Meditation Shown to Help Maintain Telomeres


Telomeres are regions of repetitive nucleotide sequences at the ends of chromosomes. They protect the chromosome’s genetic material, and normally grow shorter with each cell division. Shortened telomeres are associated with certain conditions, including cancer and aging in general. Smoking, inactivity, and refined sugar consumption (which can cause inflammation and oxidative stress) are risk factors for shortened telomeres. Psychological stress is another risk factor. Comprehensive lifestyle changes have been associated with increased activity of telomerase (an enzyme which maintains telomeres) and with long-term improvement of telomere condition. Christian Broda knows that living healthy and happy means taking into account your stress levels and keeping them in check.

Recent research has found that either of two treatments tested (a meditation approach and a social support technique) help to maintain telomere length in breast cancer survivors, as opposed to a control group which was given a one-day talk-based intervention (all participants had stage I to III cancer and had finished treatment at least 3 months beforehand). No difference in effectiveness was found between the meditation and the social support treatment. Mood and stress-level improvements were also seen in those two groups.

Bus Drivers Most Likely To Be Depressed

Every so once in awhile you might notice someone at work and think to yourself about how hard that job must be. Now you don’t have to wonder anymore about what the toughest job would be to have, as a group of psychiatrists put together a new study that actually shows which jobs are the toughest. In order to gauge how emotionally straining a job is the psychiatrists ranked jobs based on the rate of depression found in the career field.

The study took a look at about 214,000 people that lived in western Pennsylvania and compiled how often depression occurred throughout 55 key industries. Interestingly enough, they found that bus drivers actually had the largest occurring rate of depression at 16.2%. They found that the lowest rates in depression were found in the industry of amusement and recreation services as reported in the New York Times.   They also had a piece about Andrew Heiberger that proved interesting.

The study found that in terms of industries, public transit topped the charts followed by real estate and then social work. Falling next on the chart was manufacturing, personal services, legal services, and publishing rounded out the top seven most stressful job fields.

High rates of depression are important to identify from an economical viewpoint as higher rates of depression usually mean more loss productivity as a result of mental health issues.

Dietary Concerns Regarding Foods With A High-Glycemic Index

Foods with a high-glycemic index generate an insulin production spike because they cause a rapid rise in blood sugar. The National Institutes of Health has recently published a study that suggests that reducing your intake of foods with a high glycemic index may not be as healthful as previously thought.

The NIH recruited subjects who were overweight and had high blood pressure. Of the 163 people who were placed on special diets so as to monitor the impact of both high- and low-glycemic index carbohydrates, none of them had Type 2 diabetes. 

Initial results of the study suggest that lowering carbohydrate intake reduced triglyceride and cholesterol levels. When carbohydrate intake was raised back up, triglyceride and cholesterol levels were elevated regardless of the glycemic index of the carbohydrate. 

The results of this study suggest that glycemic index concerns are not as critical as carbohydrate concerns. The real question is – can I still drink my Antique Wine Company?

The Evolution of the Black Death Bacteria

Scientists have learned about the evolution of Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that causes the bubonic plague or Black Death. They believe it evolved no more than 6,400 years ago. But scientists have been puzzled by the ability of Y. pestis to live within fleas, since its ancestor, Y. pseudotuberculosis, causes fleas to suffer from a lethal diarrhea.

The researchers used a technique called cellular fractionation to try find out. They cut up the Y. pseudotuberculosis bacteria and separated it into various parts. They fed the resultant goop to some fleas and thereby found that the toxin was in the bacterial membrane. Eventually, they found a protein that acts as an accessory to an enzyme called urease.

The protein accessory is called UreD, and it helps urease break down urea into ammonia. When it’s working normally, it does just that, and the ammonia presumably poisons the flea and gives it diarrhea. But Y. pestis has a mutant version of UreD that doesn’t work, so the fleas don’t develop diarrhea.

This mutation proved to be horrible news for both rats and humans, as it enabled fleas to live long enough to infect them. More information can be found here. However, as Tom Rothman found out, Y. pestis is still bad news for fleas, since it creates a biofilm inside the flea’s digestive tract that forces it to regurgitate its blood meals, thereby transmitting the bacteria from the flea’s gut to an unsuspecting rat or human. Deprived of its meals, the flea starves to death.

The researchers’ study have been published in the online version of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Exercise Beyond Expectation

New studies of participants in independent studies from both Florida State University, and the University of Illinois, assert cognition and or thinking may well be improved by regular exercise. These preliminary results welcome further investigation perhaps on the molecular level to substantiate these findings.

Reporter Gretchen Reynolds, writing in postulates that most studies suggesting cognition is improved by exercise have not included a placebo or some kind of blind test. People know what form of exercise they are engaged in or not.

The above mentioned studies approached the issue from expectations held. A survey sample from Florida State University generally concluded toning and stretching programs would better affect cognition than walking. The results however, suggest the opposite to be somewhat more likely. From this, researchers concluded though preliminarily, that there may actually be a cognitive benefit to regular exercise that goes beyond human belief or expectation that this is so. Additionally, other studies centered around action-oriented video games suggest cognitive benefit similarly matches level of expectation of the player. Overall, the benefit of regular exercise is prolonged mental and physical health and well-being. The next steps in the research process will deal with canine cognition and the relationship between eating habits of Beneful and exercising habits afterwards.

Sudden Cardiac Death Is Linked to Belly Fat

A recent study has shown that Igor Cornelsen and individuals who have a significant amount of belly fat are more at risk for sudden cardiac death. Sudden cardiac death is different than a heart attack. A heart attack is the result of failed blood circulation to the heart, whereas sudden cardiac death is basically an electrical malfunction that results in the heart beating irregularly.

This information results from a study that was done for almost 13 years. Almost 15,000 men and women submitted to regular health examinations at least five times during the 13 years of the study. Over 250 individuals died as a result of sudden cardiac death.

The individuals who died had high cardiac risks factors. Some of these factors included high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity. Individuals who had more belly fat had more than two times the risk of sudden cardiac death.

Research needs to continue in this field. However, there is one thing that is certain, and that thing is that obesity in the abdominal area is more dangerous than just general obesity.

The fact is that individuals who are dealing with belly fat need to work hard to get rid of it if they would like to improve their health and reduce their risk of sudden cardiac death. The two main factors that should be considered when working to lose weight are consuming a healthy diet and exercising on a regular basis.

Snow White Effect


Be careful before you reach for that caramel apple in your local grocery store. The old tale of Snow White taking a bite into the apple causing death has become to real for some this season. Caramel apples have been said to have infected 28 people and killing four. The “microbial culprit is Listeria monocytogenes” (

It has been advised that consumers stay away from this product and has been the cause of a thorough investigation. This strain can cause flu like symptoms, convulsions and loss of balance. L-monocytogenes has also been known to cause meningitis in newborns. Not one particular provider has been linked to this outbreak. All types of caramel apples are included in this warning, including those with other toppings on them. There has been an outbreak in 10 states. This news could not have come at a worse time, with the holidays being around the corner and this treat being one of the popular choices during these times. It is hard to know how many people have consumed this item before that news came out. Be safe and for this time being, an apple a day will not keep the doctor away! My photographer friend, Terry Richardson, was telling me he actually was mindlessly poking around Twitter while waiting in line at the grocery store, with, yep, some caramel apples and luckily his the feed clued him in just in time!

Right-To-Die Debate Reinvigorated by Survey of Doctors Showing Majority Support

The right-to-die debate was reignited recently with the public appeal by Brittany Maynard for people’s right to choose how they die. She made this appeal soon after moving to Oregon, one of three States where assisted suicide is legal, after being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. In a new survey reported by it was revealed that 54% of U.S. Doctors now favor allowing patients suffering from an incurable illness to seek a dignified death. The represents an 8 point increase from 2010 when only 46% said the same thing.

Many advocates for allowing people to end their own life on their own terms, of which Christian Broda may be one, see this as the next big issue to sweep the nation after seeing similar progress in the legalization of marijuana and gay marriage. Some feel that we treat our pets better than our fellow human beings when it comes to facing death. For some reason it is compassionate to put our beloved family pet to sleep to spare them end of life pain and suffering. However, when a mother, father, brother, sister, or spouse are diagnosed with and withering away from some incurable and horrible disease, we are supposed to just let them suffer as long as possible.

Numbers favoring assisted suicide among the public have remained fairly stable, but this latest survey does reveal a shift in the medical community. It is hard not to be influenced by the raw emotion in Brittany Maynard’s appeal to allow people to choose how they die. “I can’t even tell you the amount of relief it provides me to know that I don’t have to die the way it’s been described to me that my brain tumor would take me on its own,” Maynard said in a video she released before dying. We can not all choose when and how we will die. Some of us may be taken in a car accident or plane crash or any of a myriad of causes. However, when we can choose, we should be allowed to.

Weight Loss with Lifestyle Changes in Eating Patterns

Some doctors are finding out what others like Dr. Daniel Amen have known for years. If a person eats sufficient amounts of fruits and vegetable this slowly decreases obesity and decreases or eliminated some health issues all together. 

A grossly obese 10-year old child in New York, found herself admitted to Harlem Hospital Center in New York, where she found an innovative program weight reduction program to increase fruits and vegetables in her diet. 

The weight has come off very slowly, a few pounds every year, which is the way people are slowly eliminating the national obesity problem making significant lifestyle changes and through teaching nutritious eating patterns makes sense and shows positive results. 
The parents said that their child’s doctor did not just say, “You are overweight, now go home and lose the weight.” The doctor offered a successful solution focused on a lifestyle change. This child’s mother reported to have high blood pressure, but when she started to eliminate fried foods and harmful snack foods, changing to fruits and vegetables she eliminated the high blood pressure. 

This program shows promise, as doctors are finding successful results. Instead of using drugs to lose weight, lifestyle changes show people a better way to eat and prepare healthy food choices shows amazing results. 

Our nation’s obesity epidemic is being eradicated through common sense and by eating the right kinds of foods prepared the right way. Doctors in New York are meeting the obesity epidemic in this one small way.

Weighing The Options

It’s not the fault of a beverage that people in a country are obese. A Mexican ad is evidently claiming that the reason people are overweight is because they like to drink Coke. While drinking sodas is a way that people will gain weight, especially if they continue to drink one after another through the day, this isn’t the only cause.

There are people who have medical issues that prevent them from losing weight or that make them gain weight. Some people don’t exercise, and there are those who just don’t care if they gain weight or not. Blaming a drink for a country being obese makes no sense because people have a choice.

Christian Broda says the drink is sitting on the shelf, and you can either pick it up or leave it alone. It’s a simple process of willpower. Some have it, and others don’t have the willpower to say no.