title:Recent Studies Show How Our Bodies Fight Disease author:Rick Hendershot source_url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/health/article_3962.shtml date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:11 category:health article:

**Obese people less likely to survive colorectal cancer
According to a new report, people who are physically inactive and are obese around the middle have poor odds of survival after a diagnosis of colorectal cancer.
“We have now shown that modifiable lifestyle factors that were known to reduce the incidence of colorectal cancer can also reduce the mortality in cases diagnosed with the disease,” Dr. Andrew M. M. Haydon told Reuters Health. “This strengthens the argument supporting the public health message of ‘healthy living.'”
Haydon, from Monash Medical School in Melbourne, Australia, studied records from more than 40,000 patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer between 1990 and 1994.
Patients who got regular exercise before their colorectal cancer was found were 31 percent less likely to die from the cancer than were non-exercisers, the investigators report in the medical journal Gut. In fact, 73 percent of exercisers survived at least five years, compared with 61 percent of non-exercisers.
Such an improvement in survival “is at least as large as” as is usually achieved by add-on chemotherapy.
A greater percentage of body fat, bigger waist circumference, and/or greater weight were also associated with worse survival, according to the report.
**Study shows short term sex life improvements in prostate cancer survivors
It is well known that many men who undergo prostate cancer treatment (surgery or radiation therapy) have sexual dysfunction. A recent study of 84 prostate cancer survivors attempted to determine the impact of post-treatment interventions such as counseling sessions.
The study found that a large percentage of those who completed four therapy sessions reported better sexual functioning 3 months later. Counseling sessions focused on better communication between partners, ED treatment options, and methods of enjoying sex in spite of ED.
Both partners reported improvements in their sex life for up to 3 months later. There was also an increase in the number of men using ED treatments such as Viagra.
However, after six months the improvements began to wane. The researchers speculated that couples tended to revert back to old habits, and there also might have been greater reliance put on the “magic pill” solution. Drugs such as Viagra tend to have a lower success rate in prostate cancer survivors, so when these drugs stop working couples may adopt a defeatist attitude.
**Vitamin D helps fight cancer, report claims
A research team from the San Diego Moores Cancer Center headed up by Dr. Cedric Garland recently concluded that Vitamin D deficiency is often associated with various types of cancer. Dr. Garland now advises people to increase their intake of Vitamin D through diet or a vitamin supplement.
The research team reviewed 63 studies conducted between 1966 and 2004 on the relationship between vitamin D and certain types of cancer. The report concluded that Vitamin D deficiency was a factor in several thousand deaths due to colon, breast, ovarian and other cancers every year.
The report recommended increasing Vitamin D intake, either in the form of supplements or by eating certain foods such as fortified orange juice, yogurt and cheeses. This is especially the case with people in northern latitudes where there is less exposure to the sun. African Americans are also more prone to a Vitamin D deficiency because the their skin pigment reduces the amount produced by the body.
Observers welcomed the University of California study but also warned that kidney and liver damage could result from too much vitamin D.
The “natural” form of the vitamin, called D3, is normally produced in the skin after exposure to sunlight, but is also obtained from certain foods such as oily fish, margarine and meat.
**Resveratrol found in grapes helps fix our aching joints
Researchers at the American College of Rheumatology in San Diego, California have found that resveratrol found in red wine appears to halt cartilage damage caused by osteoarthritis, and speed up recovery.
It is thought that oxygen-rich particles in the blood cause severe damage to body cells similar to the way rust rots a car. Resveratrol is a powerful anti-oxidant which seems to function as a way to prevent this kind of injury.
The research found that resveratrol resulted in a reduction of between 50 and 90% of the production of chemicals that cause inflammation in the joints. It also enhanced production of specific proteins that are part of the connective tissue in joints.
Red wine has other beneficial effects on the body. It contains polyphenrols that reduce the amount of bad LDL cholesterol in the arteries. It also increases the amount of good HDL cholesterol.
Tannin and resveratrol, the anti-oxydants found in red wine, help to guard against cancer and slow tumor growth.
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