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Health Tips #81 ~ [Issue 0406-2]  Wellness Weekly
 Apr 12, 2006 08:46 PDT 

* Friendly Fat

Olive oil is not only a boon to heart health. New research shows it
may have other powers, too. Oleic acid - a healthy monounsaturated
fat found in olive oil - may help disarm a gene that prompts breast
cancer cells to grow and divide, a recent study revealed. Add this
health-friendly fat to your diet by sautéing veggies and other foods
in olive oil instead of butter. Choose an olive oil-based dressing
for salads, too.

* Oily Fish May Reduce Inflammation

A diet high in oily fish like salmon and mackerel improves
inflammatory conditions, particularly in combination with low doses
of aspirin, finds a recent study. Researchers at Brigham and Women's
Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts,
identified a new class of aspirin-triggered bioactive lipids, called
resolvins that may partly explain the beneficial effects of omega-3
fatty acids. Resolvins, made from the omega-3 fatty acids by cellular
enzymes, can reduce inflammation in mice. The main bioactive
component of this class of lipids was identified in mice and named
resolvin E1. Human resolvin E1 inhibits both the migration of
inflammatory cells to sites of inflammation and the turning on of
other inflammatory cells, the authors conclude in the "Journal of
Experimental Medicine."

* Exercise More, Not Longer

If you are still trying to establish a habit of regular exercise (or
if you have started to slack off and need to get back on track), aim
for frequency, not duration. That way, you will begin to see exercise
as part of your daily routine, and if you miss a day, your total
workout time for the week will not suffer as much.

* Water, Calories, Weight Loss

Following your meals with a glass of ice water may help boost calorie
burning. In a small study, men and women who drank about 17 ounces of
cold water after a meal temporarily experienced a 30 percent increase
in the rate at which their bodies burned calories. The increased
calorie burning was attributed to thermogenesis, a process by which
the body burns calories for digestion purposes. The best way to lose
weight is to reduce the number of calories you consume while
increasing your physical activity levels. Outside of that, there are
several more things you can do to boost your weight loss efforts.
Drink plenty of water both before and after meals. Before meals, the
water will help fill you up and suppress your appetite. After meals,
the water may help boost your calorie burn rate. Also, get plenty of
rest. Studies show that a sleep debt may open the door to weight
troubles. Finally, find ways to keep your stress levels under
control. Research shows that certain stress hormones may play a role
in the development of stubborn belly fat.

* Laughter May Fight Arteriosclerosis

Baltimore, Maryland researchers have shown for the first time that
laughter is linked to healthy function of blood vessels. Principal
investigator Dr. Michael Miller of the University of Maryland Medical
Center says laughter appears to cause the tissue that forms the inner
lining of blood vessels, the endothelium, to dilate or expand to
increase blood flow. "The endothelium is the first line in the
development of arteriosclerosis or hardening of the arteries, so,
given the results of our study, it is conceivable that laughing may
be important to maintain a healthy endothelium and reduce the risk of
cardiovascular disease," Miller told the Scientific Session of the
American College of Cardiology in Orlando, Florida.
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