Health Front: Dogs for Autism, Green Tea for Prostate Cancer
By DR. JERRY DeCAPUA, TRT Contributing Writer
• The percentage of Americans with diabetes has doubled since 1988, with nearly one in 10 adults now diagnosed with the blood-sugar disease. Research from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Medicine reports that diabetes diagnosis and diabetes control has improved since 1988. “This study also highlights that the increase in diabetes really tracks closely with the epidemic of obesity. The diabetes epidemic is really a direct consequence of the rise in obesity,” said Elizabeth Selvin, professor at Johns Hopkins. She concludes her report by advising everyone to lose weight and start exercising right now, before it is too late.
• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have completed a national study on alternative and complementary health approaches and trends in the United States. After looking at data from about 35,000 people across the country, the researchers found some distinctive regional differences. Yoga and meditation is practiced 40 percent more in the Pacific and Mountain states than in the country overall. Massage therapy is also utilized more in these states. Chiropractic care is utilized twice as much in the Midwestern states than it is in the country overall. People in the Mid-Atlantic States appear to have less interest in using alternative healthcare. Other than the Mid-Atlantic States, large numbers of people are using vitamins and herbal dietary supplements. Ginseng appears to be the most used herbal supplement in the nation.
• Children with autism may find bonding with the family dog a real help, a small study finds. Researchers at the University of Missouri interviewed 70 parents of children with autism. The investigators found that nearly two-thirds owned dogs, and that 94 percent of those parents said their children had strong bonds to the pets. Such interacting and bonding proves beneficial. The companionship may well assist the autistic child in their struggle for interacting. While human interaction and forming friendships is difficult, caring for a dog may enhance the ability to relate to people, and work as a social lubricant.
• It now appears from two studies that are published in Cancer Prevention Research, that green tea lowers PSA and other biomarkers in men with localized prostate cancer. A 2006 study showed that green tea catechins (GTC) were effective in reversing premalignant prostate lesions. In that study, the treatment group ingested 600 mg a day of GTCs. Results of the study showed that the treatment group had less PSA levels than the placebo group.
Based on the success of the 2006 study, a second study using GTC was initiated in 2009 of men with established localized prostate cancer who were waiting surgical treatment in the form of radical prostatectomy. After 35 days of 800 mg of GTC, the researchers found a significant reduction in PSA levels, and other biomarkers in the men. The researchers further suggested GTC supplementation may play a potential role in the treatment or prevention of prostate cancer.
According to the Journal of the Nation Cancer Institute, as much as 75 percent of prostate cancer is attributable to diet and lifestyle factors. Adding 800 mg of GTCs from decaffeinated green tea, and avoiding high-fat animal products, would lower the chance of an enlarged prostate to become cancerous.