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Healthy Living Newsletter - Volume 1, No. 8

Issue Date: May 5, 2004
Publisher: Mellanie True Hills, The Health & Productivity Revitalizer

The Healthy Living Newsletter brings you health updates and tips for optimizing your life, health, and work.

For results of the vacation survey from the last issue, please see the bottom of this message.

It's been a busy couple of weeks for health research findings, so this issue is primarily devoted to tidbits from the latest health research studies.

1.  Increased risk of diabetes—up to 40% of US population at risk

2.  Health benefits of fiber and whole grains

3.  Slowing the aging process

4.  Vitamin C reduced risk of chronic disease

5.  Correlation between heart disease risk factors and dementia

6.  Health resource of note

These items reflect the findings of various health research studies, and are for information only. Since your situation may be different from those of study participants, please discuss these findings with your doctor before implementing them.

1. Increased risk of diabetes—up to 40% of US population at risk

Up to 40% of US adults between 40 and 74 (41 million people) have "pre-diabetes", putting them at increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, according to the US Department of Health & Human Services. And one in three children born in 2000 will likely develop Type II diabetes, says the Centers for Disease Control. Proper diet and exercise are considered major factors in preventing Type II diabetes.

So why are we so much more at risk? Because of corn syrup, says a recent study done by doctors from Harvard , and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition ( They found that the increased consumption of refined carbohydrates (i.e., corn syrup) in the American diet, combined with decreased consumption of fiber, parallels the increase in Type II diabetes.

Implication: Minimizing the corn syrup (soft drinks and fruit juices) your family consumes, and increasing their fiber intake, along with increased exercise and activity levels, could go a long way toward decreasing their risk of diabetes.

2.  Health benefits of fiber and whole grains

Speaking of fiber…backing up the American Heart Association's recommendation that you get six servings per day of grains as a part of a heart-healthy diet are some interesting data points from the American Association of Nutritional Sciences (

A study presented at their conference showed that analyzing data from a US Department of Agriculture study into the consumption of whole grains yielded the following correlation: women consuming three or more servings per day of whole grain products had a significantly lower body mass index than those who ate less than a serving per day. While we don't know whether eating whole grains helps keep the fat off, or if those who focus on getting whole grains are also focused on controlling their weight and health, it is still an interesting data point.

Another study, published by the same organization, showed that increased consumption of dietary fiber indeed appears to decrease the risk of getting cardiovascular diseases. A diet rich in whole grains appears to be useful in controlling weight and reducing your risk of illness.

3. Slowing the aging process

A study into how to slow the aging process, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (, found that those who switched to a high-nutrition, calorie-restricted diet had a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes as measured by increased levels of good ( HDL ) cholesterol, and lower levels of bad ( LDL ) cholesterol, triglycerides, total cholesterol, blood pressure, fasting glucose, and insulin.

4. Vitamin C reduced risk of chronic disease

Vitamin C supplements may be good for your heart. A study from the University of California at Berkeley, published in the April issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition (, found that participants who took 500 milligrams of Vitamin C supplements each day experienced a 24% decrease in their levels of C-reactive protein, an indicator of inflammation and potential chronic disease (including heart disease). All study participants were considered at higher risk of heart disease as they either smoked, or were exposed to second-hand smoke.

5. Correlation between heart disease risk factors and dementia

As if we needed any more reasons to control blood pressure and cholesterol, here comes a study that found that middle-aged participants who had multiple heart disease risk factors (smoking, diabetes, cholesterol, and hypertension) were twice as likely to develop dementia in old age as those with only a single risk factor. Having all four risk factors tripled the risk over study participants without risk factors. These scary findings come from a University of California San Francisco study presented in April at the American Academy of Neurology.

6. Health resource of note

Finally, a health resource worth checking out for those on Medicare, or with family or friends who are. Medicare is offering a new online database ( ) for use in conjunction with the new Medicare-approved drug discount cards. The database lists the prices for prescription drugs for each of the new discount cards at different pharmacies around the country. This database is for use in selecting the most appropriate drug discount program. Be aware, however, that some of the discount programs say that their prices were loaded into the database incorrectly, but Medicare stands by this data. Stay tuned.

I hope you found information of value among these health tidbits.

Thanks to all who answered the quick survey about vacations in the last issue. Answers flooded in right away, with about one-third picking each answer. However, when many of you got back from vacation, the distribution shifted significantly. Here are the final results.

Always take regular vacations     65%

Try to take regular vacations       20%

Cannot find time for vacation       15%

It was great hearing about the importance of vacations to you. Some of you take regular cruises, so you can't be tracked down by cell phone or e-mail. Some of you go to places you've never seen before, such as Kenya , South Africa , China , Denmark , England, and France . One goes someplace new for every birthday. Another spends 3 weeks in Europe each year, and has for 20 years. Others take frequent short breaks, still getting away from the routine. Many go to see family, entertain family, or get away together for family reunions at places such as the beach.

Wishing you all many more happy vacations.


Mellanie True Hills
The Health & Productivity Revitalizer
Speaker, author, consultant, and coach

Mellanie coaches individuals to create healthy lifestyles and works with organizations to create healthy, productive workplaces.

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