For older Bragg Health News archives from 2014, click here
December 15, 2015
Kaiser Recommends Plant-Based Diet for All
Kaiser Permanente, the largest managed care organization in the United States, told physicians that healthy eating may best be achieved with a plant-based diet
December 1, 2015
Plant-Based Diets for Diabetes
Plant-based diets not only appear to guard against getting diabetes in the first place, they may successfully treat the disease better than the diabetic diets patients are typically placed on, controlling weight and cholesterol.
November 24, 2015
How to have a non-turkey Thanksgiving
If you’re thinking of planning a turkey-free Thanksgiving holiday, you’re not alone. An estimated 7.3 million vegetarians in the U.S. will be planning their holiday tables sans the "gobble, gobble." And that’s not even counting the 22.8 million people in the U.S. who are “vegetarian-inclined.”
November 10, 2015
Proven Prescription for Stress
Seventy-five to ninety percent of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related illness and stress has been shown to be a contributor to the 6 major causes of death in this country.
October 28, 2015
Laughter as Medicine
Researchers injected people with dust mite allergies with dust mite poop, and the allergic response was significantly reduced after viewing a humorous video for a matter of hours, suggesting that the induction of laughter may play a role in alleviating allergic diseases.
October 22, 2015
Obesity: It’s Not About the Carbs
Why do people think fruit leads to weight gain? The quick answer from my patients is because of the carbs.
October 14, 2015
Prevent or Reverse Heart Disease
What if we don’t just want low risk for a heart attack, but no risk? One great stumbling block has been that government and national health organizations appear to have taken the patronizing view that the public can’t handle the truth and would rather the science be watered down.
October 7, 2015
The Truth About Salt
For decades, a sometimes furious battle has raged among scientists over the extent to which elevated salt consumption contributes to death; with one camp calling it a public health hazard that requires vigorous attack, and another claiming the risks of dietary salt excess are exaggerated, even to the point of calling sodium reduction "the largest delusion in the history of preventive medicine."
October 2, 2015
The Okinawa Diet: Living to 100
The dietary guidelines recommend that we try to choose meals or snacks that are high in nutrients but lower in calories to reduce the risk of chronic disease. By this measure, the healthiest foods on the planet, the most nutrient dense, are vegetables, containing the most nutrient bang for our caloric buck. So, what would happen if a population centered their diet around vegetables? They might end up having among the longest lives.
September 29, 2015
Alzheimer’s and Atherosclerosis of the Brain
In 1901, a woman was seen by a Dr. Alzheimer, and was to become the case that made his a household name. On autopsy, he described the plaques and tangles in her brain that would go on to characterize the disease, but lost in the excitement of discovering a new entity, a clue may have been overlooked. He described arteriosclerotic changes—hardening of the arteries—within her brain.
Whole Beets vs. Juice for Improving Athletic Performance
Nitrates, concentrated in green leafy vegetables and beets, underwent a great makeover a few years ago from inert substances to having profound effects on the power plants within all our cells, reducing the oxygen cost during exercise meaning we can bust out the same amount of work with less oxygen.
September 14, 2015
Diet and Climate Change
One of the most prestigious medical journals in the world editorialized that climate change represents the biggest global health threat of the 21st century, and currently, chronic diseases are, by far, the leading cause of death. Might there be a way to combat both at the same time?
September 2, 2015
Smoothies for Best Nutrition
Smoothies (and blended soups and sauces) offer a convenient way to boost both the quantity and quality of fruit and vegetable intake by reducing food particle size to help maximize nutrient absorption.
September 1, 2015
Fatty Meals May Impair Artery Function
The phenomenon of postprandial angina was described over 200 years ago, chest pain that occurs after a meal, even if you’re just sitting down and resting. The question is, why?
August 13, 2015
Walnuts for a Healthy Heart
Good news for nut lovers: Eating at least one serving of walnuts per week may drop our chances of a cardiovascular-related death by 50%.
Does Chocolate Cause Weight Gain?
Big Candy boasts studies showing that those who eat chocolate weigh less than those who don’t, but what does the best science show?
July 29, 2015
Benefits of Flax Seeds
Flax seed is one of the original health foods treasured for its heeling properties throughout the Roman Empire; one of the original medicines used by Hypocrites. Mahatma Gandhi himself was right when he said "Wherever flax seeds become a regular food item among the people there will be better health."
July 20, 2015
Diverticula are out-pouchings from our intestine. Doctors like using a tire analogy, high pressures within the gut can forced the intestines to balloon out through weak spots in the intestinal wall like an inner tube poking out through a worn tire tread.
July 15, 2015
10 Things You Should Know About the Meat Industry
Animal food producers control our everyday food-buying choices with misleading messaging, artificially low prices, and heavy control over legislation and regulation. This producer behavior is simply shocking.
July 7, 2015
Vegetarian Diets Aid Weight Management
A vegetarian dietary pattern may be the most effective for weight loss, according to a meta-analysis published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
June 30, 2015
What Causes Diabetes?
Saturated fat can be toxic to the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, explaining why animal fat consumption can impair insulin secretion, not just insulin sensitivity.
FDA Bans Trans Fat
Based on a thorough review of the scientific evidence, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration today finalized its determination that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the primary dietary source of artificial trans fat in processed foods, are not “generally recognized as safe” or GRAS for use in human food.
June 17, 2015
How to Treat High Blood Pressure with Diet
High blood pressure ranks as the #1 risk factor for death and disease in the world. Previously, I showed how a plant-based diet may prevent high blood pressure, but what if we already have it? The American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend as the first-line treatment, lifestyle modification.
Solving a Colon Cancer Mystery
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, after lung cancer. If you look at the rates of lung cancer around the world, they vary by a factor of 10. If there was nothing we could do to prevent lung cancer, it just arose spontaneously, happened at random, you’d assume that the rates everywhere would be the same, but since there’s such a huge variation in rates you assume there’s some external cause, and indeed we now know smoking is responsible for 90% of lung cancer cases.
May 27, 2015
Can Oatmeal Reverse Heart Disease?
Fiber continues to be singled out as a nutrient of public health concern. There is a fiber gap in America. These are the minimum recommended daily intakes of fiber for men and women at different age groups; this is how much we’re actually getting. We’re only getting about half the minimum, considered a public health concern for all Americans.
May 19, 2015
Low Carb Diets Found to Feed Heart Disease
Now we have studies that measure the impact of low carb diets on arteries directly, and a review of all the best studies to date found that low-carb diets impair arterial function, as evidenced by a decrease in flow-mediated dilation, meaning low-carb diets effectively stiffen people’s arteries.
May 5, 2015
Why are Cancer Rates so Low in India?
It is estimated that many tumors start around the age of 20. However, detection of cancer is normally around the age of 50 or later. Thus, it takes cancer decades to incubate. Why does it take so long?
Tips for Making the Switch to a Vegetarian Diet
If you're thinking about going vegetarian, you can get some great ideas for getting started here.
April 15, 2015
How To Prevent A Stroke
High dietary fiber intake may prevent strokes. The belief that dietary fiber intake is protectively associated to some diseases was postulated 40 years ago and then enormously fuelled and kept alive by a great body of science since.
Six Dietary Guidelines for Cancer Prevention
The cancer prevention guidelines, emphasizing a diet rich in plant-based foods, such as soy beans and cruciferous, allium, and carotenoid vegetables, are based on the principle that diet changes are justified, even when evidence on certain issues are up for debate.
April 1, 2015
What’s Driving America’s Obesity Problem?
Currently, nearly two-thirds of Americans are overweight. By 2030 it is estimated more than half our population may be clinically obese. Childhood obesity has tripled, and most children will grow up to be overweight as well. The United States may be in the midst of raising the first generation since our nation’s founding that will have a shorter predicted life span than that of the previous generation.
The Reversal on Fish Oil
Are the purported benefits of fish oil supplementation for the prevention and treatment of heart disease just a “fish tale“? Thanks to recommendations from organizations such as the American Heart Association that individuals at high risk for heart disease ask their physicians about fish oil supplementation, fish oil has grown into a multibillion dollar industry. But what does the science say?
March 24, 2015
Is Milk Good for Our Bones?
Milk is touted to build strong bones, but a compilation of all the best studies found no association between milk consumption and hip fracture risk, so drinking milk as an adult might not help bones, but what about in adolescence? Harvard researchers decided to put it to the test.
Exercise vs. Drugs for Depression
We’ve known for decades that even a single bout of exercise can elevate our mood, but enough to be used as a treatment for major depression? Well we know physical activity has been associated with decreased symptoms of depression, for example if you look at a cross-section of 8,000 people across the country, those that exercised regularly were less likely to have a major depression diagnosis.
February 2, 2015
Olive Oil Compound Kills Cancer in Minutes
An ingredient in extra-virgin olive oil kills a variety of human cancer cells without harming healthy ones.
Does Eating Nuts Prevent Strokes?
The Lyon Diet Heart Trial showed that a Mediterranean-type diet could significantly reduce the risk of having a second heart attack, but since many first heart attacks are fatal, better to prevent heart attacks in the first place. But no randomized controlled trial has ever been conducted to test the Mediterranean diet for this so-called ‘primary prevention’ until now.
January 26, 2015
The Top Three DNA Protecting Spices
Including ginger in our diet may cut DNA damage by 25%—the same with rosemary. Turmeric is even more powerful—DNA damage was cut in half. And this was not just mixing turmeric with cells in some petri dish: This is comparing what happens when you expose the cells of spice eaters versus the cells of non-spice eaters to free radicals and count the DNA fracture rates.
Turmeric Curcumin vs. Exercise for Artery Function
For those who sit most of the day and are unable to use a standing or treadmill desk or take frequent breaks from sitting should consider the regular ingestion of the spice turmeric to protect endothelial function.