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Straight from the HeadlinesNew Cancer Warnings for Tanning Beds

Written by Lisa Jillanza

For years and years, experts have been warning us of the dangers of using tanning beds, but it seemed that many people still chose to ignore those warnings , that is until recently.

In a report published in the May 2010 issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, people who use tanning beds to keep that year-round glow are dramatically increasing their risk for developing melanoma, the deadliest of skin cancers.

According to health.msn.com, a new study shows that the more you tan and the longer you tan, the more the risk increases. Researchers found that the risk of melanoma was 74 percent higher in persons who tanned indoors than in persons who did not. In addition, they also found that people who tanned indoors a lot (a total of at least 50 hours of tanning bed exposure, or more than 100 sessions, or at least 10 years of regular tanning bed use) were 2.5 to 3 times more likely to develop melanoma than people who had never tanned indoors.

In the study among 1,167 people with melanoma, almost two-thirds (63 percent) had used tanning beds and among those who used tanning beds, the risk for developing melanoma rose 74 percent.

Lead researcher DeAnn Lazovich, an associate professor at the division of epidemiology and community health at the University of Minnesota was amazed at how consistent the results of the tests were and noted that the danger is particularly acute amongst young women who seem to have a penchant for indoor tanning.

"Indoor tanning is an underappreciated problem, especially among young women. More young women tan indoors than smoke cigarettes, and melanoma is the second most common cancer diagnosed in young women," she said. "And there is evidence that the incidence of melanoma is increasing in young women. It's time to pay a little more attention to this as a risk factor that is avoidable."

In March, international cancer experts reported that the ultraviolet radiation from tanning beds is now among the top cancer risks : ranking as high and lethal as arsenic, cigarettes and mustard gas. As a result, an advisory panel to the U.S Food and Drug Administration recommended that the agency add bolder warning labels to tanning beds, change how they are regulated by the FDA and require parental consent for users aged 18 and under

Since the study has been announced, a number of tanning salons have noticed a decline in memberships and many young people have decided to forego using tanning beds on a regular basis.

 

Treatment and Deterring the Outbreak of Cold Sores

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Cold sores on the lips can be one of the most aggravating infections that a person can get. Caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV-1), the virus can remain dormant in a person's body for years and then resurface , normally at the most inopportune time.

Some causes of cold sores include: stress, insomnia, menstruation, too much exposure to UV rays, digestive disorders, stress, the common cold, influenza, and dry, cracked lips. While we can't do anything to cure our bodies of this virus for good, we can treat cold sores and deter the outbreak of cold sores if we follow these pieces of advice:

Recognize the symptoms: oftentimes you will get a stinging and burning sensation on your lips prior to a cold sore outbreak. By recognizing this major symptom, you can purchase an over-the-counter medicine and apply it before the cold sore actually has a chance to appear.

Practice good hygiene when using OTC medicines for treatment: always wash your hands prior to and after applying an over-the-counter cold sore treatment medicine. Apply the treatment at least 5 times a day and use a cotton swab if possible to avoid actually touching the sore.

Keep your lips moisturized: dry and cracked lips are both causes of cold sores, so by keeping the lips and skin well moisturized, you can help deter the outbreak of cold sores.

Use sun block on your lips and use lip-balm with SPF: too much exposure to the sun's UV rays can cause the outbreak of cold sores. By remembering to apply and reapply sun block or a lip balm containing sun block to your lips when you are outdoors will also decrease the amount of cold sores that arise.

Eat lysine-rich foods: foods that are high in lysine also help to deter cold sores. This includes: beef, fish, chicken, eggs, milk, cheese and yogurt.

Stress-reducing activities: according to Newsweek, it may help if you try a few stress-reducing activities such as meditation, physical activity or getting a neck massage as cold sores can flair up as a result of stress.

Kissing and sharing: avoid kissing anyone with a cold sore or sharing items like toothbrushes, lip-balm or towels. And always remember to wash your hands if you suspect you've had contact with a cold sore.

 

Sun Safety 101: Protect Your Skin from the Sun's Damaging Rays

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Everyone needs a little sun in their lives. Sun exposure gives our bodies much needed Vitamin D that helps to absorb calcium for healthy, strong bones. Still, people need to be aware of the sun's damaging rays and be safe when going outdoors this summer.

According to MSN, it doesn't take much time in the sun for unprotected exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays can cause skin damage, eye damage, immune system suppression, and even cancer.

Sunlight contains three ultraviolet rays: UVA, UVB and UVC rays. UVA rays make up the majority of our sun exposure, but UVB rays also make it to the Earth's surface. UVC rays never make it though the ozone layer to reach the Earth's surface, so we are not affected by UVC rays.

A chemical called melanin is our body's first defense against the sun. It absorbs the dangerous UV rays and as the melanin increases in response to sun exposure, the skin tans. Melanin is found in different concentrations and colors, which results in different skin colors. The lighter somebody's skin color, the less melanin it has to absorb UV and protect itself. Therefore, the darker somebody's skin is, the more melanin it has to protect itself. As the melanin increases in response to sun exposure, the skin tans. But even a “healthy” tan may be a sign of sun damage. Sunburn typically occurs once the UV amount is greater than the capacity of our skin's melanin.

Unprotected sun exposure is even more dangerous for people with: moles on their skin (or whose parents have a tendency to develop moles) very fair skin and hair a family history of skin cancer, including melanoma

Infants, according to MSN, have thinner skin and underdeveloped melanin, therefore their skin burns more easily than that of older kids. But sunscreen should not be applied to babies under 6 months of age, so they absolutely must be kept out of the sun whenever possible. If your infant must be in the sun, dress him or her in clothing that covers the body, including hats with wide brims to shadow the face or use an umbrella to create shade.

To combat the sun's harmful rays, experts suggest that we should avoid getting too much sun exposure when the UV rays are the strongest : typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. in the Northern Hemisphere.

In addition, sunscreen should be used every time you or your family will be out in the sun for extended periods of time, even if it is overcast, as the UV rays can still make it through on an overcast day. Remember to apply sunscreen approximately 30 minutes before going outdoors and try to reapply sunscreen every two- to three hours. When applying sunscreen don't forget about your lips, ears, hands, feet and behind the neck, as these are all areas that will be susceptible to burn but often overlooked by many when applying sunscreen.

The American Association of Dermatology suggests that you use sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15 or higher before any prolonged sun exposure. You should also apply a waterproof sunscreen if you're planning to be around water or swimming. Water reflects and intensifies the sun's rays, so it's important to put on protection that lasts. Waterproof sunscreen may last up to 80 minutes in the water, and many are also sweat and rub proof. Regardless, make sure to reapply once you get out of the pool. And don't try to stretch out a bottle of sunscreen; apply it as generously as possible!

It's also important to protect your eyes against the sun. Sun exposure to the eyes can result in burned cornea and cumulative exposure can lead to cataracts and macular degeneration. The best way to protect your eyes is to wear sunglasses equipped with UV filters. Purchase sunglasses with labels ensuring that they provide 100% UV protection.

While these are only a few safety tips that you should keep in mind before you head outdoors to the beach, the pool or just outside doing some yard work or playing with your children. This advice will only help save your skin from skin cancer and other sun exposure damage and help you to enjoy your time outdoors.

 

Diabetes Diet: Eat the Mediterranean Way

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Studies are constantly being conducted to aid those living with type 2 diabetes, as it is becoming a rapidly increasing disease that many overweight people are being diagnosed with.

In a recent study it has been reported that eating a Mediterranean-style diet may help people with type 2 diabetes keep their disease under control without the help of drugs better than following a typical low-fat diet. In the past, people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes often turn to a classic, low-fat regimen, while others have opted for a higher-fat, Mediterranean-style diet filled with lots of olive oil, as well as vegetables, whole grains and fish and poultry.

According to WebMD.com, a new study from Italy shows that people with type 2 diabetes who ate a Mediterranean diet rich in vegetables and whole grains with at least 30% of daily calories from fat (mostly olive oil) were better able to manage their disease without diabetes medications than those who ate a low-fat diet with no more than 30% of calories from fat (with less than 10% coming from saturated fat choices).

The researchers studied groups of people who were following both of these types of diets and they found that after four years both groups had lost similar amounts of weight. But, only 44% of the Mediterranean dieters needed to take diabetes medication, as compared to 70% of the low-fat dieters.

The Mediterranean diet group achieved better glycemic (blood sugar) control and was less likely to require diabetes medications to bring their blood sugar to healthier levels. Those who followed the Mediterranean diet also experienced improvement in other heard disease risk factors.

One of the major benefits of the Mediterranean diet is that it is full of healthy foods and it doesn't recommend fat-reduced foods that are chock full of refined carbohydrates. The Mediterranean diet is also rich in vegetables and whole grains and low in red meat, which should be replaced with fish or poultry. Overall, the Mediterranean diet should consist of no more than 50% of daily calories from carbohydrates and no less than 30% of calories from fat.

To switch up your diet to be more Mediterranean add: fish, poultry, beans, walnuts and other nuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, fresh fruit, roasted vegetables, whole eggs, and olives.