Search Term: " advocaes "
Drink hibiscus tea to naturally lower your blood pressure
November 16, 2018 09:51 AM
High blood pressure causes a number of negative aspects to the health, but it can be pretty difficult to reduce the numbers. There are medications the doctor can prescribe to treat high blood pressure, as well as special diets to follow to aid in the process. One of the additions that you should make to the menu is hibiscus tea. This special tea tastes great and has been proven to significantly improve the health, including by lowering the blood pressure.
"While Western medicine advocates for the prescription of various drugs that are linked to harmful side effects, there are effective and natural ways that can help lower blood pressure, such as hibiscus tea."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-11-12-drink-hibiscus-tea-to-naturally-lower-your-blood-pressure.html
Five Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
October 12, 2018 10:21 AM
If your body is not feeling good, or you think that you are lacking something, then you probably need some more vitamins in your body. People do not think about this stuff and when they are feeling down, they chalk it up to something other than vitamins. Vitamins are really important to the well being of a person and they need it for their ability to function on a high level on a every day basis.
"Red blood cells carry life-giving oxygen to every part of our body. But a lack of B12 means there are less of these cells available for oxygen transport. The result is fatigue. Getting enough sleep can’t shake this kind of exhaustion, because it’s hard to recoup when your cells are starved for oxygen."
Read more: https://www.theepochtimes.com/five-symptoms-of-vitamin-b12-deficiency_2679869.html
5 Things You Didn't Know about the Hemp Plant
June 12, 2018 09:16 AM
Hemp is a nonpsychoactive but extremely useful variant of the same plant, Cannabis Sativa, that produces marijuana. It is a highly versatile plant that produces extremely durable, tough fiber that can be used to make textiles or ropes, as well as nutritious seeds rich in protein and other nutrients that may be one of the world’s most nutritious foods. It also contains compound called CBD whose diverse array of medical applications are just starting to be explored and understood.
"From June 4-10, grassroots organizers, farmers, producers, and hemp advocates are working together to educate consumers, industry associations, and government bodies about the benefits of hemp and the current regulatory landscape for industrial hemp in the U.S."
Read more: http://www.nutritionaloutlook.com/herbs-botanicals/5-things-you-didnt-know-about-hemp-plant
CBD can improve overall health and wellness, reduce inflammation, fight anxiety!
Here's The Deal With CBD Oil And Other Marijuana Products That Don't Get You High
November 20, 2017 03:59 PM
Most people know that THC, found in marijuana, can get you high. There is another compound however, that has been getting attention for it's many supposed health benefits. CBD is a cannabinoid extract that does not have the drug high effects THC has and has only been definitively found to help seizure disorders in children. More research needs to be done. Because of this, CBD extract is not approved for medical treatments meaning you need to be careful what you buy.
"Hopefully, with the new state regulations, there will be a system in place in which the consumer can get the biochemical breakdown of the plant/product"
Read more: https://www.buzzfeed.com/anthonyrivas/cbd-oil-and-marijuana-products-online
Weeding through marijuana: Experts, advocates talk cannabidiol (CBD)
October 26, 2017 01:14 PM
Cannabidiol is a chemical compound in marijuana that helps deal with a variety of ailments such as pain, swelling, anxiety, and depression. Unlike its more famous chemical compound THC, cannabidiol doesn't give you the sensation of feeling high. For people skeptical of the ability of marijuana to help, they can hear stories like the one shared by Sage Pierson, who started taking a mix of cannabidiol to put in her tea every morning. This drastically reduced the swelling she had as a result of her arthritis, helping her live a normal life. While doctors and government officials debate the merits of CBD, it is not officially endorsed by the FDA, so you won't be able to buy it at a pharmacy near you.
"Whenever a medicated herb can provide relief to a medical condition or illness it should not only be allowed, it should be encouraged before taking (Food and Drug Administration)-approved drugs with their long list of toxic side effects."
Read more: http://www.aspentimes.com/news/weeding-through-marijuana-experts-advocates-talk-cannabidiol-cbd/
Why CBD Derived Medical Marijuana Should Be Legal Everywhere
July 21, 2017 09:14 AM
Many states across the U.S. have legalized marijuana for medical use, and many for recreational use as well. It is about time, say many advocates of the herb who know firsthand how amazing the results of the plant can be for patients suffering from a variety of health ailments. Because it helps so many people with such a vast array of health problems, it should be legal everywhere in the U.S. It does so much for so many people.
"The cold facts have been proven time and again: Properly applied, marijuana fixes the root of many problems that Big Pharma drugs only mask and cover."
Read more: http://mmjreporter.com/why-cbd-derived-medical-marijuana-should-be-legal-everywhere-30602.html
How To Alkalize Water Naturally (And Why You Should)
June 06, 2017 04:14 PM
If you ever wondered about the water that you drink then you should think about alkalize water naturally. Alkalized water is something that has a more controlled PH and will slow the aging process according to many studies. You can do it yourself with lemons or with baking soda. Make sure to check how much water vs. how much lemon or soda. Don't use tap water, even if it tastes okay there are a lot of chemicals in it that your body just doesn't need.
"Advocates of alkaline water believe that it can neutralize the acid in your bloodstream and help your body metabolize nutrients more effectively."
Read more: http://www.thealternativedaily.com/how-to-alkalize-water/
Keto Diet for Women: Benefits, Food List & Tips to Overcome Side Effects
June 06, 2017 09:14 AM
While existing somewhat below the radar, the ketogenic, or keto diet, has been around for almost a hundred years. In a nutshell, it requires the follower to get three fourths of their diet from healthy fat sources, a radical shift from the high carb diet prevalent today. Notable as a good way to shed pounds and avoid complications of aging, such as insulin resistance and neurological impairment, the diet’s statistical backup has so far centered mainly around rodents and male humans. Anecdotal evidence does suggest, however, that the diet is beneficial for women undergoing perimenopause and menopause. One practitioner, in particular, advocates combining a keto diet with an alkaline diet, to avoid some of the discomfort users have when undergoing the radical shift in intake. A more alkaline pH is good for the body. So, the combination is a win/win.
"Fasting is a key aspect of a healthy diet and has many anti-aging effects."
Read more: https://draxe.com/keto-diet-women/
Members of Congress and Senate in Support of the New CBD Bill
May 13, 2017 06:44 PM
A website for marijuana advocates has issued a story about a new bill working through Congress. This bill would exempt Cannabidiol, or CBD, from being categorized as a controlled substance. CBD has been found to be useful for a form of epilepsy called intractable. Intractable epilepsy does not respond well to conventional medications. Several Republicans have publicly supported this exemption, A YouTube video is included. The video has the support of the Epilepsy Foundation. There were four comments.
Read more: Members of Congress and Senate in Support of the New CBD Bill
Possible new head of the FDA is a supporter of medical marijuana … Could Trump's FDA finally stop suppressing cannabis?
February 04, 2017 12:59 PM
Back on November 8th 2016 there was much celebration among the marijuana community. There were four more states that legalized adult use cannabis and several, including Florida, that legalized medical marijuana. However, there was still a lump in the back of many of our throats. Sessions has a long standing anti-drug stance and has made some strong comments against cannabis legalization. Recently the Trump administration has made a surprising announcement when they confirmed previous reports that Jim O'Neil is being considered to lead the Food and Drug Administration.
"For decades, cannabis advocates have pushed for universal legalization of medical marijuana. Citing scientific study after scientific study, they have forcefully (and truthfully) argued that legalization would provide much needed relief to millions of people suffering from a host of medical ailments."
National Academy of Sciences: Marijuana can be used as a medicine
January 29, 2017 07:59 AM
Marijuana advocates all over the world rejoiced at the news, and for good reason, since it is yet another piece of scientific evidence that helps prove to naysayers that cannabis has considerable health benefits. Should cannabis be legalized, Big Pharma will take a drastic hit, which is guaranteed to leave them scrambling. Considering the fact that President Donald Trump has already waged a culture war against the pharmaceutical industry, it should come as no great surprise that they don't want their brand to be damaged any further.
"The bottom line is that cannabis is a natural, healthy and effective alternative to chemical drugs that are created in a lab somewhere"
Doctored marijuana gives relief to boy
January 17, 2017 07:59 AM
Many anti-marijuana advocates state that the drug is harmful. There are thousands, if not millions, of people who claim that it can help give relief to those with chronic conditions. It’s easy to state that, but what about a real-life case to back it up? Think about Jackson Leyden, who started having several seizures a day at the age of 8. He has tried almost all seizure therapies out there and nothing worked. Within just a few days of starting THC extract therapy, he had barely any seizures. He went from having 200 a month to about two per month.
"The strain of marijuana that Jackson takes is unusual: It contains high levels of cannabidiol, or CBD, one of the two main molecules in marijuana; the other is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. While THC is famously mind-altering, CBD is not."
Former NFL players seek game-changer to painkillers
January 11, 2017 07:59 AM
Some former National Football League players have been seeking a game changer to painkillers in general. Jake Plummer who is a former National Football League player believes that himself as well as other current and former athletes can benefit from something that is known as cannabidiol. This substance is an extract from hemp plants in general that does not include the psychoactive chemical THC.
"Plummer has become one of the leading advocates of retired players to speak out regarding the plant’s potential benefits."
10 Reasons to drink lemon water on an empty stomach
November 08, 2016 12:59 PM
Lemon water is a nutrient powerhouse that some celebrities swear by. It is thought that lemon water ingested right away in the morning not only hydrates your body, but it also provides essential vitamins that help jumpstart your day. Everything from the enzymes to the antioxidants present in lemons does a great job of boosting most systems in the body to start the day off right. This simple drink can help detoxify the skin and curb hunger, while also providing some energy and bolstering the immune system.
"According to some health advocates, drinking lemon water on an empty stomach takes you one step closer to optimal health."
Myth: Fructose is a harmful sugar that creates obesity.
April 08, 2010 04:10 PM
Fructose is a simple sugar found in many foods. Fructose recently has been mis-linked as a harmful sugar, but the issue really lies in general with consumption or overconsumption to be exact. Certainly consuming large amounts of sweeteners of any kind will be detrimental to one's health. Suggesting fructose could cause health issues when concentrated amounts are eaten is a statement which should really apply to the overconsumption issue. Anti-sweetener advocates fail to realize the issue regarding fructose or really any sugar is the overconsumption. Used in moderation, sugars serve a purpose, to provide fuel for energy and to make other foods and beverages more palatable. While we respect the choice to not consume sweeteners and elect for an apple or piece of fruit for those sweet cravings you might have, the moderate use of Agave Nectar or really any natural sweetener will not create issues such as obesity, liver inflammation, etc. As always moderation and a balance diet are keys to one's health. It is a misconception that fructose sweeteners have given rise to increased consumption of total calories. The line graph below shows that total per capita energy intake increased 24% in the U.S. between 1970 and 2005. Over the same period of time, the graph also shows that flour/cereal products and fats increased 3-5% of total caloric intake, and caloric intake of added sugars, vegetables, fruit, dairy and meat/eggs/nuts declined. The increase in total caloric intake in the U.S. was not caused by added sugars; rather, we are eating more of everything! - The Journal of Nutrition (2009). Supplement: The State of Science on Dietary Sweeteners Containing Fructose.
Honey from bee's
July 01, 2009 12:12 PM
Bees make honey out of the nectar that they sip from flower blossoms. A long and tedious process is necessary to transform nectar into the thick, golden substance that we call honey. Like each product that is produced by the honeybee, care and a number of steps are essential in order to create this beehive food, with honey being no exception. This sweet, nutritious edible substance is a viscous fluid that is exclusively created by the honeybee. Even the most sophisticated modern techniques have failed to synthetically manufacture honey. Like royal jelly, propolis, and bee pollen, honey is only available from Mother Nature. It is a precious and coveted substance that has fascinated and pleased cultures throughout time.
The ancient Greeks called honey one of nature’s most precious gifts, while the Assyrians, Chinese, and Romans routinely prescribed it for its medicinal value. Numerous biblical references refer to the “Honeycomb” and the “Land of Milk and Honey,” as well as the “Enlightenment” that comes from eating honey. Hippocrates recorded that a honey drink cures phlegm and calms down a cough. He was one of the first known advocates for using Honey and Vinegar for fevers and other ailments. All of ancient cultures believed that the use of honey each and every day would insure health and longevity. All kinds of wines and foods were routinely mixed with honey, causing them to be viewed by all peoples as a treasure which the gods provided for health.
Of all the ancient cultures, Egyptians prized honey enough to use it as a form of money. Hieroglyphics often refer to honey as the universal healer and jars of honey were routinely placed in tombs of the dead. Because of its superior preservative properties, honey used to be an integral part of the formula that was used in the mummification process. Throughout all of history, honey has been used to treat open wounds and fight infection. Unfortunately, the advent of refined sugar caused honey to take a back seat to other more popular sweeteners. Thankfully, today honey is experiencing resurgence, as it was once an often overlooked beehive food that is full of nutritive and medicinal value.
When a bee lands on a flower, it sucks a tiny amount of nectar to its honey sac. It is within this sac that the transformation of nectar to honey begins. The nectar is mixed with acid secretions to eventually form the coveted honey that we consume. Substantial amounts of nectar are necessary to produce significant amounts of honey, making flying the distance of up to three miles necessary to obtain the amounts of nectar that is needed to fill the sac. Once the sac is full, the honeybee returns to the hive, where a receiving bee takes the nectar and continues the process, changing, enriching, and concentrating the nectar. Following this, the receiving bee drops the mixture into the empty cells of the honeycomb.
In order to produce a single pound of honey, bees must provide the hive with over 70,000 loads of nectar. A healthy beehive can produce about 300 pounds of honey each season. The health benefits of honey have now been captured by manufactures like Premier one and Montana big sky. Natural honey is available in liquid form at your local or internet health food store. Look for name brands to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Honey is not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
Fine Honey Products from Premier one are available at VitaNet ®, LLC Health Food Stores.
December 19, 2008 12:35 PM
Inosine is a specific type of glycosylamine that consists of a base bound to a deoxyribose or ribose sugar. This type of glycosylamine is referred to as a nucleoside, others being adenosine, thymidine and cytidine.
It is available naturally in brewer’s yeast and major organ offal such as liver and kidney. It’s function in animal biochemistry is in the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), often known as the molecule of energy, that is essential for the generation of energy by the mitochondria in our body cells. It’s biochemistry is described below.
Inosine is synthesized as inosine monophosphate by means of a complex series of biochemical reactions. The inosine monophosphate is a precursor for adenine, a nucleotide and purine base that reacts with ribose to form adenosine. This is another nucleoside that can be phosphorylated to produce adenosine monophosphate (AMP), the diphosphate (ADP), the triphosphate (ATP) and cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP).
Each of these is involved in the metabolism of energy in the mitochondria. Glucose undergoes a number of enzyme-catalyzed reactions in the presence of oxygen that ultimately breaks it down to water and carbon dioxide, plus at least 36 molecules of ATP via glycolysis and then the Krebs cycle. The ATP reacts with water to release energy and form ADP. The ADP can then be phosphorylated to produce more ATP. The starting point of all of this is inosine, and it is little wonder this nucleoside is used by athletes to help boost their energy.
Not only that, however, but adenine is also the precursor of amino and nucleic acids responsible for the generation of RNA and DNA, and it is also responsible for the production of many coenzymes. These provide other opportunities for its use elsewhere in medicine, and it has also been found to possess other medical properties that will be discussed later.
It was in the 1970s that inosine was first used to boost athletic performance due to its part in the generation of the energy needed by every muscle in the body. Its use began in eastern countries, although evidence at the time did not support the theory. Nevertheless, this did not deter its advocates, and inosine continued to be used by athletes, a practice that has now spread world-wide.
It has been found to be a metabolic activator, in that it supports metabolism through the generation of energy. Inosine has been used by power lifters for heavy weight training to increase the capacity of the blood to carry oxygen, and strength athletes, particularly of the Eastern Bloc, used it from the mid 1970s onwards.
Inosine appears to increase the natural ability of the body to handle strenuous workouts, although there is no scientific proof of this. However, those that use it claim an increased ability to carry out intensive training workouts and an improvement in their competitive performance. The nucleotide can penetrate the cell walls and get to where it is needed to take part in the metabolism of energy through the production of ATP.
Now, however, inosine has an entirley different application in medicine. Studies have shown that it could support those suffering from MS (multiple sclerosis) and strokes through its pereceived neuroprotective properties. It appears to promote axonal rewiring, where undamaged neurons appear to grow new connections with damaged areas of the brain, and undamaged neurons seem to branch out to replace some of the damaged neurons.
Inosine is also an intermediate in the production of uric acid through purine and purine nucleoside degradation. Uric acid is a powerful antioxidant, particularly in respect of peroxynitrite, a nucleophile that causes the type of axonal degradation that is associated with multiple sclerosis. It thefore helps in two ways: through the production of uric acid, and in promoting axonal rewiring that can improve brain function in patients.
Another potential medical use for the substance is based upon the discovery that inosine and related compounds can act as powerful anti-inflammatories through their effect on inflammatory macrophage proteins. Certain conditions can cause the release of these macrohages, and where it is an undesirable side-effect, inosine can be administered to prevent it occuring.
Inosine appears to inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines without inhibiting anti-inflammatory cytokines. It appears to do so extracellularly, although the effect can be reversed by the blockading of adenosine receptors. However, it is a convenient way of avoiding this sometimes serious condition, which is a natural function of the immune system, without affecting any other part of that system’s essential work.
It is not an essential nutrient, since it is synthesized biochemically, but a supplement of inosine is certainly worth taking if you want to increase your ability to carry out athetic exercise requiring a high energy output and increased blood oxygen availability. It also helps to reduce recovery time, and proponents of its use claim that it enables you to exercise at a higher level for longer.
Although the medical evidence for this is scant, not a lot of work has been done in trying to establish it, and those that use inosine in this way swear that it is effective. The theory certainly indicates that it should be effective in helping to produce more energy, and also that it should be able to make more oxygen available, and some athletes have been taking it for decades with excellent results.
There are no known side effects of its use, although pregnant women and nursing mothers are recommended not to use it, as with many other health supplements the pathology of which have not been closely studuied. As with any supplement, you are highly recommended to consult your own doctor or physician when taking any supplement, particular if you have a current medical condition or are taking prescriptive medicines.
If you are predisposed to gout, and some people are, the uric acid it produces can render inosine unsuitable. Uric acid reacts with calcium to produce the sodium urate that is deposited on the cartilage and tendons of the joints, particularly the big toe. It is a very painful condition, so those that have suffered gout in the past should not take inosine as a supplement.
Otherwise, its effect on your athletic performance might be academic!
August 15, 2008 11:53 AM
In the recent past, DHEA has shown scientists its amazing abilities within the human body. Clinical tests have created a huge amount of interest for both scientists and consumers, with estimates of about 500 in-depth clinical studies on DHEA taking place. These tests, which have been conducted at some of the most prestigious medical research centers and universities in the country, have proven DHEA to be one of the most important anti-aging and anti-disease substances of the 21st century.
DHEA is a crucial and important hormone that is produced in the adrenal glands. It is often called the mother hormone, as it forms the base for the biochemical actions of hormones like testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and corticosterone. These hormones control important body functions that determine metabolism, energy output, endocrine mechanisms, and reproductive capabilities. DHEA directs the entire endocrine systems through activating and inhibiting enzymes. In its many clinical studies, DHEA has shown an unusually wide variety of physiological benefits. Although it has been known for many years that DHEA is made by the adrenal glands, the function of DHEA in the body has only been recently studied.
DHEA is produced by the adrenal glands, but it can also be found in non-patented prescription drugs and other over-the-counter forms. A lot of these supplements contain a synthetic DHEA-S. A lot of people consider Dioscorea extract, which can be found in Mexican Wild Yam, to have a natural source of DHEA. There are a lot of naturally occurring compounds that can mimic the actions of DHEA and, at the time, do not require a prescription. Wild Yam and Mexican Yam can give a botanical precursor of DHEA, which is considered a substantial source by a lot of health advocates. A great number of studies on DHEA that is derived from Mexican Yam have been conducted, with results concluding that DHEA derived from Mexican Yam and Dioscorea extract is a great idea. However, some controversy surrounds the value of Wild Yam as a valuable source of DHEA.
DHEA is used in the body to make other hormone, as it is the most dominant of all the hormones present in the body. It contributes to the proper growth of brain cells, inhibits the conversion of carbohydrates to fats, decreases the formation of blood clots, regulates hormones, decreases the stickiness of platelets that can clump to cause heart attacks and strokes, increase estrogen in women and testosterone in men, lowers LDL cholesterol, enhances overall immunity, and decreases symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
DHEA helps to reduce menopausal symptoms, promotes thermo genesis, helps to increase muscle mass, stabilizes blood sugar, inhibits appetite and discourages eating, boosts endurance, inhibits diseases associated with aging, helps to restore collagen and skin integrity, fights fatigue and depression, helps to inhibit certain tumors, improves calcium absorption to discourage osteoporosis, acts as an anti-inflammatory, and helps to lower blood pressure.
DHEA levels dramatically vary in each individual and can drop as a result of stress or other conditions such as blood sugar, fever, hypertension, nicotine ingestion, alcohol consumption, drinking coffee, and the presence of various diseases. Taking birth control pills and other synthetic hormones can also deplete levels of DHEA. When any of these occur, supplementation is needed. Therapeutic doses range from 5 to 25 milligrams per day which can be found here at VitaNet, LLC.
On Tuesday, April 8, the Natural Products Association - 11th Annual Natural Products Day
April 10, 2008 04:46 PM
On Tuesday, April 8, the Natural Products Association and our sponsors will be hosting the 11th Annual Natural Products Day in Washington, D.C. This day is an important way for natural products advocates to reach out to Congress and discuss the issues that matter. For more information on Natural Products Day or to register, please visit www.NaturalProductsAssoc.org/npd08.
Among the many healthy policies we’ll be asking members to promote on Capitol Hill, bill S. 770, Food Stamp Vitamin and Mineral Improvement Act, will be at the top of our list.
S. 770 would give needy food stamp recipients the choice of purchasing certain vitamin and mineral supplements with their benefits, in the same way they are free to make other dietary choices. If the stamps can be used to buy a soda or snack cake, why not use them to buy a supplement to improve your health? These select supplements could improve appetite and growth rates in poor children; decrease infectious disease in the elderly; prevent neural tube birth defects; protect against heart disease and stroke; protect against some cancers; maintain cognitive function in the elderly; and build bone mass in the young and decrease bone loss in the old.
But, you don’t have to go to the Hill to make a difference! If you can’t join us in Washington, D.C., you can still e-maiL your elected officials and tell them to support S. 770! Don’t miss this chance to put your stamp of approval on this important bill! Take Action Now!
Click here to e-mail your elected officials
Interview on symptoms of Fibromyalgia and one mans story
August 09, 2006 03:25 PM
Interview with Todd Williams from Source Naturals
Todd: Michael, many of us know someone with fibromyalgia, but many of us don’t know what FM is. Can you help explain the disease?
Michael: Yes. Fibromyalgia (pronounced Fie-bro-my-AL-ja) is a complex chronic pain illness that challenges patients and health care professionals alike. It is estimated that fibromyalgia affects 8 – 10 million women, men, and children in the U.S. alone. Symptoms include: extreme fatigue, sleep abnormalities, cognitive problems, difficulty speaking clearly, memory loss, brain fog, and so on. There’s also irritable bowel syndrome, restless legs, migraine headaches, neurological symptoms, anxiety and environmental sensitivities. Ninety percent of those afflicted with fibromyalgia are women. Ten percent are men. What activates fibromyalgia within a person can be anything from a thyroid condition to an auto accident, or some type of trauma or emotional stress. There is often a compromised immune system, hormonal imbalance, and even a possible enzyme deficiency. Because the stomach and intestines are made up of muscles, fibromyalgia affects the entire digestive tract. The members in my fibromyalgia support group in Santa Monica all have stomach problems. One of the doctors believes that the fibromyalgia I have to battle with daily is a result of a thyroid problem. Thyroid problems run in my family and, not surprisingly, my brother, who lives on the other side of the country has fibromyalgia as well. We correspond and share with each other what does and doesn’t work. My ten-year career as a schoolteacher came to an end due to having fibromyalgia. I lost the energy I needed to work non-stop ten-hour days. I was forced by necessity to go into early retirement. As a result, I had to find a new manageable way to live. So I then went to Los Angeles to pursue a part time acting career. Now, regardless of whether a task is big or small, I just try to do my best, one day at a time.
Todd: Michael, how did you experience the onset of Fibromyalgia?
Michael: although I’ve really had fibromyalgia for fifteen years, I wasn’t actually diagnosed by my doctor until 1996. I was very energetic and athletic while growing up. During my twenties, I first went to University of Arizona in Tucson, and then to Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and later to Point Loma University in San Diego, where I received a Master’s Degree in education. I followed that by moving to Florida to teach and to spend some time with my family. During summer breaks from teaching, I would go down to Florida Keys and visit Miami for fun. I had plenty of energy up until I was 28-30 years old, when I noticed a drastic drop in my energy level. At that time, when I would exercise, it was very difficult for my muscles to recover after a workout, even if it was a light workout. By the time I was thirty, the muscles in my feet became unbearably tight. It became very difficult to stand or even walk very far. I had my feet X-rayed, and the reports would say that nothing was wrong. When I was thiry-five, I took some antibiotics to get rid of a cold and I ended up with severe reaction to the antibiotic, erythromycin. My stomach swelled up like a balloon and felt unbearably tight. This was my first experience with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). I could no longer digest my food. I developed severe food and chemical sensitivities. I could no longer digest vitamin B properly. I would be in excruciating pain for several hours after eating almost anything. I had to leave my teaching position and I ended up being mostly bedridden for two years due to exhaustion and the inability to digest food. During this time I went to twenty doctors. I had colonoscopys, endoscopies, barium x-rays and thyroid tests, but the results were always indicating a normal range. I knew that I was horribly sick but the doctors and the tests repeatedly said that nothing was wrong with me. nevertheless, the doctors did provide more prescription medicines, especially antibiotics. It’s strange that not one of these doctors mentioned or prescribed probiotics in any form for rebuilding the flora in my intestines that was destroyed by the long antibiotic regimen. Eventually I would end up spending a large sum of money and going to 40 more doctors, with each helping just a little. It was a relief when I was finally diagnosed with fibromyalgia, because it helped me narrow in on what was really going on. Which everything falling apart, it was a relief to know it wasn’t a rare foot disease, or a stomach parasite, or AIDS. I wanted to encourage men and women who are finally diagnosed with fibromyalgia to not see it as a death notice, but rather a step in recovery. In 2002, I tried something new. I went online and submitted my medical history to Dr. Teitelbaum’s Diagnosis Program, which you can find at www.vitality101.com. His incredible program spat out about 200 pages of very insightful information on what my body was deficient in. I began taking some of his recommended supplements and began to see some definite results. In spite of my poor track record with medical tests, he also recommended thyroid testing for fibromyalgia suffers, even though it is well known that thyroid tests are frequently wrong. Dr. Teitelbaum believes that many people who have fibromyalgia were actually having a thyroid problem, even though their thyroid tests come out in the normal range. I’ve had numerous thyroid tests over the years, and they’ve all been normal. I trekked back to my doctor and pleaded with him, even mentioning that there was a history of thyroid problems in my family. At first, he refused, simply because the tests said normal. I think doctors, fearing litigation, are reluctant to try a treatment path unsupported by test results. When you think about it, test ranges are really averages. What happens if your physiology falls outside the normal average? The tragic answer is: you can fall through the cracks! Finally, after much debate and arguing, I was able to get my doctor to provide a prescription for a small dosage of thyroid medicine. I began taking it immediately after two days I began to notice that the tight muscles in my stomach and legs began to loosen up. This seemed miraculous. Unfortunately, I also had some negative side effects from the medicine, so I stopped taking it. Nevertheless, I was amazed at how my body responded to such a small does of thyroid medicine. I think Dr. Teitelbaum is onto something. If you are fortunate enough to have an open minded doctor, perhaps that avenue is worth exploring. In Dr. Teitelbaum’s book, From Fatigue to Fantastic, he also advocates supplements for helping people with Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. I can verify that supplements have absolutely becomes part of my program and helped with restoring my systems to their natural balance. Some supplements that really helped me are: NADH, Glutathione, L-Carnitine, Acetyl L-Carnitine, revitalizing sleep formula, daily infusion powder and calcium D-Glucarate. Please feel free to check out the full list of supplements on my website. If you are fatigued, you should really read Dr. Teitelbaum’s book. To fibromyalgia sufferers, I highly recommend checking this list, visiting these doctors’ web pages, and trying their protocols. Thanks to these doctors and various regimens, including supplements, my health is much, much better. Most people would have never guessed I went through such an ordeal. I still have to pace myself, and not push the limits. Staying healthy and maintaining my energy is a priority, so I’ve learned not to over-extend myself. I’ve learned to say no to some projects and activities and not feel guilty about it.
Todd: Wow! That’s a lot to go through. Facing such huge obstacles, how did you keep your ship facing forward?
Michael: Well, living and healing are spiritual events. I am fortunate to have a degree in theology and I have a strong daily spiritual practice, which has helped me to survive and thrive with complications of fibromyalgia. That’s not to say there haven’t been some very dark days, but faith in God and the support of my spiritual network, including my wonderful family and friends have made all the difference. After arriving at LA, I had moved into a little apartment across the street from Warner brothers. My roommate and I had decided to start a little bible study. We invited our neighbors and we prayed for many things including for my health to improve. One of our requests was for a door to open at Warner Brothers. Within a short time, our Bible Study group grew and our home couldn’t contain all the people. A year later, the doors opened for me at Warner Brothers, and I was working on the West Wing.
Todd: that’s Great! Can we tell the folks about your new show?
Michael: My web page has a new category called, “Nutrition Show”, which will provide all the details.
Todd: Thanks Mike! For more about Mike and fibromyalgia, please visit his website at: www.captainhastings.com
Feds Subsidized Poor Nutrition
October 29, 2005 01:54 PM
Feds Subsidized Poor Nutrition
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) this year issued a new food pyramid aimed at convincing Americans to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins such as dairy, meat and beans. While the USDA publicizes its pyramid with much fanfare, the agency implements policies that subsidize the consumption of nutrition-poor, high fat and processed foods, while offering no incentive to farmers to grow healthful crops.
The Pyramid Versus Farm subsidies
A recent Associated Press (AP) article* contrasted the pyramid recommendations with a breakdown of this year’s $17 billion in direct subsidies to farmers.
Overproduction Leads to Lower Prices
U.S. farm policy leads to the overproduction of nutrition-poor, fat and starch-laden foods. As a result, the prices of these foods go down, while healthy food remains less affordable.
A related AP story describes the barriers faced by poor families who would prefer a more nutrition’s diet but end up eating cheap, unhealthy food. Adam Drewnowski, director of the University of Washington’s Center of public Health Nutrition is quoted: “Energy-dense foods rich in starch, sugar or fat are the cheapest option. As long as the healthier lean meats, fish and fresh produce are more expensive, obesity will continue to be a problem for the working poor.”
Food Policy and the wellness Revolution
With obesity and related health problems at a crisis point, some consumer advocates are trying to change our government’s food policies. An effective response to the current dietary crisis requires political charge as well as education about healthy lifestyles. Meanwhile, it is a wise strategy for individuals to develop a personal, nutritional supplement regimen. The centerpiece of this program should be a scientifically advanced and comprehensive multiple such as Source Naturals Life Force.
NOW is the leader in quality and value
October 21, 2005 08:12 AM
NOW is the leader in quality and value
“We only deal with companies that support the natural products industry and have a strong public service mission”
We couldn’t agree more. NOW has, and will continue to fight for the rights of consumers to take safe supplements. As one of the most active and influential advocates in the natural products industry, we proudly support the following industry organizations.
NFA, Citizens for health, AHPA, OTA, The Herb Research Foundation, The American Botanical Council, Consumers for Health Choice (UK), The GMO Task Force, The GMP Task Force, American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, The Campaign to label Genetically Engineered Foods, AOAC (method validation), AOCS (American Oil Chemist Society), The Dietary Supplement Education Alliance (DSEA), and More…
“Does NOW support any Charitable or public services?”
NOW is a leading recycling company and was awarded a silver medal for nutrition business journal in 2005 for our dedication to environmental and sustainability issues. We use environmental-friendly packaging and procedures to ensure that our impact on the environment is minimal. Here are just a few of the charities and originations NOW generously supports:
Local Heal Clinics and food banks, Salvation Army, Marklund children’s home, African meal-a-day fund, compassion international, vitamin angel, world relief, Indian orphanage, Hephzibah children’s home, nature conservancy, Americas second harvest, world wild life, and many more
Diet and supplements can help reduce the risk of prostate cancer development.
July 27, 2005 03:27 PM
5. Diet and supplements can help reduce the risk of prostate cancer development.
“To reduce prostate cancer risk, the American Cancer Society recommends limiting intake of foods from animal sources, especially saturated fats and red meats,” says Colleen Doyle, MS, RD, director of nutrition and physical activity for the ACS. The ACA also advocates a diet high in fruits, vegetables, grains and beans. In addition, exercise and maintaining a healthy weight and crucial in keeping prostate troubles at bay.
Nutritional supplements may also be a strategic weapon in the war against prostate cancer, and the National Cancer Institute is banking on the ability of selenium and vitamin E to fight off the disease. Previous studies indicate that both nutrients help control cell damage that can lead to prostate cancer, and the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) will assess the effects of these supplements on prostate cancer risk. More than 32,000 men from the US, Puerto Rico and Canada are taking part in the long-term study. In addition to SELECT, smaller trials are being conducted on a variety of nutrients and their impact on prostate cancer, including vitamin D, lycopene, licorice root and soy isoflavones.
STEVIA: THE IDEAL SWEETENER?
July 15, 2005 12:51 PM
STEVIA: THE IDEAL SWEETENER?
For anyone who suffers from diabetes, hypoglycemia, high blood pressure, obesity or chronic yeast infections, stevia is the ideal sweetener. It has all the benefits of artificial sweeteners and none of the drawbacks. Stevia can be added to a variety of foods to make them sweet without adding calories or impacting the pancreas or adrenal glands. It can help to satisfy carbohydrate cravings without interfering with blood sugar levels or adding extra pounds.
Using stevia to create treats for children is also another excellent way to avoid weight gain, tooth decay and possible hyperactivity. While it may take some getting used to initially, stevia products are becoming easier to measure and better tasting.
Stevia’s Unique Taste Sensation
When the whole leaf extract or powdered forms of stevia make contact with the tongue, the resulting taste can be described as a sweet flavor, with a slight licorice-like and transient bitter flavor. If stevia is used correctly with hot water or some other liquid, both those flavors will disappear. At this writing, researchers are working on a new extraction process that will preserve stevia’s sweetening potency while minimizing any aftertaste associated with the herb.
Additional Therapeutic Benefits
Consider the following quote: Stevia . . . is not only non-toxic, but has several traditional medicinal uses. The Indian tribes of South America have used it as a digestive aid, and have also applied it topically for years to heal wounds. Recent clinical studies have shown it can increase glucose tolerance and decrease blood sugar levels. Of the two sweeteners (aspartame and stevia), stevia wins hands down for safety. (Whitaker) Stevia has a long history of medicinal use in Paraguay and Brazil and while many of the therapeutic applications of stevia are anecdotal, they must be considered in that they have spanned generations. Experts who work with indigenous cultures frequently find that traditional applications of folk medicine can be verified with scientific data.
Stevia and Blood Sugar Levels
Clinical tests combined with consumer results indicate that stevia can actually help to normalize blood sugar. For this reason, the herb and its extracts are recommended in some countries as an actual medicine for people suffering from diabetes or hypoglycemia. Recent studies have indicated that stevia can increase glucose tolerance while decreasing blood sugar levels. Paraguayan natives have traditionally used stevia tea to regulate blood sugar. Stevia decoctions for diabetes are common and are usually prepared by boiling or steeping the leaves in water (Bonvie, 53). While scientific studies are certainly warranted, it is thought that disturbed blood sugar levels respond to stevia therapy while normal levels remain unaffected.
Stevia and Weight Loss
Stevia is an ideal dietary supplement for anyone who wants to lose or maintain their weight. Because it contains no calories, it can satisfy cravings for sweets without adding extra pounds. It is also thought that using stevia may decrease the desire to eat fatty foods as well. Appetite control is another factor affected by stevia supplementation. Some people have found that their hunger decreases if they take stevia drops 15 to 20 minutes before a meal. While scientific studies are lacking in this area, it is presumed that the glycosides in stevia help to reset the appestat mechanism found in the brain, thereby promoting a feeling of satiety or satisfaction. Much of our nation’s obesity epidemic is due to the over consumption of sugar-containing foods. Unfortunately, most sugary snacks are also loaded with fat, compounding the problem. When a sugar craving hits, anything will usually do. Doughnuts, candy bars, pies, pastries and cookies are considered high calorie, fattening foods. Using stevia to sweeten snacks and beverages can result making weight loss and management much easier.
High Blood Pressure
It is thought that taking stevia can result in lowering elevated blood pressure levels while not affecting normal levels. This particular application has not been researched, but its potential as a treatment for hypertension must be considered when assessing the value of herbal medicines for disease.
Stevia is thought to be able to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria and other infectious organisms. Some people even claim that using stevia helps to prevent the onset of colds and flu. Tests have supported the antimicrobial properties of stevia against streptococcus mutans (Bonvie, 54). The fact that stevia has the ability to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria helps to explain its traditional use in treating wounds, sores and gum disease. It may also explain while the herb is advocated for anyone who is susceptible to yeast infections or reoccurring strep infections, two conditions that seem to be aggravated by white sugar consumption.
Stevia can be used as an oral tonic to prevent tooth decay and gingivitis. Stevia extracts are sometimes added to toothpaste or mouthwashes to initiate this effect. Stevia is used in some Brazilian dental products with the assumption that the herb can actually help to prevent tooth decay and retard plaque deposits (Bonvie, 53). Stevia offers the perfect sweetener for oral products like toothpastes and mouthwash, enabling them to be more palatable without any of the drawbacks of other sweeteners.
Brazilians have used stevia to boost and facilitate better digestion (Bonvie, 53). Again, while this therapeutic application remains unresearched, the fact that stevia has a long history of use as a gastrointestinal tonic must be acknowledged. Plant glycosides can exert numerous therapeutic actions in the human body.
Stevia and Skin Care
Whole leaf stevia or its by-products have been used to soften and tone the skin and to ease wrinkles and lines. Facial masks can be made by adding liquid to the powder, and liquid elixirs can be used as facial toners to help tighten the skin. Stevia concentrate in the form of drops has also been used directly on sores or blemishes to promote healing. For this reason, some advocates of stevia use it on other skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, or minor cuts or wounds. Stevia tea bags can be placed over the eyes to ease fatigue and to tone the skin. Stevia skin care products are available in clay bases, masks, and water-based creams. Liquid extracts can be directly applied to the skin.
THE FDA AND STEVIA
July 15, 2005 12:45 PM
THE FDA AND STEVIA
While stevia in no way qualifies as an “artificial sweetener,” it has been subject to rigorous inquiry and unprecedented restraints. In 1986, FDA officials began to investigate herb companies selling stevia and suddenly banned its sale, calling it “an unapproved food additive.” Then in 1991, the FDA unexpectedly announced that all importation of stevia leaves and products must cease, with the exception of certain liquid extracts which are designed for skin care only. They also issued formal warnings to companies and claimed that the herb was illegal. The FDA was unusually aggressive in its goal to eliminate stevia from American markets, utilizing search and seizure tactics, embargoes and import bans. Speculation as to why the FDA intervened in stevia commerce points to the politics of influential sugar marketers and the artificial-sweetener industry.
During the same year, the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) began their defense of the herb with the goal of convincing the FDA that stevia is completely safe. They gathered documented literature and research on both stevia and other non-caloric sweeteners. The overwhelming consensus was that stevia is indeed safe, and the AHPA petitioned the FDA to exempt stevia from food additive regulations.
Food Additive vs. Dietary Supplement
FDA regulations of stevia were based on its designation as a food additive. The claim was that scientific study on stevia as a food additive was inadequate. Ironically, extensive Japanese testing of stevia was disregarde—regardless of the fact that this body of documented evidence more than sufficiently supported its safe use. Many experts who have studied stevia and its FDA requirements have commented that the FDA wants far more proof that stevia is safe than they would demand from chemical additives like aspartame.
Stevia advocates point out that stevia not a food additive, but rather, a food. Apparently, foods that have traditionally been consumed do not require laborious and expensive testing for safety under FDA regulations. The fact that so many toxicology studies have been conducted in Japan, coupled with the herb’s long history of safe consumption, makes a strong case for stevia being accepted by the FDA as a safe dietary substance. Still, it was denied the official GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status and designated a food additive by the FDA.
The FDA Reverses Its Position
As a result of the Health Freedom Act passed in September of 1995, stevia leaves, stevia extract, and stevioside can be imported to the United States. However, ingredient labels of products that contain stevia must qualify as dietary supplements.
Stevia had been redesignated as a dietary supplement by the FDA and consequently can be legally sold in the United States solely as a supplement. Its addition to teas or other packaged foods is still banned. Moreover, stevia cannot, under any circumstances, be marketed as a sweetener or flavor enhancer.
SUGAR, SUGAR EVERYWHERE
Ralph Nader once said, “If God meant us to eat sugar, he wouldn’t have invented dentists.” The average American eats over 125 pounds of white sugar every year. It has been estimated that sugar makes up 25 percent of our daily caloric intake, with soda pop supplying the majority of our sugar ingestion. Desserts and sugar-laden snacks continually tempt us, resulting in an escalated taste for sweets.
The amount of sugar we consume has a profound effect on both our physical and mental well-being. Sugar is a powerful substance which can have drug-like effects and is considered addictive by some nutritional experts. William Duffy, the author of Sugar Blues, states,“The difference between sugar addiction and narcotic addition is largely one of degree.” In excess, sugar can be toxic. Sufficient amounts of B-vitamins are actually required to metabolize and detoxify sugar in our bodies. When the body experiences a sugar overload, the assimilation of nutrients from other foods can be inhibited. In other words, our bodies were not designed to cope with the enormous quantity of sugar we routinely ingest. Eating too much sugar can generate a type of nutrient malnutrition, not to mention its contribution to obesity, diabetes, hyperactivity, and other disorders. Sugar can also predispose the body to yeast infections, aggravate some types of arthritis and asthma, cause tooth decay, and may even elevate our blood lipid levels. Eating excess sugar can also contribute to amino acid depletion, which has been linked with depression and other mood disorders. To make matters worse, eating too much sugar can actually compromise our immune systems by lowering white blood cells counts. This makes us more susceptible to colds and other infections. Sugar consumption has also been linked to PMS, osteoporosis and coronary heart disease.
Why Do We Crave Sweets?
Considering the sobering effects of a high sugar diet, why do we eat so much of it? One reason is that sugar gives us a quick infusion of energy. It can also help to raise the level of certain brain neurotransmitters which may temporarily elevate our mood. Sugar cravings stem from a complex mix of physiological and psychological components. Even the most brilliant scientists fail to totally comprehend this intriguing chemical dependence which, for the most part, hurts our overall health.
What we do know is that when sugary foods are consumed, the pancreas must secrete insulin, a hormone which serves to bring blood glucose levels down. This allows sugar to enter our cells where it is either burned off or stored. The constant ups and downs of blood sugar levels can become exaggerated in some individuals and cause all kinds of health problems. Have you ever been around someone who is prone to sudden mood swings characterized by violent verbal attacks or irritability? This type of volatile behavior is typical of people who crave sugar, eat it and then experience sugar highs and lows. Erratic mood swings can be linked to dramatic drops in blood sugar levels.
Hypoglycemia: Sign of Hard Times?
It is rather disturbing to learn that statisticians estimate that almost 20 million Americans suffer from some type of faulty glucose tolerance. Hypoglycemia and diabetes are the two major forms of blood sugar disorders and can deservedly be called modern day plagues. Hypoglycemia is an actual disorder that can cause of number of seemingly unrelated symptoms. More and more studies are pointing to physiological as well as psychological disorders linked to disturbed glucose utilization in brain cells. One study, in particular, showed that depressed people have overall lower glucose metabolism (Slagle, 22). Hypoglycemia occurs when too much insulin is secreted in order to compensate for high blood sugar levels resulting from eating sugary or high carbohydrate foods. To deal with the excess insulin, glucagon, cortisol and adrenalin pour into the system to help raise the blood sugar back to acceptable levels. This can inadvertently result in the secretion of more insulin and the vicious cycle repeats itself.
A hypoglycemic reaction can cause mood swings, fatigue, drowsiness, tremors, headaches, dizziness, panic attacks, indigestion, cold sweats, and fainting. When blood sugar drops too low, an overwhelming craving for carbohydrates results. To satisfy the craving and compensate for feelings of weakness and abnormal hunger, sugary foods are once again consumed in excess.
Unfortunately, great numbers of people suffer from hypoglycemic symptoms. Ironically, a simple switch from a high sugar diet to one that emphasizes protein can help. In addition, because sugar cravings are so hard to control, a product like stevia can be of enormous value in preventing roller coaster blood sugar levels. One Colorado internist states: People who are chronically stressed and are on a roller coaster of blood sugar going up and down are especially prone to dips in energy at certain times of day. Their adrenals are not functioning optimally, and when they hit a real low point, they want sugar. It usually happens in mid-afternoon when the adrenal glands are at their lowest level of functioning. (Janiger, 71) Our craving for sweets in not intrinsically a bad thing; however, what we reach for to satisfy that craving can dramatically determine how we feel. Stevia can help to satisfy the urge to eat something sweet without changing blood sugar levels in a perfectly natural way and without any of the risks associated with other non-nutritive sweeteners.
Diabetes: Pancreas Overload?
Diabetes is a disease typical of western cultures and is evidence of the influence that diet has on the human body. Perhaps more than any other disease, diabetes shuts down the mechanisms which permit proper carbohydrate/sugar metabolism. When the pancreas no longer secretes adequate amounts of insulin to metabolize sugar, that sugar continues to circulate in the bloodstream causing all kinds of health problems. The type of diabetes that comes in later years is almost always related to obesity and involves the inability of sugar to enter cells, even when insulin is present. Diabetes can cause blindness, atherosclerosis, kidney disease, the loss of nerve function, recurring infections, and the inability to heal. Heredity plays a profound role in the incidence of diabetes, but a diet high in white sugar and empty carbohydrates unquestionably contributes to the onset of the disease. It is estimated that over five million Americans are currently undergoing medical treatment for diabetes and studies suggest that there are at least four million Americans with undetected forms of adult onset diabetes. Diabetes is the third cause of death in this country and reflects the devastating results of a diet low in fiber and high in simple carbohydrates. Most of us start our children on diets filled with candy, pop, chips, cookies, doughnuts, sugary juice, etc. Studies have found that diabetes is a disease which usually plagues societies that eat highly refined foods. Because we live in a culture that worships sweets, the availability of a safe sweetener like stevia, which does not cause stress on the pancreas is extremely valuable. If sugar consumption was cut in half by using stevia to
STEVIA (Stevia rebaudiana)
July 15, 2005 12:24 PM
STEVIA (Stevia rebaudiana)
SYNONYMS: sweet herb, honey leaf
PARTS USED: leaves
Stevia is a small perennial shrub with green leaves that belongs to the aster (Asteraceae) or chrysanthemum family of plants. They grow primarily in the Amambay mountain range of Paraguay but over 200 various species of stevia have been identified around the globe. Stevia rebaudiana is the only species at present which possesses an inordinate ability to sweeten. Its common form is known as stevioside, a fine white powder extracted from the leaves of the plant. Phytochemistry STEVIOSIDE/REBAUDIDOSIDE COMPOUND DUO: The leaves of the stevia shrub contain specific glycosides which produce a sweet taste but have no caloric value. Stevioside is the primary glycoside involved in this effect. Dulcoside and rebaudioside are also major glycosides contained in the herb. Glycosides are organic compounds which contain a sugar component (glycone) and a non-sugar component (aglycone). The glycone constituent may be comprised of rhamnose, fructose, glucose, xylose, arabinose etc. The other portion may be any kind of chemical compound such as a sterol, tannin, carotenoid, etc.
Stevia leaves also contain protein, fibers, carbohydrates, phosphorus, iron, calcium, potassium, sodium , magnesium, rutin (flavonoid), iron, zinc, vitamin C and vitamin A. Human physiology cannot metabolize the sweet glycosides contained in stevia leaves, therefore they are eliminated from the body with no caloric absorption. Stevia, unlike aspartame, can be used in baking because its sweet glycosides do not break down when heated. Definition Stevia is an herb with incredible sweetening power. Its ability to sweeten is rated between 70 to 400 times that of white sugar. Typically, it has a mild licorice-like taste and is completely natural in its biochemical profile. What makes stevia so intriguing is that unlike other natural sweetening agents, its is completely calorie-free, never initiates a rise in blood sugar, and does not provide “food” for microorganisms like bacterias and yeasts.
Stevia may well be the most remarkable sweetener in the world and yet its recognition in this country remains relatively low. Consider the extraordinary attributes of the stevia plant and its extracts:
A Brief History
Stevia is a plant indigenous to mountainous regions of Brazil and Paraguay. For centuries, this herbal sweetener has been used by native cultures to counteract the bitter taste of various plant-based medicines and beverages. The Guarani Indians of Paraguay have used this potent sweetener in their green tea for generations. The name they designated for stevia leaves was “sweet herb.” In addition, these native peoples have historically used stevia as a digestive aid and a topical dressing for wounds and other skin disorders.
In the sixteenth century, Europeans became aware of the herbal sweetener through the Spanish Conquistadors. In the late 1880s, Moises S. Bertoni, director of the College of Agriculture in Asunción, Paraguay, became extremely intrigued by the stevia plant. Its reputation was that it was so sweet that even just a small leaf part could sweeten an entire container of mate tea. Be rtoni wanted to find out if this was true. After several years of studying the plant, he wrote about it in a local botanical publication. In 1905, Bertoni published an important article about the incredible sweetening power of the stevia plant, which he considered superior to sugar and extremely marketable. Other articles written by Bertoni note that stevia is unquestionably superior to saccharine because it is nontoxic and has significant therapeutic benefits. It sweetens with unprecedented potency and can be used in its natural state.
The first stevia crop was harvested in 1908 and subsequently, stevia plantations sprang up in South America. In 1921, the American Trade Commissioner to Paraguay, George S. Brady, wrote that although the herb is an extraordinary sweetener with remarkable properties, little had been done to commercially cultivate the plant. He suggested that stevia may be an ideal sugar product for diabetics and strongly advised that American companies pursue its importation.
During the decade of the 1970s, the Japanese developed a new method which could better refine the glycosides contained in the stevia leaf. The result was a compound called ste-vioside which is from 200 to 300 times sweeter than white sugar. The Japanese approach artificial sweeteners with great caution and they believe stevioside to be safer and more effect i've than other non-nutritive, chemical products. Stevioside is considered superior in its ability to sweeten; however, it does not exhibit some of the other therapeutic actions found in whole stevia leaves .
Stevia enjoyed substantial popularity during the 1980s as a natural sweetener and was found in a variety of consumer products. In 1986, however, the FDA abruptly seized stevia inventories and in 1991 claimed it was not suitable as a food additive. Advocates for stevia claim this happened because the herb is a natural, powerful, inexpensive and non-patentable sweetener, and therefore poses a threat to pharmaceutical sweeteners and sugar-alcohol sweeteners like mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol. At this writing, stevia has received approval by the FDA to be sold only as a dietary supplement, not as a sweetening agent.
Currently, stevia is commercially grown in Paraguay, Brazil, Uruguay, Central America, Israel, China, Thailand, and the United States. It is considered an important natural sweetener in both Japan and Korea, and has been safely used in these countries for decades. Extracts of stevia and related products make up a considerable portion of the Japanese market for natural sweetening agents. They use stevia in sweet sauces, pickles, beverages, etc., making Japan one of the largest single consumers of stevia in the world. Today, because the demand for stevia is escalating, several Paraguayan organizations are looking to expand the commercial cultivation of the plant. Currently, Canadian researchers and chemists are working to provide even better stevia supplements and may even end up teeming with governmental agencies to raise stevia crops as economic replacements for tobacco leaves (Bonvie, 64). Stevia has not been officially approved by Canadian agencies, but it is still available for purchase in tea form.
FDA & Congress: Stop The Madness- Let the natural health revolution enhance our lives.
July 14, 2005 09:24 AM
FDA & Congress: Stop The Madness!Let the natural health revolution enhance our lives.
Here's a memo to the Food and Drug Administration and Congress: Enough is Enough. The American people are fed up with backroom politics. We are sick and tired of having our God-given right to natural health threatened by attempts to "protect" us from the very natural therapies that can help ensure our national health. You do not have the power to dictate or control our pursuit of natural health. First and foremost, end your attempts to regulate or even ban nutritional supplements! Americans choose to take supplements because we believe they contribute to optimal health and vitality. Who are the FDA and Congress to trample on our beliefs and pursuit of health and happiness?
Next, our enemies need to open their narrow minds to the sublime power of nature. We must embrace nature to evolve in body, mind and spirit. Our understanding of the healing power of natural elements has progressed significantly over the past century. We are on the cusp of a natural health revolution that will enhance the well-being of millions.
Natural supplements can change the world for the better. And yet, there the governments stands like an ignorant behemoth attempting to block our access to natural supplements. Step aside, we say. This is America, and we have the right to choose our own path to health.
Plant a seed and watch it grow. This is nature's most basic miracle. Part of this miracle is nature's inherent ability to create, perpetuate and enhance life. Science has proven that thousands of plants have healing powers, including powerful benefits for depression and pain management; that scientific knowledge affirms the wisdom employed by indigenous healers for centuries. These plants were placed on earth to comfort and relieve people suffering from painful, degenerative diseases of body and mind.
Who presumes to deny us nature? Look no further than to Congress and the FDA-for they are doing this right now. We must stop this behavior. The health and healing of all our people must take priority over all other interests.
Washington Update readers, rise up and unite! If the phiosophies in this column resonate with your own beliefs, then join the health freedom revolution! To uphold our freedom to take natural supplements, we must support like-minded souls and revolt against those working to rip our rights away.
Facing the right senators is an easy, effective way to help save supplements. Fax encouragement to key vitamin advocates, Senators Tom Harkin at 202-224-9369 and Orrin Hatch at 202-224-6331. Fax your disapproval to Senator Dick Durbin, a key figure in the movement to ban supplements, at 202-228-0400. Fax Senator Michael Enzy, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, at 202-228-0359. Tell Senator Enzi that you demand the freedom to take natural supplements. If you have already sent a letter or fax, please send another fax. Our health freedom depends on this fax campaign.
You can take action by visiting www.NHA2004.com and taking advantage of revolutionary technology that lets you rapidly and easily compose faxes to Congress. With your help, we can win the fight to keep safe, healthy supplements in our lives! For health, freedom, and liberty join NHA today!
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
June 25, 2005 08:10 PM
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
1 . Chit osan Provides a Realist ic Approach t o Fat and Fiber Int ake.
Low-fat, high-fiber advocates have recommended a diet that is calorically fueled between 10 and 20 percent fat and includes 35 to 45 grams of fiber. Unfortunately, most of us, no matter how good our intentions are, will not be able to sustain this type of diet. Therefore, if we are going to face facts, a diet that reduces fat to 20-30 percent of the total caloric value and increases fiber to 20-30 grams/day is much more realistic and will help significantly in controlling weight, avoiding artery disease and promoting good colon health. Taking Chitosan prior to eating a meal can make dietary fat goals much more attainable while promoting a number of desirable health benefits. Because obesity ranks among the top ten diseases (which, by the way, are almost all related to obesity), the availability of a safe, health-promoting fat binder is desirable.
Weight control needs to be realistic and effective. Workable weight loss programs are few and far between and usually involve a life style that many of us can never incorporate. While Chitosan is not a panacea for maintaining our youthful figures, it could be a very powerful dietary complement, facilitating what might otherwise be unattainable. Lowering the amount of dietary fats we eat, exercising more, and making sure we get enough fiber seems to be the winning combination for health and longevity. Chitosan is a valuable tool to use in attaining optimal nutrition and robust health.
2 . Chitosan Is an Effective Fat Binder.
While all the previously mentioned properties of Chitosan are notable, its extraordinary ability to bind fats promises to be its most valuable asset. To reiterate, getting rid of fat after it has been stored as adipose tissue is much more difficult than neutralizing its effects before it enters the blood stream. Chitosan accomplishes this formidable task by converting fat into a form that the body does not absorb and subsequently expels.
Any of us who occasionally eat southern fried chicken, a Big Mac, or a slice of cheesecake every once in a while can profoundly benefit from the fat binding action of Chitosan. As a fat binder, Chitosan can significantly reduce the amount of fat that enters our blood stream. Consider the possibilities. The foods mentioned above are full of excess fat grams. If you take four capsules (1 gram) of Chitosan with ascorbic acid, which is generally recommended, the fat content of that food is dramatically lowered.
Remember the discussion on how the liver has to deal with excess fat?
Chitosan decreases the liver’s work load which lightens the stress put on other body organs by the presence of excess fat. In other words, Chitosan eases the metabolic processes that kick in after we eat excess fat. As far as our metabolic processes know, those fat grams may as well never have existed. 4 . Why Chit osan Is Called t he Fiber of t he Fut ure. After years of fiber “hyping” most of us are well aware of the profound benefits that fiber has for human health and longevity. Fiber is considered a dieter’s best friend. It has also been linked to slower rises in blood glucose which also profoundly affects how we store excess calories and when we feel hungry. Most fibers are hydrophilic which means they repel fat and attract water. Psyllium, for example, is used for its bulk forming action. This type of fiber absorbs water and is easily passed through the intestine, helping to maintain a normal bowel function.
Chitosan is different. While it possesses many of the same benefits as plant fibers like psyllium, Chitosan is “lipophilic” meaning that it “loves fat” It is a positively charged fiber that binds to negatively charged fatty acids. A fiber that attracts fat is unique to say the least.
GINSENG and Radiation
June 25, 2005 01:05 PM
Another study found that rats exposed to radiation damage lived twice as long when given ginseng. Their blood showed less damage due to the radiation.2 9 Ginseng has been found to actually prevent the cells from radiation damage.30 When damage does occur from radiation exposure, it is thought that ginseng speeds the healing process. Radiation exposure is considered by some natural health advocates to be one of the most dangerous stress agents to the immune system.
Are Standardized Herbs Better?
June 17, 2005 12:34 PM
Are Standardized Herbs Better?
Standardized is a term to mean that there is a guaranteed amount of a certain botanical constituent. For example St. John's Wort can be standardized to contain hypercin, Gingko can be standardized to contain flavones, Mahuang for ephedrine, and Milk Thistle for its silymarin content. Standardized does not necessarily mean stronger or better. Chemical solvents such as hexane benzene, acetone, and methyl chloride are typically used in standardized extracts. Residues of the chemicals are found in the finished product. Furthermore they may be hazardous to the environment.
The problem with obtaining an amount of a standard constituent is, a plant can contain hundreds of active constituents. By concentrating on one component, we may lose synergistic compounds, which may improve effectiveness and lessen adverse reactions. Often scientists do not fully understand which constituents are beneficial for the clinical results of an herb. For example scientists are unclear whether or not hypercerin, hyperiform, or the interaction of several constituents, that have antidepressant properties in St. John's Wort. Once it was thought that the immune effects of Echinacea were due to echinosides; now it is thought that polysaccharides and proteins may also be immune supporting. In the case of ginseng, ginsenosides are found in ginseng leaves and roots, however ginseng leaves do not have same properties as the roots. In the South Pacific, locals all use Kava Kava roots, however German pharmaceutical companies use the stems to make standardized Kava Kava. Another drawback of standardized herbs is the chemicals used to manufacture them.
Advocates of standardized herbs are usually academics with little clinical experience with herbs, or researchers whose work is funded by companies that manufacture standardized products. Traditional herbalists seldom used standardized products for a variety of reasons. One, standardized extracts tend to be more expensive. Two, there is little evidence that they are more effective than the whole herb. For example, I have never seen studies comparing Gingko tea to standardized Gingko extracts; Ginseng standardized extracts have not been shown superior to whole ginseng root. Finally, many herbalists reject the pharmaceutical model of healthcare, which involves costly production techniques and capital investment to make a standardized extract.
Standardized herbs play a role in the drug model of herbal medicine, however traditional herbalists will continue to recommend herbs in more natural state which may include water and alcohol extracts, teas and pills that have not been standardized. (Factors that influence products quality include weather, soil, the time of year the plant is harvested, the age of the plant, the part of the plant being used, and the DNA of the plant, storage and processing.) You can also blend various batches of herbs to achieve a consistent potency; this is commonly done in the wine making industry. Finally you can add an active compound (synthesized) to an herbal product and the DNA of the plant, storage and processing.) The purpose of this article is not to condemn standardized herbs. It may be a good idea to remember that this form of herbal preparation is just one of many forms.
Energize Your Life!
June 14, 2005 05:06 PM
Energize Your Life!
by Laura Weiss Energy Times, December 1, 2003
If every fatigued day leaves you wondering where your energy went, you need a personal energy makeover.
"Energy, some special kind of energy, just leaks out and I am left lacking the confidence even to cross the street," Diane Arbus, the photographer, once complained. And while Ms. Arbus tried to overcome her energetic and spiritual ups and downs with her art, you can use lifestyle changes as well as self-expression to revive your vigor.
To Sleep, Perchance to Energize
When you're looking for a boost in personal energy, you've got to get enough sleep, insists Jacob Tietelbaum, MD, author of From Fatigued to Fantastic! (Avery). Dr. Teitelbaum emphasizes that unless you "give your body eight to nine hours of sleep per night," your personal energy will never be adequate.
Studies show that getting less than six hours sleep a night hurts your mental performance and drains your energy (Sleep 3/15/03). As your sleep debt builds up, your energy drops down.
"[Our studies show] the importance of sleep as a necessity for health and well-being. Even relatively moderate sleep restriction, if it is sustained night after night, can seriously impair our neurobiological functioning," says Hans P.A. Van Dongen, PhD, Assistant Professor of Sleep and Chronobiology at Penn State.
A recent poll by the National Sleep Foundation found that Americans, on average, are getting less than seven hours of shuteye a night. That sleep deficit drains energy.
Watered Down Energy
Added to that sleep requirement, Dr. Teitelbaum stressed in an interview with Energy Times, a lack of water can deplete your personal energy.
"The number one problem is often dehydration," he says. "Make sure you stay hydrated. Although I think it's a bad idea to [obsessively] count glasses of water, you should carry a bottle of water with you, check your lips and if they feel dry drink more water." Overall, your body is about 60% water and 70% of your muscles consist of water. If you let your water levels dip too low, your muscles suffer and your energy levels dip as well. Research shows that as your body dries out, your mental processes can slow down. And the hotter the temperature, the more fluid you may lose (AIHAJ 2002; 63(2):190-8).
B Vitamins for Energy
Also important for keeping your energy up "is getting enough of the B vitamins and magnesium." And even though Dr. Teitelbaum advocates the necessity of a well-rounded multiple vitamin and mineral supplement plus an adequate diet and amino acids to get all the nutrients you need, he recommends "taking a high-level B complex. The RDAs (the government's Recommended Daily Amounts) are inadequate."
In the body, B vitamins are used for the production of energy on a cellular level. For instance, vitamin B1 (thiamine) is crucial for burning carbohydrates effectively. And vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is necessary for the body's ability to properly use B1. At the same time, vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is required for proper nerve function. The need for B12 may necessitate a supplement: Up to 30% of everyone over the age of 50 may have trouble absorbing B12 from their food (Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci 1996; 33:247). Plus, since vegetables contain very little absorbable B12, vegetarians of all ages may also require B12 supplements.
Dr. Teitelbaum also believes that taking malic acid, a nutrient derived from apples, can help. Along with the B vitamins, malic acid is used by the body in the production of energy. When taken with magnesium, malic acid has been shown to ease the pain of fibromyalgia (J Rheum 1995; 22(5):953-7), a condition characterized by fatigue and lack of energy accompanied by painful muscles and joints.
Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) represents a potential tool for controlling blood sugar and improving stamina.
According to Dr. Teitelbaum, "...Asian ginseng enhances energy, raises blood pressure and improves adrenal function...Asian ginseng has such a wide mix of health benefits that its name, Panax, comes from the Greek roots of pan (meaning 'all') and akos (meaning 'cure')-that is, 'cure all.'"
Research on people with diabetes shows that this herb may help control blood sugar levels. People who suffer what is called type 2 diabetes often eat small meals to keep their blood sugar from varying too much. (Rising and falling blood sugar can drain you of energy as well as make diabetic problems worse.)
An investigation of how another form of ginseng, American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius), affects blood sugar after eating found that it tempered changes by up to 20% (Arch of Internal Med 4/00). These scientists found that folks with diabetes did best when they took the herb within two hours of a meal.
Ready to re-energize? Time to stop skimping on sleep and rushing through inadequate meals. For all of us, slowing down and giving our bodies a chance to regenerate its zip can make the big energy difference.
Home on the Range
June 13, 2005 03:52 PM
Home on the Range
by Janis Jibrin, RD Energy Times, September 5, 1999
Got chicken? Americans can't seem to get enough of this bird. Last year each of us ate, on average, just about 80 pounds of chicken, a whopping increase over the 49 pounds we each devoured in 1980 and an eight-pound increase from 1995. Part of this food's popularity comes from its lean image as a healthier, less fatty alternative to red meat (don't forget to take the fatty skin off). Chicken's also a cheap protein source: At many popular supermarkets you'll find weekly specials at about a dollar a pound.
But at health food markets, chicken can cost upwards of $1.69 a pound. These birds may be touted as raised in an organic, stress-free environment and on a vegetarian diet, free of antibiotics. For many people, this poultry is a better buy.
The Alternative Chicken
Most of the supermarket chicken you pick up in grocery refrigerated cases are broilers, birds bred to mature in about eight weeks. In comparison, in the '60s, chickens needed 14 weeks to become adult poultry. Conventionally-raised broilers eat grain mixed with whatever's cheapest on the market, such as recycled cooking oil that's been used to fry fast foods and animal parts.
These birds reside in chicken coops the size of football fields and don't see the light of day until transported to the slaughterhouse. On the other roost, alternatively raised chickens are brought up in a variety of ways (see box), but usually enjoy a more relaxed life and diet.
Chickens on the farm receive antibiotics for two reasons: To fight off the diseases that can run rampant through a crowded chicken coop and to encourage faster growth.
Antibiotics Stimulate Growth
Mark Cook, PhD, professor of animal science at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, explains, "Gut bacteria trigger an immune system assault, which makes chickens a little feverish, suppresses appetite and slows growth. Antibiotics stimulate growth indirectly, by keeping bacteria levels down, and preventing the immune reaction." When birds get sick, they often get dosed with even more antibiotics.
This widespread antibiotic use has come home to roost and may contribute to the growth of bacteria that, frequently exposed to chemicals, have evolved ways to keep from being killed by pharmaceuticals.
This development threatens human health. Bacterial infections that people contract, once easily cured by penicillin or other drugs, are now tougher to eradicate. For instance, campylobactor, a common bacteria found in chicken, and responsible for some food poisonings, now demonstrates signs of resistance to drugs like floroquinolones. A powerful class of antibiotics, floroquinolones used to dependably conquer this infection.
"Floroquinolones are an extremely important class of antibiotics, used to treat many types of infections such as urinary tract infection, a wide variety of gastrointestinal illnesses, pneumonia, almost everything," says Kirt Smith, DVM, PhD, epidemiologist, acute disease epidemiology section, Minnesota Department of Health.
A study by Dr. Smith, published in the New England Journal of Medicine (340, 1999: 1525-32), showed that the percent of floroquinolone-resistant campylobactor appearing in infected people in his state-Minnesota-climbed from a little over 1% in infected people during 1992 to 10.2% in 1998. He and other scientists strongly suspect that the rise is a direct consequence of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) decision to allow floroquinolones in poultry feed beginning in 1995.
Although it was nearly impossible for Dr. Smith to trace the precise origin of campylobactor poisoning, he believes chicken was usually the source-and not just U.S. chicken. Many of the infected people had returned from Mexico and other countries.
"Sales of floroquinolones for poultry use in Mexico has increased dramatically," notes Dr. Smith.
Many alternative chicken producers do not use any antibiotic-laced feed at all. Other farmers adjust the feed to lower gut pH, making it more acidic and lowering chances of bacteria. At the U. of Wisconsin, Dr. Cook is developing antibodies to suppress the immune response to bacteria so chickens won't need antibiotics to spur growth. Buying and dining on chicken raised with little or no antibiotics could beneficially lower your risk of contracting a hardy bacterial infection. Better to catch campylobactor from an antibiotic-free chicken than a conventional chicken, speculates Dr. Cook. "There's less likelihood the bug will be resistant, and a better chance your problem can be cured with antibiotics," he explains.
And, looking beyond your own immediate health risk, buying antibiotic-free chicken makes a small contribution to stopping the spread of antibiotic resistant bugs. A Matter of Taste Conventionally raised chickens get little exercise and live only eight weeks, so they're tender but bland.
"There's not much taste in a modern chicken. Free range or organically grown, older birds usually have more taste," notes Dr. Cook.
The days of barnyard chickens happily clucking and strutting around in picturesque nature have disappeared with the family farm. Today, chickens lead a meager existence. After hatching, baby chicks are tossed into a gigantic hen house that is home to up to 30,000 birds. Their short lives are lived within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) mandated 3/4 square foot per chicken. In that squeeze, birds can catch "chicken influenza," especially in winter when it's too cold to let in much fresh air.
Laying hens don't experience much more of a peaceful existence. These birds live their years with about five other hens, so crowded they can't flap their wings. Cages, suspended in the air, let eggs roll into a holding area. So they don't peck each other, hens are often debeaked, a painful process that can cause infection.
Hens go through natural laying and "dry" cycles. Growers manipulate this cycle by "forced molting," depriving hens of food for four to 14 days to keep them constantly laying. By the end of two years, hens are worn out. Their inactivity weakens their bones enough that electrical stunning, the usual method for knocking chickens out before slaughter, shatters their bones. So some wind up being plucked and boiled alive, according to Mary Finelli, program director for farm animals and public health at the Humane Society of the United States. The meat from these hens, tougher than other birds, was probably in your deli lunch sandwich. It's also used in the school lunch program or may end up in dog food.
"Generally, organically-grown broilers and hens have it better because room to move is part of the organic certification process," says Finelli. Finelli suggests visiting chicken suppliers to find out how chickens are treated. Or, she advocates a Humane Society book listing reliable firms. For a local producer call the society: 202-452-1100. According to a Consumer Report report, some growers force chickens out the last week of their lives to brand them "free range." So free range isn't a prime standard for choosing a decently raised chicken. However, turkeys thrive outdoors, so choosing free-range turkey is often a good idea for better tasting poultry.
In any case, organic is your best bet for chicken without pesticides. Make it your main choice for your 80 pound yearly consumption!
To fight cruel treatment of poultry:
• Forced Molting Ban. Forced molting is shocking hens for more eggs. To support petitions banning forced molting write: Docket Manage-ment Branch, FDA, Dept. Health & Human Serv-ices, 12420 Parklawn Drive, Room 1-23, Rock-ville, MD 20857. Include docket # 98P-0203/CP
• Downed Animal Protection Bill (House Bill 443, Senate Bill S515) spares some animals from the tortuous journey from chicken house to slaughterhouse. Mandates humane euthanization.
Cancer at the Millenium - the war on cancer entering its third decade...
June 13, 2005 10:23 AM
Cancer at the Millenium by Harriet Brown Energy Times, May 1, 1999
With the war on cancer entering its third decade, the necessity grows clearer for medical science to engage the enemy on several fronts. Until recently, high-tech medical weapons like vaccines and gene therapy, inspired by a flood of insights into the molecular basis of cancer, garnered most of the hope, hype, headlines and research money. The science was sexy and the prospect of a "cure" dramatic. But, today, advocates of prevention receive equal, if not greater, attention.
Improving our diets and prudently supplementing with vitamins and minerals, can deliver a major preventive impact. Contentious experts concede that at least a third (and probably more) of all cancers can be blamed on a combination of eating too much of the wrong foods and not enough of the right ones.
The Dietary Difference
Though cancer can progress rapidly once it leaps past its inception, it develops over many years and in several stages. Beneficial compounds in food and supplements may intervene along a line that runs from initial exposure to carcinogens to the final step into outright malignancy. Nutrients may: - counteract environmental poisons and the toxic byproducts of liver metabolism
The Big Picture The dietary guidelines advocated by the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute (which generally coincide with those of most health organizations) may sound familiar: Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Get lots of fiber. Limit fat, especially animal fat. Go easy on meat and avoid the cured variety (they contain nitrites). If you drink alcohol, do it in moderation. Watch your total calories, and your weight. Pretty straightforward stuff.
Carotenoids, as their name suggests, are orange and red pigments in fruits and vegetables, most notably carrots and tomatoes, although they're also in everything from sweet potatoes to spinach and brussels sprouts (in the latter their distinctive color is masked by green chlorophyll).
Lycopene, a carotenoid found primarily in tomatoes, displays double the free radical-fighting activity of beta carotene, the most widely studied carotenoid. Of 72 studies looking at consumption of tomatoes or tomato-based products reviewed in the February 1999 Journal of the National Cancer Institute, almost half showed a significant reduction in one or more of a variety of cancers.
Research shows that lycopene may be best at lowering a man's risk of prostate cancer. A 1995 Harvard Medical School study (Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1995; 87: 1767-76) queried nearly 48,000 male health-care professionals about their consumption of fruits and vegetables. The only foods that reduced their risk of prostate cancer were, apparently, tomato sauce, tomatoes, pizza (tomato paste). For those who ate ten servings a week, risk dropped 45 percent; with four to seven servings, 20 percent. In animal studies lycopene decreased the number and size of mammary tumors (Eleventh International Symposium on Carotenoids, 1996).
Tomatoes are one of the richest sources of lycopene. Cooking tomatoes helps by releasing the lycopene from the plant cell walls. Also, the oil in tomato sauce enhances absorption in the stomach. Lycopene is also available in supplements.
Wine drinkers rejoiced when resveratrol, a constituent of the skin of red grapes, was found to protect their hearts (by blocking oxidation of LDL cholesterol and discouraging blood clotting). Now they have another reason to toast this potent antioxidant. When researcher John Pezzuto at the University of Illinois at Chicago screened about 1,000 plants for anticancer activity, he came up with one whose active ingredient turned out to be resveratrol. In lab tests it squelched both free radicals and inflammation, two well-known cancer inducers (Science, 6/10/97). In a study with mice, resveratrol reduced the number of skin tumors by up to 98 percent compared to control animals. Because the effective doses were high (Pezzuto estimates a person would have to quaff about five gallons of wine a day to get the equivalent) and because more than a drink or two a day may raise the risk of breast cancer, researchers don't recommend nondrinkers take up wine. But supplements of synthesized resveratrol (as well as grape juice) may help.
Saturated fat is an authentic dietary villain. Aside from clogging arteries, it's a suspected contributor to several cancers, though the evidence is greater for some cancers (prostate) than for others (breast cancer)
Of the two other main categories of fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, mono seems benign, if not positively protective. For example, in a study of the influence of diet on breast cancer, Greek researchers discovered that women who consumed higher amounts of olive oil (which is mostly mono) were less likely to be afflicted with breast cancer (Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1995: 87; 110-116).
When it comes to polyunsaturated fats, however, things get complicated. The fat that predominates in corn, sunflower and other vegetable oils, called omega-6, has long been associated with cancer risk in animal experiments. Likewise the type found in margarines, trans fats, which are partially saturated vegetable oils. On the other hand, the omega-3 fats called EPA and DHA, which are found primarily in deep- and cold-water fish like cod, mackerel, and halibut, protect against both heart disease and cancer. In an epidemiological study covering 24 European countries, British researchers established that mortality rates for colon and breast cancers declined as fish and fish oil consumption rose (British Journal of Cancer 1996: 74; 159-64). And Finnish scientists discovered that the breast tissue of women who had breast cancer contained significantly less DHA and EPA than the breasts of healthy women (Nutrition and Cancer 1995: 24; 151-160).
Experts believe the omega-3s' anticancer effect derives from its ability to tamp down the prostaglandins that stimulate inflammation. Chronic inflammation unleashes a steady stream of free radicals, which can damage DNA and thereby trigger cancer. Omega-3s also help the liver detoxify potentially harmful substances.
Fortunately for the fish-phobic, nonmarine sources of omega-3 fats include flaxseed and hemp oils.
Minerals to Lower Cancer Risk
n Calcium: possibly protective against colon cancer. In a recent trial (New England Journal of Medicine, 1/14/99) researchers gave people with a history of precancerous colon polyps either two 600 mg calcium tablets a day or a placebo for nine months and found fewer polyps. n Selenium: powerful antioxidant and supporter of immunity. Researchers find that cancer rates in various regions is lowered when soil and vegetables contain more selenium
In a selenium-depleted area in China afflicted with one of the highest incidences of stomach and esophageal cancer mortality in the world, scientists asked different groups to take various combinations of nutrients. After five years they found a significant reduction in the cancer rate among those who had gotten supplements of selenium, vitamin E and beta carotene (Biological Trace Element Research 1985; 7: 21-29). In the U.S. researchers studying the potential effectiveness of selenium supplementation for preventing nonmelanoma skin cancers came up with a surprise. The 200 mcg a day the subjects received for an average of 4.5 years had no impact on skin cancer but did significantly cut the rates of lung, colorectal and prostate cancers (Journal of the American Medical Association, 12/25/96).
More recently Harvard researchers determined that men with prostate cancer had much lower levels of selenium in their toenails (a measure of consumption) than healthy men (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 8/119/98).
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and kale, have long been singled out for their association with protection against cancer. In a 1996 survey of 94 population studies and clinical trials focusing on consumption of cruciferous vegetables, 67 percent showed a reduced risk, the strongest link being with lung, stomach, colon and rectal cancers (Cancer Epidemiological Biomarkers 1996; 5: 733-748).
Scientists at Johns Hopkins showed that sulforaphane, from these plants, stimulates enzymes that help detoxify carcinogens generated in the liver. When they injected rats with a cancer-causing chemical, only 26 percent of the rodents pretreated with sulforaphane developed mammary cancer, compared to 68 percent of controls. Even animals who did come down with cancer had tumors that appeared later and smaller.
Other researchers have focused on a cruciferous-vegetable compound called indole-3-carbinol, which has proved especially effective against breast cancer cells. Recently, scientists at the University of California at Berkeley found that indole-3-carbinol, rather than acting as an anti-estrogen, (as had been thought), actually stops breast cancer cells by turning off a protein critical to their replication (Jrnal of Bio Chem, 2/13/98). Consequently, when treating certain forms of cancer, some doctors have paired indole-3-carbinol with the chemotherapy drug tamoxifen - which counteracts estrogen - and found that the combination has proven more potent than either separately.
Several decades ago British physician Denis Burkitt proposed that the low incidence of colon cancer among native peoples in South Africa was attributable to the fact that their diet was rich in fiber. The fiber, it was hypothesized, bulked up the stool, speeding its passage through the bowel and reducing the time carcinogens contact its lining; it also helped neutralize cancer-promoting bile acids.
This concept has been backed up by numerous studies. Recently, Harvard researchers sprinkled cold water on this idea, finding that an examination of the eating habits of more than 80,000 female nurses, could find no protective effect against colon cancer or precancerous polyps from consuming fiber (NEJM, January 21, 1999). Most experts' take on this apparent refutation: Maybe the "high fiber" intake in this case wasn't high enough, and this is just one study among many.
Fighting Breast Cancer
Fiber has also been linked to reduced rates of breast cancer. At first it was thought that if fat was a breast-cancer culprit, fiber might just be a marker for a low-fat diet. But a look at Finland undermined that idea: Finnish women eat both a lot of fat and a lot of fiber, and their breast cancer rate ranks much below that in the U.S., (where we eat gobs of fat and little roughage).
Fiber helps take estrogen out of circulation as it passes through the liver, while the isoflavones in many high-fiber plants and vegetables are themselves weak estrogens, which compete for slots on breast tissue's estrogen receptors. The special fiber in flaxseed oil called lignans act against estrogen in two ways: by binding its receptors and by inhibiting the enzyme that converts other hormones into estrogen.
Fiber comes in two basic forms, insoluble (e.g., wheat bran, celery, the skins of fruits and vegetables) and soluble (e.g., oat bran, citrus fruits, beans). Until a few years ago, scientists believed that cancer protection came mainly from insoluble fiber, but that thinking has turned around.
A soluble fiber called citrus pectin has been shown to halt the tendency of prostate, lung, breast and skin cancers to metastasize, or spread (e.g., Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1995; 87: 3448-353). Typically cancer turns deadly only when it gets into the bloodstream and invades new territory. Modified citrus pectin appears to stop this aggression by preventing cancer cells from attaching to healthy tissue.
While the name inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) sounds like a mouthful, many of us consume mouthfuls of this natural substance every day - in foods like corn, rice, whole-grain cereals, oats and wheat.
But now scientists have isolated IP-6 and found that this powerful antioxidant can slow the destructive cellular processes that lead to tumors. In a study published in Anti-Cancer Research (Nov/Dec 1998), scientists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine demonstrated that IP-6 could shrink liver tumors in laboratory animals.
The researchers believe that IP-6 can help prevent cancer and also be useful in lowering the risk of health problems like kidney stones and heart disease. Research like this continues to expand our knowledge of how to lower the risk of cancer. In the next millennium, with more and more information making its way into the media and onto websites, our power and the responsibility to reduce our risk of cancer will continue to grow and offer new possibilities.
Fats for Life - the quality of the fat you eat is probably much more important than the...
June 12, 2005 02:39 PM
Fats for Life by Henry Wolfe Energy Times, August 6, 2003
For years, many experts argued that the only good fatty foods were the ones you didn't eat. That was a big, fat mistake. Overwhelming evidence now shows that certain fats are not only necessary for optimal health, but that the quality of the fat you eat is probably much more important than the quantity.
Threatening Trans Fats
"The biggest thing wrong with the fats Americans eat today is that they are eating too many trans fatty acids," says Fred Pescatore, MD, author of The Allergy and Asthma Cure (John Wiley). "About 42,000 foods contain trans fats. These fats are linked to a higher risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer."
Trans fatty acids are fats that form when food manufacturers add hydrogen to fat molecules, a process called hydrogenation that makes fats stay fresh longer without growing rancid. Trans fats also form when foods are fried.
Hydrogenation extends the shelf life of refined foods like cakes, donuts, and crackers. Unfortunately, it also creates fats that many experts believe can compromise your health. In a study of the health effects of trans fats, 26 people agreed to eat a diet that changed every five weeks, continually shifting the types of fats in their meals (American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2000). All of the diets in the study provided 30% of calories from fat. One fifth of the fat came from either soybean oil, semi-liquid margarine, tub margarine, shortening, stick margarine or butter.
"We were interested in assessing what would happen when we substituted one fat for another," notes researcher Alice H. Lichtenstein, DSc, professor of human nutrition at Tufts University, Boston.
The study showed that as people ate more trans fatty acids (in the more solid margarines) and fewer polyunsaturated fats (in the liquid oils), their triglycerides increased after each meal. Triglycerides are blood fats that boost heart disease risk.
For instance, when these folks ate stick margarine, which is high in trans fats, their triglycerides climbed an average 18% higher than when they ate semi-liquid squeeze bottle margarine, a type of margarine that is softer because it is less hydrogenated. Stick margarine raised heart disease risk by causing a drop in HDL, or "good" cholesterol. Although butter increased HDL, it also caused a significant increase in LDL, the "bad" cholesterol that raises heart disease risk.
"The best dietary advice we can give people is to minimize their intake of animal and hydrogenated fats in order to reach the American Heart Association's target of 10% or less of total calories from saturated fat and trans fatty acids," Dr. Lichtenstein says. "That would mean consumers choosing low-fat and non-fat dairy products and lean cuts of meat, and the food industry decreasing the amount of hydrogenated fats used in their products." According to a study at Johns Hopkins University (Amer Coll of Card, 52nd Scientific Session, 3/30/03, Chicago), people who eat saturated fat have more visceral fat, fat surrounding their internal organs. This fat around the waist is now seen as a risk factor for heart disease and other illnesses.
Another hidden problem in our fat consumption, according to Dr. Pescatore, hides within canola oil. Dr. Pescatore says that although many consumers believe canola oil is beneficial to health, the refined canola oil sold in the US has had its potential health benefits removed during processing.
"People still think canola oil is healthy and eat too much of it," he says. "The problem with canola is that it is highly processed and refined....Processors hydrogenate canola oil to keep it from getting rancid."
According to Fred Ottoboni, PhD, coauthor of The Modern Nutritional Diseases (Vincente Books), "Canola oil is lightly hydrogenated to take out the omega-3 fatty acids (the healthiest, but most unstable, fats) and then the food manufacturers filter the trans fats out. I don't worry about the trans fats in canola, but the problem is the huge ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3s."
To get more of the omega-3 fatty acids, which are lacking in most Americans' diets, Dr. Pescatore advocates using macadamia nut oil. "Macadamia nut oil is higher in monounsaturated fats than olive oil; it is the healthiest fat with an omega-3 to -6 ratio of one to one."
The Omega-3 Difference
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are basic forms of fat found in oils. Fish oil, hempseed and flax oil are high in what are called omega-3s. Certain plant-derived oils like corn and soy are richer in omega-6 fatty acids.
"Primitive humans ate a diet that contained a one-to-one ratio of omega-3s and omega-6s," says Dr. Pescatore. "Today we (Americans) eat 20 times more omega-6 than -3; that's why we suffer so much chronic disease and chronic inflammation. For instance, the Japanese eat a (much better) diet that contains a two-to-one ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3." "Not all omega-6s are bad," he adds, "we just eat too many of them."
Switching to healthier fat isn't hard. Eat more fish. When cooking, stick to oils like olive oil and macadamia oil. The quality of your oil and your health may improve in a big, fat way.
What the Medicine Men Knew
June 12, 2005 02:17 PM
What the Medicine Men Knew by Phyllis D. Light, RH, AHG Energy Times, August 4, 2003
When Europeans first landed on the shores of North America, they were greeted by Native Americans who were healthy and strong, tall and straight-boned, and who generally lived to a ripe old age. Curious and friendly, the Native Americans showed the newcomers how to harvest wild foods and grow suitable crops, and also demonstrated the medicinal use of herbs. The North American indigenous medical traditions evolved into an effective system during its long history, estimated at between 12,000 and 40,000 years. So, herbally, we owe a huge debt to the Native American willingness to share knowledge of North American plants. Many of the herbs sitting on the shelves of natural food stores today were originally found in the medicinal arsenal of Native Americans, including black cohosh, echinacea, goldenseal, pleurisy root, sarsaparilla, red root, black walnut, gravel root and American ginseng.
Unique Healing Traditions
The number of Native tribes in the United States is estimated at about 500, and each possesses a unique set of healing traditions. While the term "Native American medicine" does not describe a homogenous system of healing, common, underlying principles can be discerned in many of these tribal traditions. Most often, these healing traditions and practices have been handed down in a rich oral tradition from practitioner to practitioner, rarely finding their way into written descriptions.
For instance, according to David Winston, a Cherokee medicine priest and herbalist living in New Jersey, "Cherokee medicine is based on connection-body, mind, spirit, family, community and God/Spirit. The Cherokee word for medicine, Nvowti, means 'power.' Anything that has power-water, ceremony, songs, stories, herbs-is medicine."
On the other hand, Charles Alexander Eastman, PhD (Indian name: Ohiyesa), comments in his book, The Soul of an Indian, "The Sioux word for the healing art is wah-pee-yah, which literally means 'readjusting or making anew.' Pay-jee-hoo-tah, literally 'root,' means medicine, and wakan signifies 'spirit' or 'mystery.' Thus the three ideas, while sometimes associated, were carefully distinguished."
Native American healing philosophy advocates a customized treatment plan for each person's unique health problems.
Consequently, healing techniques focus on the individual, not the disease, although the overall treatment may incorporate well-known ways for relieving the specific discomforts, aches and pains associated with an illness. Native healers employ herbs, ceremony, song and prayer in a manner tailored to each person they treat.
A central tenet in many Native American healing traditions is the need to sweat. As a result, Inipi, or Lakota sweat lodges, are located in most areas of the country. Sweating produces many benefits. It opens pores, cleanses the skin, enhances circulation, discourages the growth of bacteria in the body and functions as a detoxification outlet.
The skin is well-suited for the elimination of toxins: Experts estimate that during everyday functioning, 30% of the body's wastes pass through the skin. For the Native American, the sweat lodge offers spiritual help as well as physical aid. And the use of sweating is generally not employed as the only treatment but is always accompanied by other therapies such as herbs.
Native Americans are not alone in their reverence for using sweating to treat disease. A technique for sweating is fundamental to most traditional medicines, including Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Native American Herbs
For native healers, herbs offer physical, emotional and spiritual support. In this tradition, herbs are consumed in teas, tablets or capsules, or are inhaled after being thrown onto the hot stones in a sweat lodge or otherwise burned to release their vapor. Smudging, a ritualized method for bathing a person or object with the smoke from sacred herbs such as sweet grass, sage or cedar, is a way of cleansing individuals, clearing a ritual space or sanctifying ceremonial tools. Each herb in the smudging process is used for a specific reason. Sweet grass grows the spirit, while sage and cedar dispel negativity. Frequently, herbs are taken as preparation for participation in rituals. "Sweet leaf is used as a tea before the sweat lodge ceremony in some Indian communities in South Dakota," notes Matthew Wood, RH, AHG, author of The Book of Herbal Wisdom (North Atlantic Books). "It promotes perspiration, relaxes the nerves, reduces tension and brings harmony and beauty to the participants."
The idea that everything in the universe, including people, is connected is a philosophy shared by many tribes.
When a medicine person assesses an illness, she not only observes physical problems but also analyzes family and community dynamics. A person's relationship with God is believed to influence health. In this vein, prayers like Mitakuye Oyasin, a Lakota blessing that means "all my relations," appeals to the interconnectedness of each of us with other people, with the Earth, and with God.
"Separation and isolation is one of the leading causes of illness," David Winston says. "There is a connection between everything-within ourselves and outside of ourselves. When we isolate and separate ourselves from our family, our community and from God/Spirit, then we suffer diseases of the spirit. Ultimately, we are responsible for our own spirits-to keep them healthy.
"In addition," adds Winston, "from the Cherokee viewpoint, the nuclear family is seen as too small. There are too many single parents working too hard and under too much stress." In a Native American clan-based society, much of this stress is defused with the support of an extended family.
Kinship philosophy is a basic part of the Native perspective, a kinship that extends beyond humans to all life, including animals, fish, and birds as well as the Earth itself. Consequently, care of the Earth is an integral part of kinship philosophy. Indigenous cultures have very specific knowledge of ecology and environmental ethics. In the kinship philosophy, damage done by man to the Earth is then reflected back in the body of man by diseases of the body and spirit. Man and his illnesses are seen as part of the ecology of the planet, not a separate, isolated force with the power to control.
Modern Ills, Ancient Treatments
Winston believes that Cherokee medicine offers the greatest aid to people with chronic illnesses such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and some female reproductive complaints, as well as individuals with stress-related disorders. It can also offer aid to those who are depressed and feel alienated or disconnected from society.
Native American medicine can offer balance and healing. It can be used in conjunction with Western medicine, providing a holistic and individualized treatments. To find a Native American healer, check with your local tribal community. Mitakuye Oyasin.
June 10, 2005 04:01 PM
Real Solutions by Susan Risoli Energy Times, November 1, 1997
The alarm sounds, you stumble out of bed and head to the bathroom. Suddenly, a burning sting wakes you with a jolt as you begin to urinate. One doctor visit later, you're on a strict antibiotic regimen to treat your urinary problem.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) affect 8 million to 10 million Americans, mostly women, each year. The culprit: the bacteria E. coli. Neglect may allow a UTI to spread to the bladder (where it causes cystitis), or kidneys: possibly life-threatening.
The good news: medical experts recognize that a diet change and avoiding certain risk factors may help fight off UTIs.
According to the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, about 20% of women experience UTI at least once, and many suffer recurrences. Sexually active women tend to incur more UTIs because of anatomical vagaries: the bladder sits just above the vagina, while the urethra, a structure from the bladder to the outside, protrudes in a tubelike ridge down the top part of the vagina to just above the vaginal opening. This structure allows sexual intercourse to push infecting bacteria into the urethra. Women's vulnerability to UTI also derives from their short urethras which are located near the rectum, a main source of UTI germs. These tubes provide an easy path to a bacterial home in the bladder.
Another risk booster: pelvic exams which may increase chances of UTI. A 1996 study conducted at the University of Illinois at Chicago and reported in the Archives of Family Medicine (1996;5:357-360) found that 43% of women with UTIs had received a pelvic examination within the two months preceding infection. Only 16% of the uninfected had been examined.
Bladder infections can occur frequently in postmenopausal women due to thinning and drying of the vaginal lining. And mid-life women are not immune. "With the loss of estrogen support, the urethra becomes less flexible and elastic and, like the vagina, it can become easily irritated after sexual intercourse and, thus, much more prone to infection," reports Susan Lark, MD, in her book, Women's Health Companion: Self Help Nutrition Guide and Cookbook (Celestial Arts). "As women age, the lower urinary tract also stops manufacturing anti-adherence factors, which help to prevent bacteria from attaching to the bladder wall."
Every woman should keep her own "female" botanicals on hand to help boost her immune system when she is at high risk of developing a bladder infection. These include:
Cranberry: This immune-boosting, vitamin C-rich berry prevents germs from invading the lining of the urinary tract. A 1994 study of 153 elderly women conducted by researchers at the Harvard Medical School and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (1994:271: 751-4) showed that cranberry juice may keep harmful bacteria at reduced levels. More recently, a study by Amy B. Howell, PhD, and a team at Rutgers University found that cranberries contain a type of condensed tannin, a chemical compound called proanthocyanidins, that seemed to stunt the growth of E. coli, preventing it from adhering to the walls of the bladder and kidneys.
"However, once you have an infection, cranberry juice cannot eradicate the bacteria. So drinking cranberry juice may be helpful in preventing an infection, but not in treating an existing one," according to Larrian Gillespie, MD, in her book You Don't have to Live with Cystitis (Avon Books).
Drinking two glasses of juice a day can help if you're UTI-prone. To avoid the sugar added to cranberry juice, concentrated cranberries are available in a gel-cap form.
Echinacea: This North American herb bolsters immune function and is believed to possess antiseptic and antiviral properties which may rev up the white blood cells that fight infection, reports John Cammarta, MD, in his book A Physician's Guide To Herbal Wellness (Chicago Review Press).
While cranberry is most commonly recommended for prevention, other herbs can also kill bacteria and are diuretic. These include:
Barberry: "The chemical berberine found in this herb is an impressive infection fighter. Studies show it kills the bacteria responsible for urinary tract infections," says author Jim O'Brien in his book Herbal Cures for Common Ailments (Globe).
O'Brien recommends making a tea with one half teaspoon of powdered root bark, then put it on low boil for 30 minutes. "The taste is unpleasant, so you may wish to add natural sweeteners and flavorings."
Uva-ursi: contains the ingredient arbutin, which fights germs in the urinary tract. "In addition," adds O'Brien, "the herb contains several diuretics that help flush the urinary tract, leading to faster healing. It also has several tannins, which act as powerful astringents drying out swollen, infected tissue. A third property of uva-ursi is allantoin, which promotes the growth of new cells."
"For this herb to be effective you must not eat or drink anything of acidic nature, such as citrus fruits or juices. Don't even take vitamin C supplements while using it," cautions O'Brien.
Coping With Pain
In her book Herbal Remedies for Women (Prima), medical herbalist Amanda McQuade Crawford offers an herbal recipe to help restore the urinary tract's normal pH. Herbal Formula I calls for 4 ounces of uva-ursi leaf, three ounces of marshmallow leaf, two ounces of yarrow flower (omit during pregnancy) and one ounce (or to taste) cinnamon bark. Steep the herbs for 10 to 20 minutes, then strain through bamboo or wire mesh. Drink 2 to 5 cups daily for 10 days. Crawford advocates drinking one to two cups per day for a week to 10 days after all symptoms have disappeared.
Urologist Gillespie has found that women with cystitis may notice certain foods and beverages (such as alcohol and acidic foods) exacerbate problems of pain and burning. Gillespie recommends cystitis sufferers avoid foods like apple juice, apples, apricots, melon, carbonated drinks, spicy foods, citrus fruits, coffee, ginger, grapes, guava, lemon juice, peaches, pineapple, plums, rhubarb, strawberries, tea, tomatoes and vinegar.
Limit refined sugar: this nutrient may stunt immune reactions. Most importantly, you can lower the risk of UTIs by drinking liquids. Water helps flush bacteria from the body so drink at least 6 to 8 eight-ounce glasses of filtered water daily.