Vitamin D Intake Linked To Better Physical Function In Seniors

Vitamin D intake linked to better physical function in seniorsAccording to a recent study presented at the 2010 Experimental Biology meeting in Anaheim, Calif., a high intake of vitamin D may help preserve physical function in older adults.

For the study, Denise Houston and her colleagues from the Sticht Center on Aging at Wake Forest University assessed the relationship between nutrient intake, long-term health conditions and mobility in seniors.

Over a four-year period the researchers monitored 2,788 healthy seniors with a median age of 75. At the beginning and end of the study they analyzed each participant’s blood level of vitamin D and examined their physical function using a variety of strength and endurance tests.

At the conclusion of the research the investigators found that while physical function declined with every respondent, those with consistently high levels of the nutrient experienced a more gradual deterioration in strength and endurance.

"Those with adequate or optimal vitamin D status [the highest group] had approximately 5 percent higher physical performance scores and 5 percent faster walk speed on the 400-meter walk compared to those with insufficient vitamin D status at the four-year follow up," Houston told WebMD.
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Obama’s Opportunity

The pending retirement of Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens gives President Barack Obama an opportunity to shape court decisions for many years to come. Let’s hope he makes a wise decision.

Unfortunately, his radical leftist views that the United States Constitution is a “charter of negative liberties” and his prior choice of Sonya Sotamayor—who as an appellate judge ruled that the New Haven fire department’s promotion test was discriminatory because no minorities scored well enough for promotion—to the Supreme Court don’t augur well for liberty.

Liberals like to say the Constitution is a “living, breathing document,” because that allows activist judges to create “rights” out of thin air in order to advance an agenda. But what is needed are strict constructionist justices who are willing to go back and see what the Founding Fathers intended when they wrote the document.

“On every question of construction,” wrote Thomas Jefferson, “carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one which was passed.”

The Founders understood that government could easily become the enemy of the people. So they wrote a Constitution that put restraints on the government.

If we are to remain free we need to watch closely the people Obama nominates for the courts—the Supreme Court most importantly. They must be people who recognize the role of government. They must understand that the Constitution was written to protect the citizens from its government, not the government from its citizens. They must recognize that all men are created equal, and that no group or class is more equal than another. If not, we must do all we can to block them.

Because, as Samuel Adams said, “[W]ithout liberty and equality [under the law], there cannot exist that tranquility of mind, which results from the assurance of this to every citizen, that his own personal safety and rights are secure … it is the end and design of all free and lawful Governments.”

Phoenix Mayor: Immigration Bill Is ‘Unconstitutional’ And ‘Unenforceable’

Phoenix mayor: Immigration bill is 'unconstitutional' and 'unenforceable'Just a few days after Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law a historically aggressive immigration bill, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon indicated that the city may soon file a lawsuit challenging the legislation on constitutional grounds.

Gordon told Fox News the bill is not only unconstitutional, but also makes the state less safe, as police would be forced to spend an exorbitant amount of time focusing on this "unenforceable" law.

"It tramples civil rights," Gordon told the news source. "Now everyone has to show and prove that they’re a legal resident or citizen." He also warned that the new law may create "a division within the state that could lead to violence."

The Phoenix mayor also attacked the author of the bill, state Senator Russell Pearce, by comparing him to late Alabama Governor George Wallace, a well-known segregationist leader in the 1960s, KTAR.com reports. He said that Pearce is more concerned with making headlines than battling the real problems that face Arizona, such as violent crime and the drug trade.

Gordon indicated that he will ask the Phoenix City Council later this week to join him in his fight against the law.
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Study: Eating Brown Rice May Lower Heart Disease Risk

Study: Eating brown rice may lower heart disease risk Over the last few years nutritionists have identified many health benefits linked to the consumption of brown rice, including its ability to help control cholesterol and blood sugar. According to a new study, routinely eating brown rice may also help protect a person from high blood pressure and atherosclerosis, two important risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Through comprehensive research, lead author Satoru Eguchi and his colleagues from the Cardiovascular Research Center at Temple University discovered that brown rice contains a layer of tissue capable of combating angiotensin II, an endocrine protein partially responsible for the development of high blood pressure and the hardening of the arteries.

The subaleurone layer of brown rice, which is stripped away to make white rice, is also rich in dietary fibers and oligosaccharides.

"Our research suggests that there is a potential ingredient in rice that may be a good starting point for looking into preventive medicine for cardiovascular diseases," said Eguchi. "We hope to present an additional health benefit of consuming half-milled or brown rice [as opposed to white rice] as part of a regular diet."

The researcher also speculated that the study’s findings may help shed light on why fewer people die of heart disease in Japan than the United States.
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Arizona Governor Signs Immigration Bill To Democrats’ Outrage

Arizona governor signs immigration bill to Democrats' outrageArizona Governor Jan Brewer made state history on April 23 by signing one of the toughest immigration bills in the country into law. The legislation, while praised by many conservatives and libertarians, has met with Democratic criticism both at the local level and in Washington.

The Libertarian candidate for governor, Bruce Olson, wrote in a blog for The Arizona Sentinel that he was "proud" of Brewer for the step that is "making it tough to run against ya."

He added that other states must follow suit with similar laws, but warned that the Federal government may try to overturn the bill.

However, the new law, which will make it a misdemeanor for foreign nationals to fail to register and carry their documents with them, was heavily criticized by ethnic groups and Democratic lawmakers.

Among the critics were Hispanic state legislators in Arizona as well as members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in Washington, D.C.

In the nation’s capital, President Obama called the bill "misguided" but said the Federal government must act on the immigration issue.

"Our failure to act responsibly will only open the door to irresponsibility by others," he said.

"That includes the recent efforts in Arizona, which threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe," Obama added.

The president was referring to the part of the bill that requires police officers, if they have a "reasonable suspicion" that someone is an illegal immigrant during a lawful stop, to determine that person’s immigration status and, if necessary, transfer them into Federal custody.ADNFCR-1961-ID-19742471-ADNFCR

In Defiance Of Federal Reform Bill, Florida Passes Healthcare Freedom Act

In defiance of federal reform bill, Florida passes Healthcare Freedom ActIn an effort to blunt the impact of the sweeping healthcare reform passed by Congress and signed by President Obama late last month, the Florida legislature has passed an act that aims to protect the state’s healthcare system from interference.

Florida’s Healthcare Freedom Act (HJR 37/SJR 72), sponsored by Florida Representative Scott Plakon and Florida Senator Carey Baker, passed the House and Senate and will appear on the November ballot.

The legislation, which was inspired by the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Freedom of Choice in Healthcare Act, blocks a state or federal requirement for individuals to purchase health insurance.

"Protecting the individual freedom for people to make their own healthcare decisions is a priority," said ALEC health task force director Christie Herrera.

She added that "the amount of support from state legislators and policy makers for this legislation has been tremendous."

ALEC’s Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act has now been introduced or proposed in 42 states.

Meanwhile, Mississippi Representatives Alex Monsour and Steven Palazzo received preliminary approval to place their Healthcare Freedom Act on the 2011 or 2012 ballot.
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Arginine And Antioxidant Supplements May Help Improve Exercise Capacity In Elderly People

Arginine and antioxidant supplements may help improve exercise capacity in elderly people As people age their ability to exercise for extended periods of time slowly diminishes. Fortunately, results of a new University of California study suggest that taking daily arginine and antioxidant supplements can help compensate for the loss of exercise capacity by enhancing a person’s anaerobic threshold, which is the amount of exercise that needs to be done before lactic acid begins to accumulate in the blood.

For the study, lead author Zhaoping Li and her colleagues from the university recruited 16 active male cyclists between the ages of 50 and 73, and randomly assigned them to take either a mix of arginine and antioxidant supplements or dummy placebo tablets.

After only one week of taking the nutritional supplements, the study group experienced a 16.7 percent increase in anaerobic threshold. In contrast, the threshold of the control group did not significantly alter.

"A dietary supplement that increases exercise capacity might help to preserve physical fitness by optimizing performance and improving general health and well-being in older people," said Li.

She concluded that findings suggest "a potential role of arginine and antioxidant supplementation in improving exercise performance in elderly."
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Bowing To China: What It Means To Our Future

“Let China sleep, for when China awakes she will shake the world.” Napoleon Bonaparte.
                                         
American greed and extravagance has awakened China, and an eastern shadow is being cast on an indebted and divided America. At stake is our economic future.

It seems hard to believe but in just two generations, from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama, America has crumpled from world kingpin to global has-been. In fact this month President Obama bowed before Paramount Leader of China, Hu Jintao, at the nuclear security summit.

Little wonder our President defers to the Chinese leader. The Treasury Department’s monthly Treasury International Capital report was just released and it shows China with $877.5 billion in long-term Treasury debt. Even worse, the Obama administration needs the Chinese government to buy part of the estimated $2.4 trillion in Treasury debt that Washington must sell off this year.

The Obama administration is praying that the Communists will waddle-up and buy hundreds of more billions of dollars in Uncle Sam IOUs. So far things are not panning out. In February China trimmed its holdings of United States Treasury debt by 1.3 percent, the fourth consecutive decline.

Unless China antes up the recovery will crash and burn. Without robust foreign demand for U.S. Treasuries, interest rates that Washington pays to keep the country solvent will soar.

Business Week reported last week that U.S.-China relations are strained on several fronts, including Chinese censorship, the value of the Yuan, the Copenhagen climate conference, even Obama’s meeting with the Dalai Lama. The final point underscores just how little leverage America has—the spiritual leader had to be shown out the back door of the White House, sidestepping trash, for fear that the Chinese might be angered.

Nixon’s Biggest Blunder
Short of sacrificing Taiwan and living in economic servitude, there may be no pleasing China. According to The Daily Caller, “In either public or private, China will not take orders from the U.S. or anyone else. Not only has Obama’s rhetorical magic not worked on China, he has received a public dressing down by Chinese officials. It was simply a reminder of new global realities. Ultimately, no one will tame China.”

It is a far cry from the world we knew 40 years ago. History may yet declare that Richard Nixon’s worst blunder was not Watergate but his awakening of China. When Nixon played his China card in 1972 the U.S. had no diplomatic relations, no embassy; not even an established route of communication with China. But in less than two generations the Soviet Union, America’s then rival, crumbled. Beijing has filled the vacuum. Today it is our largest creditor and it is becoming an unprecedented economic colossus.

This year China’s gross domestic product (GDP) will top $5 trillion, making it the world’s second-largest economy behind only the U.S. In fact, China has eclipsed Japan five years sooner than was forecast. According to The New York Times, China has also surpassed Japan in having the biggest trade surplus and foreign currency reserves, as well as the highest steel production. China has even overtaken Japan as the world’s largest automobile producer.

C.H. Kwan, a senior fellow at the Nomura Institute of Capital Market Research, left China in the late 1970s to capture the magic that was Japan. Today he believes he got it all wrong. Based on current growth and currency trends, Kwan forecasts that the Chinese economy will surpass the United States by 2039. And that date could move up to 2026 if China lets its currency appreciate by a mere 2 percent a year.

“We’re no longer talking about China making lots of shoes,” said Kwan. “China is about to leave everyone behind in a big way.”

In terms of wealth and power China is becoming what America use to be. China’s GDP grew a shade less than 12 percent in the first quarter of this year. Even more impressively, inflation remained low during the quarter, up just over 2 percent. Strip away food prices, which have jumped because of a major drought, and inflation would almost be flat.

What makes China’s accomplishment so remarkable is that 40 years ago the nation was impoverished. An estimated 90 million Chinese died under Chairman Mao’s rule, making him thrice as an effective killer of his people than was Joseph Stalin. China has polished up its image on the world stage with dalliances like hosting the Olympic Games, but Mao’s grand ambitions are very much intact.

According to the April 15, FX Street.com: “China is out for world domination.”

No Tickey No Money
China’s military may not yet challenge the U.S., but Beijing wields the world’s most powerful weapon—credit. China’s foreign reserves, the world’s largest, rose to a new high of $2.45 trillion at the end of March, up a whopping 25 percent from a year earlier.

It wasn’t until 2006, or 30 years after Mao’s death, that China accumulated its first $1 trillion in foreign reserves. Yet by last April that amount had doubled to $2 trillion and by the end of this year Beijing may hold in its hands $3 trillion in foreign reserves. If Obama gets his way, $1 trillion of that sum will be in liquid Treasury instruments. All that money has a lot of strings.

Last month Premier Wen Jiabao, China’s top economic official, lectured Washington to take "concrete steps" to reassure Treasury investors. Keep in mind the irony: Jiabao, a communist, is demanding that the Obama administration rein in big government spending and preserve the greenback’s integrity. While Obama bows publicly to Beijing, he appears oblivious to their demands on curbing spending. The consequences of this will be horrendous.

Our future boils down to Washington’s insatiable demand for more money. Earlier this month Commodity Online reported that seven U.S. states are in worse financial condition than Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain. “Shelter may prove hard to find. With a $3.83 trillion budget, a $12.3 trillion federal government debt, a $1.35 trillion 2010 budget deficit and $63 trillion in unfunded liabilities, the fiscal condition of the U.S. has come into question and foreign interest in U.S. Treasuries has declined.”

chart

As the graph above shows, rates on 10-year Treasuries are now touching on 4 percent, twice as high as they were 16 months ago. If China continues to withdraw from weekly multi-billion dollar Treasury auctions—or worse yet starts to sell some of its Treasury holdings—interest rates will soar. Given the vastness of America’s borrowing needs I would not be surprised to see Treasury yields double again over the next 12 months. That will damn the recovery and kill the bull market in Big Board Stocks. So far only Obama has been bowing down to China, but unless he gets a grip on federal spending, we will all have to get in the prone position.

Action To Take: Sell any and all bonds other than three-month Treasury bills. Lock in interest rates wherever possible. Don’t buy into the bull market on Wall Street. It is as hollow as a fortune cookie.

Yours for real wealth and good health,

John Myers
Myers’ Energy and Gold Report

The Storied History Of May 1

“May Day!” “May Day!” The first day in May has been a warning, a celebration and a cause for alarm for more than two centuries.

May 1 has been a time of international socialist solidarity ever since Communists seized power in their first country. Although Karl Marx was sure that his “workers of the world” would unite first in the industrialized west, instead it was a Bolshevik coup in Russia that led to the first Soviet state.

On the other hand, May 1 was a pretty good day for the end of hostilities (or at least open fighting) in the United Kingdom. Because it was on May 1, 1707, that England, Wales, and Scotland formed “the United Kingdom of Great Britain.”

But wait, there’s more. On May 1, 1961, Fidel Castro announced that (surprise!) he’d been a Communist all along. He named himself "president for life," claiming there was no longer any need to hold free elections in Cuba. Unfortunately for the Cuban people, it turned out to be a very long life.

On May 1, 1920, Babe Ruth hit his first home run as a Yankee. And on May 1, 1951, Mickey Mantle hit his first major league home run. There would be many, many more by both men.

—Chip Wood

Blagojevich Asks Judge To Subpoena Obama As A Witness In His Corruption Trial

Blagojevich asks judge to subpoena Obama as a witness in his corruption trial Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s team of lawyers filed papers with a Federal judge April 22, asking the court to issue a subpoena for President Obama to testify as a witness in the disgraced politician’s upcoming corruption trial.

According to the Associated Press (AP), the motion indicates that the president has direct knowledge concerning the government’s accusation that Blagojevich attempted to sell the senatorial seat left vacant following Obama’s presidential election victory.

While no direct accusations were brought against the president, the court documents claim that the comments made by Obama at a news conference conflict with statements made by a candidate for the seat and a labor union president.

"There are two conflicting stories and the defense has the right to admit evidence that contradicts the government’s claims," said the motion, which was obtained by news sources after blacked out portions of the documents were mistakenly revealed online for several hours.

Before the "computer glitch" could be fixed, the public was able to view sealed testimony by several witnesses who reportedly said that a labor union representative spoke with Obama on Nov. 3, 2008, and that the then-Illinois senator expressed his hope that Senate Candidate B would be picked by Blagojevich as his replacement. Valerie Jarrett, a longtime friend of Obama’s and a current White House adviser, is known to be Senate Candidate B, according to Fox News.

Blagojevich’s trial is expected to begin on June 3. It is still unclear whether Obama will be forced to testify.
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