Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Medical Journals: Power Of Positive Thinking

(By the Underground Health Reporter)

Did you know that positive thoughts can produce health-enhancing biochemicals superior to any that a pharmaceutical company could ever manufacture—without any adverse side effects?

Contrary to what most people think, positive thoughts are not just whimsical mental images that make you feel good. Recent research has shown that our thoughts can provide relief beyond the superficial and temporary. When you consider that the average human being thinks of approximately 60,000 thoughts per day ... the impact our thoughts have on both our mental and physical health becomes clear.

A Single Thought Has the Potential to Produce Over a Million Dollars' Worth of a Cancer-Fighting Chemical! 

Positive thinking has been proven to strengthen the immune system and lower stress levels, thereby combating stress-related diseases such as heart disease ... diabetes ... psychosomatic illnesses ... and certain forms of cancer.

The emerging field of psychoneuroimmunology studies the connection between the neurological and immune systems, and is expanding scientific knowledge of the link between our thoughts and our health.

Such a connection has been demonstrated by the many case studies demonstrating the "placebo effect," which occurs when a patient believes the treatment he or she is receiving will indeed relieve the pain, and it does. Such positive and potent thoughts release natural chemicals called endorphins, which contain the powerful cancer-fighting chemicals interleukin and interferon. If you were to buy the anti-cancer drug Interleukin-2 (manufactured by Chiron Corporation with the brand name Proleukin) to treat cancer, a full course would cost you upwards of $40,000 ... plus a long list of the side effects.

Positive thoughts, on the other hand, are a natural alternative to cancer drugs—and could "make a million dollars worth of Interleukin-2," according to Deepak Chopra, M.D. And the best part is that there are none of the side effects that accompany drug use—and they cost nothing!

Thoughts are Physically Real—They Cause Biological and Physiological Effects

Dr. Larry Dossey, a supporter of mind-body study, explains the fundamental principle behind the surprising effects of placebos: "The body responds to mental input as if it were physically real. Images create bodily changes—just as if the experience were really happening. For example, if you imagine yourself lying on a beach in the sun, you become relaxed, your peripheral blood vessels dilate, and your hands become warm, as in the real thing."

When you think peaceful and tranquil thoughts, your body—specifically, your leukocytes, adrenal cells and macrophages—will start producing a tranquilizing biochemical similar to Valium. Unlike the drug manufactured by Hoffman-La Roche, which comes with side effects (some potentially serious), the tranquilizing chemical produced by the body has no side effects and supports the proper functioning of the immune system.

Research suggests that thoughts are powerful enough to be perceived as physical objects. Take the findings of Dr. Giuseppe Joseph Calligaris, a 19th century doctor who, in his doctoral thesis, "Thoughts Do Heal," concluded that a thought leads to actual physical sensations. This mind-body connection manifests in specific organs, which are linked to emotions.

Do you see the connection? Thoughts trigger emotions, which activate organs, which in turn affect our health. Therefore, we hold in our power the ability to transmute our thoughts into positive ones, thereby creating a cascade of endorphins that deliver beneficial healing effects.

Consciously directing one's mind to think positive thoughts that cause the body to produce health-enhancing biochemicals has been successfully done through biofeedback, guided imagery, meditation, deep breathing and hypnosis. When done right, these practices result in increased longevity, lowered stress levels, a healthy immune system and a reduced risk of heart disease.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Medical Journals: The Alternate-Day Diet

(By the Underground Health Reporter)

Did you know that following an "alternate-day diet" can turn on your "skinny gene," and help you to not only lose weight, but also live longer and healthier?

Researchers have identified a very simple weight-loss regimen that offers outstanding health benefits, from easing asthma symptoms and reducing blood sugar levels to preventing heart disease and breast cancer.

This diet also helps you live longer.  It's called by different names, including:
  1. The Alternate-Day Diet
  2. Intermittent Fasting
  3. Longevity Diet
  4. Up Day, Down Day Diet
Whatever the name, the fundamentals are the same.  You eat very little one day—half or less of your normal recommended caloric intake—and as much as you desire the next. This way of eating appears to trigger a "skinny" gene that promotes fat loss along with significantly better health.

Dr. James Johnson, respected metabolic researcher and author of The Alternate-Day Diet, explains, "The evidence says this is about the most healthy thing you can do for yourself."

Fewer Calories, Longer, Healthier Life

Since the 1930s, scientists have known that calorie restriction increases health and longevity.  Since then, countless studies have confirmed that animals restricted to a very low calorie diet live about 30% longer and reap measurable health benefits, such as:
  1. Clearer arteries
  2. Lowered inflammation
  3. Reduced blood sugar
  4. Less damage to brain cells
  5. Fewer age-related diseases
Calorie restriction may also help prevent breast cancer, according to recent research from the Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention Centre in Manchester, England.

The only problem, however, is that very few people have been able or willing to deprive themselves so significantly for any extended period of time!

The "Every Other Day" Breakthrough

The big breakthrough for calorie restriction came in 2003.  That's when neuroscientist Dr. Mark Mattson discovered that rats kept to a restricted-calorie diet every other day enjoyed the same outstanding health and longevity benefits as constantly deprived rats!

This discovery meant that for the first time, the weight-loss and health rewards of calorie restriction could be enjoyed by real people, not just lab rats.

Krista Varady, assistant professor of kinesiology and nutrition at the University of Illinois, Chicago, says, "It takes about two weeks to adjust to the diet and, after that, people don't feel hungry on the fast days."

Varady conducted a 10-week trial of 16 obese patients who alternated a regular, healthy diet one day and followed by 20% of their recommended caloric intake the next.  Participants lost 10-30 pounds, much more than the 5 or 6 pounds expected!

The Skinny Gene: Burns Fat, Lowers Blood Sugar and Inflammation, and Dramatically Improves Asthma

Scientists believe the stress of a sudden, sharp drop in food intake triggers a "skinny" gene known as SIRT1.  "This then blocks another gene involved in storing fat," explains Dr. Johnson.  "The body starts using up more of the fat stores.  As a result you lose more weight than you would from just eating fewer calories."

The SIRT1 gene is also associated with lowered blood sugar and inflammation.  Inflammation is linked to virtually every serious health problem and chronic condition, including aging.  Therefore, controlling inflammation iscritical to slowing aging and improving health.  It's also key to helping asthma patients, who stand to reap huge health gains from alternate-day dieting.

Dr. Johnson worked with scientists from the National Institute on Aging to conduct a study of the effects of alternate-day dieting on 10 obese asthmatics.  After 8 weeks, study subjects lost an average of 8% of their body weight.  In addition, they had 70% less inflammation in their lungs and 90% lower levels of damaging free radicals (linked with heart disease and cancer) .

"No other dietary approach to asthma has recorded anything like that benefit," says Dr. Johnson.