Month: October 2015

Parasites are more common

Would you believe you have a one in five chance of having parasites? Parasites are more common than you, and the majority of physicians out there, realize. Studies show it is quite possible that the majority of gastrointestinal complaints are a result of undiagnosed, unrecognized parasitic infections.

In a report of the American college of gastroenterology, Doctors said that among 197 consecutive patients with a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms, over half were found to have Giardia Lambia, a microscopic organism introduced to water supplies by animals via mountain streams and by human sewage entering public water supplies. Symptoms included diarrhea, stomach bloating, chronic fatigue, food intolerance, stomach pain and constipation.

Martin Lee, Ph.D., biochemist, microbiologist and director of the Great Smokies Laboratory in North Carolina, conducted a study on the presence of parasites in very sick people. In one group of lower income immigrants, 70 percent were found to be infected. More surprising, when he examined a group of more well to do Americans, he found 20 percent had parasites. The centers for Disease Control in Atlanta got the same results in their tests. What does this mean? In the past we took certain comfort in the belief that parasites occurred mostly in Third World countries and that in our sterile, government-inspected industrialized society, we were immune.

The fact is, we can have parasites and not have symptoms, and we can get them a lot easier than we ever realized.

Do you swim in the summer? Certain parasites are not killed by chlorine and all it takes is an undetected or neglected pool filter to infect many people. In 1990 a La Times article reported on the case of a child infected with cryptosporidium who infected others through the local swimming pool. The pool managers treated the water with chemicals, not realizing that because one of the three pool filters was not working their efforts were in vain. The parasite infected swimmers for about a month before the broken filter was discovered (los Angeles Times, September 23, 1990.

California recommends that public pools be inspected three times a year. In one-report health officials estimated that 44 percent of the pools in Los Angeles County had not been inspected for three of more years.

The tapeworm Diphyllobothrium latum can cause pernicious anemia because it blocks vitamin B12 from being absorbed in the intestine. Blood loss from hookworm, trichuris and chistosoma infections may cause in iron-deficiency anemia. Ascaris lumbricoides infection may reduce fat absorption and interfere with the absorption of vitamin A, compromising eyesight.

Because parasites cause the cilia in the intestine to become flattened and basically ineffective, any nutrients, including the B vitamins and many minerals, cannot be absorbed into the body.  This catch-22 causes deficiencies, which impair the immune system resulting in secondary health problems that cannot be traced to the parasite.

The first step is to cleanse the intestinal tract. Scour the health food stores for supplements that contain good sources of fiber, like psylium and hyssop, combined with …

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Can Your Natural Food Health Store Identify The Real Miracle Fruit?

The miracle fruit. Is it a label, an actual plant or just another myth spread by the organic/green/health food crowd? The answer depends on who you ask.

To the botanist (or well informed green grocer), Synsepalum dulcificum is the scientific name of an African berry known as the Miracle Fruit or Miracle Berry Plant. In this case, miracle fruit gets its name from an unusual ability to block sour tastes thanks to a compound it contains called miraculin. People who eat this miracle fruit can then eat a lemon and it will taste sweet, not sour.  A miracle?

Scientific studies that identify new qualities in a wide range of already known plants and accompanying news headlines have created the concept of a “miracle fruit” in the press. The problem is the actual fruit changes from year to year and the definition of miracle is a moving target. One of the current owners of the crown is the familiar blueberry, long considered to be part of a healthy diet but now credited with extraordinary dietary benefits due to its high concentration of antioxidants that studies suggest might fend off the damaging effects of free radicals. The scientist, who headed up the Tufts University study that discovered the anthocyanins that give blueberries their deep blue color, recommends that people add half a cup of the berries to their diet every day. Last year it was acai berries from the Amazon rain forest, the region suspected to have all sorts of undiscovered herb vitamins and plants with potential pharmaceutical applications. At other times the headlines have urged people to eat grapefruit, kiwi fruit and cranberries.

So, with all the headlines and ongoing studies, is it possible that the concept of a miracle fruit is basically an urban myth? Well, it might be better to think of it that way. Certainly there are many fruits that have benefits as part of your diet, but to claim that any one of them has super powers is likely an exaggeration or based on results unlikely to be duplicated outside of a laboratory. The safe bet is to eat a balanced diet and include a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. One saying goes that if you eat a plate of food that’s as colorful as possible, it will maximize the healthy benefits to your body. Colorful certainly includes room for blue. While you’re at it, cover all the bases and include a rounded dose of vitamins and supplements as well.…

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Jillian Michaels Teams With Network for a Healthy California to Fight Childhood Obesity

Jillian Michaels, star of NBC’s reality show The Biggest Loser and host of her own radio show on KFI AM 640 in Los Angeles, has joined with Los Angeles County public health advocates in the fight against childhood obesity.  The radio promotion, which runs through September, consists of radio ads, a website and an on-air contest. 

The radio ads feature Jillian along with a number of “Champion Moms,” who are actual local moms that serve as advocates for a statewide “Champions for Change” campaign (  The Champions for Change are committed to helping their families eat more fruits and vegetables and be more physically active. They also help make healthy changes in their neighborhoods, like encouraging local stores to stock more fresh fruits and vegetables.  Their goal is to help prevent serious health problems, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and certain types of cancer.  The ads are sponsored by the Los Angeles Collaborative for Healthy Active Children and the Network for a Healthy California–Los Angeles Region and funded by USDA’s Food Stamp Program, an equal opportunity provider and employer. For information about food stamps, call 1-888-328-3483. 

KFI’s promotion website features a contest where listeners can submit their own champion for change ideas for a chance to win a mini vacation to a Palm Springs Luxury Hotel and an opportunity to meet Jillian at the KFI studio: … 

The Network for a Healthy California–Los Angeles Region offers resources, technical assistance, and support for anti-obesity and nutrition-related projects throughout L.A. County and supports the efforts of the Los Angeles Collaborative for Healthy Active Children.  The Los Angeles Collaborative for Healthy Active Children is a dynamic partnership of over 150 organizations dedicated to improving the health of children and families in Los Angeles County (  The Collaborative promotes healthy eating, physical activity and communities that foster healthy lifestyles. With quarterly meetings and trainings throughout the year, the Collaborative brings together and mobilizes diverse sectors including low-income consumers, government agencies, non-profit organizations, advocates, community leaders, businesses, social service offices, and other experts in nutrition and physical activity.  Members of the Collaborative coordinate, implement and evaluate countywide campaigns and initiatives that increase access to and availability of fruits and vegetables, safe physical activity and food safety.…

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California Health Insurance Supports Californians In Good And Bad Times

With hundreds of California Health Insurance Plans available, providers are going beyond expectations to offer additional benefits to their members and the larger community.

Health Insurance for California Provider Donates to Red Cross

One of largest providers of Health Insurance in California — Anthem Blue Cross of California — stepped up to help during the southern California wildfires. When residents were forced to flee from their homes, some left behind necessary and valuable prescription medications. Anthem Blue Cross of California provided a one-time 30-day supply override so their members would not have to wait for a 30-day cycle to end before they could refill prescription medications lost during the fires.

Blue Cross of California also extended the range of in-network healthcare providers to help those who were forced to relocate. Anthem said the in-network coverage benefits would be extended to cover out-of-network providers when victims of the wildfires relocated to areas lacking in-network providers.

Anthem also extended assistance to the community at large. Blue Cross of California donated $25,000 to the American Red Cross to help bring relief to victims of the southern California fires.

California Health Insurance Providers Step Up for H1N1 Crisis

Anthem Blue Cross of California is one of many health insurance providers that offer members free H1N1 vaccinations. Many providers are waiving coinsurance, co-pays, and deductible fees to enable more people to receive H1N1 vaccinations. Anthem is also offering low-cost flu-related treatment coverage, including Relenza and Tamiflu. Those enrolled in Medicaid, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, or other publicly-funded health care programs can also receive the H1N1 vaccine at no cost.

Blue Cross of California Makes It Easier to Stay Well in Good Times, Too

Anthem Blue Cross of California continues to offer assistance in normal times with convenient prescription medication mail service for its members. Anthem’s NextRX program is available to members who take prescription medications on a regular basis. That includes medications that are used to treat allergies, depression, diabetes, and heart disease, along with oral contraceptives. Members who participate in NextRX may also receive confidential counseling with the Anthem pharmacist, coupons, free shipping, prescription refill reminders, and 24/7 telephone and Web site access.

New Health Insurance Plans for California

Anthem provides a wide range of California Health Insurance Plans, including dental, employer health, and family and individual health plans. It also offers a plan specifically for healthy young people (California TONIK).

Blue Cross of California SmartSense plans offer low costs while still covering essentials, such as doctor office visits and prescription medications. Anthem offers both HMOs and PPOs. PPO Share Plans allow immediate benefits for annual physical exams, doctor office visits, and preventive care. Blue Cross of California also has PPO plans that cover 100 percent of most services after a deductible, and are compatible with Health Savings Accounts.

On the first day of 2010, Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health launched CoreGuard, which is an individual PPO plan. On February 1st, Anthem offered ClearProtection, a second new individual PPO plan. Both …

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Does Cardio Fitness Improve Muscle Gain?

Hi everyone, I’m Jeffrey Rollins and I’d like to share my views about the all important cardio vrs muscle building exercises dilemma and can they really help each other. How should you spend your time exercising and does cardio fitness really help to improve muscle gain and tone?

Well, IMHO there’s a strict connection between aerobics and the way your muscles look. I’ll try and explain why in this article. It’s no secret that if you place all your efforts in running, swimming, tennis, basketball or any other cardio induced workout your body will get slimmer and look more fit. The real question is: “how do you increase your muscle mass while keeping a tight and fit physic?”.

Muscles build up on proteins. So eating a lot of proteins is mandatory when you are trying to build up muscles. However, no matter how hard you workout at the gym, no matter how many reps you do, your body will store some of the proteins it needs as fat because it does not burn as much calories when performing anaerobic exercises as it does when performing aerobic exercises.

But, if you combine a lot of aerobic exercises in your routine, you will burn a lot of calories and your body will turn to proteins as a source of energy. The same proteins you need to build up your muscles, or worse the same proteins which are already in your muscles which will now be broken down and will deter your muscle’s growth.

Note – Fat is the last source of energy the body turns to when looking for calories to burn. So after carbohydrates, your proteins are at risk.

So how can you gain muscle, while not looking fat, having great muscle tone and bulk up further? The answer is to keep a mediate cardio routine with an extensive anaerobic bodybuilding program. And yes, then cardio and aerobics actually can help in putting on extra muscle and gaining weight the right way. Why? because cardio workouts actually elevate your heart rate and increase blood flow. Your blood being the conduit of food and energy to your body simply performs better, allowing for required energy and proteins to reach their final destination faster and better.

Yes – Cardio can help you gain muscle faster, but it’s important to find the right balance between cardio and anaerobic workouts.

It’s important to note!!! Every body, your literal body, acts differently to working out. It’s crucial to consult your fitness instructor and your family doctor about any significant lifestyle changes you are about to make.…

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Services offered by California health insurance companies

There are many excellent California health insurance companies. Some important insurance carriers are Aetna, Blue shield of California, PacifiCare, Kaiser Permanente, Health Net and Anthem Blue Cross etc. Let’s discuss about some of them:

Aetna of California offers variety of plans for individuals; families and self employed as well as life, dental, disability insurance, pharmacy benefits and various other programs for its members nationwide. Its membership includes over 15 million individual health members, over 15 million group health members, over 13 million dental members. It has a huge network base with over 767,000 health care professionals and 4,467 hospitals. Aetna was formed in 1850 named as Aetna Life insurance company in Hartford, CT. It was started as a small regional company which has flourished to 50 US states and also provides Medicare and individual health benefits in many states. The plans that they offer has wide variety of choices ranging from high deductible HSA compatible plan, deductible plans, co-payment for doctor visits and prescription and basic hospital only plans.

Cigna Health of California is 200+ years old and dates back to 1792 where a group of citizens in Philadelphia formed the Insurance Company of North America. They work on group, Health care and International plans. It also provides individual, life, disability, dental, accident and supplemental insurance products for individuals, families, self employed, small and large groups. Cigna offers Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans wherein members are given the freedom to choose a primary care physician (PCP) within the network. This PCP is then responsible for your care unless they refer you to another specialist that participates in the CIGNA HMO network. CIGNA also offers Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), indemnity and point of service (POS) networks in certain areas as well. In these types of plans, members can visit any doctor and they do not require you to choose a PCP. Out of network expenses are covered as well even if it is a non emergency situation. Other added benefits include they offer 24 hour access to health information, member discounts, support for chronic conditions, personal assistance etc.

Kaiser Permanente of California was started in 1933 and has been providing quality health care to Californians for many years. This insurance company was started for a few thousand people in Los Angeles which grew to become a billion dollar company that now covers insurance for state of California and also other 10 states. It has grown to become the nation’s largest non-profit HMO with close to 9 million members nationwide. Some added benefits that Kaiser Permanente offers its Californian members are family planning, first post partum visit, eye exams, chiropractic office visits, allergy infection visits and immunizations.

Blue Shield of California, an independent member of the Blue Shield Association, is a not-for-profit health plan dedicated to providing Californians with access to high quality care at a reasonable price. Founded in 1939, it now has 3.2 million members, 4,500 employees, one of the largest provider networks and more than 20 office locations, providing …

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You Have To Tear Muscle To Build It

Okay, we all know that the quickest way to build muscle is to use progressive weight training.

Progressive means that as soon as you get used to lifting a certain amount of weight, you add a little more. Over time, you’ll get stronger because your muscles adapt by getting larger to handle the added weight.

Our bodies adapt to whatever stress we regularly put it through. When you lift weights, what you’re doing is actually tearing the muscle tissue in a healthy way. When you eat the proper nutrition, mostly protein, they’ll actually repair themselves. In fact, they get stronger and bigger without lifting more weight.

As you continue to lift more weight, your muscles will keep adapting to this increased overload. So they get bigger.

But one thing you may not know, is, lifting weights actually causes muscle fiber damage. And this microscopic damage needs to heal properly if you’re going to gain any muscle.

There are type A and type B fibers in your muscles.

Let’s say the higher repetitions might tear the type B so heavier weights will tear them and bring them back stronger. Some people are fast switch and some people are slow switch.

Fast switch responds to high reps, mostly between 8-12 repetitions. Slow switch will respond to slower reps between 4 and 6.

Every body has a different buildup. Let’s say, for example, my bicep is 90% fast switch and 10% slow switch. I would need to do mainly high repetitions for my bicep.

You, on the other hand, might be 90% slow switch and 10% fast switch so the approach you would want to take is lower reps.

So, in order to build muscle mass, you first have to tear it slightly.

The degree of tearing is directly related to how hard and how long you exercise and what type of exercise you do. Movements in which muscles forcefully contract while they are lengthening will cause the most muscle growth.

These are called “eccentric” contractions, and they provide the resisting action of the muscle such as lowering weights and performing the downward movements in exercises.

When you get the proper nutrition, your body repairs this muscle tissue damage and makes it stronger, for the next time you have to handle this weight.

That’s why you have to first cause slight muscle damage, for new muscle mass to be built.…

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Inherent Dangers of Catering Trucks & Street Vendors — Why They Pose a High Risk of Food Poisoning

What exactly is a catering truck? Although there are many not so complementary names or descriptions, they can best and simply be described as a restaurant kitchen on wheels, or in a more legal definition, a Mobile Food Preparation Facility.

A catering truck can cook, handle open food and perform other types of food preparation normally only a restaurant could legally do. They are different from ice cream and candy trucks, produce trucks, and ice cream carts and other carts that mostly sell only prepackaged foods and limited types of unpackaged foods.

Although a catering truck is not technically the same as a restaurant in the health and safety code, the requirements are almost the same as a permanent restaurant

I will probably get hate mail for this, but I would not recommend purchasing/eating any prepared or potentially hazardous foods from a catering truck or a street vendor, even an apparently licensed and safe one. The most I have purchased off a catering truck is prepackaged snacks or drinks.

And here are my reasons why:

–They are inherently more dangerous than a permanent restaurant simply because of the limitations of space and power -gas or electricity- to keep the refrigerators and warming equipment up and running properly. There is a greater chance that food will be left too long in the food temperature danger zone -between 41 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit- thereby allowing bacteria to grow to dangerous levels.

–There are greater possibilities in a catering truck of cross contamination of your ready-to-eat food with raw meats, chicken etc., again due to limited space and overstocking.

–A catering truck has to maintain a storage tank of potable (drinkable) water available throughout the day while they are away from their commissary (where they store and re-supply their truck). This supply is limited versus a permanent restaurant’s water supply. This allows a greater probability that the catering truck will run out of water, or just as bad, the owner or operator limiting their use of it so it can last longer throughout the day. Both cases are not uncommon and this translates to not washing utensils, equipment, hands, etc., thoroughly or often enough.

–The inspector rarely spends the same amount of quality time inspecting a catering truck than a permanent restaurant. This is mainly due to time factors. Many catering trucks do not spend very long in any one place. An inspector has to get in, observe, test and take notes, get out, write up the report and then review it with the owner/operator and have them sign it before the catering truck leaves for the next stop. There are more pressures on everyone in this situation. It’s unfortunate, but this is the reality of this type of business.

–Lastly, the number of permit suspensions also do not reflect a pretty picture for catering trucks and street vendors. Permit suspension, for all types of food facilities, means an automatic closure and is almost always due to the presence of a high risk …

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Muscle Fitness And The Importance of Chemistry in Body Building Supplements

While it is tempting to buy the hottest body building supplements on the market, it is also important to realize the underlying chemistry of these supplements and how that chemistry affects the body. While attempting to increase muscle size, these supplements might have surprising and unwanted side affects.

Water and creatine are excellent examples of why people need to pay attention to the chemical make-up of anything they might purchase First, consider the water molecule. Water is a truly amazing substance. Water can dissolve just about anything. That is why living things require it in order to get the most out of their nutrition and biology. Water is able to dissolve things because it binds with other chemicals. Water starts by breaking the molecular structure of compounds into ions or parts of a molecule. The ions, depending on their charges, will bind with either the oxygen or hydrogen in water. This changes the way water functions because the addition of other compounds can either help or hinder how water is absorbed in the body.

Creatine is another substance that bonds with just about anything. Creatine is composed of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen. All of these elements are found in water, the body, and any nutrients that the body uses. While this can be helpful for providing increased energy and nutrition to muscles, it also will magnify the affect of anything lying around. In other words, if there is excess water in the system, the creatine can bring the water through the body in such a way as to cause bloating and other digestive discomfort.

If other supplements are in use such as steroids, hormones, proteins, and vitamins, creatine will magnify both the positive and negative affects of these substances. Therefore, it is absolutely important to know the chemicals present in the supplements being used, but it is also of equal importance to know what affects these supplements produce while in the body.

There are loads of supplements that will certainly increase muscle size. Two of the most dangerous supplements are steroids and hormones. Steroids are used to increase the growth of muscle.

These should be taken under the close supervision of a doctor, and they are not recommended for recreational use. Steroids are best used for people with asthma and persons recovering from surgery and illness. Taken as a fitness supplement, steroids will yield bigger muscles. But they will also yield changes in mood and temperament. As they bond with other substances, their affects may be seriously magnified or modified. This is also true for hormones.

Testosterone is most commonly associated with muscle growth. It is best not to take testosterone unless of a hormonal condition. Otherwise, testosterone will produce side affects such as changing vocal range, extra body hair, and uterine cancer in women.
In men, the bonding of testosterone to other compounds can create feminine hormones that will change the nature of the male reproductive system. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the way in …

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Jacquelyn P. Muller, AVP – Public Relations, (412) 995-7262
Devra Pransky, PR Specialist, (412) 995-7685

(PITTSBURGH – September 12, 2005) The Art Institutes announced
today that it will assist both domestic and international
students from universities in New Orleans, southern Louisiana,
Mississippi and Alabama universities, which have been closed for
the foreseeable future due to the devastation caused by
Hurricane Katrina.

The Art Institutes will make available both on-campus and
online courses that might be able to permit dislocated students
to progress in their academic careers during this semester of
disruption. Students at a university forced to close by
Hurricane Katrina may register at any of The Art Institutes 31
locations across the nation for courses, on a space-available
basis, for the fall semester.

The Art Institutes will waive tuition for dislocated students
who have already registered and paid tuition at their home
institution for the fall 2005 semester. If dislocated students
have not yet paid their tuition at their home institution, they
will be assessed the lesser of the current published tuition and
fees at the home institution, or The Art Institutes’ published
tuition and fees for the fall semester, as determined by the
school president.

“The Art Institutes strives to assist college students who have
been affected by Hurricane Katrina,” says Dave Pauldine,
president of The Art Institutes. “The Art Institutes offers this
initiative as a way to reach out to the students in the Gulf
Coast region whose lives and education have been impacted by
Hurricane Katrina and do what we can to assist those students.”

The Art Institutes is a group of 31educational institutions
located throughout North America. Offering a broad range of
programs including: audio production, culinary arts, culinary
management, fashion design, fashion marketing, graphic design,
industrial design technology, interior design, media arts &
animation, multimedia & Web design, photography, restaurant
management and video production. Not all programs are offered at
all schools.

The Art Institutes operate in Atlanta, Arlington, VA (as The
Art Institute of Washington), Boston (as The New England
Institute of Art), Charlotte, Chicago and Schaumburg, IL,
Cincinnati (as The Art Institute of Ohio – Cincinnati), Dallas,
Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles (as The
Art Institute of California – Los Angeles and California Design
College), Miami (as Miami International University of Art &
Design), Minneapolis, New York, Orange County, CA, Philadelphia,
Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco,
Seattle, Tampa, Toronto , Vancouver (as The Art Institute of
Vancouver, York, PA (as Bradley Academy of the Visual Arts) and
The Art Institute Online, a division of The Art Institute of

Students seeking additional information about The Art
Institutes’ initiative can view the policy in its entirety at
( or call the National Admissions
Information Center at 1-888-328-7900.

The Art Institutes (, with 31 education
institutions located throughout North America, provide an
important source of design, media arts, fashion and culinary
professionals. The parent company of The Art Institutes,
Education Management Corporation ( is among the
largest providers of

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