Nancy Dell: Apples “keep the doctor away;” Herb to help menopausal sleep

An apple a day can lower you bad LDL cholesterol as much as some statins with fewer side effects


Image (1) MercyMedicalCenterLogo_20120323115516_0_0.GIF for post 1006

1. Is there any truth to the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”? I never hear much about apple’s health benefits.
Summer, Internet

There is some truth to that statement. According to research at the University of Oxford, an apple a day can lower you bad LDL cholesterol as much as some statins with fewer side effects. The researchers claim an apple a day could prevent or delay 8,500 deaths a year from heart attacks and strokes in people over age 50.

Statins may cause your muscles to become weak and sore. They may increase the risk of diabetes in some people. Apples will not but do not stop taking your statin without discussing your situation with your doctor.

Also be sure to wash your apple well and buy organic if you can to avoid the pesticides.

2. I am going through menopause and having trouble sleeping. Any suggestions?
Jo, Springfield

Poor sleep is one of the issues that goes along with menopause. If you do not sleep well, you will gain weight and just feel lousy. According to new research published in the journal Menopause, valerian root may help menopausal women sleep better.

Researchers at Tehran University randomly assigned 100 postmenopausal women with insomnia to take either two valerian capsules or an inactive placebo capsules every day. After 1 month, 30 percent of the women taking valerian reported an improvement in their ability to fall asleep and stay asleep compared to just 4 percent of women taking a placebo. Both groups had no side effects.

Valerian root was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans but modern science is split on whether the herb works. Some studies show it works and some show it doesn’t. Chances are the effectiveness varies person to person and the researches say “it can’t hurt to try valerian root”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s