Search This Blog

17 October 2008

McCarthy "Cures" Autism, Reaches Out to McCain

Despite criticism from the American Academy of Pediatrics, Jenny McCarthy says she helped her son, Evan, recover from autism.

The actress - who believes the MMR vaccine was to blame for her son's diagnosis - says a strict no wheat-and-dairy-free diet has changed her son from a quiet little boy who used to flail his arms around to a loving six-year-old.

"Before the vaccination, he was huggy, lovey, snuggly," she says in the newest issue of Us Weekly. "Then it was like someone came down and stole him."

McCarthy, 36, remembers when Evan began to come out of his shell while watching a SpongeBob episode. "I heard Evan laugh...I jumped on the bed and started screaming."

She adds, "When he finally hugged me, I prayed, 'Please God don't let this be the only time.'"

McCarthy has become an outspoken advocate for autism awareness, often courting controversy along the way (doctors have accused her of creating fear of necessary vaccines). She's the bestselling author of five books, including her newest, Mother Warriors: A Nation of Parents Healing Autism Against All Odds. She's also constantly researching on sites like like and

"I made a deal with God," she explains. "I said, 'You fix my boy, you show me the way and I'll teach the world how I did it.'"

She's even reached out to John McCain - who spoke about the importance of autism awareness during Wednesday's debate - without much success.

"We tried," says McCarthy - who currently labels herself a Democrat. "McCain had come out and said he thinks there's enough evidence between vaccines and autism, so I got on a helicopter [to meet him for] an on-camera interview. By the time I got there, the campaign manager said, 'He's ahead in the polls, and this is too controversial, and he doesn't want to go one way or the next.'"

The mom has avoided one controversial critic: Denis Leary, who blamed "inattentive mothers" for autism in his new book, Why We Suck: A Feel-Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid. (He later said his words were taken out of context)

For more on the specific ways McCarthy helped her son recover from autism and how beau Jim Carrey supports her, pick up the newest issue of Us Weekly, on stands now.

14 October 2008

Your Fat Does More Than You Think

Most people think of fat as inert, but in fact fat cells release powerful chemicals. And in obese people, the fat tissue often produces too many bad hormones and too few good ones.

White fat cells store energy and produce hormones that are secreted into the blood. They release adiponectin, which actually helps to fight diabetes, heart disease and other diseases. But in obese people, fat cells tend to shut down the production of adiponectin, which has negative effects on health.

While a white fat cell stores energy, a brown fat cell's job is basically to generate heat. There is increasing evidence that some humans, particularly those who are lean, tend to have more brown fat cells mixed in with their white fat cells in some regions of their body.

If the body could be persuaded to make more brown fat cells, it could help fight the tendency to gain excess weight.


* USA Today October 8, 2008

Can Bad Times Be Healthy?

Most people are worried about the health of the economy. But the economy also affects your health -- and not always in the way you might expect. The data on how an economic downturn influences health is surprisingly mixed.

Long-term economic gains do lead to improvements in a population’s overall health, in developing and industrialized societies alike. But whether the current economic slump will take a toll on your own health depends on your health habits when times are good.

Studies suggest that people tend not to take care of themselves in boom times. They can drink too much (especially before driving), dine on unhealthy restaurant meals and skip exercise and doctors’ appointments because of work-related time commitments.

During bad economic times, people may work less and do some more of the things that are good for them, like cooking at home and exercising.


* New York Times October 6, 2008

Vitamin D is a Key Player in Your Overall Health

Vitamin D, once linked to only bone diseases such as rickets and osteoporosis, is now recognized as a major player in overall human health.

In a paper published in the August issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Anthony Norman, an international expert on vitamin D, identifies vitamin D's potential for contributions to good health in the adaptive and innate immune systems, the secretion and regulation of insulin by the pancreas, the heart and blood pressure regulation, muscle strength and brain activity. Access to adequate amounts of vitamin D is also believed to be beneficial towards reducing the risk of cancer.

Norman also lists 36 organ tissues in the body whose cells respond biologically to vitamin D, including bone marrow, breast, colon, intestine, kidney, lung, prostate, retina, skin, stomach and uterine tissues.


* Eurekalert October 9, 2008