Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Smoking and Peripheral Artery Disease

Picture credit: http://www.northernsydneyvascular.com.au

Smoking, Even for a Short Time, Significantly Increases a Woman's Risk for Peripheral Artery Disease

I am sure you know by now that smoking is a major cause of heart disease, cancer and lung disease.

Smoking is also the number one cause of PAD (Peripheral Artery Disease).

PAD is a serious, often debilitating disorder, caused by narrowing of the arteries in the lower extremities. Symptoms of PAD include pain in the legs with normal activity and a feeling of tiredness in the leg muscles.

A prospective study of initially healthy women aged 45 and over confirmed that smoking is a potent risk factor for symptomatic peripheral artery disease, or PAD.

Researchers followed 38,825 women for an average of 12.7 years to determine if smoking increased a woman's risk for PAD and if smoking cessation reduced that risk.

The researchers found that smoking increased a woman's risk for PAD 10-fold. Smoking cessation reduced the risk, but even after abstaining from cigarettes for 20 years, the risk did not lower to that of a woman who had never smoked.

Smoking harms the blood vessels by speeding up the buildup of plaque in the artery walls and increases the formation of leg artery blockages. Smoking constricts blood vessels and causes the blood to clot. As a result, smoking causes PAD to get worse faster. It increases the chance of having leg pain (or claudication) even while at rest, losing a foot or a leg due to amputation.

PAD also increases the risk of heart attack. As many as one out of two people with PAD who continue to smoke will have a heart attack or stroke or die within 5 years.

Journal Reference:

David Conen, Brendan M. Everett, Tobias Kurth, Mark A. Creager, Julie E. Buring, Paul M. Ridker, Aruna D. Pradhan. Smoking, Smoking Status, and Risk for Symptomatic Peripheral Artery Disease in Women: A Cohort Study. Annals of Internal Medicine, 2011; 154: 719-726 [link]

Love Brightens Beauty.......


A sweetheart asked her darling, "Please look at my face. Is my skin smoother and brighter? I have been taking the advice from our pharmacist to consume the latest sheep placenta. Each tablet costs 15 dollars. It's expensive but I think they are helpful and has been very effective. I am also taking collagen drinks to maximise the result. Darling! What do you think?"

Her darling examined and stroked his sweetheart's face, "Yes dear! Your skin isn't as dry as before. I totally agree with you. Your face shines brighter and is as smooth as silk now. All your effort and money are not wasted. BUT! Dear do you know why these vitamin supplements work so well on you?"

The sweetheart said, "I guess our pharmacist must have recommended me the right products."

Her darling nodded, "The sheep placenta and collagen drink are useful supplements. But it is my love that makes the difference. My loving care and concern for you let you feel good and comfortable emotionally all the time. You feel secure and relaxed with me around. Over all your senses are happy and satisfying. As the saying goes, 'A Happy Heart Sees A Beautiful World'. A happy soul will definitely be able to absorb all good things, like these supplements.

Moral of the story - A healthy & a bright person is a person being loved upon. Are you?

For that sweetheart

-“Love and magic have a great deal in common. They enrich the soul, delight the heart. And they both take practice.”

Adapted from Richard Foo's blog without prior permission ;-)

15 Things Your Walk Reveals About Your Health


Do you know that your stride, gait, pace, and posture while walking can reveal surprising information about your overall health and well-being.

“Many physicians are keenly aware, when they see someone walking down the street, what their diagnosis might be, whether their underlying health is good or bad, and if not good, a number of tip-offs to what might be wrong,” says Charles Blitzer, an orthopedic surgeon in Somersworth, New Hampshire, and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

Walking clue #1: A snail’s pace

May reveal: Shorter life expectancy
Walking speed is a reliable marker for longevity, according to a University of Pittsburgh analysis of nine large studies, reported in a January 2011 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association. The 36,000 subjects were all over age 65. In fact, predicting survival based on walking speed proved to be as accurate as using age, sex, chronic conditions, smoking, body mass index, hospitalizations, and other common markers. It’s especially accurate for those over age 75.

The average speed was 3 feet per second (about two miles an hour). Those who walked slower than 2 feet per second (1.36 miles per hour) had an increased risk of dying. Those who walked faster than 3.3 feet per second (2.25 miles per hour) or faster survived longer than would be predicted simply by age or gender.

A 2006 report in JAMA found that among adults ages 70 to 79, those who couldn’t walk a quarter mile were less likely to be alive six years later. They were also more likely to suffer illness and disability before death. An earlier study of men ages 71 to 93 found that those who could walk two miles a day had half the risk of heart attack of those who could walk only a quarter mile or less.

Simply walking faster or farther doesn’t make you healthier — in fact, pushing it could make you vulnerable to injury. Rather, each body seems to find a natural walking speed based on its overall condition. If it’s slow, it’s usually because of underlying health issues that are cutting longevity.

Walking clue #4: A confident stride (in a woman)

May reveal: Sexual satisfaction
Your stride and gait don’t always indicate bad things. A study conducted in Belgium and Scotland, reported in the September, 2008, Journal of Sexual Medicine, found that a woman’s walk can reveal her orgasmic ability. Women who have a fluid, energetic stride seem to be more likely to easily and often have vaginal orgasms, researchers said. They compared the gaits of women known to be orgasmic (defined as by penile intercourse, not direct clitoral stimulation) with those who were not.

What’s the connection? The theory is that orgasms contribute to muscles that are neither flaccid nor locked. Result: a freer, easier stride, researchers found, as well as greater sexual confidence and better self-esteem.

CLICK HERE for the other 13 Revelations by Paula Spencer Scott

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Teachers' Day

Picture Credit: http://www.perdaily.com

Teachers' Days are intended to be special days for the appreciation of teachers. May 16th is Teachers’ Day in Malaysia. World Teachers' Day is celebrated across the world on October 5. May 16 is gone and October 5 is too far away. So let’s celebrate World Teacher’s Day in advance with this witty piece which was forwarded to us by CWY1948 from Penang; original author unknown.

The dinner guests were discussing life.

Joe, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education. He argued,” What’s a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?"

To stress his point he said to another guest; "You're a teacher, Judy. Be honest. What do you make?"

Judy, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness replied, "You want to know what I make? (She paused for a second, then began...)

"Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could

I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their parents can't make them sit for 5 without an I Pod, Game Cube or movie rental.

You want to know what I make. (She paused again and looked at each and every person at the table)

I make kids wonder.

I make them question.

I make them apologize and mean it.

I make them have respect and take responsibility for their actions.

I teach them to write and then I make them write. Keyboarding isn't everything.

I make them read, read, read.

I make them show all their work in math. They use their God given brain, not the man-made calculator.

I make my students from other countries learn everything they need to know about English while preserving their unique cultural identity.

I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe.

Finally, I make them understand that if they use the gifts they were given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life. (Judy paused one last time and then continued.)

Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, with me knowing money isn't everything, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because they are ignorant. You want to know what I make. I MAKE A DIFFERENCE. What do you make Mr. CEO?

Joe's jaw dropped, he went silent.


Even to all your personal teachers like mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, coaches and your spiritual leaders/teachers.

A Truly Profound Answer!

The Zestzfulness Team believes that Teaching is...

the profession that makes all other professions possible!

Keupayaan Mensasarkan Kanser Oleh Nutrien Dalam Brokoli & Sayur-sayuran Lain

Picture Credit: http://img.dailymail.co.uk

Terakhir kami membincangkan tentang keupayaan brokoli menentang kanser pada bulan Januari yang lalu. Berikut adalah bukti sekali lagi dari Universiti Oregon.

Sulforafen, satu fitokimia utama yang dijumpai secara semulajadi dalam brokoli, kubis bunga dan lain-lain sayuran 'cruciferous', telah menunjukkan sasaran yang terpilih dan membunuh sel kanser dan meninggalkan sel prostat yang sihat tanpa menjejaskannya, menurut satu kajian yang diterbitkan dalam jurnal Molekul Nutrisi dan Penyelidikan Makanan.

Nampaknya sulforafen, yang ditemui pada paras yang agak tinggi dalam sayur-sayuran 'cruciferous', adalah perencat (inhibitor) bagi deacetylase histone, atau enzim HDAC. Perencatan HDAC adalah salah satu bidang yang lebih menjanjikan rawatan kanser dan menjadi sasaran dari kedua-dua pendekatan farmaseutikal dan pemakanan, menurut saintis.

"Walaupun fitokimia atau nutrien terdapat dalam makanan, ini bukan bererti ianya selamat, dan banyak juga yang bergantung kepada bentuk atau tahap dimakan.
Tetapi yang ini muncul sebagai fitokimia terpilih yang boleh membunuh sel kanser, dan yang selalu anda lihat dalam terapi kanser, "kata Emily Ho, ketua pengarang kepada kajian dan juga Profesor Madya Jabatan Pemakanan dan Latihan Sains Universiti Oregon.

Kajian terdahulu yang dijalankan menggunakan model tikus menunjukkan pertumbuhan tumor prostat telah diperlahankan oleh pemakanan yang mengandungi sulforafen. Ho berkata ia telah didokumenkan bahawa sulforafen boleh mensasarkan sel-sel kanser melalui pelbagai mekanisme khemopreventif, dan kajian ini menunjukkan sulforafen memilih sasaran sel hiperplasia benigna dan sel kanser prostat dan meninggalkan sel prostat yang normal tanpa terjejas.

Satu lagi kajian yang dijalankan oleh Cramer dan Jeffery menemui cara brokoli disediakan dan digunakan, serta gabungan brokoli dengan pucuk brokoli, dimana kesan anti-kanser dari sayur-sayuran hampir dua kali lebih kuat.

"Brokoli, yang disediakan dengan betul, adalah ejen penentang kanser yang amat kuat. Untuk mendapatkan manfaat brokoli, enzim myrosinase mestilah hadir; jika tidak, sulforafen iaitu komponen pencegah kanser dan anti-radang dari brokoli, tidak terbentuk, "kata Elizabeth Jeffery, profesor nutrisi di Universiti Illinois.

Jurnal Rujukan:

John D. Clarke, Anna Hsu, Zhen Yu, Roderick H. Dashwood, Emily Ho. Differential effects of sulforaphane on histone deacetylases, cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in normal prostate cells versus hyperplastic and cancerous prostate cells. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, published online 4 MAR 2011; DOI: 10.1002/mnfr.201000547

Cramer JM, Jeffery EH. Sulforaphane absorption and excretion following ingestion of a semi-purified broccoli powder rich in glucoraphanin and broccoli sprouts in healthy men. Nutr Cancer. 2011; 63(2):196-201.

Create a First Aid Kit

Picture shows some of the contents of our popular first aid kit. For details, please drop in at our
anyone of our pharmacies TODAY!

Here's What To Include

In case of emergency, a well-stocked first aid kit could be a lifesaver. Keep one in your home, in your car, and even at work. And keep one handy if you are hiking, biking, camping or boating.

Whether you buy a first aid kit or put one together, make sure it has all the items you may need. The American Red Cross suggests a first aid kit contain: antiseptic ointment, blanket, cold pack, disposable gloves, assorted band-aids, adhesive tape, gauze pads, roller gauze, triangular bandage, hand cleaner, plastic bags, scissors, tweezers, a small flashlight and extra batteries, and activated charcoal.

Remember to include any personal items, such as medications and emergency phone numbers, or other items suggested by your doctor.

Check the kit regularly. Make sure the flashlight batteries work. Check expiration dates and replace any used or out-of-date contents. Store your first aid kit in a secure place out of the reach of young children.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hair Darkening Shampoo and Conditioner

Bawang (Guangzhou) Co.Ltd

BAWANG ----Makes Hair Naturally Dark and Shiny with all its Strength
Enriched with various Chinese Herbal Extracts, including Radix Polygoni Multiflori, Eclipta, and Black Sesame.

It acts deeply within and on the surface of your hair to add strength and shine to your hair and helps to retard the process of prematurely graying, yellow and dull hair, and nourishes hair to its dark and shiny glory.

Regular use helps retard the process of prematurely greying, yellow and dull hair, and nourishes hair to its dark and shiny glory

Presentation : 200ml Hair Darkening Shampoo + 80g Hair Darkening & Strengthening Conditioner. Get an additional tube of the Conditioner FREE with this purchase. Offer valid whilst stocks last.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Why Hair Turns Grey


A new study by researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center has shown that, for the first time, Wnt signaling, already known to control many biological processes, between hair follicles and melanocyte stem cells can dictate hair pigmentation.

The study was published in the June 11, 2011 issue of the journal Cell.

The research was led by Mayumi Ito, PhD, assistant professor in the Ronald O. Pereleman Department of Dermatology at NYU Langone. "We have known for decades that hair follicle stem cells and pigment-producing melanocycte cells collaborate to produce colored hair, but the underlying reasons were unknown," said Dr. Ito. "We discovered Wnt signaling is essential for coordinated actions of these two stem cell lineages and critical for hair pigmentation." The study suggests the manipulation of Wnt signaling may be a novel strategy for targeting pigmentation such as graying hair. The research study also illustrates a model for tissue regeneration.

"The human body has many types of stem cells that have the potential to regenerate other organs," said Dr. Ito. "The methods behind communication between stem cells of hair and color during hair replacement may give us important clues to regenerate complex organs containing many different types of cells."

Using genetic mouse models, researchers were able to examine how Wnt signaling pathways enabled both hair follicle stem cells and melanocyte stem cells to work together to generate hair growth and produce hair color. Research also showed the depletion (or inhibition or abnormal) Wnt signaling in hair follicle stem cells not only inhibits hair re-growth but also prevents melanocytes stem cell activation required for producing hair color. The lack of Wnt activation in melanocyte stem cells leads to depigmented or gray hair.

The study raises the possibility that Wnt signaling is a key pathway for the regulation of melanocyte stem cells and shows how melanocyte behavior is associated with hair regeneration. This insight provides further understanding of diseases in which melanocytes are either appropriately lost such as hair graying or undergo uncontrolled cell growth as in melanoma.


Piul Rabbani, Makoto Takeo, WeiChin Chou, Peggy Myung, Marcus Bosenberg, Lynda Chin, M. Mark Taketo, Mayumi Ito. Coordinated Activation of Wnt in Epithelial and Melanocyte Stem Cells Initiates Pigmented Hair Regeneration. Cell, 2011; 145 (6): 941-955.

High Antioxidant Intake and Early AMD

In a population-based study, high dietary intake of antioxidants was associated with a lower risk for early age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in genetically predisposed individuals. (1)

The study involved 2167 individuals 55 years or older who were at risk for AMD and who were enrolled in the population-based Rotterdam Study.(2)

The researchers assessed the intake of antioxidants, zinc, and ω-3 fatty acids in daily foods, diagnosed the onset of early AMD during a lengthy follow-up, and investigated the risk-reducing effect of these nutrients in various genetic risk factors.

Incident early AMD occurred in 517 participants.

There appeared to be a possible biological interaction between the CFH Y402H genotype and intakes of zinc, β-carotene, lutein/zeaxanthin, and eicosapentaenoic/docosahexaenoic acid (EPA/DHA), and between the LOC387715 A69S genotype and zinc and EPA/DHA, based on significant synergy indices (P < .05 for all).

  • Participants who were homozygous for CFH Y402H and had dietary zinc intake in the highest tertile had a reduction in HR for early AMD from 2.25 to 1.27.
  • Similar risk reductions were observed intakes in the highest tertile for β-carotene, lutein/zeaxanthin, and EPA/DHA.
  • Among carriers of LOC387715 A69S, those in the highest tertile of zinc intake had a reduction in HR from 1.70 to 1.17; those in the highest tertile of EPA/DHA intake had a reduction in HR from 1.59 to 0.95 (all P trends < .05).

"High dietary intake of nutrients with antioxidant properties reduces the risk of early AMD in those at high genetic risk," the study authors write. "Therefore, clinicians should provide dietary advice to young susceptible individuals to postpone or prevent the vision-disabling consequences of AMD."

"Fortified cereals, meats, dairy products, nuts, and seeds are a good source of zinc; dark-green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale and orange vegetables including carrots and pumpkin are rich in β-carotene and lutein/zeaxanthin; and oily fish such as herring, salmon, sardines, trout, and tuna provide EPA/DHA," the study authors conclude. "These nutrients are all recommended in the Food Guide Pyramid and should be part of a regular diet for older adults."(3)

1. Ho L, MD, Leeuwen R, Witteman, van Duijn CM, Uitterlinden AG, Hofman A, de Jong PTVM, Vingerling JR, Klaver CCW. Reducing the Genetic Risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration With Dietary Antioxidants, Zinc, and -3 Fatty Acids, The Rotterdam Study. Arch Ophthalmol. 2011;129(6):758-766. Full text

2. Facts About Age-Related Macular Degeneration. National Eye Institute, USA

Age-related macular degeneration, often called AMD or ARMD, is degeneration of the macula, which is the part of the retina responsible for the sharp, central vision needed to read or drive. It is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness among those age 65 and older.

The cause of AMD has not been determined, but it is clearly a complex disease with multiple environmental and genetic risk factors.

AMD research focuses on the identification and evaluation of genetic risk factors and the interactions of these risk factors with environmental influences. Our hypothesis is that genetic risk factors are critical to the development of AMD. These genetic risk factors then interact with environmental factors (diet, smoking, etc.) to trigger the development of the disease as well as to determine how fast the disease progresses. Identification of these genetic and environmental risk factors is the first step towards earlier detection, prevention, and in the future, better treatments.

3. USDA’s MyPlate officially replaced the Food Guide Pyramid on June 2, 2011

Your browser may not support display of this image. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BiO-LiFE Bio-Vizion provides the natural carotenoids lutein & zeaxanthin, plus the A.C.E. & Zinc antioxidants. Lutein and zeaxanthin are naturally present in the macula of the human retina.

BiO-LiFE Bio-Vizion is a unique formula that provides a source of lutein and zeaxanthin preserved in their natural form from marigold flowers. It is also formulated with other anti free-radical nutrients such as Vitamin A,C,E plus the mineral zinc and selenium.

Special 100+30 OFFER valid whilst stocks last. Please check with your pharmacist TODAY!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Menonton TV berpanjangan Berisiko Diabetes, Penyakit Kardiovaskular, dan Kematian

Sumber foto: http://news.bbcimg.co.uk

Boston, MA - Disahkan bahawa duduk di hadapan televisyen untuk jangka waktu yang lama telah menunjukkan kesan mudarat dalam jangka masa panjang. Ia menurut kajian terbaru yang menunjukkan hubungan langsung antara jumlah menonton televisyen dan risiko diabetes jenis 2, penyakit kardiovaskular , dan semua punca yang menyebabkan kematian.

Kajian tersebut disiarkan dalam jurnal keluaran 15 Jun 2011 Jurnal
Journal of the American Medical Association, yang menunjukkan bahawa bagi setiap dua jam menonton televisyen setiap hari, risiko diabetes meningkat sebanyak 20%, risiko penyakit kardiovaskular meningkat sebanyak 15%, dan risiko semua penyebab kematian meningkat sebanyak 13%.

Pengarang bersama kajian itu, Dr Frank Hu (Sekolah Kesihatan Awam Harvard, Boston, MA), mengulas untuk heartwire :. "Menonton TV adalah lebih buruk daripada aktiviti-aktiviti lain yang dilakukan setempat di mana ia amat pasif. Ia menggunakan tenaga yang lebih rendah berbanding dengan memandu, membaca, bekerja di hadapan komputer, dan lain-lain "

Berkaitan makanan ringan

Beliau juga menegaskan bahawa menonton televisyen dikaitkan dengan perilaku makan yang tidak sihat. "Orang ramai cenderung untuk makan apabila mereka menonton televisyen, dan mereka juga cenderung untuk makan makanan ringan dan minuman bergula dan bukannya makanan sihat. Ini mungkin berkaitan dengan jumlah yang besar untuk iklan makanan ringan, yang meningkatkan selera, atau ia mungkin hanya disebabkan oleh kebosanan. Makanan ringan lebih mudah didapati dan sesuai untuk dimakan di hadapan televisyen. Mungkin jika mereka tidak menonton televisyen, mereka akan lebih cenderung untuk mengambil hidangan sihat yang betul. "

Hu mencatatkan bahawa budaya menonton televisyen adalah kesan langsung daripada revolusi teknologi. "Dengan adanya televisyen satelit, dengan beratus-ratus saluran, kita menonton TV lagi dan lagi, ditambah lagi dengan alat kawalan jauh yang tidak memerlukan kita bangun dari sofa untuk menukar saluran."

Beliau menambah: "Saya tidak menghalang menonton televisyen. Tetapi tabiat kita telah menjadi berlebihan. Secara purata orang Amerika menonton TV lima jam setiap hari. Itu terlalu banyak. Dan mereka masuk ke dalam lingkaran sebab-akibat. Mereka menonton banyak TV, jadi mulalah bertambah berat badan, dan ia membuatkan lebih sukar untuk bersenam, jadi mereka menonton TV lebih banyak.... Saya rasa kita perlu memberitahu orang ramai bahawa mereka boleh mengurangkan risiko penyakit kencing manis dan penyakit jantung dengan mengurangkan masa mereka menonton TV. "

Bersenam sambil menonton TV

"Mesej kesihatan umumnya mengesyorkan agar meningkatkan aktiviti fizikal, tetapi mereka tidak menekankan untuk mengurangkan menonton televisyen. Ia bukanlah sesuatu yang terlalu sukar untuk diubah. Kita juga perlu mencadangkan kepada orang ramai untuk melakukan senaman semasa menonton televisyen. Kita boleh membangunkan teknologi bagi membolehkan orang ramai untuk menggunakan lebih banyak tenaga apabila menonton TV, seperti menggunakan treadmill dan peralatan senaman yang lain-lain. "

Dalam karyanya, Hu dan pengarang bersama beliau, Anders Grøntved (Universiti Southern Denmark, Odense), melaporkan bahawa menonton televisyen adalah aktiviti harian yang paling biasa dilaporkan selain dari bekerja dan tidur dalam populasi di seluruh dunia, dengan purata sebanyak 40% daripada masa lapang yang digunakan untuk menonton televisyen dalam beberapa negara Eropah dan 50% di Australia.

Mereka melakukan meta-analisis lapan kajian kohort perspektif untuk melihat kaitan antara menonton TV dan risiko diabetes jenis 2, penyakit kardiovaskular fatal dan nonfatal, dan semua-penyebab kematian. Keputusan menunjukkan risiko relatif dikumpulkan setiap dua jam menonton TV sehari dan hasilnya1.20 untuk diabetes jenis 2, 1.15 untuk penyakit kardiovaskular membawa fatal atau nonfatal, dan 1.13 untuk semua penyebab kematian.

Anggaran perbezaan risiko mutlak setiap dua jam menonton TV setiap hari adalah 176 kes bagi diabetes jenis 2, 38 kes bagi penyakit kardiovaskular yang membawa maut, dan 104 kes bagi semua penyebab kematian daripada setiap 100 000 orang setahun.

Oleh Sue Hughes theheart.org, 14 Jun 2011

Sue adalah lulusan dalam farmasi dari Universiti Manchester, United Kingdom dan bekerja sebagai ahli farmasi di hospital sebelum beralih kepada kewartawanan kesihatan.

Grontved A, Hu FB. Television Viewing and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, and All-Cause Mortality, A Meta-analysis. JAMA. 2011;305(23):2448-2455.

Sunday, June 19, 2011



Have a good laugh but snopes.com has confirmed it is not a true story.

The following is an actual question given on a University of Arizona chemistry mid-term, and an actual answer turned in by a student.

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.

One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving, which is unlikely. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. There fore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today.

Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:

1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it?

If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, 'It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you,' and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number two must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over. The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct..... ...leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting 'Oh my God.'

Cancer-Targeting Ability of Nutrient in Broccoli & Other Vegetables

Picture credit: http://img.dailymail.co.uk

We last talked about Broccoli's Cancer-Fighting Ability in January. Here’s more evidence from the Oregon State University.

Sulforaphane, a primary phytochemical found naturally in broccoli, cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables, has been shown to selectively target and kill cancer cells while leaving normal prostate cells healthy and unaffected, according to a study published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research.

It appears that sulforaphane, which is found at fairly high levels in cruciferous vegetables, is an inhibitor of histone deacetylase, or HDAC enzymes. HDAC inhibition is one of the more promising fields of cancer treatment and is being targeted from both a pharmaceutical and dietary approach, scientists say.

“Just because a phytochemical or nutrient is found in food doesn’t always mean its safe, and a lot can also depend on the form or levels consumed. But this does appear to be a phytochemical that can selectively kill cancer cells, and that’s always what you look for in cancer therapies," said Emily Ho, lead author on the study and associate professor in the OSU Department of Nutrition and Exercise Sciences.

Previous studies conducted with mouse models showed prostate tumor growth was slowed by a diet containing sulforaphane. Ho said it is well documented that sulforaphane can target cancer cells through multiple chemopreventive mechanisms, and this study shows sulforaphane selectively targets benign hyperplasia cells and cancerous prostate cells while leaving the normal prostate cells unaffected.

Another study conducted by Cramer and Jeffery found the manner in which broccoli is prepared and consumed, as well as teaming broccoli with broccoli sprouts, may make the vegetable's anti-cancer effect almost twice as powerful.

"Broccoli, prepared correctly, is an extremely potent cancer-fighting agent. To get broccoli's benefits, though, the enzyme myrosinase has to be present; if it's not there, sulforaphane, broccoli's cancer-preventive and anti-inflammatory component, doesn't form," said Elizabeth Jeffery, a University of Illinois professor of nutrition.

Journal Reference:

John D. Clarke, Anna Hsu, Zhen Yu, Roderick H. Dashwood, Emily Ho. Differential effects of sulforaphane on histone deacetylases, cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in normal prostate cells versus hyperplastic and cancerous prostate cells. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, published online 4 MAR 2011; DOI: 10.1002/mnfr.201000547

Cramer JM, Jeffery EH. Sulforaphane absorption and excretion following ingestion of a semi-purified broccoli powder rich in glucoraphanin and broccoli sprouts in healthy men. Nutr Cancer. 2011; 63(2):196-201.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Vitamin D Improves Sperm Quality


Vitamin D is important for optimal reproductive function in both animals and humans. It has long been known that serum vitamin D level is important for reproductive function in various animals, but now researchers from the University of Copenhagen and Copenhagen University Hospital have shown that this relationship can also be demonstrated in humans.

A new study conducted in 300 normal men showed a positive correlation between the percentage of motile sperm and serum vitamin D levels. The study was recently published in the scientific journal Human Reproduction, and showed additionally that stimulation of human spermatooza in the laboratory with activated vitamin D can increase their forward movement.

More studies needed

However, the authors admitted that there is a need to intensify reproductive research to identify relevant factors and conduct placebo-controlled trials to clarify whether vitamin D supplements are beneficial for infertile men.

Journal Reference:

M. Blomberg Jensen, P. J. Bjerrum, T. E. Jessen, J. E. Nielsen, U. N. Joensen, I. A. Olesen, J. H. Petersen, A. Juul, S. Dissing, N. Jorgensen. Vitamin D is positively associated with sperm motility and increases intracellular calcium in human spermatozoa. Human Reproduction. (2011) 26 (6): 1307-1317. 2011; 10.1093/humrep/der059

Picture credit: http://images.quickblogcast.com. Not related to the news but probably depicting retrograde ejaculation - the entry of semen into the bladder instead of going out through the urethra during ejaculation. But talking about the prostate, see our next article for the latest confirmation on the beneficial relationship between intake of broccoli and the health of your prostate gland.

Walking The Dog Benefits You, Too

Daily outings help control your blood pressure and weight, expert say

picture credit: http://www.dogpoopsigns.com

Taking your dog for a walk is good for you.

Walking helps control blood pressure and weight, according to the Society for Vascular Surgery.

"The need to provide daily walks for a dog is great for dog owners as well," vascular surgeon Dr. Leila Mureebe said in a society news release.

"Exercise is good for the body's blood supply, for maintaining proper body weight and for controlling blood pressure."

A recent U.S. National Institutes of Health-funded study of 2,000 adults found that those who regularly walked their dogs were more physically active and less likely to be obese than those who didn't walk dogs.

"A brisk 30-minute walk with your dog is good for both of you," Mureebe said.

Dogs can offer other health benefits. For example, studies have found that petting a dog reduces people's blood pressure and heart rate, the Society for Vascular Surgery said.

SOURCE: Society for Vascular Surgery, news release, June 6, 2011

The Zestzfulness Team would like to remind you of your citizen's responsibility to pick up your dog poop and dispose of it properly. If you don't have (or want to purchase) a pooper scooper, try a plastic bag. Many carry used shopping plastic bags. When the bag is place over the hand, you can pick up what you have to, turn the bag inside out, and tie the end closed.

Dog and Cat Lovers, check out this website!

Tidur Lewat Berisiko Menambah Berat Badan dan Diet Yang Buruk

Sumber gambar: http://arch1design.com

Berjaga hingga lewat malam setiap hari dan kemudian tidur adalah kebiasaan yang dapat menyebabkan anda berisiko untuk meningkatkan berat badan. Kini, kajian telah menunjukkan hubungan antara waktu makan dan peraturan berat badan.

Menurut Kelly G. Baron et al, mereka yang pergi tidur lewat menyebabkan tempoh tidur lebih pendek, waktu tidur dan waktu bangun serta waktu makan menjadi lewat. Mereka juga makan lebih banyak kalori di malam hari, lebih banyak mengambil makanan segera, sedikit buah-buahan dan sayur-sayuran dan mempunyai berat lebih dari mereka yang tidur lebih awal dan bangun awal. Walaubagaimanapun, para penyelidik tidak pasti apakah mereka yang tidur lewat mengambil kalori tambahan kerana mereka lebih suka makanan berkalori tinggi atau kerana kurang pilihan yang menyihatkan pada malam hari.

Tambahan kalori harian dapat bermaksud jumlah yang signifikan dari kenaikan berat badan - dua kilogram sebulan - jika tidak diimbangi dengan aktiviti fizikal yang lebih.

Menurut penulis senior Phyllis Zee, " '
circadian rhythm' atau irama harian manusia dalam tidur dan metabolisma akan segerakan dengan putaran harian Bumi, sehingga saat matahari terbenam anda seharusnya tidur, bukan makan, "kata Zee." Ketika tidur dan makan tidak sesuai dengan jam internal tubuh, ia boleh menyebabkan perubahan dalam nafsu makan dan metabolisma, yang boleh menyebabkan penambahan berat badan. "

Kajian ini menunjukkan dengan menetapkan waktu makan dan tidur dapat meningkatkan keberkesanan program pengurusan berat badan.

Rujukan jurnal:
Baron KG, Reid KJ, Kern AS, Zee PC. Role of Sleep Timing in Caloric Intake and BMI. Obesity, published online before print 28 April 2011; DOI: 10.1038/oby.2011.100

Advertorial - Blood Sugar Monitoring System

Optium Xceed™ Diabetes Monitoring System is an important blood glucose monitoring tool that can help you better manage your diabetes.

We recommend Optium Xceed™ for people who test frequently or require extra reassurance.

Simple Advantages

  • Simple 2-Step Testing : Insert strip, add blood and test begins
  • Simple Icon-Driven Menu : Reduces communication barriers
  • Simple-to-Use Buttons : Easy setup and result review—with ability to scroll back and forth
  • Simple Auto Calibration : Simply insert calibrator with SmartChip Technology into strip port
  • NOW with NEW, IMPROVED Test Strip! : Glucose: Fast 5-second test time and small 0.6 microliter sample site


  1. Blood glucose and blood ketone testing
  2. Compact, lightweight and ergonomically designed
  3. Large, clear display with backlight
  4. Test on areas other than your fingertip*
  5. Small blood sample (only 0.6µL)
  6. Uses TrueMeasure™ Technology
  7. Memory holds 450 test results; displayed averages 7, 14, 30 days
  8. Very fast test time (5 seconds)
  9. Upload results to your PC with Precision Link Direct V2.6
  10. Lifetime Warranty with free once a year battery replacement
  11. Uses Optium™ Blood Glucose test strips and Optium Blood Ketone test strips

CLICK HERE for the full interactive product tour. This is an Australian presentation; product features may vary.

Price quoted is subject to change without notice. The SPECIAL OFFER is valid until JAugust 15, 2011 and subject to goods remaining unsold.

Consumables readily available at our pharmacies:

Optium™ Blood Glucose test strips,

Sterile disposable lancets, and

Sterile disposable alcohol swabs.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Prolonged TV Watching Ups Risk of Diabetes, CV Disease, and Death

Picture Credit: http://news.bbcimg.co.uk

Boston, MA - Confirmation that sitting in front of the television for prolonged lengths of time has long-term adverse effects has come from a new review of studies showing a direct relation between the amount of television viewing and risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality.

The review, published in the June 15, 2011 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, showed that for every two hours of television watched daily, the risk of diabetes increased by 20%, the risk of cardiovascular disease increased by 15%, and the risk of all-cause mortality increased by 13%.

Coauthor of the study, Dr Frank Hu (Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA), commented to heartwire: "TV watching is worse than other sedentary activities in that it is particularly passive. It has a lower energy expenditure compared with driving, reading, working at a computer, etc."

Associated with junk food

He also maintains that watching television is associated with unhealthy eating behavior. "People tend to eat when they are watching television, and they also tend to eat junk food and sugary beverages rather than healthier food. This might be related to the large amount of commercials for junk food, which increase the appetite, or it may just be due to boredom. Junk food is more readily available and therefore suitable for eating in front of the television. Perhaps if people were not watching television, they would be more inclined to make themselves a proper healthier meal."

Hu notes that the culture of television watching is a direct result of the technological revolution. "With the availability of satellite television, with hundreds of channels, we are watching more and more TV, and with a remote control we don't even have to get up from the sofa to change channels."

He added: "I'm not advocating a ban on television. But our behavior has become excessive. The average American watches five hours of TV every day. That is too much. And people get into a vicious circle. They watch a lot of TV, so start to put on weight, and that makes it more difficult to exercise, so they watch more TV. . . . I think we need to be telling people that they can cut their risks of diabetes and heart disease by reducing their time watching TV."

Exercise while watching TV

"Public-health messages recommend an increase in physical activity, but they don't actually stipulate less television watching. That is something that is not too difficult to change. We should also be suggesting that people do some exercise while watching television. We could develop technology to enable people to expend more energy when watching TV, like using a treadmill or other exercise equipment."

In the paper, Hu and his coauthor, Anders Grøntved (University of Southern Denmark, Odense), report that television watching is the most commonly reported daily activity apart from working and sleeping in many populations around the world, with an average of 40% of daily free time occupied by TV viewing within several European countries and 50% in Australia.

They performed a meta-analysis of eight prospective cohort studies looking at the association between TV viewing and risk of type 2 diabetes, fatal or nonfatal cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality. Results showed pooled relative risks per two hours of TV viewing per day of 1.20 for type 2 diabetes, 1.15 for fatal or nonfatal cardiovascular disease, and 1.13 for all-cause mortality.

The estimated absolute risk differences per every two hours of TV viewing per day were 176 cases of type 2 diabetes, 38 cases of fatal cardiovascular disease, and 104 deaths from any cause per 100 000 individuals per year.

By Sue Hughes of theheart.org, June 14, 2011

Sue graduated in pharmacy from Manchester University, UK and worked as a hospital pharmacist before moving on to health journalism.

Grontved A, Hu FB. Television Viewing and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, and All-Cause Mortality, A Meta-analysis. JAMA. 2011;305(23):2448-2455.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

How to Remain Relevant When You’re Over 40

Picture Credit: http://rlv.zcache.com

Your earning potential pretty much tops out at age 40. This is because your skills become increasingly valuable until you amass fifteen years’ experience, at which point you’ve hit a peak. According to statisticians at PayScale.com, in all fields except law, people are not paid more money for experience beyond fifteen years.

This means that to remain relevant and continue to increase your value, you are going to have to learn skills outside of your field. Here are five skills you should pick up as your earning power is due to drop.

1. Community building.

Yes, this is an irritating buzzword for social media mavens who are probably fresh out of college and run their whole life on Facebook and tumblr. But the reality is, social media infiltrates everything, in the same way that email became essential 10 years ago. Ninety percent of messages today are via social media link, according to The Pinnacle Group, a New York City think tank. Only ten percent are via email. So we are already at that tipping point where you need to learn social media or go home. People who are exceptional with social media can build a community around themselves in order to get jobs, promotions, and do good works for their company. Here’s a first step: How to start a blog.

2. Information processing.

Remember the term “information overload”? That went out of fashion when hipsters made productivity blogs one of the most popular genre of blogs, and time management books hit the New York Times bestseller list. Today you are in a knowledge market, where knowledge workers trade on their ability to synthesize information faster and in more collaborative ways - or faster and in ways that are so innovative that their ideas stand out above the rest. Information processing requires a clear understanding of one’s priorities, and an insatiable curiosity. Starting point: Time management tips for multitaskers.

3. Bridge building.

People who change jobs frequently build a wider set of skills and a wider network - both of which make them more employable. Job hopping enables you to create a series of bridges as you move between companies. The workplace no longer provides secure jobs, but you can provide security for yourself by creating a dynamic career where you move from job to job. You can develop contacts and build relationships outside of a job, for sure, but if people don’t get the chance to work with you, then they can’t endorse your ability to work. Likewise, if you work in a company where people tend to job hop, you can still build this wide network providing you remain in touch with them after they move on.The best way to build a wide network is to actually work with a wide range of people.

Your resume, if you are doing this right, should reflect a significant, positive impact wherever you work, and you should leave in your wake a swarm of happy managers and co-workers who felt lucky to be on projects with you. That’s how strong the performance of a good job hopper is. Subset to this skill: How to quit a job.

4. Manage your personal brand.

If you try to build a community without having a clear sense of who you are, people will not feel connected to you. Each person you meet needs to have a clear understanding of your place in the industry. In a world in which people Google you before they meet you, it’s important to show a good face on the front page of those search results.

Of course, this means it’s important to have updated LinkedIN and Facebook profiles, and, if you are full of ideas, you can have a blog as well. But what you really need is a sense of who you are - what you are good at and where you are going. It can change, it always does, but you have to have your own elevator pitch. If you don’t understand who you are and what you do, then no one else can either. So give it a shot. It’s a work in progress, but it’s how you will maneuver through the workplace. Starting spot for overachievers: How to sell anything to anyone.

5. Commit to life-long learning.

One of the most difficult aspects of this quickly moving information age is how quickly skills and knowledge become obsolete. If you are constantly committed to learning, you are less likely to become obsolete (and therefore, unemployable). The faster you can adapt and recognize shifts in markets the better off you’ll be.

In general, it’s not about how old you are but how open you are to new ways of communicating. Aim to be open, widely networked, and adaptable to new ways of thinking. And in that vein, you should ask yourself routinely, what generation am I?

By Penelope Trunk | June 7, 2011

Penelope Trunk is the founder of three startups, most recently Brazen Careerist, a professional social network for young people. Previously she worked in marketing at Fortune 500 companies including Mattel and Hyundai. Her blog about career advice, blog.penelopetrunk.com, receives half a million visits a month and is syndicated in more than 200 newspapers. She frequently appears as a workplace commentator on CNN, 20/20 and FOX News. She's also the author of Brazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success, a bestselling career advice book for Generation Y.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Aspartame - The Killer In Your Fridge?

The Sweet "Poison"

We wrote about aspartame last year.

Now, a good friend has forwarded us a new version of the Nancy Markle letter that includes a lengthy preamble of a "miracle cure" that brought a loved one back from the brink of death.

He strongly advised that we forward this serious health message to our friends and relatives. But we decided to do a little checking first.

Wah! We found many Web sites that discuss the possible side effects of aspartame and try to link it, through mostly anecdotal evidence, to Alzheimer's, birth defects, brain cancer, diabetes, Gulf War syndrome, lupus, multiple sclerosis and seizures. Straight away, the long list warrants skepticism. Just as no single chemical cures everything, none causes everything.

So we went to a reliable health site, the US National Library of Medicine, to search for the latest peer-reviewed scientific papers on aspartame.

We found “Aspartame—facts and fiction” by Bernadene Magnuson and published in the March 19, 2010 issue of the New Zealand Medical Journal. A summary obtained from the website of the New Zealand Medical Association is reproduced below.

Dr Magnusson has declared that her presentation was funded by Coca-Cola Oceania. However, she has no financial interests in any of the companies that produce or use aspartame or any other high intensity sweetener.

If you are skeptical about this toxicologist, which is quite understandable, you can look up these other authoritative sites recommended by the New Zealand Food Safety Authority:

European Food Safety Authority

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) – Aspartame fact sheet

Health Canada

New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA), Aspartame – what is it and why is it used in our food?

New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) submission to the Health Select Committee 2007

UK Food Standards Agency

US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA)

As always, if you have questions about the safety of the foods and other substances you ingest, your best source for answers are health professionals. If you are concerned about negative effects from aspartame or other artificial sweeteners, consult your doctor, pharmacist or a registered dietitian. Recommended this article to your friends and relatives and break this outdated and questionable chain!

The Sweet Poison?

Aspartame—facts and fiction
by Bernadene Magnuson

In September of 2008, I was invited to New Zealand by the New Zealand Nutrition Foundation to discuss the results of a recent review on the safety of aspartame published in the scientific journal Critical Reviews in Toxicology.1 Unfortunately urban myths surrounding this sweetener are causing undue concern and many New Zealanders are choosing to switch from diet versions of products to high calorie sugar-sweetened versions. This is of concern in a nation where obesity and diabetes, which have well-document health risks, are on the rise. Therefore, I welcomed the opportunity to present the scientific facts about aspartame, in order to help New Zealanders make informed decisions.

As lead author for a team of nine independent internationally esteemed toxicologists, I reviewed hundreds of studies on aspartame safety, providing me with a clear understanding of the science. This review was powerful because as a team, we arrived at our conclusions based on the totality of all safety studies available—published and unpublished (pre-market safety evaluation studies).

The key findings of the review1 with respect to aspartame safety were:

  • Aspartame is completely broken down in the intestine to components found in other foods.
  • Aspartame consumption (even at levels much higher than consumed by the highest users) has virtually no impact on blood levels of amino acids, methanol or glucose.
  • Aspartame safety is clearly documented and well established through extensive laboratory testing, animal experiments, human clinical trials and epidemiological (population) studies.
  • There is no evidence from numerous well conducted studies that consumption of aspartame at levels found in the human diet are associated with conditions of nervous system, behaviour, or other illness.
  • Aspartame does not cause mutations, and there is no credible evidence that it causes cancer.

Therefore, the overall conclusion of the study is that, based on the current information available, aspartame is safe to consume even at levels much higher than the highest users are currently consuming.

The problem with many of the "aspartame toxin" stories is that they contain just enough science to make them sound plausible, so I wasn’t surprised to hear that even some medical professionals have been questioning the safety of aspartame.

To counter some of the misinformation, I make five key points:

  • Firstly, when aspartame undergoes digestion in the gut lumen and epithelial cells lining the gut, the breakdown products are phenylalanine and aspartic acid (two amino acids present in many protein-containing foods) and a small amount of methanol (also present in most fruits and vegetables).2,3 The amounts of these are much less than found in other foods. For example, aspartame from a can of diet soft drink provides less methanol than a banana, and far less (only 20%) than from the same amount of tomato juice.2,4 Because aspartame never enters the bloodstream as a whole,3,5 studies where aspartame is directly injected into the body, or added to cells grown in a dish, cannot be used to assess safety for humans. This also explains why aspartame cannot possibly cross into the fetus during pregnancy or into breast milk. In fact studies show that amounts normally consumed in the diet are safe during pregnancy and lactation.6-12
  • Secondly, it is necessary to explain how our body deals with the methanol produced when the body digests aspartame. The human body is well-equipped to use small amounts of methanol routinely produced from foods and drugs. First, alcohol dehydrogenase in the liver converts it into formaldehyde, which is used within seconds or converted to formic acid, which in turn is used by the body or converted into water and carbon dioxide for excretion.13 The fact that formaldehyde and formic acid are breakdown products of aspartame sounds scary. But the body is very efficient at using up formaldehdye (it actually needs it for some reactions and therefore produces it endogenously in much greater amounts than we could ever produce by ingesting aspartame),14 and so formaldehdye never builds up in the body. If the body doesn't need it, it converts formaldehye to formic acid within minutes. In most cases the formic acid will be either excreted in the urine, or broken down to carbon dioxide and water. However, this takes more time and if there is a lot of methanol (or formaldehye) coming into the body, formic acid can build up and that causes the adverse effects seen in methanol poisoning.13

So when the safety of aspartame was being assessed, many studies were conducted to examine whether the consumption of aspartame would affect blood methanol, formaldehyde or formic acid levels in humans. People consuming up to 200 mg aspartame/kg body weight (the normal daily consumption is 5 mg/kg) had a small increase in blood methanol, but this was 100X lower than the amount needed to cause methanol poisoning), no change in formic acid levels (there is always a small amount in blood) and formaldehyde was not detected. Studies in infants and children showed the same thing. People given 10 mg aspartame /kg body weight (about double a normal daily amount), every hour for 6 hours were monitored and there was no change in blood methanol, or any other metabolites.3,5 So, the amount of aspartame in diet drinks or foods produces so little methanol that there is no chance it could cause a build up of formic acid and cause adverse effects.

  • Thirdly, another urban myth is that the methanol in aspartame is handled differently from the methanol in foods, because it is not consumed with ethanol, as it often is in other foods. As I’ve already explained, there isn’t enough methanol produced from consuming aspartame to cause methanol toxicity. However the statement is worthy of discussion because it is based on science, but is incorrectly extrapolated. Ethanol is also metabolised in the liver by alcohol dehydrogenase. This is why methanol poisoning (high blood methanol, high blood formic acid), is treated clinically by administering ethanol. This stops further production of formic acid as alcohol dehydrogenase will preferentially metabolise ethanol, and slow the methanol metabolism. This gives the body time to breakdown the excess levels of formic acid before more is produced.

So the argument that the ethanol protects against methanol poisoning is correct, but this only is relevant when there is sufficient levels of methanol to cause a build-up of formic acid, and when there is sufficient ethanol to offset the metabolism of methanol. When people consume foods and drinks containing aspartame, such a small amount of methanol is released and metabolized, that there is no change in blood methanol or blood formic acid levels, so it makes absolutely no difference if you concomitantly consume ethanol or not.

  • Fourth, allegations have been made that industry-funded studies always find no adverse effects while “independent” studies find adverse effects. This argument is both misleading and false. For example, three studies in mice conducted by the US National Toxicology Program (an independent group) concluded that aspartame is not a carcinogen.15 And a recent large scale US National Cancer Institute epidemiological study (also independent) came to the same conclusion.16 In addition, industry-initiated research most often examines the effects of ingesting aspartame—so as to test what happens when aspartame is consumed in foods and drinks. Many “independent” researchers study unrealistic situations such as injecting aspartame directly into the bloodstream, brain or other organs, and/or use doses far beyond what anybody could conceivably consume. At doses thousand of times what human consume, as with any compound, adverse effects will be seen. This is often a result of creating an unnatural and imbalanced intake of amino acids.
  • Lastly, two studies in rats conducted by the Ramazzini Foundation17–19 are often upheld as scientific proof of adverse effects due to aspartame. The first study reported an association between aspartame and leukaemia and lymphomas, and the second reported increased cancers in rats fed aspartame for their lifetime, and whose mother was fed aspartame during pregnancy. This research, which is in contrast to all previous studies finding no effect of aspartame on cancer, has been carefully reviewed by numerous international food safety authorities and other experts. All found serious flaws in the research methodology and interpretation of results, which are discussed at length in our most recent review1 as well as a subsequent letter to the editor.20

Some of the flaws included:

  • The experimental animals were housed unconventionally, without the treatment groups being in the same environment. This resulted in some groups contracting high rates of respiratory infection—a known risk factor for lymphoma and leukaemia.
  • When the pathology slides used to draw conclusions about the rates of leukaemia and lymphoma by the researchers were examined by independent reviewers, they did not draw the same conclusions.
  • The researchers did not provide information about the baseline rat diet used in their studies. It is known that it is not the conventional “rat chow” diet, and that nutrient levels were not re-adjusted depending on dose of aspartame used, as they are in conventional studies. Therefore there is a possibility that some findings could have been due to nutritional deficiencies in some groups.
  • The researchers most recently reported a cancer risk from prenatal exposure to aspartame, without providing any data on aspartame intake (or indeed any other parameter) during pregnancy in rats.

In addition, 14 previous studies in various animal models found no evidence of aspartame causing or promoting cancer development.1 Thus the independent reviews all agree that there is no credible evidence that aspartame is carcinogenic.

I hope that this article helps clarify the scientific facts about aspartame so that New Zealanders can make fully informed choices about their consumption of aspartame sweetened foods and beverages in future.

Competing interest:
. Funding for this summary of Dr Magnusson's presentations in New Zealand was provided by Coca-Cola Oceania, however the author has no financial interests in any of the companies that produce or use aspartame or any other high intensity sweetener.

Author information
: Bernadene Magnuson, Adjunct Professor in Nutritional Sciences (also toxicologist who works as consultant to the food and dietary supplement industries on safety and regulatory issues), University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Bernadene Magnuson, PhD, Senior Scientific & Regulatory Consultant, Cantox Health Sciences International, 2233 Argentia Road, Suite 308, Mississaunga, ON, Canada L5N 2X7. Fax: +1 905 5421011; email: bmagnuson@cantox.com

  1. Magnuson BA, Burdock GA, Doull J, et al. Aspartame: A safety evaluation based on current use levels, regulations, and toxicological and epidemiological studies. Crit Rev Toxicol. 2007;37(8):629-727.
  2. Stegink LD. The aspartame story: a model for the clinical testing of a food additive. Am J Clin Nutr. 1987;46:204-15.
  3. Butchko HH, Stargel WW, Comer CP, et al. Aspartame: review of safety. Reg Toxicol and Pharmacol. 2002;35:S1-93.
  4. Butchko HH, Kotsonis FN. Acceptable daily intake vs actual intake: the aspartame example. J Am Coll Nutr. 1991;10:258-66.
  5. Renwick AG. The metabolism of intense sweeteners. Xenobiotica. 1986;16:1057-71.
  6. Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA). Aspartame. Toxicological evaluation of certain food additives and contaminants. World Health Organisation Technical Report Series No.653. Prepared by the 23rd report of JECFA. Food Additive Series 15. World Health Organisation: Geneva; 1980.
  7. Brunner RL, Vorhees CV, Kinney L, Butcher RE. Aspartame: assessment of developmental psychotoxicity of a new artificial sweetener. Neurobehavioural Toxicology. 1979:1;79-86.
  8. Holder MD. Effects of perinatal exposure to aspartame on rat pups. Neurotoxicol and Teratol. 1989;11:1-6.
  9. Lennon HD, Metcalf LE, Mares SE, et al. The biological properties of aspartame. IV. Effects on reproduction and lactation. J Environ Pathol and Toxicol. 1980;3:375-86.
  10. Ranney RE, Mares SE, Schroeder RE, et al. The phenylalanine and tyrosine content of maternal and fetal body fluids from rabbits fed aspartame. Toxicol and Appl Pharmacol. 1975;32:339-46.
  11. Lederer J, Bodin J, Colson A. Aspartame and its effects on gestation in rats. Journal de Toxicologie Clin et Experimentale. 1985;5:7-14 [in French].
  12. Kotsonis FN, Hjelle JJ. The safety assessment of aspartame: Scientific and regulatory considerations. In: Tschanz C, Butchko HH, Stargel WW, Kotsonis FN (Eds). The clinical evaluation of a food additive assessment of aspartame. CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL, 1996:23-41.
  13. Kostic MA, Dart RC. Rethinking the toxic methanol level. Review. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol, 2003; 41: 793-800.
  14. Clary JJ, Sullivan JB. Formaldehyde. In: Sullivan JB, Krieger GR (Eds). Clinical environmental health and toxic exposures. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins: Philadelphia, PA, 1999: 1007-14.
  15. National Toxicology Program (NTP). NTP report on the toxicology studies of aspartame in genetically modified (FVB Tg.AC hemizygous) and B6.129-Cdkn2a (N2) deficient mice and carcinogenicity studies of aspartame in genetically modified [B6.129 Trp53tm1Brd (N5) haploinsufficient] mice (feed studies). National Toxicology Program, Research Triangle Park, NZ. Report 06-4459, 2005:1-224.
  16. Lim U, Subar AF, Mouw T, et al. Consumption of aspartame-containing beverages and incidence of hematopoietic and brain malignancies. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2006 Sep;15(9):1654-9.
  17. Soffritti M, Belpoggi F, Esposti DD, Lambertini L. Aspartame induces lymphomas and leukaemias in rats. Eur J Oncology. 2005;10:107-16.
  18. Soffritti M, Belpoggi F, Esposti DD, et al. First experimental demonstration of the multipotential carcinogenic effects of aspartame administered in the feed to Sprague-Dawley rats. Env Health Perspect. 2006;114:379-85.
  19. Soffritti M, Belpoggi F, Tibaldi E, et al. Lifespan exposure to low doses of aspartame beginning during prenatal life increases cancer effects in rats. Env Health Perspect. 2007;115:1293-7.
  20. Magnuson B, Williams GN. Carcinogenicity of aspartame in rats not proven. Env Health Perspect. 2008;116:A239-40.