Could Potatoes Be Bad for Blood Pressure?

Yet ANOTHER reason to skip the fries.  So very happy chips make the cut, though!

Eating potatoes 4 or more times a week linked to higher readings in study

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Steven Reinberg

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, May 17, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Potatoes are a popular staple of the American diet, but eating too many — whether boiled, baked, mashed or fried — may raise the risk for high blood pressure, a new study suggests.

 Consuming four or more servings of potatoes a week was linked with an increased risk for high blood pressure — 11 percent for baked, boiled or mashed and 17 percent for fried — compared with eating less than one serving a month. Surprisingly, potato chips didn’t appear to increase the risk, the Harvard researchers reported.

“We hope that our study continues the conversation about potatoes and the risk of hypertension and other diseases,” said lead researcher Dr. Lea Borgi, of the renal division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

But one dietitian not involved with the study suggested the blame shouldn’t rest with potatoes, but with the add-ons people put on their spuds — such as sour cream and bacon bits.

For the study, Borgi and her colleagues followed more than 187,000 men and women who took part in three large U.S. studies for more than 20 years. During that time, participants filled out questionnaires about their diet. None of the participants had high blood pressure at the beginning of the study.

Potatoes have what’s called a high glycemic index compared with other vegetables. And, that can trigger a sharp rise in blood sugar, which might explain the findings, Borgi said. The glycemic index measures how carbohydrates raise blood sugar.

Borgi pointed out that this study didn’t prove potatoes cause high blood pressure, only that they seem to be associated with an increased risk.

Nevertheless, the researchers suggested that replacing one serving a day of potatoes with a non-starchy vegetable might lower the risk of high blood pressure.

Because of their high potassium content, potatoes have recently been included as vegetables in the U.S. government’s healthy meals program, the researchers noted.

“Our findings have potentially important public health ramifications, as they don’t support the health benefits of including potatoes in government food programs,” Borgi said.

The report was published May 17 in the journal BMJ.

One nutrition expert said it’s not potatoes that are the problem as much as all the fixings people put on them.

 “The poor potato’s reputation gets dinged again with this study,” said Samantha Heller, a senior clinical nutritionist at New York University Medical Center in New York City.

Potatoes have been a staple in human diets for centuries, long before high blood pressure was the problem it is today, she said.

“Americans ate, on average, close to 50 pounds of potatoes per person in 2013, the bulk of which came from french fries,” Heller said. “As a dietitian, I am not sure I can even classify commercial french fries as potatoes. They have been transformed into sticks of grease, salt, trans fats and who knows what else?” she said.

And while potatoes are a good source of vitamin C, potassium, minerals, energy and fiber (if not peeled), the reality is most Americans eat potatoes coated in salt, slathered in butter or loaded with sour cream, cheese and bacon bits, Heller said.

“It is no wonder that researchers found that high consumption was associated with poor health,” she said.

But potatoes can be a healthy part of a balanced diet, Heller said.

“You can make mashed potatoes with olive oil, nonfat milk or soy milk and add mixed herbs and spices. I do not peel the potatoes and I mix in vegetables, such as sauteed spinach and garlic,” she said.

Baked potatoes are also great with salsa, Heller said.

“But watch portions,” she added. “For example, today’s russet potatoes can be the size of a city bus. Alternate potatoes with other whole grain starches like brown rice or pasta. And remember, only about a quarter of your plate should be taken up with starchy foods.”

Efforts made by HealthDay News to reach the National Potato Council for comment on the study were unsuccessful.

Double Vision and Cataracts

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One more skillful review concerning vision health.

Double Vision and Cataracts

Double vision, like all sudden vision irregularities is definitely something to take seriously, especially if you’ve had no history of it in the past. Even if it’s a temporary thing, it’s still something you should talk to your eye doctor about, just in case. double vision and cataracts

Known to the medical community as diplopia, double vision is when a person sees two images of an object where there should only be one, either some of the time or all of the time. The second image can be horizontally, vertically, or diagonally placed to the original, depending upon the cause of the doubled images.

Normal vision, called single binocular vision, works by having each eye produce its own image. Your brain allows your eyes to work together, so you can focus on a single area, then reconciles the two slightly images together, giving you clear sight.

Eye muscles that don’t work as well as they should, or nerves connected to the eye not functioning properly can very well result in double vision.

There are three basic types: physiological, binocular, and monocular.
+ Physiological double vision affects images in the background – things you are not currently focusing upon. This type of double vision can even be something the patient doesn’t notice, because the brain can compensate for it. Children are the most likely to complain about this kind of double vision.
+ Binocular double vision are cases where double vision occurs in both eyes, because they are not working together as they should. If you can cover one eye to get rid of the double vision, it’s binocular double vision.
+ Monocular double vision, in which only the images from one eye is doubled sometimes produces an effect known as ghosting, where the doubled-images appear to be very close together. If you cover the unaffected eye, you’ll still experience double vision. This is often an early sign of a cataract – a cloudy part in the lens of the eye. The light coming into your eyes can be scattered by the cataract, causing double vision in that eye. According to Prevent Blindness America (PBA), cataracts are the biggest cause of blindness in the world, and the most common reason people over 40 lose their vision. In the United States alone, more than 22 million people over the age of 40 are affected by cataracts. The number is expected to grow to more than 30 million by 2020 as the population ages.

Signs of a Cataract

Cataracts begin small, and unless you just happen to get a comprehensive eye exam just as it develops, it will be unnoticeable. As it grows, your vision may blur just a little, or become somewhat cloudy. In some cases, a cataract will cause lights to flare and seem too bright to your eyes. Colors may look faded. Sometimes, they can even briefly improve your vision. Eventually, however, you’ll notice a loss of vision quality that will necessitate a visit to your eye doctor – like double vision.

No one is sure why cataracts develop, which is one reason it’s so important to get a comprehensive eye exam at least once a year, especially if you happen to be over 40 years old. Age is one of the most common risk factors for cataracts, but other risks include family history, previous eye injuries or surgeries, use of corticosteroid medication, smoking, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and ultraviolet radiation, just to name some.

Cataract Treatment

Medical science has been rapidly advancing over the past few decades, including the fields involving the eye. Where a cataract was once sure to cause blindness in one or both eyes, if caught early enough, they can be removed by surgery in a fairly simple procedure. At first, the effects of cataracts can even be temporarily corrected with new glasses or the right lighting, but eventually it will grow to the point where surgery should be seriously considered.

Today’s methods of cataract surgery are highly successful. Statistics from PBA state more than 3 million Americans go through cataract surgery every year, with 9 out of 10 having their vision fully restored afterwards.

The standard procedure is for the surgeon to remove the clouded lens in your eye and replace it with a clear plastic device called an intraocular lens (IOL). These IOLs are constantly being improved, so surgeons can insert them more easily, and they are more useful to the patient receiving them. In fact, even specialized IOLs are being developed. Some might block ultraviolet light to prevent retinal damage, while others may very well correct your vision so you no longer need glasses if you needed them before.

If you find the sight in one of your eyes is showing double images, it may be a cataract, but fortunately, the state of optical surgery is so well-developed today, you can have a cataract removed in the course of an afternoon, and have clearer vision for decades to come.


Laura O’Donnell
EyeCare 20/20

The post Double Vision and Cataracts appeared first on Discovery Eye Foundation.

Sigmaceutical is passionate about spreading health and strongly advocates the idea of strengthening the body’s defenses against sickness and disease through world class nutritional supplement formulations.

Try Sigmaceutical Lutein Vision Support today!

Glaucoma Progression May Be Detectable with Special Contact Lens

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An original clever remark relating to vision health.

glaucoma explanationA new “smart” contact lens has been shown to detect accurately intraocular pressure in glaucoma patients. This technology may be useful for predicting which patients are deteriorating rapidly. Their treatment plan can be modified accordingly to help preserve more vision.

This study used the Sensimed Triggerfish® contact lens system. Columbia University Medical Center researchers found that specific electrical signals from the “smart” contact lenses correlated with the rate of the disease’s progression. They recorded data for 24 hours with 40 patients who were being treated for glaucoma. Half of the patients had had gradual deterioration from glaucoma over the past two years; half were deteriorating rapidly. The lenses had a sensor that detected changes in the curvature of the lens. This indicated intraocular pressure.

The researchers found that the patients with faster progression of the disease had steeper spikes during the night while sleeping, and more peaks than the slower-progression patients. Wearable technology such as contact lenses could give doctors a large amount of useful data about a patient. Collecting and analyzing the data can lead to insights into patient health outside of office visits and testing labs.

Study: “Visual Field Change and 24-Hour IOP-Related Profile with a Contact Lens Sensor in Treated Glaucoma Patients,” De Moraes et al. Ophthalmology, Feb. 2016. DOI:

The post Glaucoma Progression May Be Detectable with Special Contact Lens appeared first on Eye conditions, eye care, & how to support healthy vision naturally.

Sigmaceutical is passionate about spreading health and strongly advocates the idea of strengthening the body’s defenses against sickness and disease through world class nutritional supplement formulations.

Try Sigmaceutical Lutein Vision Support today!

Natural health:Computer work gives me tired eyes

I struggle with tired and sore eyes due to working long hours on the computer. Is there something that I can do to help with this, as I don’t really want to end up needing glasses?

High antioxidant berries, particularly those with a very dark skin, are excellent for eye health. Bilberries have a strong reputation for addressing eye issues, including strain, screen overuse, and even cataracts.

You can purchase a bilberry supplement to help with tired and sore eyes, but you could also collect these wonderful berries in the wild and get the benefits of a fresh and local wildcrafted remedy. Of course, as with all wildcrafted herbs and foods, it is important that you learn to correctly identify this roadside plant found throughout the south-west before harvesting berries.

The active ingredient in bilberries is a bioflavanoid called anthocyanoside, and it works by protecting the retina and lens from oxidation damage. Bilberries are also believed to improve night vision, and were reputedly used to that effect during WWII by the British Air Force pilots. We do know for sure that the combination of bilberry along with vitamins C and E assists in halting the progression of cataracts.

The other top players when it comes to eye health are lutein and zeaxanthin, both key nutrients in preventing degeneration and maintaining healthy eyesight. These are found in leafy greens, eggs, and brightly coloured fruits or vegetables, however this is probably best taken as a supplement as well for maximum benefit.

Remember to take regular breaks from the screen, taking time out to focus on objects at differing distances, since the computer screen forces us to remain fixed at one point of focus, which is a big part of the problem.

Remember to blink, as the eyes dry out easily when staring at a screen since we tend to blink far less. Using an application such as Flux, which changes the screen to a softer light at sunset, really helps to reduce eye strain, and has the added benefit of helping you to remain aware of how long or late you work at the computer. Higher Nature’s Visualeyes, providing Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Zinc, Selenium, and vitamins A, C, and E, are available from health stores, where 90 capsules cost €29.60.

I suffer from psoriasis, and have tried almost everything to no avail. Is there anything that can help treat this? I feel embarrassed whenever I wear clothing that reveals any skin on my chest, arms, or legs because it always attracts looks and comments from people.

Research has shown that one of the main issues with psoriasis is a need to establish healthy circulation. A supplement best known for its use in helping fight the signs of ageing, pcynogenol (pine bark extract), has been shown in an Italian study to help significantly reduce psoriasis symptoms and improve the hydration of the affected areas of skin. The subjects in the study were given 150mg (milligrams) of pine bark extract daily, and the symptoms measured for change included erythema, induration, and desquamation. The results showed a 32% increase in healing, with results best in those with more severe cases of psoriasis.

Pycnogenol has also shown promise with melasma (also known as chloasma), a problem with hyperpigmentation occurring as a result of sun damage, or hormonal changes.

This is one of the most common complaints I receive from women following pregnancy, or menopause, and it seems that there are a host of skincare products and medicated solutions falling short of their promises to restore an even skin tone. Pycnogenol has shown to be far more powerful than even vitamins E and C when it comes to skin health and repair, plus it actually recycles vitamin C, regenerates vitamin E, and protects against further sun damage. The dosage is half of that recommended for psoriasis, at only 75mg daily taken in three doses of 25mg each. The general rate of effectiveness was an impressive 80%, with no reported or observed side effects.

Megan Sheppard

Our Amazing Eyes And How They Work

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Another enjoyable assessment on the subject of vision health.

Our Amazing Eyes And How They Work

Did you see that sunset last night? How about the big game? Or were you watching your daughter take her first steps? Our eyes truly let us see some wonderful things.

But how do eyes work? The eyes are fascinating and complex organs with many components. We’d like to help you understand exactly how eyes function so you can appreciate just how amazing these organs that allow us to see the world really are!

How Do We See?

For our eyes to work, there needs to be light. Light from the sun or an artificial source bounces off objects and into our eyes through the pupil—the black hole in the middle of our eyes. The iris, the colored part of the eye, changes the size of the pupil depending on how much light there is.

After entering the eye through the pupil, light passes through the lens. The lens focuses the light onto the retina at the back of the eye. The retina contains millions of photoreceptors–sensors that convert light into electrical impulses. These electric impulses travel along the optic nerve and into our brain. The brain then produces an image, allowing us to see!

How Similar Is A Camera To Our Eyes?

Thinking about our eyes in comparison to a camera may help us easier understand how the eye functions.

The iris works like the shutter in the camera, enlarging and shrinking depending on how much light is present. The lenses of both the eyes and a camera are similar in that they focus light onto something. In a camera, light is focused onto film instead of on the retina.

Even though it serves as a good comparison tool, there are some crucial differences between a camera and our eyes!

5 More Cool Eye Facts

Here are some interesting facts about how our eyes work:

  1. The pupil dilates 45 percent when looking at something pleasant, trying to take it all in.
  2. The retina can transmit up to 10 million bits of information every second!
  3. Your eyes use 65 percent of your brainpower–that’s more than any other part of your body.
  4. Images that are sent to your brain are actually backwards and upside down.
  5. Humans can see the light of a candle from 14 miles away under the right conditions!

We Love Your Eyes!

Our eyes are windows to the world around us. They let us see so many magnificent things! Make sure you take care of those beautiful eyes of yours by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and making regular visits to your eye doctor.

The post Our Amazing Eyes And How They Work appeared first on Cargo Eye Care of Las Colinas.

Sigmaceutical is passionate about spreading health and strongly advocates the idea of strengthening the body’s defenses against sickness and disease through world class nutritional supplement formulations.

Try Sigmaceutical Lutein Vision Support today!