Discover more from Dignity Integrative Newsletter
Another call to change our failing healthcare system | #16
Plus: Latest Research on exposure to taurine, heavy metals, cancer rates in young people, and the gut-brain connection
This month, the Dignity Integrative team published two comprehensive guides:
Zone 2 Training: what is it, and why is it important? This article goes in-depth on the kind of exercise and training that is scientifically backed to improve overall health and foster longevity.
Holistic Weight Loss Strategies: A Comprehensive Guide. There’s been so much attention lately on pharmaceutical solutions to weight loss, we thought we’d write a guide that takes a more holistic look at the interconnected factors that impact weight.
If you’ve been wondering about either of these topics, definitely take a read!
And now, on to this month’s recommendations:
#1: Why Do We Tolerate Our Health Insurance Problem?
If you've ever questioned why only 12% of the American public believes the healthcare system is functioning effectively, a new article from Medscape offers some eye-opening perspectives.
It goes you behind the scenes of the profit-driven insurance industry, focusing on large insurance groups like Cigna and UnitedHealthcare. Their profits are skyrocketing while hospitals are grappling with various challenges and the nation's health outcomes lag behind other developed countries.
The article also probes questionable practices such as prior authorizations and provider underpayment, the monopolistic trend of mergers and vertical integration, and the exploitation of loopholes in the Affordable Care Act.
If you're interested in a call to action for stronger regulation, transparency, systemic reform that emphasizes patient care, and the promotion of alternative, patient-centered models, the article is a must-read.
#2: Taurine and Potential Health Benefits, the Latest Longevity Molecule
Taurine, an amino acid found in certain foods and energy drinks, is showing potential health benefits. A recent study involving monkeys indicates that taurine supplementation could improve cardiovascular health, reduce inflammation markers, and extend lifespan. While further research is needed in humans, the findings offer insights into the potential health-promoting effects of taurine.
#3: Chronic exposure to heavy metals increases risk of heart disease
Chronic exposure to low levels of heavy metals, specifically lead, cadmium, and arsenic, could contribute to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, according to a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association.
The report indicates that everyday exposure to these metals via household items, air, water, soil, and food is linked to diseases such as coronary artery disease, stroke, and peripheral artery disease. A clear connection is demonstrated between even low-level exposure to these metals and cardiovascular disease, potentially leading to heart attacks, premature death, and arterial diseases.
For more, read our blog about how to protect yourself from environmental toxins.
#4: Cancer rates are climbing in young people—but it’s not clear why
The Hill has published a long article about the increasing incidence of cancer among young individuals. It’s a concerning trend, with no clear explanations yet identified.
We need further research to determine the underlying causes and develop preventive strategies, but the main suspect researchers point to is obesity, which has climbed steadily since the 1960s and become more common in childhood and adolescence.
#5: Gut Bacteria May Be an Early Sign of Alzheimer's Disease
A new study from Washington University in St. Louis, published in Science Translational Medicine, suggests that changes in gut bacteria populations may be an early marker for Alzheimer's disease, often appearing years before the first cognitive symptoms.
By integrating gut microbiome information into models involving traditional risk factors like family history, age, diabetes, and genetics, the researchers found an increased ability to predict who was in the early stages of Alzheimer's.
These results could pave the way for more accessible and inexpensive methods for early Alzheimer's detection, such as stool sample analysis, particularly useful considering the high cost and limited coverage of PET technology for disease diagnosis—and they point to the extraordinary importance of the Gut-Brain Connection.
#6: 1 in 10 people suffer from autoimmune diseases
A recent study analyzing the health records of 22 million people revealed that approximately one in ten individuals are now affected by autoimmune disorders, where the immune system mistakenly attacks the body's healthy cells. The research, published in The Lancet, shows a higher prevalence in women than men, with 13% of women and 7% of men affected.
The study investigated 19 common autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis. The research found socioeconomic, seasonal, and regional disparities among several autoimmune disorders, suggesting that there are risk factors within our control that we can impact, such as smoking, obesity, or stress. All of these could contribute to the development of some autoimmune diseases, rather than genetic differences alone.