Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Women Should Walk to Lower Their Stroke Risk!

Having adequate physical activity such as brisk walking can help prevent heart disease. The recommendation by the American Heart Association for adults is to do 2-and-a-half hours a week of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity or a combination of both.

Recently, a group of researchers from Harvard School of Public Health in Boston found that women could actually reduce their risk of stroke by walking. Published on April 6, 2010 in the American Heart Association journal Stroke, the findings reported that women who said they walked briskly had a 37 percent lower risk of stroke than those who did not walk. For those women who walked at least 2 hours a week at any pace had a 30 percent lower risk of stroke.

Previous studies have already reported physical activity decreases stroke risk. For example, a study by the Harvard School of Public Health reported in 2000 in the Journal of the American Medical Association that physical activity, including walking, provided a significant reduction in stroke risk. The new study, however, took a step forward to focus on the kind of exercise that might be most beneficial for women.

About 39,000 female health workers who were 45 and older were involved in the study known as Women’s Health Study. The women were asked about their physical activity at the start of the study (1992-1995) and periodically reported their activities thereafter. During the 12-year period, it was found that 579 of them had stroke.

In addition to walking, the researchers also examined other vigorous activities such as running, swimming and biking. However, no link was found between those vigorous activities and a reduced stroke risk.

This could be due to insufficient number of women in that group to show a difference or moderate activity could be better at lowering blood pressure, as explained by the researchers.

While the study was observational with self-reported data, the research team did control well of other risk factors including age, aspirin use and smoking that could affect stroke risk. The researchers were happy to find that moderate activities are powerfully effective in cutting the stroke risk.

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States, after heart disease and cancer. Besides high blood pressure, heart disease, Type-2 diabetes and obesity are also risk factors that could lead to stroke.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Can Fat Dissolving Treatment Help Achieve Healthy Weight?

Most obese or overweight people are finding ways and means to get rid of the extra fat and weight in their bodies. This is because they are aware that the extra fat and weight they have will subsequently bring them many medical disorders like diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease and stroke.

Naturally, the best way to reduce these extra fats and weights is to adopt healthy eating habits as well as perform regular exercise. However, the process takes much longer time. That is why many people would rather turn to certain cosmetic surgery like liposuction for almost immediate effect.

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, liposuction was the most common plastic surgery procedure performed in 2006 with 403,684 patients. Nevertheless, removal of very large volumes of fat (more than 5 liters) is indeed a very complex and potentially a life-threatening procedure.

Recently, many have taken up so-called fat dissolving treatments, a popular nonsurgical alternative to liposuction, offered by spas. These procedures have many different names, such as lipodissolve, lipozap, lipotherapy, mesotherapy or injection lipolysis. Usually, they require unproven injection of drugs.

According to a statement issued on April 7, 2010 by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), these fat dissolving treatments do not actually eliminate fat and companies that are promoting them should stop claiming so.

Usually, these fat dissolving treatments require people to have injection of 2 drugs called phosphatidylcholine and deoxycholate. Some spas and promoters even have other drugs or components of other products like vitamins, minerals and herbal extracts included in the injection. The FDA confirmed that none of these treatments has been shown to work in credible clinical trials.

FDA have also sent warning letters to many companies promoting such treatments and even warned a Brazilian company that markets so-called lipodissolve products on 2 websites. The aim is to let the public know that FDA does not approve the products used to perform lipodissolve procedures for fat removal.