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9 Weird things that might be causing your stinky breath

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The human body is capable of some seriously impressive things. It has ways of keeping us cool when we’re too hot, mechanisms to help us see when it’s too dark, and a built-in immune system to help us recover when we get sick.

Unfortunately, it also does some pretty gross things. We’ve got wax and mucus and lord knows what else lurking about in our orifices – not to mention all the bacteria that’s lingering on our skin and inside our bodies. For the most part, though, these disgusting things are there to serve a purpose, and are just part of being human.

One of the less enjoyable parts of the human body is its propensity to produce unsavory breath – and here are nine things that may be causing it.

1. Eating a low carb diet

As healthy as it may sound, sticking to a diet which is low in carbohydrates might just lead to some unwanted side effects. More specifically, replacing carbs with fat (a recommendation under the keto or Atkins diet) can cause unpleasant mouth odors.

“If your body is running primarily on fat for energy – instead of carbs – this is when the problem occurs,” explains Dr. Harold Katz, a dentist and bacteriologist. “For some people, this is a sign of success because they are expecting to have symptoms of halitosis when trying to lose weight, but this can actually put a lot of stress on your kidneys because there is an excess of ketones.”

2. Having sinus infection

It’s getting to that time of year when everybody starts to get ill – and one of the symptoms of this might be smelly breath. If you have a sinus infection, mucus from your nose can end up going down your throat and settling on the back of your tongue (gross).

According to Dr. Katz, this is “where anaerobic or ‘bad breath’ bacteria live.” When the mucus settles there, it “coats the bacteria and ‘feeds’ it with amino acids, cysteine and methionine (protein building blocks) leading to the rapid onset of halitosis.”

3. Being overweight

Carrying a bit of extra weight on your frame can cause a whole host of problems from joint pain to heart problems to potentially fatal conditions. Unfortunately, it causes unsavory breath, too – and it’s not hard to guess why.”Overweight people may be grazing on food over extended periods of time,” says Dr. Katz. “The longer teeth are exposed to sugars and other carbohydrates, the more susceptible they become to developing oral issues that can lead to bad breath.”

4. Using birth control

So this might seem like a weird one but, considering the number of people worldwide who use birth control, it could be a major cause of bad breath across the planet.

“Oral contraceptives designed to increase estrogen and/or progesterone levels in the body to prevent pregnancy may lead to dry mouth or post-nasal drip, increasing the chances of developing bad breath,” says Dr. Katz.

5. Chewing gum

This is probably the most surprising item on the list, as chewing gum is almost always marketed as a product to make your breath less stinky. Of course, the occasional stick of spearmint goodness won’t do you any harm, but having too much of the stuff could lead to some undesirable results.

Dr. Katz says: “Sucking mints or chewing gum does serve as a good occasional short-term fix, but if they contain sugar then they may only eventually worsen the situation. Leaving sugar in the mouth for extended periods of time can lead to an accumulation of sticky plaque on the teeth.”

6. Not eating enough

We’ve already learned that eating too much of the wrong foods or not eating enough of the right foods can cause halitosis – but simply avoiding food altogether will also have a detrimental effect on the state of your mouth.”Whatever your reason for fasting, without regular meals or fluids, the mouth slows its production of saliva,” says Dr. Katz. “Without this bacteria-fighting moisture in the mouth, your tongue and palate can start breeding billions of extra bacteria leading to the onset of bad breath.”

7. Having dry mouth

This might sound like stating the obvious, but it’s not. Dry mouth is the name of a condition which causes a person to have a lack of saliva. This, in turn, allows for a build-up of bacteria: the stuff that causes your stinky mouth.

“There are many reasons dry mouth becomes a problem,” Dr. Katz explains. “Sometimes it’s due to age, but it can also be caused by prescription medications, antihistamines, adult beverages, tobacco, coffee, having to do a lot of talking, alcohol-based mouthwash, diet and many other factors.”

8. Being diabetic

This is linked to the above point, as people who have problems producing insulin are also likely to develop dry mouth.

“Individuals suffering from type 1 and type 2 diabetes are at risk of developing dry mouth (xerostomia),” Dr Katz confirms. “Abnormal insulin production and/or absorption rates, which occur in diabetes, can cause the salivary glands to not release adequate amounts of saliva and lead to occurrences of dry mouth and bad breath.”

9. Being dehydrated

Yes, it had to make the list at some point. Not keeping your body hydrated is probably the most common cause of nasty breath, but is also the easiest to avoid.

“Individuals who get dehydrated generally do not drink much water, but this can help reduce the risk of bad breath because it rinses the mouth of food particles between brushings,” says Dr. Katz. “These food particles often linger between teeth and along the gum-line and can be the source of unpleasant aromas.”There you have it, then. If you find yourself suffering from some particularly gross mouth odors, these might offer some insight into what’s going on.

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Stay Healthy & Protect Yourself from Cancer

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Health they say is wealth and there are certain habits that can guarantee great health even as you progress in years.
Eight healthy behaviors can go a long way toward improving your health and lowering your risk of many cancers as well as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and osteoporosis. And they’re not as complicated as you might think.
So take control of your health, and encourage your family to do the same. Choose one or two of the behaviors below to start with. Once you’ve got those down, move on to the others.
1. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Keeping your weight in check is often easier said than done, but a few simple tips can help. First off, if you’re overweight, focus initially on not gaining any more weight. This by itself can improve your health. Then, when you’re ready, try to take off some extra pounds for an even greater health boost. To see where you fall on the weight range, click here.
Tips
  • Integrate physical activity and movement into your life.
  • Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  • Choose smaller portions and eat more slowly.
For Parents and Grandparents 
  • Limit children’s TV and computer time.
  • Encourage healthy snacking on fruits and vegetables.
  • Encourage activity during free time.
2. Exercise Regularly
Few things are as good for you as regular physical activity. While it can be hard to find the time, it’s important to fit in at least 30 minutes of activity every day. More is even better, but any amount is better than none.
Tips 
  • Choose activities you enjoy. Many things count as exercise, including walking, gardening and dancing.
  • Make exercise a habit by setting aside the same time for it each day. Try going to the gym at lunchtime or taking a walk regularly after dinner.
  • Stay motivated by exercising with someone.
For Parents and Grandparents 
  • Play active games with your kids regularly and go on family walks and bike rides when the weather allows.
  • Encourage children to play outside (when it’s safe) and to take part in organized activities, including soccer, gymnastics and dancing.
  • Walk with your kids to school in the morning. It’s great exercise for everyone.
3. Don’t Smoke
You’ve heard it before: If you smoke, quitting is absolutely the best thing you can do for your health. Yes, it’s hard, but it’s also far from impossible. More than 1,000 Americans stop for good every day.
Tips 
  • Keep trying! It often takes six or seven tries before you quit for good.
  • Talk to a health-care provider for help.
  • Join a quit-smoking program. Your workplace or health plan may offer one.
For Parents and Grandparents
  • Try to quit as soon as possible. If you smoke, your children will be more likely to smoke.
  • Don’t smoke in the house or car. If kids breathe in your smoke, they may have a higher risk of breathing problems and lung cancer.
  • When appropriate, talk to your kids about the dangers of smoking and chewing tobacco. A health-care professional or school counselor can help.
4. Eat a Healthy Diet
Despite confusing news reports, the basics of healthy eating are actually quite straightforward. You should focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains and keep red meat to a minimum. It’s also important to cut back on bad fats (saturated and trans fats) and choose healthy fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats) more often. Taking a multivitamin with folate every day is a great nutrition insurance policy.
Tips
  • Make fruits and vegetables a part of every meal. Put fruit on your cereal. Eat vegetables as a snack.
  • Choose chicken, fish or beans instead of red meat.
  • Choose whole-grain cereal, brown rice and whole-wheat bread over their more refined counterparts.
  • Choose dishes made with olive or canola oil, which are high in healthy fats.
  • Cut back on fast food and store-bought snacks (like cookies), which are high in bad fats.
  • Buy a 100 percent RDA multivitamin that contains folate.
5. Drink Alcohol Only in Moderation, If at All
Moderate drinking is good for the heart, as many people already know, but it can also increase the risk of cancer. If you don’t drink, don’t feel that you need to start. If you already drink moderately (less than one drink a day for women, less than two drinks a day for men), there’s probably no reason to stop. People who drink more, though, should cut back.
Tips
  • Choose nonalcoholic beverages at meals and parties.
  • Avoid occasions centered around alcohol.
  • Talk to a health-care professional if you feel you have a problem with alcohol.
For Parents and Grandparents
  • Avoid making alcohol an essential part of family gatherings.
  • When appropriate, discuss the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse with children. A health-care professional or school counselor can help.
6. Protect Yourself from the Sun
While the warm sun is certainly inviting, too much exposure to it can lead to skin cancer, including serious melanoma. Skin damage starts early in childhood, so it’s especially important to protect children.
Tips
  • Steer clear of direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. (peak burning hours). It’s the best way to protect yourself.
  • Wear hats, long-sleeve shirts and sunscreens with SPF15 or higher.
  • Don’t use sun lamps or tanning booths. Try self-tanning creams instead.
For Parents and Grandparents 
  • Buy tinted sunscreen so you can see if you’ve missed any spots on a fidgety child.
  • Set a good example for children by also protecting yourself with clothing, shade and sunscreen.
7. Protect Yourself From Sexually Transmitted Infections
Among other problems, sexually transmitted infections – like human papillomavirus (HPV) – are linked to a number of different cancers. Protecting yourself from these infections can lower your risk.
Tips
  • Aside from not having sex, the best protection is to be in a committed, monogamous relationship with someone who does not have a sexually transmitted infection.
  • For all other situations, be sure to always use a condom and follow other safe-sex practices.
  • Never rely on your partner to have a condom. Always be prepared.
For Parents and Grandparents
  • When appropriate, discuss with children the importance of abstinence and safe sex. A health-care professional or school counselor can help.
  • Vaccinate girls and young women as well as boys and young men against HPV. Talk to a health professional for more information.
8. Get Screening Tests
There are a number of important screening tests that can help protect against cancer. Some of these tests find cancer early when they are most treatable, while others can actually help keep cancer from developing in the first place. For colorectal cancer alone, regular screening could save over 30,000 lives each year. That’s three times the number of people killed by drunk drivers in the United States in all of 2011. Talk to a health care professional about which tests you should have and when.
Cancers that should be tested for regularly:
  • Colon and rectal cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Lung cancer (in current or past heavy smokers)

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Health & Lifestyle

Sickle cell may get solution soon – scientists.

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Scientists in the U.S. have unveiled results of a small clinical trial that could mean an effective “cure” for sickle cell anemia, the painful and debilitating disease that inflicts many millions of people across the globe, mostly of African heritage and including some 100,000 African Americans in the U.S.



Researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) say they have used gene therapy techniques to add a “corrected” gene for healthy red blood cells into the bodies of nine test patients, replacing their diseased red blood cells caused by sickle cell anemia and effectively ridding them of signs of the disease.

NIH Director Francis Collins described the trial results as seemingly “spectacular”.

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“When you look at their blood counts and their blood smears, it looks like they don’t have it anymore,” Collins said on Monday (March 11) from his office at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C.

Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder that causes protein crystals to form inside red blood cells, changing their shape from a flat disk into a crescent or sickle shape that then clogs up the small blood vessels and results in terrible episodes of pain and organ damage.

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But they believe the basic premise of introducing a corrected gene into the body holds promise for Africa provided a simpler, cheaper and less toxic delivery system than bone marrow transplant and the accompanying chemotherapy can be found.

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