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Thread: Health Issues

  1. #41
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    Also called: HDL, Hypercholesterolemia, Hyperlipidemia, Hyperlipoproteinemia, LDL

    Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that occurs naturally in all parts of the body. Your body needs some cholesterol to work properly. But if you have too much in your blood, it can stick to the walls of your arteries. This is called plaque. Plaque can narrow your arteries or even block them.

    High levels of cholesterol in the blood can increase your risk of heart disease. Your cholesterol levels tend to rise as you get older. There are usually no signs or symptoms that you have high blood cholesterol, but it can be detected with a blood test. You are likely to have high cholesterol if members of your family have it, if you are overweight or if you eat a lot of fatty foods.

    You can lower your cholesterol by exercising more and eating more fruits and vegetables. You also may need to take medicine to lower your cholesterol.

    -National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

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  4. #44
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    Why eat plenty of different fruits and vegetables?

    Different fruits and vegetables are rich in different nutrients . Some fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of carotenoids, including those which form vitamin A, while others may be rich in vitamin C, folate, or potassium. Fruits and vegetables, especially dry beans and peas, also contain fiber and other substances that are associated with good health. Dark-green leafy vegetables, deeply colored fruits, and dry beans and peas are especially rich in many nutrients. Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories and are filling. Some are high in fiber, and many are quick to prepare and easy to eat. Choose whole or cut-up fruits and vegetables rather than juices most often. Juices contain little or no fiber.


    The lists below show which fruits and vegetables are the best sources of vitamin A (carotenoids), vitamin C, folate, and potassium. Eat at least 2 servings of fruits and at least 3 servings of vegetables each day:

    Sources of vitamin A (carotenoids)
    • Orange vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin
    • Dark-green leafy vegetables such as spinach, collards, turnip greens
    • Orange fruits like mango, cantaloupe, apricots
    • Tomatoes
    Sources of vitamin C
    • Citrus fruits and juices, kiwi fruit, strawberries, cantaloupe
    • Broccoli, peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, potatoes
    • Leafy greens such as romaine lettuce, turnip greens, spinach
    Sources of folate
    • Cooked dry beans and peas, peanuts
    • Oranges, orange juice
    • Dark-green leafy vegetables like spinach and mustard greens, romaine lettuce
    • Green peas
    Sources of potassium
    • Baked white or sweet potato, cooked greens (such as spinach), winter (orange) squash
    • Bananas, plantains, dried fruits such as apricots and prunes, orange juice
    • Cooked dry beans (such as baked beans) and lentils
    NOTE: Read Nutrition Facts Labels for product-specific information, especially for processed fruits and vegetables.

  5. #45
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    Western diet risk to Asian women

    Asian women who eat a Western-style diet high in meat, white bread, milk and puddings may be at higher risk of breast cancer, research has suggested.

    A study of 1,500 Chinese women showed those who ate a "meat-sweet" diet were twice as likely to develop the disease as those on a vegetable-based diet.

    Asian breast cancer rates are lower than those in the West but are rising.
    The study in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention suggested increasing obesity rates may be key.

    The two-fold increase in risk for women on a Western-style diet was found to exist only among post-menopausal overweight women.

    Those with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 25 were found to be most at risk.

    "For post-menopausal women, low consumption of a western dietary pattern plus successful weight control may protect against breast cancer in a traditionally low risk Asian population that is poised to more broadly adopt food characteristics of western societies," researchers from the Fox Chase Cancer Center wrote.

    Milk and sugar

    The "meat-sweet" diet researchers identified included various meats and fish as well as sweets, puddings, white bread and milk.

    A "vegetable-soy" diet more traditionally followed in China comprised a variety of vegetables, soy-based products and freshwater fish.

    According to the Chinese Anti-Cancer Association (CACA) the incidence and death rates of breast cancer in China's major cities rose respectively by 37% and 38.9% during the 1990s.

    Better diagnosis is believed to partly explain the rise, but environmental factors - including dietary changes - are also thought to be key.
    In the West, scientists have estimated that obesity causes around 10% of breast cancer cases.

    Over a hundred studies show that post-menopausal women who are overweight or obese have a raised risk of breast cancer.

    But Breakthrough Breast Cancer said it was still very difficult to tease out the various factors, and that the study did not appear to take into account issues such as having children at a later age, not exercising or taking the pill.

    "Overall it is hard to determine the effects of diet on breast cancer risk," said Dr Sarah Cant, Senior Policy Officer at the charity.

    "We still aren't sure which specific dietary factors influence the chance of developing the disease."

    Story from BBC NEWS:

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    E's not to be taken

    E211 - sodium benzoate
    Professor Piper discovered that E211, commonly found in soft drinks, pickles and sauces to prevent mould growing, could damage DNA. This could cause the same sort of liver damage seen in alcoholics, and is linked to neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease. Professor Piper's original laboratory research was published in 1999, but he is raising the issue again to highlight the need for modern safety tests. "Many of the tests on these chemicals were done 50 years ago when we simply did not know how to measure this kind of damage," he says. A review by the World Health Organisation in 2000 into sodium benzoate reported a vast number of studies showing people suffered from hives, asthma and anaphylactic shock after exposure to this additive.

    E621 - monosodium glutamate
    A flavour enhancer often associated with Chinese food, it's also found in canned and frozen foods, and snacks like crisps. A study by Hirosaki University in Japan in 2002 discovered eating a diet high in MSG could damage the retina, leading to loss of vision. Researchers said small amounts in the diet were OK but those with existing retina problems should be careful. The Migraine Trusts also lists MSG as a common migraine trigger and says many sufferers eliminate it from their diets. Last year, Professor Howard and a team of researchers from the University of Liverpool found MSG combined with other additives, such as brilliant blue food colouring, stopped nerve cells growing and disrupted brain-signalling systems.

    E951 - aspartame
    This controversial additive is 180 times sweeter than sugar and found in many sugar-free foods including soft drinks, cakes and dairy products. A number of reports have cast doubt on its safety and, even 20 years ago, there were concerns over its use. Dr Louis Elsas, a professor of genetics and paediatrics, testified before Congress in the US that aspartame could cause neurological damage in children and raised concerns over the additive passing from pregnant mothers to their unborn child, affecting brain development. However last year the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) confirmed it was safe to use.

    E102 - tartrazine
    This synthetic food dye gives many foods their bright yellow colouring. The FSA agrees that studies show E102 can cause hives, itchy skin or asthma in susceptible people. It is commonly linked to hyperactivity in children - research by the Hyperactive Children's Support Group in 1987 found that 87% of children who had been diagnosed as hyperactive also had adverse reactions to artificial colourings. A study by the University of Southampton in 2004 also found children consuming additives, including tartrazine, had higher levels of hyperactivity.

    E104 - quinoline yellow
    Another yellow dye, used to colour medicines, some soft drinks, Scotch eggs and smoked fish, this is banned in the US and Australia for its possible cancer-causing properties. Studies by the US National Toxicology Programme in 1997 found rats fed the colouring had higher rates of liver and kidney tumours. Professor Howard's team found that when E104 was combined with aspartame (many common soft drinks contain them both), the effect on nerve cells was up to seven times greater than when the additives were tested alone. The combined additives were not tested in vast quantities, but at concentrations that mimicked the amount in a child's bloodstream after eating foods containing these colourings. The Aspartame Information Service, which represents the sweetener industry, dismissed the research, saying that it "did not provide any meaningful information" because it exposed mouse cells in the laboratory to undigested aspartame. Quinoline yellow is also being studied in the current University of Southampton trials.

    E407 - carrageenan
    A gelling agent extracted from seaweed by boiling, carrageenan can be found in ice cream and yoghurts, or as a fat substitute in some meat and soy products. Twenty-five years ago the International Agency for Research on Cancer said there was enough evidence from animal tests to class degraded carrageenan (a form of carrageenan that has been heated to very high temperatures and treated with acid to make it easier to use in other substances) as a potential cancer-causing agent to humans. Degraded carrageenan is not permitted for use in food, but a review of studies into carrageenan and cancer by the University of Iowa in 2001 found the un-degraded additive could become degraded in our digestive system, leading to an increased risk of cancers in the gut. Dr Joanne Tobacman, who conducted the review, said, "The widespread use of carrageenan in the western diet should be reconsidered."

    E220 - sulphur dioxide
    This preservative is commonly used in beer, wine, soft drinks and dried fruits to stop them fermenting. Asthmatics may suffer an attack after inhaling sulphur dioxide and it has also been linked to stomach upsets. An ongoing review by the WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives confirmed sulphur dioxide could destroy vitamin B1, so having a soft drink with your meal could wipe out its vitamin B1 content. The same review found that animal and lab tests revealed that consuming E220 could increase the amount of calcium lost by the body - raising your risk of the bone-thinning condition osteoporosis - and could cause DNA damage.

    E124 - ponceau 4R
    This red food colouring is often found in soft drinks, sweets and puddings, and is one of the additives currently being investigated for triggering hyperactivity. E124 has been banned in the US and Norway as a cancer-causing chemical. A study published in Toxicological Sciences in 2001 found there was a connection between the colouring and tumours in animals, but called for more conclusive research to be carried out. A review of food additives carried out by the FSA's committee on toxicity last year found ponceau 4R could have an effect on brain development in young children.


  7. #47
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    Jazak Allah khayr. What's the source for that?

    “Say: O My slaves who have transgressed against themselves! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, verily Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (39:53)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaminah
    Jazak Allah khayr. What's the source for that?
    I got it in an email.

    I just found a good source with information for all of them and many more. I've edited the post and listed it there.

  9. #49
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    Don't Drink Your Milk!

    Processing Is the Problem

    The path that transforms healthy milk products into allergens and carcinogens begins with modern feeding methods that substitute high-protein, soy-based feeds for fresh green grass and breeding methods to produce cows with abnormally large pituitary glands so that they produce three times more milk than the old fashioned scrub cow. These cows need antibiotics to keep them well.

    Their milk is then pasteurized so that all valuable enzymes are destroyed (lactase for the assimilation of lactose; galactase for the assimilation of galactose; phosphatase for the assimilation of calcium).

    Literally dozens of other precious enzymes are destroyed in the pasteurization process. Without them, milk is very difficult to digest. The human pancreas is not always able to produce these enzymes; over-stress of the pancreas can lead to diabetes and other diseases.

    The butterfat of commercial milk is homogenized, subjecting it to rancidity. Even worse, butterfat may be removed altogether. Skim milk is sold as a health food, but the truth is that butter-fat is in milk for a reason.

    Without it the body cannot absorb and utilize the vitamins and minerals in the water fraction of the milk. Along with valuable trace minerals and short chain fatty acids, butterfat is America's best source of preformed vitamin A.

    Synthetic vitamin D, known to be toxic to the liver, is added to replace the natural vitamin D complex in butterfat. Butterfat also contains re-arranged acids which have strong anti-carcinogenic properties.

    Non-fat dried milk is added to 1% and 2% milk. Unlike the cholesterol in fresh milk, which plays a variety of health promoting roles, the cholesterol in non-fat dried milk is oxidized and it is this rancid cholesterol that promotes heart disease.

    Like all spray dried products, non-fat dried milk has a high nitrite content. Non-fat dried milk and sweetened condensed milk are the principle dairy products in third world countries; use of ultra high temperature pasteurized milk is widespread in Europe.
    Other Factors Regarding Milk
    Milk and refined sugar make two of the largest contributions to food induced ill health in our country. That may seem like an overly harsh statement, but when one examines the evidence, this is a reasonable conclusion.

    The recent approval by the FDA of the use of BGH (Bovine Growth Hormone) by dairy farmers to increase their milk production only worsens the already sad picture.

    BGH causes an increase in an insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) in the milk of treated cows. IGF-1 survives milk pasteurization and human intestinal digestion. It can be directly absorbed into the human bloodstream, particularly in infants.

    It is highly likely that IGF-1 promotes the transformation of human breast cells to cancerous forms. IGF-1 is also a growth factor for already cancerous breast and colon cancer cells, promoting their progression and invasiveness.

    It is also possible for us to absorb the BGH directly from the milk. This will cause further IGF-1 production by our own cells.

    BGH will also decrease the body fat of cows. Unfortunately, the body fat of cows is already contaminated with a wide range of carcinogens, pesticides, dioxin, and antibiotic residues. When the cows have less body fat, these toxic substances are then transported into the cows' milk.

    BGH also causes the cows to have an increase in breast infections for which they must receive additional antibiotics.

    Prior to BGH, 38%of milk sampled nationally was already contaminated by illegal residues of antibiotics and animal drugs. This will only increase with the use of BGH. One can only wonder what the long term complications will be for drinking milk that has a 50% chance it is contaminated with antibiotics.

    There is also a problem with a protein enzyme called xanthine oxidase which is in cow's milk. Normally, proteins are broken down once you digest them.

    However, when milk is homogenized, small fat globules surround the xanthine oxidase and it is absorbed intact into your blood stream. There is some very compelling research demonstrating clear associations with this absorbed enzyme and increased risks of heart disease.

    Ear specialists frequently insert tubes into the ear drums of infants to treat recurrent ear infections. It has replaced the previously popular tonsillectomy to become the number one surgery in the country.

    Unfortunately, most of these specialists don't realize that over 50% of these children will improve and have no further ear infections if they just stop drinking their milk.

    This is a real tragedy. Not only is the $3,000 spent on the surgery wasted, but there are some recent articles supporting the likelihood that most children who have this procedure will have long term hearing losses.

    It is my strong recommendation that you discontinue your milk products. If you find this difficult, I would start for several weeks only, and reevaluate how you feel at that time.

    This would include ALL dairy, including skim milk and Lact-Aid milk, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream. If you feel better after several weeks you can attempt to rotate small amounts of one form of milk every four days.

    You probably are wondering what will happen to your bones and teeth if you stop milk. The majority of the world's population takes in less than half the calcium we are told we need and yet they have strong bones and healthy teeth.

    Cows' milk is rich in phosphorous which can combine with calcium -- and can prevent you from absorbing the calcium in milk. The milk protein also accelerates calcium excretion from the blood through the kidneys.

    This is also true when you eat large amount of meat and poultry products. Vegetarians will need about 50% less calcium than meat eaters because they lose much less calcium in their urine.

    It is possible to obtain all your calcium from dark green vegetables (where do you think the cow gets their's from?). The darker the better. Cooked collard greens and kale are especially good. If you or your child is unable to take in large amounts of green vegetables, you might want to supplement with calcium.

    If you can swallow pills, we have an excellent, inexpensive source called Calcium Citrate, which has a number of other minerals which your body requires to build up maximally healthy bone.

    It is much better than a simple calcium tablet. You can take about 1,000 mg a day. For those who already suffer from osteoporosis, the best calcium supplement is microcrystalline hydroxyapatite.

    It is also important that you take vitamin D in the winter months from November to March. Normally your skin converts sunshine to vitamin D, but the sunshine levels in the winter are very low unless you visit Florida or Mexico type areas.

    Most people obtain their vitamin D from milk in the winter; so if you stop it, please make sure you are taking calcium with vitamin D or a multi vitamin with vitamin D to prevent bone thinning.

    Most people are not aware that the milk of most mammals varies considerably in its composition. For example, the milk of goats, elephants, cows, camels, wolves, and walruses show marked differences, in their content of fats, protein, sugar, and minerals. Each was designed to provide optimum nutrition to the young of the respective species. Each is different from human milk.

    In general, most animals are exclusively breast-fed until they have tripled their birth weight, which in human infants occurs around the age of one year. In no mammalian species, except for the human (and domestic cat) is milk consumption continued after the weaning period. Calves thrive on cow milk. Cow's milk is designed for calves.

    Cow's milk is the number one allergic food in this country. It has been well documented as a cause in diarrhea, cramps, bloating, gas, gastrointestinal bleeding, iron-deficiency anemia, skin rashes, atherosclerosis, and acne.

    It is the primary cause of recurrent ear infections in children. It has also been linked to insulin dependent diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, infertility, and leukemia.

    Hopefully, you will reconsider your position on using milk as a form of nourishment. Small amounts of milk or milk products taken infrequently, will likely cause little or no problems for most people.

    However, the American Dairy Board has done a very effective job of marketing this product. Most people believe they need to consume large, daily quantities of milk to achieve good health. NOTHING could be further from the truth.

    Public health officials and the National Dairy Council have worked together in this country to make it very difficult to obtain wholesome, fresh, raw dairy products. Nevertheless, they can be found with a little effort. In some states, you can buy raw milk directly from farmers.

    Whole, pasteurized, non-homogenized milk from cows raised on organic feed is now available in many gourmet shops and health food stores. It can be cultured to restore enzyme content, at least partially. Cultured buttermilk is often more easily digested than regular milk; it is an excellent product to use in baking.

    Many shops now carry whole cream that is merely pasteurized (not ultra pasteurized like most commercial cream); diluted with water, it is delicious on cereal and a good substitute for those allergic to milk.

    Traditionally made creme fraiche (European style sour cream), it also has a high enzyme content.

    If you haven't done so already, you can read about Real Milk at this link. Real milk is a healthy choice.


  10. #50
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    What are allergies?

    Pollen, house dust mite dung, pet hairs, nickel, latex and certain foods are examples of harmless substances that often cause an allergic reaction. Common allergies are hay fever, eczema, asthma and food allergies.
    Allergies are an abnormal response by the immune system. Many people use the term allergy to describe any reactions by the body, but that is not strictly true - the immune system must be involved. Food intolerance is often mistaken for an allergy.

    Some people develop minor skin reactions with redness, itching and swelling. Hay fever or asthma symptoms may appear and those with eczema may find that it flares up.

    What causes it?

    There is still a lot to learn but it seems allergies develop because of a mixture of inherited and environmental factors. Some people inherit a tendency to allergies because their body is more easily triggered into making the allergy antibody called IgE when they come into contact with common substances. These people are said to be atopic.

    The way in which a person is first exposed to an allergen contributes to whether or not they will become allergic. The younger you are and the larger the amount of allergen you're exposed to, the greater the risk of becoming allergic to it. Factors such as pollution and cigarette smoke can increase the risk, while other factors such as frequent colds or exposure to dirt in early life may protect against allergy.

    Who's affected?

    The number of people with allergies is increasing. It's estimated that about one in four people worldwide has some kind of allergy. In the UK, up to 40 per cent of the population have an allergy.
    Allergies tend to run in families. If a person has one allergy, such as hay fever, they're more likely to develop eczema or asthma. All children may develop allergies but atopic children are at greater risk.
    Most people develop allergies in childhood. However, a growing number of adults are also developing them.


    Symptoms depend on the nature of the allergic disease. In hay fever, for example, there's a stuffy nose and itchy eyes.

    In serious allergic reactions, for example to peanuts or insect stings, the person's face and throat swells, their blood pressure drops and they find it difficult to breathe. This medical emergency is called anaphylaxis.
    Other allergic conditions include asthma, eczema, food and medicine allergies, and angioedema.

    How's it diagnosed and treated?

    Once an allergy has developed, allergy triggers (or allergens) should be avoided. If it's not clear what's causing symptoms then it's usually necessary to undergo allergy testing. This is best done at a recognised, hospital-based allergy clinic.

    The most common method of diagnosis is skin prick testing, which is quick, simple and cheap, and can test for several allergens at once. But it's less reliable in very young people, older people and for conditions such as eczema. Skin patch testing is useful in dermatitis, while radioallergosorbent blood tests are a good but expensive way to diagnose allergies.

    Challenge tests, or provocation tests, may be useful to rule out an allergy. Some diagnostic tests, including hair analysis and leukocytotoxic tests aren't accepted as of any benefit by most of the medical profession.
    Most allergies can't be cured. If symptoms still appear despite avoiding allergy triggers, antihistamine tablets, creams, nasal sprays and eye drops are available from pharmacists to relieve symptoms. Allergen immunotherapy (desensitisation) may effectively cure an allergy, but it's a long process.

    Anaphylaxis is initially treated with an injection of adrenaline. People who have had an anaphylactic reaction should always have an injection of adrenaline with them ready to use if needed.

    Further help

    Allergy UK
    Helpline: 01322 619898
    Website: www.allergyuk.org

    The Anaphylaxis Campaign
    Tel: 01252 542029
    Website: www.anaphylaxis.org.uk/

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    Avoid BK fish, hash browns, onion rings. They are fried in in a shared fryer with pork sausage and fritters:

    Clcik on the link http://www.bk.com/#menu=3,3,-1 go to the end to see the Fried Products.

    French Fries are fried on in a fryer designated for French Fries only.
    These products are fried in a shared fryer: Pork Sausage, Pork Fritter*, TENDERCRISP® Chicken, CHICKEN TENDERS®, BK™ Chicken Fries, Original Chicken Patty, BK BIG FISH®, Hashbrowns, French Toast Sticks, French Toast Rounds, Onion Rings, and CHEESY TOTS™.

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    It's better not to eat out in any place where pork is served. If you go to the McDonalds Website, you can see that they do not gaurantee your food will be safe from being contaminated from other meats. Even if you ordered something vegetarian.

    Frequently Asked Questions About McDonald's USA Food & Nutrition
    Q: Are any of McDonald's foods considered vegetarian?

    A: McDonald's does not represent any of our foods as being vegetarian. However, we gladly accommodate customer requests to custom-order items without meat (i.e., without beef, pork, chicken or fish). Note that even though we provide the flexibility to order items without meat,
    we cannot guarantee that during preparation the item does not come into contact with meat or poultry. http://www.mcdonald s.com/usa/ eat/nutrition_ info/nutrition_ faq/vegetarian.html

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    Low-fat diets that could put your child in peril

    Parents who cut out all fat from their children's diets are placing their health at risk, scientists have warned.

    Experts have long advised that a moderate intake of 'good' fats - such as olive and sunflower oils - is essential for proper growth and development.

    But concerns over the rise in obesity have prompted many families to adopt low-fat regimes.

    Now researchers have shown that children burn more body fat than adults for each calorie spent, which means they get rid of it more easily.

    They hope this will convince parents not to go to extremes in their battle against the bulge.

    16 Aug 2007

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/liv...page_id=1 799

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    Top Reasons You Need To Maintain Balance In Your Life

    Balance, is a word that seem so elusive to a lot of people. So many desire it in their lives but are finding it difficult to achieve it in every area of their lives. So many people have gone through a lot of stress in their lives all because they couldn’t achieve balance. So many people do not even know the importance of achieving balance in their lives. If you WANT more balance in your life but you wonder whether it is all that important, let’s talk about the reasons you NEED this balance.

    1. Health – Living an unbalanced life where work dominates can significantly affect your health. Long or stressful work hours can cause problems with your heart, your blood pressure, and your sleep cycles.As we become more out of shape, sleep less and experience health problems, we are no longer the powerful asset to our employers, nor can we participate fully in a family and social life.

    2. Emotional Wellness – Your ability to give back to your family, friends and community, and your own emotional stability depends on a balanced life.You can’t be ready to take on the issues in your family, support your spouse, parents, siblings and children and your friends if you have no emotional stamina.

    3. Stress - We have talked about the health implications related to ‘all work and no play’ but stress is its own health factor.Even if you like your job, if you have no time for anything else, stress will get you eventually.

    4. Family and Community – Studies support the idea that the ‘all work and no play’ lifestyle contributes to divorce, dysfunction in the family, and lack of involvement and investment in the community and neighborhood. So, things deteriorate even more! Role models for marriage, relationships and juggling time and family are important to a child’s adult relationships. If we do not provide those positive role models, we perpetuate the problem.

    4. Life Goals – Everyone has goals. And you are probably no exceptions. You may have work and career-related goals like promotions, expanded responsibilities, and recognition as an expert in your industry.

    These are all fine, but be sure you don’t just focus on your job. Many people come to identify their success in life by their position in their job and the recognition they get there. If they become disabled or sick, or if they retire, they suddenly find that they don’t know themselves anymore.


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    Fundamentals of Healthy Eating

    What I find shocking is that babies are getting chubbier. Some call this baby fat, but this fat passes on from childhood and adolescence to reach adulthood.

    Restrictive dieting and secluded meals are not the solution, but mindfulness and conscious eating are more effective in managing obesity. It is important to have children discover the subtleties of their senses and appetites to avoid the road to overindulgence, dieting, eating disorders and obesity.

    There are useful approaches to teach babies, toddlers, children, and teenagers in order not to waste a lifetime struggling with weight, but rather become healthy adults totally in control and aware of their bodies and needs.

    The first and most important approach is eating meals with family members gathered around the dining-room table, away from the television set, computer, or other diversions. The atmosphere should be congenial and conversation free from arguments or reprimands (leave chiding for later). Meals should not consist of mainly rice, French fries, spaghetti, but rather made of a variety of the food pyramid: a colorful salad; appetizing vegetables with onions and herbs or mixed with pasta to become more palatable; a lean protein (meat, fish, chicken, legumes, or eggs); and whole grains for carbohydrates. Keep fast food and sandwiches away from the table; they tend to get gobbled down before they reach the table. Food should be served in the sequence mentioned above.

    Before you serve food, ask your children. Even better, allow them to serve themselves according to their appetite, but do not let them take oversized helpings, especially from one dish, and ignoring the others. This method allows them to keep in touch with their senses. Another way is to start with a rich mixed salad or a soup (both are filling), followed by vegetables, and then protein and starches, to make sure their nutrition is varied.

    Take a short pause between the salad or soup and other dishes; give the first course a chance to settle in their stomachs to appease their hunger. This procedure worked for my children, even now as adults, they usually respect this sequence.

    Let your children take turns in serving each other and even you. This teaches them to be patient, well-behaved, less self-centered, and become connected with one another. If you notice that they are having multiple servings, serve individual plates in the kitchen and have them take their served plates to the table. Make additional helpings difficult to have or estimate the amount of food according to the person. Leftovers encourage overeating.

    Discuss recipes with your children and cook healthy food that is appealing to them. Add spices, herbs, and condiments to vegetables and vinegar or lemon, mustard, and oil to salads. Tasty food is generally satisfying to hunger, whereas bland dishes lend to overeating whatever is at reach (bread, pasta, rice, fries) in search for flavorsome food to relieve hunger and appeal to taste buds. Teach them to chew properly, savor each bite, and enjoy it, rather than swallowing and devouring food.

    Monitoring every bite they eat restricts their choices; confuses their judgment; suppresses their instinctive responses; and finally makes them react negatively to advice. Let them decide and become in touch with their hunger, thirst, and satiation senses for guidance. Teach them to respect their inner cues and become sensitive to their body messages. With thirst, they should drink; with hunger, eat; with satiation, stop eating; with fatigue, rest; and with sleepiness, sleep. When these signals are ignored, they become blunted. Your obsession with dieting and weight watching only pushes them to hide and eat. This eventually translates into eating disorders, obsessions, and obesity. Bond emotionally with your children and keep in touch with their feelings and thoughts to know what goes inside them in order to help them.

    With understanding, consideration, and patience, you will teach them to become more conscious of their bodies and more in touch with their emotions. Self-awareness will make them feel good in their own skins. Then, you will be able to guide them towards mindful eating and health awareness.

    Obesity-Promoting Factors:

    * Late sleeping increases hunger and appetite and triggers hormonal changes

    * Late dinners and sleep after heavy meals

    * Environmental toxins and food additives disturb hormones that regulate fat metabolism

    * Prescription drugs (antidepressants, diabetic medicines, antihistamines, contraceptives) lead to weight gain

    * Weight gain in ancestors gets imbedded in genes that pass on to next generations

    * Comfortable temperatures (air-conditioning, heating) do not encourage calorie-burning

    * Availability of junk food, sugar-laden drinks, and snacks

    By Mariam Alireza ( Holistic Science Specialist)

    Arab News

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    High blood pressure

    This factsheet is for people who have high blood pressure or for people who would like information about high blood pressure.

    Blood pressure is a measure of the force that the blood applies to the walls of the arteries as it flows through them. It's normal for blood pressure to increase when you exert yourself, or when you feel stressed or anxious. But if your blood pressure is consistently higher than normal at rest, this is high blood pressure, also known as hypertension.

    About 3 in 10 adults have high blood pressure in the UK. It is much more common in older people - 7 out of 10 people in their 70s have high blood pressure.

    Blood pressure
    Blood is pumped around the body by the heart carrying oxygen and nutrients. As a result of the pumping action of the heart and the size and flexibility of the arteries that carry blood, the blood is under pressure. This blood pressure is an essential and normal part of the way the body works.

    High blood pressure develops if:

    the walls of your larger arteries lose their elasticity and become rigid
    the small blood vessels become narrower

    Measuring blood pressure

    Blood pressure is measured with a monitor called a sphygmomanometer. This is a digital box attached to a tube with a cuff on the end. The cuff is placed around the upper arm and inflated to a certain level, then deflated slowly. A sensor in the cuff provides information about the blood pressure or a doctor or nurse will listen to the blood flow using a stethoscope.

    The result is expressed as two numbers, such as 120/80 mm HG ("one hundred and twenty over eighty millimetres of mercury").

    The top figure - the systolic blood pressure - is a measure of the pressure when your heart muscle is contracting and pumping blood. This is the maximum pressure in your blood system.

    The bottom figure - the diastolic blood pressure - is the pressure between heart beats when the heart is resting and filling with blood. This is the minimum pressure in your blood system.

    In the UK, high blood pressure is defined as a consistently increased systolic blood pressure of 140 or over and/or a diastolic blood pressure of 85 or over. If your blood pressure is around this level, your doctor will probably want to monitor it regularly.

    If you suffer from diabetes, it is even more important that your blood pressure is lower than this - ideally less than 130/80.

    Types of high blood pressure

    Primary hypertension
    More than 9 in 10 people with high blood pressure have what's called 'primary' or 'essential hypertension'. This means that there's no single clear cause of it.

    Although the exact cause of high blood pressure isn't fully understood, it's known that some factors to do with your lifestyle can contribute. These include:

    your family history
    obesity (being very overweight)
    drinking a lot of alcohol - especially if you binge drink
    a lack of exercise
    your diet

    Secondary hypertension
    Around 5 in 10 people with high blood pressure have 'secondary hypertension'. This means your condition can be linked to a recognised cause - in fact, it may be a symptom of another underlying disease or factor such as:

    kidney disease
    endocrine disease
    narrowing of the aorta
    steroid medicines
    the contraceptive pill
    pregnancy, which can cause pre-eclampsia

    Most people with high blood pressure don't have any symptoms.

    People with severe high blood pressure or a rapid rise in blood pressure may also experience headaches, blurred or impaired vision, fits or black-outs.

    People with high blood pressure have an increased risk of major illnesses including:

    cardiovascular disease such as angina, stroke, heart attack or atrial fibrillation
    kidney damage
    damaged sight

    As most people with high blood pressure don't have any symptoms, they are diagnosed when they have their blood pressure taken as part of a medical examination. That's one good reason to have a regular check-up with your doctor, especially if you're over 50.

    Your doctor may request that you come back for repeat measurements over a number of weeks before suggesting that you have treatment. This is so he or she can check that the high reading is an ongoing problem and not a one-off.

    You may also need some tests to see if high blood pressure is having an effect on the rest of your body. These may include:

    -an analysis of your urine (protein in your urine may be the first sign of a kidney problem)
    a blood test, to check your cholesterol and blood sugar levels as well as -the condition of your kidneys
    -an ECG (electrocardiogram), which records the electrical changes happening in your heart


    24-hour ambulatory monitoring
    You may need 24-hour testing to measure your blood pressure over 24 hours. A monitoring device will be strapped round your waist and it will be attached to a cuff wrapped around your upper arm. The cuff will inflate and deflate throughout the 24 hours and take blood pressure recordings.

    Blood pressure monitors
    You might consider getting a blood pressure monitor to use yourself at home - discuss this option with your doctor, who should be able to help you choose a suitable one. The Blood Pressure Association (see Further information) also has advice and a list of suppliers.

    It is important to take readings on different days - for example you should not just measure yourself when you feel stressed. Set days in the week to take the measurement so that you can get an objective reading.

    You should continue to get your blood tested regularly by your doctor even if you use a blood pressure monitor at home.

    Slightly raised blood pressure may not need to be treated so aggressively, but regular monitoring is important.

    If you have very severe high blood pressure, you may need to go to hospital for treatment. But it's much more likely that you will be cared for by your GP and/or a nurse.

    Lifestyle changes
    First, your doctor or nurse is likely to discuss lifestyle changes which might help lower your blood pressure. He or she might, for example, advise you to:

    -stop smoking - for more information on quitting smoking please see the -separate BUPA factsheet, Giving up smoking
    -change your diet to a low fat, low salt diet that includes fruit and -vegetables - for more information about healthy diet, please see the -separate BUPA factsheet, Healthy eating
    -get some regular moderate exercise - for more information, please see the separate BUPA factsheet, Physical activity
    lose any excess weight

    It may also help to try to reduce the stress in your life to avoid short-term rises in blood pressure - try relaxation techniques or meditation.

    Drug treatments
    If your blood pressure remains high, your doctor may prescribe you one or more of the following antihypertensive drugs.

    ACE inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor antagonists (eg ramipril, losartan) - these make the walls of the blood vessels relax and widen.

    Calcium channel blockers (eg amlodipine) or alpha blockers (eg doxazosin) - these help widen the blood vessels.

    Diuretics (eg bendroflumethiazide) - these increase the amount of water and salt removed from your blood by your kidneys. This triggers hormones which lower blood pressure.

    Beta-blockers (eg atenolol) - these drugs reduce the work your heart has to do, by reducing your pulse rate at times when it may beat too forcefully such as during exercise or when you are feeling stressed.
    The drugs you are prescribed will depend on a number of factors, including your age and ethnicity. It may take time to find the best treatment for you, balancing the benefits against any side-effects.

    It is important to be committed to taking your medication every day as most people don't have any symptoms from high blood pressure.

    Further information
    Blood Pressure Association
    020 8772 4994
    The British Heart Foundation
    08450 70 80 70

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    What is cholesterol?

    Cholesterol is one of the body's fats (lipids). Cholesterol and another lipid, triglyceride, are important building blocks in the structure of cells and are also used in making hormones and producing energy.

    To some extent, the cholesterol level in blood depends on what you eat but it is mainly dependent on how the body makes cholesterol in the liver.

    Having too much cholesterol in the blood is not a disease in itself, but can lead to the hardening and narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis) in the major vascular systems.

    For the sake of simplicity, there are two sorts of cholesterol: a 'good' sort called high density lipoprotein (HDL) and a 'bad' sort called low density lipoprotein (LDL).

    HDL has a useful effect in reducing tissue cholesterol and taking it back to the liver. HDL actually protects against atherosclerosis. LDL may contribute to diseases of the arteries (cardiovascular disease).

    It is the proportion of LDL-cholesterol to HDL-cholesterol that influences the degree to which atherosclerosis is likely to cause problems (cardiovascular risk).

    LDL-cholesterol level can be lowered by eating a low fat diet and, if required, taking medication. HDL-cholesterol level can be raised by exercising.

    What is the cholesterol count?

    When the cholesterol level is measured in a blood sample (taken after the patient has fasted for several hours), the levels of all forms of cholesterol can be calculated.

    Cholesterol levels in the blood rise slightly with age, and women generally have a higher HDL-cholesterol level than men.

    In the UK, the average total cholesterol level is 5.7mmol/l.

    The levels of total cholesterol fall into the following categories:

    ideal level: cholesterol level in the blood less than 5mmol/l.

    mildly high cholesterol level: between 5 to 6.4mmol/l.

    moderately high cholesterol level: between 6.5 to 7.8mmol/l.

    very high cholesterol level: above 7.8mmol/l.

    However, it is now recognised that the significance of any particular cholesterol level cannot be assessed without taking into account the ratio between good and bad cholesterol (either total-cholesterol/HDL-cholesterol ratio or LDL-cholesterol/HDL cholesterol ratio) or the presence of other cardiovascular risks, such as smoking, diabetes and high blood pressure (hypertension).

    It is possible for someone to have a high level of total cholesterol and still have a relatively low cardiovascular risk because of an absence of other risk factors or because their family history is free from coronary disease.

    Anyone with an established track record of cardiovascular disease such as angina pectoris, a previous heart attack, coronary angioplasty or coronary bypass surgery should seek advice to keep their total cholesterol level below 5mmol/l or their LDL below 3mmol/l.

    What cause high cholesterol levels?

    Cholesterol levels can run in families. If the inherited cholesterol levels are very high, this is called familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) or familial combined hyperlipidaemia (FCH) where the triglyceride levels are very high as well.

    Levels can also be influenced by the part of the world you live in: cholesterol levels in northern European countries are higher than in southern Europe and much higher than in Asia.

    It is known that the relationship to food is significant, but there is no doubt that genes also play a part. High cholesterol is also seen in connection with other diseases, such as reduced metabolism (due to thyroid hormone problems, for example), kidney diseases, diabetes and alcohol abuse.

    What are the symptoms of high cholesterol in the bloodstream?

    You cannot tell if you have a high cholesterol level, but a high level in conjunction with other adverse factors increases the risk of developing atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.

    Atherosclerosis results in narrowing of the arteries. This does not occur suddenly, but builds up over many years during which cholesterol and fat have been deposited in the artery walls. The result is that the arteries become constricted and hardened, their elasticity disappears and the volume of blood able to travel through them is reduced.

    The symptoms are therefore the consequences of cardiovascular disease. They depend on the degree of narrowing, the likelihood that the plaque is going to rupture (vulnerability), and the organ supplied by the affected arteries.

    In the brain, an atherosclerotic carotid or cerebral (brain) artery might block with clotted blood (thrombus) or a smaller intracerebral vessel may rupture causing a local haemorrhage. Both these circumstances result in a stroke (cerebrovascular accident or CVA).

    In the heart, narrowed coronary arteries cause angina, and ruptured plaques cause coronary thrombosis (myocardial infarct or heart attack), which may lead to reduced heart function (heart failure) if a significant amount of heart muscle is damaged.

    Carotid arteries in the neck can become narrowed and may lead to clots forming in the neck and floating downstream into the brain, causing a stroke or recurrent temporary strokes (transient ischaemic attacks, also known as TIAs).

    Leg pain on exertion can be experienced due to atherosclerosis in the arteries that supply the lower limbs (intermittent claudication). If a major peripheral vessel to a lower limb blocks suddenly, an acutely ischaemic leg will occur which may be limb-threatening. In the worst cases of chronic lower limb atherosclerosis, this can lead to a leg so starved of blood that it cannot survive and requires amputation.

    It is common in those people most affected to have the disease in several arteries throughout their circulation including the aorta (the main artery in the chest and abdomen, the renal (kidney) arteries and the mesenteric (intestinal) vessels.

    What can be done to prevent vascular disease?

    High cholesterol is only one of many risk factors in the development of hardening of the arteries. These factors include:

    smoking: recent research shows that middle-aged women and men who smoke have a much higher risk of suffering a heart attack. The risk drops in the years following giving up smoking.

    diet: food is another important factor. A Mediterranean diet made up of bread, fruits, vegetables and small amounts of lean meat, fish, and olive oil is recommended.

    alcohol: moderate consumption reduces the negative effect of the LDL-cholesterol and increases HDL-cholesterol. Too much raises blood pressure and damages the liver, having an adverse overall effect.

    exercise: even on a small scale this can reduce the chance of coronary artery disease. Hard physical exercise increases the blood's ability to break up blood clots.

    body weight: it is important to avoid obesity, especially when the fat is around the stomach.

    How does the doctor make the diagnosis?

    After a 12-hour fast, during which only water can be consumed, a blood sample is taken to measure the level of cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and triglyceride in the blood. The cholesterol count rises during pregnancy and drops significantly in connection with a heart attack and other serious illnesses.

    The doctor can seek evidence of cardiovascular disease by checking the pulse, the blood pressure, listening to the heart and large arteries, checking kidney function with a blood test and arranging an electrocardiogram (ECG).

    In some patients with inherited or familial high cholesterol, it is possible to see deposits of cholesterol in the skin, eyes and tendons.

    How is raised cholesterol in the blood treated?

    Medical treatment with cholesterol-lowering medicine is needed when there is established heart or arterial disease (cardiovascular disease) and the total cholesterol remains greater than 5mmol/l. Medication may also be needed when lifestyle change fails to reduce high cumulative cardiovascular risk in someone without disease.

    Cardiovascular risk may be calculated from a patient's risk factor profile and family history. In the UK it has been recommended that medical therapy should be initiated where the individual's risk of coronary disease is greater than 30 per cent over 10 years.

    The most effective medications for lowering cholesterol are the statins. Although these are normally very effective, non-statin treatments such as Ezetrol (ezetimibe) are available if there are any problems with statin side effects such as muscle pains.

    There are now very useful national guidelines to help your doctor estimate the 'cardiovascular risk' associated with your cholesterol levels and blood pressure readings.

    Based on a text by Dr Annebirthe Bo Hansen, specialist

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    The Greatest Gift - The Human Body

    Diet plays a very important role in the daily life of a believer. There are many verses in the Noble Qur’ân which draw man's attention towards his self and which invite him to carefully study his body and soul and the nature of their mutual relationship. By doing so, one will firstly find in it strong evidence of the existence of Allah and that Allah has not created mankind and all other beings of this world without any purpose as mentioned in the Noble Qur’ân:

    “Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose.”

    The Importance of Healthiness

    It is therefore necessary to ensure that the physical body is kept healthy so that the soul and spirit may also remain healthy thus in turn aiding the believer in the service of both his spiritual and material attainment. Diet therefore, plays an important role for this purpose. For this reason Islam has prohibited certain foods due to their ill effects and permitted all other pure, good and clean food products. Allah Ta’ala says in the Noble Qur’ân:

    “O’ Believers! Eat of the good and pure (lawful) that We have provided you with and be grateful to Allah, if you truly worship Him.”

    Muslims in general are advised to eat good and pure things and not to indulge in impure, bad and harmful things thus following their open enemy Shaitaan:

    “O People! Eat of what is lawful and good on the Earth and do not follow the footsteps of Shaitaan, for he is your open enemy.”

    In the verses previously mentioned the general principle with regard to permissible foods has been stated. The Noble Qur’ân further goes on to specify the types of food prohibited in the following verse:

    “He (Allah) has only forbidden you (from eating) dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that (animal) over which the name of other than Allah has been invoked.”
    (2:173, 16:115)

    The four items that have been mentioned in the above verse are absolutely forbidden in Islam for reasons best known to Allah. However, through research, some of them such as carrion, blood and swine flesh have proved to be injurious to human health. Whilst swine flesh is harmful to moral health and food over which the name of any other than Allah has been invoked is harmful to spiritual health.

    Other prohibited items have also been mentioned in different chapters of the Holy Qur’ân. In Surah al-Ma’idah the following have also been mentioned along with the four previously mentioned. There are those animals which have been killed by strangling, or a violent blow, a headlong fall, being gored to death and those which have been partially eaten by a wild animal and not slaughtered before death, also those which have been sacrificed on the name of idols.

    A Balanced Diet - Prescribed in the Qur’ân

    The Qur’ân has not restricted itself in merely mentioning the permissible and impermissible foods but goes to the extent of giving useful tips regarding a balanced diet, a diet which contains most if not all the useful ingredients required for the growth, strengthening and repairing of the human body. These ingredients include animal protein, fat, calcium, iron, salts, etc. The most balanced diets consist of meat, fish, fresh milk, cheese and fruit. Both direct and indirect references have been made regarding the afore mentioned.

    The reference regarding the importance of meat protein in the human diet is given in the following verse:

    “And the cattle, He has created them for you, in them there is warmth (clothing) and numerous benefits, and of them you eat.”

    In this verse special reference has been given to the importance of eating despite having said, “…numerous benefits…”. Reference regarding other types of meat has also been given such as the meat of fowls in the following verse:

    “And the flesh of fowls that they desire.”

    Fish has always been considered as a food of very high protein and is very important for human consumption. Allah says:

    “And from them both (fresh and salt water) you eat fresh tender meat (fish).”

    The usefulness of fresh milk is stressed in these words:

    “And verily in the cattle there is a lesson for you. We give you to drink of that which is in their bellies, from between excretion and blood, pure milk, palatable to the drinkers.”

    The benefits of fruits as good nourishment can be understood from this verse:

    “And from the fruits of date palms and grapes, you desire strong drink and a goodly provision.”

    Similarly there are verses which cover the whole range of fruits, salads, and vegetables which also play an important role in a nutritious, balanced diet:

    “It is He who sends down rain from the sky, and with it We bring forth vegetation of all kinds, and out of it We bring forth thick clustered grain. And out of the date palm and its spate come clusters of dates hanging low and near, and gardens of grapes, olives and pomegranates each similar (in kind) yet different (in variety and taste). Look at their fruits when then begin to bear, and the ripeness thereof.”

    Islam, being a complete religion, also teaches and advises the believer as to what the best method of eating is. The believers are advised to be moderate in every aspect of life. Direct reference has been made in the Noble Qur’ân regarding moderation in eating and drinking.

    “And eat and drink, but waste not in extravagance, certainly He (Allah) likes not those who waste in extravagance.”

    Moderation - The Teachings of the Prophet

    The Best of Teachers and the Mercy of the Worlds is reported to have clarified the meaning and limit of moderation in a tradition in which he is reported to have said that one’s worst weakness is one’s belly. If you must eat make sure you fill one third of your stomach with food, one third with water and leave one third for air i.e. leave it empty.

    In another narration, the reason for moderation has been clearly stated. The Prophet is reported to have said:

    “The stomach is the tank of the body and the veins go down to it. When the stomach is healthy the veins come back in a healthy condition, but when it is in a bad condition, they return diseased.”

    In short, believers are advised to always take care of their stomachs and refrain from foods and practices that might pollute the stomach with various diseases. In order to do so the Prophet is reported to have advised believers to always stop eating before their stomachs are completely full i.e. stop eating when the urge to eat more is still present.

    Conclusion - The Etiquette's of Eating and Drinking

    Islam teaches us many other etiquette's of eating and drinking. The Prophet made a point of developing remarkably clean and healthy eating habits among his followers. He asked the companions to wash their hands before and after, to start eating with the praise of Allah, to eat using the right hand, not to eat until they really felt hungry, not to eat and drink excessively. Finally, by praising and thanking Allah for the food and drink, for making it easy to swallow and for producing an exit for it.

    From all that has been mentioned, the importance of healthy eating, a balanced diet and hygiene can be understood in the light of the Qur’ân and Sunnah. Islam has stressed on the importance of these things right from the start unlike health authorities etc., which have just recently begun to stress its importance. This could be counted as just another gem that manifests the perfection of Islam.

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    Personal hygiene in Islam

    Muslims SHOULD enjoy the highest standard of personal hygiene of all the people in the world. In Islam, cleanliness and purification are not only usual requirements for the performance of worship, or when embracing Islam, (a new Muslim takes a full body shower when embracing Islam) but are part of a Muslim's very faith. Allah (the Most High) says in the Quran (what is translated to mean):

    "Truly, Allah loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and loves those who purify themselves (by taking a bath and cleaning and washing thoroughly their private parts, bodies, for their prayers etc.).; (Al Baqarah 2:222)

    Narrated AbuMalik al-Ash'ari:

    The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said: Cleanliness is half of faith and Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah) fills the scale, and SubhanAllah (Glory be to Allah) and Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah) fill up what is between the heavens and the earth, and prayer is a light, and charity is proof (of one's faith) and endurance is a brightness and the Qur'an is a proof on your behalf or against you. All men go out early in the morning and sell themselves, thereby setting themselves free or destroying themselves. (Sahih Muslim Book 2, Number 0432)

    Cleanliness In Islam Is Of Three Kinds:

    Purification from impurity (i.e. to attain purity or cleanliness, by taking a bath (ghusl) or performing ablution (wudoo) in states in which a bath or ablution is necessary or desirable according to Islamic Law).
    To cleanse one's body, dress or place from an impurity of filth.
    To remove the dirt or grime that collects in various parts of the body, such as cleaning the teeth and nostrils, the trimming of nails and the removing of armpit and pubic hair.

    Types of Purification

    Allah (the Most High) says in the Quran (what is translated to mean):

    O you who believe! When you intend to offer prayer, wash your faces and your hands (forearms) up to the elbows, rub (by passing wet hands over) your heads, and (wash) your feet up to ankles. If you are in a state of Janaba (i.e. post sexual relations), purify yourself (bathe your whole body).; (Al-Ma'idah 5:6)


    This is when all parts of the body are washed with water, including the mouth and the nose.


    This is when certain parts of the body are washed with water. For more information on this subject, please visit the following site The Prophet's Wudoo (Ablution): The superiority of ablution. And Al-Ghurr-ul-Muhajjalun (the parts of the body of the Muslims washed in ablution will shine on the Day of Resurrection and the angels will call them by that name) from the traces of ablution. Narrated Nu'aim Al-Mujmir:

    "Once I went up the roof of the mosque along with Abu Huraira (RA): He performed ablution and said, "I heard the Prophet (S) saying, 'On the Day of Resurrection, my followers will be called Al-Ghurr-ul-Muhajjalun from the traces of ablution and whoever can increase the area of his radiance should do so (by performing ablution in the most perfect manner.'" (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 1, Hadith No. 138)

    Narrated Uthman ibn Affan:

    "The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: 'He who performed ablution well, his sins would come out from his body, even coming out from under his nails.'" (Sahih Muslim, Book 2, Number 0476)


    This method of purifcation, which does not require water, is used instead of ablution (Wudoo) and Ghusl in certain circumstances (i.e. such as no water is available, etc.). Allah (the Most High) says in the Quran (what is translated to mean):

    But if you are ill or on a journey or any of you comes from answering the call of nature, or you have been in contact with women (i.e. sexual intercourse) and you find no water, then perform Tayammum with clean earth and rub therewith your faces and hands. Allah does not want to place you in difficulty, but He wants to purify you, and to complete His Favor on you that you may be thankful.; (Al-Ma'idah 5:6)

    Keeping The Fitrah

    Prophet (peace be upon him). He said, "From the acts of nature are five: circumcision (obligation for men, but not for women), removing pubic hairs, trimming the mustache, cutting the nails and plucking the hair from under the armpits."1 [Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim].

    It is not allowed to leave them for more than forty nights. This is based on the Hadith of Anas who said, "The Messenger of Allah set a time limit for us for trimming the mustache, trimming nails, removing armpit hairs and removing pubic hairs. They cannot be left for more than forty nights."2 [Recorded by Muslim]. Letting them grow long resembles animals and some of the disbelievers.

    May Allah keep you well Ameen

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    Diet Soda Now Linked to Heart Disease

    (CNN) -- People who drink one or more soft drinks a day have a more than 50 percent higher risk of developing the heart disease precursor metabolic syndrome than people who drink less than one soda a day, a new study has found. And it didn't matter if it was a regular soda or a diet soda.
    Metabolic syndrome is a constellation of health problems -- high waist circumference, high blood pressure, low levels of "good" cholesterol," and other health problems -- that have been strongly linked to developing heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

    The study, in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, looked at more than 6,000 healthy people, who showed no signs of metabolic syndrome, and then followed up. After four years, 53 percent of people who drank an average of one or more soft drinks per day developed metabolic syndrome. Those who drank one or more diet soft drinks a day were at a 44 percent higher risk.

    "The point is that the risk is high no matter how many soft drinks one consumes and no matter what type of soft drink one consumes," said Dr. Ramachandran S. Vasan, associate professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and one of the study authors. "This adds to what we already know about how soft drinks may be associated with weight gain and metabolic risk."

    The American Beverage Association took issue with the study, saying that the study proves no link between soft drinks and increased risk of heart disease.

    The ABA added, "The assertions made could apply to any caloric product -- if you over consume any food or beverage with calories, there are health consequences." ABA also said that it is "scientifically implausible" that diet soft drinks, which have no calories, cause weight gain or elevated blood pressure.

    Study authors caution that they are not suggesting a direct link between soft drinks and heart disease. They stress that the association they found is between soft drinks and metabolic disease, and hesitate to speculate beyond that. They say more study is needed into why sodas are implicated in metabolic syndrome.

    The American Heart Association responded to criticism of the study with a statement. "It is important to note that the study does not show that soft drinks cause risk factors for heart disease. It does show that the people studied who drank soft drinks were more likely to develop risk factors for heart disease."



    Diet Soda Now Linked to Heart Disease

    Eating two or more servings a day of red meat increases your risk of metabolic syndrome by 25 percent, compared to those who have two servings of red meat each week, a new study found.

    Drinking diet soda also increased the risk of metabolic syndrome.
    Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors such as excessive fat around your waist, high cholesterol, high blood sugar and high blood pressure, all of which can raise your risk of heart disease and diabetes.

    The researchers examined the diets of over 9,500 people between the ages of 45 and 64. They were categorized into two groups: a "western-pattern diet" that included processed meat, fried foods and red meat, or a "prudent-pattern diet" that included more fruits and vegetables, poultry and fish.

    They concluded that lots of meat, fried foods and diet soda increase your risk of heart disease.

    * http://www.reuters.com/article/healt...23?feedType=RS S&feedName;=healthNews> Reuters January 22, 2008


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