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Healthy Living Newsletter - Volume 1, No. 3

Issue Date: February 10, 2004
Publisher: Mellanie True Hills, The Health & Productivity Revitalizer

This week, we look at nuggets from recent research studies:

1) Though cholesterol has traditionally been an important indicator of heart disease risk, newer tests, such as C-reactive protein (CRP), hold promise. High CRP levels indicate inflammation or infection in the body, and can be an indicator of not only heart disease, but also colon cancer. In a recent study, participants with the highest CRP levels were twice as likely to develop colon cancer. Each year, 100,000 people in the US are diagnosed with colon cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer deaths.

2) When it comes to heart disease risk, an even newer test, PlGF, looks very promising, perhaps even more than CRP. It tests for the presence of placental growth factor protein, which is related to inflammation of the arteries. The study was done on men who had experienced chest pains or heart attacks, so we do not know if this applies equally to women.

3) In what could be heralded as good news for beer drinkers, Japanese researchers reported in the International Journal of Cancer that rats receiving beer showed a reduced risk of colon cancer. Beer is high in antioxidants, and may be found to have similar effects to red wine. Neither alcohol, nor hops, provided the same protective effect.

4) The bad news continues for hormone replacement therapy (HRT). In 2002, HRT that combined estrogen and progestin was found to increase the risk of heart attacks, stroke, and breast cancer in women past menopause. Now, scientists in Scandinavia have called off an HRT study among women who had already experienced breast cancer due to the high risk of breast cancer recurrence among study participants.

5) Great news for stroke victims--a new corkscrew-like device has been announced, which plucks blood clots from the brain, restoring normal speech and thought function.

6) Finally, research continues to point to avoiding cancers and heart disease through exercising, eating fruits and vegetables, getting lots of fiber, minimizing fats, and not smoking. These are great things to include in your plan for good health.

Remember to discuss your health concerns, including which tests are right for you, with your doctor.

That's it for this issue. If you have questions you'd like to see addressed in an upcoming issue, e-mail me at, or call me at 512-267-5610.

Wishing you good health.


Mellanie True Hills, The Health & Productivity Revitalizer, works with individuals that want to be healthier and organizations that want to be more productive.

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