A Healthy Take

A Healthy Take


Cranberries could be powerful antibacterials


Researchers are finally starting to understand how cranberry juice can fight a host of human illnesses, many which are caused by E. coli bacteria, including urinary-tract infections. Scientists have found that compounds (tannins) found in cranberry juice can render E. coli bacteria incapable of initiating an infection


Researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute say that the cranberry may offer an alternative to antibiotic treatment to combat E. coli in the future.


Annually, about 8 million people are affected by urinary-tract infections. Researchers have suspected that something in cranberry juice stopped bacteria from adhering to the


On the molecular level the tannins in cranberry juice cause the shape of the bacteria to change from rods to spheres. The tannins also alter the bacterial cell membranes, and they make it difficult for the bacteria to make contact with the cells, or from latching on if they do make contact.


The higher the concentration of cranberry juice, the stronger the effects were on the bacteria, indicating that whole cranberry products would have better results than

diluted products. Scientists will likely explore the use of cranberries as powerful antibacterial agents in the future, especially since there is much concern about the overuse of antibiotics.



Obese people believe they are eating ‘healthy’


It’s true: 64.5 percent of American adults are overweight. Not only that, but 30.5 percent are obese, with 4.7 percent being found to be morbidly obese.


Despite these “heavy” facts in a new study by Thomson Medstat, more than four out of five Americans say their eating habits are either “very healthy” or “somewhat healthy.” The survey looked at the difference in perception and the reality of the American weight issue and surveyed 12,000 American adults. 


Questions were asked about eating habits and each respondent’s body-mass index to help categorize participants.


Here are some of the findings:


More than three-fourths of the obese survey respondents characterized their eating habits as either “very healthy” or “somewhat healthy.”


Just 2.9 percent of all Americans and 11.2 percent of morbidly obese Americans characterized their eating habits as “not healthy at all.”


When asked if they ate fast food on a weekly basis, 43.1 percent said they did not. However, 37.6 percent said they ate fast food one or two times per week.


The majority of the fast-food orders eaten were not “supersized,” but 22.3 percent of Americans said they sometimes ask for “super” or “biggie” sizes. However, 3.6 percent said they supersize their orders “all of the time.”


About 50 percent of respondents say they exercise three or more times a week. Forty percent of the obese respondents said they exercise regularly, but only 24.8 percent of the morbidly obese said they exercised regularly.


When asked on average how many times they ate snacks (chocolates, sweets, chips, cookies, etc.) each day, the majority of respondents said once or twice a day.

So what is really going on? Researchers believe that many Americans are engaging in several activities that actually put their health at risk, but that many Americans believe are “somewhat healthy.” Those behaviors, a combination of occasionally eating a fast-food meal, moderate snacking and not quite enough exercise, are looked upon as living a “somewhat healthy” lifestyle, but researchers say this practice is merely rationalizing behaviors that negatively affect health.


Want to reduce pain – try meditation


In a recent study,

It is estimated that 50 million people in the world suffer from chronic pain, and it appears that meditation can reduce that pain by half in many people. David Orme-Johnson, lead author of the study, says, “Prior research indicates that transcendental meditation creates a more balanced outlook on life and a greater equanimity in reacting to stress. This study suggests that this is not just an attitudinal change, but a fundamental change in how the brain functions.”


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