Friday Fun Facts

Welcome to a Brand Spankin' New Feature of DocAltMed. Every Friday, I will be publishing the Friday Fun Facts, which summarizes research in the field of alternative medicine.

I'm doing this to remind you that you *don't* need drugs to be healthy. All you need is the desire to be healthy and a doctor who knows how to help you.

I know this isn't nearly as much fun as David Letterman's top 10, but he's pretty much jumped the shark anyway. Without further ado...

Fact #1

This root may get to the root of the problem.

Curcumin, the major polyphenol found in turmeric, appears to reduce weight gain and suppress the growth of fat tissue in mice and cell models.

"Weight gain is the result of the growth and expansion of fat tissue, which cannot happen unless new blood vessels form, a process known as angiogenesis." said senior author Mohsen Meydani, DVM, PhD, director of the Vascular Biology Laboratory at the USDA HNRCA. "Based on our data, curcumin appears to suppress angiogenic activity in the fat tissue of mice fed high fat diets."

Fact #2

Magnesium is magnificent for high blood pressure.

Supplemental magnesium may reduce blood pressure in people with high blood pressure, but with seemingly normal magnesium levels, says a new study. On the other hand, the supplements had no effect on the blood pressure measurements of normo-tensive individuals, according to findings. “These findings suggest that magnesium supplementation may help prevent the progression of hypertension in normo-magnesemic non-diabetic overweight people with higher BP, although mechanisms of counter-regulation preventing further BP increase remain to be elucidated,” wrote the researchers.

Fact #3

This may make pork chops out of the swine flu.

There is compelling epidemiological evidence that indicates that because of vitamin D's seasonal and population effects on innate immunity, vitamin D deficiency may explain influenza's seasonality.

In 1992, Hope-Simpson predicted that, "understanding the mechanism (of the seasonal stimulus) may be of critical value in designing prophylaxis against the disease." Twenty-five years later, Aloia and Li-Ng found 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day abolished the seasonality of influenza and dramatically reduced its self-reported incidence.

Fact #4

Again, exercise to the rescue.

A home-based diet and exercise program reduced the rate of functional decline among older, overweight long-term survivors of colorectal, breast and prostate cancer, according to a new study.

"In conclusion, this study provides data on a long overlooked, yet important faction in older long-term cancer survivors. Long-term survivors of colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer participating in a diet and exercise intervention reduced the rate of self-reported physical function decline in comparison with a group receiving no intervention," the researchers write.