A Look at Diphtheria – Its Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Diphtheria is an acute, highly contagious, toxin-mediated infection that’s preventable by vaccine. Diphtheria is rare in the UK but remains a serious problem in some other parts of the world. There have only been eight cases since 1986, and all of those have returned from abroad.

What causes it
Diphtheria is caused by an infection of Corynebacterium diphtheriae, a grampositive rod that usually infects the respiratory tract (primarily the tonsils, nasopharynx and larynx). It’s more serious when it occurs in infants because they have smaller airways, which are more susceptible to obstruction because of their size.

How it happens
The infection is transmitted by:

  • contact with an infected patient’s or carrier’s nasal, pharyngeal, eye or skin lesion discharge
  • contact with articles contaminated with the bacteria
  • ingestion of unpasteurised milk.
Incubation and communicability
The diphtheria incubation period is 2 to 7 days. The period of communicability is 2 to 4 weeks after the onset of symptoms, or until 4 days after the initiation of antibiotic therapy.What to look for
Symptoms of diphtheria include:

  • fever
  • malaise
  • purulent rhinitis
  • cough, hoarseness and stridor
  • cervical lymphadenopathy
  • pharyngitis.
Obstruction production
The infection, localised to the tonsils and posterior pharynx, is characterised by a thick, patchy, greyish green, membranous lesion that can lead to airway obstruction. Some children also exhibit infectious, ulcerated skin lesions as a manifestation of the disease.

What tests tell you

*Culture specimens from the nose, throat and skin lesions reveal the presence of coryneform organisms.
*Sensitivity tests determine the optimal antibiotic therapy.
*Serologic testing will identify the presence of diphtheria toxin.

Complications
Infection with the toxin can result in myocarditis, thrombocytopoenia, peripheral neuropathy or an ascending paralysis with symptoms similar to Guillain-Barré syndrome. Renal, cardiac and peripheral CNS damage may also occur.

It’s a cover-up
The membranous lesion that covers the tonsils can spread to cover the posterior pharynx, which can result in airway obstruction. Removal of the membrane may be indicated, but attempting to do so can cause bleeding. Left untreated, however, it can result in death.

How it’s treated
Diphtheria is treated with antitoxin and antibiotics.

No time to waste
IV administration of diphtheria antitoxin and antibiotic therapy must begin within 3 days of the onset of symptoms. The patient should be tested for allergy to horse serum before administering the antitoxin. The antibiotic of choice is usually penicillin G or erythromycin for those allergic to penicillin.

Too close for comfort
Close contacts of the infected child should be identifi ed, monitored for signs of illness and treated with prophylactic antibiotic therapy (oral erythromycin for 7 to 10 days). Cultures of the nose, the throat and skin lesions should be obtained.

What to do
Diphtheria is a preventable disease. The immunisation series is designed to begin at age of 2 months. The vaccine confers immunity for 10 years, after which boosters should be given every 10 years throughout the lifespan. Passive immunity conferred from the presence of maternal antibodies lasts as long as 6 months after birth.

Diagnose, then act
When the disease is diagnosed, follow these steps:

  • Report the infection to the local public health department.
  • Place the infected child in droplet isolation to prevent respiratory transmission. (Show the child isolation gowns, masks and gloves that will be worn and provide a simple explanation such as, ‘your parents, nurses and doctors are going to wear these so everyone stays healthy’.)
  • Institute contact isolation precautions if skin lesions are present.
  • Maintain infection precautions until after two consecutive negative nasopharyngeal cultures to prevent spread of the disease.
  • Closely monitor the child for signs of airway obstruction. Provide humidified oxygen, if oxygen is ordered, to reduce airway inflammation.
  • Administer antitoxin and antibiotics as ordered. Monitor for allergic or anaphylactic reaction.
  • Maintain the child on complete bed rest to prevent myocarditis. Provide age-appropriate activities to prevent boredom.

The Number One Secret Ingredient in Recipes for Lowering Cholesterol

High cholesterol is a potentially life-threatening condition that impacts literally millions of people around the world. Study after study has shown that high cholesterol is a precursor for heart attacks and strokes. For anyone trying to lower cholesterol, there are now studies showing that there is one secret ingredient that can be effective in recipes for lowering cholesterol. This secret ingredient is the simple nut.

It doesn’t really matter the type of nut that is eaten, although nuts containing a high amount of “good” fats are more beneficial than those with lower levels. Almost every type, including almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts, have some benefit. These nuts contain unsaturated fatty acids which are very heart-healthy, and they can easily replace those unhealthy snacks that are bad for your health. On top of the health benefits, nuts are inexpensive, easy to carry with you, and very tasty either by themselves or in your favorite recipes.

Nuts have been reported to lower LDL “bad” cholesterol, which is a major contributor to heart disease. Eating nuts and lowering the LDL levels helps to lower the risk of blood clots which, if left untreated, can lead to a heart attack or stroke. In addition to this benefit, nuts can also improve the lining of your arteries.

So what is in nuts that makes them so healthy? There are a number of substances found in nuts that have significant health benefits. Most nuts contain at least one of these healthy substances.

  • The first is unsaturated fats. Both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats lower “bad” cholesterol.
  • The second is omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 acids are found in fish and nuts and can help prevent heart arrhythmias.
  • The third component is fiber. Every nut contains at least some amount of fiber. Fiber lowers cholesterol and also helps you feel full. This means that fiber from nuts benefits you directly by lowering your cholesterol and indirectly by helping you to lose weight.

The benefit of nuts is that it can be a substitute for saturated fats, such as eggs, meat, or dairy products. However, since nuts can be as much as 80% fat, they should be taken in moderation. Over-eating nuts is similar to over-eating any other type of food. Eating too much has the negative effect of weight gain. The FDA recommends eating about 1.5 ounces daily of nuts such as peanuts, pecans, almonds, pine nuts, pistachio nuts, walnuts, or hazelnuts. This amount equates to about a handful per day. Eating this amount daily may lower your risk of heart disease if included as part of an overall healthy diet.

Most nuts are generally healthy although some are healthier than others. Nuts that seem to have the best effects on heart health are walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, almonds, and hazelnuts. Peanuts, which are technically legumes instead of nuts, have shown to have positive effects on the heart.

While this article offers you the best ingredient to use in your diet and recipes for lowering cholesterol, there are a number of foods that can help anyone struggling with this condition. It is important to always keep learning about high cholesterol and the natural ways to reduce it.

Defeat Diabetes

Four warning signs you shouldn’t ignore

Full blown diabetes is easy to spot: frequent, uncontrollable urges to urinate, virtually unquenchable thirst, numbness in your hands and feet. Symptoms leading up to the full blown disease are easier to ignore. But ignorance isn’t bliss. Here are the top silent alarms.

  1. You feel sleepy right after a meal if your body gets flooded with sugar it can’t process. It’ll stage a sort of rolling blackout. It will pull energy from other systems to marshal the resources needed to pump out the extra sugar.
  2. Your vision has become a little blurry. When too much sugar crowds into your bloodstream, it can cause the lenses in your eyes to stretch, resulting in blurred vision. Watch for headaches after reading or doing paperwork.
  3. Your blood pressure is higher than usual. It’s hard to tell which comes first, the diabetes or the high blood pressure. But it seems that even slightly higher than normal blood pressure levels are related to insulin resistance.
  4. Your breath constantly smells like nail polish remover. Without enough insulin to turn carbohydrates into energy, your liver will begin to break down fat for fuel. Acetone breath is one by product of fat combustion.

Diabetes is actually an easy disease to understand. Basically, it’s an interruption in the body’s supply line of food. Here’s how it works.

Just about everything we eat is digested and turned into glucose, also called blood sugar. The glucose is then carried to the body’s cells, where it’s burned as fuel. One crucial element makes the entire process possible. Insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas, allows glucose to penetrate the cell walls.

There are two types of diabetes.

  • Type 1, also called juvenile diabetes, occurs when a person just stops producing insulin, necessitating insulin injections.
  • Type 2 is a lifestyle and genetic problem brought on by overeating and lack of exercise. The pancreas produces plenty of insulin, but the body is insulin resistant and the insulin cannot enter the cell walls. Because people are becoming less active and overeat more, diabetes is becoming a serious threat in our modern society. Diabetes will destroy your heart, kidneys and retinas.

There is no such thing as a diabetic diet. If you look carefully you will see the diet is the same as prescribed to patients with heart disease, cancer or any other terminal illness. A healthy eating plan is what you should strive for and diabetics should keep the following meal planning guidelines in mind.

You are able to eat a variety of ordinary foods that make up a healthy eating plan. You may be asked to prepare some foods differently or change some of the ingredients used in your recipes and eat less or more of some foods. But the basic foods themselves will be those you have always eaten. A healthy eating plan helps to control the blood glucose, blood lipid (fat) levels, reduce weight where necessary and prevent diabetic complications such as heart disease, damage to the kidneys, eyes and nerves. There is also no need for you to eat differently from the rest of the family. There is no such thing as a diabetic diet and buying special diabetic foods is not necessary. They are just expensive and high in fat.

Starchy Foods

These should be eaten at every meal and be the main part of every meal. The following are good sources.

  • Cereals: Pronutro, weetbix, all bran flakes, oats and oat bran.
  • Breads: Try heavy breads like seed loaf, rye and linseed bread.
  • Pasta and rice: Especially wild and basmati rice.
  • Potatoes: Especially cooked and left overnight (potato salad), new potatoes, baked/boiled rather than roasted or fried.

Fruit and Vegetables

Aim to have five servings per day as they contain anti oxidants (Vitamin C, Beta Carotene, Vitamin E) which may protect against heart disease.

Try not to add butter, margarine, or sugar to vegetables. Rather use lemon juice, low fat/fat free natural yoghurt or oil free salad dressing.

Dried fruit and fruit juices (even those with no added sugar) are concentrated forms of carbohydrates and therefore should be eaten in limited amounts.

Milk and Dairy Products

These good sources of protein and calcium are also high in fat and you therefore need to choose skimmed/low fat milk or dairy products.

Try low fat/fat free yoghurts (check the sugar contents).
Choose low fat/fat free cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, low fat processed cheese or small amounts of strongly flavored cheeses.

Protein

Aim for two to three matchbox size servings per day by making meat or fish the smaller part of your meal.

– Choose lean/fat trimmed meat and use skinless poultry.
– Try to grill, bake, roast, or braise with no or very little oil.
– Legumes (peas, beans, lentils) are excellent protein sources which are naturally low in fat and a good source of fiber.
– Fish, especially oily fish (mackerel, sardines, pilchards, herring, salmon) may protect you from heart disease.

Fats and Oils

Diabetes increases your risk of heart disease through building up fatty deposits in arteries. What helps prevent this is eating less fat, especially saturated fat – mainly found in animal products such as butter, lard, full fat milk, cheese and fatty meat.

Rather choose small amounts of unsaturated fats like oily fish, corn oil, sunflower oil, and safflower oil. Better still are mono unsaturated fats like olive oil, canola oil and peanut oil.

Exercise

Regular exercise results in better blood glucose control and the need for less medication. It helps control blood pressure, increase your sense of well being and helps maintain a healthy weight. Snacks may be necessary before strenuous exercise or unexpected exercise. Remember that snacks eaten late at night should include a little protein as it makes the food last longer and will prevent the blood glucose levels from dropping too low at night. Ask your dietician for more information.

Change

  • Eat at least three regular meals.
  • Try to eat similar amounts of foods, spaced out evenly and eaten at about the same time of day. Aim for a healthy body weight.
  • Eat less fried foods and fats by cutting down on oil, margarine, butter, fatty meat and cheese.
  • Eat lots of high fiber, starchy foods especially unrefined products, legumes (lentils, peas, beans), vegetables and fruit.

Be more active – exercise will help control your diabetes, help you to lose weight and help prevent heart disease.

Diabetic Complications: Early Detection Is Key

Diabetes mellitus is a health condition that occurs because of disruption in the use and production of insulin. When insulin is not in proper balance, high blood sugar levels result. High blood sugar levels can affect almost all of the systems of the body. This is why the main goal of treatment is to decrease blood glucose readings to prevent diabetic complications.

There are many different complications of diabetes such as:

1. Cardiovascular Disease: The leading cause of death among diabetics is heart disease. This is why one of the main treatment goals for diabetic patients is to lower blood pressure levels. Blood pressure goals for diabetics are lower than for the general population. Blood pressure should be maintained at 130/80 for diabetic patients. In addition, cholesterol should be checked routinely to reduce the risk of formation of plaques in the arteries. Patients with high cholesterol should be started on lifestyle changes and statin therapy with a goal to reduce LDL to below 100 mg/dl.

2. Chronic Kidney Disease: Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney transplant and dialysis. Over time, high blood sugar levels stress the kidney and causes damage that is not reversible. Patient are often put on medications to help protect the kidneys. Kidney function should be checked yearly with both blood and urine testing.

3. Eye Disease: It should not be surprising that diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of adult blindness. Every patient with diabetes should be checked yearly with a complete eye exam to check for changes in the blood vessels of the eyes. These exams should start at diagnosis in type 2 diabetics and at age 10 in type 1 diabetics.

4. Nerve Damage: Elevated glucose also affects the nerves throughout the body including the nerves that are needed for regulatory processes and sensation. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is extremely common and is characterized by numbness and loss of sensation in the hands and feet.

5. Foot Problems: Foot complications are a large cause of morbidity among diabetic patients. People with diabetes are at high risk for infections and amputations of the feet because of poor circulation and poor sensation.

There are many different complications of diabetes and preventing them is not easy. Strict glucose control is necessary to reduce the risk of progression of diabetic complications. It is also important that patients have routine screening tests done to detect damage to the organ systems early. Through these methods it is possible to reduce complications of diabetes and enhance the lives of diabetic patients.

Preventing Heart Disease and Adhering to a Healthy Lifestyle

As the US population continue to age, mainly due to the baby boomers reaching the age of 65, one of the health problems to watch for is heart disease. Heart Disease and Cardiovascular disease can be prevented, but it requires a concerted effort and continued commitment to remind seniors and middle age Americans of proper health and nutriton. Health experts, nutritional experts have long advocated a daily adherence to a low fat diet, low carb diet, low calories and low cholesterol diet. This can all be done by a conscientious decision by Americans to only by foods that meet those criteria, but more important people need to develop several recipes or several dishes that they can altenate on a daily basis. Isolating the bad stuff, while taking more and more of the good stuff is a lifestyle that people can learn to love.

Efforts to eliminate high cholesterol is critical with respect to heart disease. Americans simply must eliminate fast foods and the processed foods from their diet. And for parents, emphasis of a cooked dinner must once again become the norm in everyday American life; as it was back in the 1960’s. Fast foods and processed foods are very low in nutritients and therefore are useless to the body cells. Malnourishing the body cells make them weak and ineffective against viruses, which in turn can cause a lot of problems, if not addressed in a timely manner. A simple little problem can become a huge headache, all of which contribute to the high health care costs for the government. Reversing bad eating habits for Americans perhaps will not be as difficult as once thought, now that the Obama administration have agreed to cuts in Medicare. The government simply does not have any money to sustain the growth in that program.

This is a unique opportunity to continue the movement to instill proper nutrition to the American family once more. Obviously health shows like Dr Oz is helping tremendously to promote the healthy lifestyle. But, we must not relent. Other ways that promote a healthy lifestyle are the natural supplements that are plentiful now in the huge health and wellness industry. With regards to heart disease, one company in particular with a product containing Resverotrol is Sisel International. Resverotrol have long been known to exist in red wines, and numerous scientific studies going back to the 1980’s have shown that countries with population that drink a lot of red wine (such as France and Italy) have a very low rate of heart disease or heart attack. The Sisel product Eternity contains resverotrol and is 100% natural, without any toxin or harmful chemical. More information on the product can be obtained at the website below.

Don’t Hesitate To Ask Questions When You Need To!

According to a study published in the journal Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice in August 2011, calling your doctor’s office when you have a question about your diabetes, can make a noticeable difference if you are struggling to control your blood sugar levels. That was the conclusion reached by investigators at the Gulf Diabetes and Endocrinology Center in Bahrain.

The study included thirty-four people with Type 2 diabetes.

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Twelve of these volunteers were given mobile numbers to both a doctor and a diabetic educator for support during a 3 month period between visits, as well as their usual care.
The other diabetics were given just their usual care.

Results showed that although both groups improved control of their blood sugar levels; those with support from the doctor and diabetes educator had a significantly higher level of improvement. The group declared the service to be highly satisfactory. From these results, it was concluded the service was really very effective in helping to control and normalize blood sugar levels and was well accepted by the Type 2 diabetics. Further studies are going to be held involving larger numbers of diabetic volunteers.

If Type 2 diabetes were an easy problem to control, diabetes education would not be necessary… but it is, and diabetes educators are trained for the job. They include:

  • doctors,
  • occupational therapists,
  • optometrists,
  • clinical exercise specialists,
  • doctor’s assistants,
  • clinical psychologists,
  • nurses,
  • dietitians,
  • pharmacists,
  • exercise physiologists, and
  • podiatrists with special training in diabetes care.

Some have earned the Certified Diabetes Educator credential. Before taking this particular certification examination, future diabetes educators must complete 1000 hours of work in diabetes self-care education and take at least 15 hours of continuing education on diabetes education. The certification exam consists of 200 questions on such diverse topics as recognizing depression and using an insulin pump.

The National Institute of Health in the USA divides diabetes self-care management into three levels:

  1. basic disease management,
  2. home management,
  3. lifestyle improvement.

Basic management includes learning to recognize and treat high and low blood sugar levels, selecting and eating the right foods, taking medications appropriately, testing and recording blood sugar and urinary ketone levels, and purchasing and storing supplies.

Home management includes adjusting insulin and food with exercise, handling sick days, foot care, and preventing and handling long-term complications.

Lifestyle improvement includes lowering stress, providing time for physical activity, and improving diet.

Learning to control Type 2 diabetes can take months for most newly diagnosed diabetics, but good health and avoiding diabetic complications are worth it. Keeping in touch with your doctor and diabetes educator are likely to help you become familiar with the disease itself, as well as help you find the best way to handle your Type 2 diabetes.

Ulcerative Colitis Remedy – Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe Vera is a plant that originates in Africa and has long been regarded as having anti-inflammatory medicinal properties. The gel from the plant can be taken orally for Ulcerative Colitis. Initially there wasn’t real evidence that the plant could have a proven benefit as an Ulcerative Colitis remedy. Proponents believed that it did but there were definitely skeptics as well. More recently there have been blind studies conducted that have shown that there actually is a marked positive effect for sufferers of the disease who consume the gel orally as compared to those who don’t.

In the studies a number of patients were given a regime of Aloe Vera gel. Another set of patients were given the same regime but the in this case were administered placebo. The results indicated that there were definite benefits for those who were given Aloe Vera.

For instance:

Clinical remission occurred in 30% of Aloe Vera patients as opposed to 7% of those who took placebo
Improvement was documented in 37% of those who took Aloe Vera in contrast to only 1% of those who didn’t
Response occurred in 47% when Aloe Vera was used but for only 14% of the patients who received placebo

In light of these findings it seems very obvious that a clinical benefit exists. Many in the medical field often discredit natural remedies for diseases in favor of expensive manufactured drugs. Hopefully this proves to them that alternatives to harsh medicines may exist and can benefit those who suffer from illness. It is important to remember to always heed the advice of a medical professional, but it never hurts to research ways to supplement and maybe even replace harsher prescription drugs in favor of a natural remedy for Ulcerative Colitis. Aloe Vera gel has other significant uses as a natural remedy as well.

Here are some examples:

Can be used topically for

*Minor burns
*Wounds
*Sunburn
*Radiation-related skin reaction
*Genital herpes
*Psoriasis

Can be used orally for

  • Ulcers
  • Diabetes
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Immune Support
  • Constipation

Since Aloe Vera gel has also been proven as a safe natural remedy for Ulcerative Colitis there is definitely good reason to make use of this supplement in your routine. Many have already done so and are gladly reaping the benefits of this wonderful natural remedy. In addition, using natural supplements can also mean a great cost savings especially if the patient can reduce the amount of the costly prescriptions drugs that are required.

Cardiovascular Complications Are Common In Diabetics

Cardiovascular complications are quite common in people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes affects both the small and large blood vessels. Driven by the rapid beating of your heart, your cardiovascular system includes many miles of veins, arteries, and smaller blood vessels, called capillaries. If your heart stops beating, or if major blood vessels clog, you could die.

Heart attacks are a prime cause of death in middle-aged people with Type 2 diabetes, who have fatality rates two to four times higher than those of middle-aged people without diabetes. The National Diabetes Statistics 2011 issued by the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, estimates that 68 percent of diabetes-related deaths among people 65 years and above in 2004, were due to a heart disease problem.

The Johns Hopkins Point of Care Information Technology (Johns Hopkins POC-IT Center), identifies coronary heart disease as one of the major causes of death worldwide. The age of 40 is the starting period for coronary heart disease risk. In fact, a study published in the August 2009 issue of Circulation identifies age as the strongest risk for the development of cardiovascular disease.

Other factors that point to the development of cardiovascular problems include:

  • a strong family history,
  • high blood fat levels,
  • smoking,
  • being a male,
  • high blood pressure,
  • abdominal obesity,
  • not eating enough fruits and vegetables, and
  • a lack of regular exercise.

Diabetes is also a strong predictor for the development of cardiovascular disease. As mentioned in a study published in the July 1998 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, diabetics without a history of having had a heart attack, have a risk for the development of heart attack that is equal to that of a non-diabetic with a previous history of the said problem.

What are the usual signs and symptoms of cardiovascular disease?

The description of the symptoms of cardiovascular disease may vary depending on the gender and age of the diabetic. It may also depend on the duration of diabetes, ethnicity, and education.

In most cases chest discomfort is present and it is usually felt in the mid-abdominal area radiating to the jaw:

  • physical exertion,
  • decreased tolerance to exercise,
  • sleep disturbance,
  • snoring, and
  • increased fatigue
are some of the most significant complaints that may point to a cardiovascular problem. However, in diabetics most especially in women, these symptoms may be absent.

Very high blood pressure is dangerous for people with diabetes and should be treated. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends doctors treat blood pressure to reduce it to a level of 130/80.

A physical examination may reveal:

*a blood pressure reading of more than 135/80,
*a heart rate of more than 80 beats per minute,
*the presence of poor dentition,
*stiffness of visible blood vessels,
*heart murmurs,
*the presence of neuropathies,
*decreased pulses in the lower extremities, and
*calluses on both feet.

In younger men, the presence of erectile dysfunction may also increase the likelihood of cardiovascular problems, particularly coronary artery disease.

How to prevent cardiovascular disease in diabetes

  • diabetics who smoke should quit smoking,
  • it is essential blood pressure should be below 130/80,
  • high levels of blood must be controlled,
  • metformin and Acarbose are two of the oral hypoglycemic medications noted by long-term studies to have
  • additional beneficial effects for cardiovascular problems,
  • obese diabetics should initiate weight loss.

However, those who cannot achieve sufficient weight loss can consider having bariatric surgery,

  • follow a healthy diet,
  • have regular physical activity.

However, you should always check with your doctor before beginning any new program of exercise, particularly when any complications from diabetes occur.

  • initiate aspirin therapy. Your doctor will need to initiate this treatment… it is usually prescribed for people with a history of cardiovascular disease, and in diabetics with an increased risk for this problem

What Are Possibilities of Dietary Supplements For Alzheimer’s Disease?

Anti Oxidants

Scientists have different opinions about dietary supplements for preventing Alzheimer’s Disease. The same applies to the treatment once the diagnosis has been made.

Until today we do not have a thorough understanding of what the exact causes are for Alzheimer’s Disease and surely we are still far away of a cure. There are some ideas however about aspects that play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s.

Researchers are more and more convinced that free radicals have a major role in the development of the disease.

Antioxidants are identified to be an important dietary supplement to fight against these free radicals. These should ease the symptoms of dementia, increase the life span of those with Alzheimer’s, and help prevent or delay the disease.

Vitamins E and C are important antioxidants and easy to add to your daily diet.

Dietary Supplements For Alzheimer’s

Besides these vitamins there are a couple of other dietary supplements that are possible helping in delaying or preventing Alzheimer’s Disease.

Vitamin E is used to refer to a group of fat-soluble compounds that include both tocopherols and tocotrienols. There are different forms of vitamin E:

  • The most common in the North American diet, γ-Tocopherol can be found in corn oil, soybean oil, margarine and dressings.
  • The second most common form of vitamin E in the North American diet is α-Tocopherol, which is the most biologically active form and can be found in wheat germ oil, sunflower, and safflower oils.

Vitamin E dissolves in fat, readily enters the brain, and helps slow down the cell damage that occurs naturally with age.

Vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid or L-ascorbate is an essential nutrient for humans and certain other animal species. In living organisms ascorbate acts as an antioxidant by protecting the body against oxidative stress.

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Fruit and vegetables are generally a good source of vitamin C. There are great differences in the amount in foods. Some examples of good Vitamin C sources: parsley, kiwi fruit, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, lychee, papaya, strawberry, orange, lemon, garlic, grapefruit. Almost all vegetables and fruit are suppliers for Vitamin C.

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential polyunsaturated fatty acids. Essential fatty acids cannot be synthesized by the human body but are vital for normal metabolism. Omega-3 fatty acids is one of the two families of these essential fatty acids.

Animal tests show that brain function and blood flow are favorably influenced by supplying omega-3 fatty acids. In theory, omega-3 fatty acids reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. However, there is no scientific proof. The results of studies are sometimes contradictory or the quality of the studies is insufficient.

The most widely available dietary source of Omega-3 fatty acids is cold water oily cold water fish, such as anchovies, herring, mackerel, salmon and sardines.

Other advised food supplements for Alzheimer’s are:

  • Beta-carotene, Vitamin A, Vitamin B9 (Folate) and Vitamin B12, Acetyl-L-carnitine, Phosphatidylserine (PS), Red Wine and Grape Juice.

Alzheimer’s And Herbs

Several studies indicate a number of herbs to provide for memory improvement, psychological well-being and also slowing down the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease:

  • Ginkgo biloba, Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) and American ginseng (Panax quinquefolium), Nicotine (Nicotiana tobaccum), Huperzine (Huperzia serrata), Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalus), Physostigmine (Physostigma venenosa).

Professional herbalists may also recommend the following for people with Alzheimer’s (while they never have been subject of clinical studies):

  • Sage (Salvia officinalis), Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), Peony (Paeonia suffruticosa), Guarana (Paullinia cupana), Gotu kola (Centella asiatica).

Boosting Low Moods Can Do Wonders for Diabetes!

If you talk to doctors or scientists about the factors that play into the management of Type 2 diabetes, their focus will inevitably focus on things from the neck down. More than likely they will talk to you using terms like “abdominal obesity“, “glycemic control” and “metformin”. But according to a new study conducted by researchers the University of Michigan Health System, diabetes practitioners should pay more attention to their patient’s mental health.

In this research study of 145 adults with Type 2 diabetes, those that received mental health care in addition to the usual battery of physical treatments, fared much better than those that had their minds largely ignored. The results of this research, published in the May 2011 Medical Care, found that a 12 week intervention of cognitive behavioral therapy improved the mental and physical well-being of the volunteers. Blood pressure, physical activity levels and HbA1c percentages all improved with the behavioral intervention.

The researchers noted that diabetes and depression are commonly found together. They hypothesize that reducing symptoms of depression helps Type 2 diabetics take control of their health and follow the advice of their health care team. Even better, the mental health treatments don’t have to be time-consuming or expensive… the brief counseling sessions were conducted entirely over the phone.

If you didn’t happen to be one of the 145 volunteers in this study, here is how you can boost your mental well-being, thereby boosting the health of your entire body:

Omega-3’s: Although the research is somewhat conflicting, omega-3 fats can help people with depression. Omega-3’s also have the benefit of reducing inflammation and improving insulin sensitivity. To get more omega-3’s into your diet you can eat fatty fish like mackerel and salmon, or simply take a fish oil supplement.

Stay Active: It may seem like annoyingly common advice, but exercise is crucial for the health of your body and your mind. Studies show that just 20 minutes of walking per day significantly reduces depression symptoms and help you manage your blood sugar levels more effectively.

Talk it Out: The volunteers in this study took advantage of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a branch of psychology that helps you think more positively. You can try this on your own using many of the books published on cognitive behavioral therapy.

However, you’ll likely benefit more by hooking up with a licensed professional. CBT is especially powerful for diabetics because it can help you feel more empowered and less victimized about your Type 2 diabetes.