Help! Do We Have To Re-Think What Helps?

Hot dogs – and other processed meats – help our budget, but they don’t help our health. That’s according to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and several studies support that. A 2007 study using data from the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund found eating 50 grams of processed meat (1 hot dog) daily increased colorectal cancer risk 21%. A 2005 University of Hawaii study linked eating processed meats to a 67% increase in pancreatic cancer risk. It’s estimated the average American eats 32 pounds of processed pork yearly. However, 32 pounds sounds like “porking out”.

Colon cleaning doesn’t help. Whether your colon is flushed with water or you take something orally, whether it’s done in a spa or at home, your body isn’t cleansed of toxins. Despite the continued popularity of colon cleansing, the American Medical Association determined in the early 1900’s the procedure didn’t work. More recently a study published in the Journal of Family Practice examined 20 studies published in the past 10 years and found colon cleansing can cause cramping, bloating, nausea, vomiting, electrolyte imbalance, renal failure, aplastic anemia, liver toxicity and kidney failure. Instead, doctors recommend we “come clean” naturally.

Not even crying helps. In a study published in the Journal of Research in Personality, 97 women – ages 18-48 – kept a daily diary for 2-3 months. If they cried, they kept further details – such as reason for crying, duration, location and whether others were present. After analyzing the 1,004 crying episodes, researchers found the average episode was about conflict, loss or seeing others suffer; lasted 8 minutes; and took place in the living room alone or with one other person. However, 61% of the participants didn’t feel better after crying and 9% felt worse. They might as well have “cried uncle”.

However, red wine does help -in more than one way. Previous studies have linked resveratrol in red wine to lowering bad cholesterol (LDL) and protecting blood vessel linings. The chemical resveratrol has also been shown to stave off detrimental effects of inactivity. Now a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry has found the flavonoids in red wine help prevent skin from forming “reactive oxygen species”. It’s the ROS’s that react with UV rays to destroy cells and cause sunburn. Although the same benefits can be found in red wine grapes, I’d rather drink to my health.

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