Here’s another one of those times that shows that the church is ahead of science in terms of health. I ran across this article on KSL. I love finding things that are supposed to be new great ideas that I have believed in as a Latter Day Saint my whole life! Here is a link to LDS.org that has a lot of links to articles and things about fasting in the church.
SALT LAKE CITY — While a large majority of Utahns and Mormons around the world perform a periodic fast for religious purposes, doctors are now saying it might be a health-conscious — and heart-conscious — thing to do as well.
“We’ve shown it is not a chance finding. Fasting is not just an indicator for other healthy lifestyles. It is actually the fasting that is working to reduce the risk of disease,” Dr. Benjamin D. Horne said Thursday.
Horne is among more than a dozen doctors with Intermountain Medical Center’s Heart Institute who discovered the most recent round of physiological benefits from fasting and are presenting their findings at the American College of Cardiology in New Orleans.
“Fasting causes hunger or stress. In response, the body releases more cholesterol, allowing it to utilize fat as a source of fuel, instead of glucose. This decreases the number of fat cells in the body,” Horne said.
The fewer fat cells a person has, the less likely they are to have elevated cholesterol, insulin resistance or diabetes, he said.
Doctors found that skipping at least two meals on a regular basis led to a dramatic increase of human growth hormone (HGH), which plays a metabolic role in adults, regulating glucose and insulin within the body, “so you are burning fat cells when you fast,” Horne said.
During 24-hour fasting periods, he said HGH increased to an average of 1,300 percent in women and nearly 2,000 percent in men, as part of the study.
The newest research expands on a 2007 study that revealed an association between fasting and reduced risk of coronary artery disease — the leading cause of death among men and women in America, according to Intermountain Healthcare. It shows that fasting, or abstaining from food or drink for a designated period of time, was also found to reduce other cardiac risk factors, such as triglycerides, weight and blood sugar levels.
The population and the overtly religious culture in Utah provided the perfect variables for testing the effects of fasting. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are asked to fast at least once a month.
“Utahns and LDS people have a lower risk of cardiac mortality,” Horne said. “Even today, despite the fact that smoking rates have declined in most states, and quite considerably in some states, the Utah rate of cardiac death is much lower than in most states.”
It was also easy to find people who are accustomed to it, rather than having to ask people to start doing something he said “isn’t all that easy to do” to those unfamiliar with the practice.
“Most of the world’s population doesn’t fast on a regular basis,” Horne said, even though fasting is a recognized practice in many of the world’s religions. It just isn’t routinely done in other faiths.
To arrive at the findings, researchers conducted two fasting studies, including more than 200 individuals — patients admitted to the Intermountain Medical Center, as well as healthy volunteers who were recruited at the hospital. Some were asked to eliminate both food and beverage for 24 hours, while another group performed a water-only fast during the same period. Both groups were monitored while eating a normal diet during an additional 24-hour period to provide the necessary comparables.
Blood tests and physical measurements were taken from all of the study’s participants throughout the study to evaluate cardiac risk factors, markers of metabolic risk and other general health parameters.
And while Horne said he wouldn’t necessarily prescribe a fasting intervention for diabetic patients, he did say the practice could prevent the onset of diabetes for those who might be mildly at risk, or perhaps reduce the effects of the disease.
But fasting as a treatment mechanism remains largely unexplored, and that is what doctors involved in the study hope future research leads to. They have recently received a grant from the Deseret Foundation to continue their research, to determine the extent of the effects that fasting can have in both cardiac and diabetic patients, even involving high-risk cardiac and diabetic patients.
“People have to be careful,” Horne said. “If there is some interest, they ought to talk to their physician first.” He said some people are physiologically unable to fast and therefore need to seek a doctor’s advice.
SALT LAKE CITY — Maturation programs in the state need to be age appropriate and distinct from sex education, the Utah State Board of Education decided Friday, asking staff to develop guidelines to that end.
Brenda Hales, associate superintendent for instructional services, told a board committee that maturation education needs to get back to the basics. Taught in fifth and sixth grades, the instruction has historically revolved around informing students about the changes that will occur to their bodies as they go through puberty. It also delves into proper hygiene.
A former elementary principal for eight years, Hales said she’s seen programs greatly benefit children, but not all instruction is created equally, she said. There are no rules or guidelines for programs in the state.
Compared to some of today’s programs, “we did it in kind of a kinder, gentler way,” she said.
A Planned Parenthood program that has been used during the past two school years in a small number of elementary schools was one of those programs. Hales said that in her opinion, it’s too clinical and not age appropriate. Called “Growing Up Comes First,” the materials depict anatomical imagery of reproductive organs and explain some of the changes both boys and girls undergo.
Some parents, activists and educators said the program is inappropriate.
“It was information overload,” said Erin Perkins, who attended a maturation program at Valleyview Elementary with her fifth grade daughter. “It was not only what my body is going to do, (it was about) what every other boy in my class is going to do. It talked about male anatomy.”
Materials shown to both genders depict changes both genders experience. Gender-specific materials go into greater detail.
Dalane England with the Utah Eagle Forum said the Planned Parenthood program takes away the innocence of children and is pornographic.
“Girls do not need to know about a boys’ body in the fifth and sixth grade,” England said.
Matt Killpack, a psychologist in the Alpine School District, said the program delves too far into anatomy and physiology. One of the program’s animated films begins by stating puberty creates an adult body capable of reproduction or having a baby.
“The fact that it’s equating puberty with physical readiness to conceive and bear child is completely inappropriate for fifth and sixth graders,” he said.
Some schools and districts in Utah have developed their own maturation programs, while others use materials provided by feminine hygiene companies. The Planned Parenthood film is just one option available in the state, yet it has been the only one listed as a board recommended program. The board voted to take that distinction away, though districts will still be able to use the program.
Board member Leslie Castle said the private school where she works has developed sensitive, appropriate materials. She said puberty isn’t just about growing hair and sweating more, and that approach to maturation makes it seem scary for kids. Her program talks about the benefits of puberty, such as estrogen making girls’ muscles stronger.
The board committee decided to put into board rules specific recommendations for local schools, and some requirements including permission slips allowing parents to have their kids opt into the instruction.
Perkins said she was pleased with the discussion, and hopes to see future maturation programs toned down.
“It’s obvious they had really looked into the history of this,” she said. “I loved that they had watched what we’ve seen.”
Hales said she will work to develop new recommendations for the maturation program to make it what it should be.
“It can be done in a much warmer way,” she said. “It’s not supposed to be a junior sex ed program.”
According to the American Heart Association …
In the United States, an estimated 24.8 million men (23.1 percent) and 21.1 million women (18.3 percent) are smokers. These people are at higher risk of heart attack and stroke. The latest estimates for persons age 18 and older show…*
- Among whites, 23.5 percent of men and 20.6 percent of women smoke (2008).
- Among blacks, 25.6 percent of men and 17.8 percent of women smoke.
- Among Hispanics, 20.7 percent of men and 10.7 percent of women smoke.
- 9.9 percent of Asian adults smoke.
- 24.3 percent of American Indian/Alaska Native adults smoke.
Looking on their site I realized they have a lot of great resources for people who are trying to quite smoking.
They have a great quite smoking page with answers to many real life concerns. They address why you should quite smoking, what your non smoking life will be like, and what to do when you get urges to smoke.
We all need a break from the everyday mundane so I’m doing a little post to help pick your day up a little.
Try not to end up like these guys when you head out and into the sun to get some exercise.
Also, you can find some really funny sport pictures here.
And PLEASE checkout this hilarious video of a kid with an excessive celebrating in a ping pong match. (the best part is the scoreboard at the end. don’t miss it)
Enjoy and happy Wednesday to you!
With the weather getting so great outside (minus the random snow days) it’s time to take your exercising outdoors!
If you are looking for a little motivation to put your running shoes back on here are some local 5k’s!
The Orem High Tiger 5k/Fun Run (April 23)
The Run for Kids (April 9)
Timp Triathlon and 5k (April 16)
The Pink 5k (April 23)
I have always loved the DOVE campaign for real beauty.
You may recognize these pictures from it.
While looking through videos for the Dove Campaign, I found this video to be very interesting. We hardly ever get to see the male’s perspective.
Here it is!
here is a link for a little bit more info for some things Dove is doing.
It’s that time of year for asparagus and let me just tell you it is sooooo good!
I baked myself some asparagus the other day for lunch and I don’t know how I ever lived without it.
It’s a healthy and delicious addition to any meal.
You can find a super easy and fast recipe here.
Or if you want to mix it up a little bit here is a delicious looking recipe for some asparagus quiche!