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Health Basics

Women's Health Basics


What are some myths about women’s health?

While many people view heart disease as a primarily male condition, heart disease is actually the leading killer of both men and women. Ovarian cancer – not breast cancer – is the most deadly female reproductive cancer. Despite historical thought, menopause is a natural stage of life, not a disease-state.  [Full article here...]



Menstruation and Related Issues


What are some basic characteristics of menstruation?

Women begin menstruation around age 11-14, and continue until menopause at about 51 years old. The monthly cycle lasts about 28 days, but may vary in length among women.

Most girls begin menstruation between the ages of 11 and 14, although younger or older cases have been recorded. The first menstrual cycle, called the menarche, represents the beginning of the reproductive years, and continues until the beginning of menopause, around the age of 51 for most women.  [Full article here...]


Menopause and Related Issues

Who goes through menopause?

All women experience menopause if they live long enough.

Menopause almost always results from the natural aging process, affecting most women at an average age of 51 years. But menopause may also result from unnatural causes, like surgery, complete hysterectomy, use of certain chemicals, and other methods of induction. About 0.3 percent of all women experience premature menopause.

Despite a small percentage of unnatural causes, all women will eventually experience the usually natural process of menopause if they live long enough.

Read more: Menopause and Related Issues


Essential Fatty Acid Basics

What is dietary fat?

“Dietary fat” is all the fat we consume in our diet -- and, believe it or not, some dietary fat is actually good for us!

Dietary fat, also known as dietary lipid, includes Triglycerides, Phospholipids, Free Fatty Acids, and Sterols (cholesterol and phytosterols).

There are good and bad fats. Dietary fat especially saturated fat and trans-fatty acids has developed a bad reputation in recent years as a factor contributing to cardiovascular disease. However, a certain amount of dietary fat and Essential Fatty Acids are critical for optimal growth and functioning.

Read more: Essential Fatty Acid Basics


EFAs and Cell Function

Why are Essential Fatty Acids so good for my cells?

Fats are the building blocks of cell membranes -- and "good fats" build healthy cell membranes.

Cell membranes, the protective coverings around each cell in your body, are influenced by fatty acids from the food we eat.

A diet high in saturated fat will cause cells to be built with "bad fats" that make cell membranes stiff, rigid, and unhealthy.

Read more: EFAs and Cell Function


EFAs and Nutrition

What are Essential Fatty Acids?

Essential Fatty Acids are “good” fats and we generally don’t get enough of them.

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are essential nutrients that the human body can't produce itself. The only way humans can get these nutrients is through the diet.

EFAs are polyunsaturated fats, which are considered “good” fats. EFAs contribute to the healthy functioning of cell membranes, and are also critical for the synthesis of eicosanoids, a family of hormone-like substances that help in cell maintenance. Just like other essential vitamins and minerals, EFAs are necessary for the maintenance of good health.

Read more: EFAs and Nutrition


Gastrointestinal Basics

How is the digestive system organized?

The digestive system is actually a long hollow system of tubes, in which food is processed and absorbed.

Each part of the digestive tract contains muscles that squeeze and push food downward -- a process called peristalsis. Some of these muscles, called sphincter muscles, control the passage of food from one section to the next. For example, the esophagus and stomach are separated by a sphincter muscle that allows food into the stomach after eating, and out of the stomach upon vomiting. Valves separate other parts of the digestive tract.

Read more: Gastrointestinal Basics


Intestinal Health

What are “probiotics”?

Probiotics are normal bacterial residents of the human body. In the intestinal tract, probiotics prevent the growth of pathogenic (harmful) bacteria, and also prevent overgrowth of other probiotic species. Additionally, probiotics break down food products that the body cannot digest, like cellulose, and create chemicals that maintain health of the intestinal lining.

Read more: Intestinal Health



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