The following are the results of recent studies in wellness medicine. Hawthorn is an herb, a plant that has been shown to be beneficial for improving cardiovascular function. Recent research on patients with congestive heart failure (CHF, which is the inability to adequately pump blood throughout the body, causing shortness of breath, fluid buildup in the lungs and extremities, and kidney problems), looked at the effects of taking 900 mg of hawthorn extract on cardiac output. Hawthorn significantly reduced cardiac mortality, sudden cardiac death, and decreased fatigue and breathing problems. If you or someone you know has CHF, the recommended dose is 900-1800 mg of hawthorn per day. Look for a brand that uses the whole plant (leaves, berries, and flowers). If you are on the drug digitalis, talk to your doctor first.

Beans appears to lower the risk of developing diabetes. In a study involving 64,000 Chinese women, they discovered that those who ate the most legumes had a 38% lower risk of developing diabetes. Unlike most starches (breads, grains, potatoes), which are broken down in the small intestine, legumes are not broken down until they reach the large intestine. Therefore, no spike in blood sugar=no surge in insulin.

Vitamin E has been known for years to help prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and cancer. New research from the Yale school of Medicine reveals another benefit of this powerful antioxidant-it appears to halt physical decline. They measured three areas: rising from a chair multiple times, walking speed, and standing balance.What they found was that people aged 65 and older, with low levels of vitamin E were 60 % more likely to have declining physical function.  This is big news. It’s hard to get enough vitamin E in food sources, so supplement with 400 IU’s daily.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.