Matcha Green Tea and Matcha Powder

Matcha Green Tea

So if green tea is the road to health, then Matcha Green Tea is the freeway. Drinking one cup of this ingredient packed brew can be compared to drinking approximately 10 cups of regularly prepared green tea. If you are a fan of the health benefits that green tea provides through the delivery of antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, then you should be a raving fanatic of matcha powder.

Matcha Benefits Comparison

How Matcha Compares to Other Health Drinks

We list the 8 Benefits of Green Tea in our GT review. The benefits of Matcha remain the same although greatly enhanced due to concentration. We know that, compared to regular green tea, Matcha is about ten times more powerful. What about other healthy beverages though? How does this power-packed version of green tea stack up to other drinks like Pomegranate or Gojiberries? If you look at the chart below, you may be mildly shocked at the results.


Almost 15 times the antioxidant benefit of Pomegranate and more than 100 times that of Spinach, our supercharged GT delivers a powerhouse of healthy ingredients. How is it so much more powerful than regularly brewed green tea? Well the secret is in the grinding of the leaf. When you brew a tea, you only get a fraction of the ingredients as they are steeped into the water. With Matcha, it is a powder ground from the entire leaf so all of the benefit of the green tea extract is boiled into your morning beverage.

If you are inclined to know more about the ingredients found in a single serving, here are some additional studies provided courtesy of Brunswick Laboratories (see tables at the bottom of the page). This form of green tea powder has become extremely popular and demand has been rapidly rising. When looking at the comparative analysis, it is pretty easy to see why popularity is growing at such a fast pace.

Matcha Ingredients

Matcha Green Tea Ingredients

It is readily apparent that our Super Tea is ingredient rich and contains a plethora of antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. All of this is delivered with almost no calories. It truly is a powerhouse of health, even compared to other so called healthy drinks (see comparison below).

Matcha Detailed Comparison

Matcha Green Tea Detailed Comparison


Green Tea and Green Tea Extract Benefits

Green Tea Your Way to Health

Green Tea – a figment of your healthy imagination or a does it have real benefit? Like supplements, green tea can have a placebo affect on our body and mental impact that helps us feel healthier. When we look at the real effects however, we might be surprised. A double blind study was performed in 2003 that showed the viability of green tea as compared to participants who just took a placebo. This study is published in the US National Library of Medicine that shows a positive reaction in those participants who actually drank green tea.

Green Tea and Medicinal Impact

“Participants treated with a combination regimen of topical and oral green tea showed histologic improvement in elastic tissue content.” (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16029678). This was a conclusion that suggests that green tea, in any format, has a positive impact on cell content inhibiting photoaging in study participants. The significance of the impact to photoaging was inconclusive, but the results still show positive reaction.


Eight Top Benefits of Green Tea

There are numerous posts and articles on the benefits of green tea or green tea extracts ranging from health to mental acuity and weight loss. Many are simply claims and have little substance to the argument that this type of tea has an impact on our well-being. There are however, some factors that have a concrete basis with enough validity to put the positive effects, and the beverage itself, in the plus column. Proponents of green tea (GT) and green tea extract (GTE) suggest that one or both can do the following;

  1. High in Flavonoid Antioxidants – Can lower your risk of various types of cancer. It is well-known that antioxidants can minimize damage leading to cancer by isolating and reducing free radicals in your system.
  2. Increases Fat Burning for Weight Loss – Not to be confused with the effects that caffeine can have on the body, it is claimed that green tea elevates the burning of fat within the body. In other words, it is supposed to enhance your metabolism resulting in higher rate of fat burn and increased weight loss. There are studies that validate this statement and there are studies that show no impact so let us know if you have tried green tea or green tea extract as a fat burning solution.
  3. Improves Brain Function and Neuron Stimulation – Aside from caffeine to wake up your brain cells, green tea contains an amino acid, L-theanine, that has promotes neurotransmitter activity in the brain. This is, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18296328), an ingredient that accelerates activity in the brain theoretically making you smarter. Who needs a brain pill?
  4. Contains Bioactive Compounds That Improve Health – Green tea contains flavonoids and catechins such as EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate). These are powerful antioxidants proven to reduce free radicals that can cause molecular damage. The suggested benefits are slowed cellular aging, reduced risk of cancer and disease treatment.
  5. Lowers Risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s – Ingredients in this beverage are said to reduce the risk of these diseases through increased brain activity and neuron stimulation. There is little basis for this conclusion however studies done in cultures that drink green tea show a lower population percentage of these diseases overall.
  6. Kills Bacteria – Just like your favorite mouthwash commercial, kills bacteria that can cause bad breath and reduces your risk of infection. GT ingredients, specifically ECGC, are shown to fight germs and fight infections. There is some basis to this statement.
  7. Lowers Risk of Type II Diabetes – Again, minimal substance to the studies, but some ingredients are known to enhance sensitivity to insulin thereby improving risk of Type II Diabetes. Population studies have shown smaller percentage of individuals with this disease even though the number of people diagnosed worldwide with Type II has exploded in recent years.
  8. May Reduce Your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease – Antioxidants shield LDL cholesterol particles from oxidation which is a primary contributor to cardiovascular and heart disease. Basically, GT lowers the bad cholesterol while protecting the good cholesterol. It is claimed with some substantiation that people who drink this regularly have reduced risk of heart disease.

Green Tea Helps You Live Longer

Regardless of the validity of claims that GT is beneficial to your health, there is substantive proof that the beverage holds at least some positive impact. The ingredients alone target oxidization which is known to damage health over time. Coupled with amino acids and neuron transmittal, even if there is a minimal reduction in risk of disease, then I am better off drinking this compared to some of the other beverages I consume.

Green tea on steroids. If you are looking for maximum benefit from the tea you drink, you may want to look at Matcha. This is a GT powder chock full of more antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and minerals than its more tame sibling. You can learn more about Matcha Powder here, but suffice it to say that Matcha is made from the entire tea leaf so it is more potent from an ingredient perspective.

I look at it this way, I drink coffee in the morning. What if I substitute Green Tea instead? Positive results have been shown to occur in a short period of time that can positively impact my cardiovascular system, my fat percentage / weight as well as my mental health and acuity. If I still get the benefit of a caffeine shot in the morning and the side effects are positive then it is worth the minor change. Probable case scenario, I still get a good tasting, warm beverage with caffeine (or caffeine free) in the morning and realize some change in health. Not a bad trade-off.


Virtual Counselor - TownSpeaks Technology

Virtual Counselor

Technology brings us to the age where communication and interaction have become more impersonal. Data moves at the speed of light, but what are some of the negatives associated with the age of technology? Have we forgotten the human equation as we hurtle into the future? Technology even provides us with solutions for personal well-being. Introducing the virtual counselor.

Virtual Counselor – The Power of Technology

What is the biggest detractor in technology? Is it the speed of information and the constant bombardment of input? Perhaps it is the onslaught of immediacy and how everyone expects everything right now. There is no delay in demand and it is only getting worse. Maybe it is that our bosses and colleagues, thanks to 24/7 connectivity, no longer show any boundaries when it comes to expectations. Whatever you define as the biggest drawback of technology, the one common aspect is that it makes our lives more impersonal. Enter the virtual counselor.

Millennials, along with members of generations past and future, have grown increasingly used to technology as the primary form of communication and they have become accustomed to the impersonal interaction of text and email. Interpersonal communication, including the subtle art of reading expression and inflection, is getting edged out by the phone and computer screen. The problem? We, as humans, are not built that way. We need interface. Enter the virtual counselor. If you would like to explore more about the role of technology in virtual counseling, there is an interesting article from the American Counseling Association – The Role of Technology in Counseling.

The Virtual Counselor – What We Don’t Know Can Hurt Us

When we think of a virtual counselor, we think of someone online who can answer questions and help us navigate difficult or challenging emotional waters, but virtual counseling is much more than that. When you think of counseling, maybe you think of counseling for kids or marriage counseling. These are only two of areas that make up a vast online presence. Here is a brief list of the different types of counseling.

  • Marriage and Family
  • Guidance and Career
  • Rehabilitation
  • Mental Health
  • Substance Abuse
  • Educational
  • Debt counseling
  • Child development counseling
  • Eating disorder therapy
  • Grief counseling
  • Art therapy
  • Musical therapy

These are just a few areas of specialty, but what is unique is that each area now has a significant online presence. No matter what type of assistance you need, you can find it online. Now here is where it really gets interesting. Most of the online or virtual counselor listings you will find are to professionals you can find online. So really, many of the listings you find are simply listings to private or public practices or counselors.

The Truly Virtual Counselor

But where is technology taking us? The interaction between human and machine has become a dependent relationship between user and mechanism for transport. With Quantum Computing on the near horizon and our electronic volumes of interactive data, we are getting closer to an AI form, but we will never be able to truly create Artificial Intelligence. We cannot create a sentient being any more than we can create gravity. Maybe someday, but not yet.

What we can do right now however, is mimic human interaction and recreate responses that reflect what society considers a “correct” answer to almost any question that can be asked. So does this mean that search engines will become our virtual counselor? The solution will be some form of data construct that will provide answers to questions we have. Look at Siri who is even programmed to answer inane questions. Look at Google, Yahoo and the rest of the search engine platforms built to query through mountains of data almost instantaneously

To learn more about human and computer interface, there is an excellent read – Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction: Design for All and Accessibility Practice. You can learn where we are headed as a society and how our interface with computers and technology will evolve.

To artificial intelligence, we have a long way to go and it is doubtful that we will be able to recreate intelligence in our lifetime or lifetimes immediately following. We will continue to improve technology’s capability to respond based on recreated human response. Mimic is not a form of intelligence, though we will continue down that path because we are human.


Mesothelioma Signs and Symptoms

It can take as much as 20 to 50 years or more for mesothelioma signs and symptoms to appear after exposure to asbestos. Shortness of breath, cough, and pain in the chest due to an accumulation of fluid in the pleural space (pleural effusion) are often symptoms of pleural mesothelioma.[4]

Other peritoneal mesothelioma signs and symptoms include weight loss and cachexia, abdominal swelling and pain due to ascites (a buildup of fluid in the abdominal cavity). Other symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma may include bowel obstruction, blood clotting abnormalities, anemia, and fever. If the cancer has spread beyond the mesothelium to other parts of the body, symptoms may include pain, trouble swallowing, or swelling of the neck or face.




These symptoms may be caused by mesothelioma or by other, less serious conditions.

Mesothelioma that affects the pleura can cause these signs and symptoms:[4]

   Chest wall pain

   Pleural effusion, or fluid surrounding the lung

   Shortness of breath

   Fatigue or anemia

   Wheezing, hoarseness, or cough

   Blood in the sputum (fluid) coughed up (hemoptysis)

In severe cases, the person may have many tumor masses. The individual may develop a pneumothorax, or collapse of the lung. The disease may metastasize, or spread to other parts of the body.

Tumors that affect the abdominal cavity often do not cause symptoms until they are at a late stage. Symptoms include:

   Abdominal pain

   Ascites, or an abnormal buildup of fluid in the abdomen

   A mass in the abdomen

   Problems with bowel function

   Weight loss

In severe cases of the disease, the following signs and symptoms may be present:

   Blood clots in the veins, which may cause thrombophlebitis

   Disseminated intravascular coagulation, a disorder causing severe bleeding in many body organs

   Jaundice, or yellowing of the eyes and skin

   Low blood sugar level

   Pleural effusion

   Pulmonary emboli, or blood clots in the arteries of the lungs

   Severe ascites

A mesothelioma does not usually spread to the bone, brain, or adrenal glands. Pleural tumors are usually found only on one side of the lungs. If you have ever been exposed to asbestos, please keep a list of these mesothelioma signs and symptoms.

What is Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma Causes
Mesothelioma Signs and Symptoms
Mesothelioma Survival Rates

What are the Mesothelioma Causes?

Mesothelioma Causes

Working with asbestos is the major risk factor for mesothelioma.[5] In the United States, asbestos is the major cause of malignant mesothelioma[6] and has been considered "indisputably"[7] associated with the development of mesothelioma. Indeed, the relationship between asbestos and mesothelioma is so strong that many consider mesothelioma a “signal” or “sentinel” tumor.[8][9][10][11] A history of asbestos exposure exists in most cases. However, mesothelioma has been reported in some individuals without any known exposure to asbestos. In rare cases, mesothelioma has also been associated with irradiation, intrapleural thorium dioxide (Thorotrast), and inhalation of other fibrous silicates, such as erionite. Some studies suggest that simian virus 40 (SV40) may act as a cofactor in the development of mesothelioma. This has been confirmed in animal studies,[12][13] but studies in humans are inconclusive.[12][14][15]




Asbestos was known in antiquity, but it was not mined and widely used commercially until the late 19th century. Its use greatly increased during World War II. Since the early 1940s, millions of American workers have been exposed to asbestos dust. Initially, the risks associated with asbestos exposure were not publicly known. However, an increased risk of developing mesothelioma was later found among shipyard workers, people who work in asbestos mines and mills, producers of asbestos products, workers in the heating and construction industries, and other tradespeople. Today, the official position of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the U.S. EPA is that protections and "permissible exposure limits" required by U.S. regulations, while adequate to prevent most asbestos-related non-malignant disease, are not adequate to prevent or protect against asbestos-related cancers such as mesothelioma.[16] Likewise, the British Government's Health and Safety Executive (HSE) states formally that any threshold for exposure to asbestos must be at a very low level and it is widely agreed that if any such threshold does exist at all, then it cannot currently be quantified. For practical purposes, therefore, HSE assumes that no such "safe" threshold exists. Others have noted as well that there is no evidence of a threshold level below which there is no risk of mesothelioma.[17] There appears to be a linear, dose-response relationship, with increasing dose producing increasing disease.[18] Nevertheless, mesothelioma may be related to brief, low level or indirect exposures to asbestos.[7] The dose necessary for effect appears to be lower for asbestos-induced mesothelioma than for pulmonary asbestosis or lung cancer.[7] Again, there is no known safe level of exposure to asbestos as it relates to increased risk of mesothelioma.

The duration of exposure to asbestos causing mesothelioma can be short. For example, cases of mesothelioma have been documented with only 1–3 months of exposure.[19][20] People who work with asbestos wear personal protective equipment to lower their risk of exposure.

Latency, the time from first exposure to manifestation of disease, is prolonged in the case of mesothelioma. It is virtually never less than fifteen years and peaks at 30–40 years.[7] In a review of occupationally related mesothelioma cases, the median latency was 32 years.[21] Based upon the data from Peto et al., the risk of mesothelioma appears to increase to the third or fourth power from first exposure.[18]
Environmental exposures

Incidence of mesothelioma has been found to be higher in populations living near naturally occurring asbestos. For example, in central Cappadocia, Turkey, mesothelioma was causing 50% of all deaths in three small villages—Tuzköy, Karain and Sarıhıdır. Initially, this was attributed to erionite, a zeolite mineral with similar properties to asbestos. Similar "epidemics" have occurred in the past in Metsovo, (North West Greece) and other Mediterrenean countries (Cyprus, Corsica) but also as far as New Caledonia in the Pacific Ocean.[22] In all these areas, the incriminating agent was asbestos (usually tremolite used as whitewash). In Metsovo, this exposure had resulted in mesothelioma incidence around 300 times more than expected in asbestos free populations and was associated with very frequent Pleural Calcification known as "Metsovo Lung". Recently, however, detailed epidemiological investigation showed that erionite causes mesothelioma mostly in families with a genetic predisposition.[23][24] The documented presence of asbestos fibers in water supplies and food products has fostered concerns about the possible impact of long-term and, as yet, unknown exposure of the general population to these fibers.
Occupational

Exposure to asbestos fibers has been recognized as an occupational health hazard since the early 20th century. Numerous epidemiological studies have associated occupational exposure to asbestos with the development of pleural plaques, diffuse pleural thickening, asbestosis, carcinoma of the lung and larynx, gastrointestinal tumors, and diffuse malignant mesothelioma of the pleura and peritoneum. Asbestos has been widely used in many industrial products, including cement, brake linings, gaskets, roof shingles, flooring products, textiles, and insulation.

Commercial asbestos mining at Wittenoom, Western Australia, occurred between 1945 and 1966. A cohort study of miners employed at the mine reported that while no deaths occurred within the first 10 years after crocidolite exposure, 85 deaths attributable to mesothelioma had occurred by 1985. By 1994, 539 reported deaths due to mesothelioma had been reported in Western Australia.
Paraoccupational secondary exposure

Family members and others living with asbestos workers have an increased risk of developing mesothelioma, and possibly other asbestos related diseases.[25][26] This risk may be the result of exposure to asbestos dust brought home on the clothing and hair of asbestos workers. To reduce the chance of exposing family members to asbestos fibres, asbestos workers are usually required to shower and change their clothing before leaving the workplace.
Asbestos in buildings

Many building materials used in both public and domestic premises prior to the banning of asbestos may contain asbestos. Those performing renovation works or DIY activities may expose themselves to asbestos dust. In the UK use of Chrysotile asbestos was banned at the end of 1999. Brown and blue asbestos was banned in the UK around 1985. Buildings built or renovated prior to these dates may contain asbestos materials.
Genetic disposition

In a recent research carried on white American population in 2012, it was found that people with a germline mutation on their BAP1 gene are at higher risk of developing mesothelioma and uveal melanoma.[27]

What is Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma Causes
Mesothelioma Signs and Symptoms
Mesothelioma Survival Rates

Mesothelioma Survival Rates

Mesothelioma is a form a cancer with a notably poor prognosis given mesothelioma survival rates are extremely low; mesothelioma life expectancy following diagnosis ranges between eight and fourteen months. The primary reason for poor mesothelioma survival rates is the lengthy mesothelioma latency period as well as the fact that early mesothelioma symptoms are indicative of numerous other respiratory diseases as well, often delaying a correct diagnosis. While Stage 1 or stage 2 mesothelioma is often potentially curable, Stage 3 and stage 4 mesothelioma is not; such patients are often relegated to palliative treatments to relieve symptoms and restore quality of life. Early detection is the key to increasing mesothelioma survival rates.




Mesothelioma prognosis is officially determined by a standard measure known as the relative five-year survival rate. This number indicates how many patients are still alive five years after being diagnosed with the disease. Currently, the relative five-year survival rate for mesothelioma is about 10 percent, a number that is significantly higher than it was a few decades ago. The one-year survival rate has also improved throughout the last 20 years or so and now sits at approximately 40 percent. Nevertheless, overall mesothelioma survival rates remain poor.

Mesothelioma survival rate varies from patient to patient, with some patients being able to far exceed initial prognosis at diagnosis

What is Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma Causes
Mesothelioma Signs and Symptoms
Mesothelioma Survival Rates

What is Mesothelioma?

What is Mesothelioma? More precisely, malignant me-so-thel-i-o-ma, is a rare form of cancer that develops from cells of the mesothelium, the protective lining that covers many of the internal organs of the body. This disease is most commonly caused by exposure to asbestos.[1] The most common anatomical site for this rare form of cancer is the pleura (the outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall), but it can also arise in the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity), the pericardium (the sac that surrounds the heart),[2] or the tunica vaginalis (a sac that surrounds the testis).

Most people who develop this rare type of cancer have worked in jobs such as miners where they inhaled or ingested asbestos fibers, or were exposed to airborne asbestos dust and fibers in other ways. Washing clothes of a family member who worked with asbestos also creates a risk for developing.[3]

Signs and symptoms include shortness of breath due to pleural effusion (fluid between the lung and the chest wall), chest wall pain and constitutional signs such as unexplained weight loss. The diagnosis may be suspected based on chest X-ray and CT scan findings, but must be confirmed either by examining serous effusion cytology or with a biopsy (removing a sample of the suspicious tissue). A thoracoscopy (inserting a tube with a camera into the chest) can be used to acquire biopsy material, and allows the introduction of substances such as talc to obliterate the pleural space (a procedure called pleurodesis), preventing more fluid from accumulating and pressing on the lung. Despite treatment with chemotherapy, radiation therapy or sometimes surgery, this form of cancer carries a poor prognosis. Research about screening tests for the early detection of mesothelioma is ongoing.

What is Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma Causes
Mesothelioma Signs and Symptoms
Mesothelioma Survival Rates