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LIVESTRONG at the YMCA Program Shows Significant Gains for Cancer Survivor Participants

CHICAGO, IL (PRWEB) May 28, 2015

Cancer survivors who participated in the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program exhibited improvements in physical activity, fitness and quality of life, according to research conducted by Drs. Melinda Irwin of Yale Cancer Center and Jennifer Ligibel, MD, senior physician in the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers, Dana Farber Cancer Institute. The findings will be presented at this year’s American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago.

The study, designed to assess the impact of the 12-week LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program, included 186 participants and specifically evaluated quality of life, physical activity and fitness. Participants experienced significant increases in physical activity (75 percent exercising a minimum of 150 minutes/week vs. 25 percent for the control group); and improvements in both overall quality of life and fitness performance (according to a six-minute walk test). The participants had been diagnosed with stages I-IV of cancer, of which 50 percent had breast cancer. In addition, at the outset of the program, the majority of the participants had been inactive.

“We were so pleased to be able to show the improvement in the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA’s participants after committing to this program of physical activity,” said Drs. Irwin and Ligibel. “We look forward to an opportunity to show longer term and wider effects – hoping to prove that the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program could provide a platform to increase physical activity in thousands more cancer survivors around the country.”

The study will be presented at ASCO as part of the Patient and Survivor Care session on June 1. The clinical trial information on the study is available at NCTO2112149.

“LIVESTRONG at the YMCA was created when patients told us that they needed a safe, supportive space to get into a fitness routine following treatment,” said Chandini Portteus, LIVESTRONG President and CEO. “Drs. Irwin and Ligibel’s research reinforces our belief that embarking on this program of semiweekly physical activity is keenly important to help cancer survivors be a part of an active and vital community. Along with our partners at the YMCA, we hope that these results will allow more survivors to take advantage of the program and regain their physical fitness.”

LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is a 12-week exercise program, offered at little to no cost, to help survivors improve their strength and physical fitness, diminish the severity of therapy side effects, develop supportive relationships and improve their quality of life. The program launched in 2007 as a partnership between the LIVESTRONG Foundation and YMCA of the USA and is available at more than 400 locations, having served more than 29,000 survivors to date.

“With a presence in 10,000 communities across the country, the Y is one of the few organizations with the ability to reach cancer survivors wherever they live,” said Matt Longjohn, National Health Officer, YMCA of the USA. “LIVESTRONG at the YMCA has helped thousands of people reclaim their health in a safe and supportive environment and this study further proves the program works.”


About the LIVESTRONG Foundation

The LIVESTRONG Foundation fights to improve the lives of people affected by cancer now. For 18 years, the Foundation has been a voice for cancer survivors and has directly served more than three million people. LIVESTRONG answers survivors’ questions, tells their stories and helps them live their lives through direct service, advocacy and inventive partnership models. In 2014, the Foundation launched its boldest enterprise yet—the LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes at the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin. The Institutes will be a pioneering approach to patient-centered cancer care designed by survivors to deliver the best teaching practices and the greatest collaborative research to serve the cancer community.

If anyone you know needs cancer support, please visit For more information about our programs and services, please visit

About Dana Farber Cancer Institute

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, is world-renowned for its leadership in adult and pediatric cancer treatment and research. Designated as a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), it is one of the largest recipients among independent hospitals of NCI and National Institutes of Health grant funding. For more information, go to

About Yale Cancer Center

Yale Cancer Center (YCC) is one of only 41 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the nation and the only such center in Connecticut. Comprehensive cancer centers play a vital role in the advancement of the NCI’s goal of reducing morbidity and mortality from cancer through scientific research, cancer prevention, and innovative cancer treatment.

About the Y

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 22 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change.

New Study Shows a Plant-Based Vegan Diet Improves Diabetic Neuropathy Pain, Lowers Body Weight

Washington, DC (PRWEB) May 28, 2015

A plant-based diet reduces the pain of diabetic neuropathy, according to new research published this week in Nutrition & Diabetes* by researchers with the Physicians Committee, California State University, East Bay, and the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Neuropathy is a complication of diabetes manifesting as pain, numbness, and other nerve symptoms. The pilot study put 17 adults on a low-fat vegan diet for 20 weeks, with weekly nutrition classes. The researchers found significant improvements in pain, measured by the Short Form McGill Pain questionnaire, the Michigan Neuropathy Screening Instrument physical assessment, and through electrochemical skin conductance in the foot. The participants also lost an average of 14 pounds.

“A dietary intervention reduces the pain associated with diabetic neuropathy, apparently by improving insulin resistance” notes Neal Barnard, M.D., president of the Physicians Committee. “The same diet also improves body weight and reduces cholesterol and blood pressure.”

Sixty percent of diabetes patients suffer from peripheral neuropathy, which is associated with hypertension, obesity, gait disturbances, amputations, anxiety, depression, and reduced quality of life.

“The dietary intervention is easy to prescribe and easy to follow,” says Cameron Wells, M.P.H., R.D., acting director of nutrition education for the Physicians Committee. “Steel-cut oats, leafy greens, and lentils are widely available at most food markets and fit well into most budgets.”

According to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine**, patients who receive just 5.5 extra minutes of nutrition counseling from their primary care physician lose five pounds, reduce saturated fat intake, and improve LDL cholesterol.

More than 29 million Americans have diabetes. One in three children born in 2000 will develop diabetes at some point in his or her life.

The average lifetime cost to treat type 2 diabetes is $ 85,200, half of which is spent on diabetes complications.

Founded in 1985 by Neal Barnard, M.D., the Physicians Committee is a nonprofit health organization, with more than 12,000 doctor members, that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.



New Research Shows 70% Of Dog Owners Unaware Of Potentially Harmful Ingredients In Dog Food

Seattle, WA (PRWEB) May 20, 2015

Kidney failure. Allergies. Obesity. Death. These are some results of dogs consuming commercial dog food with poor ingredients. Now, new research also shows that over 70% of dog owners don’t know or don’t care about all the ingredients in their dog’s food. Nearly 20 percent of dog owners “don’t know any of the ingredients” in the food they feed their dog. Seems pretty dangerous, right?

The discovery of toxic substances and poor manufacturing processes over the past 15 years was only the beginning. Today, many dogs are still being fed unhealthy dog food that is filled with harmful, low-quality ingredients, like preservatives, grain fillers, “dry rendered tankage,” and even other dead pets (yes, that is true).

During an extensive process spanning two months, the team collected proprietary data from research, surveys, expert inputs, and reviewed over 2,000 formulations with the goal of uncovering the truth and raising awareness around the issue.

Here are some of the highlights from the research, including commentary from some top contributors to the project:

–There are specific ingredients found in many dog foods to avoid. “Dogs don’t digest corn well, if at all. Wheat, Soy, and Beet Pulp should also be avoided,” says author and lecturer, Darlene Arden.

–Many popular ingredients lead to allergies, digestive problems, obesity, and even behavior issues. “If not healthy and feeling good the dog cannot focus or concentrate. Plus if [the] dog is not fed correctly it can result in physical defects which affect temperament,” says long-time dog trainer, Martin Deeley.

–Some believe in a raw-only diet to control every substance their pet consumes, while others feed a commercial diet. However, every expert agrees on quality ingredients.

–There is an over-saturation of the market. “Personally I feel there’s so much choice nowadays it’s a huge pressure on dog owners to make that important decision,” says TV veterinarian, Marc Abraham.

To see other important findings and a list of approved, healthy choices, check out the full dog food article.

How Exercise Protects From Dementia, New Study Shows

Rock Hill, South Carolina (PRWEB) April 21, 2015

A new study from Sweden’s National Institute for Health and Welfare finds that individuals who are at risk of dementia have a much better chance of staving off the condition by combining mental and physical exercise. In some tests, those participants who followed such a regimen saw startling results when compared to a control group.

Recently published in The Lancet, the Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability recruited 1260 participants, all between the ages of 60 and 77. Each was deemed to be at risk for dementia at the top of the study.

One half of the participants were regularly given “comprehensive intervention” related to some of the most serious health risk factors for that age group, including dementia itself, heart concerns or a high body-mass index. The remaining participants made up the control group and were only given standard health advice over the course of the two year study.

The overall processing speed of those who received the comprehensive guidance was found to be a shocking 150% higher than the control group. Meanwhile the brain’s executive functioning, where thoughts and memories are organized, was 83% higher in the first group.

In all, the control group was found to be 25% lower from the invention group when all cognitive testing was averaged out.

Dr. Sandeep Grewal, author of the book “Dementia Express: Lose Your Memory in 100 Ways”, has been encouraging patients to combine mental and physical exercise for years. An internal medicine specialist practicing in both Carolinas, Grewal has long been fascinated by how the mind is used, and sometimes under-used.

“There is so much we don’t understand yet about our brains,” Dr. Grewal says, “but one thing this study definitively demonstrates is how crucial good physical health is to supporting solid mental health. It is another muscle, after all.”

Grewal’s book “Dementia Express” was specifically written out as a logic problem, challenging readers on each page to factually assess what they’re reading in order to deduce the actual messages hidden within. The book’s subtitle, “Lose Your Mind is 100 Ways” is itself seemingly counterintuitive.

“We see it in our practices every day as doctors,” Dr. Grewal continues. “how closely intertwined the mind and body truly are. If you take good care of one, it’s much easier to take care of the other.”

Dr. Grewal went on to praise the Swedish professors who led the research, saying “They’ve shown us a powerful tool in helping seniors stay mentally sharp while also exercising the body. Their results were striking, and the message is a very positive one.”

“I wrote Dementia Express to encourage seniors to give their minds a work-out as well,” he continues, “while also of course strongly encouraging physical exercise. Earlier studies have also demonstrated a strong link between the two, but nothing with the stark results shown here.”

“This should drive people to action and may even change how we doctors treat those at risk,” he explains. “The message is clear: if you know someone at risk of dementia, you need to keep them moving and active, from the neck up and the neck down.”

The Swedish study is scheduled to continue for several years to gauge any decline or improvement seen in cognitive abilities among the intervention group.

Dr. Grewal’s book, “Dementia Express” is available on Amazon.


News Medical (Apr. 6, 2015) –

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