Search Term: " childhood "
Can Gut Bacteria Affect Your Mental Health?
April 02, 2019 02:06 PM
There are two different microbes called Coprococcus and Dialister that are now showing a correlation between depression and the absence of these two floras. A study was done in which 1,000 participants filled out assessments that analyzed their quality of life. Those who were shown to have significant signs of depression were more likely to have a deficiency in the two previously mentioned forms of gut flora. Since the microbes in our gut are responsible for other conditions such as childhood Leukemia and inflammatory diseases, their correlation to mental wellness is not a complete shock.
"Researchers from Belgium recruited more than 1,000 people in order to examine their gut microbiome. Of them, 173 participants were diagnosed with depression or fared poorly in a survey assessing their quality of life."
Read more: https://www.medicaldaily.com/can-gut-bacteria-affect-your-mental-health-429678
Supplementing with vitamin D can promote weight loss, study finds
December 03, 2018 02:03 PM
There are a lot of people out there that love to have vitamins on a daily basis. They understand all the good things that they can provide for someone and how important they can be as you get older. Diet is one of those things that is constantly not getting enough credit in the health circles of today's world. However, studies are now showing that Vitamin D can promote weight loss and help people achieve their body image goals.
"Childhood obesity has become a significant health problem around the world. Not only is it dangerous for children right now, but it also sets them up to develop serious problems later in life, such as diabetes and heart disease."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-11-30-supplementing-with-vitamin-d-promotes-weight-loss.html
How To Brighten Skin, Get Even Skin Tone - How To Get Clear, Glowing & Spotless Skin
October 24, 2017 12:14 PM
During childhood, people have very good skin, but as we age, we have very bad skin issues and this leads to long term damage. Everyone wants to have great skin. But, they do not want to spend a lot of money on it. There is an answer thankfully. Sun damaged skin is another thing that leads to an uneven skin tone. With a few simple ingredients, you can make your own homemade face remedy that will maker your skin shine again.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzZzP4PsHX4&rel=0
"Fair and clear skin can be yours in no time if you use this face pack regularly."
5 Reasons Food is More Effective than Medicine
July 29, 2017 12:14 PM
A whole foods diet is one in which foods are eaten in their natural, minimally processed state. There is scientific evidence that diets incorporating plants and un-processed ingredients are correlated with reduced disease. This is particularly true in cases of the modern ills of humanity including high blood pressure, cancer, and current childhood disorders like ADHD. By avoiding processed foods and incorporating more plant foods into the diet, disease can be prevented, halted, and even reversed.
"The food choices we make will either feed our health or our sickness, and there is a growing body of evidence that suggests the key to improving the chronic diseases of the world can be found in the produce section of your local grocery store."
Read more: http://vegnews.com/articles/page.do?pageId=9772&catId=2
Researchers find that an egg a day can increase growth in young children
June 21, 2017 07:14 AM
Eggs have the potential to contribute to reduced growth stunting around the world.Poor nutrition is a major cause of stunting, along with childhood infections and illnesses.eggs were great food for young children with small stomachs.Eggs contain a combination of nutrients, which we think is important.Children in the treatment group had higher dietary intakes of eggs and reduced intake of sugar-sweetened foods compared to control.They theorized that getting very young children to eat eggs might have an impact.
Read more: Researchers find that an egg a day can increase growth in young children
When It Come to Bone Health, Look Beyond Calcium
June 13, 2017 07:14 PM
When it comes to bone health, you need to look beyond the calcium. Most people are aware of the benefits their bodies receive from calcium. It is something most people have learned in childhood. Vitamin D is another thing that benefits people. Recent research has also shown the link between health and the amount of fruits and veggies you eat. It is important to realize that there are other things we need besides calcium and vitamin D.
Read more: When It Come to Bone Health, Look Beyond Calcium
With This Natural Syrup Look What Happen to your body - How to Treat Anemia
June 04, 2017 12:14 PM
Anemia, a deficiency in your red blood cells, can help be combated just by making a simple syrup in your spare time. When combining various vegetables and apples such as carrots, apples and lemons, it can be filtered through gauze and ingested in a small and appropriate amount on a daily basis. In doing so, you can help detoxify your body through this natural syrup and see the benefits of clean living without the use of medications that can have unintended side effects.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-B7aUvD4h0&rel=0
"Prepare this healthy syrup to improve your blood. Do you feel tired and general weakness of your body?"
Natural Eczema Treatment: 13 Home Remedies for Eczema
June 04, 2017 09:14 AM
Eczema is more than just dry skin. Regular lotion doesn't do much for it. You can use special creams or take meds but not everyone wants to do that. This gives some good natural remedies which might be preferable over meds. They don't have harmful chemicals in them. Eczema is uncomfortable and advice on curing it can change someone's life for the better. No one likes the scaly skin and itchiness that come along with eczema.
"While many will experience a lessening of symptoms and fewer flares as they age, some will continue to experience eczema symptoms throughout adulthood."
Read more: https://draxe.com/eczema-treatment/
Will eating a little dirt help your digestion?
May 17, 2017 06:44 AM
When you think about what you are going to eat, is dirt one of the items that you crave? Most people will make a smirk at the simple question, let alone say that they've ever one considered eating dirt (with the exception of the childhood year, maybe.) But, could it be that eating dirt could aid in your digestion system? Many people are weighing in on the issue, and it is time that you learned, too!
Read more: Will eating a little dirt help your digestion?
Treading carefully on medical marijuana
March 24, 2017 11:44 AM
Medical marijuana has long been a controversial topic and countries all over the world are slow to make cannabis available for medical reasons. Many people swear by marijuana as an effective treatment for a variety of conditions. Unfortunately, there is limited scientific evidence to support some of these medical claims and proponents of the plant should be cautious when making such claims. This article provides an in-depth explanation of what has been proven in scientific research and what studies some countries are undertaking.
"The calls for legalisation of medicinal cannabis have been shrill and perhaps based on misunderstanding."
Read more: http://www.independent.ie/life/health-wellbeing/health-features/treading-carefully-on-medical-marijuana-35539393.html
Well: Are Fat Cells Forever?
February 18, 2017 04:59 PM
People may wonder if fat cells are forever. The number of fat cells one person has seems to be able to go in only one direction and it is up. The fat cell number rises a lot in childhood and then stabilizes as an adult. This does not imply that they are stagnant though. The size of single fat cells is variable.
Vitamin C intake drastically reduces the risk of COPD
February 15, 2017 05:59 AM
Vitamin C is good for us. Most of us know this and have since childhood. If we're sick it can help us heal faster. It also apparently lowers the risk of COPD which is something many smokers are afflicted with, though it's not only smokers who get it. Definitely check this out if you think you may be at risk.
The Difference Between Type I and II diabetes.
There are mainly two different types of diabetes - Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is known as insulin-dependent or juvenile diabetes. It is a condition in which there is an absolute lack of insulin. Due to the attacking of the body's immune system, the beta cells which are present in the pancreas and are responsible for making and secreting insulin die. Thus, there are no cells available to make insulin. So, in this case, the body will die without getting supplemental insulin immediately or in near- immediate future. The only treatment for this diabetes is insulin shots. Almost 10% of the people get this diabetes.
Whereas in type 2 diabetes, beta cells are present therefore insulin is also present. This diabetes is also known as non-insulin dependent diabetes. Insulin production produced is less than the amount of insulin the body requires. Almost 90% get affected by this type of diabetes. Treatment includes proper diet, exercise, and pills.
Usually, type 1 diabetes starts during childhood whereas type 2 diabetes is usually diagnosed during adulthood. As type 1 diabetes affects mostly young babies and children, it is known as juvenile-onset diabetes. People who have type 1 diabetes lack total insulin whereas type 2 diabetics have too little insulin.
Even the causes of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are entirely different. It is not possible to prevent type 1 diabetes whereas type 2 can be avoided. But type 2 diabetes may be genetic also. It may be the result of obesity or high blood pressure. The symptoms of type 1 diabetes are very severe. Suddenly the child becomes feeble and sick; urination is increased, experience increased thirst, nausea, vomiting, stomach and abdominal pain, excessive fatigue, weight loss and decreased appetite. Immediate medical attention or usually hospitalization is required for the person suffering from these symptoms. On the other hand, type 2 is often diagnosed before the presence of any symptoms.
Omega-3 supplements can prevent childhood asthma
January 10, 2017 12:59 PM
When it comes to supplements in general, the supplement omega three is known to having properties that can prevent childhood asthma. When the supplement itself is taken during pregnancy the risk of childhood asthma can be reduced by close to one third. These findings are the result of a recent study that was completed by the University of Waterloo.
""Asthma and wheezing disorders have more than doubled in Western countries in recent decades," said Professor Bisgaard. "We now have a preventative measure to help bring those numbers down.""
These May Be First Warning Signs for Depression in Kids
December 15, 2016 12:59 PM
Yes. childhood depression is different from the normal "blues" and everyday emotions that occur as a child develops. Just because a child seems sad doesn't necessarily mean he or she has significant depression. If the sadness becomes persistent, or if disruptive behavior that interferes with normal social activities, interests, schoolwork, or family life develops, it may indicate that he or she has a depressive illness.
"It can be hard to study depression in families."
Huge study finds a billion people suffer from high blood pressure
November 29, 2016 10:59 AM
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease due to strain being put on the blood vessels and major organs of the body. Forty years ago, the main population to have the condition was the rich. These days, the poor make up a majority of the population with hypertension. This is believed to mainly be due to poor diet. It is estimated that just over 1.1 billion people today have the condition, which is double that of 40 years ago.
"The increases are especially significant in Africa and South Asia, the researchers said, and could be partly due to poor nutrition in childhood."
What Are The Essential Vitamins For Healthy Skin?
October 29, 2016 07:59 AM
Did you know that vitamins are important to maintain healthy skin? If you didn't know, it is time to learn this information so that you can begin treating your skin the right way. Click this article to learn essential vitamins that you need to give your skin the TLC that it deserves. If it is healthy, beautiful skin you want to be seen it, these are must-use vitamins!
"Since childhood we have been told that Vitamins are good for our health. Deficiency of Vitamins can lead to various ailments. Apart from achieving a healthy body we need vitamins for healthy skin too. Read on to find out what are the most important ones and why."
Traditional Uses of Blessed Thistle
The Health Benefits of Bilberry Extract
Bilberry supports better vision.
The main benefit of bilberry extract is for reducing the risk of macular generation and the other age-related eye diseases; glaucoma, cataracts and poor night vision. These advantages are due to the antioxidants phytonutrients the berries contain.
In other third world countries, the most essential vitamin needed is vitamin A. Lack of vitamin A during childhood can lead to blindness. In fact, hundreds of thousands of malnourished children go blind each year due to a lack of vitamin A in the diet.
Unfortunately, bilberry extract is not a source of beta-carotene. It is a source of another antioxidant called anthocyanin.
Bilberry extract has the highest eye supporting anthocyanins, of all the berries. If you want to support good eye sight, consider taking bilberry daily!
6 Types of Depression
April 15, 2014 10:36 PM
Types of depression
Major / Clinical Depression
Prenatal Vitamins: Why are They Important for Pregnant Women?
April 01, 2014 06:42 PM
If you have any plans of getting pregnant, then you have to ensure that you are taking prenatal vitamins regularly from day one until the postpartum period. Women today have less time to eat a healthy meal, which is why it is important for them to take vitamins most especially if they are expecting a baby.
Being a mother is the most exciting life event of a woman, which is why it is important that you do not just take care of yourself but on the life inside your womb as well.
Here are the reasons why prenatal vitamins are important for pregnant women:
It provides a boost for expectant mothers to prevent from suffering from nausea and vomiting. As you know, morning sickness is common in pregnant women and this symptom may cause extreme fatigue preventing them to eat or even move a muscle.
It reduces the risk of your child to have the three common childhood cancers such as brain tumors, leukemia, and neuroblastoma. It also prevents neural tube defects that develop in the first 28 days of pregnancy.
It provides the important vitamins that you lack. This is important if you are on a vegetarian diet or if you are meticulous on the foods that you eat, most especially if you are in your first trimester.
These vitamins have iron. Iron is important to maintain a healthy blood during pregnancy. A lack of this while pregnant may result to some serious problems encountered during deliver.
So, it is important that you take prenatal vitamins with iron to make you and your baby healthy.
Can a Lactase Enzyme Help with Milk Digestion
April 27, 2011 03:49 PM
Lactase enzyme is the compound necessary for the breakdown of lactose. As such, deficiency in this enzyme results in the impaired capacity to metabolize milk and other dairy products. This is quite common in Asian and African countries, where the majority of their populations do not rely on milk-based animal products. Consumptions of lactase supplements have been reported to aid milk digestion.
Human beings are believed to have lost the ability to process lactose in adulthood a few thousand years ago. The primary source of lactose of early human populations was breast milk, which is only provided by mothers during the early stages of childhood in general. This practice has continued in Asian and African communities, the reason why these groups are predominantly lactose intolerant.
On the other hand, European communities have considered milk as an important source of food and nutrition since the introduction of the agricultural practices of raising livestock. It is now postulated that the early inhabitants of Europe who relied so much in dairy products underwent a genetic mutation that enables them to continue the biosynthesis of the enzyme lactase into adulthood.
Whereas much of the global population is lactose intolerant, people with European ancestry are capable of digesting milk well into their adult years. That being said, people who are not lactose intolerant are not necessarily well equipped for the digestion of dairy products. In fact, many adults suffer from lactose maldigestion, which causes gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea and indigestion as well as allergies and sinus problems such as infections.
Lactose maldigestion has a higher incidence worldwide than lactose intolerance. It is a fact that the genetic expression for the enzyme lactase as produced and released in the digestive tract is down-regulated the human body with age. This may not result in lactose intolerance, but depleting levels of lactase will no longer be able to effectively digest into old age food products that contain lactose.
The absence of the enzyme lactase may result in a variety of digestive problems when milk is taken together with other foods. In some people, even the smallest amounts of lactose upset digestion and produce common symptoms of lactose intolerance such as indigestion, diarrhea and sinus inflammation. If you want to avoid these problems but still love dairy products, you may want to choose hydrolyzed lactose.
Lactase supplements have been documented to produce desirable results. Most nutraceutical companies make use of eukaryotic microorganisms that possess the genes needed to synthesize this enzyme, such as Kluyveromyces fragilis, Kluyveromyces lactis, Aspergillus niger, and Aspergillus oryzae, among others. These supplements are formulated for individuals with lactose intolerance, but also benefit those who are suffering from symptoms tied to lactose maldigestion.
The enzyme lactase works on the principle of breaking down lactose into smaller compounds, galactose and glucose, and supplementation of lactase does exactly that.
A Good Vitamin Plan Is Essential To a Health Child To Help Fight ADHD
December 21, 2010 06:19 PM
Have you known any child who is having difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity or over-activity? This child is probably experiencing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. ADHD is a common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. Researchers are not sure what causes ADHD, although many studies suggest that genes play a large role.
Like many other health conditions, ADHD probably is a result of a combination of factors. There has been no cure for ADHD yet palliative management is promising in reducing symptoms of ADHD and improving the child’s well being and optimal functioning. These include medications, psychotherapy, training and education or a combination of these managements. In this article, we will be focusing on the natural vitamins that can help fight the exacerbation of ADHD symptoms which include:
1. Choline: Choline is a vital precursor to the production of neurotransmitters such as Dopamine and Acetylcholine. These nervous system chemicals are helpful in supporting concentration, alertness, and memory.
2. Zinc: Studies show that children in ADHD categories have lower levels of zinc and clincal studies reveal that those children who supplemented with extra zinc along with traditional ADHD medications have reported improvement of signs and symptoms most especially hyperactivity and impulsivity. Foods high in zinc include Seafood, oysters, salmon, crabmeat, and, red meat like beef, lamb and pork, poultry such as turkey and chicken, dairy products, nuts, beans, fortified cereals, and whole grains.
3. Fish oil: Most Oily Fish contain omega-3 fatty acids With DHA. These chemicals can improve mental skills and enhance the child’s ability to organize activities. Possible cause for the low fish oil status of the ADHD children may be impaired conversion of the fatty acid precursors namely Linolenic Acid and alpha-linolenic acid to their longer and more highly unsaturated products, EPA and DHA, which are fish oil fats. Fish high in omega 3 fatty acids include salmon, albacore tuna, herring, mackerel, trout, sardines, flax seeds, walnuts, butternuts and soybeans.
4. Magnesium: Magnesium can have a calming effect. The best thing about magnesium is that it is abundantly found in many foods. Low dietary magnesium levels could lead to anxiety, irritability, and/or restlessness. This mineral can also play a role in sugar metabolism, which is important when wanting to stabilizing moods and concentration. Magnesium, a calming mineral, can be found in foods like nuts, black beans, peas, seeds and ready-to-eat whole grain cereals.
5. Vitamin B-6: Vitamin B-6 is needed for normal mental development and is important in the synthesis of brain chemicals including dopamine , serotonin, and norepinephrine. A B-6 deficiency has symptoms of inability to concentrate, irritability, and short-term memory loss. Regular consumption of vitamin B-6 could help reduce behavioral issues in a ADHD child. Good sources of B vitamins are milk, fish, eggs, yeast, green-leafy vegetables and cereals. Oranges are a great source of vitamin C and can improve our mood.
These are some of the natural vitamins that we find in our food. A good multiple vitamin supplements with iron can be safe and effective.
If you Suspect your child has ADHD, whats stopping you from getting him or her on a supplement plan today?
Fight Anxiety Disorders Naturally
December 14, 2010 04:27 PM
Do you suffer from an Anxiety Disorder?
Before considering how to test for anxiety disorders and discussing natural supplements that can help we should first discuss what anxiety disorders are - what the term means and if there are degrees of anxiety disorders as there are of depression and stress. First, what is anxiety?
Anxiety is a natural reaction to stress and it is anxiety that makes you worry about the consequences of not studying for an exam - so you study. It focuses you on problems so that you will be more likely to solve them, and helps you to perform better whatever you are doing. However, it can get out of hand and these positive mental processes become negative anxiety disorders.
With some people, anxiety becomes a dread of situations that were once everyday occurrences and can make your life a misery. Here are some forms of anxiety disorder.
Typical Anxiety Disorders
General Anxiety Disorder
Its symptoms include excessive sweating, worry, headaches, irritability, difficulty in sleeping, tiredness and tension in your muscles. It can lead to substance abuse and deep depression if left untreated.
These are three typical forms of anxiety, but how do you test for anxieties? Here are some tests that are used, beginning with the easiest - doing it yourself!
Testing for Anxiety Disorders
Many that believe they may have an anxiety disorder either tend to panic or go into a depression. It is far better to carry out a self-test. This anxiety test is very simple: simply tick which of the symptoms below you have experienced in the past six months:
I can't relax
I am always worried about something.
I get headaches for no apparent reason
I frequently sweat a lot and get hot flashes
I have no time for anybody and am easily annoyed
I find it hard to sleep and I often wake up during the night
My attention keeps wandering and I can't focus on anything
I sometimes get so worried I want to be sick or have a lump in my throat
If you have ticked more than three then perhaps you should pay your doctor a visit, or try some of the recommendations below.
b) Doctors' Tests
If you feel you might be suffering some form of anxiety disorder you should consult your doctor, particularly if you have tried the self test above and it indicates that you might be. Your doctor might carry out various tests for your general health, and if it is felt necessary you may be asked about your family history: is there any history of mental problems in the family, particularly with your mother or father.
Other questions may appertain to your own physical and mental background, such as have you been stressed for any reason lately, have you suffered anxiety or panic attacks in the past and what is your normal use of prescription and non-prescription medications and drugs. Do you smoke, drink or take any social drugs.
It is important that you are totally honest: the doctor is not judging you, simply trying to find the cause of your problem. Under the terms of their oath they cannot divulge anything you tell them to anyone else, so be honest and let them help you. Among the tests you will be given will be to declare all your history of anxiety-related symptoms. To achieve that, you will be asked a series of questions while the doctor assesses your mental condition.
Finally, you may be referred to a psychiatrist who will be able to help you more than your doctor. Psychiatrists have a good record in resolving anxiety disorders, but once you are diagnosed positively, what then? Chemical drugs? Or perhaps you would prefer something more natural such as herbal remedies.
Herbal Remedies for Anxiety
There are a number of herbs that can be used to treat anxiety disorders. Here are the more commonly used of these:
Passion flower contains the active substances maltol and ethylmaltol that your body's biochemistry uses to increase the concentration of GABA (gamma-butyric acid) in your brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter that calms you and helps you to relax and forget anything that is making you anxious. It relieves muscle tension, can lower your blood pressure and some equate its effect to that of Valium: although it is totally different chemically it is similar in its effect. It offers a sedative effect and helps you sleep.
Kava Kava root
Kava kava. Generally just referred to as kava, comes from the Pacific and the kavalactones it contains increase the concentration of neurotransmitters in your vascular system, particularly serotonin, the feel-good substance. Its sedative effects have been likened to that of alcohol, and it can certainly give you a lift and certainly helps you worry less as it reduces the negative symptoms of stress and depression.
St. John's Wort
St. John's wort is a well-known anti-depressant and it can also help reduce the symptom of anxiety. The hyperforin the plant contains helps to improve the brain's content of the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine that make you feel good, and St. John's wort certainly washes away your anxiety. Not only that, but the napththodianthrone in another of its important components, hypericin, promotes a reduction in depression through the inhibition of monoamine oxidase, a pro-depressive enzyme.
An extract of valerian root can help you to relax and sleep well, and this can often be enough to prevent your anxiety attacks. A lot depends on their cause, but if the attacks are mild and don't require extensive medical or psychiatric intervention, then valerian can help, particularly in treating stress-related anxiety. Make sure you stick to the recommended dose because valerian can be dangerous if taken to excess.
The four herbal remedies above should between them be all you need to treat your anxiety. One major problem is that, just like any chemical drugs, they only treat the symptoms and not the underlying cause which is something you and your physician will have to work on yourselves.
However, until then, the above herbal remedies for anxiety disorders are generally safer to use than prescription drugs and each has a well proven effect, both on the symptoms of anxiety and on depression.
Lactase Enzymes and Acidophilus
February 10, 2010 11:16 AM
Lactose intolerance is what is known as the inability to digest lactose. It is cause by a lack or deficiency of lactase. Lactase is an enzyme that is manufactured in the small intestine. It is responsible for splitting lactose into glucose and galactose. When a person who has lactose intolerance consumes milk or other dairy products, some or all of the lactose they contain remains undigested, retains fluid, and ferments in the colon. This results in abdominal cramps, bloating, diarrhea, and gas. Symptoms of lactose intolerance usually result between thirty minutes and two hours after consumption of dairy foods.
The degree of lactose intolerance varies from person to person. For most adults, lactose intolerance is actually a normal condition. Only Caucasians of northern European origin generally retain the ability to digest lactose after childhood. In the United States, somewhere between 30 and 50 million people are lactose intolerance. Lactase deficiency can also occur due to gastrointestinal disorders, which damage the digestive tract like celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, regional enteritis, or ulcerative colitis. Lactase deficiency can even develop on its own, with no known way to prevent it.
Lactose intolerance can occur in children as well as adults, even though it is far less common. In infants, lactose intolerance can occur after a severe case of gastroenteritis, which damages the intestinal lining. Symptoms of lactose intolerance in an infant can include foamy diarrhea with diaper rash, slow weight gain and development, and vomiting. Lactose intolerance can cause discomfort and digestive disruption, although it is not a serious threat to health and it can be easily managed through dietary adjustments. The following nutrients are recommended for dealing with lactose intolerance. The dosages specified are for adults unless otherwise specified. For a child between the ages of twelve and seventeen, the dose should be reduced to three-quarters of the recommended amount. A child between the ages of six and twelve should use half the recommended dosage.
One teaspoon of acidophilus in distilled water, taken twice daily on an empty stomach, can help to replace lost friendly bacteria and promote healthy digestion. It is recommended that a nondairy formula is used. Charcoal tablets are helpful in absorbing toxins and relieving diarrhea. Four tablets taken every hour with water until symptoms subside can help combat an acute attack. 1,000 mg of magnesium should be taken daily, as it is need for calcium uptake and promotes pH balance.
A multivitamin and mineral complex should be taken as directed on the label because all nutrients are needed for optimal health. 400 IU of vitamin D3 is also needed for calcium uptake, while 200 IU of vitamin E daily protects the cell membranes that line the colon wall. It should be noted that the d-alpha-tocopherol form of vitamin E should be taken. 30 mg of zinc should be taken three times daily. A total of 100 mg daily from all supplements should not be exceeded. This nutrient is needed to maintain immune system and proper mineral balance. For best absorption, zinc gluconate lozenges should be used. Additionally, 3 mg of copper is needed to balance with zinc.
Most of all, a good lactase enzyme supplement can help ease painful gas and bloating when taken before dairy products are consumed.
September 29, 2009 01:21 PM
Medicinally, ginger has been used for thousands of years. The herb was first used in tropical Asian climates. The Greek historian Dioscorides recommended ginger for the stimulation of the production of digestive juices and also to fight chills and colds. This herb has been used by the Chinese for many ailments including colds, nausea, and indigestion. The introduction of ginger to America is credited to the Spaniards during the sixteenth century. From 1820 to 1873, ginger was listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia.
Ginger is believed to have blood-thinning properties, along with the ability to lower blood cholesterol levels. The herb is both a blood stimulant and a cleansing herb. Ginger is also used for respiratory problems like colds, sore throats, bronchitis, congestion, headaches, and pain. This herb is also known to help with nausea, kidney problems, heart problems, fever, vomiting, cramps, and in herbal combinations to aid in the effectiveness of other herbs. Ginger is well known for its medicinal properties, as it is used for a variety of ailments including menstrual symptoms, inflammation, arthritis, high cholesterol, liver problems, gastrointestinal problems, and motion sickness.
Recent studies have been very convincing as to the value of ginger. This herb contains terpenses, which are chemically similar to those found in camphor and turpentine. Additionally, researchers believe that there are two natural antibiotics that have been found in ginger. Ginger has been found to stop the growth of bacteria and also has the ability to relieve dizziness and motion sickness. This herb may help in preventing heart attacks and also contains anti-inflammatory agents. Studies involving seven patients with rheumatoid arthritis who have tried numerous conventional drugs, which provided only temporary or partial relief, were given ginger. All of the patients reported significant improvement, pain relief, reduction in swelling, and improved mobility from the ginger therapy. Additional studies found similar results, with 75 to 100 percent of the patients having relief and improvement as a result of ginger supplementation. Of all its effects, ginger is probably best known for its positive effect on the gastrointestinal system. One study found that powdered ginger was more effective in treating motion sickness than some common over-the-counter treatments, without causing drowsiness. Out of thirty-six volunteers for the trial, the twelve who were given ginger did better than the twelve who received an over-the-counter preparation and the twelve who received a placebo. Ginger contains zingibain, which is a digestive enzyme that is beneficial for digestion. Ginger root may have potential for easing the morning sickness that is often associated with the early months of pregnancy.
The root of the ginger plant is used to provide alterative, antacid, anti-inflammatory, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, rubefacient, sialagogue, and stimulant properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, protein, sodium, and vitamins A, B-complex, and C. Primarily, ginger is extremely beneficial in treating bronchitis, childhood diseases, poor circulation, cods, colic, colitis, stomach cramps, diarrhea, dizziness, fatigue, fevers, flu, gas, gastric disorders, headache, heart problems, indigestion, morning sickness, motion sickness, nausea, sore throat, and vomiting. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with colon problems, coughs, uterine cramps, hemorrhage, intestinal problems, kidney problems, paralysis, sinus problems, and toothaches.
Red Clover Blossom
August 29, 2009 01:51 PM
Red clover is also commonly referred to as wild clover, purple clover, meadow clover, honeysuckle clover, or cow grass. This herb is a member of the pea family. It is commonly found in pastures, lawns, along roadsides, and in meadows. Many consider this herb to be a nuisance and, thus, they try to eliminate it from their lawns. However, this is not easily accomplished due to red clover’s hearty nature.
The use of red clover most likely originated in Europe. There, it was used as an expectorant and a diuretic. Additionally, it was burned as incense to invoke the spirits of the deceased. Some people even wore the leaves of red clover as charms against evil. The red clover was revered by early Christians because they associated its three leaves with the Trinity. The flowers of this plant were dried by the ancient Chinese and then put in pillows to help relax both the body and mind. The Native Americans used red clover as an infusion gargle for sore throats, whooping cough, and asthma. Additionally, they used it on children because it was a milder, safer way to fight debilitating childhood diseases.
This herb has been used for treating cancer, bronchitis, nervous conditions, spasms, and toxins in the body. It is considered by herbalists to be a blood cleanser. Herbalists also recommend this mild herb in formulas when using a cleansing program. Red clover is often mixed with honey and water to make a cough syrup and act as an expectorant. The herb is a mild sedative and is useful for spasmodic conditions, bronchitis, wheezing, and fatigue. Because red clover is mild, it can often be used by children.
Research has determined that red clover contains some antibiotic properties that are beneficial in fighting several kinds of bacteria. Among these types of bacteria is the one that causes tuberculosis. Additionally, red clover has a long history of use in treating cancer. Scientists at the National Cancer Institute have uncovered some anticancer activity in red clover, including daidzein and genistein activity. Even though the findings are preliminary and the use of red clover as a cancer treatment has not yet been validated, research is continuing to show promising results.
Externally, red clover has been used to treat skin problems such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, and even vaginal irritation. It can also be applied topically to burns, boils, sores, and ulcers. Red clover has also been documented for use in treating AIDS, syphilis, and leprosy. This herb can be applied externally to help soothe lymphatic swelling and as an eyewash.
In short, the flowers of red clover are used to provide alterative, antibiotic, antispasmodic, blood purifier, nutritive, sedative, stimulant, and vulnerary properties. The primary nutrients found in red clover are calcium, cobalt, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, nickel, selenium, sodium, tin, and vitamins A, C, B-complex, F, and P. Primarily, red clover is extremely beneficial in dealing with acne, AIDS/HIV, athlete’s foot, blood impurities, bronchitis, cancer, eczema, leukemia, liver disorders, nervous disorders, psoriasis, skin disorders, spasms, and the effects of toxins.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating arthritis, asthma, boils, burns, childhood diseases, colds, constipation, coughs, muscle cramps, fatigue, flu, gallbladder, gastric disorders, indigestion, leprosy, lymphatic irritations, rheumatism, sores, syphilis, sore throat, tuberculosis, ulcers, urinary infections, vaginal irritations, whooping cough, and wounds.
For more information on red clover, look for this wonderful herb at your local heath food store. Remember to always look for name brands to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
August 27, 2009 02:40 PM
Garlic is very popular because of its health benefits. A perennial plant and member of the lily family, the bulb of the garlic plant is used for many medicinal purposes. Garlic was used by the ancient Hebrews, Greeks, Romans, Chinese, and Egyptians. The Chinese used this herb at least three thousand years ago to treat various ailments. The Egyptians ate garlic while building pyramids to increase their strength and endurance. Hippocrates suggested that this herb be used for treatment of uterine cancer. Native Americans used garlic to fight abdominal cancer, while the Europeans used this herb during the plague years to provide immunity. The main historical uses of garlic were to treat colds, coughs, toothaches, earaches, diarrhea, infection, arteriosclerosis, headaches, dandruff, tumors, worms, and hypertension.
Garlic is nature’s antibiotic. This herb is very effective in fighting bacteria which may be resistant to other antibiotics. The herb stimulates the lymphatic system in order to throw off waste material. Garlic is different from other antibiotics in the fact that it has the ability to stimulate cell growth and activity. This herb rejuvenates all body functions. Garlic opens up blood vessels, reducing hypertension. It is known as a health-building and disease-preventing herb.
Several studies have linked garlic to a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease. This herb has been found to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood, while lowering blood pressure, increasing immunity, and reducing the blood’s clotting ability. Research suggests that eating the equivalent of one-half to one clove of garlic daily can decrease total serum cholesterol levels by about nine percent. Anticoagulant capabilities have also been found in garlic by German researchers. Garlic is able to benefit those individuals who are suffering from peripheral arterial occlusive disease, which is better known as blood clots in the legs.
Garlic also contains antitumor properties, with studies showing it having the ability to inhibit the growth of cancer-causing nitrosamine. The National Cancer Institute even recommends adding more garlic, onions, and other similar vegetables to the diet. This would lower the risk of developing stomach cancer. Results from one study showed that garlic may be toxic to some cancer cells. It may encourage the immune system to spot the invaders and destroy them, allowing a natural immune process to destroy tumor cells.
Garlic is believed to stimulate the lymphatic system by ridding itself of toxins. The Russians consider garlic to be a natural antibiotic, which is why they consume it regularly. This herb is often used to prevent disease and heal the body. It is nourishing for the entire body, especially the heart, circulation, stomach, spleen, and lungs. Additionally, it has been used to stimulate circulation and to help the immune system function more effectively. Some believe that this herb may help prevent some forms of cancer, heart disease, strokes, and infections.
In summary, the bulb of the garlic plant is used to provide adaptogen, alterative, antibiotic, anticoagulant, antifungal, antineoplastic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, blood purifier, diaphoretic, digestive, expectorant, febrifuge, rubefacient, stimulant, and vulnerary properties. Primarily, garlic is extremely beneficial in dealing with asthma, blood impurities, high blood pressure, bronchitis, cancer, candidiasis, poor circulation, colds, colitis, coughs, infectious diseases, ear infections, fevers, flu, fungus, gastric disorders, heart disease, indigestion, infection, liver disorders, lung disorders, parasites, blood poisoning, prostate problems, respiratory problems, and staph/strep infections.
This herb is also good for treating acne, allergies, arthritis, childhood diseases, diabetes, diarrhea, edema, emphysema, gallbladder problems, hypoglycemia, insomnia, kidney ailments, pneumonia, rheumatism, sinus problems, ulcers, warts, and worms.
Garlic is a wonderful all purpose herb that can be found at your local or internet health food store. Always look for name brands when buying garlic to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
August 10, 2009 12:52 PM
The Cherokee tribe used scullcap as an emmenagogue. It was also used historically as an anti-convulsant. An Asian scullcap has been used by Chinese physicians as a tranquilizer, sedative, and to treat convulsion. The herb was used in the eighteenth century as a treatment for rabies by some physicians. Later, it was recommended by eclectic physicians for insomnia, nervousness, malaria, and convulsions. The herb was officially listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia from 1863 to 1916. It was also found in the National Formulary from 1916 to 1947.
This herb is responsible for treating a variety of conditions. Among these include pain, anxiety, high blood pressure, and epilepsy. scullcap is well known for its ability to calm the nerves and also to help with all nervous system conditions. Additionally, it has been used to treat infertility, fatigue, inflamed tissues, digestion, coughs, and headaches. Some herbalists consider scullcap to be one of the best nervine herbs that is available. It has been used as a nerve tonic. It also can promote a feeling of well-being and promote relaxed sleep. Some people recommend scullcap for problems that are associated with drug and alcohol withdrawal, as it may lessen the severity of the symptoms. Traditional uses of this herb have included infertility, regulation of sexual desire, and as a remedy for cramps and pain.
Research one in both Europe and Russia has proven the benefits of scullcap as a tranquilizer as well as a mild sedative. The herb is recommended for use in nervous conditions in order to induce sleep and relaxation. Some evidence has shown that Asian scullcap contains component which inhibit the enzyme sialidase. This enzyme is known to increase in certain disease states like cancer, infections, and inflammations. Another study done in vitro found an antibacterial and antifungal activity in scullcap. Some early evidence has also been found of scullcap’s ability to treat high blood pressure. The herb is used and prescribed widely in Europe. Studies using animals in Japan showed that scullcap has the ability to increase the levels of good cholesterol and prevent serum cholesterol levels from rising. This study was done on rabbits, as they were fed a high-cholesterol diet. These findings suggest that scullcap may also act as a heart disease and stroke preventive.
The entire scullcap herb is used to provide alterative, analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, antispasmodic, febrifuge, nervine, and sedative properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamins C and E, and zinc. Primarily, scullcap is extremely beneficial in treating anxiety, high blood pressure, convulsions, epilepsy, infertility, insomnia, nerve problems, and restlessness.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with alcoholism, poisonous bites, childhood diseases, chorea, poor circulation, coughing, delirium, drug withdrawal, fevers, hangover, headaches, hydrophobia, hypertension, hypoglycemia, insanity, neuralgia, pain, palsy, Parkinson’s disease, rabies, rheumatism, rickets, spasms, spinal meningitis, thyroid problems, tremors, and urinary problems. In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by scullcap, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
April 05, 2009 01:40 PM
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the newest name that has been given to a group of disorders of the central nervous system. With the long list of names this disorder has been given over the years, it is often confusing as to which criteria are for a diagnosis of ADHD or ADD. It is estimated that between 3 and 5 percent of children in the United States have ADHD, meaning that at least one child in a classroom of twenty-five to thirty children will have ADHD. There are three times as many boys diagnosed with ADHD, but the condition is increasingly being diagnosed in girls as well.
Although ADHD was primarily thought of as a childhood disorder, it can be found in adults as well. Experts have estimated that as many as 8 million adults may be affected, but 80 percent of them do not realize it. Some studies show that there is significant decline in ADHD symptoms as a person ages, while others estimate that between 30 and 70 percent of children with ADHD will carry some symptoms into adulthood. ADHD is a more complex disorder in adults, but it manifests itself into a problem with self-regulation. Without this self-control, an adult’s ability to do tasks is impaired. This condition can lead to marital conflicts, substance abuse, and financial problems. Infidelity is common because ADHD adults easily become bored with things, including spouses.
Factors that have been linked to the development of ADHD include heredity, anxiety, allergies, smoking during pregnancy, hyperinsulinemia, oxygen deprivation at birth, environmental stress or pollutants, artificial food additives, injury, infection, lead poisoning, and prenatal trauma. More emphasis has been placed on the role of diet in ADHD in recent years. Many people with these conditions react to certain preservatives, dyes, and salicylates in foods. These problems can cause the balance of chemistry in the brain to be thrown off, which produces undesirable changes in behavior. A low-protein diet may also be a contributing factor. Although a hotly debated topic for decades, studies have definitely shown that food additives do play a major role in hyperactivity.
Many researchers feel that ADHD is being over-diagnosed nowadays. It is difficult to accurately diagnose this condition because many of the symptoms appear in the normal, healthy children at many times during childhood. In fact, more than 60 percent of parents suspect that their child has ADHD at some point in their upbringing. What may merely be creativity or a high energy level can be diagnosed as ADHD. A diagnosis of ADHD should be made by a team of specialists who are experts in the disorder and it is wise to get a second opinion.
One should considered nutritional deficiencies and dietary measures for treating ADHD. The following nutrients are recommended: calcium, magnesium, GABA, a multivitamin and mineral complex, Omega-3 fish oil, Pycnogenol, Quercetin, SAMe, acetylcholine, DMAE, l-cysteine, phosphatidyl serine, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, and zinc. Additionally, the following herbs may be beneficial: ginkgo biloba, ginseng, mullein oil, valerian root, catnip, chamomile, gotu kola, hops, kava kava, lemon balm, licorice, lobelia, oats, passionflower, skullcap, St. John’s wort, thyme, and wood betony.
Creating a nutritionally sound diet for children and adults can go a long way to controlling ADHD and ADD in general. Reducing sugar intake and adding good quality food that hasn’t been over processed which removes the needed vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients we all need to live healthy lives. The above vitamins, minerals and herbs are suggested to be helpful for those suffering as well as those who aren’t, but always consult your health care provider before adding dietary supplements to ones diet while on prescription drugs. Quality vitamins can be found at your local or internet health food store.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Vitamins, minerals, and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
February 27, 2009 02:34 PM
Mumps, a common viral illness mostly occurring during childhood, is caused by a type of virus that is known as a paramyxovirus that infects the parotid glands, which are the salivary glands that are located at the jaw angles below the ears. Symptoms include swelling of one or both glands plus headache, fever, chills, decreased appetite, sore throat, and pain when swallowing or chewing, especially when swallowing acidic substances such as citrus juices. A lot of times, one of the parotid glands will swell before the other, and as swelling in one gland subsides, the other begins to swell. Mumps travels from person to person by means of infected droplets of saliva or direct contact with contaminated materials. This illness can be contracted through sneezing, coughing, kissing, talking, breathing, drinking out of the same glass as an infected person, and sharing utensils. This virus has an incubation period that can vary from fourteen to twenty-four days, with the average period being about eighteen days. A person with mumps is contagious any time from forty-eight hours before the onset of symptoms to six days after the symptoms have started. Although this attack is not as contagious as measles or chickenpox, it is similar in that one attack usually gives lifetime immunity.
Mumps occurs most commonly in those children that range between the ages of three and ten. However, it can occur through teenage years and, rarely, in adulthood. If this illness does occur after puberty, the ovaries or testes may become involved and sterility may result. If the testicles are affected, they become swollen and painful, while abdominal pain will result if the ovaries or pancreas is affected. Other organs that can be affected by mumps in rare or severe cases include the brain, pancreas, and kidneys. All of these can potentially cause serious complications.
The following bacteria are beneficial in dealing with mumps. Unless otherwise specified, the dosages given are for adults. For children between the ages of twelve and seventeen, the dose should be reduced to three-quarters of the recommended amount. For children between six and twelve, one-half of the recommended doses should be used, while one-quarter of the amount should be used for children under the age of six. Bifidobacterium bifidus should be taken as directed on the label to provide friendly bacteria, which contains antibiotic substances that inhibit pathogenic organisms. Vitamin C with bioflavonoids helps to destroy the virus and eliminate toxins if taken in dosages of 500 mg every 2 hours until improvement is noted.
One 15 mg zinc lozenge should be taken every 4 to 6 hours to aid healing. Acidophilus should be taken as directed on the label, as it contains antibiotic substances that inhibit pathogenic organisms. A free-form amino acid complex should be taken as directed on the label, as it is important for tissue repair and healing. 50,000 IU of vitamin A with mixed carotenoids should be taken daily, as it potentates immune function. Kelp, which contains essential minerals, iodine, and vitamins, should be taken in dosages of 1,000-1,500 mg daily. Additionally, the following herbs are beneficial in dealing with mumps: catnip, chamomile, dandelion, Echinacea, elderflower, lobelia, mullein, peppermint tea, slippery elm bark, barley, and yarrow.
Vitamin supplements are great to help fight off colds, but with the mumps always consult your doctor, if left untreated further life threatening complications may occur which is not desirable by anybody. Vitamin and Herbs are available at your local or internet health food store.
February 21, 2009 12:33 PM
Migraines are severe, throbbing headaches that may or may not be accompanied by nausea, possibly with visual disturbances and other symptoms. Migraine incidences have increased by 50 percent within the last twenty years, with an estimated 25 to 30 million people suffering from them in the United States. Three out of four of these 25 to 30 million are women, with up to 24 percent of women experiencing at least one migraine in their lives and only 12 percent of men getting migraines. Migraine headaches are one of the most severe types of headache.
Research has described migraines as vascular headaches, as they involved excessive dilation or contraction of the brain’s blood vessels. Current research, however, gives other clues. The inflammation involved in migraines is most noticeable in the meninges, which surround the brain and the spinal cord. However, the inflammation of the meninges is not what leads to the pain of migraine, but instead abnormal nerve activity. Stimulation of the trigeminal nerve, which goes from the brain to the head and face, triggers the release of substances that are known as calcitonin gene-related peptides. These induce inflammation and send messages to pain receptors in the meninges. Some researches even liken migraines to meningitis in some ways, as the symptoms are very similar. However, meningitis is caused by viral or bacterial infection.
Migraines can occur anywhere from once a week to once or twice a year, often running in families. One factor that may contribute to the higher incidence of migraine in women may be fluctuations in the level of the hormone estrogen, as women typically get migraines around the time of menstruation, when estrogen levels are low. Most often, migraines occur in people between the ages of twenty and thirty-five, seeming to decline with age. Children can also suffer from migraines, with pain tending to be more diffuse, rather than localized. Migraines can first show up in childhood as colic, periodic abdominal pain, vomiting, dizziness, and severe motion sickness, rather than as headaches.
There are typically five phases in a migraine. The first phase beings a day or so before the onset of a headache, as changes in mood, problems with memory, an alteration in one or all of the five senses, and speech problems occur. Secondly, some people will see flashes or patterns of light and experience numbness of the hands and mouth just before the headache. This is called an aura, and is a common sign of a classic migraine.
Those migraines that occur without auras are called common migraines. The third phase occurs when the headache starts with a severe, throbbing pain occurring on one or both sides of the head and can also move from side to side. Nausea can also set in this phase, along with tenderness in the neck and scalp, sensitivity to light, and possibly immobilization due to pain. The fourth phase occurs when the headache dissipates, although nausea may linger. During the fifth phase, the person may feel tired and lethargic, simply wanting to sleep.
A variety of things can trigger a migraine in an individual who is susceptible, including allergies, constipation, stress, liver malfunction, too much or too little sleep, emotional changes, hormonal changes, sun glare, flashing lights, lack of exercise, and changes in barometric pressure. Dental problems and low blood sugar can also be factors, while other underlying causes such as genetic factors, chemical imbalances in the brain, poor nutrition, and the overuse of painkillers can cause an individual to be susceptible to migraines. Block Migraines with vitamins and herbs.
The following nutrients are recommended for preventing and dealing with migraines: calcium, magnesium, coenzyme Q10, DMG, DLPA, essential fatty acid complex, 5-HTP, a multivitamin and mineral complex, rutin, vitamin B complex, garlic, quercetin, taurine, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, cordyceps, feverfew, ginkgo biloba, cayeene, chamomile, fumitory, ginger, peppermint, rosemary, valerian, willow bark, and wormwood.
If you are experiencing migraines, consult your doctor before starting vitamin supplements. Vitamin supplements are natural and feed the body to make it stronger and capable of fighting the diseases it may come up against, but medications prescribed by your doctor can conflict with certain vitamins and herbs and a doctors consultation is needed when taken with medications. A source of natural vitamins are available at your local or internet health food store.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Natural vitamins and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
Dangers Of Over The Counter Drugs
October 16, 2008 03:42 PM
Parents have recently been hit with shocking information about the potential dangers to their children. First it was lead contamination that came from toys that were manufactured by some of our most trusted companies. Next, it was super antibiotic resistant bugs that may lurk in day care centers and schools. The latest information is of greatest concern. Every study performed in the recent years has found that children’s cough and cold remedies are ineffective and may, in fact, be potentially dangerous. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommended against the use of multi-symptom, over-the-counter, cold medicines in children under the age of three unless the parents are advised by a physician.
Many parents have depended on these medicines for years to help with runny noses, coughs, and sleep disruptions. However, our kids are not the first generation to suffer from frequent respiratory troubles. Herbal and dietary remedies have been the first line of defense for centuries, with Elderberry being rich in flavonoids, essential oils, vitamin C and organic acids. It reduces mucous secretions, helps ease breathing, and soothes an irritated nose and throat.
If your child frequently deals with a runny nose, earache, and sinus infection, he or she may have hidden food intolerances. One doctor states that there are various ways that you can recognize hidden childhood allergies. A classic symptom is the “allergic salute”, which the child demonstrates when he is constantly rubbing his or her hand across the end of a runny nose.
Food allergies are difficult to determine with standard allergy testing, but by avoiding common allergic provoking foods like dairy, wheat, corn, and tree nuts, often brings relief to the child. Changing the family diet is the best way to eliminate offending foods. Replace all forms of sugar and other refined carbohydrates, as they slow down bowel transit time and increase exposure to toxic bowel contents. Natural sweeteners, which can be found in most health food stores, can be used instead. Since dairy products top the list of provoking foods, they should be replaced as much as possible with other beverages. Inspect labels carefully to determine if they contain casein, which is a milk protein that often causes problems. A liquid calcium supplement is a good idea to give your children if they are not receiving dairy products.
Allergic children are often prone to digestive problems, which is a condition referred to as intestinal dysbiosis. Antibiotic use disturbs the microflora in the gut by killing helpful bacteria. Psychological stress can also impact microflora, which poses the question of whether or not stress is having a negative impact on our children’s health. Studies in which some children were placed in a stress relieving program showed that treated groups of children increased their levels of secretary IgA, which gives them a greater ability to resist colds.
Allergic children also have disturbed bowel function, making them constipated, frequently pass gas, be bloated, and have foul smelling hard stools. A low fiber diet is one cause of constipation, but an imbalance in microflora in the gut is another reason, which causes toxins to enter circulation. Supplementing with Bifidobacteria and other helpful probiotics can restore normal gut function, alleviate allergic symptoms, restore immune competence, and reduce allied bowel problems. Supplementing with fiber can also support proper elimination of toxins in children as well as adults. Acidophilus, fiber, and herbal cold aids can be found at your local health food store.
Calcium, Magnesium, Vitamin D
August 06, 2008 12:32 PM
Osteoporosis has always been known to threaten women, as it afflicts 8 million females in the US, but this bone-thinning disorder is becoming a serious public health issue among men also. More than 2 million men may be at risk for osteoporosis and bone fractures, with 6% of them over age 50 will experience a hip fracture as a result of this disease. Even though osteoporosis does not affect men as often as it does women, the risk for men increases with age, with the risk factors being similar to those of women. Osteoporosis often shows no symptom until a bone fracture occurs, which makes early detection extremely important.
With new bone material constantly replacing the old, more bone is produced than removed during childhood, which lets the skeleton grow. Bone mass peaks for most people during their 30s, with the processing reversing itself afterwards. The amount of bone slowly begins to decline as the removal of old exceeds the formation of new. Because female hormone production drops rapidly at menopause, this condition is immediately associated with increased bone loss. Hormonal changes in men occur much more slowly, with testosterone levels declining about 1% each year after the age of 40, remaining unnoticeable until after age 60.
Women lose bone more rapidly than men up until after age 65, when the rates equal out. The absorption of calcium decreases in both sexes, while excessive bone loss increases the fragility of bones, leading to fractures in the hip, spine, and wrist. Women begin to get spine fractures in their late 50s, while men take about 10 years longer for this to begin, which can partially be attributed to their larger skeletons, which takes longer for osteoporosis to develop.
Along with being brought on by advancing age and lower testosterone levels, osteoporosis can develop due to small stature, smoking, excessive alcohol intake, gastric cancer, HIV infection, celiac disease, various medications, and growth hormone deficiency. Because nothing can be done about one’s stature, some basic lifestyle adjustments, such as not smoking, limiting alcohol consumption to no more than two drinks each day, and increasing exercise, can help a man protect his bones. A man should also look for treatment for any other underlying medical conditions that affect bone health.
Calcium, one of the best known nutrients associated with healthy bones, needs help to provide maximum protection. Therefore, other skeleton-strengthening minerals necessary are magnesium, which regulates calcium transport within the body; zinc, which is required for collagen; and boron, which is a trace element that helps the body to use calcium, magnesium, and other minerals. Boron is also important because it activates vitamin D.
Finally, vitamin D is another key bone nutrient. In order to ensure adequate D intake, at least 10 minutes of sunlight a day or dietary supplements is important. In colder, cloudier times, vitamin D supplementation is highly recommended. Additionally, B vitamin deficiencies have often been associated with an increased chance of developing osteoporosis. The best way for a man to avoid osteoporosis is to be aware of his risk. The knowledge of osteoporosis in women has led to a downward trend in women breaking hips, but the incidence is still going up for men.
Butcher's Broom Extract
May 02, 2008 11:04 AM
Butcher’s broom (Ruscus aculeatus) is a member of the lily family, and looks a bit like a holly bush with barbed evergreen leaves and bright red berries in the fall. At one time they were collected, tied together and sold to butchers as brooms to sweep out their shops.
The stiff leaves were particularly suitable for cleaning out offal and other waste products from butchered animals and also for scrubbing butcher’s blocks. It was also used as a deterrent to rodents with their eyes on the meat! Alternative names are sweet broom, kneeholy and Jew’s myrtle, so named because it was used during the Feast of the Tabernacles as one of the ‘four species’ used in the lulav.
The herb was commonly used in Ancient Greece and Rome, the Greeks using it to reduce swellings of various kinds and the Romans using it to treat varicose veins. It has the same uses today, only the mechanisms are understood better. It has been used for centuries in the Mediterranean area for the treatment of inflammations and problems with the circulation, and the Romans used to mash up the leaves and berries to add to wine, and they also used the roots and rhizome as a medicine by soaking them in wine. Today, it is illegal to use holly as a decoration in Italy, so butcher’s broom is used instead.
All parts of the plant are used, including the rhizome, and although it is used as a diuretic, and to control a loss of blood pressure experience by some people on standing up, it is its effect on blood vessels where its main medical benefits lie. Butcher’s Broom can strengthen certain portions of blood vessels, and change the flexibility properties of the cell walls.
The result of this is that the vessels are tightened up, which helps to maintain the flow of blood throughout the body, but also renders the cell walls less likely to leak or crack under stress. The result is a reduction in blood leakage from stretched and weakened blood vessels such as those that result in hemorrhoids, and also of conditions caused by weakened valves in the veins such as varicose veins and spider veins.
The blood pressure in the veins is very weak since they are so far away from the heart, the blood having passed through the arteries, through the capillaries and into the veins on its way back to the heart before being pumped to the lungs. When the valves become weakened, particularly in the large veins in the leg, there is little to prevent the blood from coming under the influence of gravity and pooling back down the vein, causing distention and occasional ruptures.
A ruptured varicose vein can be very serious and cause significant blood loss. Weakened valves can also lead to the formation of blood clots, which is itself a very serious condition that eventually blocks the heart or causes a stroke. Not only can butcher’s broom strengthen the vein walls and prevent leakage, and also enable them to more easily resist the pressure that can cause them to rupture, but it can also be used to break down blood clots. In fact the herb is used in many European hospitals to prevent the formation of blood clots after surgery.
The active ingredients in the rhizome are saponins that contain the aglycones ruscogenin and neuroscogenin and the associated spirostanol and furostanol glycosides. The receptors that cause vasocontraction are known as adrenoreceptors, these receptors can be selectively stimulated by butcher’s broom extract to tighten the veins and improve the return of blood. When introduced intravenously, butcher’s broom was noted to constrict venules (small veins that feed the main veins but not arterioles (the small arteries than feed the capillaries). Hence blood vessels can be selectively treated, and the effect on isolated blood vessels was enhanced by heating. Many supplements include calcium that helps to strengthen the blood vessel walls.
It is possible, therefore, to target the blood vessels that require constrictive treatment in order that they are strong enough to return blood to the heart rather than leak or distend. However, that is not the only health benefit that butcher’s broom provides. It can also be used as a diuretic. It is not a strong diuretic, but is used to relief the swelling of bruises and PMS, the reason given being that since leakage from the blood vessels is lessened, then more fluid is available to pass through the kidneys. There might be other reasons.
It is also use for the treatment of ortho static hypotension, the reduction in blood pressure that some people experience. It is believed that butcher’s broom can control this condition without increasing blood pressure, as most other remedies do, and which is almost as undesirable as the condition they are treating.
There are few problems associated with the herb, although few studies have been carried out its use by pregnant women. Although the one test that was carried indicated no effect, it would be wise for pregnant or nursing women not to use it until further studies have been carried out. Due to its effect in tightening blood vessels, its use is not recommended by anybody suffering from high blood pressure (hypertension). Many hypertension treatments are designed to render the blood vessels more elastic rather than constrict them.
In one very small study of pregnant women who used a topical cream containing butcher's broom, no side effects were seen for either the mother or the baby. However, very little information is available on how oral butcher's broom might affect a developing fetus, an infant, or a small child. Therefore, its use is not recommended during pregnancy, while breast-feeding, or during early childhood.
Because it tightens blood vessels, butcher's broom may worsen high blood pressure or benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH). Individuals with either of these conditions should not use any form of butcher's broom without first consulting a doctor. The known side effects have already been stated, and they are fairly mild, but few studies have been made on the herb other than in Europe, and the side effects have not been fully explored. It is unlikely; however, that there are any as yet unknown serious side effects since butcher’s broom has been used now for a long time, particularly in Europe.
The term ‘ruscogenin’ is used for the collective mixture of active saponins in butcher’s broom, and many of the supplements are formulated to include from 5 to 15 mg of these. However, check the label, since standardization is not yet required in the USA, and in theory a preparation can include much more or much less ruscogenin. It is frequently supplied with other active ingredients, such as vitamin C or calcium, and perhaps even horse chestnut that affect blood vessels in a similar way. Always follow the instructions on the package, since these are designed for the specific strength of supplement you are using.
Is Drugging Our Children The Answer Or Could A Natural Supplement Magnesium Help?
December 05, 2007 11:02 AM
ttention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has been a commonly diagnosed illness occurring in children since the 1980s. Many people argue that ADHD should not be categorized as a disorder, but rather a set of problems that are normal to childhood. Either way, ADHD’s symptoms consist of wandering attention, nervousness, and hyperactivity. These symptoms can be extremely troubling for the parents and teachers that have to work with children suffering from ADHD. Drugs like Ritalin have been promoted ADHD treatments for many years, but have been found to have highly dangerous side effects and not be a solution to everything. Meanwhile, many nutritionists have discovered that many of the answers to ADHD can be found in a child’s diet in the form of food additives, sugar, and the missing essential nutrients.
One child who was horribly hyperactive, out of control, and diagnosed with ADHD by a school psychologist was taken off any foods that contained a particular red dye. Almost immediately, the child’s hyperactivity ceased and he began paying attention and living the life of a normal child. A study recently completed at Yale University School of Medicine supported this result, showing a direct connection between food additives and hyperactivity. This study consisted of 297 children who were given drinks that contained common artificial food colorings and additives that are usually found in food and candy. Meanwhile, a control group was given drinks without additives. The children who drank the additive-enhanced drinks showed a significantly greater amount of hyperactivity and had shorter attention spans.
Another common cause of ADHD symptoms in children is overdosing of sugar. With all the snack-like breakfast cereals available and the high sugar-constant treats, hyperactivity should be expected. Once a child consumes a large quantity of sugar, he will hit a high of out-of-control hyperactivity and then quickly become grouchy and prone to tantrums. This is often called a “sugar rush” and can easily be solved by taking children off sugar.
After removing chemical additives and processed sugar from the diet, ADHD symptoms have also been traced to a lack of mineral magnesium. This nutrient is essential and often missing from most diets today. Kids who drink a lot of soda or fruit juices are getting high amounts of sugar but not magnesium. Those children without magnesium often suffer from irritability, insomnia, and constipation. These symptoms, which are commonly diagnosed as ADHD, can be cleared up quickly by putting your child on a magnesium supplement. Most nutritionists agree, believing that many ADHD symptoms come from a high sugar diet and a magnesium deficiency. Sugar and over-stimulation, such as stress, actually exhausts a child’s nervous system. This can be cured with a magnesium supplement which allows the nervous system to rebuild. In addition, this supplement will assist the child in relaxing. Since children are the future for our society, helping them to survive in the best way possible, naturally, is something each and every one of us should take much more responsibility for.
Supplements for Children
June 26, 2007 09:51 PM
Supplements for Children
While most parents try hard to make nutritious meals for their family, most children find the appeal of refined, fast, and junk food simply overwhelming. And, sadly, increasingly easy to buy and consume, as well. From kindergarten through 12th grade, in both grade schools and high schools, vending machines offer calorie laden candy bars, sugar-filled soft drinks, and snack foods loaded with fat and salt. Many school cafeterias actually sell fast-food to children for lunch every day. In fact, it seems almost everywhere children go and gather, visually enticing but nutritionally lacking snacks and soft drinks are sure to be available.
Determined to counteract this disturbing trend, parents everywhere are urgently seeking solutions to help their children get the nutrition they need. One answer is supplemental multivitamins. There are certainly plenty of multivitamins formulated for children currently on the market. However, these products vary considerably in quality and content. Some lack certain vital nutrients. Some taste terrible. Still others are loaded with sugar and artificial flavorings. The good news is that there are superior multivitamins and exceptional immune boosting products formulated specifically for children that actually taste great. In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we will discuss childhood nutrition and how to help ensure your children’s health with high quality, 100% natural flavored nutritional supplements.
Q. Do children really benefit from vitamin supplements? Can’t I make sure they get the vitamins and minerals they need from meals?
A. Even the most nutritionally vigilant parent cannot be 100% certain what nutrients are in the food they serve their children. That’s because there’s so much variability in the food we prepare. For instance, fat-soluble vitamins can withstand normal cooking, but vitamins A and E are gradually destroyed by exposure to air. Water-soluble vitamins such as B1, B6, folic acid, and pantothenic acid are destroyed by heat. Vitamin B2 is destroyed by light and heat, while light and air destroy vitamin C. Certain food preservatives and preparation methods also destroy the vitamins in food. To further complicate matters, some fruit and vegetables are grown and harvested in such a way that does not promote nutrient content – so even raw foods may be lacking.
Then there are those crazy food phases all children seemingly go through. While these phases are generally harmless in the long run, a recent alarming exception was in the news. A five-year old boy ate nothing but cheese pizza, Pop-tarts, biscuits, and water, refusing fruits, vegetables, juices and vitamins. He slowly developed limp, swollen gums, and small purple spots appeared on his skin. After five months of this extremely deficient diet, he was unable to walk or get out of bed because the pain was so severe. Doctors diagnosed the boy as having a severe vitamin C deficiency after ruling out other ailments such as leukemia. Within a week of getting vitamin C supplements, the boy’s pain and other symptoms were completely resolved. Obviously, this little boy’s story is unusual. However, even mild food phases (such as “If It’s Green It Must Be Yucky” or “The Only Good Crust Is A Cut-Off Crust”) can result in awfully lop-sided nutrition.
Q. Can multivitamins help my child’s performance in school?
A. Most teachers firmly believe that nutrition and learning go hand in hand. They are convinced that children who are well nourished possess the mental stamina that’s needed to learn and retain even difficult concepts. But can multivitamins help children become better students?
Two independent research teams recently conducted randomized trials to find the answer. The researchers followed 245 school-children aged 6 to 12 years for three months. They gave half of the children multivitamin tablets every day, and half of the children placebos. When the children were tested, the children in the multivitamins group showed an increase in their nonverbal intelligence scores. Nonverbal intelligence is closely associated with academic performance.
Q. I can’t get my children to take 100% natural flavored multivitamins because they don’t taste very appealing. Isn’t there some way to make a 100% natural multivitamin taste good enough for my children to willingly take?
A. Yes, there is! Because most children need chewable multivitamins, manufacturers need to contend with the truly terrible taste of certain minerals. Magnesium, iodine, copper, and iron are probably the worst tasting. Some solve this dilemma by skimping on the amounts of these minerals in their children’s formulas. Others cover up the bad taste with either massive amounts of sugar or artificial flavors, or both.
However, a select few multivitamin makers have discovered how to offer a natural flavored, great tasting children’s multivitamin that contains these vital minerals. The best children’s vitamins are prepared in a base of natural fruit that provides both antioxidants and other healthy phytonutrients. Children’s multivitamins made in such a fruit base have very low sugar content, as well, providing as little as four calories a day. Fructose – fruit sugar – is the preferred sweetening agent, in addition to the fruit content.
Q. What vitamins should be in a multivitamin for children?
A. There are several vitamins and minerals that children need to take each and every day. They include biotin, folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamins B12, B1, A, B6, C, D, E, and K. Let’s review a few. We’ll start with folate, one of the B vitamins. This vital vitamin helps the body use protein, helps make DNA, helps cells grow and divide, and keeps the nervous system healthy. In fact, folate is so important to children that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandated that folate must be added to many foods most children eat daily. Since 1998, cereal, enriched bread, flour corn meal, rice, and pasta have been folate-fortified with this B vitamin.
One of folate’s vital actions is the reduction of homocysteine levels in the blood. Homocysteine is an amino acid (the building block of protein) that is normally produced in the human body. Research has shown that high levels of homocysteine can irritate blood vessels, make blood clot more easily than it should, and cause blockages in arteries increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes .
However, study after study has proven that taking folate reduces harmful homocysteine levels. While most of this research has been in adults, a recent study looked at children’s homocysteine levels. Researchers examined over 3500 children and discovered that high homocysteine levels increased the risk for heart disease in these children, especially as they grow. The researchers leading this study reinforced how critical folate is for all children.
Other critical vitamins for children are the vitamins C and E. The rates of childhood asthma have increased significantly here in the
Q. Which minerals do children need?
A. It is absolutely crucial that children get calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium, zinc, and phosphorus every day. Sadly, however, the majority of our children are not getting the recommended amounts of many of these vital minerals. Children in
According to statistics from the National Institutes of Health, only 13.5 percent of girls and 36.3 percent of boys age 12 to 19 in the
Lack of adequate calcium has immediate consequences for children, as well. The number of fractures among children and young adults has increased as a direct result of poor calcium intake. Pediatricians are also seeing children with rickets, a bone disease caused by low levels of vitamin D. Rickets became almost nonexistent after vitamin D was added to milk in the 1950s, but, due to lower milk consumption, is now appearing at greater rates around the country. And milk itself can be problematic for some children. Aside from alarming reports of hormones and herbicides in commercial dairy factory milk, even organic milk is not tolerated by all because of lactose intolerance and allergies.
Zinc is another mineral that’s vital for children. Because zinc is critical for normal growth and development, children need to take it every day. A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, however, found more than half of US children ages two to 10 years fail to get the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for zinc. What’s even more troubling is that zinc is vitally connected to children’s ability to process information, pay attention, as well as remember and retain new information
Zinc does a lot to keep children healthy. More than 200 enzymes in our bodies rely on zinc. However, it’s zinc’s ability to connect with our immune systems to help fight infections that is crucial for children. While researchers are not certain how zinc precisely boosts a child’s immunity, they think that zinc might fight pneumonia and other infections by either enhancing the body’s immune status, preventing the infection from establishing itself, or improving the immune system’s ability to rid itself of the infecting organism. It’s possible that zinc does all three.
Q. No matter what I do, my children seem to come down with bad colds each year. Besides giving them a multivitamin, are there other nutritional supplements that can keep my children healthy?
A. Absolutely! In fact, there are 100% natural flavored children’s immune formula nutritional supplements that contain their good buddy zinc, vitamins B6, C, and A (as beta carotene), plus elderberry extract. Elderberry extract has been used as a traditional medicine for hundreds of years to treat colds and flu. And as it so often happens, scientific research has validated this use. In fact, scientists have discovered that elderberry keeps viruses from invading other cells and replicating. It also spurs important immune cells into action to fight invading germs.
While we previously discussed vitamin C’s ability to help children with asthma breathe easier, it also provides powerful immune protection. It speeds up the healing of wounds, such as those knee and elbow scrapes so common in childhood. However, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and can’t be stored in the body. It must be replenished every day. When children are under increased stress (like when they get sick with a cold or flu), their vitamin C levels are more rapidly depleted.
Vitamin B6 is also water-soluble and can only work in children’s bodies for eight hours. Then more B6 must be obtained. Vitamin B6 strengthens the immune system by helping white blood cells make antibodies. Vitamin A helps make lysozymes, important anti-infectious agents found in tears, saliva, and sweat. It also stimulates the thymus gland, an important immune organ, especially in children, to work better.
Q. Should children take an immune formula every day or only when they are sick?
A. It can be taken several ways. Some parents may want to give the formula when school first starts or other times that their children are exposed to lots of germs. For a child who suffers from asthma or seasonal allergies or just seems to get sick frequently, parents could provide the immune formula every day, increasing the dose when needed. And still others might feel it’s best to give their children the immune formula only whey they do catch a cold or have the flu.
No matter how it is given, the 100% all natural flavored, immune boosting nutritional supplement can provide powerful protection against all those disease-causing germs your children are exposed to every day.
The nutritional choices we make for our children today will have a profound effect on their health tomorrow. Recent research has revealed that diabetes, heart disease, obesity, osteoporosis, and cancer in adults often result form nutritional deficiencies that occurred in childhood.
Thankfully, the reverse is just as true. This means that children who are well nourished with an optimal intake of minerals, vitamins, and helpful herbs can grow into healthy and happy adults. Providing high quality multivitamins and immune boosting nutritional supplements for our children can be an important part of that process.
Apple juice Could Reduce Wheezing…
May 31, 2007 11:20 AM
Apple juice Could Reduce Wheezing…Increased consumption of apple juice or bananas may prevent childhood asthma, says new research form England. Using a population based survey of 2,640 children between five and ten years old the researchers found that one glass of apple juice from concentrate a day or more was associated with a 47 percent reduction in current wheezing. At least one banana every day was associated with a 34 percent reduction in current wheezing, compared to eating bananas less than once a month. Consumption of apples, other fruits and orange juice however was not linked with asthma symptoms. (Nutrition, May 2007, volume 23, issue 5, pages 419-423)
Controlling Diabetes with Nutritional Supplements
December 15, 2006 04:07 PM
Controlling Diabetes with Nutritional Supplements
Perhaps no other disease is as closely linked to nutrition as diabetes. Not only doe nutrition play a role in its development, nutrition is also one of the disease’s most powerful treatments.
Because of this strong and critical connection to nutrition, researchers have carefully studied the use of nutritional supplements in the treatment of the disease. They found that many vitamins, such as vitamin C and the B vitamins, minerals such as chromium, as well as herbs like Gymnema sylvestre, can safely, effectively, and naturally lower blood sugars and help prevent diabetic complications.
What is even more important, however, is that these vitamins, minerals, and herbs can be combined together in a scientifically validated diabetic formula to work synergistically. That means their combined effectiveness is even more powerful. Like a group of good friends, these vitamins, minerals, and herbs do their best work when they are all together.
In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we will talk about powerful vitamins, minerals, and herbs combined in a scientifically validated formula that people with diabetes can use every day.
But before we get into the specific formula, we need to first talk about diabetes.
Q. What exactly is diabetes?
A. When we eat, the process of digestion breaks down our food into nutrients. Most of the food we eat is broken down into sugar (also called glucose). The sugar enters the bloodstream for delivery throughout the body and is then called blood sugar.
Insulin, a hormone that helps metabolize blood sugar, is made in the pancreas-a long, skinny gland located behind the stomach. Insulin takes blood sugar from the bloodstream and delivers it into the cells that make up the various organs in our body, such as our heart, lungs, and kidneys. The sugar provides energy to the cells to keep our hearts beating, our lungs breathing, and our kidneys excreting.
Type 1 diabetes, sometimes called insulin-dependent or juvenile diabetes, most often starts in childhood. In this type of diabetes, the pancreas no longer makes insulin. The sugar stays in the blood instead of going into the cells where it is needed. Because of this, all people with Type 1 diabetes have to take at least one shot of insulin every day just to stay alive.
Type 2 diabetes most often starts in adults and is also the most common kind. About 90 to 95 percent of all people with diabetes have Type 2. In Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas is usually producing enough insulin. However, the body does not use it effectively. The condition known as “insulin resistance” occurs when the cells do not respond to (resist) insulin’s attempt to enter with glucose. The pancreas responds by producing more and more insulin. When the cells do not respond, high levels of glucose build up in the blood, leading to Type 2 diabetes. Almost everyone with Type 2 diabetes also is insulin resistant. Because the insulin is left unused, the pancreas thinks it isn’t needed and may eventually stop making it. People with Type 2 diabetes often need to take prescription drugs to lower blood sugar levels if dietary and lifestyle changes are not enough to control the problem.
In both types of diabetes, the sugar stays in the bloodstream instead of going into the cells where it is needed and belongs. When blood sugar builds up in the blood, it causes two problems. First, the cells become starved for energy. And, over a period of time, high blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels, nerves, eyes, and kidneys.
Q. What causes diabetes?
A. While scientists aren’t exactly sure why Type 1 diabetes happens, they do know the immune system is involved. A healthy immune system protects us from diseases caused by infections, such as colds or the flu, as well as diseases that start in our own cells, such as cancer. For some reasons, in certain people, the immune system becomes confused and begins attacking and destroying the cells in the pancreas that makes insulin.
Scientists aren’t exactly sure why Type 2 diabetes happens either; however, they have identified that it occurs most often in certain individuals. About 80 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight, have high blood pressure, and have high cholesterol levels in their blood.
Q. What are the symptoms of diabetes?
A. Type 1 diabetes develops very quickly. The classic signs of diabetes include:
-Frequent urination, because the body is trying to get rid of the excess sugar in the blood
-Intense thirst, because the body needs to replace the fluid lost through the urine
-Increased hunger, because the cells need nutrients
-Weight loss, because without insulin, the body begins to starve
The onset of Type 2 diabetes is often very gradual and may develop without any symptoms at all. Sadly, the diagnosis most often is made only after a complication of the disease happens.
Q. What are the complications of diabetes?
A. The complications of diabetes happen in both types of the disease. All diabetic complications are caused by chronically high blood sugars. The longer your blood sugar levels are elevated, the greater your chances are of having complications.
High blood sugar damages blood vessels. When high levels of sugar are continuously in the blood, the blood vessels become thicker and less flexible, causing poor circulation. Poor circulation can impair healing, especially on the feet and lower legs. High blood sugar also causes higher levels of fat in the bloodstream. The fat clogs and narrows the blood vessels. Partial blockages deprive the heart of some necessary nutrients. A complete blockage can result in a heart attack, heart pain (called angina), or stroke.
Nerve damage makes it hard for your nerves to send messages to the brain and other parts of the body. It may cause you to lose feeling in parts of your body or have a painful pins-and-needles-like feeling. While nerve damage most often affects the feet and legs, it can also affect other parts of the body.
Diabetes can damage and weaken the small blood vessels in the retina, the part of the eye that is sensitive to light and helps you see. When the blood vessels are weak, they can leak fluid, which causes swelling in the eye. The swelling blurs your vision. If the eye damage gets worse, your eye attempts to fix this damage by making new blood vessels over the retina. But because these blood vessels are fragile, they can break open easily and bleed into the eye. Scar tissue can then form. This may cause the retina to break away from the back of the eye, which can lead to visual impairment-even blindness.
Diabetes can also damage the blood vessels in the kidney so it can’t filter out the body’s waste. High blood pressure is also associated with kidney damage. If you have diabetes and high blood pressure, it is important to keep them both under control as much as possible. The longer blood sugar levels are left uncontrolled, the greater the amount of kidney damage that can occur. If the kidney damage isn’t stopped, some individuals may progress to needing kidney transplants or dialysis machines.
All of these complications, however, can almost always be prevented.
Q. How can the complications of diabetes be prevented?
A. Vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements can provide powerful tools for preventing serious complications and keeping people with diabetes healthy. The best nutritional supplement contains powerful vitamins, minerals, and herbs in a synergistic formula that can effectively lower blood sugars and provide the specialized nutrients people with diabetes need.
Q. Which vitamins, minerals, and herbs should be included in a nutritional supplement for people with diabetes?
A. The vitamins, minerals, and herbs in a diabetic formula should work synergistically and be clinically demonstrated to help prevent the known complications of diabetes. To get the best results, it is very important that the right ingredients are in the diabetic formula you buy.
Q. How often should I take a diabetic formula supplement?
A. Read the label of the diabetic formula you are considering buying. Most quality products need to be taken twice a day. Keep in mind that you will still need to take a high quality multivitamin in addition to the diabetic formula supplement. A diabetic formula is complementary. That means that it is designed to be and addition to your multivitamin routine, not a replacement.
Q. Could the diabetic formula lower my blood sugar level too much?
A. In general, too low blood sugar levels should not be a problem. A high quality diabetic formula containing synergistic vitamins, minerals and herbs, most often lowers blood sugars to normal levels. However, these vitamins, minerals, and herbs will not excessively lower blood sugar levels that are already normal.
Q. Do I need to continue monitoring my blood sugar when taking a diabetic formula supplement?
A. Diabetes is a disease that requires active participation from you. You need to be aware of your problem and be in control of it as much as possible. If you use a home glucose monitor to check your blood sugars, you may feel more comfortable by checking your levels more frequently when you first take a diabetic formula supplement. You should always follow the recommendation of your doctor or a licensed health care practitioner regarding how often you should check your blood sugar levels.
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) (as well as most licensed health care practitioners), a good blood sugar range for most people with diabetes (before a meal) is from about 70 to 150. An ideal range is 70-120.
Taking a nutritional supplement formulated especially for diabetics that contain vitamins, minerals, and herbs that work synergistically in a scientifically valid formula will help you keep your blood sugars right where the
Q. Can’t I just take the diabetic formula supplement and not worry about my diet?
A. Unfortunately, you cannot. Successful diabetes management means doing lost of positive things. First, you need to see your licensed health care practitioner often. You need to choose foods wisely and stay active to have a positive influence on your blood sugar levels and your health. And, taking a diabetic formula supplement every day can really help. However, the diabetic formula supplement is meant to be an addition to your healthy diet, not a substitute.
Having diabetes might make you feel overwhelmed. Restrictions on what you may and may not eat might make you feel deprived and unfairly burdened. The possibility of disease complications may make you feel anxious and scared-even angry. It is only natural to ask “Why me?” Taking control of your diabetes, instead of letting it control you, can help with these feelings. Eating wisely and exercising every day are two important ways to improve your health. And, taking a nutritional supplement formulated specifically for people with diabetes every day can give you the critical control you need to direct your health for years to come. Many healthy years to come.
The Important Role of Nutritional Magnesium & Calcium Balance in Humans Living with Stress
August 23, 2006 03:14 PM
Part I. The Stress Response
The stress reaction is a host of responses necessary for any animal to live in the world. Commonly called the fight-or-flight reation, we as humans often experience it in rapid heartbeat and increased breathing rate. It comes when we exercise more vigorously than usual, or when we are suddenly and unexpectedly frightened.
We are all different. We show a range in how strongly we experience the stress response. Most of us are usually calm and experience the stress response when an unexpected noise frightens us to alertness, or we run to first base as fast as we can in a benefit baseball game that is not on our usual playtime schedule. We breathe harder for a while and notice our hearts beating faster and harder then usual, but after a while these responses all calm down, and we are again in our usual state—out or the stress response. Others of us are very low key, and it takes a lot to disturb our physiological calm. Still others of us are very sensitive to triggers of the stress response and go into it “at the drop of a hat” and to a greater degree than do calmer people. For some, parts of the stress response are almost always engaged—never really calming down all the way—giving one a hyper-vigilant or anxious demeanor.
When a stress trigger occurs, the body puts out stress hormones, magnesium and calcium, among other things, into the bloodstream. At the same time, nerve cells begin to “fire,” telling heart and muscles to “speed up. NOW!!!” These blood, nerve and organ changes make possible the instantaneous and collective rise in the body’s heart rate, blood pressure, and other necessities for the fight-or-flight reaction.
Much research has been done on the stress response, especially on the effects of stress hormones, such as adrenaline (also called epinephrine) on body, organ and cell. You can get an idea of how widespread the stress response is-affecting every aspect of physiology—by noting some of the reactions to adrenaline, one of the major stress hormones. See Table 1.
Much study as the cellular, biochemical and physiological levels has shown that the stress response vitally involves the influx of calcium into cells, resulting in a drastic change in the cells’ internal magnesium-to-calcium ratio (Mg:Ca).
In simple solutions, such as salt water, all ions are evenly dispersed. Not so in living cells. Ions are carefully and meticulously separated in living cells, and this ion “packaging” is vital to life processes and health. Calcium ions, for the most part, are kept outside cells while magnesium ions are kept mainly inside cells. The stress response changes this. During stress response, calcium ions rush inside the cell, and this alters the internal Mg:Ca ratio. This change in ratio exhibits wide effects because, while magnesium and calcium are very similar in their chemistry, biologically these two elements function and react very differently. Magnesium and calcium are two sides of a physiological coin: they are antagonistic to one another yet comes as a team. For example:
Scientific study shows more and more that the underlying cellular change enabling the stress response is a low Mg:Ca ratio caused by a large and sudden influx of calcium into cells. This stress response subsides when the cell’s magnesium returns to its dominant presence inside cells, moving extra calcium back outside cells to its “normal” Mg:Ca ratio. This underlying principle is present in studies of nerve cell-stress hormone response, organs such as hearts, the high blood pressure response to stress, and the blood-clotting reaction during stress, among many others. See Table 2.
In the normal healthy state, the stress response occurs when necessary, and subsides when the crisis or trigger is over. Since magnesium and calcium—two essential nutrients that must be obtained by the body from its dietary environment—are so essential to this important response, it is not surprising that nutritional magnesium and calcium status can affect the response.
Let’s see how.
In the normal unstressed state, cellular Mg:Ca ratio is high. If this cannot be maintained due to lack of adequate body magnesium or an overwhelming amount of body calcium, the ratio may not be able to maintain or return itself to its healthy nonstressed ratio. In such a case, the stress response, in the absence of an appropriate trigger, can occur. This can be seen when nutritional magnesium deficits cause high blood pressure or increase blood stickiness (platelet aggregation). Additionally, since a low Mg:Ca ratio can increase adrenaline secretion as well as cells’ response to adrenaline, a too low magnesium state can keep the stress response from subsiding in a timely way. Even worse, when body magnesium becomes drastically low, this becomes a stress trigger in itself, alarming the body into further stress response with out enough magnesium to back it up, resulting in a low magnesium-high stress crisis that can end in sudden death.
In the industrialized world, we live in a state of chronic, on-going stress. This environmental reality increases our daily need for magnesium in order to maintain a healthy stress response that can calm when not necessary.
Part II. Heart Disease Is Often a Magnesium Deficiency
Clearly, an adequate amount of nutritional magnesium—in proper balance with adequate nutritional calcium—is key to a healthy stress response. And yet today we have diets dangerously low in magnesium. Add the recent additions of nutritional calcium via supplements and food fortifications meant to stave off osteoporosis, and many of us are getting inadequate magnesium plus too much calcium. This results in a large occurrence of heart disease.
Not all, but much of the heart disease in the industrialized world can be explained by the low magnesium state of these societies. People with heart disease—for the most part—are people who are in a state of magnesium that is borderline or deficient. Many studies on heart disease patients exist due to medicine’s effort to understand and treat this widespread malady. Although not intended as such, this body of research shows us what stress can do to a person in a magnesium deficient state.
Part III. Mental and Emotional Stress Deplete Magnesium
It is commonly accepted that certain traditional risk factors for heart disease exist. This include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, family history of heart disease, and other factors, all of which can be linked to a shortage of nutritional magnesium. Recent studies tell us that stresses—both sudden and chronic—with their high magnesium requirements, are also strong risk factors for heart disease.
The sudden stress of the
Emotional stress and phobic anxiety cause heart problems in patients with heart disease—a population we know to be mostly low in their nutritional magnesium status. Chronic states of emotional stress, including a history of childhood abuse, neglect or family dysfunction, depression, and panic disorder, must now be added to the list of traditional risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Depression can be a symptom of low magnesium status. So can anxiety, panic attacks, irritability, hyperactivity, and over-sensitivity to loud noises. Do these newly found risk factors cause heart disease, or are they risk factors because the, as well as heart disease, can all be aspects of low magnesium status? These chronic sources of stress can increase the human need for magnesium as well as be caused by its deficit.
Emotional stress triggers in susceptible people can even bring a sudden death due to heart attack, presumably by initiating a stress/low-magnesium crisis. Such emotional “triggers” include work stress, high-pressure deadlines, social isolation and loneliness, low socioeconomic status, anxiety, war, fear of war, anger and rage. Identical stress triggers cause more human heart attacks regardless of age, race, gender, or geographic location, including continent.
Mental stress, such as working out a math problem, can be shown to have impact upon the magnesium-stress response connection, since it can bring on heart attacks in people with heart disease.
Part IV. Stress, Magnesium and Aging
We are hearing a lot about stress in the health media, and rightly so as this constant companion to our lives brings on the fight-or-flight syndrome, a stress response that, when activated, has been shown to shorten lifespan. When we realize that the stress response is exacerbated when we are low in magnesium, that we are living on low-magnesium foods for the most part, and that our lifestyles are more and more filled with chronic stresses and stressful events, we are not surprised to see that several aspects of magnesium deficiency are remarkably like aspects of the aging process.
When faced with out stressful lifestyles, coupled with a society presenting a chronically low-magnesium/high-calcium diet, what is our best defense? For many of us, magnesium supplements can help to preserve or restore a healthy Mg:Ca balance, so important to our health in these stressful times.
Peter Gillham's Natural Calm
The Childhood Obesity Epidemic
August 09, 2006 04:57 PM
The Zimmerman File: Marcia Zimmerman, CN, is a respected author and educator in the field of health and nutrition.
Fighting Obesity – What do I put in my child’s Lunch?
We begin the 21st century with a startling setback in life expectancy for our youth. Some experts even fear that today’s kids may not live as long as their parents. That’s despite the recent advances in medicine that have been credited with extending life span.
The childhood Obesity Epidemic
The obesity epidemic is occurring in boys and girls in all 50 states. It’s happening in younger children as well as adolescents, across all socioeconomic strata, and among all ethnic groups. At a time when we have learned that excess weight has significant and troublesome health consequences, we see our children gaining weight to a dangerous degree and at an alarming rate. According to a 2004 report from the Centers for Disease Control, the number of over weight 6 to 11 year olds more than doubled in the past 20 years—going from 7 percent in 1980, to 18.8 percent in 2004. the rate among adolescents between 12 to 19 more than tripled, increasing from 5% to 17.1%.
An estimated 61% of overweight young people have at least one additional risk factor associated with becoming overweight. These include heart disease, high cholesterol or high blood pressure—factors that have been traditionally associated with much older adults. In addition, children who are overweight are at greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem. Overweight young people are more likely than their normal weight peers to become over weight of obese adults, adding additional risk factors such as stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.
The consensus among pediatricians, school administrators, parents, and government officials is that healthy lifestyle habits, including healthy eating and physical activity, can lower the risk of becoming overweight and developing related diseases. Associated problems with a growing overweight population are reduced productivity, increased disability, and a greater number of overweight individuals requiring nursing home care as they move into retirement. Clearly the centerpiece of reducing childhood obesity is to reduce its health related and economic costs.
Clearly, we must tackle this problem head-on in order to save our youth. It is beginning as a grass roots movement in the classroom and will involve nutritionists, enlightened teachers, pediatricians, natural food retailers, manufacturers and suppliers of healthy foods. Beginning in the opening weeks of school 2006-2007, a pilot program to teach 6th graders how to eat for better health will be instituted in Chico, California. As the program is perfected, it will be offered nationwide. This is how the plan unfolds.
Show kids how
Breakfast: Cereals, Whey Protein Powders, with Glutamine added, add Malted Milk Powder to any shake, for a change.
Lunchbox: Dried fruits (non-sulfite), Nuts, Seeds, and Organic Popcorn.
Health Snack Bars Nuts & Seeds, Organic Fruit Bars, Organic Virta Raw Sprouted Bars.
Dinner: Grains, Textured Soy Protein, Oils.
Vitamins: (very important to keep kids healthy and at the top of their game) Daily Multiple: Kid Vits berry Blast or Orange Splash, daily vits easy-to-swallow tabs for older kids, Effer-C Packets, Omega-3 Fish Oil; (for brain nutrition)
Oral Hygiene: (don’t forget the anti-caries power of xylitol)
XyliWhite Fluoride-Free Refreshmint Toothpaste XyliWhite Fluoride-Free Cinnafresh Toothpaste XyliWhite Fluoride-Free Refreshmint Mouthwash XyliWhite Fluoride-Free Cinnafresh Mouthwash
Mary Travis at Now Foods has been collecting amazing recipes that use Now Foods ingredients. Contact her at email@example.com for more information.
EczeMate from Source Naturals
August 01, 2006 11:59 AM
Dr. Andrei Nedostupenko, a Russian heart surgeon, found that his hands were irritated by the constant washing he had to do prior to surgeries.
Then he remembered hearing about a distant relative’s recipe—a skin ointment unknown outside a small town in Russia. He tried it and the results amazed him. As a doctor, he wasn’t content to just enjoy his newlyreplenished skin; he began extensive investigations to discover the ointment’s secrets. After years of clinical trials, and great success, he is now bringing this formula to North America.
Source Naturals is pleased to bring you ECZEMATE, an amazing, replenishing formula from Russia. Made with natural ingredients free of pollutants, petrochemicals, or hazardous substances, it soothes,lubricates, and rejuvenates the skin.
Russia might not be the first place that comes to mind when imagining the source of a secret remedy for smooth, silky, supple skin, but in many ways it makes sense. With centuries of hard physical labor, intensely cold, bitter winters, and until recently, little access to the famous skin treatment centers of Europe or to modern cosmetics, who better than the Russians to appreciate a soothing cream that replenishes skin cells?
The ingredients of ECZEMATE are natural ingredients that could be found in many farms and forests worldwide: beeswax, animal fats, fatty acids, rose hips, vitamin C, and carotenoids. The harvesting of many of these ingredients follows centuries- old folk traditions, the local knowledge of when certain plants reach their highest peak of potency. The secret to the ointment is the combination of the ingredients in a particular order at particular times, temperatures, and conditions.
ECZEMATE is a revitalizing and soothing ointment. One of the ingredients, rose hip oil, is a rich source of vitamins A, C and E, flavanoids, and other bio-active compounds, as well as essential fatty acids, including the Omega 3 group. It is thought that because the components of rose hip oil are so similar to those of skin cell membranes, that is why this oil has such powerful regenerative effects on skin cells. Composed of oleic (15-20%), linoleic (44-50%) and linolenic (30-35%) fatty acids, this amazing oil has been used effectively in worldwide skin tests.
Part of a Complete Skin Care Plan
For healthy skin in general, researchers recommend using zinc to support the immune system. Drink plenty of water, increase your intake of dark, leafy greens like kale and chard—both non-dairy sources of calcium—and make sure you are getting sufficient vitamin C. Avoid refined sugar, and replace animal products with fatty fish, such as salmon, herring, halibut and mackerel, to provide essential fatty acids.
Source Naturals is pleased to bring you ECZEMATE, an easy-to-use topical ointment that has had tremendous success in supporting smooth, healthy, silky skin. Unlike many skin formulas, it is made with natural products; it contains no corticosteroids, hydrocortisone, nor paraffin.
Use it as part of your own wellness program, taking charge of your own health and well-being in the wellness revolution.
References: www.wholehealthmd.com/refshelf/substances, visited 7/11/05 www.childhood-eczema.com, visited 7/20/05 Chopra, RN et al.1986.Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants www.acne-advice.com/products/skincare /rosa_mosqueta/index.shtml, visited 6/21/05 Moreno, JC. 1990. Med Cutan Ibero Lat Am 18(1):63-66.
Angeles, AM, et al. 1990. J Invest Dermatol 94:504A.
Soft Drinks Contaminated by Benzene
May 27, 2006 09:24 AM
A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) testing program has found cancer-causing benzene in soft drinks at levels averaging four times the standard for tap water. The brand names have not been released.
The test data were uncovered by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which posted the test results on the group’s website, www.ewg.org
Highly elevated Benzene Levels
Between 1995-2001 the RDA tested 24 samples of diet soda for benzene. The result: 79% tested at levels above the federal limit for benzene in tap water, which is 5 parts per billion (ppb). The maximum benzene level detected was 55 ppb. In addition to the diet sodas, the FDA tested a number of other non-diet soft drinks. One cola was contaminated at 27 times the tap water limit, and fruit drink had a 95 ppb level.
“These results confirm our suspicions there are highly elevated benzene levels in some very popular drinks,” Richard Wiles, EWG’s senior vice president said in a press release.
Reaction Triggered by Preservatives
According to an article in beveragedaily.com, sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid in soft drinks can react together to form benzene. Sodium benzoate is a common preservative in soft drinks, and ascorbic acid is often added as an antioxidant to extend shelf life.
Negotiations between the FDA and the beverage industry in 1990 resulted in an agreement that the industry would voluntarily reformulate its soft drinks to prevent this combination. The recurrence of benzene contamination may be due to new soft drink manufacturers in the market who were not a part of, or aware of, the original negotiations.
Britain Pulls Soft Drinks from Shelves
In contrast to the U.S. situation, food safety campaigners in England were successful in having benzene –containing soft drinks removed from the supermarket shelves. The British Food Standards Agency pulled four soft drink brands which contained more than 1 ppb of benzene, and rushed out the results of tests on 149 drinks, including a range of fruit juice, iced tea, squash, fizzy and low-sugar drinks, according to The Times of London.
The Wellness Revolution and Contaminated Soft Drinks
The controversy over benzene in soft drinks is an example of how toxic exposure exists in our food and immediate environment. The constant exposure to toxics were-and especially our children—experience is a major cause of chronic illness.
In this situation, the organic products available for purchase in health food stores are especially vital. And since some exposure to toxics is unavoidable we must take advantage of the herbs and nutrients that support detoxification and the liver, the main organ of detoxification, as well as immunity for example, silymarin, N-acetyl cysteine, calcium D-glucarate, folic acid, Reishi and shiitake mushrooms, and turmeric.
Sources: www.ewg.org www.beveragedaily.com 02/25/06. Associated Press 04/11/06. www.fda.org.
Public Pressure Forces Corporations to Curtail Most Soda Pop sales to schools
The Nation’s largest beverage distributors have agreed to halt nearly all soda sales to public schools, according to a deal announced may 3rd by the William J. Clinton Foundation.
The companies have agreed to sell only water, unsweetened juice and low fat milks to elementary and middle schools, according to a spokesman for former President Bill Clinton. Diet sodas would be sold only to high schools.
The deal follows a wave of criticism by school districts and state legislatures amid reports of rising childhood obesity. Soda has been a particular target because of its caloric content and popularity among children.
December 16, 2005 09:49 AM
Research published in June in The Journal of Nutrition described how magnesium deficiency in female rats affected their offspring. The team at the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism of National Institute of Nutrition in India found that maternal magnesium deficiency increased body fat and induced insulin resistance in offspring by the time they reached 6 months. Also, the addition of perinatal magnesium-restricted diet impaired offspring’s glucose tolerance.
This follows a study published in Diabetes Care in May that found an association between magnesium deficiency and insulin resistance during childhood. According to the authors, based at the University of Virginia and the State University of New York at Buffalo, magnesium deficiency has already been associated with insulin resistance and increased risk of type II diabetes in adults. They concluded, “Magnesium supplementation or increased intake of magnesium rich foods may be an important tool in the prevention of type II diabetes in obese children.”
Pregnant and eating for two...
October 21, 2005 01:36 PM
Not - Quite - Dual - Nutrition
It’s time to ditch a dietary cliché often foisted on expectant moms. “try to keep in mind that you are not eating for two, you are carefully eating for one,” write Catherine Jones and prenatal nutrition expert Rose Ann Hudson in Eating for Pregnancy (Marlowe & Company), who add that pregnancy “is not a time to skip meal, eat junk food or lad up on empty calories for quick energy.” The idea is to eat a nutritious diet that allows you to gain weight gradually as your baby grows.
It helps to be at a healthy weight when starting a family. Being overweight makes conception more difficult, and at least one study ahs found a link between excess maternal weight and the risk of a birth defect called cleft palate (in which the roof of the mouth is split from behind the teeth to the nasal cavity). However, dieting during pregnancy may actually program a child for obesity by rewiring the developing brain, so try to lose weight before you try to conceive.
How much should you expect to gain over the course of nine months? “A lot depends on your unique circumstances and the advice of your health care provider, but in general you can anticipate adding from two to five pounds a month for the first 14 weeks and roughly a pound a week thereafter until your due date-between 25 and 35 pounds in total. That translates into roughly and extra 300 calories a day; Jones and Hudson say that more nourishment may be necessary if you are breastfeeding, extremely active or carrying more than one child. Since stress and anxiety often lead to out-of-control eating (and gaining), be sure to tend to your own emotional needs during what can be a very exhilarating, yet sometimes overwhelming, time of life.
For maximum nutrition try to eat a variety of foods while avoiding anything that provokes morning sickness. Whole grains provide both steady energy (unlike sugar-fueled spikes and crashes) and B vitamins to boot. Do not scrimp on fat-your baby’s developing nervous system depends on it-but “don’t use your pregnancy as an excuse to pig out, either,” warn Jones and Hudson. Stick with such unsaturated fats as olive oil along with rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids like flax seed oil. You definitely want to indulge in those omega-3s, which appear to boost infant intellectual development. Fish is a fine source of both omega-3 and the high-quality protein needed to build your baby’s tissues, but beware: Some species such as fresh tuna, swordfish, tilefish and king mackerel, can be contaminated with mercury. Your best low-mercury bets are catfish, pollock, salmon, and shrimp. (Other good protein sources include chicken, cottage cheese, lean red meat, yogurt and milk, all organically sourced whenever possible.)
Supplemental fish oil is another omega-3 possibility because “mercury is found in the muscle of fish and not in the oil,” according to OSU’s Jane Higdon, who suggests consulting your health care practitioner for advice. “If I was going to take a fish oil supplement, I’d look for one that the manufacturer is testing for PCBs (an industrial pollutant),” such as products that meet California’s Proposition 65 standards.
Don’t forget to stock the fridge with fresh produce. Fruits and veggies are richly endowed with vitamins and minerals; for example, making like Popeye and downing your spinach helps ensure you get plenty of folic acid and iron.
These superfoods also supply phytonutrients, substances that may actually help protect your baby against cancer even as they enhance your own well-being. Studies on the link between maternal diet and childhood cancer protection are in the early stages according to Dr. David Williams, a researcher at the Linus Pauling Institute, but he says that shouldn’t stop you from loading up on cancer-fighting green stuff. “Certainly among the vegetables the cruciferous ones (the broccoli family) are particularly valuable in protecting against cancer,” he says. “These vegetables are also a good source of fiber and vitamin C.”
Energizing Intimacy - The foundation of a loving relationship is built on communication
July 27, 2005 04:17 PM
The foundation of a loving relationship is built on communication.
Mars/Venus. He said/she said. Action movies/chick flicks. However you choose to characterize differences between the sexes, one this is clear: We tend to see men and women as irreconcilable opposites, people who need each other deeply yet who often don’t know how to live with one another. The stress that ensues when the love connection breaks down aches not only our hearts but the rest of our bodies as well…to say nothing of what it teaches our children about the nature of relationships.
This issue of Energy Times is primarily devoted to offering advice and guidance on how to rebuild that love connection; how committed, loving couples can energize intimacy in their relationships. You can find valuable information in stories on the incredible herbs around the world that aid and enhance libido; tips on how women can use natural cosmetics to rev up a partner’s sexual engine; and how couples can create passion in the kitchen, through mutual back massage and after menopause.
But those articles offer little help if the foundation of your relationship is not primarily built on communicating your needs and desires- whether inside or outside of the bedroom- and listening, really listening, to the other person in your life. Communication is the holistic way to view sexual health and healing because having a clear understanding with your partner about love and life is the way your relationship can truly be whole.
With our national divorce rate hovering around the 50% mark, it is clear that American adults still have an immense learning curve when it comes to talking about sex and intimacy. Sensual images and situations bombard us from books, television, films and Internet sites, yet we seem to be as clueless as ever, not knowing how to talk intelligently about intimate relationships to each other or to our children.
Part of the problem stems from the constant barrage of verbal and visual messages- whether from our parents, friends or corporate advertising- that make us incredibly self-conscious about sensuality and our bodies. Many women fight to come to terms with self-images of their bodies as not thin or beautiful enough, while a lot of men struggle to overcome fear and insecurity over their sexual prowess. Carrying such baggage around can’t help but negatively affect the way people relate in a relationship. After all, before you can share love with your partner, you must learn to love yourself.
We also have to overcome the energy flows that start getting blocked during childhood, when we learn to restrain our emotional energy for the sake of fitting in. Like water behind a crumbling dam, though, repressed energy leaks out in all sorts of extremely unhealthy ways: Anger, depression, irritability, stress- and sexual dysfunction.
Learning to Talk
According to Chris Frey, a Missouri-based psychotherapist and pet who has studies sexual relationships, our culture does a great job reaching people about the mechanics and “how-to” of intimacy and the dangers of unprotected sex, but few families or institutions talk about healthy sexuality with a partner.
“Culturally, the prevalent myth still is that loves means intuitively knowing what my partner wants,” Frey said in an interview posted on the website of the Missouri Lawyer Assistance Program (MOLAP). “People think if they have to talk, or worse yet, ask about it, then there must be something wrong with them. That’s incorrect. Instead of open communication, people often turn to innuendo, humor and guesswork. When couples break through that, the sensitivity and intimacy built as two uncertain people begin to communicate about sex builds an amazing amount of trust, and most likely, a much more pleasurable relationship.”
In fact, trust is a key part of a model of healthy sexuality developed by social worker, marriage and family therapist and author Wendy Maltz. Called CERTS, Maltz’s model requires that five basic conditions be met for a healthy sexual relationship: Consent, Equality, Respect, Trust and Safety.
-Steven Hanks and Lisa James
THERAPEUTIC APPLICATIONS OF ST. JOHN’S WORT DEPRESSION—AN OVERVIEW
July 15, 2005 09:12 AM
THERAPEUTIC APPLICATIONS OF ST. JOHN’S WORT DEPRESSION—AN OVERVIEW
Depression is a disorder that affects millions of people, both Americans and worldwide. It takes many forms, but is usually marked by sadness, inactivity and heightened selfdepreciation. Hopelessness and pessimism are often common symptoms, as are lowered self-esteem, reduced energy and vitality, and loss of the overall capability to enjoy one’s existence.
Depression is probably the most common psychiatric complaint offered to doctors, and has been described by physicians from at least the time of Hippocrates, who called it “melancholia.” The course the disorder runs varies widely from person to person. Depression may be short-term, or may occur repeatedly at short intervals. It may be somewhat permanent, mild or sever, acute or chronic. And who does depression most affect? Rates of incidence are higher among women than men (for varying reasons, some not totally understood). And men are more at risk of suffering from depression as they age, while a woman’s peak age for experi-encing depression is usually between the ages of 35-45.
Depression is caused by many things—it could come about because of childhood traumas, or because of stressful life events—but more and more, doctors and scientists are pointing to biochemical processes as a main culprit in the onset of depression. Defective regulation of the release of one or more naturally occurring monoamines in the brain—particularly norepinephrine—leads to reduced quantities or reduced activity of these chemicals in the brain, bringing on the depressed mood for most sufferers. Accompanying the increase in depression cases and the emerging knowledge of its causes has been the rise of drug and other therapies in treating the disorder. The two most important are drug therapy and psychotherapy. Psychotherapy aims to resolve any underlying psychic conflicts that may be causing the depressed state, while giving emotional support to the patient. This usually involves seeing a psychiatrist and/or psychologist at regular intervals. This also may be accompanied by participation in support groups.
Antidepressant drugs, on the other hand, directly affect the chemistry of the brain and its chemicals, such as the monoamines that are thought to have the most effect on depressed emotional states and moods. The tricyclic antidepressant drugs are thought to work by inhibiting the body’s physiological inactivation of the monoamine transmitters. This results in the buildup or accumulation of these neurotransmitters in the brain and allows them to remain in contact with nerve cell receptors longer, thus aiding in elevating the mood of the patient. There are other drugs, called oxidase inhibitors, which interfere with the activity of monoamine oxidase, an enzyme known to be involved in the breakdown of norepinephrine and serotonin.5
While drug therapy is something more favorable than continuing suffering from depression, for many persons who take these medications it brings on very undesirable side effects. Uncomfortable physical side effects are among the biggest complaints. Many drug users suffer from sensations of nausea, bloating, indigestion, abdominal cramping and diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal discomforts. Dizziness is often a common complaint, and there are many others. For decades, St. John’s wort has been utilized as a mood elevator, antidepressant and overall mental stimulant. As mentioned before, since times as far back as the Crusades do we have record of St. John’s wort being used in this and other capacities. Wounds were treated with the herb’s extracted oil, the insane were given the herb for its effect on both the nervous system and brain, and it was even used to cast out evil spirits (which often is linked to hallucinations and other mental instability).
More recent uses in “folk” or nonstandard medicine point to St. John’s wort’s effective use not only as an antidepressant and nervous system tonic, but also for neuralgia, wounds, kidney problems, its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, and of very recent interest, its use as an AIDS virus inhibitor. Michael Murray, in his book Natural Alternatives to Over-the-Counter Drugs, points to St. John’s wort’s uses for the previously listed uses, and the results of several recent clinical studies. Rebecca Flynn and Mark Roest also outline very well the benefits of the herb as shown in medical and other tests.6 The information coming from both the folk medicine and the clinical medicine worlds indicates that St. John’s wort possesses effective and safe healing properties for several disorders and ailments, and potentially many more.
Nature's Cancer fighters ...
July 07, 2005 12:36 PM
Cancer has always been a word no one wants to hear from a doctor's lips. But as a fatal disease, cancer has gone from dread to worse, passing heart disease as the number-one killer of Americans under the age of 85 (a category that includes the overwhelming majority of us). While death rates for both illnesses has dropped over the past few years, the improvement has been much more pronounced for cardiovascular disorders.
According to the American Cancer Society, 476,009 people died of cancer in 2002 (the last year for which statistics are available). Behind every one of those numbers is a web of lives tangled by cancer's relentless onslaught: A child who misses a mother's comforting arms, a bride without a father to walk her down the aisle, a spouse coming home to a dark, cold house every night. And for those fortunate enough to survive a cancer encounter, there's always the dark worry of recurrence that surfaces with every ache or twinge.
Many people think of cancer as either a random calamity of a genetically driven inevitability, but it ain't necessarily so. Diet is coming up big as a major cancer-risk player: For example, eating a lot of red meat, especially highly processed meats such as bacon, has been linked to high colorectal cancer risk in an investigation published by the Journal of the American Medical Association. On the positive side, a number of nutrients have shown cancer-fighting power, such as the recently discovered link between the B vitamin folate and reduced risk of colon and other cancers (see page 57). Other useful nutrients appear on the chart that follows.
Of course, risk always varies from person to person, and there are some lifestyle issues, like not smoking, that are no-brainers when it comes to cancer deterrence. But isn't it nice to know that protection from such a terrible disease might be as close as the end of your fork?
Nature's Cancer fighters
Vitamin E, Natural
All Calories Are Not Created Equal
June 25, 2005 07:49 PM
All Calories Are Not Created Equal
When we eat more than our daily energy requirements (and most of us do), the extra energy is stored as fat. The human body is designed to stockpile fat very easily. This tendency is related to innate mechanisms intended to protect us against starvation or the threat of a diminished food supply. Fat cells provide extra fuel which can be utilized if necessary to sustain life. Those survival fat pounds settle on the hips, waist, thighs, upper arms and back, not to mention around organs, like the heart and kidney. Some ethnic groups, whose ancestors repeatedly suffered from famines, are especially efficient in energy storage. These include the Pima tribe48 in the United States, the Aborigines of Australia,49 and many of those of African descent.41
Fats are very readily converted to pounds. Carbohydrates and proteins require more complicated digestive processes to convert and store their energy than fat does. Calories from carbohydrates and proteins are usually burned and thrown off as heat (thermogenesis). Naturally, overeating proteins and carbohydrates can result in weight gain, however the body has to work harder to convert these nutrients to fat stores. It takes 20 to 25 percent of the energy in carbohydrate and protein to convert them into body fat. It only takes about 5 percent of the energy content of dietary fat to store it as body fat. Fat is also twice as energy dense (9 calories per gram) as carbohydrates or proteins (4 calories per gram) making fat at least twice as dangerous from a weight gain standpoint.50 Blood taken from an individual soon after they have eaten a double cheeseburger, french fries and a thick milk shake will often be a milky pink color due to the infusion of fat from the digestive system. This fat circulates throughout the system until it is either burned or stored.
A Winning Combination
Most people would agree that exercise combined with a low-fat, high-fiber diet would be a winning combination for maintaining and improving health. Exercise is important in any health maintenance program. It is especially important in weight control since the amount of energy we expend in the resting state, our Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR), is a function of our muscle mass and tone.51,52 There is a tendency for us to lose muscle mass and gain fat pounds as we age. In part, this is due to life style changes. Instead of flying kites we fly desks! Nevertheless, our capacity to increase our muscle mass is undiminished with age.53 The lack of exercise rather than the abundance of candy is thought to be the primary cause of childhood obesity.54
Eating a low-fat, high-fiber diet will produce some weight loss even in nor-mal weight subjects.55 The reason for this may well be the balance between fullness and satiety.56 It is a proven fact that we can easily eat an excess of fat before we feel full or satisfied. This is because fats are twice as energy dense (9 calories/ gram) as carbohydrates or proteins (4 calories/gram). By the time we are full, we have over eaten. Increasing our fiber intake helps us feel full. (Of course expensive gastric bypass surgery is another alternative.57) Eating a highfiber diet helps us to feel more than just full. Low-fat, high-fiber diets are found to lead to a general lowering of cancer rates.58 Though the above combination of exercise, low-fat, and high-fiber may work in theory; making the theory work in practice is quite another story.
Technology works against us in some ways as evidenced by this comment a woman made about her husband’s physique: “He has added 20 pounds of lap since he got his lap-top [computer].” And just try to get a low calorie meal over your lunch hour. In Feburary 1996 McDonald’s, an international fast food franchise, announced that it would be dropping its five-year experiment with the low-fat McLean burger (12 grams of fat). Also gone from the menu will be the Chef’s salad and the side salad. The taste of the Big Mac (35 grams of fat) has apparently won out over its McLean competition. The salads seem to be a casualty of convenience. Eating a salad in the car after a quick pickup at the drivethrough can be a bit challenging.
Fortunately, state-of-the-art research in the area of weight loss has discovered that through the addition of certain supplements and nutrients, the process of decreasing the amount of fat we process in the stomach and boosting the amount of fat we burn can be expedited. For those of us who suffer from a “fat imbalance” or a condition where we store more fat than we burn, it is often a matter of life or death to lose fat in order to protect our arteries and heart.
The Secret t o Weight Loss . . . An Ounce of Prevent ion Most weight-reducing strategies have to confront the “after the fact” problem of burning already stored fat. Like most of our medical practices, we routinely become sick or fat and then go about the business of trying to remedy our ills. Despite Poor Richard’s advice that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” we continually eat high-fat diets, and wait until we have to pay the piper before most of us take serious action. It’s much easier to prevent a fat build-up than to reverse the damage that carrying extra fat stores can cause. Going on a diet is nothing less than torture and usually means giving up all the foods we like to eat. Yet dieting seldom gets to the root cause of our excess weight which most often is that we eat too much fat, when not dieting. The body begins to digest lipids in the stomach and intestines.
The diagram in Figure 1 illustrates the steps involved in getting fat into our bloodstream.59 There are four steps in fat digestion: 1) acidolytic breakdown of food in the stomach; 2) enzymatic breakdown (lipolysis) of the fats (triglycerides, TGs) into fatty acids (FAs) and beta-monoglycerides (b-MGs); 3) formation of soluble mixed micelles with bile acids; and 4) absorption through the intestines. If we could tie up excess fat before it was absorbed, we could spare our physiological systems the stress of having to deal with that fat. Ideally then, what we need is a substance that prevents fat absorption.
Women and Depression!
June 13, 2005 07:48 PM
Women and Depression by Lisa James Energy Times, March 11, 2004
Just as fog veils a beautiful landscape, so depression veils life itself: rendering existence dark and dreary, narrowing the scope of one's dreams. And women are particularly prone to this lingering sadness.
The good news: Depression doesn't have to linger forever. With proper nutrition, lifestyle changes and a revived outlook, you can break through that fog into a sunnier emotional clime. Women are more likely than men to fall prey to depression throughout their lifetimes, with women being twice as likely as men to experience major depression.
While the greatest risk for both sexes falls at midlife, the gender difference appears early; one in ten teenage girls was found to suffer from major depression in one study (International Journal of Behavioral Development 2004; 28:16-25). What's more, childhood depression leaves a person more susceptible to mood problems in adulthood.
One reason for the gender difference in depression, according to researchers, is that women tend to dwell on depressed feelings to a greater degree than men. Some scientists believe a family history of depression carries greater weight for women. Others theorize that the inner fluctuations of a woman's monthly cycle can leave her susceptible to stresses emanating from the outer world. Studies indicate that almost three-quarters of all premenstrual women experience some level of mood difficulties (Summit on Women and Depression, APA, April 02), and a woman's hormonal ebb and flow may even make her more vulnerable to seasonal affective disorder (SAD), the kind of depression linked to a lack of natural light.
Warning Signs Not surprisingly, many depressed folks feel sad and lethargic, down on themselves and the world. But in some people, depression is marked by agitation and concentration difficulties, or is accompanied by anxiety. Sleep disturbances-either insomnia or excessive sleepiness-often ensue, and activities that used to provide pleasure lose their appeal.
Breaking depression's grip can do more than just lighten your mood-it may help safeguard your health. Studies suggest depression dampens the immune response and may increase the risks of coronary heart disease and diabetes (Archives of General Psychiatry 2003; 60:1009-14; Circulation 2000; 102:1773; Diabetes Care 2004; 27:129-33).
Origins of Depression
The reasons some people are pulled down by depression's undertow while others are able to stay afloat emotionally are complex, but researchers believe common factors link them all.
One factor that can't be ignored is genetics. "If you are depressed, there is a 25% chance that a first-degree relative-a parent, child or sibling-is also depressed," says Hyla Cass, MD, author of St. John's Wort: Nature's Blues Buster (Avery). Other factors are physical problems and medication side effects. That's why your first step should be a consultation with your health care practitioner (if your moods are especially dark, seek professional assistance as soon as possible).
Life's worries and cares also weigh more heavily on some people than on others. " [N]ot only will certain stressors [adverse events] cause depression as a direct response," notes Dr. Cass, "but they may predispose an individual to future episodes of depression." For example, the end of a relationship when you feel you've lost a lover and been humiliated (and been cheated on) raises your risk of depression (Archives of General Psychiatry 2003; 60:789-96).
The Depressed Brain
When depression hits, brain chemistry shifts. As a result, chemicals known as neurotransmitters, which relay messages between brain cells, go awry. For instance, a neurotransmitter called serotonin-critical to mood control-may decrease, leaving you feeling depressed, anxious, craving certain foods and unable to sleep.
Conversely, "high levels of serotonin are associated with emotional and social stability," according to Dr. Cass. She adds that, in addition, sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone "affect brain cells directly."
Lifting the Fog
Because the causes of depression are so complex, leaving the darkness behind generally requires opening up several pathways. Part of feeling better simply lies in believing that you can. Researchers have found that depressed people who feel they have a sense of control over their troubles, do, in fact, have a better chance of recovery (General Hospital Psychiatry 2000; 22(4):242-50). Finding a community of like-minded folks bolsters your capacity to deal with mood problems. In some cases, time spent with a therapist can be a valuable aid in figuring out what's bothering you.
On the physical side, losing weight can lift your spirits. Among women with severe obesity-itself a depression risk factor-losing weight has led to depression relief (Archives of Internal Medicine 2003; 163:2058-65). Research also indicates that exercise helps brighten dark moods.
A change in diet, along with certain supplements, can also help dispel depression. The first step on the road to emotional recovery: eat a lot of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, and stay away from overly refined foods with high levels of sugar.
Omega-3 fatty acids, the kinds found in flax seed and fish, are essential to proper brain function. In several studies, people who took supplemental omega-3s found significant relief from depression.
Key amino acids-the basic units of which proteins are built-serve as starting points for the production of mood-lifting neurotransmitters. In one trial, people who took an amino-acid mix that included tyrosine enjoyed better moods and were happier than people who took amino acids without it (Psychopharmacology (Berlin) Sept 4 2003).
Along with amino acids, the body needs the right vitamins-especially members of the all-important B family-to create depression-fighting brain chemicals. In one study, people with depression who took vitamin B12 improved their chances of recovery (BMC Psychiatry 2003; 3:17).
Another interesting observation: Vitamin B12 and its partners vitamin B6 and folate are essential to keep a protein called homocysteine (known primarily as a cardiovascular hazard) from reaching excessive levels, and people with high homocysteine are twice as likely to be depressed. This has led some researchers to speculate that folate may help keep depression under control (Archives of General Psychiatry 2003; 60:618-26).
Herbs that may help beat back the blues include two that help the body deal with stress, eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) and schisandra (S. chinensis).
A new diet, a new outlook: With the help of the right nutrients and the right support, you can break the bonds of depression.