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Friday, 23 October 2009 22:15 - Healthy Tips Newsletter June 2009

Posted Nov 17 2009 10:01pm

June 2009
Monthly Health Tips Newsletter

Accessing Resources for Empowerment(tm)

See Dr. Leyton's YouTube Video on Sleep at
This issue contains:

New Mediterranean Diet Evidence
BBQ Safely This Summer

Are You Free to Fly?
Summer Sun Tips - Again!
New Website - Check It Out!

New Mediterranean Diet Evidence


Many of you who read his newsletter regularly will know that I am a big proponent of the Mediterranean diet. There is now more exciting evidence in the research to suggest this diet not only improves longevity, but also reduces mortality and illness in general across a number of seemingly unrelated illness categories.

When scientists pull together studies from a wide variety of research studies over a period of time and combine them to try and understand if those studies support each other this is called a meta-analysis. While there are detractors of meta-analysis as a bona fide form of research, they nevertheless carry a lot of weight in the research community.

During the last year two meta-analyses of the Mediterranean diet research have shown that this diet can significantly decrease mortality.

In a review of 12 studies involving more than 1.5 million people in North America and Europe, researchers found that strict adherence to a Mediterranean diet resulted in a 9% reduction in overall mortality, 9% reduction in cardiovascular mortality, 6% reduction in cancer mortality and 13% reduction in the incidence of Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.  The results were published in the British Medical Journal in September 2008. (Adherence to Mediterranean diet and healthstatus: meta-analysis. Sofi F, Cesari F, Abbate R, Gensini GF, Casini A. BMJ. 2008 Sep 11;337)

If you read my article on the Mediterranean diet on my website you will see more information regarding the diet itself. Briefly,the Mediterranean diet includes a high consumption of fruit, vegetables, legumes, cereals and fish, moderate consumption of red wine, and low consumption of red meat and dairy products.

This meta-analysis looked at what happens when some people adhere to the diet more closely than others. Follow-up time ranged from three years to 18 years. The conclusions were that those who adhered to the diet more closely had a greater reduction in both illness and death.

Another Canadian meta-analysis has confirmed which foods can lower or raise one's risk for coronary heart disease. (A systematic review of the evidence supporting a causal link between dietary factors and coronary heart disease. Mente A, deKoning L, Shannon HS, Anand SS. Arch Intern Med.2009 Apr 13;169(7):659-69.) In this study, which involved about 29,000 patients studied over an 11-year follow-up for each dietary factor, the Mediterranean diet was the best means of lowering coronary heart disease (CHD) risk, while the traditional Western diet increased the risk. There was also a strong association found between foods that have a high glycemic index, (those with added sugars and easily digestible sugars that tend to raise the blood sugar levels easily), and the association with increased risk of coronary heart disease.

The evidence is now very compelling that this kind of diet can not only help heart disease and cancer, by preventing those factors that precipitate those illnesses, but that this may well extend other illnesses such as Alzheimer's and other age related diseases.

If you want a good, no nonsense, no-hype book that looks at the history of this diet and the evidence for its efficacy I recommend, "The Mediterranean Diet" by Marissa Cloutier and Eve Adamson (Harper Books 2006)

It hasn't been that warm and sunny in Ontario, at least in the last month so we left this in from last months newsletter! It bears repeating anyway.
With all the controversy about sun, ultraviolet light and skin cancer these days it's important to know that in the northern latitudes we are becoming vitamin D deficient because of sun avoidance! Yes, not enough sun.  So:
  1. Make sure you get some sun every day.  About 15-30 mins. exposure of head, neck and arms will generate some of your Vitamin D requirements.
  2. Do not expose yourself during the 11 am-1 pm period, and only use sun block for extended periods of time in the sun i.e. more than 30 mins.
  3. Take 1000 units of Vitamin D a day during the winter, and summer too.
  4. Have your blood levels of Vitamin D tested yearly - they should be above 100nm/L.


Readers who send in questions can have them answered by Dr. Leyton right here!

Did you know that Dr. Leyton writes for both Ezine Online Articles and for Wellsphere International the online health network seen by millions daily.

Thanks for reading this month's newsletter. See you next month!

Healthy Tips
Short and Simple~News to Use
There are four basic principles to health:
1. Good nutrition
2. Good exercise
3. Good thinking and emotional states
4. Good self-care
These embrace the mind, body and spirit of good health and well-being. Each monthly tip(s) will address one or more of these principles. These health tips are short and simple. All tips, where applicable, are based on quality research that is being done in the medical field. You will see links throughout the newsletter to take you to more detail if you wish...or you can simply read what's here.

Research confirms that certain compounds called heterocyclic amines (HCAs) are generated when foods are charred on the BBQ.   This is particularly so for red meats, but also chicken and fish if they are charred.  The fat from any food dripping onto the hot burners or charcoal evaporates and creates the HCAs when it settles on the food above.  HCAs can cause cancer in long-term exposure.  How to avoid this?  Follow the suggestions below:
  1. Marinate the food first.
  2. Cook slow and low heat, or fast and high heat - turn meat more frequently.
  3. Eat your vegetables with your meal as these help detoxify the HCAs.
  4. Seafood generally has much less HCAs than chicken or red meat as long as its not charred.
  5. Grilled veggies generate very few HCAs

"I looked over at my husband and said," Hey,this is really good." I felt better. Crammed in my seat heading to England, I needed something to calm me. I hadn't listened to Learn to Enjoy your Flight for a long time and I was pleasantly surprised at how relaxed I felt after listening to it.  I didn't listen to the first two tracks; I went right to track 3 - Relaxing during the flight. I loved the part where he talked about going down the flight of stairs and feeling your body relax. It put me to sleep. When I woke up I noticed that I was less agitated and wanted to watch a movie or look out at the moon and stars over the Atlantic.If you are travelling this summer I highly recommend this CD."


Dr. Leyton's YouTube Video on Sleep at

Did you receive this newsletter forwarded or sent from a friend or colleague by email?  If you would like your very own monthly issue

Yes! We have a newly designed website - more efficient, easier to navigate, and more pleasing to the eye thanks to our web designer
Check it out at

Copyright Accessing Resources for Empowerment(tm) 2008. All rights reserved.
Accessing Resources for Empowerment (tm) is committed to bringing you quality products,
workshops, ideas, information and links to help you negotiate the world around you more
easily and comfortably. The information and suggestions provided in this newsletter and other
articles are for educational purposes only and are not intended as treatment to be used without
the further advice of a physician or other health-care practitioner familiar with the diagnosis
and treatment of any condition using nutritional or other alternative approaches.
Please, always see your health care provider to provide a proper diagnosis and
for any further details of treatment.
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