Why Women Hate the Big Chill

For years, women have fought for equality in the workplace. Women demand equal pay for equal work, respect, and recognition for a job well done. But could it be that there is one aspect of the office in which women don’t want equality? Since time immemorial men and women seem to have a different definition of comfortable temperature. While men seem to love the blast of the air conditioner in the office, women opt to bundle in layers against the chill. Could there be a science behind this insanity? Here are what some recent findings say.

Temperature Favoritism
Many may say that office favoritism is based on an antiquated system but is the office temperature based on one as well. According to science, the office AC may be more suited towards temperatures compatible with the male body, due to a formula over 50 years old.

According to a 2016 study published in the journal Nature Climate Change, temperatures in office buildings are adjusted according to a formula originating in the 1960’s based on the resting metabolic rate of a 40 -year- old 154p pound man. Times may have changed, but temperature controls have not. Now, more than 50 years later, women are wrapping themselves in sweaters and blankets to be able to sit at their desks without shivering. The study concludes that females prefer a temperature of 77 degrees in the home and office, while men go for a cool 71.6.

Dr. Devi Nampiaparampil of NYU School of Medicine weighs in on the findings. “Women tend to have lower basal metabolic rates, so they tend to burn off energy a lot slower. They actually give off less heat than men, so they tend to be colder.”

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Other Factors
Of course, temperature settings may not be complete to blame. “Women tend to wear skirts,” says Nampiaparampil, “so maybe they have their legs kind of bare and cold and their arms might be out. Mane wears more layers. They tend to wear jackets or suits. You add all these things together, then it’s more likely that the difference between men and women is going to be more pronounced.

The Verdict
But what about productivity levels? Apparently, the lower temperature is not doing anything to help get work done. A study in the New York Times shows people make more mistakes and get less accomplished when the temperature is between 68 and 72 degrees as compared to when it’s between 74 and 76, plus it saves on power bills. The US Department of Energy finds raising the temperature from 72 to 77 degrees can save as much as eleven percent of power. and every degree above 78 saves two percent, while each degree below 78 will add another six percent.

So it seems the ladies win. Or so they? What do you think? Is there some truth in all of this, and if so, what can be done? Will ladies ever get their equality? Let us know!

How To Cope Emotionally With A Mastectomy

It is said that no woman should have to go through the experience of breast cancer alone, and it is true. Breast cancer is a very scary experience and we all need a strong support group behind us to help cope with the realities. However, each woman is an individual, and in the end, each woman’s fight and experience will be solely her own, and no one else can walk that mile for you. There is no one way to address and manage the grief of losing a breast, and sometimes even the suggestion that there might seem naive and even degrading.

If you’re coping with a mastectomy, there are some things that will be unique to your struggle, but there may be some comfort in realizing that other people have coped with similar situations and may have gained some insight on some ways to help you through the process, and explain why your feeling certain ways, and remind you that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.

Denial
Numbness and shock are most characteristic of this first stage. Psychologists say this is nature’s way of protecting us from the harshness of reality and allows us the time to gradually absorb the truth. At this stage, many women have described thinking that the experience is not really happening to them. This is a good time to deal with the practical arrangements, such as scheduling medical appointments before emotion hits.

Protest
In this stage of protest, we are most likely to experience confusion, anger, and sadness. we feel betrayed by our bodies, and often at God or the doctors. It is common for people in this stage to try and bargain with God, by promising to attend church regularly in exchange for the spring of their breast, for example. These unrealistic attempts to strike a deal is symbolic of our need to feel control over an uncontrollable situation; it is also common at this time to experience physical stress induced symptoms, like lack of sleep, pain, diarrhea, and fatigue.

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Disorientation
During the disorientation stage, we begin to change our routines to adapt life after the mastectomy. It often coincides with the time at which your chest has healed and you are getting back into wearing your regular wardrobe. You begin to realize small ways in which your routine has changed, for example, selecting clothes now means finding a top that will not irritate your tender chest, and you need to compensate for the missing breast. These things are likely to cause confusion, disorientation, and depression.

Detachment
Withdrawal is a common feature of the detachment stage. We tend to isolate ourselves, and may become apathetic or resigned. This is the time of which too much contact with people may feel intrusive of exhausting. We often need to deal with our grief alone at this time.

Resolution
This is the time in which our lives start to get back on track. We acknowledge that we are not happy about our loss, but we accept the fact that we can live without it. This stage begins wisdom and insight into our lives, builds character, and reminds us that we have the ability to feel joy again.
Many people become grateful and want to give back by engaging in volunteerism and becoming proactive. It is at this time, you may start to realize that you have gained some advantages from your battle.

Have you coped with a mastectomy? What insight or advice can you give us for getting through this time of grief? Please let us know.

Woman adding icing to homemade cupcakes

Vitafiber Is The Latest Health Craze

So much for not eating anything you can’t pronounce. Vitafiber is the newest producer of a nondigestible, sugar-free, gut friendly fiber/ solution for those with a sweet tooth who can’t stomach the gluten or the sugar. While we have been exposed to power bars and candy bars which seem to fall short of the real thing in taste, and are reputedly not even much better for us, the real question here may not be how vital fiber stacks up, but rather, can you say isomaltooligosaccharide? More mercifully known as IMO, this short chain carbohydrate is the secret weapon behind via fiber, and may be the answer to healthy baked goods. Let’s take a closer look at the latest craze in health foods.

What is Vitafiber?
Vitafiber IMO is a low-calorie natural sweetener which provides probiotics ( the good bacteria) and non-GMO dietary fiber for better digestive health. It has all sweetness of sugar, is minimally processed. and is so versatile, it can meet almost all of your baking and cooking needs. Dietary too, Virafibert is free of dairy, gluten, sugar, allergens, preservatives, artificial colors and flavors and also meets vegan, halal, and kosher food standards. It is available in syrup and powder forms, making a great bulking agent for your baking creations.

As an addition to your food, you’ll find that Vitafiber has no bitter aftertaste and the 98% fiber content makes it great for keeping full, baking with a nice crispy outer texture and inner gooeyness. Plus, it saves time and money, acting as a sweetener and a binder without the addition of sugar, flour, starch and preservatives and great for your vegan, pale, and diabetic friends.

Vitafiber Recipes

Hemp Seed Microwave Cake
Ingredients (4 servings)

1/4 cup hemp seeds
2 eggs
1/4 cup Vitafiber powder
2 tbsp arrowroot powder
1tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract

Blend all ingredients using a hand blender, cook in the microwave for three minutes.
134 cal., 7 g fat, 6.7 g protein, 0 g sugar, 14.8 g carbs, 9.4 g fiber

Simple Mini Cakes (4 cakes)
I egg
2 tbsp unsweetened apple sauce
1/4 cup Vitafiber powder
2 tbsp pea protein
1 tsp baking powder

Bake in cake or muffin pan for 20 minutes at 200-220 degrees. Flip over, cakes should maintain their shape and come out in one piece.
62 cal., 1.6 g fat, 5.5 g protein, 0.8 g sugar, 10.8 g carbs, 9.3 g fiber

Yogurt Flans (4 servings)
1/2 cup yogurt
1 egg
1 tbsp melted ghee (optional for buttery taste- warning: this tbsp is 112 cal, 13 g fat)
1/4 cup vanilla extract
1/3 cup Vitafiber powder
Put these in individual cups add water, turn over, removing from cups, the mixture should maintain its flat shape. Drizzle with water, bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
92 cal, 12.5 g fat, 2.7 g protein, 1.2 g sugar,2.7 g carbs, 5.2 g fiber

Have you tried Vitafiber? What do you think? Got any good recipes for us? Let us know!

Senior woman smiling at her caregiver

A Generous Heart May Help You Live Longer

Usually, when it is said of someone that he or she has a good heart, it means that someone is generous, or caring. That they take time out to do unto others. However, in more literal terms, a good heart is associated with good cardiovascular health. Having a good heart means quite simply that your heart is in good condition. But, could they be one and the same? New studies show that volunteering, besides being mentally beneficial, can also have a positive impact on physical health. Need evidence? Here are what some experts are saying about how having a good heart can lead to having a good heart.

Mental and Physical Benefits
Anyone who has ever volunteered knows how mentally and emotionally rewarding it can be. Not only do volunteers feel as if they have made a positive change, studies show that donating time can lead to a feeling of greater social connectedness, and less depression and loneliness. However, new evidence reveals that people who volunteer may also be gifted with long lifespans and low blood pressure readings.

A study from Carnegie Mellon University, published in this month’s edition of Psychology and Aging, shows that those who give time to others may have better health than those who do not. Findings revealed that adults over 40 who volunteered regularly were at a lower risk for high blood pressure than those who did not volunteer. High blood pressure is an accurate health indicator because it is linked to stroke, heart disease, and premature death.

Because it is possible that volunteers may also take part in other health conscious activities, such as exercise and healthy eating, it is not possible to prove that volunteering was the sole reason for the lower blood pressure readings, but the results do seem to point in that direction.

woman working at animal shelter

How It Works
If you are wondering how exactly volunteering contributes to better health and longer life, Rodlescia Sneed, lead author of the Carnegie Mellon study, may have some insight on the phenomena. One explanation may be the increased physical activity volunteering can provide for those who are not otherwise very active. Another may be stress reduction. According to Sneed, “Many people find volunteer work to be helpful with respect to stress reduction, and we know that stress is very strongly linked with health outcomes.”

If you are thinking of volunteering, and want to know how to get the maximum benefits from your do-gooding, Carnegie Mellon is on top of it. According to the study, it takes 200 hours of volunteering annually to reap the rewards of low blood pressure, although other studies have found as little as 100 hours will do the trick. As for types of volunteering, that remains unknown. However, Sneed speculates that it is the more mentally stimulating activities, like reading and tutoring, that lead to sharper thinking and memory skills, whereas “activities that promote physical activity would be helpful with respect to cardiovascular health, but no studies have really explored this.”

In conclusion, one thing does seem clear; the best results of volunteering come when it is done for the right reasons. A 2012 study published in the Health Psychology journal found that those who benefitted most from volunteer work were those whose intentions were altruistic. In other words, it has to come from the heart if the rewards are going to end up there.

Do you do volunteer work? How do you find it affects you? Let us know what you’re doing for others and what you think it might be doing for you!

Woman in pain and clutching her tummy area

Beware Vibrio Vulnificus

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water….it’s not. If you still haven’t gotten over the movie “Jaws,” don’t. There’s another predator lurking in our waters, but it you probably won’t see or hear this one coming. Vibrio Vulnicus is a natural bacterium that lives in warm saltwater that can infect humans through skin wounds or consumption of undercooked shellfish, and while it’s not likely to be the subject of the next summer blockbuster, there are a few facts about it’s you may want to be apprised of it. Here are some reasons you should beware vibrio vulnificus.

It’s Not “Flesh Eating”
If you have heard about vibrio vulificus before, you may have heard it described as a “flesh-eating bacteria.” Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on your thirst for drama, it’s not. The “flesh-eating” associations come from the possibility of the development of necrotizing fasciitis, which is a condition in which the bacteria destroy the tissue and skin covering the muscle. However, it is not a medical term and does not fit the definition of flesh eating, which is occasionally used to describe other forms of bacteria that cause necrotizing fasciitis.

Symptoms
The human-infecting bacteria, transmitted through skin wounds or undercooked shellfish consumption is known to cause vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea in those with healthy immune systems, however, those who are immunocompromised may run a far greater risk. Patients with weak immune systems may develop potentially fatal bloodstream infections including sepsis, skin lesions, fever, and chills. Exposure to bacteria through open wounds can lead to redness, swelling, and pain near the wounds. Symptoms will typically begin to show one to three days after exposure.

woman throwing up

Statistics
The occurrence of Vibrio vulnificus is relatively rare, although health experts say many incidences tend to go unreported. Most recent data from the CDC reports more than 900 cases between 1998 and 2006 in the Gulf Coast area, including Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida.

Risk
Individuals who consume a lot of raw shellfish are at the highest risk of gastrointestinal problems caused by Vibrio vulnificus. The more serious and life-threatening bloodstream infections are likely to target those with compromised immune systems or chronic diseases such as HIV. However, most people who acquire infections will recover without any long-term effects, unless the infection contaminates the bloodstream. In such cases, there is a potential for skin ulcerations, gangrenes, and decomposition of bodily tissue, which may require amputation or skin grafting.

Prevention
The best way to prevent a Vibrio vulnificus infection is by avoiding uncooked shellfish and swimming at the beach with an open sore or cut. Doctors typically treat the infections with common antibiotics.

Have you had a run-in with V.Vulnificus? How did you handle it? Let us know what keeps you in or out of the water in the summer.

Pills and medicine on wooden table

What It Takes To Get A New Drug Approved

How many of us trust our federal government? According to Pew Research, only 19% of Americans today say they can trust our government to do what is right “just about always.” So, if we don’t know it we can trust our government, how do we know we can trust our government agencies? Take, for example, the FDA. While we’d like to think that the agency responsible for approving the drugs that we bring into our home and give to ourselves and our family holds itself to higher standards than the government for which it works, how can we be sure? Let’s take a look at the prescription drug approval process in the US to see just how trustworthy it is.

The Lowdown
According to a report published in the medical journal JAMA, 32% or FDA approved drugs already in use between 2001 and 2010 “were affected by a postmarket safety event,” meaning the safety of these drugs was questionable even though they had already been placed on the market. Events varied between announcements about recently discovered side effects to outright withdrawal of drugs due to reports of fatalities. In tandem with the release of this report comes the consideration by the Trump administration to streamline and shorten the approval process. According to internist Joseph Ross, one of the study’s authors, ” Our data show that there are some cautionary predictors of increased likelihood of the FDA taking a safety action in the postmarket setting. This information should be taken into account as the FDA considers conditions of approval and when further clinical trials should be required to better understand drug safety.”

Researcher working in lab

Revelations of the JAMA Investigation

  • Of the 222 FDA approved drugs 71 led to a safety event with three resulting in outright withdrawals. Sixty-one of these drugs qualified for “black-box warnings,” or warning labels posted on the packaging of the drug framed in black rule “designed to call attention to serious of life-threatening risks.”
  • Psychiatric treatment drugs and biologics that were given accelerated approval and drugs that got approval around the time of a regulatory deadline were most likely to require warnings after hitting the market.
  • These events highlight “the need for continuous monitoring of the safety of novel therapeutics throughout their life cycle.”

Especially affected by these findings are older Americans, as many of the drugs spotlighted in the study have potential risks that won’t come to light for years. For example, revolutionary treatments of ailments such as rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, and Crohn’s disease are among those currently being researched for the long-term impact on the population because accelerated approval drugs are considered more urgently needed, research about these drugs often takes a backseat and may not qualify for approval in time to meet the needs of more mature patients.

Implications
President Barack Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act last December to speed up the approval process for certain drugs, a process President Donald Trump referred to as “slow and burdensome,” claiming it was hindering medical advances from reaching needy patients. According to Ross, “Speeding up approval even further will not be without consequence. There will be more uncertainty at the time of approval, endless that is known about a new therapy’s safety as well as its anticipated benefits.

Are you shocked by these findings? Not surprised? Let us know what you think and what you think should be done. We want to hear from you.

Aspirin in woman's hand

This OTC Drug May Increase Your Risk Of Heart Attack

Pain. Barring the occasional UFC fighter, most of us have a very low tolerance for it. In fact, the majority of us want to rid ourselves of it as soon as possible. Luckily, pharmaceutical companies have long recognized the public outcry for quick and effective pain relief, and, as such, there is no shortage of accessible drugs and medications designed to stop every burning, aching, throbbing, and stinging sensation as soon as it hits. However, historically, when a product is in such demand, consumers are often not that particular about the risks involved, and pharmaceutical companies are not likely to highlight them. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the hidden dangers of a common OTC.

NSAIDs
The FDA is set to begin a program of strengthening existing warnings on Drug Facts labels to indicate that NSAIDs, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. Over the counter NSAIDs are generally used to treat aches and pains and reduce fever. Common examples include ibuprofen, like Advil and Motrin, and naproxen.like Aleve. Some combination medications, like multi-symptom cold relievers, may also contain NSAIDs. According to Karen Mahoney, MD, and deputy director of the FDA’s Division of Nonprescription Drug Products, “Be careful not to take more than one product that contains an NSAID at a time.” She suggests checking the active ingredients list on the Drug Facts label to determine whether or not the product contains an NSAID.

Woman reading labels on her medicine

New Information
NSAIDs already provide information on stroke and heart attack risk on their labels; the FDA have been adding boxed warnings to prescription drug labels since 2005. However, more recent data has prompted the FDA to require companies to update the labels with more specific information. Among the more recent findings is the knowledge that risk of stroke and heart attacks may occur as early as within the first weeks of NSAID treatment. Judy Racoosin, MD, MPH says, “There is no period of use shown to be without risk.” While those who have cardiovascular disease are at the greatest risk for adverse effects of NSAIDs, Racoosin says, “Everyone may be at risk- even people without an underlying risk for cardiovascular disease.”

Consumer Advice
So, if NSAIDs are out, what should you do for pain relief? Experts say consumers can still take them but need to be aware of the implications, especially at high doses. Mahoney says, “As always, consumers must carefully read the Drug Facts label for all nonprescription drugs. Consumers should carefully consider whether the drug is right for them, and use the medicine only as directed. Take the lowest effective dose for the shortest amount of time possible.”

If you have a preexisting heart condition or high blood pressure, get a doctor’s opinion before taking an NSAID and weigh the risks and benefits. Also, if you are currently taking aspirin to protect against possible heart attacks and stroke, you should be aware that some NSAIDs, like naproxen a and ibuprofen can interfere with that effect. Mahoney suggests that you do everything possible to reduce risk factors for stroke and heart disease. “Smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes are significant risk factors for these conditions,” she says, “If you smoke, work on quitting. See your doctor regularly to find out if you have these other strong risk factors, and commit yourself to taking care of them and of your health.”

What are you doing to avoid taking NSAIDs or lowering your risk of heart disease and stroke? let us know how you weigh in! We love to get your thoughts.

Woman with dog at beach

Go Outside To Relieve Anxiety

Technology seems to be determined to deliver everything to us at the push of a button. We can shop, watch movies, eat, date, and even go on roller coasters all within the comfort of our own home. However, if life has become so easy, why do one in five women claim they suffer from anxiety all or most of the time, a figure almost double what it was two years ago? Perhaps it is because they don’t get outside often enough. Coinciding with the advent of Mental Health Awareness Week, ending on May 16, British Military Fitness has released research findings showing a direct link between outdoor exercise and the prevention of anxiety and depression. Could it be that the very technologies designed to lessen stress are really exacerbating it?

The Stats
Not only has the number of women suffering from anxiety been on the rise in the last five years, 22 percent admit being caught up in money worries and concern over the welfare of those close to them. This number has soared since 2009 when a survey by the Mental Health Foundation reported only 12 percent admitting to feelings of stress. In addition to the ladies, the charity Living with Anxiety found that over 50% of all people say they get more anxious now than they did in the past., and in a poll of 2,300 people by YouGov, almost a fifth reported feelings of anxiety about money, debt, and finance.

Anxiety
While anxiety can be a positive and even motivating emotion, constant unease can lead to panic, obsessive behaviors, and social phobias. Some sufferers resort to self-medication, including drugs, alcohol, and overeating, however, there are more healthful ways of coping.

Friends cycling

Benefits of Outdoor Exercise
Research by British Military Fitness shows a direct correlation between outdoor exercise and decreased stress levels. Of 1,000 people surveyed, 53.3 anxiety sufferers reported feeling better after spending time outdoors. Thirty-five percent said exercise boosted their moods, eased nervous feelings and lowered built up angst. According to Rob Love, managing director of BMF, “Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their lives, whether it’s preparing for a job interview or managing a household. The research is encouraging, as it shows there is a recognition that being outdoors and participating in physical activity does help with both anxiety and depression.”

Get Moving
If you’re finding life becoming overwhelming, exercise may be a good way to help you unwind. Exercise releases invigorating chemicals in the body that can have a positive effect on your mood and leave you feeling more relaxed. Added bonuses include a more toned body, higher levels of energy and better sleep. Exercising to reduce stress does not have to be stressful! You don’t have to commit to hours at the gym or high impact activities. A quick stroll or just walk upstairs instead of taking the elevator are both easy ways of sneaking a little movement into your day. Leisure activities can also be a fun way to get your heart rate up. Consider taking a dance class, or playing some golf or tennis.

Are you exercising to stave off depression? Let us know how you lighten up when things get heavy. We love to hear from you!

Woman drinking milk outdoors

Full Fat Dairy Products May Not Be All That Bad

Move over skinny cows! It’s great news for the extra cheese and “no such thing as too much butter” crowd; scientists have found that full fat dairy food does not increase your risk of heart attack. What, you may ask? Does this mean I can stop eating this strange excuse for ice cream I have in my freezer? Depends on your motivation, but one thing’s for sure, this is something that your stomach and heart will both approve of. Recent studies have shown that those who consume full fat dairy may actually be healthier than their low fat dairy eating (cow)nterparts. Read on for more.

The Evidence, Or Lack Thereof
What tastes good can’t possibly be good for you, right? Well, maybe it can. Recently, dairy researchers have found that, contrary to popular beliefs about saturated fats leading to heart attacks, there may be nutrients in dairy products that actually prevent them. According to researcher Stella Aslibekyan of Brown University, “Things like milk and cheese are very complex substances. We looked at heart attacks risk dairy products in their entirety and then looked at separate components of those dairy products, and it turns out that the results are null. Perhaps the evidence is not there.”

Benefits of Dairy
While Aslibekyan’s team is far from suggesting that the presence of saturated fats in dairy products is harmless, she does believe that other nutrients found in dairy, such as vitamin D, calcium, and potassium may offer protection from heart disease. According to a study published in Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases journal a study of 3,630 Costa Rican men found that dairy intake in heart attack sufferers was no different than that of those who did not get heart attacks, even when consumption was as high as 593 grams a day. Researcher, Dr. Anna Baylin says, ” The message is that it is important to look at the net effect of whole foods and dietary patterns and not only isolated nutrients.

Pouring milk

Full Fat Dairy May Be Healthy
Additional research corroborates the Brown University study. There is evidence that full fat dairy key reduce the risk of:

  • Diabetes
    Palmitoeic acid, occurring naturally in meat and full fat dairy food, can protect against diabetes and insulin resistance. One study showed that individuals who consumed a diet including whole fat dairy had higher blood levels of trans-palmitoleate, decreasing their risk of developing type -2 diabetes by two thirds, as compared to those with lower levels.
  • Cancer
    Conjugated linoleum acid, a.k.a. CLA, is a type of fat found naturally in cow’s milk that can significantly lower the risk of cancer. A study found that those who ate a minimum of four serving of high fat dairy per day had a 41 % lower risk of bowel cancer than people who ate less than one.
  • Heart Disease
    A sixteen year study of Australian adults found an indirect relationship between full fat dairy consumption and the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease.

Full Fat Dairy and Weight-Loss
Females who indulged in one serving of full fat dairy were found to gain 30% less weight over a nine year span than their low fat eating counterparts.

What do you think of the info? Willing to scrap your 1 and 2% milk for the pure stuff? Let us know!

Tequila on wooden table

Tequila May Improve Bone Health

There is drinking, and then there is drinking tequila. For the partying crowd, tequila is “the hard stuff,” the stuff you go to when you don’t just want to drink, you want bragging rights. You want a lasting story that you and your friends will talk about for years after. For the gentler crowd, tequila is “the good stuff.” A drink that is meant to be savoured and appreciated rather than abused. However, while tequila drinkers may have their separate reasons for drinking the stuff, it is probably a pretty safe bet that neither group is thinking of their bone health.

Tequlila and Bone Health
Perhaps learning that tequila comes from a plant will make you more likely to accept the possibility that it actually might be good for you. A study done by the Center for Research and Advanced Studies in Mexico has found the there are actually substances within the tequila plant that can improve the absorption of magnesium and calcium in the body. The results were obtained through a study of mice with induced osteoporosis, a bone-weakening condition. When given agave fructans, which are the non-digestible carbohydrates from the blue tequila plant, the mice displayed a 50 percent increase in a protein, which indicates new bone growth, and a noted increase in the size of the existing bone. According to research leader Dr. Mercedes Lopez, “The consumption of fructans contained in the agave, in collaboration with adequate intestinal microbiota, promotes the formation of new bone, even with the presence of osteoporosis.”

Less Likely to Cause Hangovers
Well, maybe tequila has not quite made it to superfood status, but some pretty healthy people are drinking it. One California-based Ashtanga yoga instructor says, “I’d been a strict vodka drinker for years because I wanted to cut calories. Now I feel like I’m taking a vacation, a year abroad with tequila. My understanding is that blanco or silver tequilas are the way to go – they’re cleanest and don’t give you a hangover.” Blanco tequilas are the purest type, made of 100 percent agave. Says Jason Eisner, beverage director at Gracias Madre in West Hollywood says, “Jose Cuervo-what most Americans think of as tequila is 42% corn syrup which gives you a terrible hangover.” Herbalist Emily Han explains, “Blanco tequila contains a lower level of congeners than dark spirits and red wine. Congeners are substances like acetone and tannins that are produced during fermentation and studies show they may worsen hangovers.”

Friends toasting

Other Health Benefits
Need some help digesting? Experts say that a shot before a meal can stimulate the appetite and one after a large dinner can help digestion. According to chef Sue Torres, ” The sugars are simple, so they break down easily in your body.” Adds Roger Bailey, head bartender at Filini in Chicago, “Tequila has a component that can, in moderation, aid in lowering cholesterol.” Studies have shown that tequila may be able to break down dietary fats which can lower the levels oaf bad cholesterol. Bailey adds, “Tequila will alleviate mild strain, tension, and headaches, although, he adds, “I don’t suggest slamming tequila to get rid of a migraine.”

So, what do you think? Headed for Margaritaville? Let us know your thoughts on the new “health beverage’