Here’s a great article from AOL Health that offers up some alternatives to sugar-laden soft drinks. While it’s common knowledge that sodas are bad, many of the so-called healthier options may not be all that healthy either. Note that the article recommends water and seltzer as two of the best alternatives.

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Several years ago researchers discovered that blood type played a significant role in how the body adapted to certain conditions, especially diet. New research indicates that the same now may be true for the kind of bacteria you have in your body.

It seems that different classifications of people have different kinds of bacterial microbes in their bodies. The patterns could have an effect on how you digest foods, absorb vitamins or even how you’re treated for certain kinds of disorders.

To read more on this discovery, check out this New York Times article.

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Saffron, the common spice and folk remedy, has been found to suppress a host of known cancer-related compounds in a study reported in the September issue of Hepatolgy.

In the study, rats were fed saffron for 24 weeks and then were injected with compounds known to cause liver cancer. None of the rats that received the highest doses of saffron developed cancer while six of eight in the control group that received only distilled water did develop cancer. The research showed that the spice inhibited certain cancer-causing proteins.

The study also indicated that saffron increased the levels of antioxidants in the rats. To learn more about this study of saffron and cancer, read this article in ScienceNews.

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According to, by consuming fewer calories aging can be slowed down and the development of age-related diseases such as cancer and type 2 diabetes delayed. The sooner calories are reduced, the greater the effect.

By gradually reducing the intake of sugar and proteins, without reducing vitamins and minerals, researchers have previously shown that monkeys can live several years longer than expected. Now researchers at the University of Gothenburg have now identified an enzyme called peroxiredoxin that holds the key to delaying the aging process. Reduced caloric intake prevents peroxiredoxin from being inactivated, thereby helping to prolong life.

For more information on caloric intake and aging, read this article

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In a series of articles on the growing use of alternative medicine and natural remedies, the New York Times recently featured the pain-relieving benefits of the spice turmeric.

It turns out the orange and yellow spice, famous for its extensive use in South Asian cuisine, also has anti-inflammatory properties. A study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2009 compared the active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, with ibuprofen for pain relief in 107 people with knee osteoarthritis. The curcumin eased pain and improved function about as well as the ibuprofen.

Although turmeric is used in many South Asian dishes, the most efficient way to take it, according to Dr. Minerva Santos, Director of Integrative Medicine at Northern Westchester Hospital in New York who was interviewed for the article, is to take it in capsule form. That’s because it’s usually combined with a compound called piperine, which aids absorption.

For more information on the benefits of turmeric, read this New York Times article.

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