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Vol IV February 2005

Village Green Apothecary is committed to guiding you on your journey to optimal wellness by providing the latest research on health, nutrition and lifestyle. Read on to learn more about the following health topics...

Fidgeting and everyday activities burn calories

We all know them - friends and family members who eat as much or more fattening stuff than we do, never consciously exercise, and yet don't put on the pounds. Now, an elaborate new study by researchers at the Mayo Clinic helps explain how the metabolisms of seemingly identical couch potatoes, with similar lifestyles, can be so different.

It turns out that on average, obese couch potatoes sit still 150 minutes more each day than lean couch potatoes. Despite equally sedentary jobs and non-existent exercise habits, lean couch potatoes manage to walk, play, fidget and generally move around enough each day to burn about 350 calories more than their obese counterparts. The researchers call this phenomenon "non-exercise activity thermogenesis'' (NEAT for short).

Dr. James Levine, endocrinologist at the Rochester Minnesota Clinic and lead author of the study, said doctors have never quite understood what patients meant when they claimed to have low metabolism. He said, "Our patients have told us for years that they have low metabolism, and as caregivers, we have never quite understood what that means, until today. The answer is that they have low NEAT, which means they have a biological need to sit more." Dr. Levine also said, "A person can expend calories either by going to the gym, or through everyday activities.the calories that people burn in their everyday activities are far, far more important in obesity than we previously imagined.''

Sodium intake is becoming a serious problem in the U.S.

The 2004 recommendations on sodium intake make one thing crystal clear: Americans are getting way too much of a good thing. Although we may often think of sodium in a negative sense, it is a vital nutrient. We need it to keep a healthy balance of water inside and outside of every cell in our bodies. We also need sodium for the proper beating of the heart and for nerve cell functioning. Essentially, without sodium, we would die.

The problem is that most Americans consume more sodium than their bodies need, and more than their bodies can effectively eliminate. Too much sodium increases the risk for high blood pressure - which, in turn, is the strongest risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

In 2004, the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences released a series of reports establishing dietary guidelines for the intake of specific nutrients. The expert panel suggested an Adequate Intake (AI) of sodium to replace the average amount lost daily through sweat and other fluids. Those amount are:

1,500 milligrams per day for healthy 19- to 50-year-old adults
1,300 milligrams for people between 50 and 70
1,200 milligrams for people over 70

The fast track to weight gain and heart disease - skip breakfast

Researchers found that healthy women who skipped breakfast for two weeks ate more during the rest of the day, developed higher "bad" LDL cholesterol levels, and were less sensitive to insulin than women who ate breakfast every day. As you may know, high LDL cholesterol levels and impaired insulin sensitivity are both major risk factors for heart disease.

Previous studies on the effects of eating or skipping breakfast in regards to obese people have produced conflicting results. However, researchers say the findings of this study on healthy people show that skipping breakfast may lead to weight gain, and increase the risk of heart disease over time. Researchers also say skipping breakfast has become more common among adults in recent years, perhaps due to efforts to lose weight or time pressures in the morning. Incidentally, the prevalence of obesity and being overweight has dramatically increased in this time.

Source: HealthDayNews

Are You Clumsy?

According to Toronto's Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Science Center, stress and a killer schedule may be to blame for clumsiness. If you're uptight, your muscles tense up and lead to ungainly movements. Here's what you can do to loosen up: Make a daily "To Do" list. If it seems too full, cross off some items. Practice deep breathing or yoga stretches to help slow you down. Forget multi-tasking, and finish your cell phone call before your get in you car.


These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, nor are they or these products intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Information presented is of a general nature for educational and informational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your own health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional. References are available upon request. If you would like more information at any time, please email


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