Entries Tagged as Science

Technology and Science

This medical procedure may one day help people live longer and healthier lives.

Fighting immunosenescence. More to come soon.......

Walking Combats Bad Habits and Boosts Creativity

The New York Times reported that two new studies indicate that “walking at least 12,000 steps a day effectively wiped out all of the disagreeable changes wrought” by consuming 75 grams of fructose in two sodas per day. The second of these studies published this month in The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “focused on blood-sugar responses to fructose and activity, and found equally striking changes among the young people when they didn’t move much.

In another study, Stanford researchers found that walking boosts creative inspiration. They examined creativity levels of people while they walked versus while they sat. A person's creative output increased by an average of 60 percent when walking.

Cutting Carbs, Not Fat, May Lead to Greater Weight Loss

In a recent 12-month study, adults eating a low-carb diet, which reduced their carbohydrate consumption to about 28% of their daily calories, lost almost 3 times as much weight (12 pounds vs. 3 pounds) as low-fat dieters who received about 40% to 45% of their calories from carbohydrates. Participants on the low-carb diet also had greater decreases in fat mass, ratio of total HDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels along with greater increases in HDL cholesterol level than those on the low-fat diet. All participants of the Annals of Internal Medicine study were eating approximately the same amount of calories.

The Summer Blog Edition

Go to to see the latest video (yes, I am in it sharing some sectrets you do not want to miss), summer recipes and more. Below is our Summer Newsletter with more helpful tips of how to enjoy the summer produce.

Fiber, Health and Weight Control

Fiber has many health benefits, yet the American diet is defficient of this important nutrient. It is the the main ingredieint in Sila Weight Control. I just came across a very informative article in Read on and you will learn about the health benefits of fiber and its weight control properties.

Lose Weight With Avocado

 The aouthors of a new study conclude: "The addition of approximately one half of a Hass avocado at a lunch meal can influence post-ingestive satiety over a subsequent 3 and 5 hour period in overweight adults" Try it with Sila Antioxidant..

Vitamin Supplements May Cause Cancer

Many people take vitamins such as A, E, and C thinking that their antioxidant properties will ward off cancer. But some clinical trials have suggested that such antioxidants, which sop up DNA-damaging molecules called free radicals, have the opposite effect and raise cancer risk in certain people. Now, in a provocative study that raises unsettling questions about the widespread use of vitamin supplements, Swedish researchers have showed that moderate doses of two widely used antioxidants spur the growth of early lung tumors in mice.

Saturated Fat and Your Heart

In an article published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, a meta-analysis of data from 72 unique studies with over 600,000 participants from 18 nations found that total saturated fatty acid, whether measured in the diet or in the bloodstream as a biomarker, was not associated with coronary disease risk in the observational studies. So, if you only get your science and health news from mainstream newspapers or television, you may be surprized -  the evidence to support restricting the consumption of saturated fats in order to prevent heart disease isn't there. This, of course, does not give you a green light to have hamburgers for lunch and  steak for dinner every day because saturated fat does contribute to weight gain (see below). However, moderate consumption of natural, not fat reduced milk, butter, cheese and humanely raised animal meat without added hormones and antibiotics is not a threat to your cardiovascular health and may add some pleasure to your lifestyle.

Dietary Supplements - a blatant scam

This morning, I watched a commercial on National TV about a dietary spplement that promises substantial weight loss without any lifestyle change. Similar claims are made about dietary supplements that can prevent and treat allergies, the flu and other common ailments. A recent article in the New York Times addresses the scam that dietary supplements are as exposed by recent scientific research.

Americans spend an estimated $5 billion a year on unproven herbal supplements that promise everything from fighting off colds to curbing hot flashes and boosting memory. But now there is a new reason for supplement buyers to beware: DNA tests show that many pills labeled as healing herbs are little more than powdered rice and weeds.

Using a test called DNA barcoding, a kind of genetic fingerprinting that has also been used to help uncover labeling fraud in the commercial seafood industry, Canadian researchers tested 44 bottles of popular supplements sold by 12 companies. They found that many were not what they claimed to be, and that pills labeled as popular herbs were often diluted — or replaced entirely — by cheap fillers like soybean, wheat and rice.


Multivitamins and Science

I have written about multivitamins' in the past. Now we have more convincing scientific evidence that multivitamins are not only useless in protecting you from diseases but are actually harmful in some cases.

Three studies  add to multivitamins' bad rap. One review found no benefit in preventing early death, heart disease or cancer. Another found that taking multivitamins did nothing to stave off cognitive decline with aging. A third found that high-dose multivitamins didn't help people who had had one heart attack avoid another.

"Enough is enough," declares an editorial accompanying the studies in Annals of Internal Medicine. "Stop wasting money on vitamin and mineral supplements."

Stick to real food. "Food is medicine". People have known that citrus fruits prevent scurvy. It took 3 centuries to find out that Vitamin C in citrus was responsible for the citrus miracle. We are still discovering the biochemistry of foods and we have not even scratched the surface. So, eat real food and we will use scientific evidence to improve our food choices, rather than replacing real food with pills.

Watermelon and Exercise

l-Citrulline, an amino acid shown in previous studies to reduce muscle soreness, is found abundantly in watermelons, as well as certain squashes, cucumbers, and other melons.  Martha P. Tarazona-Díaz, from the  Universidad Politecnica de Cartagena  (Spain), and colleagues found thatthat: “watermelon juices helped to reduce the recovery heart rate and muscle soreness in athletes after 24 h.”

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Inflammation Linked to Risk of Heart Disease

In a recent article researchers from Ireland demonstrated that signs of inflammation are associated with high incidence heart and other medical problems in both obese and nonobese patients.

"Favorable inflammatory status is positively associated with metabolic health in obese and nonobese individuals. These findings are of public health and clinical significance in terms of screening and stratification based on metabolic health phenotype to identify those at greatest cardiometabolic risk for whom appropriate therapeutic or intervention strategies should be developed" concluded the authors.

The best way to keep inflammation down is by eating plenty of foods known to reduce inflammation and to include mogerate physical activities in your daily routine. (See VIDEO on INFLAMMATION) SILA Foods provide plenty of anti-inflammatory nutrients when you do not have time to shop and prepare your own meals. Check out our latest Newsletter.

Follow SILA Foods on Facebook and Twitter for recipes, news and videos.

The Mediterranean Diet and Your Genes

A new study further strengthens the notion that what you eat can have an impact on your genetic risk for disease.The research, published in the journal Diabetes Care, shows that for people who carry two copies of a specific gene variant known to raise disease risk, eating a Mediterranean diet seems to lower their risk of developing stroke -- to the level of someone who possesses just one copy, or no copies, of the gene variant. A Mediterranean diet is one that is high in olive oil, fish and produce.On the other hand, for people who carry two copies of this gene variant and eat a low-fat diet, their risk of stroke is nearly three times higher than people with one or no copies of the gene variant.


Summer offers an abundance of fresh vegetables allowing for great variety of salads. And you can make these salads more nutricious and delicious by choosing the right dressing.

Hipocrates, the Greek Goddes Iris and You

What Hipocrates and the Greek Goddes Iris have to do with you? Watch the video to find out.

Food, Dirt and the Immune Sustem

In an op-ed in the New York Times (6/21, Subscription Publication), Jeff D. Leach, founder of the Human Food Project, writes, "The greatest social contribution of the farmers' market may be its role as a delivery vehicle for putting dirt back into the American diet." Leach cites "increasing evidence...that the alarming rise in allergic and autoimmune disorders during the past few decades is at least partly attributable to our lack of exposure to microorganisms that once covered our food and us" and "kept our bodies from overreacting to foreign bodies." He calls for "reintroducing some of the organisms from the mud and water of our natural world" to prevent "an overreaction of an otherwise healthy immune response that results in such chronic diseases as type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis and a host of allergic disorders."

Can You Beat Your Bad Genes?

If you have a family history of high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer or other medical conditions, you are at a higher risk of developing these disease. Current science is not ready yet to change our genetic make up but there are ways to diminish the risk of suffering from diseases that run in one's family. Two recent publications demonstrate that in large , well designed scientific studies. In one study, investigators found that among male participants who had a parental history of early heart attack, participants whose lifestyles were healthier face a lower likelihood of developing heart failure. Usefulness of Desirable Lifestyle Factors to Attenuate the Risk of Heart Failure Among Offspring Whose Parents Had Myocardial Infarction Before Age 55 Years, Owais Khawaja, MD American Journal of Cardiology April 2012

Another study published in the journal Hypertension shows that physically fit people with a family history of high blood pressure were up to 34% less likely to develop high blood pressure than people who rarely exercised." Writing in the journal Hypertension, the researchers found that "People with a high level of physical fitness were 42% less likely to have high blood pressure and those with a moderate level of fitness were 26% less likely, compared to people with a low level of physical fitness. Among people with a parent with high blood pressure, those who were most physically fit had only a 16% higher risk of developing high blood pressure than those who were fit and had no family history of the disease."

Kiwifruit for the Common Cold

You know how miserable you feel when you have a cold. A remedy may be looking at you in your local supermarket. Denise C. Hunter, from The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research (New Zealand), and colleagues enrolled 37 men and women, ages 65 years and older, who ate four gold kiwifruit each day for four weeks, then switched over to consume two bananas daily (or vice versa), with a four week intervening washout period. During the kiwifruit phase, self-reported cold symptoms were less (as compared to the banana phase), with sore throat symptoms reducing from 5.4 to 2 days and head congestion decreasing from 4.7 to 0.9 days. The severity of head congestion during the kiwifruit phase was also reduced.

Hormone Produced By Exercise May Help Control Obesity, Blood Sugar Levels

Irisin is a hormone which is found naturally  in muscle cells...rises during exercise, converting white fat into brown fat, a substance whose primary function is to generate body heat." When irisin was injected "into obese, pre-diabetic mice, the animals lost weight and their blood sugar levels improved." Researchers suggested that this finding "may lead to treatments for obesity and diabetes, as well as other disorders where exercise may benefit patients who are too weak to engage in it."

Since making irisin pills is still only an idea, you are better off making your muscles produce more of it. Plus, a pill will not tone your muscles and you will not look good. 

Get Off Your Butt!

Research published in the American Journal Of Physiology-Cell Physiology found that the pressure put on areas of the body used for sitting or lying down produces up to 50 per cent more fat in those parts. And "even those with healthy diet and exercise habits will be affected if they spend long periods sitting behind a desk."  Dr. Jim Levine of the Mayo Clinic found obese people sit an average two and a half hours more each day than thinner people." The story concludes: "Take some pressure off your own bottom line and stand up

Cranberry Juice Fights Bacterial Infections

Cranberriy juice has been known to fight E. Coli infection which causes urinary tract infection. Previous studies have suggested that a particular flavonoid antioxidant (proanthocyanidins or PACs) were responsible for this antibacterial function. A new study demonstrates not only that PACs alone are much less efficient than whole cranberry juice, but also that raedily available commercial cranberry juice is just as protective. This brings me back to the point that whole foods are always better than individual components or extracts.

Dietary Supplements Increase Mortality Rate in Older Women

A study just published in Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(18):1625-1633. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.445 assessed the use of vitamin and mineral supplements in relation to total mortality in 38 772 older women in the Iowa Women's Health Study; mean age was 61.6 years at baseline in 1986. The study revealed that  in older women, several commonly used dietary vitamin and mineral supplements may be associated with increased total mortality risk; this association is strongest with supplemental iron. In contrast to the findings of many studies, calcium is associated with decreased risk.

A 2007 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association linked vitamin E, vitamin A and beta- carotene to higher death rates. Another, published in the same year in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, linked multivitamins to an increase in prostate cancer.

Here is my take.

Age Related Memory Decline

A recent study published in the journal “Nature“ 2011; 476 : 210 – 3, clearly demonstrates that memory declines starting from mid-age and progressing into older age. The authors (Wang, et al) measured neuronal firing rate of neurons (brain cells) as an expression of these cells’ activity in monkeys. Almost any daily activity requires the temporary retention of some type of information (working memory). Working memory is critically important for a variety of cognitive functions including language comprehension, reasoning, decision making and planning. So anything that will help prevent or at least delay age associated memory decline can benefit anybody above the age of thirty. Pharmacological interventions are being investigated. In the mean time, there are several recent studies that show that cognitive training and a variety of exercises are very effective in slowing down age associated memory decline.

Fifty Five Percent of Americans Have Chronic (Inflammatory) Diseases

More than half of Americans have at least one chronic disease, according to research conducted in 12 countries. As a medical practitioner, I have suspected this for quite some time. This is one of the reasons I created Lifestyle In Motion, the best approach to prevent chronic diseases. Most of these diseases are due to chronic inflammation. Watch the video. 

Can Pistachios Help You Loose Weight

The health benefits of pistachios are well documented but who knew that pistachio shells can help you loose weight! When considering your options for a snack, reach for a handful of in-shell pistachios.

Living Long - It is All in the Genes... almost

In a recently published study, the authors interviewed people living independently at ages 95 to 109, and asked them to recall things such as their weight, height, alcohol consumption, smoking and their physical activity at age 70; they were also asked whether they ate a low-calorie, low-fat or low-salt diet at that age. What they found may surprise you.

Healthily Prepared Fish May Help to Lower Heart Failure Risk

 Previous research has found that fatty acids (omega-3) in fish may lower risk of cardiovascular disease by decreasing inflammation, resisting oxidative stress and improving blood pressure, cardiac and blood vessel function. A large-scale analysis of data collected on 84,493 postmenopausal women enrolled in the US Women's Health Initiative Observational Study shows that the type of fish and the cooking method may affect heart failure risk.

Good Fats, Olive Oil and the Mediterranean Diet

Olive oil is the key component of the Mediterranean Diet which has been shown to have beneficial effects on many diseases. It can be included in a healthy eating plan as one of the oils that contains the least amount of saturated or bad fat, no cholesterol and is rich on antiinflammtory substaces and antioxidants. Watch video about the Mediterranean Diet (by the way, it is not a diet)

Olive oil may protect against strokes

A diet high in olive oil may help protect older people against strokes, which are the third leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer. The findings are in a study published in the journal Neurology.

Hey, My Parents Wrote a 91!

Yes, you read it right. They are both 91 and recently published a book! They are both physicians, so the book naturally has to do with medicine. The book is titled: Hypertension-A National Problem. It is about the serious consequences of high blood pressure which affects about a half of the population of Bulgaria. Lifestyle factors play a major role. Therefore, the book emphasizes that high blood pressure is not only a medical but a social problem as well. They also offer possible solutions to the problem ( which by the way is not limited to Bulgaria).

I am working on a feature about my parents and their longevity and accomplishments. In the meantime, I could not help it but share this amazing story with everybody.

Blueberries Keep the Fat Off Your Body!

Blueberries are on top of the list of antioxidants rich foods. This makes them heros in fighting heart disease, cancer and many other maladies. And now to top it all off, new research shows that blueberries can help you keep the weight off!

Strawberries Fight Cancer

We already knew that srawberries are full of vitamins and antioxidants. Here is a new study, convincingly demonstrating that strawberries fight esophageal cancer cells in humans. Strawberries are in season now, so go buy some, wash them very well and enjoy them. Who knows, this may save you a lot of trouble.

Spring, Sun, Skin

Last week I went skiing with a friend of mine. We skied untracked powder the whole day. Not bad for the end of April. We had a lot of fun but we forgot one safety item - sunscreen. It was a bluebird day with a lot of sun. It sounds great except for the picture you will see if you read on.

Tangerines Prevent Obesity, Diabetes

You can still find tangerines at the market. We know that they are an excellent source of vitamin C. A new study has found that a substance in tangerines can help you loose weight.

Exercise May Diminish Negative Impact Of High-Salt Diet On Blood Pressure

High salt diet is known as the "silent killer". This is because it leads to hypertension (high blood pressure), a condition which may go undetected until it presents itself as a heart attack or a stroke. And it is not the salt you use to season your meals at home; rather, it is the enormous amounts of salt present in every day foods you buy - bread, butter, anything in a jar or can, The salt in fast foods is truly dangerous to your health. Even reputable chefs use too much salt to satisfy your palete. Lifestyle plays a major role in offsetting the danger of hypertension including the consumption of too much salt. A new study presented at the American Heart Association serves as a further confirmation.

The Health Hazards of Soda

Soda, sugared or diet, may raise a person’s risks of an ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke.  Hannah Gardener, from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine (Florida, USA), and colleagues studied data collected on 2,564 participants enrolled in the Northern Manhattan Study (NOMAS), launched in 1993 to examine stroke incidence and risk factors in a multi-ethnic urban population. A total of 3,298 participants over 40 years old (average age 69) were enrolled through 2001 and continue to be followed. Researchers asked subjects at the outset to report how much and what kind of soda they drank.  During an average follow-up of 9.3 years, 559 vascular events occurred (including ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, which is caused by rupture of a weakened blood vessel).  After adjusting for a number of confounding variables, the team found that the subjects who drank diet soda every day had a 61% higher risk of ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke, as compared to those who reported no soda drinking.

Outdoor Activities Promote Well-Being

Revitalizing one’s mental and emotional health may be just a few footsteps away.  Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry (United Kingdom) researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 11 clinical studies involving 833 adult subjects, each of which assessed the effects of outdoor exercise initiatives against indoor activities and reported at least one physical or mental well-being outcome.   The team found that most of studies involving outdoor-located  activities correlated to improvements in mental well-being: compared with exercising indoors, exercising in natural environments was associated with greater feelings of revitalization, increased energy and positive engagement, together with decreases in tension, confusion, anger and depression. Participants also reported greater enjoyment and satisfaction with outdoor activity and stated that they were more likely to repeat the activity at a later date.  The team observes that:  “[These findings add] significant weight to the case for spending more time in the natural environment as members of the public and their clinicians fight to counteract the negative outcomes of modern living, such as obesity and depression.”

How Fat Are You?

Researchers from California and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have devised a system called the Body Adiposity Index (BAI), which relies on one's height and hip measurements as opposed to the height and weight ratio of the BMI system. This new method, which is outlined in a report in the journal Obesity, can be used in a clinical setting as well as in remote locations where reliable scales aren't available. BMI (Body Mass Index), which has been used to measure body fat for the past 200 years, is calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in meters squared. BMI measurement may not be consistent either when applied to different nationalities or even lifestyle groups. For instance, an athlete cannot be compared to a couch potato, and African Americans may have a different body build from Caucasians. Men and women, too, can have the same BMI but very different amounts of body fat. The BAI system is brand new and needs to prove itself before it is universally adopted. In the meantime - watch your hips!

Obesity Rates Worldwide Have Doubled In The Last Three Decades

The AP  (2/4, Cheng) reports that "obesity rates worldwide have doubled in the last three decades even as blood pressure and cholesterol levels have dropped, according to three new studies" published in The Lancet. Researchers found that "in 1980, about five percent of men and eight percent of women worldwide were obese. By 2008, the rates were nearly 10 percent for men and 14 percent for women."

Obesity Alone May Increase Risk Of Fatal Heart Attack

WebMD  (2/14, Hendrick) reported that "obesity is a risk factor for fatal heart attacks even for people who do not have the conditions normally associated with cardiovascular disease, such as diabetes and high blood pressure," according to a study published online in the journal Heart.

High-Fiber Diet May Reduce Risk Of Dying From Chronic Diseases, Some Cancers

The AP  (2/14, Johnson) reported, "Eat more fiber and you just may live longer," according to a study  reported online in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Comment: This means that if you ate just 1-2 oz. of Sila Weight Control recipe, you will live a healthier and longer life.

The Longevity Report

According to a report from the U.S. National Research CouncilCanadians are going to outlive Americans, indicating Canadians are healthier and in better shape. "[Health] is determined by 100 things, and some of those are obviously more favourable in Canada and other countries than they are in the U.S.," says report co-author Samuel Preston, a professor of demographics at the University of Pennsylvania

White Rice versus Brown Rice

Rice intake in the United States is almost 21 pounds per person annually.  Seventy percent of that amount is white rice.  Harvard researchers gathered data from nearly 200,000 adults in the US to assess the role of consumption of rice in the development of diabetes type II. Read More >>


Cherries are in peak season now. Here are some facts you may want to know about cherries.



Pesticides and ADHD

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a psychiatric disorder mainly in children but can also affect adults. Although a wide range of symtoms have been atributed to this condition, the two main symptoms are hyperactivity-impulsivity and inattentiveness.


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