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Cork scientists link gut bacteria to anxiety disorders
May 21, 2017 06:44 AM
Scientists in Cork, funded by the brain and Behavior Research Foundation, have discovered the microbome can regulate fear and anxiety. The microtome, bacteria found in your gut, has been studied for its influence on our overall health but recent studies have shown it can influence brain function. Research in mice showing that the microtome can regulate fear response can lead to future treatments using probiotics instead of medications with harsh side effects to treat anxiety disorders and PTSDin humans.
Read more: Cork scientists link gut bacteria to anxiety disorders
Lutein and zeaxanthin levels linked to better cognitive function: Study
April 06, 2017 07:45 AM
Higher levels of lutein and zeaxanthin in the blood can lead to better cognitive scores. Higher zeaxanthin levels also are linked to better processing ability. There are smaller studies that confirm this. Lutein was first linked to eye health in 1994 by Dr. Seddon at Harvard. The researchers studied 4076 Irish adults 50 years or older. Only zeaxanthin increased processing speed, but both carotenoids were linked with higher cognitive function. However, further testing is needed to understand levels.
Read more: Lutein and zeaxanthin levels linked to better cognitive function: Study
How to start the new year with new eating habits
January 14, 2017 02:59 PM
One of the most popular New Years resolution is losing weight. Often times this can be easier said than done. One of the best way to lose weight and eat better is to understand how cravings actually work. This can make it possible to eat better and make healthier choices, making your resolution work.
"Where appearances are concerned, it’s very hard to lose a substantial amount of weight and keep it off. There is the danger of yo-yo dieting. You can end up gaining more weight than you lost."
Boost Absorption With Natural Vitamins
April 17, 2009 11:20 AM
Malabsorption occurs when the body fails to properly absorb vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients from food. Even though a person’s diet is adequate, an individual with malabsorption develops various nutritional deficiencies. This problem is often the result of impaired digestion, impaired absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream from the digestive tract, or both.
Common symptoms of malabsorption syndrome include constipation or diarrhea, dry skin, fatigue, gas, mental difficulties such as depression or an inability to concentrate, muscle cramps and/or weakness, premenstrual syndrome, steatorrhea, a tendency to bruise easily, failure to grow normally, thinning hair, unexplained weight loss, and visual difficulties especially with night vision. Abdominal comfort may also be present and a combination of anemia, diarrhea, and weight loss is typical. However, in some individuals, obesity may result if fats are deposited in the tissues rather than being utilized properly by the body. Additionally, the body may begin to crave more and more food, which often leads to the consumption of many empty and/or fat calories.
Factors that can contribute to a malfunction of the absorption mechanism include digestive problems, poor diet, excess mucus covering the intestinal lining, an imbalance in intestinal bacterial flora, the use of certain medications, food allergies, and illnesses such as cancer and AIDS.
No matter how good your diet is or how many supplements you take, you will have nutritional deficiencies if you suffer from malabsorption syndrome. These deficiencies lead to other problems. The impaired absorption of protein can cause edema, while a lack of potassium can cause muscle weakness and cardiovascular problems. Anemia results for a lack of iron and folic acid, while bone loss and tetany can be caused by a lack of calcium and vitamin D. Bruising easily results from a lack of vitamin K, while night blindness comes from a deficiency of vitamin A. The failure to absorb B vitamins and to transfer amino acids across the intestinal lining interferes with the production of needed digestive enzymes and causes further malabsorption, as these nutrients are essential in the absorption process itself. This causes a vicious cycle to be produced.
Malabsorption is a factor in other medical and physical problems, along with being a serious condition in itself. The body needs all nutrients in balance because they have to be able to work together. If there is a deficiency in even a single nutrient, the body no longer functions as it should, allowing all things to go awry. This results in disease. Malabsorption is a common contributing factor to a wide range of disorders, including cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, and all types of infection.
People with malabsorption syndrome must take in more nutrients than the average person to compensate, and to treat and correct the problem. It is best to bypass the intestinal tract as much as possible when supplying these nutrients. As a result, choosing supplements that are sustained-release and large in size should be avoided. Many people with malabsorption problems can not break down supplements taken in hard pill form. Therefore, injections, powders, liquids, and lozenges provide nutrients in forms that are more easily assimilated.
The following nutrients are recommended for dealing with malabsorption syndrome: acidophilus, vitamin B complex, bioperine, calcium, free-form amino acid complex, garlic, magnesium, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, vitamin E, essential fatty acids, a multi-vitamin and mineral complex, proteolytic enzymes, and zinc lozenges. Additionally, the following herbs may be beneficial: alfalfa, dandelion root, fennel seed, ginger, nettle, aloe vera, peppermint, black pepper, buchu, goldenseal, Irish moss, rhubarb, and yellow dock.
January 05, 2006 10:29 AM
Fact: Millions of Americans trying to lose weight are horrified to see their bathroom scales inching uncontrollably upwards.
And these numbers increase every single year. Making matters worse, many of these same people are shocked to find their energy levels slipping inexorably downwards. I guess I’ve just got a slow metabolism…” “You can’t get as much done when you start getting older…” “Why am I always so cold?” Sound a little too familiar? What if there was a safe and natural way to energize your metabolism and keep it operating at its youthful, maximum efficiency? While it is true that metabolism slows somewhat with age, its not inevitable that every one of us is destined to end up with more weight to move around and less energy to get there. There are people in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and beyond with all the vibrant energy they need. There are people who end every day with a list of important accomplishments completed. So what’s their secret? It may well be a healthy, fully functioning thyroid.The human thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck that wraps around the trachea. It has but one job - to produce the two critical thyroid hormones we need to keep our metabolism efficient. In fact, these hormones are indispensable for our bodies to convert calories into energy – and that’s the crux of metabolism. These two hormones, triiodothyronine and thyroxine, or T3 and T4 respectively, are produced in the thyroid when the iodine in our system teams up with the amino acid L-tyrosine. Sounds simple, right?
Think again. Human metabolism is a highly intricate process that can be adversely affected by a wealth of variables. One important variable that we can control, is the nutrient mix our thyroid keeps on hand to operate. In order for metabolism to occur with any respectable level of effectiveness, the body must have a full supply of thyroid supporting nutrients on hand at all times. If you aren’t willing to deliver the nutrients it needs to function properly, chances are, it won’t be able to do what it’s supposed to (which is to keep your metabolism fired up and your energy resources fully charged).Don’t despair. There is good news. Encouraging and maintaining healthy thyroid function may be easier than you might imagine. This master gland of metabolism is often very responsive to the right combination of thyroid supporting nutrients.
Yes, a healthy diet will promote a healthy thyroid, but some of the nutrients that are especially helpful in supporting healthy thyroid function are not likely to be found in your local market. That is, unless you happen to be shopping in India or Ireland. So just what are the critical nutrients for a healthy, energized thyroid? L-Tyrosine. This amino acid plays an essential role in the production of thyroid hormones, in addition to hormones that affect mood including epinephrine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine. And while our body can naturally produce some Tyrosine from other amino acids, as we age, our bodies may not be able to keep up with the needs of a demanding thyroid. During metabolism, tyrosine joins forces with iodine in order to produce the thyroid hormones needed to efficiently convert (metabolize) the calories from our diet into expendable energy. A weak reserve of tyrosine can leave us feeling sluggish. As a result, our body reacts by storing more calories as fat for energy.
Iodine. Another key player in the metabolism game. Without it, metabolism simply can not take place. The thyroid is the only gland in the human body capable of absorbing this trace element. Typically found in shellfish and iodized salts, iodine is stored in the thyroid gland until needed for the production of the thyroid hormones triiodothyronine and thyroxine. When combined with L-tyrosine and other nutrients these two work synergistically to produce T3 and T4 thyroid hormone. Moreover, iodine deficiencies have been linked to the formation of goiters, decreased energy and lack of concentration.
Irish Moss. A natural vegetarian source of many thyroid-supporting nutrients, including Iodine, a key component in healthy metabolism. Irish moss has been consumed for thousands of years, and many herbalists encourage its use to contribute to sound glandular health.
Selenium. This naturally occuring trace mineral is well known for its strong antioxidant properties and natural synergism with other vitamins. Supplementing with selenium is essential for anyone concerned with sluggish thyroid performance.
Guggul. Technically known as Guggulsterone, the Gug¬gul tree is native to India, and emits a resinous sap that has been used for centuries as part of India’s traditional medicine known as Ayurveda. Studies have shown that the purified plant sterol extract from Guggulsterone can promote healthy thyroid function, and assist the body in maintaining normal production of thyroxine and triiodo¬thyronine.
Simply put, the thyroid gland relies heavily on a host supporting nutrients to produce the hormones needed to ensure that metabolism goes off without a hitch. Without these vital nutrients, our ability to metabolize food may slow down. Here’s an easy way to remember how this process works. The less thyroid supporting nutrients we have, the less thyroid hormone (T3 and T4) we produce.
The less thyroid hormone we produce, the less efficient our metabolic process becomes. The less effective our metabolic process becomes, the less energy we produce. The less energy we produce, the more prone we are to weight gain and fatigue.
NOW® Thyroid Energy was scientifically formulated to help maintain healthy thyroid function by incorporating a powerful blend of thyroid sup¬porting nutrients. With a full gram of L-Tyrosine (the direct precursor to thyroid hormone production) in addition to Iodine from Kelp, Selenium, Guggul, Zinc, Copper and a perfectly balanced blend of B vitamins, NOW® Thyroid energy just may be the boost you’ve been looking for.
Ocean Treasures - For centuries, people have flocked to the sea....
June 13, 2005 10:11 AM
Ocean Treasures by Chrystle Fiedler Energy Times, January 3, 2004
For centuries, people have flocked to the sea to take advantage of its healing and restorative powers.
"The ocean is alive with energy and abundant sea life," says Susie Galvez, owner of Face Works Day Spa in Richmond, Virginia and author of Hello Beautiful (MQ Publications). "It's an abundant source. Sea products are rich in minerals like magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc, all of which are known for their deeply cleansing and antibiotic properties. When we think of the sea, we think of health, invigoration, the feeling of being alive and yet peacefully calm."
"To the ancient Greeks, the image of Aphrodite rising out of the sea was beautiful because of the nutrients that the sea plants had given her," says Linda Page, ND, in Healthy Healing (Healthy Healing Publications). Today, sea plants still provide beauty benefits. "They have a complete spectrum of chelated minerals, which makes them easier to absorb, that add lustre and shine to your hair and eyes and improve skin texture and tone."
Thalassotherapy (seawater treatment) includes using salts, mud, foliage, sand and water from the sea to stimulate, hydrate and nourish the skin, making it smoother, firmer and more resilient.
"Using sea products in treatments is both restorative and detoxifying," says Galvez. "Now with modern technology, you don't have to live anywhere near the sea to take advantage of the wonderful health and wellness benefits. Your sea retreat source can be as close as your health food store."
Seaweed's Beauty Benefits
"Pollution, stress, fatigue and bad eating habits all affect the body," says Anne Mok, LaC, a certified Chinese herbalist and co-owner of Cornerstone Healing in Brooklyn, New York. This leads to vitamin and mineral deficiencies that can result in broken capillaries, loss of firmness, skin lesions, dry scaliness and more.
The good news, Mok says, is since seaweed is packed with easy-to-absorb proteins, vitamins, minerals and lipids, it can protect against environmental pollution and ward off aging by nourishing and moisturizing the skin. "The seawater in seaweed is similar to human plasma, so it's an ideal way to get the nutritive benefits from the sea, vitamins A, C and E, and the minerals zinc, selenium and magnesium we need through the process of osmosis. Seaweed cleanses, tones and soothes the skin and regenerates body tissues, offering a new vitality and helping to maintain a youthful appearance. It also improves circulation, which has a positive effect on local fatty overloads and helps maintain the tone of the tissue." No wonder seaweed is used to firm the skin and reduce the appearance of cellulite!
Seaweed captures all the richness from the sea. "There is no genetic manipulation, fertilizer or pesticides, just the sea, light and the tides," says Mok. "[S]eaweed is ten times richer in trace elements than land plants."
Beauty aids from the sea include:
* Kelp (laminaria), a large leafy brown algae, grows along cold climate coastlines and can bring a healthy glow to skin. "Kelp powder has exfoliating properties that make it a great addition to a facial mask," Galvez adds. "It increases blood circulation and stimulates lymph production to eliminate toxins. It's also a mineral-rich body scrub for removing surface impurities."
* Crushed algae is often used in seaweed masks.
* Carrageenan, a gel extracted from Irish sea moss, is commonly used as a cosmetic thickening agent. "It's a great moisturizer that holds nutrients and water in," says Mok.
* Bladderwrack (fucus), a brown seaweed, is often used in cellulite-reducing creams to eliminate excess fluid from the skin.
A Seaweed Beauty Routine
Incorporating the benefits of seaweed into your beauty routine is easy. You can "purchase dehydrated seaweed at a natural food store to make your bath a mini-ocean," says Janice Cox, author of Natural Beauty at Home (Henry Holt & Co). "Fill the tub to the point that you're covered when you lie down," says Dr. Page. "The idea is to make your body sweat, to open your pores, release toxins and take in the sea nutrient benefits by osmosis. Boost the effect with a few drops of aromatherapy bath oils like rosemary and lavender. It'll help hold the heat in and improve your cleansing program." Rinse off and "you'll feel your skin tighten, due to the high iodine content of the seaweed," says Cox. "Your skin should also feel softer and firmer."
Seaweed and algae body wraps are ideal ways to beautify the skin, rid your body of toxins and boost well-being and health. "It starts a program of detoxification very rapidly," says Dr. Page, who has also written Detoxification: All You Need to Know (Healthy Healing Publications). "It's amazing how it encourages weight loss and cellulite reduction." "Seaweed wraps are the most effective cellulite treatments," says Mok. "Seaweed and seaweed mud, especially, stimulate the cells to improve cellular activity and increase the efficiency of lymphatic fluid, which helps break down toxic deposits that can result in cellulite.
"It's excellent conditioning for the skin and leaves it soft and glowing," says Claudia Spagnolo, spa director for the DeFranco Spagnolo Salon and Day Spa in Great Neck, New York.
Revitalize With Sea Salts
Sea salts contain minerals-such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, iron, sulphur, phosphorus and chlorine-that have a delightfully rejuvenating and revitalizing effect on skin.
"Sea salts enhance the youthful healthy glow of the skin," says Spagnolo. "It creates a deep pore cleansing from shoulder to toe, removing rough, dry skin, helping to purify and slough off dead skin cells. It's great for an all-over exfoliation, and leaves the skin smooth and refreshed."
"Sea salt has wonderful drawing properties, promoting the removal of toxins from the skin," says Galvez, author of Ooh La La Effortless Beauty (MQ Publications). "It's high in mineral content and nourishes the body."
Sea salt also "guards against moisture loss, so it's ideal for dry skin and helps prevent aging," says Mok. In addition, it can be used to treat acne, eczema and psoriasis. Often done before a massage in spas, a "salt glow," which uses a vigorous scrub of coarse sea salts mixed with essential oils, rejuvenates and revitalizes the skin. Sea salt is also readily available at health food stores so you can do the same at home.
Mineral-rich Dead Sea salts pack a salinity of 32%. "When bathing with Dead Sea salt you don't even need to use soap because the minerals remove redundant fat and dirt," says Mok. Dead Sea minerals are often used in shampoos, conditioners and shower gels. "Galvez adds, "Dead Sea mud mineral and vitamin content is very close to that of humans, and therefore treatments using the mud penetrate deeply."
Ah! Home Spa
It's easy to turn your bathroom into an oasis of calm and create a private spa to call your own.
For a sea cure bath, mix together half a pound of sea salt and a pound of baking soda, add to a warm water bath and soak until the water has cooled, says Mok. "It's excellent for soothing itchy and dry skin and helps detoxify by pulling out toxic waste from the pores." Aromatherapy oils, like lavender, make your soak in the tub even more relaxing and luxurious. "It's a great way to de-stress after a long day at work."
A seaweed wrap can release water retention and leave legs looking their sleekest, notes Mok. "Just soak legs in a bath of warm water and Epsom salts for 5 minutes, then pat dry. Apply a seaweed mask and wrap legs with plastic wrap and a warm towel. Relax for 15 minutes. Remove towel and plastic wrap and rinse."
You can also try a sea salt rub by mixing two cups of kosher salt with one cup of olive oil until it forms a thick paste. (Be careful: the oil is slippery.) "While in the tub or shower, massage it into your skin using long strokes toward the heart, starting with your feet," says Galvez. Rinse off with warm water, use a soft washcloth to remove any residue, pat dry and apply moisturizer. "Your skin will be silky smooth and wonderfully hydrated." To create a spa environment at home, details make all the difference. "Think of your favorite beach get-a-way and go with an ocean theme," says Cox. "Include something for each of the senses." For example, put on a CD that has nature sounds. To capture the color of the water, use sea-colored towels. For scent, light candles that produce the scents of flowering plants (such as plumeria or citrus). Add "ocean" fragrance beads. When taking a bath, "use shells to scoop out sea salts or dehydrated sea weed and put them around the tub as decoration," says Cox. Smooth on a moisturizer with a sea-scented lotion when you finish your spa treatment.
When you make an at-home sea spa experience a regular part of your routine, you reap a bounty of beauty and health benefits. "In just 20 minutes you can have a mini-vacation," says Galvez. "It's cleansing and relaxing."
Then you will be ready to dive back into reality with renewed zest.