Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Grapes Lower Blood Pressure

If you have high blood pressure, you probably take medication to lower it, but a University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center study indicates that eating grapes may add important protection against cardiovascular damage.

In the study, rats who are bred to develop high blood pressure were fed a high salt diet. Those who received grape powder in their diet not only had lower blood pressure, but escaped heart damage that occurred even in rats that were given a medication to lower blood pressure. In spite of the salty diet, the rats who got the grape powder had better heart function and lower blood pressure.

The lowering effect on blood pressure is thought to be due to the high level of phytochemicals – naturally occurring antioxidants – that grapes contain. The study used a combination of green, red and black grapes.

“Although there are many natural compounds in the grape powder itself that may have an effect, the things that we think are having an effect against the hypertension may be the flavanoids – either by direct antioxidant effects, by indirect effects on cell function, or both. These flavanoids are rich in all parts of the grape - skin, flesh and seed, all of which were in our powder.”

Read more at the University of Michigan Health System website.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

iLASIK Vision Correction

Did you know that over 3.5 million laser vision correction procedures were done around the world last year? In the last ten years, 32 million people have had laser eye surgery, with good results and freedom from glasses and contacts. Laser surgery is nearly painless and yields fantastic results.

NASA and the US military both use modern LASIK technology. In fact, the newest laser technology called iLASIK is being used by the Department of Defense and NASA to improve the vision of mission-critical personnel. The results were astounding with 95% of military personnel achieving 20/20 vision after having iLASIK.

iLASIK uses two lasers instead of one. First the patient's eyes are mapped by wave-front technology. Then a corneal flap is created by an ultrafast, precise laser. The mapping data is used for vision correction and the combination of technologies creates a custom fit. The result is a better laser vision correction technology. Vist iLASIK for more LASIK information.


Chicken Soup for Blood Pressure?

There may be more to that pot of chicken soup than just making you feel better when you have a cold. New studies indicate that chicken may contain ingredients to lower your blood pressure.

Chicken collagen found in the legs and feet, has effects similar to ACE inhibitors - medications used to treat high blood pressure. Chicken breast contains this collagen as well but in very small amounts. The legs and feet are often used in soups, and appear to be a better source of the proteins that showed promise in lowering blood pressure.

The studies are cited in an article published in the Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Free Death Certificates Online

Whether you are researching genealogical records or need documentation for insurance purposes, finding death records and death certificates can be an arduous task. However, you can search quickly and easily online through a vast database of death certificates nationwide. Whether you want New York death records or california death records, is a valuable resource for help in finding the document you seek.

HHS New Guidelines for Physical Activity

The US Department of Health and Human Services has released it's new Physical Activity Guidelines. The new guidelines contain specific recommendations for different age group and those who have special considerations.

The HHS states that physical activity improves overall health and reduces the risk of coronary heart disease.

Here are the new guidelines according to their fact sheet:

Children and adolescents should participate in one hour or more of physical activity per day; and most of the activity should be moderate or vigorous aerobic physical activity. They should participate in vigorous physical activity at least three days a week. They should participate in muscle-strengthening activities, such as push-ups and sit-ups and playing tug-of-war, three days a week. They should incorporate bone-strengthening activities, such as jumping rope, hopping or running, at least three days a week.

Adults gain substantial health benefits from two and one half hours a week of moderate aerobic physical activity or an hour and 15 minutes of vigorous physical activity. Aerobic activity, such as walking briskly, water aerobics, ballroom dancing, jogging, and jumping rope, should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes. Increasing aerobic physical activity to five hours a week of moderate activity or two and one half hours a week of vigorous aerobic physical activity, results in more extensive health benefits. Adults should do muscle-strengthening activities, such as weight training, push-ups, sit-ups, carrying heavy loads and heavy gardening, at least two days a week.

Older adults generally should follow the guidelines for adults. If chronic conditions limit their ability to do two and one half hours a week of moderate aerobic activity, they should be as physically active as their abilities and conditions allow.

Be safe as well as active. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans include tips for safe physical activity. Some examples are choosing activities appropriate for current fitness level and health goals; increasing physical activity gradually over time to meet guidelines or health goals; and using appropriate gear and sports equipment and looking for safe environments.

More information can be obtained at the US Department of Health & Human Services website.