Diet a useless fad for most

Professor Fergus Shanahan, Chair of the Department of Medicine at University College Cork and Director of the APC Microbiome Institute, claims that while the gluten-free food industry has exploded in Ireland over the last twelve months, many of those who choose to spend money on more expensive products simply because they are gluten-free are throwing away their hard-earned cash on food products that are not beneficial to their health.

Research published by Irish food board, Bord Bia on April 19 indicates that as many as one in five Irish consumers now seek out gluten-free products, despite the fact that as few as one percent of the country’s population is diagnosed as having celiac disease.

The research found, in fact, that almost 80 percent of those who told Bord Bia they followed a gluten-free diet were not diagnosed as having celiac disease, while 38 percent had no allergy to gluten whatsoever. While a desire for a healthy lifestyle is turning the diet mainstream, many of those who make the decision to cut gluten out of their lives were not able to define exactly what gluten is.

“We are all susceptible to the power of mass marketing and ultimately that is what this is. It is just a fad,” Shanahan told the Irish Times.

“I know people might say who is this arrogant doctor to dismiss a gluten-free diet as a fad, but for the vast majority of people, that is exactly what it is.”

Celiac disease is one common to the Irish, however, claims Dr. Peter Green, a Professor of Clinical Medicine, Director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. With 20 years of research of the disease under his belt, Green even suggests that President John F. Kennedy could have had an undiagnosed case of the disease for which he could thank his Irish heritage.

Shanahan believes Irish people are being won over by celebrities who wax lyrical about the benefits of a gluten-free diet. He believes that any changes in health new converts may experience are likely caused by a placebo effect.

“All of the studies show that around 1 percent of us are celiac. That is a fact,” he stated.

“A lot of people who take gluten-free products do so because of celebrity endorsements. But they are not being consistent and might buy gluten-free bread and then eat a whole range of other products that contain gluten.

“You will typically see around 30 percent of people reporting an improvement purely because of the placebo effect. In some bowel conditions that can rise to as much as 70 percent.”

The reasons you should be getting more massages

Getting a massage is a pretty decadent thing to do. But did you know that there are actually tons of reasons to get more massages that have nothing to do with just needing a spa day? Although needing a spa day is certainly a good reason to get a massage. According to Aaron Tanason, registered massage therapist, kinesiologist and owner at Paleolife Massage Therapy in Toronto massage is like medicine for your entire body. “Massage increases and improves circulation. Just like rubbing your elbow when you knock it on a table helps to relieve the pain,” he told Best Health Magazine. 


And circulation has to do with pretty much everything else going on in your body.

So if you feel a little guilty about spending money on massages (or, ahem, your partner or friends are), tell them that it’s medically necessary! Because technically, it kind of is.

Here are all the reasons you need to be getting on a massage table more often.

Sitting all day and leaning over our phones all the time is so not good for our posture. Regular massages can help straighten you out and ease some of the pain in your neck and back. According to the American Massage Therapy Association, massages can release all of this tension.


2.Massages really helps with sleep.

Regular full-body massages also help with circulation, which means that you’ll likely sleep better at night. If you find that you have insomnia or aren’t sleeping well, signing up for a massage every week can do wonders. You know how important sleep is right? You need this massage.


3.Massages can help your anxiety.

Massages are known to alleviate stress all around. You probably already know this — if you’ve gotten a massage before, you know how good it feels. According to one study from Korea though, even a simple hand massage can lower your blood pressure and heart rate. That’s good stuff.

Advancements You Need To Know About

There are an estimated 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S., a testament to the more than 25-year decline in mortality, according to the American Cancer Society. Still, 231,000 women alone will be diagnosed with the disease this year, and about 40,000 will die.

These women will newly rely on targeted gene therapies, advancements in chemotherapy protocols and even preventive treatments. For breast cancer patients and their loved ones, the scientists who keep pushing the boundaries of what’s possible are heroes held in highest esteem.

Here are the five biggest breakthroughs in breast cancer research those scientists have made in 2015.

 1. A New Drug May Stop An Incurable Type Of Breast Cancer

The FDA granted accelerated approval to a drug called Palbociclib in February. When used with the breast cancer drug Letrozole in trials, Palbociclib was able to extend the amount of time study participants lived without their cancer progressing.

The cocktail was able to stop cancer progression in postmenopausal women with a treatable but incurable type of chronic breast cancer (ER-positive, HER2-negative advanced breast cancer) for an average of 20.2 months. A control group that only took Letrozole had an average of 10.2 months without cancer progression.

“It seemed to prolong the period of disease control significantly. More important is the promise it provides,” said Dr. Cliff Hudis, chief of breast medicine service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “Maybe with more study, the drug will actually help people live longer; that’s the big answer we’re waiting for right now.”’

Hudis also praised Palbociclib because it is a less toxic form of treatment than chemotherapy. However, the FDA notes that serious side effects of the drug in combination with Letrozole include pulmonary embolism and diarrhea. Still, its approval is a heartening step for FDA watchdogs.

“The FDA approval strategy of breakthrough status and accelerated approval show the FDA’s commitment to getting promising drugs for serious diseases to patients faster,” said Dr. Julie Gralow, a member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and director of breast medical oncology at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

2. Genetic tumor testing will tell you if chemotherapy will work for you.

Researchers have known for some time now that a tumor’s genes can determine whether cancer patients will respond to chemotherapy. The Oncotype Dx test analyzes 21 genes in the tumor to determine whether or not the cancer is likely to recur, and whether or not chemotherapy will make a difference.

This test was created using historic data — old tumors that grew in patients for whom outcomes were already known. But in September, the New England Journal of Medicine carried the very first study using data from current patients; it confirms the Oncotype assay is able to predict which treatments would be most effective in early stage, curable breast cancer patients. This helps women avoid toxic and unpleasant chemotherapy if the test reveals their cancers will not respond to it.

In an editorial that accompanies the study, Hudis noted that this protocol spared 1,626 women from receiving unnecessary chemotherapy. Each of them would have been a candidate for it according to traditional diagnostic standards.

“The key thing is that they identified a group of people who are normally candidates for chemotherapy but had a 99 percent freedom from metastases at five years,” the typical benchmark for cancer survival, Hudis told HuffPost. “What it means practically is that some proportion of people who have been recommended to get therapy for years really don’t need it.”

Foods that have medicinal properties

Food is nature’s No. 1 medicine — and certain veggies, fruits, carbs and proteins provide specific health benefits without some of the unpleasant side effects associated with prescriptions and over-the-counter medications.

With just a few simple changes, like adding pomegranate seeds to your breakfast oatmeal or tossing an extra garlic knob into your spaghetti sauce, you can instantly boost your immune system and increase your body’s capacity for healing itself from within. They may even save you a trip or two to the doctor.

1. Red cabbage

How simple are salads? Next time you’re looking for an easy, fresh side dish that goes with anything, be sure to add red cabbage to your green lettuce because it’s loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory support. In fact, you can chalk up their deep purple color to a high concentration of anthocyanin polyphenols, which are plant compounds that promote heart health, cognitive function and brain health, all while preventing the lipid peroxidation of “bad” LDL cholesterol, says Kate Gavlick, nutritionist and writer for Deckopedia. “This means that this cabbage keeps both your ticker and your noggin in tip-top shape,” Gavlick says.

2. Red grapes

Who knew purple was so therapeutic? You may have already heard that red wine and red grapes contain resveratrol, which is being touted as an anti-aging wonder, but wait, there’s more. “Resveratrol is noted to be one heart healthy plant compound and may help in the reduction of oxidative stress, vascular inflammation, and the prevention of platelet aggregation,” Gavlick says. “Good news: resveratrol may be more bioavailable in red wine, so enjoy a glass in moderation!”

3. Butternut squash

Not only is it the perfect autumn/winter veggie — one that makes the most sumptuously sweet soup on the planet — but as it turns out, butternut squash can also keep the flu and common cold far, far away. “Winter squash contains vitamin A, which is necessary for properly functioning eyesight, red blood cell production, and an up and running immune system,” Gavlick says. “In fact, vitamin A deficiencies are associated with a weakened immunity and a higher chance of catching infectious diseases.” Because vitamin A is fat-soluble, the best way to enjoy winter squash is by cooking it with a healthy fat such as coconut or olive oil.

Home workouts to get six pack

HOME IS ACTUALLY a great place to hone your abs—after all, a six-pack is mostly made in the kitchen. “There’s no such thing as spot reduction and a six-pack is indicative of overall health and whole-body fitness, not just the state of the core muscles,” says Kendra Coppey Fitzgerald, founder of Barefoot Tiger in-home personal training services in NYC and LA. “If there’s too much fat on top of the ab muscles, you’ll never see them, no matter how much core work you do.” That means eating healthily and doing cardio plus heavy weight training to lean down and build muscles to lose weightoverall. (Bummer, we know.)

Then, when it comes to sculpting those abs of your dreams, it’s not as simplistic as doing endless crunches. “Developing a six-pack requires more than just working the ‘pretty’ muscles that you can see,” Fitzgerald says. “The deeper, transverse core muscles must be strengthened first to create a strong, solid base—without that, only doing crunches can actually make your belly stick out more. Nobody wants that.” Better news: By doing the types of routines here that strengthen from all angles and focus on function (how your body moves in real life) rather than flexion (crunches), you’ll look good and have a stronger core and less risk of lower back injury. “Not only will you see better gains faster, it’s also the quickest way to take inches off your waistline,” says Fitzgerald.

Begin each of these workouts with a five-minute warmup, or go through the moves after you’ve done your usual cardio or strength training when you’re already warm. Each should also begin with 20 reps of what Fitzgerald calls “transverse pullbacks”—where you pull your navel toward your spine, as if bracing yourself against a sucker punch—as a way to activate the muscles for the work you’re about to ask of them. You’ll also need some dumbbells for some of these moves.

The best time of day to exercise

Now that it’s getting dark before 5 p.m. again, you might have an excuse not to hit the gym after work. New research suggests that exercising at night might give you a less optimal workout, according to a study by metabolism experts and professors at Northwestern Medicine. The scientists studied muscle tissues in mice, and found that the rodents had circadian clocks in their muscle tissue, which control metabolic responses and energy based on the time of day. The upshot is that muscle cells may be more efficient during normal waking hours.

When mice, which are nocturnal, exercised (yes, the scientists literally put them on treadmills), their muscles were more efficient at adapting to movement, using oxygen for energy, and processing fuel, like sugar and fat. At night, the mice’s muscles actually activated genes that helped them adapt to exercise. Since humans have these same genes, the researchers believe this means humans may also be able to exercise better during our natural, biologically programmed waking hours—i.e. when it’s light out.

As a result of our inbuilt circadian rhythms, which dictate our energy patterns during day and night, humans’ sleep-wake cycle is triggered by hormones that are released or blocked by exposure to light or dark. So, during summer, when the daylight is long, your muscles might be just fine if you go for an evening run—but in fall and winter, when the sun sets in the late afternoon, your body might start releasing melatonin (the hormone that helps you sleep) earlier. That may also let your muscles know that it’s sleepytime, unlike mice, whose muscles know that when it gets dark, their day is just beginning.

If you’re the kind of person who is fine with working out before or after work, or switch back and forth according to your schedule, just know that in the winter, you’ll probably have more energy for high-energy, demanding workouts in the morning — so get that intense SoulCycle or barre class out of the way, and save chill yoga sessions for evening.

Find time to diet and exercise

Halloween is nearly at the doorstep, and consumers across the country are stocking up on candy for eager trick-or-treaters. Unfortunately, leftover treats may cause some people to put on a few pounds before November arrives.

As with any other time of the year, there are plenty of ways consumers can burn off those extra calories and get in shape. Three methods that should jump to the top of the list include exercise, dieting, and proper meal preparation.

Exercising on a tight schedule

One of the favorite mantras of any gym nut or personal trainer is that if exercise was easy, everyone would be doing it. Unfortunately, dragging yourself outside to take a run, walk around the block, or drive to the gym takes a certain amount of willpower that many consumers find elusive.

If you — like many others — run on a tight work or home schedule, you might start your fitness journey by finding little ways to burn calories at home or at work.

For example, try walking or taking your bike to work (if possible) instead of driving; opt to take the stairs over the elevator; and try to incorporate walking meetings into your workday wherever possible.

In some cases, buying fitness equipment that you can keep at home can also be a huge benefit. Taking a half hour in the morning or at night to use a treadmill or elliptical can do wonders for your health and can compensate for a sedentary job or lifestyle.

Meal preparation and dieting

Like exercising, preparing healthy meals takes time; however, replacing unhealthy meals is a must if you want to keep your weight under control. Luckily, there are various options for streamlining better nutrition, whatever your schedule may be.

Instead of cooking up big meals that require many ingredients and a lot of time and attention, consumers should make some meals that are quick and easy to put together. For example, whipping up some healthy parfaits made with fresh fruit, yogurt, and granola can be the perfect way to start your day instead of a labor-intensive breakfast.

Consumers should also consider frozen foods that pack a nutritional punch, such as organic fruits and vegetables. Lean meats like chicken and turkey are also good options and can be kept frozen until there’s time to cook them up later.

Of course, if finding time to go to the grocery store or cook meals is a difficult task, you might consider having meals delivered to you. Meal delivery services like HelloFresh and Personal Trainer Food – as well as weight loss programslike Nutrisystem and Beachbody — can provide pre-portioned ingredients and meals that make meal preparation and dieting a snap.

The cheapest way to buy chicken from the grocery store

All grocery store chicken is alike, right? The cellophane-wrapped trays all seem the same, but Chef Curtis Stone shares a few genius tips to make sure you’re getting the best bird for your buck.

Press against the chicken.
Fresh chicken should spring back against your touch when you poke it, whereas a bird that’s been sitting around for awhile will feel hard or sink when pressed. Another thing to watch out for: a chicken that feels “bloated.” This is a sure sign that the poultry has been injected with water—a way to trick customers into thinking the chicken is heavier than it is.

If you’re buying a whole bird, look for plump breasts and more breast meat than leg meat. Press against the chicken’s breastbone to get an idea of its age: if it feels flexible, the chicken is younger and the meat should be tender.

For both whole chickens and chicken parts, the package should be well-wrapped and leak-free, with a clean smell. If the packaging is leaky or the meat smells “off,” skip it.

Look at the chicken’s color.
Fresh chicken is always, always, always pink! Never gray, and it shouldn’t look transparent either—both signs that it’s been hanging around for awhile at the market. Peek at the crevices of the wings and thighs and be on the lookout for tears in the skin or meat, both of which will cause the meat to go bad more quickly.

Look at the fat!
This is the best and easiest way to know that you’re buying the freshest possible poultry. Fat should always be white or deep yellow, and never pale or gray.

Check the use-by date.
Raw chicken should only stay on supermarket shelves for 2-3 days, whereas cooked chicken should be sold on the same day. Meanwhile, frozen chicken stays good for much longer and is safe until the use-by date on the packaging.

Whats The Happen During Pregnancy

There’s never a good time to have gallbladder problems, but having them during pregnancy when you’re already uncomfortable is a double blow. Bile, a substance made by the liver, is stored in the gallbladder. It helps our bodies to digest fats in the small intestines. But if it sits in the gallbladder too long, it takes on a sludge or solid form — the solid bile is also known as a gallstone. This is more common during pregnancy, when the gallbladder is more sluggish at emptying bile, giving it more time to form sludge or stones. Problems occur when the stones block bile from flowing through the organ.


Why the gallbladder?

Gallstones are more common during pregnancy because of the increased level of estrogen in the body, noted Dr. Amos Grünebaum, an OB-GYN and professor at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City.

Cholesterol can also contribute to a pregnant woman’s risk of gallstone development. A 2006 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases study reports that women with high levels of good cholesterol were less likely to experience gallstones.

More: Yes, You Should Get the Flu Shot If You’re Pregnant

Grünebaum said that excess weight gain during pregnancy can increase cholesterol amounts in our bile, which can cause gallstones.

“When you’re pregnant, your estrogen levels are higher than ever, and estrogen is partly responsible for the increased concentration of cholesterol in the gallbladder,” Grünebaum said.


Your risk for pregnancy-related gallbladder issues

How do you know if you’re at risk for gallbladder issues during pregnancy? A 2006 study on about 6,200 women who had a gallbladder disease diagnoses upon being discharged from the hospital after delivery between 1987 and 2001 found that 76 percent of women were diagnosed with having gallstones (uncomplicated cholelithiasis), 16 percent had pancreatitis, 9 percent had acute gallbladder inflammation (cholecystitis) and 8 percent experienced a bile duct infection (cholangitis).

More: No, pregnant women getting the flu shot doesn’t cause autism

Those researchers determined that risk factors for hospitalization were age, maternal race, being overweight or obese before pregnancy and weight gain during pregnancy. Having higher insulin resistance could be what links having gallstones and high BMI, a 2008 study by the University of Washington found. Overall, being hospitalized for a gallstone-related disease is common during the first year after pregnancy.

Women are twice as likely as men to develop gallstones. A 2003 study on more than 1,300 women found that about 8 percent experienced gallstones. Gallstone risk goes up the more times you are pregnant too.

According to Dr. Amy Stump, a surgeon at University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center, chemical- and muscular-function changes can last up to five years after delivery, which raises a woman’s chance of developing gallstones during that time.

If not treated, gallstones can cause gallbladder infections and ruptures. Alone, gallstones can produce some pretty unpleasant symptoms as well. Gallbladder attack symptoms include ongoing abdominal pain, vomiting or nausea. Back pain between shoulder blades and pain in the upper right area of the abdomen are also symptoms, the Mayo Clinic reports.

Be just as harmful as a bad diet

In new study in Scientific Reports, mice of both sexes were exposed to recurring stress. However, researchers found that only the females showed more negative changes to their gut microbiota, which mimicked that of mice who had eaten unhealthy high-fat diets.

“Although the study was performed on mice, it is reasonable to suspect that stress might also impact the gut microbiota differently in women than in men,” says lead study author Laura C. Bridgewater, Ph.D., a microbiology professor at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. “We’re probably all familiar with the way temporary severe stress can cause stomach distress, but I think we should be even more concerned about the possibility that prolonged strain might produce lasting harmful changes in the composition of microorganisms in the gut. Such changes could affect our metabolic health and predispose us to conditions like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.”

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, go for a run or take a yoga class. “Exercise has been shown to reduce the feelings of anxiety,” says Bridgewater. You can also train your brain to react to stressors in a more productive manner through mindfulness, meditation, and breathing practices.