Is Sitting a Lethal Activity?

By JAMES VLAHOS

chair sittingDR. LEVINE’S MAGIC UNDERWEAR resembled bicycle shorts, black and skintight, but with sensors mounted on the thighs and wires running to a fanny pack. The look was part Euro tourist, part cyborg. Twice a second, 24 hours a day, the magic underwear’s accelerometers and inclinometers would assess every movement I made, however small, and whether I was lying, walking, standing or sitting.

James Levine, a researcher at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., has an intense interest in how much people move — and how much they don’t. He is a leader of an emerging field that some call inactivity studies, which has challenged long-held beliefs about human health and obesity. To help me understand some of the key findings, he suggested that I become a mock research trial participant. First my body fat was measured inside a white, futuristic capsule called a Bod Pod. Next, one of Dr. Levine’s colleagues, Shelly McCrady-Spitzer, placed a hooded mask over my head to measure the content of my exhalations and gauge my body’s calorie-burning rate. After that, I donned the magic underwear, then went down the hall to the laboratory’s research kitchen for a breakfast whose calories were measured precisely.

A weakness of traditional activity and obesity research is that it relies on self-reporting — people’s flawed recollections of how much they ate or exercised. But the participants in a series of studies that Dr. Levine did beginning in 2005 were assessed and wired up the way I was; they consumed all of their food in the lab for two months and were told not to exercise. With nary a snack nor workout left to chance, Dr. Levine was able to plumb the mysteries of a closed metabolic universe in which every calorie, consumed as food or expended for energy, could be accounted for.

His initial question — which he first posed in a 1999 study — was simple: Why do some people who consume the same amount of food as others gain more weight? After assessing how much food each of his subjects needed to maintain their current weight, Dr. Levine then began to ply them with an extra 1,000 calories per day. Sure enough, some of his subjects packed on the pounds, while others gained little to no weight.

“We measured everything, thinking we were going to find some magic metabolic factor that would explain why some people didn’t gain weight,” explains Dr. Michael Jensen, a Mayo Clinic researcher who collaborated with Dr. Levine on the studies. But that wasn’t the case. Then six years later, with the help of the motion-tracking underwear, they discovered the answer. “The people who didn’t gain weight were unconsciously moving around more,” Dr. Jensen says. They hadn’t started exercising more — that was prohibited by the study. Their bodies simply responded naturally by making more little movements than they had before the overfeeding began, like taking the stairs, trotting down the hall to the office water cooler, bustling about with chores at home or simply fidgeting. On average, the subjects who gained weight sat two hours more per day than those who hadn’t.

People don’t need the experts to tell them that sitting around too much could give them a sore back or a spare tire. The conventional wisdom, though, is that if you watch your diet and get aerobic exercise at least a few times a week, you’ll effectively offset your sedentary time. A growing body of inactivity research, however, suggests that this advice makes scarcely more sense than the notion that you could counter a pack-a-day smoking habit by jogging. “Exercise is not a perfect antidote for sitting,” says Marc Hamilton, an inactivity researcher at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

The posture of sitting itself probably isn’t worse than any other type of daytime physical inactivity, like lying on the couch watching “Wheel of Fortune.” But for most of us, when we’re awake and not moving, we’re sitting. This is your body on chairs: Electrical activity in the muscles drops — “the muscles go as silent as those of a dead horse,” Hamilton says — leading to a cascade of harmful metabolic effects. Your calorie-burning rate immediately plunges to about one per minute, a third of what it would be if you got up and walked. Insulin effectiveness drops within a single day, and the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes rises. So does the risk of being obese. The enzymes responsible for breaking down lipids and triglycerides — for “vacuuming up fat out of the bloodstream,” as Hamilton puts it — plunge, which in turn causes the levels of good (HDL) cholesterol to fall.

Hamilton’s most recent work has examined how rapidly inactivity can cause harm. In studies of rats who were forced to be inactive, for example, he discovered that the leg muscles responsible for standing almost immediately lost more than 75 percent of their ability to remove harmful lipo-proteins from the blood. To show that the ill effects of sitting could have a rapid onset in humans too, Hamilton recruited 14 young, fit and thin volunteers and recorded a 40 percent reduction in insulin’s ability to uptake glucose in the subjects — after 24 hours of being sedentary.

Over a lifetime, the unhealthful effects of sitting add up. Alpa Patel, an epidemiologist at the American Cancer Society, tracked the health of 123,000 Americans between 1992 and 2006. The men in the study who spent six hours or more per day of their leisure time sitting had an overall death rate that was about 20 percent higher than the men who sat for three hours or less. The death rate for women who sat for more than six hours a day was about 40 percent higher. Patel estimates that on average, people who sit too much shave a few years off of their lives.

Another study, published last year in the journal Circulation, looked at nearly 9,000 Australians and found that for each additional hour of television a person sat and watched per day, the risk of dying rose by 11 percent. The study author David Dunstan wanted to analyze whether the people who sat watching television had other unhealthful habits that caused them to die sooner. But after crunching the numbers, he reported that “age, sex, education, smoking, hypertension, waist circumference, body-mass index, glucose tolerance status and leisure-time exercise did not significantly modify the associations between television viewing and all-cause . . . mortality.”

Sitting, it would seem, is an independent pathology. Being sedentary for nine hours a day at the office is bad for your health whether you go home and watch television afterward or hit the gym. It is bad whether you are morbidly obese or marathon-runner thin. “Excessive sitting,” Dr. Levine says, “is a lethal activity.”

The good news is that inactivity’s peril can be countered. Working late one night at 3 a.m., Dr. Levine coined a name for the concept of reaping major benefits through thousands of minor movements each day: NEAT, which stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. In the world of NEAT, even the littlest stuff matters. McCrady-Spitzer showed me a chart that tracked my calorie-burning rate with zigzagging lines, like those of a seismograph. “What’s that?” I asked, pointing to one of the spikes, which indicated that the rate had shot up. “That’s when you bent over to tie your shoes,” she said. “It took your body more energy than just sitting still.”

In a motion-tracking study, Dr. Levine found that obese subjects averaged only 1,500 daily movements and nearly 600 minutes sitting. In my trial with the magic underwear, I came out looking somewhat better — 2,234 individual movements and 367 minutes sitting. But I was still nowhere near the farm workers Dr. Levine has studied in Jamaica, who average 5,000 daily movements and only 300 minutes sitting.

Dr. Levine knows that we can’t all be farmers, so instead he is exploring ways for people to redesign their environments so that they encourage more movement. We visited a chairless first-grade classroom where the students spent part of each day crawling along mats labeled with vocabulary words and jumping between platforms while reciting math problems. We stopped by a human-resources staffing agency where many of the employees worked on the move at treadmill desks — a creation of Dr. Levine’s, later sold by a company called Steelcase.

Dr. Levine was in a philosophical mood as we left the temp agency. For all of the hard science against sitting, he admits that his campaign against what he calls “the chair-based lifestyle” is not limited to simply a quest for better physical health. His is a war against inertia itself, which he believes sickens more than just our body. “Go into cubeland in a tightly controlled corporate environment and you immediately sense that there is a malaise about being tied behind a computer screen seated all day,” he said. “The soul of the nation is sapped, and now it’s time for the soul of the nation to rise.”

James Vlahos (jamesvlahos@gmail.com) writes often for Popular Science and Popular Mechanics.

Doctors denying Vaccine Risks An American Tragedy, April 25, 2011

Doctors denying Vaccine Risks An American Tragedy, April 25, 2011, Barbara Loe Fisher, National Vaccine Information Center, NVIC.

Anyone with young children in their lives should watch this video. This happened to my oldest daughter. She was on her third shot of DPT and thanks to the work of this woman, Barbara Loe Fisher, I was aware that there were problems with vaccines. I have no doubt that knowledge saved my daughter’s life.

Sciatica: Spinal Manipulation As Beneficial (And Cheaper) Than Surgery

spinal manipulationSciatica is considered a serious spinal condition that causes pain, numbness, or weakness in one or both legs. When sciatica patients don’t receive beneficial help and their condition is debilitating, surgery is often encouraged to relieve discomfort. But, surgery is harsh on both the body and finances and often doesn’t alleviate the condition.

A study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, concluded that spinal manipulation is just as effective as surgery (microdiskectomy) for sciatica. Researchers studied results of participants who had chronic conditions lasting over six months where traditional medical management had failed them. Sixty percent of patients who received spinal manipulation benefited just as much as those who went through surgery.

Read below to see the astonishing personal and health system cost savings of manipulation versus surgery.

~Health Freedoms

Spinal Manipulation Proves Equally Beneficial As Surgery In Sciatica Treatment

In a recent study, “Manipulation or Microdisketomy for Sciatica? A Prospective Randomized Clinical Study,” (Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, October 2010, Vol. 33 Iss. 8, p: 576-584), researchers concluded that spinal manipulation was just as effective as microdiskectomy for patients struggling with sciatica secondary to lumbar disk herniation (LDH). The patient population studied included people experiencing chronic sciatica (symptoms greater than six months) that had failed traditional, medical management. Overall, 60 percent of patients who received spinal manipulation benefited to the same degree as those who underwent surgery.

“Sciatica is a serious spinal condition that causes pain, numbness, or weakness in one or both legs. Many times when symptoms become debilitating and without further help, surgery is prescribed to alleviate discomfort. But surgery is not without financial and physical drawbacks.”

“To our knowledge, this is the first, randomized trial that directly compared spinal manipulation, which in this study was delivered by a doctor of chiropractic, and back surgery, two popular treatment choices for this prevalent health condition,” says Dr. Gordon McMorland, who co-authored the paper with neurosurgeons Steve Casha, MD, PhD, FRCSC, Stephan J. du Plessis, MD, and R. John Hubert, MD, PhD, FRCSC, FACS. “Sciatica is a serious spinal condition that causes pain, numbness, or weakness in one or both legs. Many times when symptoms become debilitating and without further help, surgery is prescribed to alleviate discomfort. But surgery is not without financial and physical drawbacks.”

According to the study, “Outpatient Lumbar Microdiscectomy: A Prospective Study in 122 Patients”, more than 200,000 microdiskectomies are performed annually in the United States, at a direct cost of $5 billion, or $25,000 per procedure. In this year-long study, consenting participants were chosen randomly to receive either an average of 21 chiropractic sessions over a year or a single microdiskectomy, both with the additional integration of six supervised active rehabilitation sessions and a patient education program. If cost is assumed at $100 per chiropractic visit, there is a direct, total savings of $22,900 per manipulation patient. System-wide, this could save $2.75 billion dollars annually.

“After a year, no significant complications were seen in either treatment group, and the 60 percent patients who benefitted from spinal manipulation improved to the same degree as their surgical counterparts,” says Dr. McMorland, who also points out that, “The 40 percent of patients who were not helped by manipulation did receive subsequent surgical intervention. These patients benefitted to the same degree as those that underwent surgery initially, suggesting there was no detrimental effect caused by delaying their surgical treatment.”

“Our research supports spinal manipulation performed by a doctor of chiropractic is a valuable and safe treatment option for those experiencing symptomatic LDH, failing traditional medical management. These individuals should consider spinal manipulation as a primary treatment, followed by surgery if unsuccessful.”

Source: Foundation for Chiropractic Progress

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/224957.php

Submitted by Lois Rain

Big Study: Vaccinated Kids 2-5 More Diseases Than Unvaccinated

Preventable Vaccine-induced Diseases

vaccinationsA German study released in September 2011 of about 8000 UNVACCINATED children, newborn to 19 years, show vaccinated children have at least 2 to 5 times more diseases and disorders than unvaccinated children.

The results are presented in the bar chart below; the complete data and study results are here. The data is compared to the national German KIGGS health study of the children in the general population. Most of the respondents to the survey were from the U.S. (Click on the chart to see it better)

The data was collected from parents with vaccine-free children via an internet questionnaire by vaccineinjury.info and Andreas Bachmair, a German classical homeopathic practitioner. The independent study is self-funded and is not sponsored by a large “credible” non-profit or government health organization with political and financial conflicts of interest; hence Bachmair relies on Google ads and donations for revenue. Each one of the 8000 cases are actual cases with medical documentation. Three other studies had similar results according to Bachmair and are reported below.

No study of health outcomes of vaccinated people versus unvaccinated has ever been conducted in the U.S. by CDC or any other agency in the 50 years or more of an accelerating schedule of vaccinations (now over 50 doses of 14 vaccines given before kindergarten, 26 doses in the first year). Most data collected by CDC is contained in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database. The VAERS is generally thought to contain only 3 to 5 percent of reportable incidents. This is simply because only some immediate reactions are reported by doctors; but many are not admitted to be reactions to the vaccine. Most importantly, the VAERS numbers are only immediate reactions, which I would place with a few hours to a few weeks. Long-term vaccine-induced diseases and disorders are not recognized by parents or doctors when these conditions develop perhaps a few months to five years or more and would never be realized to come from multiple vaccinations. In other words, many children and adults have diseases and disorders that are vaccine induced and they never suspect they are from the vaccines, as this study indicates.

The comparisons of the health of vaccine-free children with the health statistics of the general population are the same as comparing unvaccinated with vaccinated. This is simply because the general population of U.S. children are nearly 100 percent vaccinated.

Only four of the unvaccinated 8000 responded with severeautism (0.05%) and these were said to be high mercury cases. On the other hand, I had noticed the results show about a 1% rate for autism in the unvaccinated over 3 years old–about the same as vaccinated children. So I asked Bachmair why the data does not show significantly less. He told me he had invited many autism groups and internet autism lists to participate and thus skewed the results accordingly. If the true rate is 0.5%, I calculated that only 40 extra respondents (above the true average number) responded yes to autism, it would skew the results by a factor of 2. If the true rate is 0.25%, only 60 additional respondents (above the true average number) of the 8000 responded yes to autism, it would skew the results by a factor of 4. So it would not take many respondents from these lists to skew the results significantly.

The only other bias in this study may include the fact that parents of unvaccinated children are obviously concerned about the health risks of vaccines, and are more likely to make other healthier choices such as feeding their children a much better diet and using more natural remedies and using fewer pharmaceuticals.

Now half the U.S. children suffer from chronic diseases and disorders and 21% are developmentally disabled. Yet the public health system always uses the sacred mantra “vaccine-preventable diseases” when referring to their top public health achievement of mass vaccinations. I think we should be talking more in terms of preventable vaccine-induced diseases.

The survey is still ongoing and you may take the survey here if you have unvaccinated children.

Other studies were cited by Andreas Bachmair

Salzburger Study

Results: of 1004 unvaccinated children, had

Asthma, 0% (8-12% in the normal population)

A-topic dermatitis 1.2% (10-20% in the normal population)

Allergies 3% (25% in the normal population)

ADHD 0.79% (5-10%) in children

Longterm Study in Guinea-Bissau (1 Kristensen I, Aaby P, Jensen H.:“Routine vaccinations and child survival: follow up study in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa”, BMJ 2000; 321: 1435–41)

The children of 15,000 mothers were observed from 1990 to 1996 for 5 years.

Result: the death rate in vaccinated children against diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough is twice as high as the unvaccinated children (10.5% versus 4.7%).

New Zealand Survey (1992) (http://www.ias.org.nz)

Download and read the IAS1992study now.

By Mr. Augie, Contributing Writer

Source:

http://journal.livingfood.us/2011/10/09/new-study-vaccinated-children-have-2-to-5-times-more-diseases-and-disorders-than-unvaccinated-children/

Dieting Forces Brain To Cannibalize

Submitted by Lois Rain

Diet eats brainModern dieting misinformation abounds: “Eat few calories! No fat! Tiny portions! Less food!” All of which might be all right if people were actually getting loads of nutrition, which is why this writer refers to current dieting fads altogether as “The Starvation Diet.”

In the midst of all the dieting confusion, comes an under-the-radar claim from scientists that dieting literally forces the brain to eat itself!

Just as other parts of the body such as muscles begin to cannibalize, brain cells eat themselves as a last resort to keep the body from starving to death. This inevitably creates a more intense hunger and sets up a bad cycle for weight gain.

Researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University in New York were really on to something when they discovered the process of autophagy (literally, self eating self) in test mice placed on diets. However, their findings are geared towards finding the new best weight loss treatments, i.e. drugs to trick the brain out of self-cannibalism. Even though lack of nutrition was the basis for autophagy, more nutrition simply couldn’t be the solution to keep the brain from pulling a zombie attack on itself.

Their findings, reported in the Cell Press journal Cell Metabolism, do present evidence that supports the claim that diets (without nutrition as a basis) do not work; thus, the yo-yo effect. Extreme dieting can cause other damage as well. The Biggest Loser strength coach, Jillian Michaels, learned the hard way after years of trying rigid diet fads. She explains in her book, Master Your Metabolism, how she destroyed her metabolism in the early days and sadly, lost the use of her thyroid.

Previously, it was believed that the brain was able to resist the starvation-cannibal response. Dr Rajat Singh, who led the study, had found a similar starvation-induced response in the liver.

The new evidence shows that lipids within the so-called agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons are mobilized following autophagy, generating free fatty acids. Those fatty acids in turn boost levels of AgRP, itself a hunger signal. -Prevent Disease

Singh mentioned, “A pathway that is really important for every cell to turn over components in a kind of housekeeping process is also required to regulate appetite…Treatments aimed at the pathway might make you less hungry and burn more fat, a good way to maintain energy balance in a world where calories are cheap and plentiful.”

The researchers wrote that, “The present study demonstrates the unique nature of hypothalamic neurons in their ability to upregulate autophagy in response to starvation that is consistent with the roles of these neurons in feeding and energy homeostasis.” They showed that when autophagy is blocked in AgRP neurons, AgRP levels fail to rise in response to starvation.

Of course, whenever research leads to such discoveries, their conclusions almost always recommend new drugs that shut down neuro-pathways allowing obesity-laden folks to keep living the same nutritionless lifestyle, while eating less, and burning more.

Yeah, that sounds much healthier.

~Health Freedoms

Sources:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/8677200/Dieting-forces-brain-to-eat-itself-scientists-claim.html

http://preventdisease.com/news/11/080311_diets_fail.shtml

No Deaths from Vitamins, Minerals, Amino Acids or Herbs

no vitamin deathsThere was not even one death caused by a dietary supplement in 2008, according to the most recent information collected by the U.S. National Poison Data System. The new 174-page annual report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers, published in the journal Clinical Toxicology, shows zero deaths from multiple vitamins; zero deaths from any of the B vitamins; zero deaths from vitamins A, C, D, or E; and zero deaths from any other vitamin. Additionally, there were no deaths whatsoever from any amino acid or herbal product. This means no deaths at all from blue cohosh, echinacea, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, kava kava, St. John’s wort, valerian, yohimbe, Asian medicines, ayurvedic medicines, or any other botanical. There were zero deaths from creatine, blue-green algae, glucosamine, chondroitin, melatonin, or any homeopathic remedies.

Furthermore, there were zero deaths in 2008 from any dietary mineral supplement. This means there were no fatalities from calcium, magnesium, chromium, zinc, colloidal silver, selenium, iron, or multimineral supplements. Two children died as a result of medical use of the antacid sodium bicarbonate. The other “Electrolyte and Mineral” category death was due to a man accidentally drinking sodium hydroxide, a highly toxic degreaser and drain-opener.

No man, woman or child died from nutritional supplements. Period.

61 poison centers provide coast-to-coast data for the U.S. National Poison Data System, which is then reviewed by 29 medical and clinical toxicologists. NPDS, the authors write, is “one of the few real-time national surveillance systems in existence, providing a model public health surveillance system for all types of exposures, public health event identification, resilience response and situational awareness tracking.”

Over half of the U.S. population takes daily nutritional supplements. Even if each of those people took only one single tablet daily, that makes 154,000,000 individual doses per day, for a total of over 56 billion doses annually. Since many persons take more than just one vitamin or mineral tablet, actual consumption is considerably higher, and the safety of nutritional supplements is all the more remarkable.

If nutritional supplements are allegedly so “dangerous,” as the FDA and news media so often claim, then where are the bodies?

Those who wonder if the media are biased against vitamins may consider this: how many television stations, newspapers, magazines, and medical journals have reported that no one dies from nutritional supplements?

http://www.orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v06n04.shtml

Is your osteoporosis drug giving you diabetes?

By Alice Wessendorf

I swear, sometimes I just have to wonder if Big Pharma is trying to kill us. I know it might sound a bit paranoid, but let’s just take osteoporosis drugs for example.

We now know that Fosamax and other bisphosphonate drugs can actually increase our risk of fractures…the very things we’re told to take the drugs to avoid …and they have been connected to osteonecrosis (bone death) of the jaw.

Now two new studies, published in the journal Cell, have uncovered evidence that these dangerous drugs have yet another health-threatening trick up their sleeve. They may contribute to high blood-sugar levels and insulin resistance in users, two of the hallmarks of diabetes.

You see your bones are involved in a continual process of shedding old materials and building new ones. To do this work your body replies on two types of cells, the bone-building osteoblast and the bone-resorbing osteoclast. bisphosphonate drugs work by inhibiting the octeoclasts from completing their job of bone resorption.

And here’s where the trouble starts. It turns out that while the drugs are inhibiting the osteoclasts they’re also likely destroying the conditions needed to produce a bone-derived hormone called osteocalcin.

And I’ll give you just one guess as to what happens when there’s a drop in osteocalcin.

Ding, ding…yes, you guessed it!

There are corresponding jumps in insulin resistance and in blood-sugar levels. It turns out that osteocalcin plays an important role in glucose metabolism, and that the osteoporosis drug you’re on may be suppressing your body’s production of this vital hormone, leading you down the road to full-blown type II diabetes.

If you are currently on a bisphosphonates drug, you should consider making an appointment with your doctor to talk about glucose intolerance and your increased risk of diabetes. While you’re there, why not go ahead and ask him about how you can get off of these dangerous drugs permanently?

Sometimes, paranoia’s just having all the facts.


About the author

An enthusiastic believer in the power of natural healing, Alice has spent virtually her entire 17-year career in the natural-health publishing field helping to spread the word.

She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.