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Melatonin worsens asthma
New studies revealed that the popular sleep hormone, Melatonin, worsens attacks among asthmatic patients.

Melatonin is sold over the counter and is an ingredient in many sleep aid formulas. Many of these patients, who take a sleep aid that has melatonin as a component, have more severe episodes because melatonin constricts the airway passage making it harder for these persons to breathe.

However, natural melatonin secreted by our own body does not affect cause any problems. Other sensitive individuals (non-asthmatic) could develop heart rhythm irregularity with melatonin.

Among children with asthma, eating fatty fish like sardines and salmon at least two times a week has been shown to reduce asthma symptoms. An impressive lung function improvement was noted after six months of these children started eating fish.

The high Omega-3 (anti-oxidant) content of the fish is an anti-inflammatory agent. Daily exercise also reduces asthmatic symptoms by more than 2.5 times compared to those who do not.

Plant-based diet
Abundant clinical studies have shown that plant-based diets, like the Mediterranean Diet, South Beach Diet, Vegetarian Diet, etc., are healthier compared to diets mainly on red meat. Pork is not white meat as marketed; it is also red meat. Chicken is white meat.

Individuals on plant-based diets, which are loaded with polyphenols, and antioxidants that are anti-inflammatory, have a lower risk for metabolic and cardiovascular illnesses and cancers.

Exception: Nightshades vegetables (eggplant, potato, pepper, tomato) aggravate arthritis. Oatmeal, nuts, and about 3-5 servings of fruits (diabetics should add these to their calorie count) are healthy.

The burnt part of barbequed meats could increase the risk for cancers, like that of the pancreas.

Stem cell RxThe building block, the foundation of every cell, tissue, and organ in the body is the stem cell.

Stem cells are undifferentiated, with no “specific assigned task as yet.” This has been likened to a blank computer microchip that could be “programmed to perform any number of special tasks.” Subjected to proper conditions, stem cells will develop into specialized tissues and organs (heart, liver, kidneys, etc).

Also, stem cells are “self-sustaining and can replicate themselves for long periods of time.”

Scientists, working on mouse models, have discovered that stem cell therapy could SOMEDAY possibly help cure many common diseases that afflict man today.

Some of these include stroke, spinal cord injury, heart diseases, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, osteoarthritis, retinal degeneration and blindness, rheumatoid arthritis, liver and kidney diseases, burns, type 1 diabetes, and muscular dystrophies.

While the goal of stem cell research is unquestionably laudable, and its potential benefit to mankind tremendous, the controversy centers on its efficacy and safety today, ethical, moral, religious, legal, and social ramifications.

Basically, the grave concerns are (1) The hype and claims are too premature and untrue; (2) Where the stems cells will be harvested from (adult, fetus, or embryo), and (3) The possible misuse and abuse of this new technology.

As I have stated in my talk before the Rotary Club some time ago this evolving science merits more randomized, double-blind, and voluminous clinical studies in various medical centers around the world before it becomes a standard in medical care.

It also requires a deep soul-searching introspection, and a serious, intense, and thoughtful deliberation to arrive at a morally, ethically, and medically sound stem cell treatment protocol that will also ensure the protection of the unborn, besides healing the sick, and at the same time preserve the dignity of humankind it seeks to serve.

With its unique characteristics, stem cells can provide the cells to replace damaged or diseased tissues with new living cells that will regenerate into healthy, young, normally functioning tissues, in the treatment of conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, etc. as listed above, where specific parts of the organs have been damaged and rendered “non-functioning” leading to the development of the disease.

Organ donation is available today but the organ supply is very limited, and the procedure is expensive, arduous, and usually complicated by rejections of the transplanted organ(s). This is where stem cell therapy has a great advantage over.

However, the last word is not in yet. Anyone or any clinic who claims otherwise, and offers stem cell therapy for many other diseases, is bordering on fraud.

The only evidence-based clinical data showing stem-cell therapy is effective is in the management of blood dyscrasias, leukemia, and some lymphomas, with wonderful results.

Sedentary death
Inactivity is a major “disease” that kills millions upon millions around the world. It is a mindset, a bad habit, a lack of discipline.

Sedentary lifestyle (lack of exercise) is worse than many individual maladies afflicting people today, because it is a factor in most serious illnesses, like diabetes mellitus, heart attack, stroke, sexual dysfunction, osteoporosis, etc. As a matter of fact, science has shown that physical activities, regimented daily exercises, lower the incidence, not only of those diseases listed above, but of depression and suicide, Alzheimer’s, and even cancer.

An active lifestyle also slows down the aging process, keeps our skin looking young(er), tones our muscles, enables us to have better metabolism and weight control, fortifies our immune system against diseases and infections, and even improves our outlook in life.

Indeed, daily physical exercise also protects our mind – our entire body and being.

Professor Frank Booth, Ph.D, of the biomedical sciences at the University of Missouri-Columbia, coined the term Sedentary Death Syndrome (SeDS) to dramatize the reality that “exercising is a matter of life and death.”

That’s how important, essential, physical exercise is to the human organism. It is a dreadful fact but 70% of Americans today do NOT exercise regularly.

Other less health-conscious people around the world are obviously even worse. Just sitting around is a worldwide phenomenon.

The World Health Organization last year reported that “about 2 million deaths annually worldwide are attributed to sedentary lifestyles.”

One of Professor Booth’s subtitles is Dead Man Sitting.

“Sitting kills more than 300,000 Americans annually…if SeDS were a real disease entity, that would make it the third leading cause of death in the United States, right after heart disease and cancer,” he stated. These inactivity-related disorders affect nearly 75% of adults and children and are projected to cost the United States $1.5 trillion over the next ten years.

Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, a Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus based in Northwest Indiana and Las Vegas, Nevada, is an international medical lecturer/author, Health Advocate, newspaper columnist, and Chairman of the Filipino United Network-USA, a 501(c)3 humanitarian foundation in the United States.

Websites: FUN8888.com, Today.SPSAtoday.com, and philipSchua.com Email: [email protected]