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The Food Industry Challenges That Obama Needs to Address


Article Source: Health And Fitness Journal

President-elect Obama’s choice for Secretary of Agriculture could be perhaps the most important clue as to whether Obama really intends to bring change to Washington. It will determine whether or not he plans to take on one of the most powerful lobbies in the country, the businessmen who turned agriculture into agribusiness. Current farm policy was called by Time magazine, “a welfare program for the megafarms that use the most fuel, water and pesticides; emit the most greenhouse gases; grow the most fattening crops; hire the most illegals; and depopulate rural America.”

An online movement has sprung up calling on President-elect Obama to name anti-agribusiness crusader Michael Pollan Secretary of Agriculture. Pollan’s popular books include The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food. In this fascinating interview, Bill Moyers asked Michael Pollan what would happen if he was named Secretary of Agriculture instead of yet one more advocate of industrial farming.

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Arsenic in Water — EPA Approved Standards Linked to Heart Disease


Article Source: Health And Fitness Journal

When taken over the course of many years, arsenic can result in lung, bladder and skin cancers, as well as heart disease, diabetes and neurological damage. In the U.S., many locations are known to have groundwater containing arsenic concentrations in excess of the new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standard of 10 parts per billion.

But new research suggests that the EPA’s supposedly “safe” level of arsenic allowed in water supplies for public consumption isn’t safe at all. In fact, water laced with the federally-approved amount of arsenic could be causing high blood pressure and artery-clogging atherosclerosis.

A study has shown that arsenic at EPA-approved levels for drinking water causes pores in liver blood vessels to close, potentially leading to cardiovascular disease and hypertension. This study calls into question whether present Environmental Protection Agency standards are stringent enough.
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Exercise Prevents Age-Related Brain Changes


Article Source: Health And Fitness Journal

It’s well worth remembering that regular exercise brings benefits that no present medical technology can match — and at a fraction of the cost of medicines that do far less.

This Eurekalert! article notes a study in which researchers compared brain scans of older adults who exercise to brain scans of those who do not. They recruited 12 adults, age 60 to 76. Six had participated in aerobic exercise for three or more hours per week over the last 10 years, and six exercised less than one hour per week.

All of the volunteers underwent MRI and MR angiography to depict blood vessels in the brain. Researchers were able to make 3-D models of the blood vessels and examine them for shape and size. The results showed that the inactive group exhibited fewer small blood vessels in the brain, along with more unpredictable blood flow through the brain. The active adults had more small blood vessels and improved cerebral blood flow.

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