce risk factors for heart disease, including high cholesterol and high blood pressure. The rate of research on omega-3s seems to be accelerating as scientists find consistent evidence of the beneficial effects of this essential nutrient. In fact, of more than 30,000 scientific papers on omega-3s published on PubMed, there are roughly 3,200 clinical trials examining the impact of omega-3s on heart health, specifically. Here are a few research highlights:
* In the last 10 years, every meta-analytical review that considered the whole body of human clinical evidence for cardiac or coronary death consistently found a significant benefit to omega-3 consumption.
* Since 2004, there have been 13 meta-analyses linking omega-3s and the decreased risk of cardiac and coronary death.
* Results show fish oil consumption reduces cardiac death risk between approximately 10-30 percent.
* A recent meta-analysis on EPA and DHA’s impact on blood pressure found fish oil can reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and even benefit people who don’t have high blood pressure.
The totality of evidence consistently shows EPA and DHA omega-3s reduce the risk of cardiac and coronary death, keep triglycerides in check and help maintain healthy blood pressure. However, it’s important to understand there is not a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to health and disease prevention.
Beyond a healthy and balanced diet, an individual’s age, health status and history, and lifestyle are important considerations when it comes to deciding if supplements may help fill a specific nutrient gap that cannot or is not otherwise being met.
When deciding how to increase your daily intake of omega-3s, it’s important to take an individualized approach. Talk to your doctor about your personal deficiencies and requirements, and be realistic and truthful about your diet and daily intake of omega-3s and other important nutrients. If you decide supplementation is right for you, take the time to do you research and invest in high quality omega-3 supplements. Your health is worth it.
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