Search Term: " Wors "
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.
Elderberry Immune Blend - The Power of Sambucus
February 17, 2020 04:39 PM
People need effective immune support every day. ViraPro can make all the difference by providing key immune vitamins and minerals well known for their effectiveness, along with clinically studied Haschberg Austrian Elderberry, freeze-dried to preserve all the beneficial nutrients from the entire berry, to support a healthy immune system.*
Whether your customers need daily proactive support or extra nutrients for an effetive, 7-day regimen, ViraPro provides an elderberry immune blend for optimal benefits.*
ViraPro's elderberry immune blend:
ViraPro is a great supplement to support a healthy immune response especially in the winter months when sickness is the Worst!.
Study: Following a choline-rich diet may offer transgenerationalprotection against Alzheimer's disease
April 24, 2019 03:44 PM
Lack of nutrition can end up damaging cells and bring out the worst traits in our genes. A new study found that a maternal high diet in choline can protect the offspring from getting Alzheimer's disease in the future even if the choline levels in the offspring are low. The study was done on mice that were genetically predisposed to Alzheimer's. The body makes choline naturally, but some needs to be consumed in order to receive the amount that is required for healthy cellular functions.
"The mice that were born from mothers on choline-rich diets developed fewer disease-associated brain changes. They also exhibited improved memory skills. Even when the descendants didn’t receive choline in their diet, they still enjoyed the benefits of brain protection from their mother’s nutrient-rich diet."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-03-11-study-following-a-choline-rich-diet-protection-against-alzheimers-disease.html
The Cannabis Remedy: Simple Solution For Over 40 Million PeopleSuffering With Anxiety
November 24, 2018 11:13 AM
Anxiety is a very prevalent condition, both in the U.S. and worldwide. In fact the National Institutes of Health concur that as much as 33% of the world's population has suffered, or well suffer from some type of anxiety. Besides mentally specific symptoms, such as worry, fretting, inability to focus, nervousness and fearfulness, the condition can create physical symptoms as well, such as clenching, sweating, dizziness, accelerated breathing, pulse and raised blood pressure. At it's worst, anxiety can induce a full-blown panic attack, depersonalization and even a certainty that one is dying. Obviously anxiety is a potentially critical condition, with the ability to disrupt life, even in small ways. As it worsens, anxiety can make it difficult to impossible for sufferers to work or socialize effectively. Though triggers vary, most people are visited by anxiety due to one of three big concerns, namely fears that center around finances, safety, or health. One poll conducted by the American Psychiatric Association concluded that keeping the family safe and bill-paying were huge anxiety triggers that resonated with more than 60% of respondents. The positive news is that many people can experience mitigation, if not complete surcease of these symptoms by using cannabis, which is expected to keep growing as an industry. THC which is the psychoactive component in cannabis, that which makes it illegal if it gets past .3%, is minimal to almost nil in hemp, which is related to, but not the same as marijuana. The THC amount will vary in cannabis products. There is hemp oil, hemp seed oil and CBD oil, which is made from the entire plant, flowers and all, so it may have a bit more THC. Oil products can be taken topically, or sublingually, even smoked. By acting on receptors in the central nervous symptom, the constituents of the oil act to mitigate the symptoms of anxiety. Even beyond pain relief these products have been shown to have efficacy for symptoms of epilepsy, pain and impaired cognition.
"The good news is, there are ways to cope, even ways to alleviate anxiety and its symptoms using natural and drug-free solutions."
Read more: https://www.thealternativedaily.com/cannabis-remedy-solution-people-suffering-with-anxiety/
How does turmeric compare to OTC drugs? Research shows it'ssuperior in every way
September 25, 2018 02:01 PM
How does turmeric compare to OTC drugs? Research shows it’s superior in every way
Turmeric has earned its reputation as a fantastic natural medicine over the course of thousands of years. Scientists from the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) recently added yet another study confirming the healing properties of curcumin, turmeric’s active ingredient, which they found to have unique anti-cancer properties. Other studies show that turmeric shows great promise in the treatment of depression, diabetes and other serious systemic conditions. Best of all, turmeric has no noticeable side effects!
"Even in a world awash with prescription medications and over-the-counter pills, Big Pharma’s worst cocktails cannot even begin to touch upon the healing power of turmeric."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-09-13-how-does-turmeric-compare-to-otc-drugs-research-shows-its-superior-in-every-way.html
DHA supports liver health in people who eat a poor diet
August 29, 2018 09:53 AM
Recent research by Natural Health 365 indicates that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may help mitigate the impact of a bad diet or excessive weight on your liver. This omega-3 fatty acid appears to help combat nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, a condition in which fat builds up in the liver and damages it over time. Since nonalcoholic steatohepatitis is a major precursor to cirrhosis and to the need for a transplant, this is a remarkably important benefit for the substantial population of obese adults and children.
"An article on Natural Health 365 states that the omega-3 fatty acid can help mitigate the worst effects of liver damage, up to and including full-fledged liver disease."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-08-27-dha-supports-liver-health-in-people-who-eat-a-poor-diet.html
To Get Rid Of Inflammation, Avoid These 5 Foods Like The Plague
May 02, 2018 09:17 AM
Inflammation in the joints can cause tremendous pain that you certainly do not want to experience. Shockingly, it could be the foods that you are eating that is causing you to experience inflamed joints. What foods are on that list of foods to avoid at all costs? There are several that you should not eat if inflammation is of concern, but the five hee are among the worst that you should ensure yu avoid at all costs.
"You’ve no doubt heard about the growing gluten-free craze that’s sweeping the nation, and you probably have some idea that gluten is bad news for most people."
Read more: https://www.thealternativedaily.com/these-5-foods-direcly-cause-inflammation/
Ginger, number one helper in fight against migraines
March 25, 2018 05:17 PM
You can find a variety of solutions for a migraine, one of the worst types of headaches one can experience, though none of them work as wonderfully as ginger. Yes, ginger can really put a migraine in its place much better than those solutions that your doctor offers. It may very well be time to learn how it works and the benefits that it offers and make the transition that can put an end to these horrible headaches.
"A migraine is a disease that was mentioned for the first time by Hippocrates of Kos in B.C. 400."
Read more: https://www.dailysabah.com/health/2018/03/12/ginger-number-one-helper-in-fight-against-migraines
9 Causes of Leg Cramps–and How To Stop Them
August 08, 2017 04:14 PM
There are 9 causes of leg cramps. There are also ways to stop them and prevent a lot of pain. If you have not already experienced leg cramps, there is a high possibility that you will get them some time in your life. They can hit you at the worst possible moments. It can happen when you are in bed at night, or in the treadmill. If these leg cramps continue, then they can prevent you from going to sleep.
"A leg cramp is a sharp, sudden contraction or tightening of the muscle in the calf, which usually lasts a few seconds to a few minutes."
Read more: http://www.health.com/pain/leg-cramps-causes
CBS: Why intense workouts are leading to a life-threatening condition
August 01, 2017 12:14 PM
Intense workouts are leading to a life threatening condition in people. There is a condition called Rhabdomyolysis and it literally means the breakdown of the muscle. It is something that people who workout need to take very seriously. Muscle tissue breaks down and it releases a harmful protein into the bloodstream. Once it is in the bloodstream, then your kidneys become at risk. This happens when there is some type of trauma that happens to the muscle.
"Destruction of skeletal muscle can increase the myoglobin levels in the urine which can damage the kidneys."
CBD Could Treat These Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
June 24, 2017 09:14 AM
Bowel problems affect many of us. They are unpleasant at best and painful and embarrassing at worst. There are many medications for them but not everyone can handle them. Many medications have side effects which some people can't handle. Another option is this chemical which can be found in medical marijuana products. It helps with some bowel issues. It is not the same as THC which is what people get with recreational marijuana. It does not affect the body the same way.
"CBD oil, as well as cannabis, do not have a high risk. Furthermore, the benefits of weed surpass any negative consequences."
Read more: https://www.greenrushdaily.com/cbd-treat-inflammatory-bowel-diseases/
Take This Vitamin to Repel Mosquitoes All Summer Long
April 17, 2017 11:44 AM
Summer is a time when mosquitos are at their worst. Many people can deal with mosquitos by using repellent, but others are worried about the DEET and dislike smelling like the spray. For the latter, Vitamin B1 could be a solution. Vitamin B1 can change the way a person smells to mosquitos and makes the person unappealing to bite. However, the Vitamin B1 does not change a person's smell to other humans. The research is not definitive, but Vitamin B1 causes no adverse effects so it could be worth a try if you want to avoid repellent this summer.
"But, if you’re like me at all and you not only want to stop smelling like the burnt remains of a chemical plant after using repellent, but also are scared of the adverse effects of DEET in sprays and are more prone to getting bit (seriously though, mosquitoes seemed to love me and only me at parties), then taking Vitamin B1 could be your saving grace."
Read more: http://www.healthnutnews.com/take-vitamin-repel-mosquitoes-summer-long-2/
Have you tried the new eco-friendly Health Ranger Dishwasher Detergent?
April 02, 2017 03:44 PM
Most dish washing detergent contains chemicals that are potentially hazardous to humans. New eco-friendly dish washer detergent are safe and actually work better than normal dish washer detergent. A single box of the detergent has more than conventional commercial brands found in most stores. Health Ranger Eco-Friendly Dishwasher Detergent is cheaper than the more dangerous non green product. Most dishwasher detergent contain 1,4-dioxane a contaminate that doesn't have to be listed. The worst detergents have many parts per million of 1,4-dioxane inside.
"There’s a new product line at the Health Ranger Store, and it’s carefully formulated to protect the environment:"
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-03-25-have-you-tried-the-new-eco-friendly-health-ranger-dishwasher-detergent.html
Diet Responsible For 45 Percent of All Deaths From Heart Disease and Diabetes
March 26, 2017 01:44 PM
Heart disease and diabetes are two deadly conditions that you do not want to experience, yet the likelihood that you will are great, especially if you are not maintaining the best lifestyle. One of the worst things that you can do to impede on your health is consuming the wrong foods. In particular one diet is responsible for nearly half of all deaths from these two conditions. Do you want to know more about the diet and its contributions to these conditions?
"Data published in the March 7 issue of JAMA indicated that the highest number of cardiometabolic deaths were associated with too much sodium and processed meat, and not enough nuts and seeds, seafood omega-3 fats, vegetable, and fruit, compared with optimal consumption levels."
Read more: http://www.healthnutnews.com/diet-responsible-45-percent-deaths-heart-disease-diabetes/
The best (and worst) foods to help fight your allergies
March 20, 2017 01:44 PM
There are some really good and really bad foods that will help to fight your allergies. Onions, cabbage and apples all have quercetin. This is a compound that gives fruits and veggies a reddish cue. Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine. That makes things like Broccoli and bell peppers your friend.
"Allergy-fighting antihistamines come in pill and liquid forms, but they appear naturally vitamin C-packed vegetables."
Cooking With Canola Releases More Toxic Cancer-Causing Chemicals Than Any Other Type of Oil
March 14, 2017 01:59 PM
Canola oil is extracted from rapeseed and despite claims that it's healthy, it's actually the Worst type of oil you can use. Most canola oil is made from genetically modified crops and the modification actually increases risks to health including causing cancer. Oil made from rapeseed used to be used as an industrial lubricant and canola can be used as a pesticide. It's important to also know that the oil is hydrogenated and can cause cardiac risks.
"In a nutshell, healthy living and canola oil simply don’t go well together."
Four foods you need to stop eating before bed if you're trying to lose weight
February 09, 2017 02:59 PM
There are 4 foods you need to stop eating before bed if your goal is to lose weight. Baked goods are among the Worst possible things you could eat before going to bed. You should also avoid red wine because it will not be good before going to sleep. Salsa and dark chocolate are two others that you will want to avoid.
"If you like a bit of chip and dip before you hit the sack, salsa or any food with a spicy kick can result in heartburn and a bad sleep."
11 Daily Habits That Can Increase Your Risk Of Dementia Down The Line
February 06, 2017 12:59 PM
There are many horrible ailments in life, but getting dementia is one of the Worse. One of the Worst things that can take over a person life can be avoided. There are things like sleeping enough, not stressing and making sure you do not lose anything on a consistent basis. Watch for these signs, and you may be able to avoid dementia.
"If you're drinking most nights of the week, and you're having more than one glass a night (over 7 drinks per week, or too large of pours), it could damage your brain down the road."
Most Americans Have Inadequate Intakes of Vitamins and Minerals: Can Supplements Help?
December 22, 2016 06:39 PM
It is estimated that 90% of humans are deficient in one or more essential vitamins and minerals. While some may be due to inadequate absorption, most is believed to be due to poor nutrient intake. Vitamin B12 and vitamin D have been identified as two of the Worst deficiencies. Although nutrient needs should be met primarily by diet, there are supplements available if the diet doesn’t allow for a proper balance. A multivitamin may be recommended for most people who are at risk of a deficiency.
"Evidence clearly shows that many Americans obtain less than the required amounts of a number of vitamins and minerals, and that dietary supplement use increases intakes and reduces rates of nutritional inadequacies."
You Don’t Need Another Juice Fast
December 21, 2016 12:59 PM
One of the most recent fads in dieting is juicing. While the diet usually starts out great, most people lose their steam after a few days and end right back where they started. Just like any other diet, it is hard to maintain. Not only that, but juicing can also be very expensive depending on what type of fruits and vegetables you include in the diet. The Worst part of juicing to get yourself back on track is that you don’t learn how to watch your food and go back to the same bad habits as before.
"With juice fasting, not only are you NOT learning to eat the right combinations, quantities and types of food, but you’re confusing your entire system by literally drowning it in juice."
Schools are filled with bacteria, causing crippling lung function in children
December 19, 2016 07:59 AM
Sure, when you send your kids to school you worry about a lot of things: Fitting in, bullying, learning but never did you think that you would have to worry about bacteria from mice and other rodents. Researchers have shown that bacteria in school has caused an increase in asthma in school age kids. This is increasing at such an alarming rate that it finally caught the attention of health officials even though the effects have been happening for years.
"Some 284 children from 37 inner-city public schools located throughout the Northeastern United States were evaluated as part of the research."
9 nutrition tips to survive Thanksgiving
November 29, 2016 04:59 PM
Thanksgiving seems to be one of the Worst holidays for overeating. It’s important to pace yourself and do everything you can prior to the big day to prepare yourself so you don’t overeat. Get plenty of sleep and eat slowly so your body has time to tell you when it is full. Also, use fresh herbs healthy foods when possible so what you do eat doesn’t harm your body as much. Eat a little at a time and wear regular clothes. Baggy clothes only trick your body into thinking there is more room so you can eat more.
"Don’t save up for the big meal. Eating right away in the morning will help get your metabolism moving, and prevent you from overeating later in the day."
Suffering from anxiety? These foods can calm it
October 30, 2016 11:59 AM
If you are one of the millions of people that suffer from anxiety, a start to the solution can be as simple as changing your diet. The best foods to eat for anxiety include those brimming with folate, protein, & magnesium. These help regulate blood pressure and cortisol levels, leaving you with an overall calm feeling. Tryptophan in turkey can also contribute to the calming effect. The Worst foods you can eat if you suffer from anxiety are large doses of alcohol, caffeine, & sugar. By following this basic information, you can be on your way to a calmer you.
"According to beyondblue, around 45 per cent of people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime and more than 2 million Australian adults are grappling with anxiety"
Do Food Cravings Actually Mean Anything?
Food cravings are the surest way to ruin our best health intentions. Whether it be cravings for chocolate, cakes, fresh baked bread or other more exotic cravings, they impact nearly everyone that starts a new health program or diet. While cravings typically are at their Worst in the first ten to fourteen days of a new, healthy lifestyle, don't be surprised to find them resurfacing any time you feel stressed, fatigued or anxious. Food is one of the quickest ways for the body to re-ground itself and the body will instinctively crave foods that through past habits have become associated with a pleasurable experience.Many people hold this opinion about food addiction and have heard it being spread around like wild fire. Giving in to the craving fills us with guilt and sometimes self hatred for not having the ability to overcome this craving. Our self-esteem lowers and we hear that little voice in our heads tell us what failures we are. This further lowers our self-esteem and so we satisfy our cravings because that food make us "feel better."
Ways to Deal with Cravings
How Does Nattokinase Improve Blood Flow?
An enzyme is a protein that speeds up complex biochemical reactions in the body. Enzymes are substrate-specific catalysts that accelerate these chemical reactions by converting substrates into simpler products. Nattokinase is an enzyme which is extracted from a traditional Japanese delicacy called Natto. Natto is basically boiled soy beans that have been fermented using a bacterium known as Bacillus natto. When the bacteria act on the boiled soy beans, Nattokinase is produced. This is the only method of preparation of natto that results in the production of this enzyme.
Many people may not be fond of the nutty flavor and sour taste of natto, but this is probably one of the world’s healthiest foods. Its potency lies in the fact that it contains Nattokinase. Nattokinase was discovered by Dr. Hiroyuki Sumi who was searching for the ultimate natural blood thinner and clot-buster. If he found one, it would be a one of a kind thrombolytic agent that would help in the fight against stroke and heart attacks associated with blood clotting. His Eureka moment came in 1980 when he placed natto in a Petri-dish with a thrombus (blood clot). The clot dissolved completely within 18 hours.
The process of blood clotting occurs naturally when a blood vessel is injured. This happens to stop the bleeding; else we would bleed to death. However, sometimes blood clots form in the blood vessels even when a person is not injured. This poses a great risk as it disrupts the smooth flow of blood. It may block a blood vessel and in a Worst case scenario, travel to the heart and gets lodged there. This is where the potency of Nattokinase is best applied. As an excellent and natural clot buster, Nattokinase will dissolve existing blood clots and even prevent them from forming in the first place. Another overlooked problem that often results in high blood pressure and heart disease is hyper viscosity. This thickening of the blood results in a sluggish blood flow – it increases the risk of clot formation and it overworks the heart. Nattokinase benefits helps reinforce the actions of the body’s anti-clotting agent – plasmin. It prevents this abnormal thickening of blood hence promoting improved blood flow.
What Is Paraben and Why We Should Avoid It?
February 10, 2014 01:53 PM
What is paraben
Parabens are artificial preservatives used in many domestic manufacturing industries especially for cosmetics, food and drugs industries. Most manufactures prefer Parabens because they are cost effective and are also efficient in protection against micro-organisms for long time.
Common types of paraben
The most common type of Parabens are methyl, propyl and butylParaben. There are many harmful effects of Parabens, some of the most notorious side effects are;
Disrupts Endocrine System
When absorbed into the body system, Parabens disrupts endocrine system by increasing production of hormone notably estrogen and at times they may act as estrogen. The body is triggered to produce excessive estrogen which has variety of adverse effects. For example, increased production of estrogen can lead to ovarian cysts, unstable emotions and mood swing.
The most notable effect of increased estrogen in the body resulting from use of Parabens is breast cancer. Research shows that Parabens accumulate in breast and are major contributors to breast cancer.
Leads to sudden weight gain.
Parabens are known to contribute to excessive weight, though actual gain depends on individual and the amount of Parabens in the body, they interfere with thyroid glands which leads to excessive weight gain since body cannot regulate the amount of Parabens in the body. Excessive weight may also be caused by high amount of estrogen produced.
Negative Affects to Reproductive Health
Parabens have negative effects to reproductive health, for instance, they leads to low level of testosterone. This leads to low libido in men and in Worst case it may cause infertility.
Although cosmetics aims at enhancing your beauty by making you look young, use of Parabens can actually hastens skin aging process. This alters your look and at times may completely change your skin complexion.
It is clear that Parabens are very dangerous to the body, though Food and Drug Administration has no illegalized use of this product for preservation, there is clear reason why they should be avoided.
Keeping your body alkalized
November 10, 2013 09:46 PM
About is Alkaline
Keeping Your Body Alkalized is a term used commonly to refer to maintaining acid-alkaline balance. With the right PH balance, your body will always be in good health. In order to enjoy optimum health, your body needs to have an equal amount of both acidic elements and basic (alkaline) elements.
What Are the Benefits of Alkaline?
There is the mostly asked question- Can You Fight Disease by Keeping Your Body Alkalized? The answer is yes. Basically, PH has its main impact on the body enzymes. Enzymes can only function properly if the level of PH is right, otherwise, the body will be too weak to protect itself from diseases. In some Worst scenarios, if the enzyme activity cannot take place anymore, a condition called acute acidosis, then one may be faced by a critical medical condition. If not handled immediately, the situation might lead to death.
Having excess of either can bring devastating impacts. For example, if your body has large volumes of acidity, then you might suffer from serious fatigue, arthritis or eczema. For you to eliminate such a condition, you need to consider one of the following diet tips or lifestyles to alleviate your overall health and maintain your body alkalized.
What Is L-Carnosine And What Does It Do?
March 30, 2012 08:28 AM
What Is L-Carnosine
L-Carnosine is basically a combination of 2 vital amino acids-L-histidine and beta-alanine. It is naturally present in the body, mainly in the muscle, and in many animals too. Carnosine can be broken down easily into the two amino acids, but it is good to know that these amino acids work much better when combined to form L-Carnosine. L-Carnosine has the remarkable ability to revitalize, that is, to make older cells younger and lengthen their life cycle. This compound is commercially available and is the only one that has the rare and distinctive ability to rejuvenate cells.
What does L-Carnosine do?
In simple language, L-carnosine is able to transform itself into so many compounds with each performing or enhancing a number of crucial body functions such as:
May bind to dangerous metal compounds to make them inactive.
Turning the resultant metal compound/carnosine into useful antioxidants which in turn can be anti-ulcer agents
Protecting and stabilizing cell membranes, keeping cells safe from dangerous free radicals
Protecting healthy cells from damage caused by radiation
Enhances blood flow to the brain
Acts like a neurotransmitter, helping messages move from one nerve to the other. This helps fight dementia, as in Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, and boost memory.
Blocks guanylate cyclase activation, an enzyme associated with cancer, migraine, asthma, and septic shock.
Special derivatives of carnosine can help get rid of the accumulation of sugar compounds and abnormal protein in the eye. A variety of these compounds may cause glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration.
Carnosine works like a catalyst to boost the work of so many other compounds and nutrients.
Benefits of using L-carnosine
Although L-carnosine benefits haven't been extensively researched, according to initial studies it may help in:
Dealing with complications related to cataracts, diabetes, neuropathy, and kidney failure.
It may also help in slowing down aging in skin, minimizing wrinkles as well as breakdown of elasticity in skin.
It can help to prevent joint inflammation, atherosclerosis, and formation of cataract.
Carnosine has been known to prevent and reduce cell damage occasioned by beta amyloid-the substance found in Alzheimer's patent's brain.
Additionally, carnosine appears able to help get rid of the helicobacter pylori bacterium, the organism associated with stomach cancer and peptic cancer. Therefore, it can significantly help protect and heal both peptic and gastric ulcers.
Other possible L-carnosine benefits
Increase muscle endurance and strength
Improves heart function
Speeds healing of wound
A powerful antioxidant that can deal with even the Worst free radicals
Reduces inflammation and boosts immunity
It helps pull out or chelate some heavy metals from your body
May help autistic children
Act as anti-cancer agent in the body
Stabilizes cell membranes and slows down lipid peroxidation to protect the process of aging of the brain
L-carnosine can help in preventing or even treating age-related conditions like:
Cell aging/cellular senescence
Cross-linking of eye lens
Build up of damaged proteins
Brain circulatory deficit
Cross-linking of collagen in the skin
DNA chromosome damage
LDL cholesterol oxidation
Formation of AGEs i.e. advanced glycation end-products.
What is stopping you from taking L-Carnosine today?
Vitamin A Vs Beta-Carotene and its Safety
May 09, 2010 08:20 AM
Although Vitamin A deficiency is prevalent throughout the world, retinol toxicity is a common occurrence as well. About five percent of those who supplement with vitamin A unknowingly suffer from toxicity symptoms. It should be noted that supplementation at 5,000 to 10,000 IU per day of preformed vitamin A, which is dose that is well within the range that is offered in many popular vitamin supplements is a safe effective doses, additional supplementation of vitamin A may actually lead to a cumulative toxic overdose. Additionally, accidental ingestion of one single, large dose of vitamin A, can produce acute toxicity in children, always keep vitamin A out of reach of small ones.
A large study on over 22,000 pregnant women who supplemented with vitamin A during early pregnancy found that those women taking more than 60,000 IU of preformed vitamin A per day in the form of supplements had about one in fifty-seven of a chance of a malformation attributable to the supplement. In consuming more than 60,000 IU of vitamin A, a five-fold greater risk for birth defects arises as compared to consumption of less than 25,000 IU per day. The prevalence of birth defects seems to be greatest in those women who consume high levels of pre-formed vitamin within the first seven weeks of their pregnancy. Authors of the study concluded that women who may possibly become pregnant should limit their retinol intake to below 15,000 IU, or supplement with beta-carotene instead.
Beta-carotene is the orange/yellow-colored pigment that is often found in many garden vegetables. It is a retinal precursor. The body is able to easily convert beta-carotene into vitamin A by turning the carotene molecule into two molecules of retinol as they are needed. This allows for the avoidance of toxic accumulation of pre-formed vitamin A. Once beta-carotene is transformed into active retinol, it offers the same beneficial affects. The only symptoms associated with beta-carotene supplementation are loose stools or slight discoloration of the skin. This makes beta-carotene, even at high doses, safe for the body because it does not exhibit toxicity. An added benefit of beta-carotene is that it is a much more potent antioxidant than retinol, as it provides even greater protection against oxidative challenges. The Worst thing that can happen to you if you take too much beta-carotene is that you may turn orange like a carrot. However, this should not be a worry because you will be just fine.
The majority of nutrients that are used in supplementation have a large measure of safety. Unfortunately, the use of vitamin A warrants prudence and caution. This is especially crucial when it is consumed by children or those women who are pregnant. Because of this, the level of vitamin A in excess of the upper limit of intake that is prescribed by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, is a crucial criterion in determining how good a product is. The criterion for potential toxicities asks whether the nutritional supplement contains vitamin A. If so, it asks whether the potency of vitamin A exceeds 100% of the upper limit of intake that is prescribed by the US Food and Nutrition Board.
To be on the safe side, take beta-carotene which has no side effects even at very high doses but exhibits the same health benefits of consuming preformed vitamin A. Look to your local or internet vitamin store for name brands like Solaray and Source Naturals for all your Vitamin A and beta-carotene needs.
Pau d'arco Bark
November 10, 2009 11:23 AM
Pau d'arco is known in South America for its healing powers by the Callawaya tribe. These people called the herb taheebo and have been using it for over one thousand years. This herb was used anciently by the Inca civilization's medicine men. Pau d'arco was included in traditions that were passed down through the generations. Pau d'arco has been used to treat cancer and other illnesses since the 1970s in the Santo Andre Hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This herb has become a well-known herb for healing and protecting the body from disease.
Pau d'arco is found growing in a tree high in the Andes and can weather the Worst storms because of its hard wood and deep roots. This herb is found in the inner bark of the red lapacho tree. Most of the trees surrounding this tree eventually become covered with spores, which lead to fungus, and this eventually kills the trees. However, the red lapacho seems to be able to resist the spores. This may be a contributor in pau d'arco's ability to heal the body and resist disease.
There seems to be some evidence of antitumor properties in pau d'arco. Many individuals have taken this herb when they are undergoing radiation and chemotherapy. Pau d'arco helps to strengthen the body and help prevent the side effects that are associated with cancer treatment. Additionally, this herb seems to be a powerful alterative and blood builder. It has the ability to increase the hemoglobin and red corpuscles that are found in the blood. It gives the body a greater vitality by increasing its resistance to disease. Pau d'arco seems to be responsible for giving the body energy and strength to defend itself and resist disease. The herb is also believed to help inhibit the growth of tumors and increase the growth of normal tissue. Furthermore, pau d'arco herb is used to aid in the assimilation of nutrients and the elimination of waste matter. It is often referred to as the “everything” herb due to its uses for many disorders. Pau d'arco has been used by many, along with other medications. There seem to be no problems that are associated with the combination. It is also used to help counteract the side effects of some medications and is believed to reduce the liver damage that is caused by some drugs. Many herbalists have used this herb to treat a variety of conditions. It is effective as an immune system enhancer. It can also aid in treating conditions such as cancer, leukemia, tumors, and blood disorders. Pau d'arco is also used to treat the pain of arthritis and also for diabetes, candidiasis, herpes, liver ailments, hypoglycemia, and assimilation of nutrients.
Studies have found that a component of pau d'arco, quinine lapachol, has antimicrobial and antiviral properties. The herb also seems to have an antitumor effect without any toxic side effects. Additional components include beta-lapachone, hydroxyl-napthoquinone, alpha-lapachone, and xyloidone. These are effective against numerous viruses, bacteria, and fungi, including herpes, influenza, poliovirus, and many others. A researcher at the National University of Tucuman in Argentina, Dr. Theodoro Meyer, discovered the substance xyloidin. This substance is able to kill viruses. Xyloidin is also beneficial in inhibiting the causative agent of dysentery, tuberculosis, and anthrax.
Pau'd arco is available at your local or internet health food store at discount prices. Look for name brands like Solaray, Source Naturals, and Natures Plus to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
Soluble Fiber And Blood Sugar
July 10, 2009 12:02 PM
The first step to prevent the occurrence of hypoglycemia is to eliminate sugar and caffeine from your diet. Eliminating foods like candy, soda pop, doughnuts, sugary pastries, sugared cold cereals, and cookies. Substituting foods with whole grains, fresh vegetables, lean proteins, and supplementation of B vitamins, vitamin C, and chromium is recommended. In order to avoid stressing the endocrine system, the cold hard facts concerning hypoglycemia are that diet and life style must be altered.
Complex carbohydrates take more time to break down in the body, unlike simple refined foods, which helps to keep normal blood sugar levels for longer periods of time. It should also be known that metabolizing whole grains requires more chemical reactions than processing a bowl of sugary cereal. Increased research has shown that whole grains are the superior foods and offers the body a balanced mix of fiber, nutrients, and others. Our bodies were made to thrive on whole foods, not the fragmented, altered, and highly refined foods that a lot of us eat on a routine basis in order to increase energy but lack sustainability.
Nothing can be achieved in nature through fragments if it is going to be worthwhile. Only parts of the B vitamins are synthetically replaced out of all the B-complex vitamins that are removed from whole grain cereals before they are milled. This is probably one of the Worst things we could possibly do, as these B vitamin imbalances create an unhealthy environment in the body. Many of the trace minerals are also lost from the refining process. By adding white sugar and refined foods, you cut down severely on the vitamin B contents that are suppose to be found in your diet. Whole grains, nuts, and seeds have also been found to be rich in magnesium, zinc, and manganese. All of these are vital minerals for the prevention and treatment of hypoglycemia.
Many studies have found that diets that lack fiber can lead to diseases including hypoglycemia and diabetes. Dietary fiber includes components that make up the cell wall of plants that are not digestible. On the other hand, water soluble fiber seems to be the most beneficial for controlling blood sugar. This type of fiber includes mucilages, gums, hemicelluloses, and pectins, which are also found in a number of foods. This type of fiber slows down the absorption of sugar from the intestinal wall into the blood stream, helping to prevent wild insulin release (cause of low blood sugar). When this happens, the liver can take in more glucose at a more rapid pace, causing blood sugar levels to remain more normal. Water soluble fiber that is recommended for hypoglycemia is found in legumes, like beans, lentils, and split peas, oat bran; nuts, seeds; psyllium hulls; pears; apples; and most vegetables as well as in supplement form.
A person's optimal fiber intake should be somewhere between 35 to 50 grams each day. Unfortunately, most of us rarely come close to this ideal. Fiber is also extremely important for controlling appetite and weight gain. Additionally, it is great for regularity, which is intrinsically linked to the health of the rest of our body systems. Fortunately, soluble fiber is available at your local health food store at reasonable prices. Fiber supplements can boost ones fiber intake to the needed 35 – 50 gram per day dose needed to maintain a healthier body.
Weight Loss Supplements
October 18, 2008 10:50 AM
Big Pharma is teaming up with other anti-supplement cohorts to spearhead a petition urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to implement new limitations on manufacturers of weight-management supplements. It should come as no surprise that the large pharmaceutical corporation which helped launch the petition is the very same company that recently released the first-ever FDA-approved over-the-counter weight-loss drug. It is very evident that Big Pharma is after large amounts of money and will stop at nothing to eliminate its competition.
The pharmaceutical industry seems to have a lot riding on the over-the-counter weight-loss pills. Natural nutrition that works with the body to support healthy weight management is a huge threat to Big Pharma’s over-the-counter weight-loss drug profits. Consumers have become more and more aware of the fact that while nutrition supports health, just as nature intended, drugs can subject them to side effects that can even neutralize nutritional benefits. The over-the-counter weight-loss pill that has been recently approved acts on the body’s absorption of fats within the intestines, but meanwhile, stops the body’s ability to absorb important fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamins A, D, E, and K. As for the side effects associated with this weight loss drug, the drug’s manufacturer cautions that users may need to wear dark colored pants and bring a change of clothes to work.
As questionable as the drug is, it is the fact that the drug’s manufacturer is urging the FDA to crack down on the weight-management supplements that is most disturbing. The logic of this petition is that nutritional supplements should not be allowed to claim that they support healthy weight management, since being overweight should really be regarded as a state of disease. Only drugs may claim to have an effect on disease, according to this law. The real question is, when did being overweight, if only by a few pounds, categorized as a disease?
What’s even more absurd is the fact that the petition claims that since being overweight is associated with a diseased state, then supplements that support healthy weight management are claiming to have an impact on those diseases. It appears as if the writers of the petition are trying to create a link between weight management and disease claims that do not exist, which makes the petition appear desperate and nonsensical as a result.
Meanwhile, nutritional supplement manufacturers are currently marketing their products truthfully, with any quality supplement intended to support weight management being promoted in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise. If a healthy diet, exercise, and natural nutrition is consistently chosen by Americans, not only will they lose weight, but they will also elevate their overall state of health. This scenario is Big Pharma’s Worst nightmare.
With America at a happy, energetic, and healthy weight, there is no need for synthetic medications, which leaves Big Pharma with no profits. If Big Pharma’s petition to limit weight-management nutrition fills you with anger, then start your own opposing petition to support natural health. Make your voice through the dollars you spend by patronizing independent natural health food stores and purchasing safe, natural nutritional supplements from companies that have no ties to the pharmacy industry.
August 12, 2008 01:34 PM
Similar to everyone else, you probably have an occasional period where you’re down in the dumps. But don’t fret; feeling a little bit down every now and then is normal. But when these low feelings persist, you may be in trouble. If they deepen over time no matter what you’re doing to change them, then chances are that you are truly depressed. True depression occurs as a result of a loss of interest in nearly everything that once gave you pleasure. These pleasure feelings are replaced by an all-consuming feeling of emptiness and numbness which may be related to clinical depression.
Clinical depression is another matter, this form of depression is an intense feeling of sadness that lasts for long periods of time and prevents people from leading a normal life. It is a treatable medical condition and is characterized by persistent and sometimes severe feelings of worthlessness, guilt, sadness, helplessness, and hopelessness. There may also be disturbance in sleeping or eating patterns, anxiety, regret, shame, grief, diminished ability to concentrate, and repetitive suicidal thoughts.
Having five or more of these symptoms for a span of two weeks or longer is categorized as clinical depression. However, there are shades of gray when it comes to being emotionally down, from low moods all the way to major depressive episodes. Dysthymia is a lot less severe than depression, but it lingers sometimes for years, allowing people to function adequately but consistently feeling unhappy. Bipolar disorder also causes people to have severe high and low mood swings, while seasonal depression is another form that rounds out the category.
According to a global study, depression may be the most disabling disease in the world. Researchers found that depression can Worsen health more than angina, arthritis, asthma, and diabetes. Those who have depression and one or more chronic diseases are in the Worst health of all. It is estimated that 19 million American adults are living with major depression, with up to 25 percent experiencing an episode of major depression at some point during their lifetime and women suffering twice as much as men do from major depression.
Suicide is strongly connected to depression and is the third-leading cause of death in 10 to 24 year olds, with most depressed people never seeking treatment. Those who are undiagnosed and untreated allow depression to Worsen and last for years of untold suffering. About 15 percent of people with major depression die from committing suicide. Major depression is a life-threatening illness that should be treated by medical experts. There is no test that can diagnose major depression. However, it is important to rule out other medical problems that have similar symptoms as those of depression.
Depression is usually treated with medications and counseling. Natural remedies may also be effective in the treatment of depression, especially in those cases that are mild to moderate. Additionally, many nutritional, environmental, and lifestyle factors are involved and it is important to recognize that these factors are not only important for depression, but also for our total health. Getting people healthy gets them less depressed, generally speaking, and there are three supplements that can help ease the symptoms of depression naturally.
Lithium, which is a prescription drug for bipolar disorder, is a simple mineral with benefits for the nervous system to improve mood and cognition. Since patients with depression often have low levels of omega-3 fatty acids and DHA, proper DHA levels are essential for proper functioning of the neurotransmitters. Supplementing with essential fatty acids can help with depression symptoms.
Finally there is SAM-e, a molecule that naturally occurs in the cells of plants and animals, works well as an antidepressant without causing side effects for most people. Always consult your doctor if you suspect you may have clinical depression or when you start any new vitamin supplements with medication and never exceed the recommended doses on the bottle with out a doctors help.
Fight Heart Burn
April 18, 2008 11:38 AM
In a search to promote a long and healthy life, a lot of Americans forget about their stomachs, which results in things ranging from simple heartburn to ulcers and even cancer. The effects of alcohol, smoking, and stress added to the rate of infection create the perfect conditions for stomach distress and disease. A combination of four nutrients: zinc, carnosine, licorice extract, and cranberry, work together to protect stomach function from the environment. These nutrients not only relieve distress, but they also support the body’s natural defense mechanisms against inflammation and the changes that can lead to cancer. A fifth nutrient, picrorhiza, protects the mucosa and can now be included as part of a natural gastric health remedy.
The human stomach, with its extreme acidity, provides a primary defense against infection and also helps in the first stages of digestion. A thick coating of protective mucus is steadily secreted by the surface mucous cells in the stomachs lining to continually protect its self from Hydrochloric acid. Almost everyone has experienced some kind of “upset stomach”, which we associate with overindulgence foods and stress. Although these are only thought of as mild annoyances, each episode causes a bit more lasting damage, which eventually results in cellular injury, which in turn causes inflammation. This inflammation then produces free radicals, which go on to create more tissue destruction and eventually damage DNA, thus potentially leading to cancers of the stomach Worst case.
Many natural substances have been used around the world for thousands of years to promote stomach health. Modern science is finding that some of these “folk remedies” actually have potent effects on boosting immunity, reducing inflammation, and simply improving physical protection of the stomach lining. Zinc, a micronutrient that has multiple functions in human biology, mainly functions as a defender against free radical damage. It has been found that the more severe the inflammation in people is directly related to lower levels of zinc in individuals.
Zinc also helps to stabilize the membranes of cells that release burst of inflammatory cytokines when they are stimulated by injury or allergy. This mineral is also a well known immune modulator, which can reduce the recurrence rate of certain inflammation-sensitive cancers. There’s no doubt that zinc is a potent anti-inflammatory, and gastroprotective nutrient, but when it is added to amino acid carnosine, these effects can be boosted even further.
Certain fruits, cranberries particularly, are rich in anthocyanins, which have extreme antioxidant abilities. Other compounds that are found in cranberries also prevent bacteria from settling in the urinary tract. A review by nutritional experts found that regular intake of cranberry juice and other dietary products may be an alternative solution for those people who are at risk for H. pylori colonization. It also seems as though cranberries and there extracts can be placed alongside zinc-carnosine as an important component of an effective stomach health regimen.
Licorice extracts have also been shown to help fight stomach infection. Various studies have found that these extracts have potent anti-inflammatory activies, as they reduce cytokine production and increase the protection of the protective stomach mucus. These characteristics, when placed alongside those of zinc-carnosine and cranberry extracts, provide hope that a basis for an alternative therapeutic agent fighting H. pylori can form.
Picrorhiza, which is already used to speed healing in other infections such as hepatitis A, demonstrates unique wound-healing properties, stimulating tissue growth, nerve cell recovery, and blood vessel formation. Even though the multi-armed approach to gastric protection and improved stomach health seems to be complete with zinc-carnosine, cranberry, and licorice extract, picrorhiza extract brings together the infection-fighting, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and tissue-healing capabilities of multiple compounds, which all have complementary actions.
If you’re looking for a alternative approach to boost stomach health, the vitamins and herbs listed above are a great starting point. Please do not discontinued prescription medication from your doctor, some cases of stomach issues must be consulted with your doctor before discontinuing use.
Depression and Vitamins
April 17, 2008 11:20 AM
Most men dealing with depression have stories that are very similar, waking with a heavy head even in the happiest of times. A bad day is described as one in which you can’t get out of bed and it feels as if there is a dark cloud hanging over your head. Today, as the NFL season moves towards playoffs, many athletes are living with depression related to multiple concussions. A study of over 2,500 retired NFL players concluded that three concussions triple the chance of experiencing depression. This is extremely important in a sport in which brain trauma is so often and easily dismissed.
Just like helmets cover the faces of men playing a violent game, the angry aggression that is so commonly associated with normal guy behavior may actually be a mask for depression and physical injury is not needed to suffer its effects. It has actually been discovered that depression is more common in men than anyone ever knew, as male depression has often been under-diagnosed because the standard diagnostic manual portrays the depression symptoms more commonly associated with women. About six million men will be diagnosed with depression in 2008, not counting the one million more that will go undiagnosed.
The sad weepiness that is commonly associated with depression is much more commonly found in women, while a man is more likely to be short-tempered, fatigued, and uninterested in sex, work, or hobbies. However, it is work that provides depressed men a distraction to their painful inner feelings. Men are more likely to try downing their pain in alcohol or drugs instead of getting treatment. Untreated depression explains why the male suicide rate is more than four times the rate of female suicide. Although there are hormonal differences in depression of the different genders, the common factor is stress.
Although some men are open to being told they are depressed, most only act out with more anger. An effective, but not exactly subtle approach to telling a man he may have depression is leaving and article or book around the house for him to pick up. Severe depression requires immediate attention by a trained practitioner, along with various medical interventions. Once the Worst is over, it is important to try to maintain a depression-free lifestyle. This can be done by reduction stress and finding social support as well as dietary changes.
This is a difficult step for men who are used to conversations which revolve around scores and transactions, but good places to start are men’s groups at houses of Worship (church) or those groups such as AA if substance abuse is part of the problem. By fortifying the brain with depression-fighting nutrients, including a B vitamin complex, one can maintain and promote normal mental functioning. Many depressed people are extremely deficient in folic acid as well as dietary essential fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids are needed to build healthy brain cells, along with phosphatidyl serine. Other herbs, including eleuthero, rhodiola, and ginseng, can help the body to adapt to stress, while St. John’s wort and SAMe work as natural antidepressants.
The most severe mistake that can be made is to play down depression, which applies to raging men just as much as it does to weeping women. Both genders need to seek help if feeling this way. If you feel you are experiencing depression, seek professional help as well as look into dietary changes, exercise, and the support of family can be a good start to a healthier outlook on life.
B Complex to Restore the Adrenal Glands from Stress
February 07, 2008 05:18 PM
The B vitamins comprise a range of water soluble vitamins that frequently work together to impart a number of general benefits to your body’s health. In general they support and maintain the metabolic rate, maintain the function of the nervous system, support the immune system, maintain healthy skin and muscles and help to promote cell growth and division. They work together to suppress the causes and symptoms of cardiovascular disease and stress and they are dispersed throughout the whole of the body by means of the circulation system of the blood.
In very general terms they collectively ensure that the body is provided with energy from the metabolism of carbohydrates and glucose. They are also needed for the metabolism of fats and proteins, and also the maintenance and health of the nervous system in general.
There are many natural sources, including lentils, potatoes, liver, turkey, brewer’s yeast, and also, of course, dietary supplements.
Vitamin B Complex can help to restore the adrenal glands from stress, but to understand how it does so, it is first necessary to understand what these glands are, and the part that they can play in stress.
The adrenal glands are situated just above each kidney, and take the form of two small pieces of tissue in the shape of a pyramid that generate specific hormones and chemical messengers. You have likely heard of adrenaline, the hormone that make you respond to certain types of stress either through flight or by fighting: what is known as the fight or flight reaction. Well, in fact there are two of them, noredrenaline being the other. They are also known as epinephrine and norepinephrine respectively.
Both the adrenal glands are controlled by what is known as the HPA axis, short for the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis which is the stress center of the body. The adrenals are the main steroid-producing plants in the body, responsible not only for the adrenaline hormones, but also for cortisone and hydrocortisone, testosterone, estrogen, cholesterol, progesterone and a number of others. These are produced in the outer cortex of the adrenal glands, whereas adrenaline and noradrenaline are produced and secreted by the medulla.
Adrenaline and cortisol are responsible along with others for the balance of your body fluids, blood sugar and blood pressure and many of the other main metabolic functions of the body, and if the adrenaline is not working properly, it can disrupt the metabolism of your blood glucose into energy, giving you a weak run-down and listless feeling. This is not surprising since your energy is failing at the cellular level.
The main reason for adrenal fatigue is stress. Either emotional or physical stress or even poor nutrition can be responsible for reducing the functioning of the glands to such an extent that they no longer provide the steroid hormones in the proper balanced quantities needed to maintain the proper functioning of your metabolic processes. Unlike Addison’s disease, which a complete stoppage of the functioning of the adrenal glands, in Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome the glands still function, but at a reduced capacity and the various products they are responsible for generating are secreted in reduced and imbalanced quantities.
However, fatigue is not normally the first reaction of the body to stress. As normal stress levels increase the bodies response is generally to secrete higher levels of adrenaline, and the cortex produces extra cortisol and other hormones. As stress continues beyond the intermittent stage and becomes more constant, the adrenals produce a more sustained high level of hormones, that generally raise blood pressure and also increase the level of sugar in the blood in order allow a sustained increase in energy levels. Corticosteroids are produced to maintain this higher level reaction to stress.
Finally, when the adrenals can sustain this high level of activity no longer, adrenal fatigue sets in which is when the Worst symptoms of the stress are evident: exhaustion, both physically and mentally, excessive fear, guilt and worry, and under-activity of the HPA axis leads to depression, hopelessness and severe illness, often due to a weakened immune system.
So where does the B vitamin complex come into this? Vitamin B complex includes niacin, thiamine, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, and vitamins B6 and B12. As already stated, the complex is useful in supporting many of the critical functions of the body from healthy bones to healthy blood cells, and nervous systems. It also helps to maintain your reproductive system and can be used in cases of nerve-related conditions such as sciatica and neurological conditions.
Pantothenic acid, vitamin B5, is particularly useful in dealing with stress in that it enhances the activity of the adrenal glands. It also increases your energy levels due to its effect on the Krebs Cycle through its action as a precursor of acetyl Coenzyme A and acetylcholine which is a primary neurotransmitter. This helps to reduce fatigue and the pain of headaches caused by excessive stress and consequent reduction in adrenal output. Pantothenic acid is also essential during the metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, and is important in the maintenance of healthy nerves, skin and glands.
In fact the whole of the vitamin B family work together to make sure that your whole nervous system and metabolism remain healthy. People with high stress jobs often take the vitamin B complex to help reduce that stress and also anger. Excessive stress and anger can lead to anxiety and overwork the adrenal glands, and B complex can help to restore these to their normal function.
If you are concerned about your adrenal health, you can have a simple test carried out on your saliva, blood or urine by a trained medical practitioner. Many doctors do not know to carry out this test since it is not a normal test as would be used to detect Addison’s Disease, or complete adrenal failure, but only adrenal fatigue, so ask specifically for an adrenal fatigue check.
A quick self-test is to shine a light into an eye using a flashlight while looking in a mirror. They pupil should contract and return to normal after about 30 seconds. If it fails to do so, or even dilates, then that is a sign of adrenal fatigue. However, you must have it confirmed by a proper test.
All in all, a B complex supplement is a good way to restore adrenal glands from stress, and it also helps your nervous system in general, in addition to aiding the metabolic processes of your body. However, make sure that your symptoms are what you think they are by seeking professional medical advice.
An Ancient Herb And Its Application In Prostate Health
December 02, 2007 05:55 PM
According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), prostate cancer is the second most common form of cancer as well as the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among American men. A prostate specific antigen (PSA) test has been shown to detect prostate cancer in its earliest stages. Even though cancer screenings are very important they are just one health concern when it comes to the prostate. As men get older, the prostate may become a source for many other problems that can, but not necessarily always, include cancer. Since the symptoms of some prostate conditions often mimic cancer, many men who learn they have a problem often immediately assume the Worst. Therefore, it is important to understand the prostate and how potential changes might affect your health. Additionally, it is good to know what natural supplements you can take to ensure your prostate ages healthfully.
The prostate is a walnut-shaped gland found only in men just below the bladder and around the urethra, which functions as part of the male reproductive system. Throughout life the prostate continues to grow larger, but only after it becomes too large do problems begin to occur. The most common problem for men under fifty is prostatitis (inflamed prostate). This can cause a burning feeling during urination as well as frequent urination. It may be a sign that your body is fighting an infection, which can usually be treated with the use of an antibiotic. Nonbacterial prostatitis, on the other hand, does not respond to antibiotics and requires other forms of treatment. Men over fifty suffer most frequently from prostate enlargement or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Although older men are more at risk for prostate cancer, BPH is much more common. This issue occurs when the prostate becomes so enlarged that it squeezes the urethra, causing problems in urination, urinary tract infections, and in Worse case scenarios kidney damage. However, prostate cancer will affect one out of ever six men over the course of their lifetimes, making it the most serious prostate problem, causing 27,00 deaths this year alone.
Prostate problems such as BPH are usually treated with prescription drugs, which often lead to unpleasant side effects such as mild dizziness, sleep problems, decreased sex drive, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, and fainting. For those people who don’t want to experience these side effects, there is a natural safe alternative available: saw palmetto. Saw palmetto is the best known of prostate-supportive herbs coming from palm tree berries. However, it does not work for all men or those with extreme cases of BPH. The prostate gland also needs zinc, which is hard to find in a typical diet. By adding zinc supplements to your daily regimen, you can easily stabilize hormones and possibly prevent prostate problems.
A great natural solution that comes risk-free and can help with a large range of prostate health issues is epilobium, which contains properties that have supported prostate health for centuries. Epilobium is a small willow herb used in traditional medicine for the treatment of prostate disorders and valued for its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Because traditional use and modern research have proven that epilobium may help with BPH and prostatitis and has shown promising results for inhibiting cancer cell growth, it’s a great choice for prostate health.
Are you allergic to what you eat?
November 08, 2007 12:45 PM
If you didn’t realize, foods can actually cause an allergic reaction in sensitive individuals. Most of the allergic reactions we experience are due to dietary consumption of common foods like wheat and milk. Food allergies are usually cause by an over active immune system; symptoms range from itchiness, hives, stomach pain, and Worst case anaphylactic shock which can be life threatening. A majority of reactions in individuals are actually intolerances where the digestive tract can not handle the foods being consumed such as gluten protein found in wheat. Gluten intolerance is one of the most common food allergies Americans experience. Gluten intolerances can lead to an inflammatory problem in the body which is called celiac disease.
Discovering and eliminating food allergies is the first step towards relief; there are natural alternatives that may help as well. Vitamins and herbs that may relieve heart burn: aloe vera, chamomile, turmeric, dgl licorice, vitamin B5, Vitamin B1, Choline, marshmallow root, slippery elm, cabbage juice, and zinc may help. A strong probiotic and FOS may help indigestion. Enzymes like papain and bromelain as well as peppermint and ginger can ease stomach ache. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) affects millions of individuals on a daily basis; natural remedies that may help are ginseng, rhodiola, and fiber.
There are many alternatives to prescription anti-acids available to try, take some time and explore these alternatives to experience a more natural alternative for relief with zero side effects.
Cranberry May Have More Uses Than Just Bladder Infections
November 03, 2007 01:04 PM
The effects of cranberry on bladder and other urinary tract infections are well known. The infections are caused by a bacterium, Escherichia coli, known to most people as E. coli that attaches to the wall of the bladder or the urinary tract, and is very difficult to dislodge with antibiotics once it is there.
Cranberry contains a glycoprotein that prevents the E. coli from doing this, and so acts by preventing, not the invasion of the bacterium itself, but the mechanism by which it causes the disease. Drinking cranberry juice on a regular basis can prevent cystitis occurring in women, or at least reduce the frequency of incidences.
Now, however, there is a growing body of evidence that cranberry may have more uses than just for bladder infections. It is known to help prevent gum disease by the same mechanism: the bacteria are prevented from sticking to the teeth and gums by means of the same glycoprotein that is effective with E. coli and urinary tract infections
There is also evidence that cranberry juice can be helpful in resolving ear and respiratory infections. A study of a group of children in 2002 has indicated that cranberry juice can inhibit the adhesion to red blood cells of certain strains of the bacterium Haemophilus influenza that might cause a large proportion of middle ear infections. It seems to have an effect on the hair-like pili, by which bacteria stick to surfaces. This has been supported by results that indicated no effect on the bacteria strains that lack these pili.
These tests, however, were carried out experimentally in test tubes, but it is worth keeping in mind that such studies are under way, and that the results are looking very promising. However, they have not yet reached the stage where they can be stated to have been proved, though there is no reason why you should not try cranberry juice if any of your family is prone to such infections, especially of the middle ear.
Yet another study has established that cranberry might be effective in reducing the risk of heart disease by reducing the oxidation of blood cholesterol that makes it very sticky. There are two type of cholesterol, LDL cholesterol that carried the cholesterol from the liver through the blood to areas of your arteries that need repair. Your blood also contains high density lipoproteins (HDL) that carry excess cholesterol back to the liver for destruction and ejection from the body – that is the so-called ‘good’ cholesterol.
The LDL cholesterol works much like putty, covering the cracks in arterial walls, and without it you could have even more severe problems than with high levels of LDL cholesterol. However, when the LDL cholesterol gets oxidized by, for example, free radicals in the blood, then it becomes sticky and too much of it gets laid down on the artery walls.
Free radicals are produced through many agents, but the most common are smoking, environmental pollution and pesticides. These sticky coatings tend to build up after a time and lead to a condition known as atherosclerosis whereby the build up of coating can severely restrict the artery. This causes high blood pressure and can even lead to the artery becoming completely blocked. This can lead to serious heart problems and, if the artery is in the brain, even strokes.
In the study, a group taking one, two then three glasses of 27% cranberry juice daily for a month at a time were found have a 40% reduced risk of heart disease at the end on month three due to a 10% increase in the good HDL cholesterol. This was due to the antioxidant effect of the cranberry juice preventing the oxidation of the LDL cholesterol which causes the problems. Antioxidants mop up free radicals before they can do any damage.
Cranberries contain a high polyphenol content, and it is believed that it is these antioxidants that are responsible, though this has still to be proved. This antioxidant effect can also reduce the risk of cancer, render you less liable to inflammatory conditions and also give your immune system a boost by helping to clear up the free radicals that are one of your body’s Worst enemies. However, that is not all that cranberries can do. There are even more exciting new developments that could have an impact on women suffering from ovarian cancer.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention record that ovarian cancer is the 7th most common type of cancer in the USA, and the 5th most common cause of cancer deaths amongst women. The general treatment for ovarian cancer is by chemotherapy using the platinum drugs Paraplatin and Cisplatin. The problem with these drugs is that cancer cells can become resistant to them, and if higher doses are used it can lead to side effects including renal failure and nerve damage.
Tests were carried out using ovarian cancer cells and a 27% solution of cranberry juice, a common commercially available concentration. The cells were then treated with Paraplatin. It was found that the Paraplatin was six times more effective at killing the ovarian cancer cells than when the cells had not come into contact with the cranberry juice. This is a considerable difference. The rate of spread and growth of some of the other cancer cells were also reduced.
The reason that the cranberry was used was due to its wide range of potential health benefits in fighting stomach ulcers, cystitis and some other cancers. It is believed that the effect is due to very powerful antioxidants known as A-type proanthocyanidins, which are found only in cranberries. Other studies have found this chemical to have had an effect in inhibiting the growth of cancer cells in lung cancer, colon cancer and leukemia, all involving different types of cancer cell. Other antioxidants such as flavenoids and querticin in cranberry juice might also contribute, but the proanthocyanadin is believed to be the principal active agent due it being found only in cranberries.
The researchers temper their results with the caution that these are tests only, but that theoretically a cranberry supplement could be used as a part of a chemotherapy course. Animal studies are commencing shortly though it will be some time before a new therapy has been developed. It is possible; however, that the therapy could consist of a simple oral dose of cranberry juice taken during the course, but you should consult your physician for the most appropriate treatment for you.
However, what is certain is that cranberry may have more uses than just bladder infections.
Supplements for Children
June 26, 2007 09:51 PM
Supplements for Children
While most parents try hard to make nutritious meals for their family, most children find the appeal of refined, fast, and junk food simply overwhelming. And, sadly, increasingly easy to buy and consume, as well. From kindergarten through 12th grade, in both grade schools and high schools, vending machines offer calorie laden candy bars, sugar-filled soft drinks, and snack foods loaded with fat and salt. Many school cafeterias actually sell fast-food to children for lunch every day. In fact, it seems almost everywhere children go and gather, visually enticing but nutritionally lacking snacks and soft drinks are sure to be available.
Determined to counteract this disturbing trend, parents everywhere are urgently seeking solutions to help their children get the nutrition they need. One answer is supplemental multivitamins. There are certainly plenty of multivitamins formulated for children currently on the market. However, these products vary considerably in quality and content. Some lack certain vital nutrients. Some taste terrible. Still others are loaded with sugar and artificial flavorings. The good news is that there are superior multivitamins and exceptional immune boosting products formulated specifically for children that actually taste great. In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we will discuss childhood nutrition and how to help ensure your children’s health with high quality, 100% natural flavored nutritional supplements.
Q. Do children really benefit from vitamin supplements? Can’t I make sure they get the vitamins and minerals they need from meals?
A. Even the most nutritionally vigilant parent cannot be 100% certain what nutrients are in the food they serve their children. That’s because there’s so much variability in the food we prepare. For instance, fat-soluble vitamins can withstand normal cooking, but vitamins A and E are gradually destroyed by exposure to air. Water-soluble vitamins such as B1, B6, folic acid, and pantothenic acid are destroyed by heat. Vitamin B2 is destroyed by light and heat, while light and air destroy vitamin C. Certain food preservatives and preparation methods also destroy the vitamins in food. To further complicate matters, some fruit and vegetables are grown and harvested in such a way that does not promote nutrient content – so even raw foods may be lacking.
Then there are those crazy food phases all children seemingly go through. While these phases are generally harmless in the long run, a recent alarming exception was in the news. A five-year old boy ate nothing but cheese pizza, Pop-tarts, biscuits, and water, refusing fruits, vegetables, juices and vitamins. He slowly developed limp, swollen gums, and small purple spots appeared on his skin. After five months of this extremely deficient diet, he was unable to walk or get out of bed because the pain was so severe. Doctors diagnosed the boy as having a severe vitamin C deficiency after ruling out other ailments such as leukemia. Within a week of getting vitamin C supplements, the boy’s pain and other symptoms were completely resolved. Obviously, this little boy’s story is unusual. However, even mild food phases (such as “If It’s Green It Must Be Yucky” or “The Only Good Crust Is A Cut-Off Crust”) can result in awfully lop-sided nutrition.
Q. Can multivitamins help my child’s performance in school?
A. Most teachers firmly believe that nutrition and learning go hand in hand. They are convinced that children who are well nourished possess the mental stamina that’s needed to learn and retain even difficult concepts. But can multivitamins help children become better students?
Two independent research teams recently conducted randomized trials to find the answer. The researchers followed 245 school-children aged 6 to 12 years for three months. They gave half of the children multivitamin tablets every day, and half of the children placebos. When the children were tested, the children in the multivitamins group showed an increase in their nonverbal intelligence scores. Nonverbal intelligence is closely associated with academic performance.
Q. I can’t get my children to take 100% natural flavored multivitamins because they don’t taste very appealing. Isn’t there some way to make a 100% natural multivitamin taste good enough for my children to willingly take?
A. Yes, there is! Because most children need chewable multivitamins, manufacturers need to contend with the truly terrible taste of certain minerals. Magnesium, iodine, copper, and iron are probably the Worst tasting. Some solve this dilemma by skimping on the amounts of these minerals in their children’s formulas. Others cover up the bad taste with either massive amounts of sugar or artificial flavors, or both.
However, a select few multivitamin makers have discovered how to offer a natural flavored, great tasting children’s multivitamin that contains these vital minerals. The best children’s vitamins are prepared in a base of natural fruit that provides both antioxidants and other healthy phytonutrients. Children’s multivitamins made in such a fruit base have very low sugar content, as well, providing as little as four calories a day. Fructose – fruit sugar – is the preferred sweetening agent, in addition to the fruit content.
Q. What vitamins should be in a multivitamin for children?
A. There are several vitamins and minerals that children need to take each and every day. They include biotin, folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamins B12, B1, A, B6, C, D, E, and K. Let’s review a few. We’ll start with folate, one of the B vitamins. This vital vitamin helps the body use protein, helps make DNA, helps cells grow and divide, and keeps the nervous system healthy. In fact, folate is so important to children that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandated that folate must be added to many foods most children eat daily. Since 1998, cereal, enriched bread, flour corn meal, rice, and pasta have been folate-fortified with this B vitamin.
One of folate’s vital actions is the reduction of homocysteine levels in the blood. Homocysteine is an amino acid (the building block of protein) that is normally produced in the human body. Research has shown that high levels of homocysteine can irritate blood vessels, make blood clot more easily than it should, and cause blockages in arteries increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes .
However, study after study has proven that taking folate reduces harmful homocysteine levels. While most of this research has been in adults, a recent study looked at children’s homocysteine levels. Researchers examined over 3500 children and discovered that high homocysteine levels increased the risk for heart disease in these children, especially as they grow. The researchers leading this study reinforced how critical folate is for all children.
Other critical vitamins for children are the vitamins C and E. The rates of childhood asthma have increased significantly here in the
Q. Which minerals do children need?
A. It is absolutely crucial that children get calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium, zinc, and phosphorus every day. Sadly, however, the majority of our children are not getting the recommended amounts of many of these vital minerals. Children in
According to statistics from the National Institutes of Health, only 13.5 percent of girls and 36.3 percent of boys age 12 to 19 in the
Lack of adequate calcium has immediate consequences for children, as well. The number of fractures among children and young adults has increased as a direct result of poor calcium intake. Pediatricians are also seeing children with rickets, a bone disease caused by low levels of vitamin D. Rickets became almost nonexistent after vitamin D was added to milk in the 1950s, but, due to lower milk consumption, is now appearing at greater rates around the country. And milk itself can be problematic for some children. Aside from alarming reports of hormones and herbicides in commercial dairy factory milk, even organic milk is not tolerated by all because of lactose intolerance and allergies.
Zinc is another mineral that’s vital for children. Because zinc is critical for normal growth and development, children need to take it every day. A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, however, found more than half of US children ages two to 10 years fail to get the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for zinc. What’s even more troubling is that zinc is vitally connected to children’s ability to process information, pay attention, as well as remember and retain new information
Zinc does a lot to keep children healthy. More than 200 enzymes in our bodies rely on zinc. However, it’s zinc’s ability to connect with our immune systems to help fight infections that is crucial for children. While researchers are not certain how zinc precisely boosts a child’s immunity, they think that zinc might fight pneumonia and other infections by either enhancing the body’s immune status, preventing the infection from establishing itself, or improving the immune system’s ability to rid itself of the infecting organism. It’s possible that zinc does all three.
Q. No matter what I do, my children seem to come down with bad colds each year. Besides giving them a multivitamin, are there other nutritional supplements that can keep my children healthy?
A. Absolutely! In fact, there are 100% natural flavored children’s immune formula nutritional supplements that contain their good buddy zinc, vitamins B6, C, and A (as beta carotene), plus elderberry extract. Elderberry extract has been used as a traditional medicine for hundreds of years to treat colds and flu. And as it so often happens, scientific research has validated this use. In fact, scientists have discovered that elderberry keeps viruses from invading other cells and replicating. It also spurs important immune cells into action to fight invading germs.
While we previously discussed vitamin C’s ability to help children with asthma breathe easier, it also provides powerful immune protection. It speeds up the healing of wounds, such as those knee and elbow scrapes so common in childhood. However, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and can’t be stored in the body. It must be replenished every day. When children are under increased stress (like when they get sick with a cold or flu), their vitamin C levels are more rapidly depleted.
Vitamin B6 is also water-soluble and can only work in children’s bodies for eight hours. Then more B6 must be obtained. Vitamin B6 strengthens the immune system by helping white blood cells make antibodies. Vitamin A helps make lysozymes, important anti-infectious agents found in tears, saliva, and sweat. It also stimulates the thymus gland, an important immune organ, especially in children, to work better.
Q. Should children take an immune formula every day or only when they are sick?
A. It can be taken several ways. Some parents may want to give the formula when school first starts or other times that their children are exposed to lots of germs. For a child who suffers from asthma or seasonal allergies or just seems to get sick frequently, parents could provide the immune formula every day, increasing the dose when needed. And still others might feel it’s best to give their children the immune formula only whey they do catch a cold or have the flu.
No matter how it is given, the 100% all natural flavored, immune boosting nutritional supplement can provide powerful protection against all those disease-causing germs your children are exposed to every day.
The nutritional choices we make for our children today will have a profound effect on their health tomorrow. Recent research has revealed that diabetes, heart disease, obesity, osteoporosis, and cancer in adults often result form nutritional deficiencies that occurred in childhood.
Thankfully, the reverse is just as true. This means that children who are well nourished with an optimal intake of minerals, vitamins, and helpful herbs can grow into healthy and happy adults. Providing high quality multivitamins and immune boosting nutritional supplements for our children can be an important part of that process.
Compiled by the FDA and EPA - The 10 Worst Foods for Pesticide Residue.
June 06, 2007 04:15 PM
Label Standards in the USA, when a label reads 100% Organic, any product with this label contains only organic ingredients by law. If the label reads just ORGANIC, the product must have at least 95% organic ingredients. Finally, if a label reads "Made with Organic Ingredients" this label can only be used on packaging for products with 50% - 90% organic ingredients. if the product has less than 50% organic ingredients, it must say the percentage.
Safe Solutions for Chronic Pain
March 30, 2007 12:09 PM
Safe Solutions for Chronic Pain
One of the biggest challenged in healthcare today is the problem of pain. There are simply too many people living each and every day with ongoing, unremitting chronic pain. And there are far too many healthcare providers who – for a variety of reasons – are failing to adequately address this serious problem.
Recently, 368 doctors who routinely care for patients with chronic pain agreed to take part in a unique study. The doctors were surveyed about the pain medicines hey prescribe, what kind of treatment goals they hope to achieve, and how they felt about their ability to help their patients. They were also presented with four chronic pain vignettes or mock case studies and asked to select the best treatment for each scenario from multiple choice answers.
Sadly, many doctors chose the Worst treatment options in the case studies. The medications they reported using in their practices did not reflect current pain treatment standards. They tended to set low treatment goals 0 instead of aiming for a least a 75% reduction of pain for their patients, they settled for 10% to 20% reductions. And many of the doctors admitted they lacked confidence in their ability to relieve their patients’ pain and suffering.
Adding to the challenge are the almost daily news announcements about dangerous side effects in certain pain medications. Synthetic prescription COX-2 inhibitors, once hailed as the safest of drugs, have been linked to heart attacks, strokes, blood clots, and intestinal bleeding. The over-the counter (OTC) drugs aspirin and ibuprofen kill over 16,000 people each year. And acetaminophen, the most widely used pain reducer in the
As a doctor specializing in chronic pain disorders, I know that optimal pain management can be a real challenge. However, I also know:
-You do not have to live in chronic pain.
-Your chronic pain, no matter what the cause, can be reduced, and usually
-Chronic pain can be relived both effectively and safely with powerful all-natural
Q. What is chronic pain?
A. Sudden, or acute, pain occurs when pain signals immediately fire in your nervous system alerting you to an injury, like a broken ankle, or an illness, such as appendicitis. Once the injury heals or the illness is cured, the transmission of pain signals stop.
Ongoing – or chronic pain – is much different. Chronic pain persists. Pain signals keep firing in the nervous system for weeks, months, even years. There may have been an initial injury, such as sprained back muscles, or an initial illness, such as a serious infection. There might be an ongoing cause of pain, such as arthritis, cancer, or fibromyalgia. Chronic pain also occurs without any past injury or evidence of body damage.
The most common kinds of chronic pain are headache, low back pain, cancer pain, arthritis pain, and neurogenic pain (pain resulting from damage to nerves or to the nervous system itself). While chronic pain differs in its origin and where it occurs, it is generally your body’s way of saying that something urgently needs attention, and will not o away unless its underlying causes are addressed.
These causes can usually be determined if you remember the acronym “SHIN”. This stands for Sleep, Hormonal deficiencies, Infections/Inflammation/Impingement, and Nutritional deficiencies. When these are treated, pain often resolves.
Q. Why is it so hard to effectively reduce chronic pain?
A. Unfortunately, many physicians’ entire education in pain management consists of “giving nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs (pronounced en-sayds), COX-2 inhibitors, or acetaminophen and considering narcotics if the patient has cancer.
Some NSAIDs, like aspirin and ibuprofen, are available over-the-counter, while others, like the synthetic COX-2 inhibitors are only available with a doctor’s prescription. These mediations are usually inadequate and often toxic when used for chronic pain. And they do not address the problem(s) that the pain is trying to alert you to.
Q. What exactly are COX-2 inhibitors?
A. COX-2 inhibitors do pretty much what their name implies – they inhibit a natural enzyme in our body called the clclooxygenase-2, or COX-2, enzyme. There are two COX enzymes – COX-1 and COX-2 and both complete several actions in our bodies. One very important action that both COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes share is the speeding up of our body’s production of prostaglandins. These hormone-like substances are made by the cells of the body and have several important functions.
Some of the most powerful prostaglandins cause inflammation, pain, and fever when we are sick or injured. Prostaglandins also protect the lining of the stomach from the damaging effects of acid. Other prostaglandins make sure our platelets (important blood cells) make blood clots when needed. Still others help our kidneys get rid of unwanted salt and water. And researchers have just recently recognized the importance of still another prostaglandin that protects our heart and blood vessels.
The NSAIDs reduce pain by reducing prostaglandin production by blocking or inhibiting the COX enzymes. In theory – less prostaglandins, less pain and welling seems reasonable. But if you really stop and think about it, it’s pretty easy to understand why this method of pain relief might result in significant consequences.
Pain and inflammation are often needed for healing. And just as needed is the protection of our stomach lining, blood clotting ability, assisting kidney function, and keeping our blood vessels healthy. And scientists are beginning to understand if you interfere with one natural response, you may be disrupting the body’s ability to prevent extremes and imbalances.
That’s why using aspirin and ibuprofen can result in stomach ulcers, kidney problems, and internal bleeding. And that’s why using synthetic COX-2 inhibitors can result in high blood pressure, blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes.
Q. Why are we just now learning about the dangers of COX-2 inhibitors and other NSAIDs?
A. That’s a good question!
Many people over the age of 65 have chronic pain conditions and are frequent users of OTC and prescription NSAIDs. This age group also experiences heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease in greater numbers. So, if a 70 year old woman who’s been using Celebrex for the past two years for arthritis in her knees suddenly has a heart attack one morning, it would not be entirely unexpected.
For the past five or six years, researchers have been studying the possibility that NSAIDs may prevent certain cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, and other health problems. The ongoing, close scrutiny of large group of people taking these medications by scientists who were conducting these studies has resulted in the discovery of these dangers.
Q. What kind of natural compounds relieve chronic pain?
A. There are many – glucosamine, Omega-3 fatty acids, the B vitamins – the list goes on and on. Instead of disrupting normal bodily responses, these natural compounds work in harmony with our body to eliminate chronic pain. Three very powerful and very effective all natural plant compound pain and inflammation relievers are Sweet Cherry, Boswellia serrata, and White Willow Bark.
For many years there have been anecdotal or personal reports that claimed eating Sweet Cherries, specifically Prunus avium, wipes out back pain, arthritis, and gout. While anecdotal reports generally don’t account for much in the world of science, he sheer numbers of testimonials proclaiming the Sweet Cherry’s amazing ability to reduce pain made researchers sit up and take notice.
When Sweet Cherries were examined in the lab, it was easy for scientists to understand how this natural fruit is able to relieve pain. It seems Sweet Cherry’s bright red color is the key. Like many deeply colored fruits, Sweet Cherries are full of flavonoids called anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins.
These powerful plant compounds scavenge and destroy altered oxygen compounds called free radicals. Many degenerative, chronic diseases have been associated with the tissue damage caused by free radicals, including arthritis, heart disease, peripheral artery disease, and cancer. Cherry fruit extract is a natural anti-inflammatory compound, making it an excellent treatment for arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other chronic pain and inflammation diseases.
A pain relieving plant compound that comes from the bark of a tree, Boswellia serrata has been used by Indian healers for hundreds of years to reduce painful inflammation. When 20th century researchers looked at extracts of Boswellia Gum Resin in the laboratory they discovered the presence of powerful plant compounds, called boswellic acids.
Researchers found Boswellic Acids reduce inflammation in several ways. They open constricted blood vessels, improving blood flow to joints. They balance levels of leukotrienes – specific chemicals in the body that cause inflammation. And Boswellic Acids block two inflammatory chemicals that increase in asthma and inflammation of the colon. In addition to being helpful in treating these 2 illnesses, Boswellia has also been clinically studied and found to be quite effective in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis without any evidence of ulcers or stomach irritation.
Another bark extract, White Willow Bark is one of the oldest and most effective pain relievers. For over 2,000 years extracts from the bark of the White Willow tree have been used to ease aches and pains and reduce fevers. It is the original source of aspirin, but when used as the entire plant medicine, White Willow Bark is much safer than aspirin and quite effective.
White Willow Bark’s active ingredient is salicin and the combination of other compounds in the bark significantly enhances its pain killing power. In two large clinical trials of patients with chronic low back pain. White Willow Bark was found to be not only safer and much more effective than standard prescription therapies, it was also 40 percent more cost effective.
Salicylic acid from White Willow Bark lowers the body’s levels of prostaglandins, easing both acute and chronic pain. White Willow Bark reduces the pain and swelling of arthritis, headache, back and neck pain, muscle aches, and menstrual cramps. But, unlike aspirin, it doesn’t cause stomach bleeding or other known adverse effects.
Q. Do Sweet Cherry, Boswellic Acids, and White
A. They do indeed. Because they reduce both pain and inflammation by a broad combination of actions, these natural extracts have been proven to be excellent against arthritis, back pain, and pain from inflammatory intestinal diseases (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), and would be expected to be helpful in most kinds of pain.
Sweet Cherry, Boswellic Acids, and White Willow Bark relieve inflammation without causing stomach irritation, stomach ulcers, high blood pressure, blood clots, heart attacks, or strokes. That’s because these natural pain killers don’t disrupt the balance of enzymes or interfere with the body’s ability to prevent extremes and imbalances.
However, as with any pain therapy, Sweet Cherry, Boswellic Acids, and White Willow Bark work best when they are used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan to relieve the most common underlying causes of chronic pain or SHIN.
In addition, although these excellent natural remedies can often offer quick pain relief, natural remedies for severe chronic pains work best when they are given at maximum allowed doses and given 6 weeks to show their full effectiveness in combination with treating the pain’s underlying causes. The best chronic pain relief results when doctors and patients work together to meet the goals of treatment.
Some important last notes: Many causes of chronic pain are serious and life threatening. Everyone who is living with chronic pain must consult their doctor or other healthcare practitioner to determine the reason for their ongoing discomfort. In other words – make sure you know why you are having chronic pain and what’s causing the pain you want to relieve.
There are some types of chronic pain that only respond to opioids, or narcotic pain relievers. Morphine sulfate is an excellent pain medication and is used to relieve surgical pain, the pain of heart attacks, and pain from serious injuries. Morphine is also the very best drug for chronic cancer pain and non-malignant chronic pain. While many people fear opioids, these powerful pain killers can dramatically improve quality of life. If you are suffering with chronic cancer pain and you are hesitant to use morphine or another opioid, I urge you to discuss your concerns with your doctor other healthcare provider. No one with cancer should live with untreated or under-treated pain.
Even chronic pain can often be eliminated when SHIN is in combination with powerfully effective natural pain relievers. But, because some people may need to take pain relievers the rest of their lives, the medications they use must be safe as well as effective. The very safest come from natural plant compounds that have been studied for their ability to relieve chronic pain. You can become pain free and Sweet Cherries, Boswellic Acids, and White Willow Bark can help.
Taming the Tingle – ALA helps fight nerve damage caused by diabetes…and more.
November 09, 2006 01:27 PM
For some people the constant tingling in their feet is the Worst part. Others feel like their feet are being stabbed or burned, or that their extremities are simply lifeless. All these folks suffer from peripheral neuropathy, nerve damage that afflicts nearly 30% of people with diabetes aged 40 and older. And if the discomforting sensations are not enough, neuropathy can lead to falls, wounds that won’t heal, even amputation.
Untold numbers of individuals have been helped by alpha lipoic acid (ALA), a supplement that European practitioners have used as a standard neuropathy treatment for 30 years. ALA (also known as thioctic acid) assists in the chemical reaction that generates energy within cells. It serves as a universal antioxidant—a substance that can fight tissue-damaging free radicals in both the fatty watery parts of a cell-and helps the body create additional free radical fighters, such as glutathione. ALA can even help regenerate several other antioxidants, including coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and vitamins C and E.
People with diabetes need antioxidant protection as much as anyone. Fortunately for them, though, ALA fights this insidious disorder in many other ways.
Diabetes occurs when the body can no longer effectively use glucose (blood sugar), its main energy sources; ALA helps shepherd glucose out of the blood and into cells. It also interferes with glycosylation, a process in which glucose sticks to proteins such as the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) that carries cholesterol through the bloodstream. That’s important because this “sticky” LDL can adhere to arterial walls, creating a major risk factor for heart disease. ALA combined with exercise appears to make insulin, the hormone that controls glucose usage, more effective. What’s more, early research indicates that ALA can deflect another cardio hazard by interfering with the ability of salt to push blood pressure upward (molecular and Cellular Biology 12/03).
ALA Annotations – what is it? Alpha Lipoic acid, a substance the body creates naturally.
What it Does: ALA, a powerful antioxidant in its own right, plays a vital role in the creation and renewal of other antioxidants. It is used to treat peripheral neuropathy; nerve damage caused by diabetes, and is also under investigation for possible therapeutic effects in other disorders, including multiple sclerosis and age-related cognitive decline.
Diabetes doesn’t just attack the nerves and the heart—its effects are felt throughout the body. That’s why scientists are examining whether ALA can tackle other diabetic complications: in lab studies it has forestalled diabetes-related kidney and eye damage. (Check blood-sugar levels regularly when using ALA, especially if you’re taking other glucose regulators.)
While diabetes is one of the most common causes of nervous system damage, it isn’t the only one. In test tube studies ALA has promoted chemical reactions that encourage neurons (nerve cells) to survive and grow; as a result some scientists believe this natural antioxidant may eventually play a role in treating degenerative nerve disorders. Such research is in its beginning stages, but the results are still intriguing. For example, in mice ALA has slowed progression of a disorder that mimics multiple sclerosis in human beings (Journal of Neuroimmunology 3/04) and improved age-related memory loss when used with N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), another antioxidant supplement (Journal of Neurochemistry 3/03). A number of other conditions that become more common with age may also benefit from ALA, including arthritis and thinning skin.
If you suffer from both diabetes and the nerve damage it causes, ask your practitioner about ALA. It just may help your feet and the rest of you feel happy. –Lisa James
B Vitamins Avert Stroke, Coronary Disease, Death
January 25, 2006 04:30 PM
B Vitamins Avert Stroke, Coronary Disease, Death
London, Ontario--Taking B Vitamins may lower homocysteine levels, thereby reducing the risk of ischemic stroke, coronary disease and death, according to an efficacy analysis of the Vitamin Intervention for Stroke Prevention trial (VISP).
Published in Stroke (36, 11:2404-09, 2005) (//stroke.ahajournals.org), the analysis outlined researchers’ criticisms of VISP: Participants in VISP may have been administered folate-fortified grain products, the low-dose arm of the study may have been given the recommended daily intake for b12, low-b12 patients in both study arms may have been treated with parenteral b12, test subjects with malabsorption may have been administered an excessively low dose of b12, study participants may have been taking vitamins outside of the study, and patients with significant renal impairment may have failed to response to vitamin therapy.
In the efficacy analysis of VISP, researchers excluded patients with very low and very high b12 levels at baseline (less than 250 pmol/L and greater than 637 pmol/L, respectively, representing the 25th and 95th percentiles), in order to eliminate test subjects with b12 malabsorption, ongoing b12 supplementation outside the study and significant renal impairment. The resulting subgroup was comprised of 2,155 patients, 37 percent female, with a mean age of 66 plus or minus 10.7 years. There was a 21 percent reduction in ischemic stroke, coronary disease and death in the high-b12 dose group compared with the low-b12 does group. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis of the four groups indicated patients with b12 levels at the median or higher at baseline who were randomized to the high-b12 dose showed the best overall outcome, whereas those with baseline b12 levels lower than the median who were assigned the low-b12 dose had the Worst general outcome.
In the era of folate fortification, b12 plays a key role in vitamin therapy for total homocysteine may be needed for some patients.
Bird Flu Vaccine in short supply !!
November 26, 2005 02:23 PM
U.S Unprepared for Bird Flu Pandemic
Vaccine in short supply.
Officials worldwide are preparing for the Worst, as bird flu spreads through asia and into Europe, resulting in the death of 140million chickens and ducks. Meanwhile waterfowl travel their migratory paths, shedding virus contaminated feathers, droppings and saliva into the water, air and soil.
Human cases of avian flue have so far been limited to individuals who had direct contact with sick birds. Experts, however, believe the virus could mutate into a form easily transmitted from human to human. The current strain, known as H5N1, is particularly lethal; it has killed 61 people—half of those infected.
A few times each century, flu pandemics sweep the world. One of the Worst, the 1918 flu, killed 50 million people; it was also a bird flu, which jumped directly to humans. The grimmest forecast today is a pandemic that could kill millions. And, among developed nations, the united states is one of the least prepared.
After Delay, U.S. Must Wait in Line.
Congress and the President are considering spending billions to buy the drub tamiflu, which has been shown to reduce the duration and severity of bird flu. A few months ago, the manufacturer could have delivered much of this supply; now, orders placed by other countries have exhausted production capacity for the next two years, according to the New York Times. U.S. health agencies have 2 million doses on hand, enough to treat 1% of the population.
A Military Response?
Anticipating a crisis, President Bush asked Congress to consider using the military to enforce a quarantine, and requested a review of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which prohibits the armed forces from engaging in domestic policing. Critics question the effectiveness of a military response to a health problem, and point out that authorities can already call in the National Guard to deal with civil disorders.
Contagious Disease and the Wellness Revolution.
Concentrations of poverty, especially in Asia; huge, crowded farms and factories; poor hygiene; insufficient public health facilities; companies that refuse to produce unprofitable vaccines—all must be addressed to prevent future pandemics.
Meanwhile, individuals must do all they can to protect themselves. Wash your hands often and keep them away from your eyes and nose. Avoid contact with people who have respiratory illnesses. Clean surfaces used to prepare raw poultry with hot, soapy water, and cook poultry thoroughly. With so many potential assaults on your health, a wise strategy that is at the very core of the wellness revolution is to strengthen your immune system. Get enough sleep, take good daily multiple, and visit your health food store for a wide range of immune-boosting herbs and special nutrients to help you stay well this winter.
Sources: After Delay, U.S. Faces Line of Flu Drug, New York Times, 10/7/05; U.S. Warns of Future Flu Pandemic, Associated press, 10/10/05; Review of the monster at our door: the global threat of avian flue by Mike Davis.
Bird Flu Facts:
Symptoms: fever, cough, sore throat, aches, pneumonia.
Virulence of current strain: kills 100% of birds, 50% of humans.
Projected U.S. Pandemic Death toll: ½ million.
Oral Chelation with EDTA
October 03, 2005 03:00 PM
Oral Chelation with EDTA
Cardiovascular Disease claims nearly 960,000 lives every year which is largely preventable and reversible.
What does heart disease really do to your body? Atherosclerosis (Hardened arteries) is a systemic condition (runs through out the body, brain, lungs, kidneys, and legs) where blood vesels get blocked and clogged. The blockages that lead to atherosclerosis can occur not only in large vessels sugeons can manipulate, but in the smaller blood vessels as well. Its in the smaller blood vessels and capillaries that the oxygen exchange to the tissue takes place.
You can protect the critical lifeline of oxygen that feeds and sustains the organs and tissues throughout your body including your heart. There is a treatment that moves plaque and restores blood flow throughout the entire arterial system, treating the micro as well as the macro vessels. Its called EDTA chelation, available in oral supplementation. Oral chelation is safe and inexpensive therapy for your Cardiovascular system, if your family has a history of cardiovascular problems, don’t hesitate to try EDTA!
Traditional medicine uses one of two primary ways to open blocked arteries. The first is angioplasty, take a balloon and ream out the large arteries to clear blockages, there is a risk of heart attack or making the blockage Worst, and this type of blockages usually return to normal size after a year. The second is cut away the blockage and put in new vessels usually stripped from your legs or other places in the body. If your doctor has recommended this second form of treatment you should be aware that mortality rate of this surgery is 4% - 10% and common side effects after the procedure is cerebral dysfunction—memory loss and mental decline.
EDTA can also treat heavy metal poisoning!
Back in world war II, men who worked in battery factories and men who painted ships with lead based paints began coming down with lead poisoning from their high exposure in these jobs. EDTA seemed to safely and effectively remove lead from the body and cure lead poisoning.
Zeaxanthin with Lutein - The clearly-seen benefits of advanced eye protection
August 03, 2005 06:27 PM
Zeaxanthin with Lutein
The clearly-seen benefits of advanced eye protection
In the U.S. and other developed nations, the Worst enemy of eyesight is not disease, it is the natural aging process. But even if the advance of years is unstoppable, new research shows that eyesight can be protected as we age. Two little-known carotenoids have been found to protect eyesight and combat the effects of aging upon the retina. Zeaxanthin and lutein, naturally found in many fruits and vegetables, form a natural filter on the retina, protecting the delicate photoreceptor cells from the damaging effects of blue-wave light and the UV radiation of sunlight. The two nutrients have also been found to be a natural antioxidant, further protecting the retina from the oxidation that arises from normal body functions as well as exposure to cigarette smoke, air pollutants, radiation, and environmental toxins.
Source Naturals unites the benefits of both of these nutrients in ZEAXANTHIN WITH LUTEIN, offering one of the most advanced approaches to eye protection available.
Key to Healthy Vision
A Harvard-led study found that eating lutein-rich foods five days per week meant subjects were eight times more likely to have healthy macular pigment density than those who consumed the same foods just once a month. Another study at the University of Florida found that diets rich in lutein and zeaxanthin could substantially (82%) protect the macula. A number of companies offer either lutein or zeaxanthin, Source Naturals combines the benefits of both, just as both are used in the eye.
Part of Your Wellness Program
Bone, RA, et al. (2003). Journal of Nutrition. 133:992-998. Gail, C, et al. (2003).Investigative Opthalmology & Vis. Sci. 44:2461-246. Krinsky N, et al (2003). Annual Review of Nutrition. 23:171-201.
Source Naturals Strategies for Wellness sm
The above information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Moderating Male Midlife Moodiness - The lesser known guy version of menopause is now a ...
July 14, 2005 09:28 AM
Moderating Male Midlife MoodinessThe lesser known guy version of menopause is now a syndrome
Question: How can you tell if a man has irritable male syndrome?
Irritable male syndrome (IMS) may sound like a joke, but it's really no laughing matter. Just as women experience anxiety, depression and irritability with hormonal changes, men too can suffer from cyclic and menopausal symptoms-they're just more likely to be chastised for it instead of being consoled with a pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream.
Since men's hormones actually fluctuate every hour rather than every 28 days, it should come as no surprise that male behavior should be affected. For some men over 40, however, the behavior swing can be quite dramatic, leaving a guy in a chronic bad mood. But try telling the grouch that he suffers from "male menopause" and he just might chuck the Ben & Jerry's at you.
The term "irritable male syndrome" was coined by Gerald A. Lincoln, a researcher at the Medical Research Council's Human Reproductive Sciences Unit in Edinburgh, Scotland. Lincoln first observed IMS while studying Soay sheep, a large, curly-horned variety known for their boisterous rutting rituals that rival the masculine intensity of any Super Bowl party. After mating season, however, Lincoln noticed that as testosterone levels dropped off, the rams became agitated, fearful, withdrawn and likely to irrationally strike out at other males. The hypothesis behind this behavior is that the withdrawal of androgens affects melatonin and serotonin uptake and can make for one cranky ram. However, IMS in two-legged, human subjects can present itself with more complexity.
Psychotherapist Jed Diamond, author of The Irritable Male Syndrome: Managing the Four Key Causes of Depression and Aggression (Rodale Books), defines IMS as "a state of hypersensitivity, anxiety, frustration and anger that occurs in males and is associated with biochemical changes, hormonal fluctuations, and loss of male identity" that can occur at any time during a man's life. A lot of IMS involves depression; normally thought of as a female problem, this emotional downer often comes out differently in men, more outwardly than inwardly directed.
One point of similarity between the sexes is that IMS, like depression in women, is often linked to the multi-source stress that pervades modern living. The result? According to Diamon, "Up to 30% of men, especially those in adolescence and midlife, exhibit symptoms of IMS. In its mildest forms, it can cause men to be moody and irritable. At its Worst, it can lead to violence and even suicide."
Is it a Bad Day or a Bad Decade?
So how can you really tell if a man has irritable male syndrome? Since a guy isn't likely to say flat out that he's having trouble with relationships or is having hot flashes (you read that right), there are other, more telltale signs to look for. While we all may temporarily experience bad moods, if you or someone you know exhibits one or more of these feelings with frequency over a period of time, IMS may be the cause: anger, sarcasm, defensiveness, blaming, withdrawal, anxiety, defiance, being argumentative, feeling unappreciated, frustration.
Physical IMS symptoms include fatigue, unexpected weight gain or loss, frequent urination, hair loss (besides the typical male pattern) and impotence. The thyroid gland, which serves as the body's master energy controller, is often out of whack on men suffering from IMS. If that sounds familiar, see your practitioner for a thyroid hormone check.
Less Flabby Means Less Crabby
Sometimes, IMS is not a matter of lowered testosterone levels but one of elevated estradoil, the usable form of the female hormone estrogen. This condition can develop with consumption of too many hormone-laced meats (eating organic meat is a good option). In addition, a diet high in high-glycemic carbs such as white breads and white pasta will undermine testosterone levels as well as pack on unwanted pounds.
To help trim down and keep IMS symptoms at bay, Larrian Gillespie, MD, author of The Gladiator Diet: How to Preserve Peak Health, Sexual Energy, and A Strong Body at Any Age (Healthy Life Publications), recommends a diet that's 40% protein, 35% low-glycemic carbs (read: green veggies) and 25% fat, of which only 10% should be saturated fat. To help keep testosterone levels up, avoid apricots, carrots, white potatoes, white rice (whole wheat past and rise are okay) and-sorry guys-dark beer.
Gillespie also recommends that men take a multivitamin daily along with calcium, magnesium and the herb saw palmetto to inhibit the breakdown of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone a precursor to prostate disease.
Now that you know IMS is real, you can take the bull (or Soay ram) by the horns and do something about it. IMS can be treated through diet, natural hormone replacement therapy and counseling, if necessary.
Question: What do you call a man who is always tired, miserable and irritable?
Wrong answer! That was the old guy. Mr. Nice is back. -Karyn Maier
Catch Your Breath
June 14, 2005 05:56 PM
Catch Your Breath
by Carl Lowe Energy Times, October 10, 2004
Asthma is on the rise. This serious breathing problem already afflicts 300 million people around the world and is expected to hinder the lung function of 400 million people in 20 years (Annual World Asthma Meeting, 2/17/04).
In the US, asthma continues to strike our kids. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (2/24/03), the rate at which kids developed asthma doubled between 1980 and 1995. By 2001, 6.3 million American kids had asthma. The cost of treating all these kids: more than $3 billion a year.
Few researchers are prepared to state definitively why asthma rates have continued to climb during the past two decades. However, many investigators point to factors that seem inextricably linked to this disorder, which is marked by wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing spells.
A report from the American Public Health Association and researchers at Harvard puts a lot of the blame for the high rate of asthma on global warming, smog and the atmosphere's growing burden of carbon dioxide. These are linked to industries and car exhaust that release pollution.
In this increasing burden of toxins released into the atmosphere, the rate of asthma among toddlers has grown to be particularly worrisome. Their rate of asthma has climbed more than twice the national average: by 160% between 1980 and 1994. According to these researchers (Inside the Greenhouse: The Impacts of CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) and Climate Change on Public Health in the Inner City), global warming-which involves large increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide released by internal combustion engines and and industrial processes-has fomented the asthma epidemic in several ways:
• Extra heat in the atmosphere has stimulated rapid plant growth that results in more fungus, pollen and spores; this causes allergies that often lead to asthma. Weeds like ragweed, which release allergenic particles, have greatly increased during the past few years. • Extreme weather has caused more floods and damp houses, leading to more indoor air pollution from molds. • Diesel pollutants are now combining with pollen and mold to irritate lungs, causing troublesome allergic reactions.
Bus Fume Hazards
The report notes that in neighborhoods like Harlem, in New York City, 25% of all children suffer asthma. Rates are particularly high in children who live in apartments that are located along bus routes.
A finding that surprised the scientists is the fact that carbon dioxide released by city traffic and the burning of coal and natural gas persists over urban areas, causing a dome of CO2 pollution.
Research on air quality in New York City, Phoenix and Baltimore shows that these lingering CO2 domes contain from 400 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide to 600 ppm. Those levels are significantly above the global average of 379 ppm. Over the course of the earth's history, going back more than 400,000 years before the Industrial Age, research shows the atmosphere has averaged only 180 to 280 ppm.
Breathing difficulties that increase at night can point to asthma, according to Robert Fink, MD: "Asthma can be a nocturnal disease, at its Worst between 10 pm and 4 am, when cortisol [a hormone that regulates many bodily functions] levels are lowest" (Pediatric Asthma: Diagnosis and Treatment Goals, Medscape).
Dr. Fink says that if problems with breathing are bad enough to interfere with sleep, a health practitioner should be consulted to analyze the difficulty.
Diet and Asthma
Although nobody can guarantee protection against asthma, research suggests that eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can significantly reduce your risk. For instance, a study in Australia found that people who ate the most apples and pears reduced their chances of suffering from this breath-robbing disorder.
In research involving about 1,600 people, aged 20 to 44, they found that those who consumed the largest quantity of these fruits enjoyed the lowest rate of asthma (AJCN 2003; 78:414).
This is the latest study to confirm the fact that apples and other fruits help to keep lungs healthy. " There is extensive evidence from studies over the last 10 to 15 years that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is beneficial to lung health," observes Carol Trenga, PhD, a research scientist at the University of Washington in Seattle. "The most compelling evidence is linked to fruits high in vitamin C, which are associated with improved lung function in the general population of adults and children."
Produce for Smokers
Quitting smoking represents one of the best ways to reduce lung disease. But even if you smoke, research on smokers has found that those who ate a moderate amount of fruits and vegetables have fewer lung problems (American Thoracic Society 97th International Conference 5/2001).
And you don't have to change your diet very much to make a difference: In that research, merely eating one and half pieces of fruit a day or eating about a tablespoon of vegetables daily significantly dropped smokers' chances of serious lung disease.
Fruits and Veggies to the Rescue
In a study at the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom, scientists looking at the diets of more than 2,500 people found that eating five or more apples or three tomatoes a week increased lung function. Eating apples and tomatoes also reduced the risk of wheezing.
" The likelihood is that any effect is due to the concerted action of all the nutrients in apples and tomatoes, especially the antioxidants that are particularly rich in the peel of apples and contribute to the coloring of tomatoes," says researcher Sarah Lewis, PhD.
" Antioxidants may work by protecting the airways against the insult of tobacco smoke and other atmospheric pollutants," she adds. Dr. Trenga recommends that everyone eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. She also notes, "[I]t is reasonable to suggest modest supplementation with for example, vitamin C (250-500 mg twice/day) and vitamin E (up to 400 IU per day), in at-risk populations as a complementary therapy after considering the specific needs of the individual...These levels are very safe and have other health benefits (such as vitamin E and heart disease) in addition to potentially improving lung health."
Since asthma is linked to allergies, herbs that help to quell respiratory allergies can possibly lower your risk of asthma. A blend of standardized herbal extracts that contains Phyllanthus emblica (Indian gooseberry or amla), Terminalia chebula (Harda or Haritaki), Terminalia bellerica (bedda nut tree), Albizia lebbeck (Indian walnut), Zingiber officinale (ginger root), Piper longum (Indian long pepper), and Piper nigrum (black pepper) has been found to improve breathing and reduce the effect of allergies (FASEB J 2004; Vol II:A912, Abs. 600.8). Other studies have shown that these herbs can relieve nasal congestion, ease sneezing and clear bothersome mucus (J Am Coll Nutr 22(5): Abs 46, 2003).
Avoiding antibiotics may also lower the risk of asthma. " Over the past four decades there has been an explosive increase in allergy and asthma in westernized countries, says Mairi Noverr, PhD, a researcher who has looked at the lin between antibiotic use with asthma and allergies. " We propose that the link between antibiotic use and dysregulated pulmonary immunity is through antibiotic-induced long term alterations in the bacterial and fungal GI microflora."
In other words, Dr. Noverr's research shows that beneficial bacteria in people's intestines, which take part in strengthening immunity and regulating the immune response to pollen, may have been harmed by the overprescription of antibiotics by physicians. Dr. Noverr and his fellow researchers gave lab animals antibiotics before exposing them to candida albicans (a yeast infection). They then exposed the animals to mold spores. The result: a greater sensitivity to inhaling the spores and breathing problems similar to what people experience during hay fever season (104th General Meeting American Society of Microbiology).
" The studies presented here are the first direct demonstration that antibiotic therapy can promote the development of an allergic airway response," says Dr. Noverr. On a global scale, the outlook for asthma is worrisome. As other countries continue their industrial growth, the burden on the earth's atmosphere will grow. Meanwhile, few serious measures are being taken to reduce global warming, and the national diet frequently neglects lung-friendly vegetables and fruits. But within that uncertain scenario, you can boost your chances of healthy lungs: Eat more apples. Stay away from smoky buses. Hope for clear skies.
The Science of Healthy Hair
June 10, 2005 03:44 PM
The Science of Healthy Hair
by Susan Weiner Energy Times, January 5, 2002
From the strength-giving mane of Sampson to the magically long locks of Rapunzel, hair has had the power to captivate since biblical times. Today, its lure is just as compelling and hair remains an important form of self-expression and self-image. A healthy head of hair is more than an asset to your appearance. A hairstyle can reflect a mood, an attitude or a personal style, while unkempt hair may reveal the status of one's emotional or physical health. Even a "good" hair day vs. a "bad" hair day can significantly determine how your frame of mind takes shape. We can't always control the frizz factor or the humid weather that makes our curls fall flat, but many natural approaches are available to allow us to put our best looking follicle forward. Whether your hair is sleek and stylish, long and slinky, spiky punk rock-hip or wash-and-wear, botanical-based products and proper nutrition can bring out the very best in your locks.
Don't Fool Mother Nature
No matter how often you cut, dye, perm or blow-dry your hair, Mother Nature, with the help of your DNA, has blessed you with a quite specific quality and quantity of hair. Styling may work to change the appearance of your hair, but nothing can change your genetics. Every hair on your body, from the soft down on your arms to the coarser, longer hairs on your head, grows from a cell-lined indentation called a follicle. The hair follicle consists of three cylinders; the central cylinder determines whether your hair is straight, wavy or curly. Each hair shaft alternately grows or goes into a dormant phase. "At any one time, approximately fifteen percent of the one hundred thousand or so hairs on the head are resting, while the rest are growing or lengthening," say Arthur Balin, MD, PhD, and Loretta Pratt Balin, MD (The Life of the Skin: What It Hides, What It Reveals, and How It Communicates, Bantam). Hair constantly comes and goes, falling out consistently even when it is healthy. Consequently, a normal head can shed up to one hundred resting-phase hairs a day. When hair is subjected to harsh chemicals and treatment, even more may fall out. If you're concerned with hair loss, gently pull on a small section of hair; if fewer than five hairs come out, hair loss is within normal range.
What's Your Type?
Normal hair is an elusive commodity in these stressed-out days of over-washed, over-dried and chemically treated hair. If your tresses look frizzy, tangle easily or generally lack moisture, they're probably dry. Dry hair lacks the proper oil content to maintain an ample sheen and is usually dull-looking. To gain back a natural shine, cut back on shampooing and use a natural conditioner formulated for dry hair. Look for essential oils such as jojoba, evening primrose, blue chamomile, and white camellia, and B vitamins (such as panthenol) and aloe vera, suggests Aubrey Hampton, founder of Aubrey Organics. Drinking plenty of water, eating a diet that's not ultra-low in fats and using a humidifier may also help improve dull-looking dry hair, points out David E. Bank, MD (Beautiful Skin: Every Woman's Guide to Looking Her Best at Any Age, Adams Media). (Excessively dry hair may be a significant sign of metabolic disease. If you don't notice a marked improvement in your scalp after taking measures to improve dry hair, or your hair is abnormally dry, consult your health practitioner to see if stronger cures should be implemented.)
Too Much Oil
Hair that appears greasy within 24 hours after shampooing is oily. In that case, try gentle shampoos and herbal rinses with essential oils including quillaya bark, amino acids mixed with saponins, non-coloring henna and peppermint. For an oily scalp and dry ends, condition only the ends. Styling products should be oil-free. For thin or flyaway hair, products with natural thickening agents such as panthenol can help pump up the volume. Color treated and damaged hair can benefit from sulfur-containing amino acids; check your natural foods store for hair care products that contain horsetail, coltsfoot and cysteine. Tea tree oil products are effective when you are trying to control dandruff and a problem scalp.
If the label lists sodium lauryl sulfate, steer clear, warns Hampton. And, says Dr. Bank, sodium C-14-16 olefin sulfonate, a harsh chemical found in cheap shampoos, is the Worst of the Worst when it comes to offensive hair care ingredients. "You also need to watch out for sodium chloride-table salt-in the ingredient list. It's a cheap ingredient to thicken shampoo and strips the hair of oils."
Feed Your Head
To optimize shine and fullness, improve your nutrition, says Bruce Miller, MD, author of The Nutrition Guarantee (Summit Publishing Group). "Good nutrition is as essential to healthy, attractive hair as it is to clear, glowing skin," notes Dr. Miller. "Your hair directly reflects your care and feeding of it." Your hair consists of about 97% protein, containing nineteen of the twenty-two amino acids that form protein, explains Dr. Miller. If you skimp on quality protein, your hair may reflect this amino acid imbalance by breaking, cracking and splitting. Hair follicles pass on the nutrients you consume, nourishing the new cells that form the growing hair shaft. As the hair gradually pushes upward, the shaft is continually lubricated by the busy sebaceous glands. For a smoother transition through the shaft and undamaged hair, lecithin provides a welcome dose of lubrication, as well as the important B vitamins choline and inositol, vital to healthy hair. In fact, the B vitamins are crucial to the growth of full bodied, healthy hair. The B complex strengthens, forms and smoothes the hair shafts, and helps maintain an even hair color, even warding off the beginning of gray hair. For thick and shiny hair, vitamin A works in conjunction with the B vitamins. Zinc can strengthen the hair shafts by thickening them. Thicker and stronger hair shafts increase your chances of holding on to your hair and suffering fewer lost hairs. When it comes to hair retention, genetics count. The more hair your parents retained, the greater your chance of keeping yours.
If you're interested in optimal hair health, think nutrition. Eating for the sake of your curls is a lot like eating for overall health: plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy grains and lean sources of protein, including tofu and other soy-based foodstuffs. To support healthy hair, some experts advocate foods high in biotin, including brown rice, brewer's yeast, bulgur, green peas, lentils, oats, soybeans, sunflower seeds and walnuts. The natural phytochemicals in green tea may aid hair, while ginkgo biloba improves circulation to the scalp. Don't forget your daily vitamins and be sure to take an iron and B12 supplement.
Herbs from China show great promise for helping hair. He Shou Wu, made from Polygoni multiflori (the eastern wild rose), is reputed by devotees to restore color, slow hair loss, and help hair grow back. In Chinese medicine, this botanical has been used as an adaptogen to boost overall health and longevity. Within the context of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), He Shou Wu is supposed to strengthen the liver and kidney meridians and support healthy blood. Many Asians use the herb to promote higher levels of qi, the TCM concept that encompasses your life's overall energy.
Show a Little Tenderness
Long-term exposure to sunlight and seawater can damage hair, as can combing or brushing wet hair. Treat your hair with kid gloves, use natural products that are gentle on hair, and avoid chemical treatments. If you're looking to lose weight, avoid crash diets; a sudden drop in nutrition can cause deficiencies and lead to hair damage and loss. Keeping a wonderful head of hair means staying ahead of the curve with proper nutrition, the right supplements and a continuous program of TLC. In that way, you can maintain the crowning head of hair you've always coveted.