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Are We Headed Towards a Food Shortage in America? : Essential Vitamins, Minerals, and Protein Powders to Maintain Good Health
May 07, 2022 09:33 AM
What is a food shortage, and why are we headed towards one in America?
A food shortage is a period of time where there is not enough food to meet the demand of the people within a certain region. This can be caused by a number of factors, including natural disasters, war, and economic downturns. In America, we are currently facing a perfect storm of conditions that could lead to widespread food shortages in the coming years. Climate change is resulting in more extreme weather patterns that damage crops, while at the same time, the population is continuing to grow. In addition, many Americans are struggling with financial instability, which makes it difficult to afford healthy food. As a result, we are heading towards a time where there may not be enough food to go around. It is important for everyone to be aware of this issue and take steps to reduce their impact on the problem. One way to do this is to reduce food waste, which will help to stretch our limited resources further. We can also support local farmers and producers who are working hard to ensure that everyone has enough to eat. By taking action now, we can help to prevent a future food shortage from becoming a reality.
The importance of having essential vitamins, minerals, and protein powders
It is essential for the body to have vitamins, minerals, and protein to survive. The body needs these essential nutrients to function properly. Vitamins help the body to produce energy, regulate metabolism, and maintain healthy tissues. Minerals are needed for the proper development and function of the skeletal system and muscles. Protein powders provide the building blocks for the growth and repair of tissues. Without these essential nutrients, the body would not be able to perform its basic functions. As a result, it is essential that people get enough of these nutrients through their diet or supplements.
The benefits of taking supplements during a food shortage
One of the most common questions people ask during a food shortage is whether or not they should take supplements. While there are benefits to taking supplements, it's important to understand that they should never be used as a replacement for real food. Instead, supplements should be viewed as a way to fill in the gaps when you're not getting all the nutrients you need from your diet. For example, if you're not getting enough vitamin C from the fruits and vegetables you're eating, taking a supplement can help ensure that your body gets the Vitamin C it needs. While supplements can't take the place of a healthy diet, they can be a helpful way to make sure you're getting all the nutrients your body needs during a food shortage.
How to store your supplements for long-term use
Supplements are an important part of many people's health regimens. If you want to make sure your supplements last as long as possible, there are a few things you need to do. First, always store your supplements in a cool, dry place. Heat and humidity can cause vitamins and minerals to break down, so avoid storing them in the bathroom or kitchen. Second, keep them out of direct sunlight. Ultraviolet light can also degrade vitamins and minerals, so it's best to keep supplements in a dark closet or cabinet. Finally, make sure the bottles are tightly sealed. Exposure to air can cause supplements to lose their potency, so it's important to keep them well-protected. Supplements generally have expiration dates of 2 - 3 years out, and are still good beyond the best used by date on the bottom of the bottles.
FAQs about food shortages and supplements
Q: What are the causes of food shortages?
A: Food shortages can be caused by a variety of factors, including natural disasters, war, economic instability, war and climate change.
Q: What are the effects of food shortages?
A: The effects of food shortages can be devastating. People may go hungry or face malnutrition, which can lead to health problems and death. Children are often the most affected by food shortages, as they need adequate nutrition to grow and develop properly. Families may also lose their livelihoods if they can't afford to buy food, which can result in poverty and homelessness
Q: What can I do to prevent a food shortage?
A: There are a number of things people can do to prevent a food shortage. Some of the most important include:
Q: What should I do if there is a food shortage?
A: If there is a food shortage, the best thing to do is to stay calm and ration the food you have. Try to eat a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein. Don't forget to include essential vitamins and minerals in your diet. You can also try growing your own food or raising your own livestock, If you have to. Store up Food if you see empty shelves at the grocery store.
Q: Are supplements necessary during a food shortage?
A: While supplements can't take the place of a healthy diet, they can be a helpful way to make sure you're getting all the nutrients your body needs during a food shortage.
Q: How can I store my supplements for long-term use?
A: There are a few things you need to do to keep your supplements safe and effective for long-term use. First, always store them in a cool, dry place. Heat and humidity can cause vitamins and minerals to break down, so avoid storing them in the bathroom or kitchen. Second, keep them out of direct sunlight. Ultraviolet light can also degrade vitamins and minerals, so it's best to keep supplements in a dark closet or cabinet. Finally, make sure the bottles are tightly sealed. Exposure to air can cause supplements to lose their potency, so it's important to keep them well-protected. Supplements generally have expiration dates of two to three years out, and are still good beyond the expiration date.
Study: Fish oil helps fight arthritis, cancer, heart disease,depression by preventing inflammation - Are you getting enough?
December 11, 2018 11:22 AM
There are so many diseases out there that are plaguing individuals and their families. The amount of people that are affected by these diseases is growing every day and people are not giving enough thought to how they live their lives to prevent this from happening. Studies are showing that fish oil can actually be effective against things like depression and cancer.The main reason that it is effective against these issues is because it helps prevent inflammation.
"One of the most important aspects of fish oil is its ability to reduce inflammation."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-11-18-fish-oil-helps-fight-arthritis-cancer-heart-disease-depression.html
Curcumin Showing Promise In Alzheimer's Research
December 04, 2018 12:51 PM
Alzheimer's is a really terrible disease that has affected many people around the world. For anyone who has witnessed it in any type of capacity, they understand how devastating it can be. There have been a lot of studies done to try and find a cure for it but there has been no set cure found. It makes it difficult for families that are affected. Now, curcumin is getting attention as something that can help fight against the disease.
"The potential of turmeric to help combat this debilitating disease cannot be ignored by mainstream medicine any longer, effects of this and others like it must be investigated more thoroughly; and experts are describing the effects of turmeric on Alzheimer’s patients as being remarkable."
Read more: https://www.worldhealth.net/news/curcumin-showing-promise-alzheimers-research/
Is marijuana a secret weapon against the opioid epidemic?
July 13, 2017 09:14 AM
Addiction to opioids is a huge problem,. It often starts with pain meds. Doctors prescribe opioids for pain and then the patient becomes addicted and needs more and more. This can ruin families and lives. Some believe marijuana can help because that can be used for pain instead. It does help some with pain already. Medicinal marijuana is already allowed in some places and people are swearing by it for pain and other issues. Others say marijuana can be addictive as well, though, so that would create its own problems.
"The reality is that the literature right now suggests that if anyone is using an opioid — whether it be a prescription painkiller or something like heroin — a prescription painkiller is more likely [than marijuana] to lead to drug abuse, she says, because it’s more addictive and obviously can be more lethal."
Read more: http://wunc.org/post/marijuana-secret-weapon-against-opioid-epidemic
Study: Compound in marijuana seems to help with severe form of epilepsy
April 22, 2017 06:44 AM
For parents of children with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, a disorder that can cause severe seizures, finding an effective cure can seem like a daunting and often unsuccessful task. However, new research on the effectiveness of cannabidiol, a compound found in marijuana, may give these families new hope. According to studies, cannabidiol reduced seizures by 50 percent in 40 percent of participants. Furthermore, cannabidiol does not create a high, and is found to be relatively safe, although some side effects, such as decreased appetite and lethargy might occur. Although cannabidiol is still currently under investigation by the FDA, it could be approved in as little as 6 months, making it a legal substance available for nationwide use.
Read more: Study: Compound in marijuana seems to help with severe form of epilepsy
Ear infection treatment: Do alternative therapies work?
March 18, 2017 08:44 AM
Watchful waiting is a common course of treatment for an ear infection. The discomfort of an ear infection however, takes a toll on both the patient and their families, frequently leaving people searching for alternative treatments. Mayo clinic published a summary of the current understanding of several popular alternatives promoted to relieve the pain of ear infection. Homeopathy, chiropractic, natural sweeteners, and herbal ear drops are few popular therapies with unclear research results. The practicality, cost, and safety of any alternatives should be considered.
"Alternative ear infection treatments abound on the internet and in books and magazines. They include chiropractic adjustments, homeopathy, herbal eardrops and others."
Read more: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ear-infections/in-depth/ear-infection-treatment/art-20047613
CBD bill appears headed for passage
March 08, 2017 05:59 PM
My Racine County reports that the State Assembly Bill 49 will soon be coming to vote. Passage of this bill will permit the use of CBD oils for medical applications. Supporters of the bill in the state legislature have built a version that will likely be successful. It now appears that the bill will be passed, in which case it would be ready for the governor to sign. The families who have supported the bill in order to help minors with seizures and other disorders are hopeful about what this will mean for those that are sick and can benefit from use of the oil.
Read more: CBD bill appears headed for passage
Families hopeful CBD oil bill will finally pass
February 21, 2017 10:59 AM
A lot of Families are hopeful that a CBD oil bill will pass, because it is very important for them. People cannot legally get it and it is something that can help ease seizures. One girl died before she was able to use it, so it is of vital importance to people who are in a similar situation. CBD oil helps people with seizures, so it should definitely be allowed for them.
"Big changes have been made to the bill that would make it legal to possess a marijuana extract in Wisconsin."
These May Be First Warning Signs for Depression in Kids
December 15, 2016 12:59 PM
Yes. Childhood depression is different from the normal "blues" and everyday emotions that occur as a child develops. Just because a child seems sad doesn't necessarily mean he or she has significant depression. If the sadness becomes persistent, or if disruptive behavior that interferes with normal social activities, interests, schoolwork, or family life develops, it may indicate that he or she has a depressive illness.
"It can be hard to study depression in Families."
How inflammation interferes with the formation of new bone material
One suffers from autoimmune inflammation when the immune system takes healthy cells to be foreign and fights them. This disease causes abnormal changes and growth in body organs; it can affect many or just one body tissue. Autoimmune inflammation usually runs in Families. The main cause of the disease is not known, but theories usually rotate on factors like chemical irritants, drugs, environmental irritants and virus. Autoimmune inflammation interferes with the process of bone formation as the chemicals released by body cells increase blood flow resulting in warmth or swelling of the infected part. This swelling causes irritation of the joints and the bones cartilage wears down swelling the joint lining.With patients with autoimmune inflammation, there will be the erosion of the cartilage and the bone. It causes weakening of the bone which is as a result of deterioration of the bone structure and low bone mass. This increases the risks of fractures as the bone becomes more fragile. It affects the bone formation by reducing muscle forces on the bone which can cause paralysis. From the activation of cells and immune system, there is a production of inflammatory cytokines which induce the bone loss. This is because it causes local cartilage degradation and thus inhibits bone formation.
Bone remodeling highly depends on the balanced action between bone-resorbing and the osteoblast, in this process, an inflammatory process that would target the joint will affect the structure of the bone. This will result in impaired function of the bone and the destruction of bone tissue. OPC generally helps to lower the blood pressure, protect the brain, stop deep vein thrombosis, prevent oxidative and stop inflammation. The seed extract reduces anything damaging the joints and helps in immune regulation. They help stop the symptoms of collagen-induced arthritis. It helps in building of the backbone. It acts as antibacterial agents, preventing inflammable infections. Inflammation can also be prevented through exercises and stopping obesity. Modification of the diet and consumption of supplements will also help avoid inflammation.
Acai berries actually come from palm trees
December 11, 2016 02:59 PM
Most people have heard of acai berries by now. They are known for their high nutritional content, but a lot of people do not know of their exact origin. Many would assume they come from a bush like other similar berries. However, they actually come from palm trees in Brazil. For years, they were food for the poorer Families in South America due to their availability and amount of nutrition. Unfortunately, the surge of popularity for the berries in other countries has driven up demand and prices for the fruit and caused them to be unattainable for most poor Families.
"Acai berries have become so famous in recent years as an antioxidant-packed superfood that even many people who don't stay actively informed on health food topics have heard of them."
Are your storable foods mostly just reprocessed GMO corn?
December 08, 2016 08:59 AM
Stocking up on non-perishable foods seems like an intelligent concept on the surface. But upon closer examination, it may prove that they stored food you buy contains genetically-modified organisms and additives that are toxic to your system. Transgenic corn, corn startch and high-fructose corn syrup are widely used in storable foods, but are nto organic products and are derivatives of "Frankencrops." Many popular brands that sell packaged food use these subtances to increae the shelf life of the food, but the presence of these chemicals in concerning.
"not all storable food is the same, and that much of it is actually loaded with things you probably wouldn't want to feed your Families"
January 18, 2014 06:37 AM
What is Amino Peptide
A amino peptide is basically a little protein which is made up of amino acids. Peptides are animated at quite little dosages, are greatly particular and have a quite great wellbeing profile when utilized physiologically - that is, to support or change a living being's physical methods. When we dismember a percentage of the peptide marks above, we can start to separate around them. The utilization of "amino" in amino-polypeptide is a spot excess since all peptides are made of amino acids. The "poly" just implies this is a peptide of a few amino acids. A "hexapeptide" is a chain of precisely six (hexa) amino acids; a pentatpeptide is a chain of five (penta). One scientist working with a palmitoylated five-amino-harsh corrosive chain peptide named it "palmitoyl pentapeptide", while an alternate scientist examining the same atomcalled it "palmitoyloligopeptide". This is a honest to goodness, however less particular, name since "oligo" implies "few". Along these lines the disarray develops.
The expression "neuropeptide" is a smidge more accommodating in that it really portrays the capacity of the peptide. Neuropeptides about as neuromodulators, neurotransmitters, neurohormones, and hormones. Research into neuropeptides has blasted in later a long time to the degree that there is an investigative diary named
Neuropeptides whose point is the quick distribution of unique research and survey articles, managing the structure, circulation, activities and capacities of peptides in the focal and fringe anxious frameworks. What is energizing about neuropeptides is their energy and scope. Different neurotransmitters transmit focal anxious framework motions in one bearing and along a way from A to B.
Neuropeptides transmit omnidirectionally outward and can even immediate transmissions in converse. As neuromodulators, they can initiate and deactivate different neurotransmitters. The deductive personality boggles at the potential. The names of a percentage of the neuropeptides may be natural and help you to comprehend the potential of opening the privileged insights of these peptide particles. Neuropeptides are aggregated into Families dependent upon similitudes in their amino harsh corrosive successions. There are the Tachykinins; the Insulins; the Somatostatins; the Gastrins, for example, cholecystokinin used to diagnose gallbladder and pancreatic issues; and the Opioids, for example, enkephalins - the figure's sedatives or painkillers.
Why Involving Lutein In Your Diet Is Important
February 29, 2012 07:39 AM
Why Involving Lutein In Your Diet Is Important
The sense ofsight is very important because it allows us to see things and appreciate its beauty and we have our eyes to thank for that. Our eyes are being used every waking second of our lives so that we can see the world around us and be able to do things that we want to do. But the sad thing is that our eyes just like any other organ in our bodies get damaged if we do not take care of it properly. There are a lot of people who have regret their terrible sense of sight because of not taking care of it properly while others regret totally losing their sight. There are plenty of ways to take care of your eyesight and one of the most important things to do is to eat food that has the nutrient lutein.
Where is lutein found?
Lutein is a carotenoid that is normally found in fruits, vegetables or anything that comes from plants. It is normally seen as a yellow discoloration but there are times when a vegetable has so much lutein that it ends up having the color orange. Xantophyll where lutein is found was first thought to be a side effect of plants not having enough chlorophyll but further studies suggests that xantophyll has its own purpose and it is used to protect plants from the harsh blue light that comes from the sun. The sun releases a spectrum of light and among this entire light spectrum, the blue light has the most energy and it can damage the plants and it is the job of the xantophyll to absorb the blue light to prevent damage.
What Does Lutein Do?
When lutein is taken is ingested by a person, the lutein makes its way to the macula lutea of the eye. This is the main reason why the color of the macula is yellowish. The job of the macula is to absorb the blue and ultraviolet light that comes from the sun to prevent eye damage. When there is a lack of lutein, the macula is not able to absorb as much blue light which allows the blue light to reach the retina. This leads to damage on the retina which can lead to having impaired vision.
Food Sources Of Lutein
Lutein can be found in the most common fruits and vegetables that you find in the market today. One of the best sources of lutein is carrots which can only that what your parents said about carrots being good for your eyes are true. Other vegetables where lutein can be found include spinach, squash, corn, broccoli and other green vegetables. In fruits, lutein can be found from the citrus family and this includes oranges, grapefruit, lemons and some fruits from different Families like peaches and papaya. There is one animal source of lutein and they are found in egg yolks. The only down side of egg yolks is the fact that it contains a lot of cholesterol which is bad for the body. Make sure you have enough lutein to protect the condition of your eyes.
Fight Hypoglycemia With Fiber
July 17, 2009 03:46 PM
Symptoms of hypoglycemia can be very subtle and difficult to recognize. Many people with hypoglycemia have become so used to their symptoms that often, they don’t even recognize their own abnormality. This is especially true when it comes to behavioral changes.
There is a whole variety of symptoms that can be caused when the body cells are deprived of sugar or when blood sugar drops too quickly. The most common symptom of hypoglycemia is fatigue. When referring to fatigue, the normal kind of fatigue that occurs after hard work or exercise is not what is being discussed. Hypoglycemic fatigue affects the muscles and nerves and usually can’t be relieved with rest or sleep. The brain is extremely dependent on glucose for its energy source. Once blood sugar levels have dropped, hormones kick into action. The release of adrenaline can cause sweating, tremors, hunger, and weakness. It should also be kept in mind that if your blood sugar levels drop at a more gradual pace, the patient may not even recognize the symptoms as those of hypoglycemia. Those experiencing symptoms of hypoglycemia may feel dizzy, confused, clouded, and emotionally unstable without any visible tremors. Symptoms such as anxiety or panic attacks can become a part of hypoglycemic mood swings.
Other mental symptoms of hypoglycemia include melancholy, irritability, hostility, confusion, and paranoia.
Along with the above, there are many other symptoms that can result from hypoglycemia. These symptoms include amnesia, anxiety, antisocial behavior, breathing difficulties, confusion, constant worry, crying jags, depression, digestive disorders, drowsiness, emotional instability, exhaustion, headaches, heart palpitations, impatience, inability to cope, insomnia, intense hunger, internal trembling, irritability, lack of concentration, nervousness, dizziness, seizures, severe sweating, fainting, tingling, and tremors.
Nocturnal hypoglycemia is when blood sugar levels are low at night time, causing insomnia. Eating a whole grain snack or small piece of cheese 30 minutes before going to bed can help to reduce occurrences of this scenario.
There are, unfortunately, hundreds of people that struggle with low-blood sugar symptoms and are unaware as to why. By simply switching for a diet that is high in refined carbohydrates to one that is comprised of protein and complex carbohydrates, one can bridge the gap between a dysfunctional life and a rich one. In order to determine whether you have hypoglycemia, you must first examine your eating habits. Simple facts like what and when you eat can directly affect how you feel. Anyone who has unexplained fatigue, depression, crying spells, anxiety, or apprehension should investigate low blood sugar levels as a potential culprit. You should also look into your family history, as hypoglycemia tends to run within Families.
Those people who are chronically stressed and often find themselves on a roller coaster of blood sugar going up and down are especially prone to dips in energy at certain times of the day. These people have adrenals that are not functioning optimally, causing them to want sugar when they hit a real low point. Usually, in the mid-afternoon, adrenal glands are at their lowest level of functioning. If you do, in fact, suffer from hypoglycemia, you will feel good right after you eat and then your mood and physical status will deteriorate from two to six hours after eating.
Keeping your glucose levels stable is important to maintaining good health. Snacking on complex carbohydrate foods can help regulate the amount of sugar that is released into your blood system. Consuming large quantities of fiber can also slow down the absorption of sugar in the digestive tract and level out blood sugar.
Look for great advice and fiber supplements at your local or internet health food store. When purchasing products, always buy name brands to ensure quality and purity of the supplements you buy. Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Lycopene is not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
March 13, 2009 02:48 PM
The coming of winter brings the possibility of becoming sick for many people. Millions of Americans suffer from at least one bout of the flu or cold each year, which results in millions of hours of lost work time, millions of dollars spent on remedy products, and flat-out despair. Those people who do come down with a cold or flu end up seeking out syrups, lozenges, tablets, and pills that are not designed to get rid of the ailment, but suppress its various symptoms instead.
There has been no cure to date for the various strains of viruses that cause colds and flu. Although conventional medicine has attempted to suppress the symptoms of the flu and cold, most of the products are relatively ineffective and come along with a variety of side effects. Thankfully, there are natural methods and products that help to prevent infection from cold and flu viruses and also help to shorten the duration and lessen the severity of a cold/flu infection.
The differences between a cold and flu are often imperceptible. However, there are several differences. Although there are more than 20 identified major virus Families, most colds come from only five of these. Three other virus Families produce flu, which are usually identified as A, B, and C strains. Flu types B and C are generally mild in adults, both of which are often confused as bad colds. Once a person experiences a type C flu, they usually gain immunity, although children can get it more than once. The type A flu virus is the least stable and most volatile, as it changes genetic makeup frequently. Type A strains cause more severe symptoms than a cold and individuals do not generally develop an immunity to it. The virus found in the type A flu are generally the viruses that produce epidemics.
The flu is almost always more severe than a cold, as it is usually accompanied by fever, chills, and aches. The onset of a flu is also much more rapid than that of a cold, with a flu usually lasting anywhere from a few days to a week. However, residual effects from the flu can last up to a few weeks.
Most colds come from one of five virus Families, with almost half coming from the rhinovirus family. The rhinovirus wasn’t officially detected until the late 1980s. Colds are usually restricted to the nose, throat, and surrounding air passages and usually do not bring fever, chills, or the more severe symptoms that often associated with the flu. Unfortunately, the duration of symptoms of a cold is usually longer than that of the flu, as it sometimes lasts several weeks at a time.
Viruses are the cause of the majority of symptoms that are found along with a cold or flu. They are involved in the cause of these symptoms in several ways. First of all, some of the symptoms of a cold are caused by the body’s own response to the infection. Some of these symptoms include cough, fever, runny nose, sneezing, and watery eyes. Viruses often prompt what is termed a disease process, in which antibodies are produced that attach to the viruses they’re fighting as both travel throughout the body.
The virus is able to destroy or damage vital organs that they invade. Depending on the extent of the infection in the organs, along with the overall virus invasion, the body’s immune system can be worn down, which makes it much more susceptible to other infections. Fortunately, natures provides relief. Those who suffer from the flu or a cold can take vitamin C which has been shown to reduce the severity and length of ones cold.
Year after year the flu will rear its butt and there is little we can do accept keep clean by washing our hands regularly. Even though the flu can not be stopped, vitamins like vitamin C can help reduce the length and severity the cold one experiences. Quality vitamin C is inexpensive and available at your local or internet health food store.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Vitamin C is not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
February 21, 2009 12:33 PM
Migraines are severe, throbbing headaches that may or may not be accompanied by nausea, possibly with visual disturbances and other symptoms. Migraine incidences have increased by 50 percent within the last twenty years, with an estimated 25 to 30 million people suffering from them in the United States. Three out of four of these 25 to 30 million are women, with up to 24 percent of women experiencing at least one migraine in their lives and only 12 percent of men getting migraines. Migraine headaches are one of the most severe types of headache.
Research has described migraines as vascular headaches, as they involved excessive dilation or contraction of the brain’s blood vessels. Current research, however, gives other clues. The inflammation involved in migraines is most noticeable in the meninges, which surround the brain and the spinal cord. However, the inflammation of the meninges is not what leads to the pain of migraine, but instead abnormal nerve activity. Stimulation of the trigeminal nerve, which goes from the brain to the head and face, triggers the release of substances that are known as calcitonin gene-related peptides. These induce inflammation and send messages to pain receptors in the meninges. Some researches even liken migraines to meningitis in some ways, as the symptoms are very similar. However, meningitis is caused by viral or bacterial infection.
Migraines can occur anywhere from once a week to once or twice a year, often running in Families. One factor that may contribute to the higher incidence of migraine in women may be fluctuations in the level of the hormone estrogen, as women typically get migraines around the time of menstruation, when estrogen levels are low. Most often, migraines occur in people between the ages of twenty and thirty-five, seeming to decline with age. Children can also suffer from migraines, with pain tending to be more diffuse, rather than localized. Migraines can first show up in childhood as colic, periodic abdominal pain, vomiting, dizziness, and severe motion sickness, rather than as headaches.
There are typically five phases in a migraine. The first phase beings a day or so before the onset of a headache, as changes in mood, problems with memory, an alteration in one or all of the five senses, and speech problems occur. Secondly, some people will see flashes or patterns of light and experience numbness of the hands and mouth just before the headache. This is called an aura, and is a common sign of a classic migraine.
Those migraines that occur without auras are called common migraines. The third phase occurs when the headache starts with a severe, throbbing pain occurring on one or both sides of the head and can also move from side to side. Nausea can also set in this phase, along with tenderness in the neck and scalp, sensitivity to light, and possibly immobilization due to pain. The fourth phase occurs when the headache dissipates, although nausea may linger. During the fifth phase, the person may feel tired and lethargic, simply wanting to sleep.
A variety of things can trigger a migraine in an individual who is susceptible, including allergies, constipation, stress, liver malfunction, too much or too little sleep, emotional changes, hormonal changes, sun glare, flashing lights, lack of exercise, and changes in barometric pressure. Dental problems and low blood sugar can also be factors, while other underlying causes such as genetic factors, chemical imbalances in the brain, poor nutrition, and the overuse of painkillers can cause an individual to be susceptible to migraines. Block Migraines with vitamins and herbs.
The following nutrients are recommended for preventing and dealing with migraines: calcium, magnesium, coenzyme Q10, DMG, DLPA, essential fatty acid complex, 5-HTP, a multivitamin and mineral complex, rutin, vitamin B complex, garlic, quercetin, taurine, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, cordyceps, feverfew, ginkgo biloba, cayeene, chamomile, fumitory, ginger, peppermint, rosemary, valerian, willow bark, and wormwood.
If you are experiencing migraines, consult your doctor before starting vitamin supplements. Vitamin supplements are natural and feed the body to make it stronger and capable of fighting the diseases it may come up against, but medications prescribed by your doctor can conflict with certain vitamins and herbs and a doctors consultation is needed when taken with medications. A source of natural vitamins are available at your local or internet health food store.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Natural vitamins and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
Cat's Claw Bark
December 19, 2008 09:54 AM
We are currently living in a time when vital health issues that greatly affect our Families are a huge concern. Cat's claw has been shown to offer a huge array of therapeutic actions, as it is currently drawing a huge amount of attention in health-care. Because cat's claw has anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral capabilities, it is currently being widely used in Europe for the treatment of cancer, aids, arthritis, and several other degenerative diseases.
Cat's claws emergence could not have been better timed, as many people feel that the war on cancer is being lost, with new potentially fatal viruses continuing to evolve and the over-prescription of antibiotics making us even more vulnerable to infection. Recently, taking supplements such as cat's claw is becoming more of the rule than the exception.
It is safe to say that almost all of us want to know how to reduce our risk of cancer, protect ourselves from toxins and pollutants, boost our immune system to fight off new viral strains and bacterial diseases, and prevent premature aging and degenerative diseases. Additionally, many of us have found that treating the disease after the fact is much less desirable than the protecting our immune systems, as a well-nourished and healthy immune system can keep us from developing diseases, including cancer. Cat's claw has the ability to fortify immunity, works to scavenge free radicals, and eases inflammation.
Cat's claw was traditionally used by Peruvian natives in a variety of applications. They apply its leaves for headaches, use teas for infections including influenza, and have placed plants in antipyretic baths for fevers. Additionally, gargles are used frequently and poultices of the boiled crushed bark have been applied to affected areas. Peruvian tribal medicine has also vigorously rubbed infusions of the raw bark on parts of the body, such as the limbs. The vines of cat's claw are often macerated with a pestle or stems are allowed to stand in water for several hours. In Peruvian culture, snuffing or smoking the dried leaves or bark occurs on occasion. Also, enemas are used in some regions of the tropical South America, but they are relatively rare in the Amazon.
Cat's claw can be taken in many forms including a dried, powdered form that is usually available in gelatin capsules; compressed tablets; a decoction or tea; or a liquid suspension that are in the form of gels or extracts, which can often be taken in soft gelatin form. Some experts seem to think that cat's claw extracts have not yet proven their potency and therefore, they recommend taking reliable sources of the plant which use the inner bark of the vine. The alkaloid content of some plants can vary significantly because of many different factors, so only reputable sources of cat's claw are recommended to be purchased.
Many studies that have taken place in Europe have shown that cat's claw has extremely low toxicity, even when it is taken in large doses. Anyone who has had a transplant or any pregnant or nursing women should not take cat's claw. Taking cat's claw can potentially cause diarrhea or adjust bowel consistency in some people.
If one is looking for a immune boosting herb from the Amazon look no further, cat's claw can help the sick get well and keep the healthy person free from disease by boosting the immune system.
Immune Boost Herbs
September 17, 2008 11:16 AM
There have been numerous improvements to our quality of life over the last century with advancements in science and medicine. Most Families in America have access to healthcare and tools which promise improved health and well being. Even with the benefits and comforts that living in the modern world provides, chronic and preventable illnesses continue to occur. The fast-paced and high-stress lifestyle that many Americans live impacts their health in a variety of ways.
We face more health challenges today than ever before, which makes it more crucial than ever to have a balanced immune system, something that many Americans lack. Although the US leads the world in quality of healthcare, an increasing number of people are suffering or dying from preventable health problems. The environment, lifestyle, genetics, age, and antibiotic resistance are just some of the factors that are to blame for this. Thankfully, boosting immune power can counteract the negative effects of these factors on health.
Most Americans do not sleep enough, do not eat right, and do not exercise like they should. Many of the most common health problems people suffer from today are a result of lifestyle. These problems include hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, depression, and unbalanced immune function. Despite this fact, Americans continue to take part in poor health habits and then give up billions of dollars in prescriptions, doctor’s visits, and surgeries each year when they encounter an illness.
A sedentary lifestyle is a major cause for disease, as inactivity and obesity are both potential risks. Exercising as little as three times a week has been proven to enhance well-being and improve health. A lack of exercise can also contribute to stress, which we all experience. However, a healthy immune system can make our bodies more capable of withstanding the effects of stress. If immune systems can be balanced, Americans may be better able to withstand the potential health problems that living in the modern world brings.
We must take into account the fact that more health problems can arise as we age. Older individuals are much more susceptible to disordered immune systems, as the progressive immune system dysfunction that coincides with aging has been shown to influence an increasing number of age-related disorders such as Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, and late-life lymphoma. With this knowledge, we should want to supplement and strengthen our immune systems, especially as they get older. We can work to avoid the occurrence of autoimmune disorders and cancers that so commonly occur as we age by keeping our immune systems strong and functioning at optimum levels. A lot of the potential health problems that we are facing today can be traced back to the environment. One environmental problem is the result of toxic chemicals, as the widespread use of pesticides and increase of benzene and other pollutants in the atmosphere are leading to cancer and other reproductive health problems such as endometriosis and fertility issues.
The chemical pollutants in our air, food, and water have been linked to asthma, allergies, autoimmune disorders and weakened immunity. Additionally, we are being exposed to increasing amounts of UV radiation, with occurrences of skin cancer continually rising. Researchers believe that one of the main reasons for the increasing number of melanomas may be due to people spending more time in the sun as well as artificial sources of UV radiation. There are many herbs available to help boost the immune system and detox the body to help one keep a strong immune system.
Eighty Seven Percent of All Type 2 Diabetes Can Be Prevented Naturally
January 24, 2008 05:06 PM
It is a fact that almost 90% of Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by attention to diet and the use of specific supplements. However, before having a look at these possibilities, we shall first have a look at what type 2 diabetes is so that the means of prevention can be better understood.
Diabetes is a condition, not a disease. It cannot be passed from one person to another, and there is evidence that it is hereditary since it tends to run in Families. In the past it tended to develop later in life, although the modern lifestyle appears to have made it more common now in children and young adults.
Diabetes occurs when the level of glucose in your blood becomes higher than it should be. The reason for this is twofold: either the body produces no or insufficient insulin or it cannot use the insulin that is produced. Sugars and other carbohydrates are metabolized to glucose that is the body’s source of energy. The parts of your body that do this are the mitochondria that are contained within your body cells, and the hormone insulin is essential in allowing this to happen.
When the concentration of glucose in your blood reaches a certain level, the pancreas secretes insulin into your blood. The insulin is synthesized in special cells called the islets of Langerhans, after the person who discovered them. Also produced is glucagon which is also secreted into your bloodstream, and the glucagons and the insulin work together to ensure that your blood glucose levels remain stable (when everything is working correctly).
Glucagon is secreted when your glucose levels are low, and its presence in the bloodstream stimulates the conversion of the emergency energy store in the liver (glycogen) to glucose in order to maintain this stability. Insulin, on the other hand, is released after you have consumed a meal, and your glucose levels are high. What insulin does is to stimulate the cells of your body to convert glucose to energy and either use it immediately, or store it as glycogen for use later. By means of these two substances, the level of glucose in your blood is maintained at safe levels – normally.
If something happens to the supply of insulin, then the blood sugar level will continue to rise until the bloodstreams contains too much glucose, a condition known as hyperglycemia. The symptoms are excessive thirst, a frequent desire to urinate, fungal infections or thrush around the genital area (due to yeasts and sugar fermentation), and various others such as mood swings, cramps, dizziness and a feeling of tiredness and weakness.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body produces no insulin, and the only possible treatment is continual insulin injections. Type 2 diabetes is defined in two ways. Either your body does not make enough insulin for your needs, or the cells in your body cannot use the insulin produced properly. It is Type 2 diabetes we are concerned with here, and that we shall be exclusively discussing. With Type 2 diabetes, insulin shots can be provided, but there are other factors that can also help to resolve the problem.
Before discussion treatment or prevention, you should be aware of the complications that Type 2 diabetes can lead to. Hyperglycemia is not common with this type of diabetes, but it can develop. If it does then it can be a life-threatening condition needing a rapid injection of insulin into the bloodstream Symptoms prior to the critical stage are drowsiness and dehydration, although as stated, this is more commonly associated with Type 1 diabetes where regular insulin injections is the normal treatment.
Longer term complications of Type 2 include kidney damage, hardening of the arteries, eye problems, impotence and problems with your circulation. Nerve damage can also occur, and it is important that you avoid these by changing your diet and lifestyle. These problems occur if you have had high blood glucose levels over a long period of time, and you therefore have time to take the steps necessary to avoid them if you start now. The same steps will also help you to avoid the condition from occurring. So what are these steps you should take?
The first is to look carefully at your diet. A healthy balanced diet is essential if you are to beat your condition naturally and avoid the potential longer term side effects. Diabetes is associated with the overweight and obese. That is not to say that only these people become diabetic, but the majority are. Most people with Type 2 diabetes are overweight, and although around 65% of Americans are overweight or obese, a considerably higher proportion of those with Type 2 diabetes are overweight.
The first and obvious action to take to avoid this type of diabetes would therefore be to lose weight, and adopt a healthy diet that is free from junk food, trans fats and alcohol, all of which contribute to obesity. The next is to look to your blood pressure and keep it normal, and also to keep your low density lipoproteins (LDL) low. These affect the propensity for your blood cholesterol to deposit in your arteries, especially if they are oxidized by free radicals. A good antioxidant content is therefore recommended in your diet. Although blood pressure and high LDL levels do not directly contribute to diabetes, they are risk factors that could increase the risk to your health if you are diabetic.
You should eat a diet that is high in whole grains and fiber, and eat lean meats and fish rather than fatty foods. Stick to complex carbohydrates that metabolize to glucose slowly and steadily, rather than starchy foods that produce a sudden sugar rush that will give you problems and could promote Type 2 diabetes in those that are prone to it.
Specific supplements that you could take include chromium picolinate that can not only be used to treat existing diabetes patients but also to reduce your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes. Studies involving the use of chromium picolinate on patients with this type of diabetes have been very positive, resulting in reduced blood sugar, lipid and insulin levels. The optimum dosage is around 500 micrograms twice daily. Such treatment has been shown to both prevent and reverse Type 2 diabetes.
Magnesium is another specific supplement that studies have suggested can lower the risk of developing this type of diabetes. Magnesium rich foods have also been found to be effective, and the fact that a magnesium deficiency can lead to diabetes supports the findings that its use can help to prevent it. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, and beans nuts and seeds are generally rich in magnesium.
Vitamin D can also help protect against the development of diabetes. Although the research is relatively new, it has been established that the cells that produce insulin are affected by a lack of vitamin D in the blood, and low levels of vitamin D can also led to insulin resistance. If you spend more time out in the sun, you should have less chance of contracting Type 2 diabetes, although you could also take a supplement.
Although Type 2 diabetes is not as serious as Type 1, no form of diabetes is desirable to have, and ultimately both types can be extremely serious. You should do what you can to avoid diabetes, and Type 2 is easier to avoid then Type 1. Diet, weight and supplementation as described above will all help to avoid contracting this condition, so follow the advice, especially if you are overweight and have a sweet tooth.
Exotic Herbs From The Amazon Basin
June 22, 2007 05:07 PM
Although many traditional herbal medicines have yet to find complete scientific corroboration in the West, it follows logically that people wouldn't use an herbal product for centuries if it didn't work.
Many of the popular herbs we all recognize as having great health benefits were only recently considered pretty exotic. Even green tea - a staple in China for centuries -has only lately gone main stream.
So it will likely be with herbs from the Amazon basin and its environs. The Amazon basin is one of the most bountiful environments on the planet. Explorers and botanists from the West have looked to this region for generations for the "next big thing." Of course, in many cases, the "next big thing" has already been in use for centuries.
In this issue of Ask the Medicine Hunter, we're going to look at some energizing and life- stimulating herbs that also happen to have great antioxidant properties, too. Best yet, many of them are available to us here from companies that practice fair trade policies.
Let's take a look at some of the herbal powerhouses coming out of the Amazon (and its nearby neighborhoods):
Maca (Lepidium meyenii) has been cultivated for a long time at least 2000 years. Related to brassica family plants like radishes, mustard and cabbage, its foliage does actually look somewhat radish-like, but grows close to the ground.
Maca is cultivated by the Andean people in Peru's central highlands, and contains a plethora of beneficial compounds that enhance overall health and vitality. The tradition of cultivating maca is an old one some strains have been found in Incan sites that date from 1600 B.C. During early European colonization, maca was used by the local native culture as a form of currency, much of the way cocoa was used by the Aztecs, further north in pre-Columbian Mexico.
Maca thrives in high altitudes - between 10,000 and 16,000 feet. The harsher the conditions, the better it grows, or so it seems. In fact, efforts to grow the plant in Central Europe haven't been as successful - maca seems to enjoy its home turf the best. In Peru, maca is a popular and beloved nutrient-packed superfood, and is commonly powdered and mixed into drinks at roadside stands throughout the Andes.
Q. I've heard of maca being used for healthy libido - are there any other benefits?
A. Maca is a natural energizer, and although it is recognized for it's libido enhancing abilities, it has other uses, too, acting as an adaptogen - similar to rhodiola or ginseng. In fact, in South America, maca is known as "Peruvian Ginseng." Though maca is not ginseng at all, some of the benefits of both plants are similar.
In any event, maca is recommended for boosting the immune system, menopause support, and hormonal balance in general. For daily use, maca is most recognized as a great source of energy and all-day endurance. Alkaloids from maca root may be partially responsible for both maca's energizing and libido boost. Research shows that maca affects the hypothalamic-pituitary (HPA) axis - boosting energy and overall aphrodisiac prowess in men and women. Maca contains novel compounds called macamides and macaenes, which have been proven in animal studies to significantly enhance energy, stamina and sexual function reasons people have been so consuming maca for 2000 years.
There are other serious reasons why maca is such an excellent plant. One group of compounds in maca is the isothiocyanates-aromatics constituents that are responsible for the "hotness" of mustards and radishes - fellow members of the brassica family. Isothiocyanates from other members of the brassica family may reduce the risk of breast and stomach cancer. Although the same constituents specifically from maca haven't beentested, it's plausible that they could have the same effects.
Q. I've heard a little about guarana extracts - is it just caffeine?
A. Guarana is widely loved for its mild stimulating effect, which is due to caffeine. But this is by no means this Amazonian herb's sole beneficial compound. Guarana (Paullinia cupana) is so logically ingrained in the culture of Brazil that it's practically a rival (actually out-sells) Coca-Cola in its soft-drink form. Like many other indigenous herbs, guarana was in use locally well before European settlement. Its Latin name comes fromthe German botanist C.F. Paullini, who first encountered the herb in the 1700s. This evergreen vine typically climbs fairly far up the Brazilian forest trees. The seed is the part that gets used. In one clinical study, guarana boosted the memory alertness of participants, even when the caffeine level per dose was a low 9 mg., as compared with approximately 100 mg for a cup of coffee. This effect suggests that other agents than caffeine contribute to a feeling of well being.
Guarana also contains powerful antioxidants including catechin, epicatechin and proanthocyanidins, which protect cells against destruction from free radicals, and impart benefits to the body's tissues and blood. The small seed of this plant is powerful in its health benefits.
Catuaba (Erythroxylum catuaba) is a common tree found in South America from Brazil to Peru, in the same genus as the coca plant. Catuaba contains components known as alkaloids. These alkaloids (called catuabine A, B, and C) are probably responsible for themental boost most people get when they take catuabe-based supplements or mixes.
There may be little confusion regarding catuaba, because various species and genus typesuse the common name. As a result, "catuaba" gets bandied around a lot, and one person'scatuaba may not be the next. Read labels carefully. The catuaba I've had the best luck with is Erythroxylum catuaba.
One of my favorite drinks in the world is coffee, and I'm sure at many people reading thisconsider it the essential part of their morning, too.
The part of coffee that we use the most is the seed of the coffee fruit - which appears as a bright, red berry. Most of the time, this fruit is sloughed off and left behind in the process of making coffee - it's really too delicate to last long in hot conditions.
But advances in technology have tapped a previously discarded resource. Though the fruit of coffee is available in any coffee-growing economy, a high antioxidant commercial extract of "coffee cherry" is now available from the fruits of coffee plants in Mexico.
Coffee fruit has many of the attributes of other dark-colored, anthcyanin-rich fruits. Coffee fruit (also referred to as "coffee cherry") appears not to be just another antioxidant, however. Current research on this once-forgotten, former castoff shows impressive abilities to decrease tumor size, and possibly even prevent their formation in the first place. It seems that the elements in coffee berry activate T-lymphocytes in such a way that mammary tumors are shrunk or simply put on hold. It will be fascinating to see how this science plays out.
Muira Puama Bark:
Muira puama (Ptychopetalum olacoides) grows between 15 to 45 feet high. Native to theAmazon basin of Brazil, the dried bark has been used for centuries as a traditional energysupport. Components include beta-sitosterol, campesterol and lupeol.
Muira puama, like other central nervous stimulants has been researched lately for its ability to boost memory retrieval and protect neural (brain) tissue. Who knows? Maybe this traditional ingredient could someday be on the cutting edge of natural medicines fighting Alzheimer's, much the way green tea and turmeric are currently. In one unpublished French study of 262 men with low libido and poor erectile function, 62% experienced significant improvement after taking an extract of Muira puama for two weeks.
Acai (Euterpe acai) berry is a traditional favorite (and readily available) food source for people in the Amazon. The tree is a tall-growing palm with berries that provide - a rich source of anthocyanins, potent purple pigments with extraordinary high antioxidant activity.
Once harvested, acai fruits decay rapidly. As with coffee fruits, special processing is the surest way to make certain the nutrients of acai berry make it to those of us outside the Amazon basin.
However, these wonderful fruits not only fight against free radical damage, but help our natural digestive enzymes and boost natural immune defenses, too. In fact, current research is investigating whether compounds in acai may have a fighting effect on leukemia, too. So far, the results have been very positive.
Look for supplements made using organically-grown, fair trade acai berry. The best companies ensure that the local people harvesting acai and the communities where they live gather more than just short-term benefits. The best companies work not just to provide jobs, but better lives for generations to come.
Q. What is sustainability and fair trade, anyway?
A. Sustainability refers to a set of naturally occurring circumstances, or intentionally designed practices and principles, which ensure that all parts or members of a situation are adequately nourished to promote their healthy continuance. In current parlance, sustainability often refers to practices and programs designed and implemented to keep natural systems healthy and flourishing. Many such programs focus on environmental protection and preservation of traditional cultures. In the world of medicinal plants, sustainable practices include organic agriculture, species management, fair trade, and benefit-sharing programs.
In other words, sustainability pays people fair wages, puts resources back into their communities, and ensures that the resources that benefit us all are going to be around for a long time. It is an earth-friendly, people-friendly concept of commerce that happily, is taking root around the world.
The traditional cultures that use - and have used - these ingredients for generations wouldn't have done so if they hadn't been effective. Fortunately we live in an era when formerly locally-used herbs are now available far beyond their previous range. We are also fortunate to have companies and individuals working hard to make sure that the people who tend and care for these precious resources are paid fairly for their efforts, andthat their Families and communities benefit from this commerce as well.
The great thing about using traditional herbs and ingredients that have been gathered in this manner is that you know they'll be around for a long time.
Breast Cancer and Natural Supplements
May 11, 2007 10:47 AM
Breast Cancer and Nutritional Supplements
There is probably nothing more frightening for a woman than the discovery of a lump in her breast. Cancer and all its consequences quickly come to mind. This quick association may materialize, in part, because no woman is immune. Most have a friend, a sister, a mother, or a coworker who has been diagnosed with the disease. And they know how difficult dealing with this disease can be. Fortunately, 80% of all breast lumps are not cancerous. Most are cysts or a benign clump of tissue.
Over her lifetime, a woman’s breasts undergo many, many changes. From before puberty and on, breast tissue is continually evolving. Breasts often feel different before menstrual cycle, returning to normal a few days after. Pregnancy certainly causes changes in a woman’s breasts, as does breastfeeding. And as women age, breast tissue becomes less dense.
Because of these continual changes, breast tissue especially requires adequate nutrition. While everyone benefits from a healthy diet, there are additional nutrients from which women can specifically benefit.
In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we will discuss breast cancer and the vast amount of research that has explored the role nutrition plays in this serious and still deadly disease. Specifically, we will discuss how two B vitamins, calcium D-glucarate, broccoli extract, green tea, maitake mushrooms, and iodine can all help prevent breast cancer.
Q. How can these nutrients prevent breast cancer?
A. Scientists learn a lot about disease from simply observing what is happening around them. One observation that has been recognized for many years is that certain cultures have very low incidence of breast cancer. Women n
Moms (and dads) have also learned a lot about diseases simply by observing what is happening in their Families. They have notices that certain vegetables play a large role in the prevention of all types of diseases, including cancer. And, accordingly, they have been urging their offspring to eat their vegetables for several generations.
Building on these observations, scientists have designed and carried out many studies to determine what it is about these nutrients that can prevent breast cancer. What they have discovered, so far, follows. Let’s start with the B vitamins.
Deficiencies of this vitamin can result in a serious type of anemia. Nerve damage can also occur if B12 levels are too low. Researchers are now investigating whether breast cancer may, in part, be caused by a B12 deficiency as well.
Another study, this one taking place in a laboratory setting, discovered that vitamin B12, applied directly against experimental breast cancer cells, actually stopped the cancer cells from growing. The researchers conducting the experiment believe that giving vitamin B12 to women with breast cancer as part of a chemotherapy regime, might help keep the cancer in check.
Low folic acid intake is linked to the development of all cancers. This is because folic acid is crucial to the making and continual repair of DNA, the molecule that carries our genetic code. A recent study discovered that high intakes of folic acid might actually reduce the risk of breast cancer. The researchers looked at the diets of over 2600 women. During interviews with the researchers, the women reported what they usually ate. Once the data was collected, the results showed that women, who ate lots of foods that contained folic acid, had much lower rates of breast cancer.
There is no clear-cut, single cause of breast cancer. Many factors are required for the disease to appear. One such factor is estrogen. A recent study showed that women who developed breast cancer tended to have higher levels of estrogen circulating in their bodies than women without breast cancer. This means that women who got their periods before age eleven or entered menopause after age fifty-five have a higher risk of breast cancer. This also supports the theory that the number of menstrual cycles a woman has affects her risk for breast cancer.
Another factor is drinking alcohol. Because alcohol raises estrogen levels, if a woman consumes even moderate amounts of alcohol her risk of breast cancer also is increased. The link between alcohol and breast cancer may even be stronger than other dietary links. However, an important study has discovered that folic acid may uncouple this link.
A very large study of over 34,000 women recently studied the effect of folic acid on the risk of breast cancer. This project was part of the Nurses’ Health Study, an ongoing, long-term study that looks at nutrition’s role in the development of disease. The women in the folic acid and breast cancer study were followed for 12 years. The participants completed detailed food questionnaires that provided the researchers with important data.
The women were divided into four groups:
1. Women with low folic acid levels and drink alcohol
2. Women with high folic acid levels and rink alcohol
3. Women with low folic acid levels and don’t drink alcohol
4. Women with high folic acid levels and don’t drink alcohol
Within these four groups the women were further divided into subgroups according to the amount of alcohol they consumed each day and their specific folic acid intake.
The researchers found that women who consumed the lowest amounts of folic acid and drank at least one alcoholic beverage a day had the highest rate of breast cancer. In contrast, women who had high intakes of folic acid and also drank at least one alcoholic beverage a day, had the same rate of breast cancer as the women with high folic acid intakes who did not drink. In other words, women who had high levels of folic acid in their diet erased their alcohol-related increase in breast cancer risk.
It seems estrogen can be both friend and foe. While women need the hormone to soften skin, thicken hair, and fill out hips and breasts, estrogen can also nourish breast tumors, helping them grow bigger, stronger, and more deadly. Thanks, in part, to good nutrition, American women get their periods early and go through menopause alter in life. Women today also have fewer pregnancies; Families with one or two children are quite common.
All of these factors increase the time women’s bodies are exposed to estrogen. As we discussed before, longer exposure means increased opportunities for estrogen to cause trouble. It is also a troubling fact of modern life that we are continuously exposed to cancer-causing chemicals and toxins. These toxins come in part from contaminants in the food we eat and pollutants in the air we breathe.
The body does have a system that eliminates some of the excess estrogen and toxic chemicals before they can cause harm. In the liver, they are bound or attached to a chemical called glucuronic acid. The bound toxin or estrogen is then excreted in bile and eventually eliminated as a waste product in the stool.
However, an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase can break this bond between estrogen and glucuronic acid. When this happens, the hormone or toxin is released from its bone, capable of causing harm once more. Increased beta-glucuronidase activity is associated with an increased risk for various cancers, particularly hormone-dependant cancers like breast cancer.
Fortunately, scientists have discovered that a natural substance found in foods calcium D-glucarate (CDG) can stop the activity of beta-glucuonidase. CDG keeps the harmful estrogen bound to glucuronidase. While CDG is found in fruits and vegetables, the amounts may not be sufficient to maintain effective levels to stop beta-glucuronidase.
CDG has been shown in experimental studies to significantly stop beast cancer growth. And several human trials are currently underway with CDG to determine its capability to decrease the breast cancer risk in women at high risk for the disease.
There are some very interesting connections between breast tissue and thyroid tissue. Iodine is an essential trace element present in a hormone of the thyroid gland and is involved in several metabolic functions. One iodine function is the protection of breast tissue from cancerous cells.
In a laboratory study, researchers exposed breast cancer cells and breast tissue without any cancer to a type of seaweed that contains high levels of iodine. The seaweed killed all of the cancerous cells, yet did not harm the normal breast cells. Japanese women frequently eat this type of seaweed and have very low rates of breast cancer. The study’s researchers believe one reason for this low incidence of breast cancer may be the iodine in the seaweed.
And, for some as yet unknown reasons, women who have thyroid cancer are at higher risk of developing breast cancer. While they are unsure why this happens, researchers are continuing to study this link, and support of healthy thyroid function remains an important consideration.
For quite some time, scientists have observed that cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, significantly reduce the risk of disease, including cancer. It seems a phytochemical in broccoli sulforaphane, is one of the chemicals responsible for this beneficial activity. Sulforaphane increases certain enzymes in the body called phase 2 enzymes that deactivate cancer-causing chemicals.
Breast cancer cells exposed to sulforaphane in several lab experiments showed that the compound inhibited the growth of the cancer cells up to 80 percent. Researchers are in the process of setting up clinical trials to study sulforaphane’s effect in women who have breast cancer.
There is a tall amount of research, including finding from the Nurses’ Health Study, that suggest green tea beverage consumption is associated with a lower incidence of breast cancer. In fact, researchers have long noted the low rates of breast cancer in
The active compound in green tea responsible for breast cancer inhibition is epigallocatechin-3 gallate or EGCG. When breast cancer cells are exposed to EGCG in lab experiments, the cells stop growing, lose their ability to replicate, and die.
In a recent study, researchers discovered that drinking green tea prevented the recurrence of breast cancer in women who have previously been diagnosed and treated for the disease. This study involved over 1100 Japanese women. The women who drank green tea every day had very low rates of their breast cancer returning.
For thousands of years, maitake mushrooms have been linked to good health in those who eat them. Called “dancing mushrooms” (possibly due to their wavy, rippling appearance or possibly due to the little dance of joy mushroom hunters perform when they find them in the woods), maitakes contain an important compound called D-fraction.
Not only does the D-fraction in maitake mushrooms stop the growth of cancerous tumors, it also alerts and stimulates immune cells (including macrophages and natural killer cells) to fight the disease. Maitake also inhibits some of the mechanism that promotes metastasis, or spread, of cancer cells in the lymph and bloodstream.
Because of this success, maitake is now being used in clinical trials of women with breast cancer. One study reported significant improvement of symptoms, including reduction of the tumor. The maitake was given to breast cancer patients in addition to standard chemotherapy.
Q. Should these nutrients be used in place of traditional treatment for breast cancer?
A. Absolutely not. None of these nutrients can cure breast cancer. However, they can be a part of a validated plan of treatment. If you have breast cancer, talk to your health care practitioner about these nutrients. Remember, nutritional supplements are just that: supplements to food, medication, and treatment. They are intended to enhance and prevent, not replace.
Despite apprehension in performing self-breast exams, women are very proactive in their health. Yearly mammograms and pap tests have been an important part of their lives for many years, and newer and more accurate diagnoses are emerging. The prevention of health problems in themselves and their Families has always been a high priority for women. And for women, nutrition has played an important part of health problem prevention.
Nutritionally speaking, what benefits your breasts benefit your whole body. However, as we have learned, there are specific links between nutrition and developing breast cancer that seem to be fairly strong.
Making a few changes may reduce the risk of developing the disease. The nutrients listed here, vitamin B12, folic acid, calcium d-glucarate, iodine, broccoli, green tea, and maitake mushrooms can be an important part of a woman’s preventative health regimen.
Glucosamine Sulfate and Chondroitin Sulfate
March 28, 2007 11:10 AM
Glucosamine Sulfate and Chondroitin Sulfate
Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent form of arthritis in the U.S., according to the Arthritis Foundation. One-third of all American adults have X-ray evidence of osteoarthritis of the hand, foot, knee, or hip. Osteoarthritis is responsible for more than 7 million physician visits per year and is second only to cardiovascular disease as the cause of chronic disability in adults. As Baby Boomers age, the number of people suffering from osteoarthritis is expected to rapidly increase in the next 10 years.
While osteoarthritis research ahs led to the development of promising new prescription and over-the-counter medications aimed at reducing pain, none has created the excitement of glucosamine sulfate (GS), which actually addresses the underlying joint destruction.
Q. What is osteoarthritis?
A. Osteoarthritis is a complex, metabolic disorder of the cartilage and bones of certain joints. However, to fully understand how osteoarthritis develops, we need to understand how joints work.
A joint is formed when two or more bones are brought together and held in place by muscles and tendons. Some joints have very little range of movement, such as the joints of the ribs, while others have much more range of movement. Hips, knees, elbows, writs, and thumbs are termed synovial joints, and have the greatest range of movement and mobility of human joints. To allow such mobility, synovial joints have a unique structure.
The bones that form synovial joints are covered with cartilage. Tough fibrous tissue encloses the area between the bone ends and is called the joint capsule. The joint cavity within the capsule is lined with an inner membrane, called synovial membrane. The membrane secretes synovial fluid, a thick, slippery fluid that fills the small space around and between the two bones. This fluid contains many substances that lubricate the joint and ease movement.
The cartilage of synovial joints serves two very important functions. First, it provides a remarkably smooth weight-bearing surface; synovial joints move easily. Secondly, synovial cartilage serves as a shock absorber, providing a soft, flexible foundation. Healthy cartilage absorbs the force of the energy, transmits the load to the bone, and distributes the mechanical stress created by joint movement.
Synovial joints function under almost continual mechanical stress. A joint’s ability to withstand or resist this stress is a reflection of its health. When the mechanical stress is too great or the joint’s ability to resist this stress is compromised, physical changes occur in the cartilage covering the bones.
Cartilage is a tough, elastic tissue, comprised mostly of water, collagen, and complex proteins called proteoglycans. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage starts to weaken, becomes frayed, and eventually breaks down. This exposes the bones of the joint, which then rub together. A gritty feeling and grinding sound may occur when an osteoarthritic joint is bent and flexed. As osteoarthritis progresses, bits of bone and cartilage often break off and float inside the joint space. The bones may enlarge, causing the joint to lose its normal shape. Tiny bone spurs may grow on the joints’ sides and edges. These physical changes in the diseased joint are responsible for progressive damage and continual pain.
People with osteoarthritis most frequently describe their pain as deep and aching. The pain not only is felt in the affected joint but may also be present in the surrounding and supporting muscles. Joint inflammation also may occur, increasing the already considerable discomfort. Joint stiffness is another unfortunate component of osteoarthritis. Exercising the joint most often results in increased pain; however, stiffness tends to follow periods of inactivity. Humid weather often makes all osteoarthritis symptoms worse. As the disease progresses, the pain may occur even when the joint is at rest, creating sleepless nights and miserable days.
Q. What causes osteoarthritis?
A. Osteoarthritis’ exact cause remains unknown. Researchers know aging doesn’t appear to cause osteoarthritis. Cartilage in people with the disease show many destructive changes not seen in older persons without the disease. However, certain conditions do seem to trigger osteoarthritis or make it worse.
Some Families seem to have a lot of osteoarthritis, pointing to a genetic factor. This is most commonly seen in people who have osteoarthritis of the hands. Repeated trauma can contribute to osteoarthritis, too. Athletes, extremely active people, and individuals who have physically demanding jobs often develop the disease. Persons who have certain bone disorders are more prone to osteoarthritis due to the continuous, uneven stress in their hips and knees.
Obesity also is a risk factor for the disease. In overweight women, osteoarthritis of the knee is fairly common. Excess pounds also may have a direct metabolic effect on cartilage beyond the effects of increased joint stress. Obese people also often have m ore dense bones. Research has shown dense bones may provide less shock-absorbing function than thinner bones, allowing more direct trauma to the cartilage.
Q. Can osteoarthritis be prevented?
A. While there is currently no sure way to prevent osteoarthritis or slow its progression, some lifestyle changes may reduce or delay symptoms. The Arthritis Foundation states that maintaining a healthy weight, losing weight if needed, and regular exercise are effective osteoarthritis prevention measures.
Optimal calcium intake in younger years is vital to ensure a healthy aging skeletal system. Vitamins A, C, D, and E have been studied for their role in osteoarthritis prevention. These vitamins also have shown benefit in individuals who have osteoarthritis.
Q. What treatments are available for osteoarthritis?
A. The goal of treatment is to reduce or relieve pain, maintain or improve movement, and minimize any potential permanent disability. Typically, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs (pronounced “n-sayds”) such as aspirin and ibuprofen are used for pain and inflammation relief. These medications are effective in treating only the pain of osteoarthritis.
These medications have many side effects, some of which are serious. NSAID-induced gastrointestinal complications cause more than 100,000 hospitalizations and nearly 16,500 deaths annually in the U.S. Aspirin can cause an extremely annoying and continual ringing in the ears. NSAIDs frequently cause damage to the stomach lining, which can produce uncomfortable heartburn and abdominal pain. Continued NSAID use may lead to the development of stomach ulcers. NSAID-related ulcers can perforate the stomach lining and cause life-threatening bleeding. Most NSAIDs also interfere with blood clotting and may cause kidney damage. When older persons take NSAIDs, dizziness, drowsiness, memory loss, and decreased attention span may occur.
Acetaminophen (Tylenol and similar medications) is similar to aspirin and other NSAIDs in its pain-relief abilities. However, acetaminophen doesn’t reduce inflammation. And while acetaminophen doesn’t have the same side effects of aspirin and other NSAIDs, if large doses are taken, liver damage can occur.
Newer medications called COX-2 inhibitors provide both pain relief and reduce inflammation without the many side effects of acetaminophen, aspirin, and other NSAIDs. More recent research has indicated that, in certain situations. COX02 inhibitors also can cause stomach lining damage and bleeding. While aspirin, NSAIDs, and COX-2 inhibitors may reduce osteoarthritis pain, they do nothing to stop or slow down cartilage deterioration. In other words, these medications have no effect on the disease itself.
That is why many believe glucosamine sulfate (GS) and chondroitin sulfate (CS) are preferable to pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications in osteoarthritis treatment: they actually improve synovial joint health. And they do this without potentially life-threatening side effects.
Q. How do GS and CS work?
A. GS improves the health of joints affected by osteoarthritis. This supplement is so effective that even physicians who mostly rely on conventional medications routinely recommend it to their patients with osteoarthritis. In fact, GS is so good at treating osteoarthritis, many physicians use it for their own osteoarthritis joints.
There is even more good news. When glucosamine sulfate is combined with low-molecular weight CS, even greater benefits can be achieved. GS and CS are naturally occurring compounds found in human joints. The right GS/CS combination actually reverses damage in joints affected by osteoarthritis, in turn significantly reducing pain and stiffness.
Glucosamine occurs naturally in the body and is found in synovial fluid. Glucosamine is a basic building block for proteoglycans, is a basic building block for proteoglycans, one of the important compounds of synovial cartilage. It also is required for the formation of lubricants and protective agents for the joints.
In Europe, GS and CS have been used to treat osteoarthritis for more than 10 years. While persons with arthritis felt much better when they took GS and CS, no one really knew how these compounds worked. When European and American researchers first started to study glucosamine, they discovered GS can reduce synovial joint inflammation. This explains why people felt better after taking it.
Q. What has additional study of GS and CS revealed?
A. As the scientific study of GS progressed, researchers determined it can stimulate the growth of cartilage cells, inhibit proteoglycans breakdown, and rebuild cartilage damaged from osteoarthritis. In other words, GS does not simply make persons with osteoarthritis feel better; GS actually makes persons with osteoarthritis get better.
GS is the form of glucosamine used in research. It’s the sulfate salt of glucosamine and breaks down into glucosamine and sulfate ions in the body. The sulfate part of GS plays an important role in proteoglycans synthesis.
CS also provides cartilage strength and resilience. CS is an important component of the cartilage proteoglycans of synovial joints. Because CS helps the production of proteoglycans, researchers believe CS works in a similar nature to GS.
Q. Couldn’t GS and CS be taken on their own? Is there any benefit in taking them together?
A. Research has discovered GS and CS act synergistically (work well together) in improving joint health. Several studies have investigated this action and it’s recommended that GS and CD be taken together. However, there may be times when your healthcare practitioner may recommend using one or the other, but not both GS and CS together. Please follow their recommendations to obtain the best results for your own unique health concerns. Low-molecular weight chondroitin sulfate (CS) is the preferred CS form, and the form that has shown the most promise in studies.
Q. Why is it important to take low-molecular weight CS?
A. When CS was first studied, it was given to six healthy volunteers, six patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and six patients with osteoarthritis. Researchers then measured the levels of CS in all study subjects. They found no evidence of CS in any of the subjects. This single study led many physicians and scientists to believe CS can’t be absorbed, and was not an effective natural treatment.
However, several other studies in healthy volunteers have reported CS can be absorbed. The distinct difference for these findings is thought to be associated with the types of CS used in the studies. Some forms are much more absorbable that others. This was demonstrated in a recent study using CS with lower molecular weight. A higher absorption is observed for low-molecular weight CS.
This means CS products with a low molecular weight may be better absorbed, allowing the CS to get into the bloodstream and the synovial fluid of joints where it’s needed.
Q. Are there other supplements that can help osteoarthritis?
A. Several vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and natural supplements have benefits for individuals with osteoarthritis. Proteolytic enzymes effectively offer relief of the pain, stiffness, and swelling of osteoarthritis.
Folic acid and vitamin B can reduce the number of tender joints and increase joint mobility. Vitamins C, D, and E not only may prevent osteoarthritis, but inhibit the disease’s progression. Niacinamide improves joint function, range of motion, and muscle strength. Clinical studies using the herb Boswellia serrata have yielded good results in osteoarthritis.
Application of ointments on osteoarthritic joints may be helpful in reducing pain and stiffness. Menthol-based preparations can provide soothing relief to painful joints. Capsaicin ointments and gel made for cayenne pepper also are very beneficial. When applied to the skin, capsaicin first stimulates, then blocks, nerve fibers that transmit pain messages. Capsaicin depletes nerve fibers of a neurotransmitter called substance P. This neurotransmitter transmits pain messages and activates inflammation in osteoarthritis. Capsaicin ointment is very effective in relieving osteoarthritis pain in many individuals.
Q. Is there anything else I can do for joint pain and stiffness?
A. When osteoarthritis occurs in the hands, use of a paraffin dip can be very comforting. A licensed health care practitioner can provide information about how to safely use paraffin dips at home.
Exercise is an excellent way to keep joints mobile, decrease pain, and increase body strength, too. Water aerobics also can reduce the pressure and stress on joints.
The Arthritis Foundation strongly suggests making movement an integral part of your life. When you’re in less pain and have more energy, more range-of-motion, and a better outlook on life, you’ll reduce stress and be a much healthier person despite your osteoarthritis.
One important last thought
When we don’t feel well, we sometimes have a tendency to self-diagnose. If you haven’t been evaluated by a licensed health care practitioner for your joint pain and stiffness, you need to do so. These symptoms may be caused by other illnesses and may require much different treatment. Only licensed health care practitioner can provide a certain diagnosis of osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis may be a part of life for many of us as we age; however, constant pain and stiffness need not be. GS combined with absorbable CS can actually improve damage in joints affected by osteoarthritis and significantly reduce pain and stiffness. And it can be an empowering way to improve your health.
For Better Heart Health ...
February 06, 2007 12:57 PM
Nutrients Every Heart Needs
High blood pressure. High cholesterol levels. Ever increasing stress. All are factors related to the development of heart disease – the leading cause of death for both men and women. In fact, 1 in 2 women in the
Fortunately, heart disease is a problem you can do something about. Proven ways to prevent or mitigate the effects of heart disease include taking targeted nutritional supplements, making changes in the foods we eat, exercising most days of the week, drinking in moderation, eliminating tobacco use and adapting a positive attitude. Research shows that those of us who are often angry and depressed have more heart disease than people that live their lives with a more positive outlook.
In this Ask the Doctor, we’ll talk about specific nutritional supplements that are heart healthy, whether your goal is to prevent heart disease or reduce the effects of heart disease if you currently have it.
Q. I am trying hard to live a healthier life. But it all seems so overwhelming. How do I start?
A. It may help to know that you’re not alone in feeling overwhelmed. Lots of people feel this way. This is why the Centers for Disease Control and the American Heart Association are both urging people to prevent heart disease by identifying their individual health risk factors.
A risk factor is an indicator of whether or not you may develop a certain health condition. In heart disease prevention, there are two kinds of risk factors. There are risk factor you can control – such as diet, exercise, and the supplements you take. There are also risk factors you can’t change or control –your age, race, and gender, as well as your family’s history of heart disease.
Examples can be really helpful. Let’s follow three adults – Fred, Jane, and Earl – and determine their risk factors.
Fred is 32, single, has a job he loves, has an optimistic attitude about his life, and works out 5 days a week. Most days Fred’s diet is fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low fat. Occasionally Fred will eat a cheeseburger and fries when he watches the game with his buddies. Fred’s risk factors are his male gender and the occasional high fat content in his diet.
Jane is 55, a lawyer, married, and has a very stressful job. Jane eats lots of salads, fruits, and whole grains. However, her job requires her to work long hours which leaves little time to exercise. Jane is for the most part happy with her life, but her work stress had led to times of negativity. Her father had a heart attack when he was 56. Jane’s risk factors include her age (greater than 50), negativity from job stress, lack of regular exercise, and a family history of heart disease.
Earl is 65, married, and has just retired from a job he hated. He spends most of his day watching TV and eating potato chips and other high fat, salty snacks. Earl has told his friends and family since he worked so hard for so long, he is sure to drop dead soon after retiring. He has high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Earl’s father had a heart attack and died when he was 73. Earl’s risk is his male gender, age (greater than 50), sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, negative outlook on life, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, and a family history of heart disease.
Q. OK, it’s pretty easy to see that Fred needs to watch his diet, Jane needs to exercise more, and Earl needs lots of help. But, which supplements should they take?
A. The Whole Heart Nutrition chart is an easy way to determine the supplements each risk level needs. As you can see, everyone wanting to prevent heart disease – Fred, Jane, Earl, you, and I – need to take quality heart formula multivitamin, garlic, and a fish oil supplement providing Omega-3 fatty acids. CoQ10 is also a smart choice for complete heart heath support.
Q. Why do we all need to take a “heart multivitamin”? Why can’t we take a regular multivitamin to prevent heart disease?
A. Since the human heart simply cannot function without adequate amounts of certain vitamins and minerals, it seems logical that a multivitamin would be the foundation of good nutrition for your heart. Heart-health formulated multivitamins provide the exact nutrients needed to prevent heart disease.
That’s why we need to take a specially formulated heart-focused multi-vitamin. The cells and the tissues that make up the heart must have vitamins C, A, and E, as well as B1, B6, and B12 to function. Folic acid, the little B vitamin that is so crucial in preventing spina bifida (a birth defect), breast cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease is also needed to keep heart muscles strong. The B vitamins and folic acid are very important to heart health because they help lower homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is a potential and emerging cardiac risk factor,
Magnesium is a mighty mineral and healthy hearts need it every day. Aloha lipoic acid, a fatty acid, provides protection against heart cholesterol and high blood pressure. Lutein and lycopene are all-natural nutrients and keep our arteries free from the buildup of plaque, a condition linked to heart attacks and strokes.
Multivitamins formulated with these exact vitamins, minerals, and nutrients will work with medications often prescribed to treat heart disease and provide the nutrition our hearts need.
Q. Don’t all multivitamins work with medications prescribed to treat heart disease?
A. Many multivitamin formulas contain herbs and other nutrients that can interfere with prescription medications, especially mediations prescribed to treat heart disease. One multivitamin does not fit all.
The more risk factors you have, the greater your chance of developing heart disease.
Q. What can garlic supplements do for Fred, Jane and Earl or other people with low to high risk factors?
A. Garlic supplements have a very long and very successful history of preventing premature death from heart attacks. Lately, however, there have been some conflicting news stories about supplemental garlic’s ability to lower high cholesterol and high blood pressure – the causes of heart disease and death. That’s because many different garlic supplements have been used in these studies – garlic oil, garlic powder, aged garlic extract, and supplements made from fresh garlic. They have all been studied clinically for their effects in heart disease.
The best garlic supplements (and the ones that showed the best effects in garlic studies) contain alliin, which is then converted to allicin. Allicin is the compound that lowers harmfully high cholesterol levels and dangerous blood pressure readings. Allicin is also responsible for garlic’s characteristic odor. Because alliin is very stable when dry, properly prepared and enteric coated fresh garlic preparations preserve the allicin-producing action until the garlic mixes with the fluids of the intestinal tract. Fresh garlic extract’s enteric coating also prevents garlic breath. In contrast, aged garlic contains absolutely no allicin or allicin potential. This fact is probably responsible for the poor results noted in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure from aged garlic preparations.
The most effective garlic supplements are made from fresh garlic, enteric coated, and provide a daily dose of at least 10 milligrams (mg) alliin or a total allicin potential of 4,000 micrograms (mcg). Taking a once-daily garlic supplement that delivers 4,000 mcg of allicin will lower Jane’s and Earl’s high blood pressure and Earl’s high cholesterol, naturally and effectively.
Whole Heart Nutrition
Each additional risk factor requires additional supplements or increased doses for protection from heart disease.
Q. What about fish oil supplements? I know they can prevent heart disease but I’ve also heard they contain harmful substances, too.
A. You’re right on both counts. But, there are excellent fish oil supplements naturally loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids, powerful nutrients that prevent heart disease, that are also certified free of harmful contaminants.
In the 1980s, researchers first began noticing the native Inuit (Eskimo) populations of Greenland and
Research has shown that the Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil supplements can:
-Reduce the risk of arrhythmias, lethal heartbeat rhythms that cause sudden death.
-Lower the levels of triglycerides, fats in the blood that can increase a person’s
risk of dying from a heart attack, even if a person’s cholesterol levels are normal.
-Slow atherosclerosis – the growth of harmful plaque on artery walls.
Atherosclerosis develops over many years. If the plaque growth is slow and
stable, chances are low that a heart attack will result. However, rapidly growing
or unstable plaques can rupture. The body responds with inflammation, which
causes blood clots to form. These blood clots block the artery and cause a heart
-Keep blood pressure levels low. Many people have high blood pressure for years
without knowing it. That’s because it has no symptoms. Uncontrolled high
blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart attack, heart failure, and kidney failure.
While 25% of Americans have high blood pressure, nearly one-third of these
people don’t know they have it. This is why high blood pressure is often called
the “silent killer.”
You can get all of this heart disease preventive protection from just 600-1800 mg of fish oil. It’s pretty simple to see why Fred, Jane, Earl, and you and I need to take fish oil supplements every day.
However, it is absolutely critical that the fish oil supplement you take is free of contaminants and guaranteed fresh! Make sure that the manufacturer of the fish oil supplement you buy is able to provide documentation of purity in their product. Supplements should contain no detectable dioxin (a widely used toxic preservative), DDT (a toxic insecticide), PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) or heavy metals such as mercury and lead.
Before you buy any fish oil supplement, ask the clerk if you can open the bottle or jar and smell the contents. A fishy smelling fish oil supplementation means it is rancid. Rancid fish oil is not going to help your heart at all and may actually hurt it.
Q. That leaves CoQ10. Why is it important for Jane and Earl?
A. CoQ10, also known as ubiquinone, is the premier heart supplement! CoQ10 is part of our energy producing system. It works directly in the mitochondria of each cell. Mitochondria are highly specialized structures within each cell and are often referred to as powerhouses. These tiny energy producers generate 95% of the energy the body requires. The number of mitochondria in a cell depends on its function and energy needs. The heart has very important functions and requires a vast amount of energy. Thus, the heart has a lot of mitochondria or little powerhouses.
CoQ10 is incredibly crucial to the health of our hearts. Especially to hearts that are pumping blood with too much cholesterol. But, in a dangerous paradox, CoQ10 levels can become dangerously depleted when physicians treat high cholesterol in their patients with certain medications. The so-called “statin” drugs (Mevacor/lovastatin and Crestor/rosubastatin are two examples) are powerful and medications prescribed to lower harmful cholesterol levels. However, one very harmful side effect they share is that they deprive cells of CoQ10. While some physicians are aware of this serious side effect and tell their patients to take at least 400 mg of CoQ10 each day, most are not. The result? Any good the statin drugs may be doing is actually negated by their depletion of CoQ10.
Q. How does CoQ10 actually work? Has it been studied in heart disease?
A. Yes, it has! CoQ10 has been extensively studied in heart disease. This natural nutrient is present in every nucleated cell in our body (the only cells that don’t contain CoQ10 are red blood cells). Heart cells, however, are absolutely loaded with CoQ10. Its job is fairly simply – CoQ10 is vital to the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the compound our body uses for 95% of its energy needs.
In 1998, 144 patients who had been admitted to the hospital after a heart attack, participated in a CoQ10 study. Half of the patients received 120 mg of CoQ10 a day in addition to the usual treatments given to heart attack patients. The other half, the control group, received the usual treatments and a placebo, but no CoQ10.
The results showed that the group taking CoQ10 had less irregular heartbeat, experienced less angina (a type of heart pain), and had much better function in the left ventricle (the most essential chamber of the heart), compared to the placebo group. Total deaths due to sudden heart failure or another heart attack were also reduced in the CoQ10 group.
Q. What if I have already been diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure? Will CoQ10 still help me?
A. CoQ10 has been proven in study after study to help slow down the destruction that occurs in congestive heart failure (CHF), a serious heart disease, and heal the heart muscles damaged by heart attacks. In fact, heart attacks often occur when the body’s CoQ10 levels are low.
In a CHF study, patients received 100 mg of CoQ10 or a placebo twice daily for 12 weeks. Before and after the treatment period, the researchers introduced a catheter into the right ventricle of the patients’ hearts to determine the degree of muscle damage CHF had caused. In the group who took CoQ10, the pumping ability of the heart improved significantly. The placebo group’s hearts did not. The researchers conducting the study recommended that people with CHF add CoQ10 to the other medications they need to take to stay alive and well.
Q. Are some types of CoQ10 better than others?
A. Indeed they are. CoQ10 products are not created equally. The key to this natural medicine is the quality of the manufacturing. Take a CoQ10 supplement that’s been used in research conducted by prestigious universities (it will tell you this right on the label). Researchers want the best CoQ10 for their studies. You want the best CoQ10 for yourself and your loved ones.
The best CoQ10 has to meet the following criteria:
1. Must be easily absorbed during the digestion process so that it can get into the
2. Must reach the mitochondria in the cell.
3. Must be proven effective in studies.
4. Must be safe and free of impurities.
Q. It sounds as if CoQ10 is only for people with moderate or high risk factors. Can others benefit from this supplement?
A. Many people, including those like Fred with low risk factors or no risk of heart disease take CoQ10 every day. CoQ10 supplements may reduce your risk of cancer, prevent gum disease, and help certain nerve cells work more effectively.
Understanding your personal risk factors, making it better lifestyle choices, taking a multivitamin formulated for your heart, an enteric-coated fresh garlic supplement, fish oil supplement with Omega-3 fatty acids, and CoQ10 – the heart’s super-nutrient – can help keep your heart healthy and strong.
Helen Keller, the famous lecturer and author, who was both blind and deaf wrote, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot e seen or even touched. They must be felt with the human heart.”
Healthy hearts have the most opportunities to “feel” the best and are the most beautiful thing our world has to offer.
The Childhood Obesity Epidemic
August 09, 2006 04:57 PM
The Zimmerman File: Marcia Zimmerman, CN, is a respected author and educator in the field of health and nutrition.
Fighting Obesity – What do I put in my child’s Lunch?
We begin the 21st century with a startling setback in life expectancy for our youth. Some experts even fear that today’s kids may not live as long as their parents. That’s despite the recent advances in medicine that have been credited with extending life span.
The Childhood Obesity Epidemic
The obesity epidemic is occurring in boys and girls in all 50 states. It’s happening in younger children as well as adolescents, across all socioeconomic strata, and among all ethnic groups. At a time when we have learned that excess weight has significant and troublesome health consequences, we see our children gaining weight to a dangerous degree and at an alarming rate. According to a 2004 report from the Centers for Disease Control, the number of over weight 6 to 11 year olds more than doubled in the past 20 years—going from 7 percent in 1980, to 18.8 percent in 2004. the rate among adolescents between 12 to 19 more than tripled, increasing from 5% to 17.1%.
An estimated 61% of overweight young people have at least one additional risk factor associated with becoming overweight. These include heart disease, high cholesterol or high blood pressure—factors that have been traditionally associated with much older adults. In addition, children who are overweight are at greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem. Overweight young people are more likely than their normal weight peers to become over weight of obese adults, adding additional risk factors such as stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.
The consensus among pediatricians, school administrators, parents, and government officials is that healthy lifestyle habits, including healthy eating and physical activity, can lower the risk of becoming overweight and developing related diseases. Associated problems with a growing overweight population are reduced productivity, increased disability, and a greater number of overweight individuals requiring nursing home care as they move into retirement. Clearly the centerpiece of reducing childhood obesity is to reduce its health related and economic costs.
Clearly, we must tackle this problem head-on in order to save our youth. It is beginning as a grass roots movement in the classroom and will involve nutritionists, enlightened teachers, pediatricians, natural food retailers, manufacturers and suppliers of healthy foods. Beginning in the opening weeks of school 2006-2007, a pilot program to teach 6th graders how to eat for better health will be instituted in Chico, California. As the program is perfected, it will be offered nationwide. This is how the plan unfolds.
Show kids how
Breakfast: Cereals, Whey Protein Powders, with Glutamine added, add Malted Milk Powder to any shake, for a change.
Lunchbox: Dried fruits (non-sulfite), Nuts, Seeds, and Organic Popcorn.
Health Snack Bars Nuts & Seeds, Organic Fruit Bars, Organic Virta Raw Sprouted Bars.
Dinner: Grains, Textured Soy Protein, Oils.
Vitamins: (very important to keep kids healthy and at the top of their game) Daily Multiple: Kid Vits berry Blast or Orange Splash, daily vits easy-to-swallow tabs for older kids, Effer-C Packets, Omega-3 Fish Oil; (for brain nutrition)
Oral Hygiene: (don’t forget the anti-caries power of xylitol)
XyliWhite Fluoride-Free Refreshmint Toothpaste XyliWhite Fluoride-Free Cinnafresh Toothpaste XyliWhite Fluoride-Free Refreshmint Mouthwash XyliWhite Fluoride-Free Cinnafresh Mouthwash
Mary Travis at Now Foods has been collecting amazing recipes that use Now Foods ingredients. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Feds Subsidized Poor Nutrition
October 29, 2005 01:54 PM
Feds Subsidized Poor Nutrition
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) this year issued a new food pyramid aimed at convincing Americans to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins such as dairy, meat and beans. While the USDA publicizes its pyramid with much fanfare, the agency implements policies that subsidize the consumption of nutrition-poor, high fat and processed foods, while offering no incentive to farmers to grow healthful crops.
The Pyramid Versus Farm subsidies
A recent Associated Press (AP) article* contrasted the pyramid recommendations with a breakdown of this year’s $17 billion in direct subsidies to farmers.
Overproduction Leads to Lower Prices
U.S. farm policy leads to the overproduction of nutrition-poor, fat and starch-laden foods. As a result, the prices of these foods go down, while healthy food remains less affordable.
A related AP story describes the barriers faced by poor Families who would prefer a more nutrition’s diet but end up eating cheap, unhealthy food. Adam Drewnowski, director of the University of Washington’s Center of public Health Nutrition is quoted: “Energy-dense foods rich in starch, sugar or fat are the cheapest option. As long as the healthier lean meats, fish and fresh produce are more expensive, obesity will continue to be a problem for the working poor.”
Food Policy and the wellness Revolution
With obesity and related health problems at a crisis point, some consumer advocates are trying to change our government’s food policies. An effective response to the current dietary crisis requires political charge as well as education about healthy lifestyles. Meanwhile, it is a wise strategy for individuals to develop a personal, nutritional supplement regimen. The centerpiece of this program should be a scientifically advanced and comprehensive multiple such as Source Naturals Life Force.
Optimizing Your Input
October 24, 2005 08:22 AM
Optimizing Your Input
Multis are a good idea even if you eat a healthy diet. That’s because the government-defined Reference Daily Intake (RDIs) for various nutrients are based on preventing deficiency disorders, such as scurvy caused by a lack of vitamin C. But well-being depends less on avoiding deficiencies and more on getting enough nutrients to counteract the toxins, lack of sleep and high stress that modern flesh is heir to. That’s why multivitamins are often based on ODIs- Optimal Daily Intakes. While ODIs are not defined by any authoritative body, cutting-edge nutrition experts agree that they’re considerably higher than RDIs.
Multivitamins also provide tailored nutrition for everyone in the family. For Dad, a men’s multi often contains extra vitamin E and zinc for peak prostate health, while Mom’s formulation might emphasize folate, iron and calcium. And Junior’s multivitamin should contain pint-sized amounts of everything a growing body needs, along with the kid-friendly flavor that ensures those nutrients actually get inside of Junior. (Athletic Families take note: Your needs may be considerably different, so consult with a sports nutrition practitioner.)
Energizing Intimacy - The foundation of a loving relationship is built on communication
July 27, 2005 04:17 PM
The foundation of a loving relationship is built on communication.
Mars/Venus. He said/she said. Action movies/chick flicks. However you choose to characterize differences between the sexes, one this is clear: We tend to see men and women as irreconcilable opposites, people who need each other deeply yet who often don’t know how to live with one another. The stress that ensues when the love connection breaks down aches not only our hearts but the rest of our bodies as well…to say nothing of what it teaches our children about the nature of relationships.
This issue of Energy Times is primarily devoted to offering advice and guidance on how to rebuild that love connection; how committed, loving couples can energize intimacy in their relationships. You can find valuable information in stories on the incredible herbs around the world that aid and enhance libido; tips on how women can use natural cosmetics to rev up a partner’s sexual engine; and how couples can create passion in the kitchen, through mutual back massage and after menopause.
But those articles offer little help if the foundation of your relationship is not primarily built on communicating your needs and desires- whether inside or outside of the bedroom- and listening, really listening, to the other person in your life. Communication is the holistic way to view sexual health and healing because having a clear understanding with your partner about love and life is the way your relationship can truly be whole.
With our national divorce rate hovering around the 50% mark, it is clear that American adults still have an immense learning curve when it comes to talking about sex and intimacy. Sensual images and situations bombard us from books, television, films and Internet sites, yet we seem to be as clueless as ever, not knowing how to talk intelligently about intimate relationships to each other or to our children.
Part of the problem stems from the constant barrage of verbal and visual messages- whether from our parents, friends or corporate advertising- that make us incredibly self-conscious about sensuality and our bodies. Many women fight to come to terms with self-images of their bodies as not thin or beautiful enough, while a lot of men struggle to overcome fear and insecurity over their sexual prowess. Carrying such baggage around can’t help but negatively affect the way people relate in a relationship. After all, before you can share love with your partner, you must learn to love yourself.
We also have to overcome the energy flows that start getting blocked during childhood, when we learn to restrain our emotional energy for the sake of fitting in. Like water behind a crumbling dam, though, repressed energy leaks out in all sorts of extremely unhealthy ways: Anger, depression, irritability, stress- and sexual dysfunction.
Learning to Talk
According to Chris Frey, a Missouri-based psychotherapist and pet who has studies sexual relationships, our culture does a great job reaching people about the mechanics and “how-to” of intimacy and the dangers of unprotected sex, but few Families or institutions talk about healthy sexuality with a partner.
“Culturally, the prevalent myth still is that loves means intuitively knowing what my partner wants,” Frey said in an interview posted on the website of the Missouri Lawyer Assistance Program (MOLAP). “People think if they have to talk, or worse yet, ask about it, then there must be something wrong with them. That’s incorrect. Instead of open communication, people often turn to innuendo, humor and guesswork. When couples break through that, the sensitivity and intimacy built as two uncertain people begin to communicate about sex builds an amazing amount of trust, and most likely, a much more pleasurable relationship.”
In fact, trust is a key part of a model of healthy sexuality developed by social worker, marriage and family therapist and author Wendy Maltz. Called CERTS, Maltz’s model requires that five basic conditions be met for a healthy sexual relationship: Consent, Equality, Respect, Trust and Safety.
-Steven Hanks and Lisa James
PROPER DOSAGES OF PYCNOGENOL CAN DETERMINE ITS EFFECTIVENESS
July 13, 2005 12:35 PM
PROPER DOSAGES OF PYCNOGENOL CAN DETERMINE ITS EFFECTIVENESS
Some doctors who have used Pycnogenol recommend a dose of 20 mg. for every 20 lbs. of body weight to obtain optimal results. This usually averages to approximately 150-200 mg. per person, per day. For therapeutic doses, a saturation level can be obtained by taking an increased amount of Pycnogenol initially and then tapering off to optimal body weight dosages.
PYCNOGENOL: LIFE-CHANGING COMPOUND
Supplementing the diet with nature’s most powerful antioxidants is certainly paramount in protecting ourselves and our Families from the ravages of disease. Studies suggest the earlier we sta rt using Pycnogenol, the better for our biocellular health. While we anxiously await for the cure for cancer and other devastating diseases, we can arm our bodies with the most powerful protective nutrients available. Pycnogenol is the compound of choice.
A WORD CONCERNING TESTIMONIALS
Frequently, sensational claims emerge when new health supplements are introduced. Concerning Pycnogenol, accounts vary from anecdotal to scientific. Unquestionably, when it comes to vision problems, capillary weakness, prostate problems or any type of inflammatory problem, Pycnogenol has already compiled an impressive track record.
Celebrating Women: Age Is Just a Number
June 13, 2005 07:43 PM
Celebrating Women: Age Is Just a Number by Carl Lowe Energy Times, March 10, 2004
As women age, their physical needs shift. The health challenges that face a woman in her thirties do not match those of a woman in her fifties.
At the same time, some basic health needs stay constant: At any age, every woman requires a wealth of vitamins, minerals and the other natural chemicals that fruits, vegetables and supplements supply. She also constantly needs Families and friends to support her spiritual health.
As the internal workings of your body alter, your lifestyle must stay abreast of those adjustments. Peak health demands a finely tuned health program designed with your individual needs-and your stage of life-in mind.
Ages 30 to 45
When it comes to maintaining health, younger women might seem to have it easier than older women. If they exercise and stay in shape, they maintain more stamina than women 10 to 20 years their senior.
Unfortunately, many women in this age group mistakenly think they don't have to be as careful about their lifestyle habits and their eating habits as they will in later decades. But even if your health doesn't seem to suffer from poor eating choices or a sedentary lifestyle right away, your foundation for health in later life suffers if you don't care for yourself now.
By age 45 you should have established the good habits that will carry you successfully through the aging process. As an added bonus, good lifestyle habits pay immediate dividends. If you pay attention to your nutrients and get plenty of physical activity when younger, you'll feel more energetic and probably enjoy better emotional health.
Set Health Goals
According to Gayle Reichler, MS, RD, CDN, in her book Active Wellness (Avery/Penguin), good health at any age doesn't just come to you-you have to plan for it. In order to stick to good habits, she says, "living a healthy lifestyle needs to be satisfying." Reichler believes that you need to picture your health goals to achieve them: "Every successful endeavor first begins in the mind as an idea, a thought, a dream, a conviction." Good health at this age and in later years requires a concrete strategy and visualization of how your body can improve with a healthy lifestyle.
Your long-term health goals at this age should include an exercise program that will allow you to reach a physically fit old age with a lowered risk of disability. In addition, your short-term plans should encompass losing weight, staying optimistic, living life with more vim and vigor, increasing your capacity for exercise and lowering your stress.
As Reichler points out, "Your long-term goal and your ideal vision establish what you want to achieve....[You should do] something good...for yourself every day and every week that makes your life easier and more consistent with your goals."
Develop an Eating Plan
Today, the average American gains about two pounds annually. As a result, every year a greater portion of the US population is obese and overweight. By controlling your food intake earlier in life, you may be able to avoid this weight gain. In his book Prolonging Health (Hampton Roads), James Williams, OMD, recommends basic changes to your diet that can provide long-term support of your health:
Get Supplemental Help
If you're in your thirties or forties and you don't take at least a multivitamin, start taking one today! A large body of research shows that taking vitamin and mineral supplements over a long period of time significantly supports better health.
Calcium and vitamin D are two of the most important supplemental nutrients, helping to build stronger bones now that can withstand the bone-loss effects of aging.
Calcium can also help keep your weight down. One study of younger women found that for every extra 300 milligrams of calcium a day they consumed, they weighed about two pounds less (Experimental Biology 2003 meeting, San Diego).
In the same way, taking vitamin D supplements not only helps strengthen your bones, it can also lower your risk of multiple sclerosis (Neurology 1/13/04). In this study, which looked at the health records of more than 180,000 women for up to 20 years, taking D supplements dropped the chances of multiple sclerosis (although eating vitamin D-rich foods did not have the same benefit). And if you're thinking about having children at this age, a multivitamin is crucial for lowering your baby's risk of birth defects and other health problems. A study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that women who take multivitamins during pregnancy lower their children's risk of nervous system cancer by up to 40% (Epidemiology 9/02).
" Our finding, combined with previous work on reducing several birth defects with vitamin supplementation and other childhood cancers, supports the recommendation that mothers' vitamin use before and during pregnancy may benefit their babies' health," says Andrew F. Olshan, MD, professor of epidemiology at the UNC School of Public Health. "We believe physicians and other health care providers should continue to educate women about these benefits and recommend appropriate dietary habits and daily dietary supplements."
In particular, Dr. Olshan feels that folic acid (one of the B vitamins), and vitamins C and A, are particularly important for lowering the risk of childhood cancers and birth defects.
Ages 45 to 55
When you reach this in-between age-the time when most women have moved past childbearing age but haven't usually fully moved into the post-menopausal stage-you enjoy a propitious opportunity to take stock of your health and plan for an even healthier future. One thing that may need adjustment is your sleep habits, as sleeplessness is a common problem for women in this age group. Even if you haven't been exercising or watching your diet until now, it's not too late to start. Making lifestyle changes at this age can still improve your chances for aging successfully.
For instance, it is at these ages that women should have their heart health checked. Research published in the journal Stroke (5/01) shows that having your cholesterol and blood pressure checked at this time more accurately shows your future chances of heart disease than having it checked at a later date after menopause, in your late fifties.
" The premenopausal risk factors may be a stronger predictor of carotid atherosclerosis [artery blockages] because they represent cumulative risk factor exposure during the premenopausal years, whereas the risk factors...during the early postmenopausal years have a shorter time for influence," says Karen A. Matthews, PhD, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. In other words, Dr. Matthews' research shows that if you have high blood pressure and high cholesterol before menopause, you are at serious risk for a stroke or heart attack soon after menopause: These are important reasons that you need to start improving your health habits immediately.
Increase in Heart Disease
Before menopause, a woman's hormones and other physiological characteristics usually hold down her chance of heart disease. After menopause, when hormones and other bodily changes occur, the risk of heart attacks and stroke in women rises significantly. (Heart disease is the leading killer of women.) At least part of this increased risk is linked to the postmenopausal decrease in estrogen production.
Dr. Matthews studied about 370 women in their late forties, measuring their weight, their BMI (body mass index, an indication of body fat compared to height), blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. Ten years later, after the women had entered menopause, she and her fellow scientists used ultrasound to measure blockages in these women's neck arteries (a sign of heart disease).
The researchers found that indications of potential heart problems (such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and being overweight) when women were in their forties did indeed forecast future difficulties.
" Women who had elevated cholesterol, higher blood pressures and increased body weight before menopause had increased blood vessel thickening and atherosclerotic plaque formation in the neck arteries after menopause. Such changes in the carotid arteries are associated with an increased heart attack and stroke risk," says Dr. Matthews.
Heart Health Factors
The four main lifestyle factors you should adjust at this age to support better heart function are diet, stress, exercise and weight. According to Dr. James Williams, "[M]ore than any other cause, dietary factors are the most critical factor in cardiovascular disease." He recommends eliminating "dietary saturated fatty acids as found in flame-broiled and fried meats." He also urges women to eat more fish and poultry, consume organic fruits and vegetables and cut back on refined sugar.
Stress becomes an ever more important heart disease factor at this age as estrogen begins to drop.
" Our study [in the lab] indicates that stress affects estrogen levels and can lead to the development of heart disease-even before menopause," says Jay Kaplan, PhD, of the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center (The Green Journal 3/02).
Dr. Kaplan's research shows that stress in women ages 45 to 55 may reduce estrogen earlier in life and make women more susceptible to the arterial blockages that lead to heart disease. "We know from [lab] studies that stress can lower estrogen levels to the point that health is affected," he says.
Stress can also hurt bone health: In a study of 66 women with normal-length menstrual periods, estrogen levels were low enough in half of the women to cause bone loss, making the women susceptible to osteoporosis.
Exercise and Weight
Although exercise used to be considered to be mainly a young woman's activity, the thrust of recent research suggests that physical activity actually becomes more important to health as you get older.
A 17-year study of about 10,000 Americans found that exercising and keeping your weight down is probably the most important thing you can do to lower your risk of heart disease as you enter your forties and fifties (Am J Prev Med 11/03).
Of the people who took part in this study, more than 1,500 people died of heart disease. Those who performed the most exercise were thinner and had a 50% chance less of dying of heart disease than overweight nonexercisers.
" The fact is that those who both exercised more and ate more nevertheless had low cardiovascular mortality," says Jing Fang, MD, a researcher at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York.
An added benefit of exercise: If you burn up calories exercising, you can eat more and not have to worry as much about being overweight.
Supplements and Diet
If you're a woman at midlife, a multivitamin and mineral is still good nutritional insurance. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables are also important for getting enough phytochemicals, the health substances in plants that convey a wealth of health benefits.
As you enter this age group, your immune system gradually slows down. To help support immune function, eating produce rich in antioxidant nutrients, and supplementing with antioxidants like vitamins C and E as well as carotenoids, can be especially important. For example, a study of people with ulcers found that people with less vitamin C in their stomachs are more likely to be infected with Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that can cause peptic ulcers and is linked to stomach cancer (J Amer Coll Nutr 8/1/03).
This research, which looked at the health of about 7,000 people, found that vitamin C probably helps the immune system fend off this bacterial infection.
" Current public health recommendations for Americans are to eat five or more servings of fresh fruits and vegetables a day to help prevent heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases," says Joel A. Simon, MD, MPH, professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco.
Calcium and Bones
At midlife, calcium continues to be a vital mineral for supporting bone health.
According to Gameil T. Fouad, PhD, "It has been routinely shown that a woman's calcium status and level of physical activity (specifically, the degree to which she participates in weight-bearing exercise) are positively associated with bone mineral density. It is less well appreciated that this is a process which takes place over the course of a lifetime."
Dr. Fouad adds that calcium works in concert with other vitamins and minerals to keep bones healthy: "Research in the United Kingdom involving nearly 1,000 premenopausal women over age 40 illustrates those women with the highest bone density tended to have the highest intake of calcium. Surprisingly, this study also demonstrated that calcium does not act alone: those women with the best bone health also had the highest intakes of zinc, magnesium and potassium."
Dr. Fouad stresses that supplements should go together with a lifestyle that includes enough sleep and exercise to help the body stay in top shape.
" As a general guideline," he says, "a woman concerned with her mineral intake should take concrete steps to make sure she is getting adequate rest, is eating a well-balanced diet focused on fresh fruits, vegetables and lean protein as well as getting adequate exercise....A multi-mineral containing bio-available forms of zinc, magnesium, copper and selenium is probably a safe addition to anyone's routine. Taking these proactive steps dramatically reduces the chances that deficiencies will arise."
Ages 55 and Beyond
Entering the post-menopausal phase of life can present challenging opportunities for a new perspective on life and health. While some signs of aging are inevitable, experts who have looked at how the human body changes with age are now convinced that healthy lifestyle habits can improve how well you can think, move and enjoy life well past age 55.
As Dr. Williams notes, "In your fifties, the force of aging is undeniably present: Your body shape changes and organ function declines, both men and women have a tendency to gain weight....Heart disease becomes more common, energy and endurance are considerably reduced and your memory begins to slip."
But Dr. Williams also points out that you don't have to age as rapidly as other people do. He believes you should employ a "natural longevity program...[that starts] to reverse the course of aging as early as possible."
One key to staying vital as you age is your outlook on life, an aspect of life that's greatly enhanced by strong social ties.
Avoiding the Aging Slowdown The latest research shows that one of the most crucial ways to slow the effects of aging is to exercise and keep your weight down. It won't necessarily be easy, though. The change in hormonal balance at this age makes the body more prone to extra pounds (Society for Neuroscience Meeting, 11/12/03).
" In women, it has been demonstrated that major weight increases often occur during menopause, the time in a woman's life in which cyclic ovarian function ends and the ovarian hormones estrogen and progesterone decline," says Judy Cameron, PhD, a scientist in the divisions of reproductive sciences and neuroscience at the Oregon Health & Science University.
In Dr. Cameron's lab trials, she has found that the decrease in estrogen after menopause "resulted in a 67% jump in food intake and a 5% jump in weight in a matter of weeks."
In other words, the hormonal changes you undergo as enter your late fifties causes your appetite to grow as well as your waistline: Developments that increase your chances of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke and joint problems.
Vigilance against this weight gain is necessary to save your health: Start walking and exercising. Research on exercise in people aged 58 to 78 found that getting off the couch for a walk or other physical activity not only helps control weight but also helps sharpen your thinking and helps you become more decisive (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2/16-20/04, online edition). This recent study, done at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, found that performing aerobic exercise improved mental functioning by 11% (on a computer test).
" We continue to find a number of cognitive benefits in the aerobic group," says Arthur F. Kramer, PhD, a professor of psychology at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at Illinois. "The brain circuits that underlie our ability to think-in this case to attend selectively to information in the environment-can change in a way that is conducive to better performance on tasks as a result of fitness." In simple terms, that means that walking at least 45 minutes a day boosts brain power as well as protecting your heart.
An Herb for Menopause
The physical changes that accompan> y menopause can be uncomfortable. But traditional herbal help is available: Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa), an herb used for eons by aging women, has been shown in recent studies to be both safe and effective (Menopause 6/15/03).
" This [research] should reassure health professionals that they can safely recommend black cohosh to their menopausal patients who cannot or choose not to take HRT [hormone replacement therapy]," says researcher Tieraona Low Dog, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico Department of Family and Community Medicine.
While HRT has been used to help women cope with menopause, a flurry of studies in the past few years have shown that HRT increases the risk of heart disease and cancer. Instead, black cohosh, which alleviates such menopausal discomforts as hot flashes, has been shown to be much safer.
Keeping Track of Crucial Vitamins
While continuing to take multivitamins and minerals at this age is important, some experts believe that as we grow older, vitamin D supplementation, as well as taking antioxidant nutrients, is particularly vital. Arthritis is a common affliction of aging, and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is one particularly destructive form of this joint problem. But taking vitamin D can significantly lower your risk of this condition.
When scientists analyzed the diets of 30,000 middle-aged women in Iowa over 11 years, they found that women who consumed vitamin D supplements were 34% less likely to suffer RA (Arth Rheu 1/03).
Other vitamins are equally important to an older woman's well-being. For example, vitamins C and natural E have been found to lower the risk of stroke in those over the age of 55 (Neurology 11/11/03). In this study, smokers who consumed the most vitamin C and natural vitamin E were 70% were much less likely to suffer strokes than smokers whose diets were missing out on these vitamins.
Rich sources of vitamin C in food include oranges and other citrus fruits, strawberries, red and green peppers, broccoli and brussels sprouts. Sources of vitamin E include vegetable oils such as sunflower seed, cottonseed, safflower, palm and wheat germ oils, margarine and nuts.
Saving Your Sight
After age 55, your eyes are particularly vulnerable. Eight million Americans of this age are at risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a condition that destroys structures in the back of the eye necessary for vision (Arch Ophthal 11/03). But you can drop your risk of AMD by taking supplements of antioxidant vitamins and zinc, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins' Wilmer Eye Institute.
Their research shows that a dietary supplement of vitamins C, natural vitamin E and beta carotene, along with zinc, lowers the chances of progressing to advanced AMD in certain at-risk people by about 25%. Daily supplements also reduced the risk of vision loss by about 19%.
The carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin also help protect aging eyes. When scientists compared healthy eyes with eyes suffering from AMD, they found that AMD eyes contained lower levels of these vital nutrients (Ophthalmology 2003; 109:1780). Furthermore, they found that levels of these chemicals generally decline as you grow older.
Healthy at All Ages
When it comes to designing a healthy lifestyle, general rules like these can be followed, but you should individualize your plan to fit your needs. No matter which type of exercises you pick out or what healthy foods you choose, look for a strategy and a plan you can stick to. If you think a selection of foods are good for you but you absolutely hate their taste, chances are you won't be able to stick to a diet that includes them.
The same goes for exercise: Pick out activities that you enjoy and that you can perform consistently. That increases your chance of sticking to an exercise program.
Staying healthy is enjoyable and it helps you get more out of life every day, no matter what stage of life you're in.
In the Clear - Skin is always in danger of acne and inflammations
June 12, 2005 02:13 PM
In the Clear by Dianne Drucker Energy Times, August 3, 2003
Your skin needs protection even as it offers itself as your body's first line of defense against the outside world. Skin is always in danger of acne and inflammations during its daily encounters with stray microorganisms, streams of ultraviolet light and a barrage of pollutants.
Tending to your skin, keeping a clear complexion while safeguarding your well-being, requires proper feeding, watering and tender, loving care.
Your skin not only has to protect you, it has to look good while doing it. Unfortunately, much can go wrong with skin. One of the most common skin irregularities is the acne that often arises when pores clog and inflammation creates unsightly blemishes.
While conventional medicine has long insisted that your chances of developing pimples are unrelated to what you feed your body and your skin, recent studies are calling that accepted wisdom into question.
Research in the Archives of Dermatology (12/02) argues that today's pimples are linked to what you ate yesterday. Skin scientists now suspect that the typical American diet, filled with refined foods, sugars and simple starches, causes the exaggerated release of insulin and related secretions that foment pimples and blemishes.
The evidence: When researchers spent two years combing through the rainforests of New Guinea and trekking to remote parts of Paraguay, they took a close look at indigenous people's faces and couldn't find a single pimple. The inhabitants of these isolated areas eat homegrown food and wild game. They've never eaten crackers or cookies from a box or slurped a milkshake through a straw. And they've never had to cope with embarrassing acne.
The researchers concluded that no refined foods meant no blemishes.
Refining the Pimple Process
According to this latest theory, pimples can start when your digestive tract quickly absorbs refined, starchy carbohydrates from white bread or potatoes or sugary soft drinks. These foods are ranked at or near the top of the so-called glycemic index. That means that these foodstuffs cause your blood sugar to climb rapidly, the process that the glycemic index measures.
That rise in blood sugar causes the release of insulin from your pancreas into your bloodstream. Insulin, a hormone-like substance, helps cells soak up the excess sugar circulating in your blood. However, along with insulin, another substance, is also released. These two chemicals boost the production of testosterone, the male hormone that, in turn, can cause the skin to overproduce sebum, an oily goo that plugs up pores and gives birth to acne. (Previous research has already established the causal relationship of testosterone to pimples.)
Lorain Cordain, PhD, a health professor at Colorado State University and lead researcher in this study, points out that more than 80% of the grains we eat are highly refined and cause significant blood sugar increases, a factor that makes skin break out. In addition, he says, teens are especially susceptible to pimples because they are growing rapidly and, as a result, tend to be insulin resistant. Insulin resistance means it takes more insulin to persuade cells to take sugar out of the blood. This condition consequently results in even larger amounts of insulin being released and more skin blemishes being created.
According to Dr. Cordain, eating low-glycemic foods like whole grains, vegetables, fish and lean meat should lower your risk of acne. These foods don't bump up blood sugar as much, to be released and, as a result, are kinder to your skin.
Aside from improving your skin condition by improving the food you eat, taking supplements to help the bacteria in your lower digestive tract may also clear up your undesirable dermatological developments. Eczema, a discomforting and embarrassing skin inflammation, is now believed to depend on the interaction between intestinal bacteria and your immune system.
According to research in Finland (The Lancet 2001; 357:1076), eczema may appear on your skin when your immune system, influenced by the gut's bacteria, misbehaves, using unnecessary inflammation to defend against a non-existent infection that it mistakenly believes threatens the skin.
Atopic eczema, a variety of eczema that often runs in Families, has long been known to be linked to allergies and immune overreactions.
In looking into the fact that more and more people have been suffering eczema, scientists came to the disturbing conclusion that this increase may be at least partly attributed to our obsession with cleanliness.
When we are young, our immune systems learn the proper ways to fight off germs by interacting with the bacteria and viruses they encounter. But during the past ten years, so many of us (and our parents) have kept our houses so neurotically spic-and-span, according to the latest theory, that our immune systems are failing to develop the proper responses. So, like a bored, inexperienced security guard who imagines a threat when there is none, our immune defenses are going slightly haywire, causing the defensive inflammation of eczema even in the absence of real bacteriological invasions. The possible solution: Probiotic supplements of harmless bacteria like Lactobacillus GG. This bacteria, similar to the friendly bacteria that live in our large intestines, seems to calm immunity so that it is less likely to panic and start an unnecessary inflammation.
These supplements are so safe, medical researchers are now giving them to pregnant women and newborn babies. In the research in Finland, giving these probiotics to mothers and newborns cut the rate of infant atopic eczema in half. (Similar, live bacteria are also found in yogurt, although yogurt should not be fed to newborns.)
The skin on these children is benefiting for long periods of time. "Our findings show that the preventive effect of Lactobacillus GG on atopic eczema in at-risk children extends to the age of 4 years," notes Marko Kalliomäki, MD, author of the study.
Tea Tree Help
Further natural skin help can be had from Australia in the form of tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia). Long revered by the aborigines of this continent, tea tree oil was allegedly given its English name by British sea captain James Cook, who used the plant to make a tea that improved the flavor of beer.
But Australians have long used tea tree oil as an antiseptic. Its popularity increased during World War II, when, after it was used as a lubricant on heavy machinery, mechanics who got the oil on their hands noticed it fought skin infections. As pointed out in The Chopra Center Herbal Handbook (Three Rivers Press), "The essential oil of tea tree...contains a number of terpenes, of which terpinen-4-ol is believed to be responsible for its beneficial anti-infective activity." Terpenes are special, beneficial types of protein found in essential oils.
Tea tree is especially useful against skin outbreaks caused by fungus infections. Research in Australia shows that it can help quell athlete's foot (Austr Jrnl Derm 1992; 33:145) as effectively as some pharmaceutical preparations. Other research confirms that it can help quiet many different fungi that cause unsightly skin outbreaks (Skin Pharm 1996; 9:388). The Chopra Center Herbal Handbook recommends that "every household should keep some tea tree oil close at hand. It can be applied directly to skin irritations."
Revered by the pharaohs' healers in Egypt during the ancient age of the pyramids, and depended upon for centuries by the Greeks for a variety of medicinal purposes, chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is still employed for a range of skin problems. This botanical helps ease abscesses, bruises or sunburn, and is included in many massage oils. (But never apply chamomile's undiluted essential oil to the skin.)
In addition, creams and sprays with chamomile are used to calm the nerves and nourish the skin. As an element in aromatherapy, chamomile, whose odor has been compared to apples, is well-known for soothing and rejuvenating the spirit. Explaining exactly how chamomile heals and calms has not been easy for scientists. Essential oils like chamomile contain so many different natural chemicals that exploring their holistic effect on the human body requires detailed analysis. As an aromatherapeutic agent, researchers believe chamomile and other essential oils may interact with the brain, activating glands that stimulate healing systems within the body. But that has yet to be proven.
What has been proven is that herbs like chamomile and tea tree, and natural treatments like probiotics, can make a big difference in keeping your skin healthy and clear. With their help, you can present your best face to the world.
Supersized Kids - today's children are not just mildly overweight.
June 12, 2005 02:04 PM
Supersized Kids by Carl Lowe Energy Times, August 1, 2003
If your kids are like most American children, they are in serious danger. Because of a lifestyle that packs in too many calories and not enough exercise, today's children are not just mildly overweight; they are fat enough at younger and younger ages to threaten their well-being.
All of the extra body fat kids carry around is not just a cosmetic problem. Unless something is done quickly, this overweight generation may be doomed to a lifetime of chronic illness stemming from their excessive weight.
If you have kids, they are at risk. The time to take action to save them is today. When researchers look at the weight problems of today's youth, they are shocked and dismayed. The juvenile weight problem has resulted in some kids becoming obese-grossly overweight-by their third birthdays. Scientists are also finding that, in many cases, obese 10-year-olds now have livers that are already malfunctioning because of too much body fat. At the same time, their bodies, in an effort to cope with increases in fat, are secreting high levels of insulin, making them prone to type 2 diabetes, a disease usually found in older adults.
When pediatric endocrinologists at the University at Buffalo analyzed the heights and weights of young children who were referred to them, they found frightening levels of obesity (Pediatric Academic Societies meeting 5/3/00).
"Childhood obesity not only affects a child's self-esteem, it also is associated with multiple medical consequences," says Teresa Quattrin, MD, professor of pediatrics and director of the study. "High insulin levels are believed to be related to type 2 diabetes, formerly known as 'adult-onset diabetes.' In fact, the incidence of type 2 diabetes in children has risen significantly in recent years, along with a high prevalence of obesity." "Children at risk of obesity must be identified very early, even at the preschool level," she adds. "Obese children often have obese parents, so an effective family-based multi-factor intervention program should begin as soon as obesity is diagnosed." Experts estimate that up to one in three US children and adolescents is already obese, and the numbers are rising. Children who are overweight are much more likely to grow up to become overweight adults and to suffer all of the health problems associated with adult obesity.
Experts believe that the best way to get children's weight under control is to get family eating under control. And the eating changes do not have to be drastic to produce effective results.
"Obesity is a family illness," says Debra Haire-Joshu, PhD, director of the Obesity Prevention Center at Saint Louis University School of Public Health. "Children...learn to become obese in an environment that encourages it. If parents are eating poorly, that's what they're providing their children."
To help children eat a moderate diet, according to Dr. Haire-Joshu, parents have to eat healthier first. In her research (Preventive Medicine, 6/03), the Saint Louis University School of Public Health joined with Parents As Teachers (PAT), a national, free educational program for parents of children from birth to age 3, to show parents simple ways to eat healthier that they could share with their children.
The researchers found that when they instructed the entire family on eating fewer calories, fewer fried foods and more fruits and vegetables, everyone, including the young children, benefited.
"What we showed in the study is parents who institute very simple changes can significantly impact their health. When parents have kids, they want the best for their kids. We get them at a very teachable moment," Dr. Haire-Joshu says. But society and the media produce an environment that encourages kids to eat gooey, calorie-dense food and stay glued to the television.
"Our society receives consistent messages to eat more and move less. This is a way to balance some of those messages to very young Families," warns Dr. Haire-Joshu.
Dr. Haire-Joshu says that her study shows parents are more likely to start on healthier diets when the dietary changes are relatively small. For example, instead of completely revamping meals, Families that ate fried foods at five dinners during the week tried cutting back to four fried dinners. Or mothers who consistently ate at fast food restaurants were encouraged to add lettuce and tomato to a smaller burger than the supersize they usually ordered.
Don't wait. Make those kinds of changes today to help your kids control their weight. Their health is at stake.
Take it to Heart - Lower Cholesterol
June 09, 2005 06:05 PM
Take it to Heart by Dawn Lemonathen Energy Times, January 2, 2002
Lifestyle is key to bettering your odds of beating heart disease. A few simple, everyday heart-friendly habits can help your heart help you. Right now, heart attacks and other cardiovascular complications like stroke have reached sky-high levels across the US.
Nearly 60 million Americans suffer from one of the various forms of cardiovascular disease and these often fatal complications cause more than 40% of all deaths in the United States. Statistics show that nearly a million Americans succumb to heart problems every year. The humongous cost: Heart disease and stroke consume almost $260 billion annually. Heart disease is the top cause of death for older Americans and remains the leading cause of death for all Americans age 35 and older. Coronary heart disease (CHD), also known as ischemic heart disease, is the most frequent cause of death for adults in the United States-accounting for more than 500,000 deaths a year. And even though most women have had their consciousness raised about their risk of cancer, particularly breast cancer, in fact, their chances of dying from one of the forms of heart disease is double their risk of succumbing to one of the forms of cancer. And ten times more women die from cardiovascular problems than die from breast cancer.
Cholesterol and Heart Health
Nuts and Heart Health
Vegetarianism vs Heart Disease