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What That Ear Crease Means

In acupuncture, there are what is know as “microsystems.” They are basically a part of the body which represents the entire body. There are a number of them including the scalp, stomach, hand, foot and the most useful of all, the ear.

If we played connect-the-dots on the ear, it would look like an upside-down fetus. The lobe area represents the head. The outer rim represents the spine. The guts are found on the inside.

It is that earlobe that is of interest here.

Take a minute and go look at your earlobe, particularly that of your dominant side. (Ex/ Right earlobe if you are right-handed and vice versa.)

Do you see any diagonal lines or creases?

If not, that is good news.

If so, it typically means that you need to go over and above the call of duty to take care of your cardiovascular system. In other words, treat your heart well via nutrition, supplementation and exercise.

In 1973, an article was published in the New England Journal of Medicine which the authors stated what Acupuncture Physicians have known for centuries – that line on the earlobe correlates with cardiovascular disease.

It is by no means a “guarantee” but history and science have proven that the connection exists.

Why risk it? It is a good idea to take care of the heart anyway.

You May Want to Think Twice Before Cooking This Way

With summer just around the corner, many are already starting to dust off and clean the grill. After all, lemonade, watermelon and grilling are just a few of the major activities for this season.

Well, you may want to think twice about the last one.

A recent study showed the following:

The more often you grill beef, chicken or fish the higher your risk of developing high blood pressure.

And we are not done here.

The same goes for cooking meats until they’re well done.

These results were noted from a study done by the Harvard School of Public Health. Various cooking methods were analyzed and results studied in detail.

If you think it was just a few people, sorry to break the news. The scientists studied information from just under 100,000 people.

None of the participants had high blood pressure to any degree. After using this cooking method, elevated blood pressure was noted in over 17% of the participants.

For those who had their meat well done? 15% higher.

The reason is this chemical – heterocyclic amines (HCAs). It is the byproduct of cooking via grilling and seems to be the culprit behind the problem.

 

Obesity and Loss of Taste

Here is an interesting article from  PLOS

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Previous studies have indicated that weight gain can reduce one’s sensitivity to the taste of food, and that this effect can be reversed when the weight is lost again, but it’s been unclear as to how this phenomenon arises. Now a study publishing March 20 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by Andrew Kaufman, Robin Dando, and colleagues at Cornell University shows that inflammation, driven by obesity, actually reduces the number of taste buds on the tongues of mice.

A taste bud comprises of approximately 50 to 100 cells of three major types, each with different roles in sensing the five primary tastes (salt, sweet, bitter, sour, and umami). Taste bud cells turn over quickly, with an average lifespan of just 10 days. To explore changes in taste buds in obesity, the authors fed mice either a normal diet made up of 14% fat, or an obesogenic diet containing 58% fat. Perhaps unsurprisingly, after 8 weeks, the mice fed the obesogenic diet weigh about one-third more than those receiving normal chow. But strikingly, the obese mice had about 25% fewer taste buds than the lean mice, with no change in the average size or the distribution of the three cell types within individual buds.

The turnover of taste bud cells normally arises from a balanced combination of programmed cell death (a process known as apoptosis) and generation of new cells from special progenitor cells. However, the researchers observed that the rate of apoptosis increased in obese mice, whereas the number of taste bud progenitor cells in the tongue declined, likely explaining the net decline in the number of taste buds. Mice that were genetically resistant to becoming obese did not show these effects, even when fed a high-fat diet, implying that they are due not to the consumption of fat per se, but rather the accumulation of fatty tissue (adipose).

Obesity is known to be associated with a chronic state of low-grade inflammation, and adipose tissue produces pro-inflammatory cytokines — molecules that serve as signals between cells — including one called TNF-alpha. The authors found that the high-fat diet increased the level of TNF-alpha surrounding the taste buds; however mice that were genetically incapable of making TNF-alpha had no reduction in taste buds, despite gaining weight. Conversely, injecting TNF-alpha directly into the tongue of lean mice led to a reduction in taste buds, despite the low level of body fat.

“These data together suggest that gross adiposity stemming from chronic exposure to a high-fat diet is associated with a low-grade inflammatory response causing a disruption in the balancing mechanisms of taste bud maintenance and renewal,” Dando said. “These results may point to novel therapeutic strategies for alleviating taste dysfunction in obese populations.”

Healing the Gums With This

After the age of 30, typically cavities are not that much of an issue. Gum problems are.

Bleeding from the gums is typically the result of inflammation associated with the build-up of plaque at the gum line This is referred to as gingivitis. Plaque hardens like a stone into tartar,  leading to periodontitis which is a form of gum disease. This is sometimes called “pink toothbrush” due to the bleeding associated with it.

Periodontal disease is a major stress on immunity. This energy is used for clearing inflammation and as a result, other issues can arise due to said stress on the immune system.  Also, open sores in the gums provide an “open” area for blood-borne infections to enter directly into the circulatory system.

What to do?

There are 3 major substances which can go a long way to help healing the gums.

Start with Vitamin C. This will clear infections, inflammation and improve the immune system.

Then add CoQ10. Everything Vitamin C does, CoQ does and probably better.

Finally, the star of the show – the herb, Myrrh.

Myrrh is an outstanding herb which helps to heal any and all types of tissue-related problem. They range from sores that will not heal properly to infections on the surface to, yes you guessed it, healing the gums.

Myrrh can turn around the gum issue quickly and safely.

Myrrh can be found at any health store and is inexpensive.

Simple Steps to Avoid Getting Migraines

A migraine is more than your typical headache, and if you’re familiar with the pounding pain, nausea, and sensitivity to light and sounds that come with a full-blown migraine, you are not alone. The American Migraine Research Foundation reports that the condition affects 39 million people in the United States.

A previous post here on Doc Wellness blog discussed a powerful solution to the condition. But wouldn’t it be great if you can avoid suffering migraines in the first place?

While the exact causes of migraines are unclear, forming healthy habits and using nonmedical remedies have been proven to help prevent attacks. Here are some simple steps to do so.

Know and avoid your triggers

If you have a history of getting migraines, you will notice that there are certain dietary, environmental, or psychological factors that can trigger the condition. Patient.info explains that triggers can be due to a number of things, from eating certain cheese, chocolate, or citrus fruits to being exposed to loud noises, smoke, or strong scents. Others may suffer from migraines because of specific medications, a shift change in work, or changes in sleep patterns.

Do your best to avoid known triggers. While this might not always be possible, especially if your trigger involves weather patterns or other uncontrollable phenomena, try and mitigate its effects by limiting exposure or quickly moving away from the headache-inducing circumstances. If you don’t know your triggers yet, start a headache diary that records the times and severity of your headaches, along with several factors that might be related to your migraines. These include what you eat and drink, how you exercise, what the weather is like, and what sort of emotions you were feeling before the onset of your migraine.

Maintain good posture and move around

In addition, it’s also good to be conscious of how you move (or don’t move) throughout the day. At work, be mindful of your posture and check if your neck is remaining stiff. It also helps to study the ergonomics of your work area to see what you can improve in the long run. Make sure you move around frequently as well, even if it’s just a short walk or stretch in between bouts of desk work.

Eat smart

If you haven’t eaten anything in a while, low blood sugar can be a contributing factor to the onset of your migraine. Researchers have found that it’s better to eat small meals throughout the day instead of just three large ones to keep blood sugar levels stable and migraines at bay. Food rich in magnesium, such as spinach, tofu, or pumpkin seeds can be especially helpful in both filling your stomach and preventing migraines.

On the other hand, do your best to avoid food containing the flavor enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG). A study published on the Journal of Headache and Pain reveals that just a single intake of MSG can produce headache and migraine symptoms, and most people cannot build a tolerance for the substance.

Rest

Last but not least, it’s very important to get the appropriate amount of sleep. Too much or too little can leave you with your head pounding, and irregular sleep hours have been found to cause migraines.

If you feel a migraine coming in, the best thing to do is to take a break and rest. American Headache Society President Dr. Elizabeth Loder told Time Magazine, “Many people are very busy and reluctant to take the time, but if you consider the tradeoff of spending 10 minutes to close the blinds, lie down, and relax… that might be a better use of your time than being incapacitated later on.”

Migraines can be a painful and something that can impact your everyday life, but with a healthy lifestyle and constant monitoring, you can find ways to lessen your chances of getting this terribly common illness.

Another New Calcium?

Calcium aspartate anhydrous is the new, latest, greatest form of calcium. Or so the manufacturers claim. They cite absorption as high as “92%.”

While this all sounds promising, looking for the research and proof that that percentage is accurate, none exists. There are a couple of unpublished reports

Searching the information further, the claims stated by said manufacturer are nearly identical to those claimed by “coral calcium.” These calcium products were fined by the FTC and federal courts.

Let’s give our friends here the benefit of the doubt for the moment. What if 92% is accurate. Sounds good? Maybe not. Here is why:

  • Hypercalciuria or excessive calcium in your urine, is associated with 90% of kidney stones.
  • Calcium interferes with the absorption of iron and lowers the effectiveness of tetracycline.
  • Stomach pain, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting may all be side effects of too much calcium aspartate anhydrous.
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