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Reduce the effects of chemotherapy with safflower seeds Darrell Miller 5/8/19
Importance of Antioxidants and How Can We Get Them from Various Foods Darrell Miller 12/18/15
DHA Darrell Miller 8/15/08
Can the Fatty Acid CLA Help me Lose Weight ? Darrell Miller 7/14/08
The Prevention and Treatment or Prostate Cancer Darrell Miller 4/10/08
The healing power of borage oil Darrell Miller 6/19/06
Fighting fat with fat makes sense with conjugated linoleic acid. Darrell Miller 4/3/06
CLA Extreme Fact Sheet Darrell Miller 12/7/05
Why do I need more EPA & DHA Omega-3 fatty acids? Darrell Miller 11/10/05
Is Fish Oil good for my heart? Darrell Miller 10/25/05
CLA and Cancer Darrell Miller 6/22/05
America's Most Wanted Darrell Miller 6/14/05
Good Hydration Darrell Miller 6/14/05
Celebrating Women: Age Is Just a Number Darrell Miller 6/13/05
Breast Cancer Darrell Miller 6/10/05
Improve Your Diet and Stop Being S.A.D. Darrell Miller 5/27/05



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Reduce the effects of chemotherapy with safflower seeds
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Date: May 08, 2019 04:35 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Reduce the effects of chemotherapy with safflower seeds





Chemotherapy which is often shortened to chemo is the use of drugs to eliminate and reduce cancer cells. Because of its systemic effects and ability to kill cancer cells despite the site they are found, it has been widely used in conventional medicine and oncology to fight cancer. But the treatment is not without risks since it can include long term damage to sensitive organs in the body like the lungs, heart, and kidneys. A recent study that was published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine took a look at the effect of chemotherapy on the kidneys. They studied the effectiveness of safflower seeds against the side effects of cisplatin, a chemotherapy drug used against cancer. They used animal models and compared the effect on damages to the kidneys. Cisplatin is not only used to treat cancer, it is used to prevent the spread of cancer to other parts of the body. It has some side effects which include nausea, vomiting, hair loss, dry skin, and hiccups. It is advisable that pregnant women and breastfeeding women not take it because it can harm the baby. When safflower seeds effect were studied, there were remarkable results discovered leading to the conclusion that safflower seeds were effective in reducing the effects of renal damage caused by cisplatin.

Key Takeaways:

  • Chemotherapy has a long history and it is often shortened to chemo. It involves the use of drugs in order to kill or remove cancer cells.
  • Chemotherapy is used in oncology and conventional medicine as the primary treatment against cancer because of its systemic effects and its ability to be quick in destroying cancer cells.
  • A study that was published in a Chinese journal looked at the side effects of chemotherapy treatment on the kidneys and ways to reduce the damage.

"The treatment, despite being touted as “effective against many forms of cancer,” isn’t without risk, which can include both acute and long-term damage to organs like the lungs, heart, nerves, and kidneys."

Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-04-17-reduce-the-effects-of-chemotherapy-with-safflower-seeds.html

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Importance of Antioxidants and How Can We Get Them from Various Foods
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Date: December 18, 2015 04:29 AM
Author: Darrell Miller
Subject: Importance of Antioxidants and How Can We Get Them from Various Foods

Antioxidants, also known as anti-oxidation agents, are nutrients that help reduce the harmful effects of oxidants in the body. We all know that our body cells need oxygen for energy and growth. As our body cells use oxygen to create energy and sustain life, free radicals are released in the process as a byproduct. Antioxidants help combat the damage caused by oxidation.

If you have ever left a slice of apple in open air, you must have seen that after some time the flesh of the fruit turns brown. This is a result of oxidation. However, if you apply a little lemon juice on the slice, and then leave it in open air, the apple slice will remain white. This is because of the antioxidant present in lemon juice. Similarly, the antioxidants present in the food we consume do the same thing, neutralizes the free radicals, and thus keeps our cells protected. Studies have proven that people who consume antioxidant-rich food are at lower risk of developing many diseases, including cancer. Thus, it is very important for you to include these important nutrients in your everyday diet.


Foods Rich in Antioxidants

These important nutrients exist in many foods, and you can easily get them through a well-balanced diet. Nutrients having antioxidant benefits include vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, beta-carotene, and manganese. A large group of phytochemicals also works as antioxidants.

  • Vitamin C

One of the richest sources of vitamin C is sweet red peppers, and one single cup of these peppers can provide you 190 mg or 200 percent of your required daily intake. You can enjoy 100 percent of your daily intake from a single cup of green peppers, orange juice, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli. One cup serving of cauliflower, cantaloupe, tomatoes, grapefruit, blackberries, and raspberries offers 32 percent of women’s and 25 percent of men’s suggested daily intake.

  • Vitamin E

The richest source of vitamin E includes hazelnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, pinto beans, peanuts, and vegetable oils like canola, corn, and safflower oil. 1 cup of cooked beans, 1-tablespoon vegetable oil and a one-ounce serving of seeds and nuts, offers 2 – 7 mg of vitamin E. These make 13 to 47 percent of your suggested daily intake. Certain vitamin C rich foods also fulfill 10 percent of your daily-required intake of vitamin E including blackberries, raspberries, broccoli, tomatoes, and sweet peppers.

  • Phytochemicals

Phytochemical antioxidants like carotenoids, resveratrol, and flavonoids can easily be identified because of the pigments they offer to the vegetables and fruits, like orange, red, yellow, purple and blue colors. Purple and dark blue fruits include blackberries, blueberries and grapes, and these are rich in resveratrol. Carrots, pumpkin, tomatoes, oranges, and red peppers are rich in carotenoids, which offer them a shade of red, orange, and yellow. Dark greens, particularly leafy greens, are rich sources of antioxidants, but the presence of green chlorophyll hides the other colors.

  • Other sources

Dark chocolates are rich in flavonoids, but to enjoy the benefits you need to opt for those that have cacao solids. Milk chocolates and white chocolates do not offer flavonoids. Wine, tea, and coffee are also sources of flavonoids. You can find selenium in beans, nuts, and animal products like milk, beef, pork, chicken, and fish. The best sources of manganese are nuts, pineapple, beans, sweet potatoes, and brown rice.

Cacao

References

//www.buzzle.com/articles/antioxidant-rich-foods-list-of-antioxidants-in-food.html

//healthyeating.sfgate.com/natural-sources-antioxidants-8024.html

//www.buzzle.com/articles/antioxidants-how-they-work.html


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DHA
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Date: August 15, 2008 03:51 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: DHA

DHA is the most abundant essential fatty acid (polyunsaturated fatty acids) found in the brain and retina. DHA is essential for the proper functioning of our brains as adults, and for the development of our nervous system and visual abilities during the first 6 months of life. DHA is found in cold water fatty fish, including salmon, tuna (blue fin tuna have up to five times more DHA than other types of tuna), mackerel, sardines, shellfish, and herring. Lets take a look at what DHA can do for you.

DHA makes infant formulas more like human milk than "conventional" formula containing Alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid, which are precursors to DHA. It has been an ingredient in several brands of premium infant formula sold in North America since 2001. Mead Johnson was the first infant formula manufacturer to add DHA and ARA (arachidonic acid) to its Enfamil Lipil product, several other manufacturers have followed. DHA levels in breast milk are higher if a mother's diet is high in fish.

DHA is also present normally in very high concentrations in the retina. DHA supplementation would be particularly important for mothers who have consumed excessive alcohol, because alcohol inhibits the desaturase enzymes necessary for DHA synthesis. Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) is a type of Omega-3 fatty acid, a nutrient that has been studied for its role in heart, brain and eye health. An experiment that studied the individual effects of EPA and DHA found that EPA reduced natural killer (NK) cell activity and cell-mediated immune response, but that DHA does not so this study concluded that the immune-suppressing effects of fish oil are mainly due to EPA, not DHA.

Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil help lower triglycerides (fats in the blood), lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of blood clots, improve the health of arteries and reduce the amount of arterial plaque (which narrows arteries and causes heart disease). Many people believe that excessively high omega-6 rather than omega-3 in the modern diet is responsible for an increase in allergies and the need to take aspirin to reduce the risk of heart attack (myocardial infarction).

Sunflower, safflower and corn oil are particularly rich sources of linoleic acid, which is at the root of the omega-6 fatty-acid family. The ability of enzymes to produce the omega-6 and omega-3 family of products of linoleic and alpha-linolenic acid declines with age this is why we need more omega 3 DHA in our diets. In fact, a high omega-3 fatty acid diet increases the alpha-tocopherol content of heart muscle membranes by five times, and this effect is most prominently associated with DHA because the heart muscle prefers DHA as its raw materials to manufacture and strengthen its membranes.

Dietary DHA may reduce the risk of heart disease by reducing the level of blood triglycerides in humans. Low levels of DHA result in reduction of brain serotonin levels and have been associated with ADHD, Alzheimer's disease, and depression, among other diseases, and there is mounting evidence that DHA supplementation may be effective in combating inflammatory bowel disease as well.

Dietary changes in the past century have lowered the consumption of omega-3 to a state of subclinical deficiency that is epidemiologically related to cardiovascular disease, inflammatory disorders, mental and psychiatric diseases and suboptimal neurodevelopment. Decreases in DHA in the brain are associated with cognitive decline during aging and with onset of sporadic Alzheimer disease. DHA has a positive effect on diseases such as hypertension, arthritis, atherosclerosis,, adult-onset diabetes, mellitus, thrombosis, and some cancers.

In conclusion, if consuming DHA through your diet is impossible, you can purchase DHA as a supplement in two common forms: Fish oil capsules or DHA extracted from algae. Consuming DHA may help support body tissues in which DHA is prevalent — especially the brain, nervous system, heart, retinas, and colon. Staying healthy is important, have you had your DHA today?

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Can the Fatty Acid CLA Help me Lose Weight ?
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Date: July 14, 2008 03:28 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Can the Fatty Acid CLA Help me Lose Weight ?

CLA is conjugated linoleic acid, a compound known as a trans fatty acid due to its stereochemistry, and while trans fatty acids are generally regarded as harmful, CLA is not because it is conjugated. This means that it has alternate single and double bonds in the backbone carbon chain, and the overall energy of the molecule is therefore reduced.

Linoleic acid itself is one of the omega-6 fatty acids, the 6 referring to the double bond at the sixth carbon from the omega and of the carbon backbone chain. It is believed to be the cause of heart disease and obesity due to its increasing use in the diet at the expense of omega-3 fatty acids. When the molecule is conjugated, however, the fatty acid has different chemical properties to the standard isomer, and natural CLA is mainly found in cattle products, such as beef and dairy products.

Conjugated linoleic acid is present in cattle because it is formed when linoleic acid is converted to oleic acid by rumen bacteria, that are responsible for the microbial fermentation of the feed of ruminant animals such as sheep and cattle. When oleic acid is formed, so too is CLA. However, the form used in supplements is manufactured from vegetable oils, and therefore suitable for use by vegetarians. The usual vegetable oils used are safflower oil and sunflower oil.

It is believed to possess several beneficial properties, including antioxidant and anti-cancer properties, but it is for its ability to reduce body fat that it is best known to most people. A growing amount of information is being collected on the use of CLA as a supplement in the weight loss industry, although there are as yet no definitive mechanisms that explain its action. However, recent studies have indicated it possess properties that can help to reduce the levels of low density lipoproteins in the blood, and reduce the possibility of atherosclerosis due to LDL oxidation by free radicals.

It is also theorized that CLA in some way regulates the prostaglandin biosynthesis that controls the level of hormones in the body that can regulate growth. An increase in growth hormones is one way in which athletes promote an increase in muscle bulk, while reducing their fatty tissue mass. CLA is also purported to increase thermogenesis, and so promote the loss of body fat and overall weight.

Although most studies on the effect of conjugated linoleic acid in reducing body weight have been carried out on animals, recent animal studies have indicated that might not so much reduce weight, as to increase muscle bulk while reducing that of body fat. The end result, therefore, is not a loss of weight, but a leaner body that has more muscle and less fat. All it needs is the results on animals to be transferred to humans, and this, of course, is frequently the case. However, initial studies on the use of CLA in the human diet have been very positive, so the signs are good.

Most scientific progress in human biochemistry has been obtained by virtue of prior studies on animals. These studies, of course, have been beneficial to the animals, making them leaner and much fitter than they otherwise would have been. It is believed that the same will be true of humans taking CLA as a supplement. In fact, recent studies are split about 50/50 with regard to the effects on humans.

While some studies have shown no benefit, about an equal number have shown a positive benefit in the reduction in the mass of fat in the body. Some of the negative studies may have been flawed in measuring total body weight, and not the relative amounts of muscle and fat, and also basing their results on people already with a low level of fat in their body. In that respect, then, the results look very favorable, and taking CLA as a supplement is likely to help you to reduce fat and increase muscle, if not altogether lose total body weight. However, is that not the end result that most people want? They might not want to be lighter in weight, just to have more muscle mass and less fat tissue.

In a study shown at a 2002 Experimental Biology meeting, it was shown that is was possible to substantially reduce body fat mass by taking CLA alone, and when it was taken in association with guarana, both the size and the number of fats cells in the body were reduced by 50%. However it has also been shown that CLA can be oxidized by free radicals shortly after ingestion, and that sesame lignans help to prevent this. Since sesame lignans can also be used in conjunction with CLA to reduce fat by increasing the level of fatty acid oxidation in the liver, than the benefit of CLA seems obvious.

The antioxidant effect of CLA is one possible explanation for its anti-cancer properties, though there are others. Its antioxidant properties also have an anti-catabolic effect, in that it can help to prevent the wastage of muscle tissue. The FDA has published studies that attest to these anti-cancer properties. Diabetics, however, should consult with their physician before taking CLA as a supplement, since there is a body of thought that it reduces sensitivity to insulin. Others believe the opposite, so more studies might be needed in this aspect of the substance before it can be said to be safe for use by diabetics.

Over recent years, the American diet has increased significantly in its content of the undesirable linoleic acid, due to its ubiquitous presence in margarines, and has reduced in CLA due to modern farming methods. Cattle feeding techniques have resulting in a reduction of CLA in meat products and milk, although eggs are still a rich source, and the CLA in eggs can resist temperatures used in normal cooking methods such as frying, boiling, etc.

It is this CLA deficiency in the diet that has been proposed as one of the reasons for the current obesity problem in the USA. The European diet contains more beneficial fatty acids in general than the American diet.

However, there is an increasing body of evidence being accumulated that collectively that suggests almost unequivocally that CLA can help you lose body fat. Unless you are diabetic, there are few if any contra-indications and an increasing number of people are finding it effective not only to lose body fat, but to replace it with hard lean muscle.

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The Prevention and Treatment or Prostate Cancer
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Date: April 10, 2008 01:36 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: The Prevention and Treatment or Prostate Cancer

Last week I shared with you the controversy surrounding the use of PSA screening to determine the status of the prostate. There are many doctors who do not believe that using PSA is accurate enough to rely on for determining whether or not a high PSA indicates prostate cancer. Many men, who have a high PSA, after more detailed examination, did not have cancer and men with a low PSA did have cancer. Some physicians do not believe that the current methods of diagnosing prostate disorders are saving lives. Also, there is a group of physicians nationwide that strongly believe the best treatment is no treatment but rather a “watch and wait” approach. Prostate cancer usually is slow growing and more than 70% of men who develop it are over 65.

The older a man is, the more likely he is to die of some other condition before his prostate cancer becomes a real threat. To reiterate, the American Cancer Society states, “at this time watchful waiting is a reasonable option for some men with slow growing cancers because it is not known whether active treatment such as surgery, radiation therapy or hormone therapy prolongs survival”. So what action can be taken? While prostate enlargement (BPH) is not related to prostate cancer, it can elevate PSA scores and can cause symptoms in 50% of men by age 80 and nearly all will show signs of BPH by age 85.

If you have early symptoms of BPH such as frequency of urination, a burning feeling after urination and the caliber of stream that isn’t what it used to be, getting up several times through the night and low back pain, taking a good prostate support formula will be your best treatment and prevention. Most men will notice a remarkable improvement within a few weeks. A good prostate support formula will provide relief for 80-90% of all men from these annoying symptoms.

But what about prostate cancer?

The best cure for prostate cancer is prevention. I’ll give you a complete supplement program for prevention but first what about PSA testing? “I don’t believe in screening for something when it’s too late. By the time cancer develops a positive mammography or a true high PSA are likely too late, or if fortunate, that particular cancer will not be a problem. It makes far more sense to prevent the problem in the first place. And there is clear data, prevention is possible”. Dr. Robert J. Rowen, MD, Second Opinion, Soundview Communications. My recommendation, based on research of several scientific studies, includes various nutritional supplements and herbal extracts.

Following are several very important studies that all men should be aware of. In 1966 Dr. Larry Clark of the University of Arizona published startling data suggesting that prostate cancer could be reduced by as much as an amazing 60% by supplemental yeast derived selenium, 200 mcg per day. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant and participates in key and crucial detoxification and free radical scavenging enzymes (80-90% of all disease is caused by free radical damage and inflammation).

Selenium is one of a number of antioxidants to prevent this free radical damage; In 1999 a New Zealand study published in the British Journal of Cancer documented a 40% lower incident of prostate cancer in men with the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA in their blood. These findings have been confirmed in other omega-3 fatty acid studies. Conversely, another published report documents a high level of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in invasive prostate tissue samples. Taken together with recent reports on high levels of omega-6 fatty acids (soy, sunflower, safflower, peanut, corn and most vegetable oils) linked to breast cancer, a common thread emerges. The American diet is overwhelmed with omega-6 oils.

Excessive use of omega-6 fatty acids are cancer causing and also cause inflammation. Trans fatty acids from hydrogenated oils seriously add to the problem. There are other nutrients that have shown to reduce prostate-cancer risk. Vitamin E and lycopene have also shown to prevent prostate cancer. Lycopene is commonly found in tomatoes, especially cooked tomatoes. If you like spaghetti sauce or salsa, this is a great way to fight prostate cancer. While vitamin E, selenium, lycopene and omega-3 fatty acids are all great prostate supporting nutrients, through research I found a much more powerful combination of food grade molecules that can prevent and treat cancer.

Extensive research in the last few years has revealed that regular consumption of certain fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Fruits and vegetables having the highest degree of prostate cancer protection are the following: grapes (resveratrol), garlic, tomatoes, hot peppers, turmeric (curcumin), ginger, berries, milk thistle, cloves and fennel. These foods are protective because they are extremely active and excellent antioxidants. My favorite is turmeric (curcumin) because not only is it an antioxidant, it is also an anti-inflammatory agent. When it has this dual effect it is many times more potent than other types of food. In the United States there is 30 times more prostate cancers diagnosed than there are in India where turmeric is consumed liberally in most of the Indian dishes. Cancer does not begin shortly before it’s diagnosed.

The origin of cancer may be years or decades in the process before it is even diagnosed as such. It is a multi-step process that goes through various phases such as cellular damage and transformation and culminates in the acquisition of invasive potential angiogenic properties and establishment of metastatic lesions. This process, and probably rightly so for all cancers, can be activated by any one of the various environmental carcinogens (cancer causing); all forms of tobacco products, industrial emissions, gasoline vapors, inflammatory agents, food coloring and preservatives, excessive UV rays, alcohol, hair dyes, cleaning products and drugs.

The multi-step process of these cancer causing compounds progress in three stages; tumor initiation, promotion and progression phases. A powerful antioxidant/anti-inflammatory can prevent most if not all of the damaging effects when taken on a daily basis. Several population based studies indicate that people in Southeast Asian countries have a much lower risk of acquiring colon, gastrointestinal, prostate, breast and other cancers when compared to their western counterparts. It is very likely that constituents of their diet such as garlic, ginger, turmeric, onion, tomatoes, cruciferous vegetables, chili’s and green tea play an important role in their ability to avoid these cancers.

These foods, or key active extracts from these foods, are known to block the NF-kB activation process. Also, several phytochemicals such as curcumin, resveratrol and green tea catechins have been shown to suppress AP-1. Several chemopreventative phytochemicals including curcumin, resveratrol and green tea have been recently shown to be powerful inhibitors of several growth factor receptors including EGFR. Curcumin also possesses the capacity to inhibit the activation of the EGF-Receptor indicating that it has the potential to break the autocrine loops that are established in several advanced cancers.

Studies also suggest that curcumin, resveratrol and green tea can actually be used as safe, non-toxic treatments in drug resistant cancers. These natural phytochemicals (food grade) can help fight certain cancers thereby requiring a smaller dose of drug chemotherapy. They also can protect the body from the damages of drug chemotherapy and radiation. “This mini review presents evidence that chemopreventative agents, curcumin, green tea and resveratrol, can be used not just to prevent cancer but also to treat cancer. Because of their pharmacological safety, most chemopreventative agents can be used in combination with drug chemotherapeutic agents to enhance the affect at lower doses and thus minimize chemotherapy- induced toxicity. Because cancer is primarily a disease of old age, less toxic therapy is a major priority. This review reveals that molecular targets of chemopreventative agents are similar to those currently being used for the treatment of cancer. Tumor cells use multiple cell survival pathways to prevail and thus agents that can suppress multiple pathways have great potential for the treatment of cancer”1,2. Curcumin, resveratrol and green tea were as effective in preventing and treating certain cancers based on lab and animal studies. There have been approximately 20 human positive studies but much more needs to be done.

From the research that I have done, I am convinced sufficiently enough to take many of these compounds as a preventative of cancer. These compounds are completely safe and non-toxic even in high doses. What does one have to lose? Why not take the positive preventative measure? –Compliments of Terry Naturally

Ref: 1. Role of chemopreventaive agents in cancer therapy. Comprehensive Cancer Center Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center, New York Medical College, Bronx New York

2. Cytokine Research Section, Department of Bioimmuno Therapy, University of Texas, M.D Anderson Cancer Center, Houston Texas



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The healing power of borage oil
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Date: June 19, 2006 01:27 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: The healing power of borage oil

Borage oil, extracted from the seed of the blue, star shaped borage flower, is gaining much attention by alternative health practitioners and main stream medicine alike for its profound medicinal properties. Whereas the oil is getting all the redit, it is actually the oil’s active component, gamma linoleic acid (GLA), which has drawn the interest of researchers. The majority of the early studies done on GLA, dating back to the late 1940’s, were conducted with the oil of evening primrose. For rezones cited in the title, more bank for the buck, borage seed oil is now thought to be s superior source of GLA compared to evening primrose oil. Other plants forms and food concentrates that contain appreciable amounts of GLA include black currant seed oil and spirulina.

Why GLA Supplementation?

A body with healthy biochemistry has the ability to produce GLA from the most essential fat linoleic acid. Linoleic acid is found most abundantly in the omega 6 family of oils, including safflower, sunflower, and corn oil. While it has been estimated that a majority of Americans and Europeans consume far to many omega 6 fatty acids in proportion to the beneficial omega 3 fatty acids (by approximately 10:1). Most biochemists agree optimal ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids should be approximately 1:1. Despite the obvious over consumption of omega 6 oils rich in linoleic acid, some individuals lack the ability to convert linoleic acid to the much needed GLA.

As is the example with many of our modern day nutrient deficiencies, the adulteration of our food supply by today’s processing methods has much to do with the faulty fat metabolism suffered by many. A prime example is the hydrogenation process utilized to convert liquid polyunsaturated oils into semi-solid, altered saturated fats for use as margarine and commercially processed foods. Hydrogenation is accomplished by subjecting the oils to temperatures in excess of 250 C, and bombarding them with hydrogen ions in the presence of the heavy metal nickel, which irreversibly changes the chemical structure of the fatty acid molecule from a healthful “cis” configuration to a dangerous “trans” configuration. When these products are eaten in excess they are known, in some cases, to block the enzymatic conversion of linoleic acid to GLA. In addition to the damaging effects of hydrogenation, certain essential fatty acid nutrient cofactor deficiencies may exist to further complicate the conversion. Vitamins pro-A, A, C, E, B-2, B-3, B-6, pantothenic acid, B-12 biotin and the minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium, sulfur and zinc are all involved in essential fatty acid (EFA) metabolism.

Particular interest should be given to those afflicted with diabetes, cystic fibrosis, asthma, alcoholism, multiple sclerosis. For a myriad of reasons, including cofactor deficiencies, these individuals lack the enzymatic ability to convert linoleic acid to GLA and must obtain a direct source of GLA for proper hormonal regulation. In addition, excessive consumption of animal fats containing acachidonic acid competes for the same metabolic pathways occupied by GLA, thus minimizing its biological action.

These potential negating effects can simply be diverted to consuming a food source or supplement containing GLA which bypasses any previously necessary enzymatic conversion and floods the metabolic pathways with beneficial GLA. Nutrient deficiency should also be addressed. Here lies the true power of GLA.

Prostaglandins, biochemical regulators

Whereas GLA is the power, the prostaglandins deliver the punch in this biological equation. Just as linoleic acid is normally converted to GLA, GLA is further converted into the prostaglandin E1 (PGE1). Many of the benefits derived from GLA supplementation are a result of the hormonal regulatory action of the prostaglandins. Just like the “parent” precursors they are made from, the hormone-like prostaglandins orchestrate a host of important biochemical activities. Their general regulatory effects include the control of arterial muscle tone, sodium excretion through the kidneys, blood platelet “Stickiness,” inflammatory response and the immune function, just to name a few. The list may be endless as scientists continue to discover the regulating effects of prostaglandins. One way in which GLA has shown to decrease the probability of allergic and inflammatory conditions is by competing with arachidomic acid, which when left unchecked may potentiate a hyperimmune response.

Healing Power

As a result of the powerful regulating effects derived from the conversion of GLA to healthful prostaglandins, borage oil and other GLA supplements have shown to be beneficial in the treatment and relief of many classic and modern day health problems. The disease of diabetes, cystic fibrosis, asthma, multiple sclerosis are thought to be helped by bringing about a balance in an otherwise faulty fatty acid metabolism. According to a study released in the journal diabetes care, supplementation with GLA has shown promise in the reversal of diabetic neuropathy (a condition where the nerves degenerate and symptoms of pain and numbness follow). The study concluded that all diabetics should be considered for dietary protocol of GLA. Other conditions shown to benefit include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, skin conditions, arthritis, allergies, weight loss, improved behavior of hyperactive children and increased strength of hair and nails. Cited in the book, Super Nutrition For Menopause, written by the renowned nutritionist Ann Louise Gittleman, is one of the most popular applications of GLA supplementation in the relief of menstrual pain. Sufferers use a maintenance does up to the seventh day prior to menstruation, then double the dose for the duration of their menstruation. Dietary restrictions of meat, dairy and eggs during this time has also shown to compliment this regiment. Many would agree with Ms. Gittleman’s credo in allowing mother nature to cure our ails before relying on synthetic drugs which often come with side effects.

More Bang for the Buck

Now comes the challenge of acquiring a GLA supplement suited to meet your needs. With the help of the information below you may maximize your desired result while at the same time stretching your dollars. Lets take a look at the facts. We will limit out narrative to the tree most popular forms of GLA supplementation: 1) borage oil, 2) evening primrose oil and 3) black current seed oil. Potency is an important factor, as the higher the GLA content per gram, the more likelihood of greater biological activity. Borage oil contains 24% GLA, or 240mg per 1000 mg capsules. Black current seed oil contains 18%, or 180mg per 1000 mg capsule and evening primrose oil contains 10% GLA, or 100mg per 1000 mg capsule. While black currant seed may appear to run a close second to borage and have a slight edge on evening primrose, it contains a potent GLA inhibitor and should be considered last on the list. equally, if not more important than potency, is purity. Make it a practice not to purchase any oil product unless full disclosure of the method of extraction is printed on the label. If it is not, you may assume that the oil has been extracted in one of the following ways. Unfortunately, the popular use of the chemical hexane to extract oils is not required for disclosure. This method employs submerging cracked seed in a gasoline like substance (Hexane) and then slowly allowing it to evaporate off yielding 90% oil recovery. This is the most common method used to extract evening primrose oil because of the incredibly small, hard seed and low oil content. The second creative ploy is the claim that the oil has simply been extracted by a new high-tech method called supercritical fluid extraction (SCFE). This process “pregrinds” the seeds then subjects them to pressures of 6000 – 10000 psi in the presence of the gas CO-2. Under such intense pressure CO-2 gas becomes a liquid in which the seeds are submerged, ultimately yielding a 95% oil recovery. Look for oils that are labeled as “expeller pressed” without the damaging effects of light, heat and oxygen. The products should be contained in opaque (light resistant) bottles to protect them from the damaging effects of light. Optimally, you should find them in the refrigerated section of your local health food store. Due to the higher percentage of oil contained in the borage seed, as compared to evening primrose and black current, borage is typically priced well below the others making it the most potent and economical choice. All things considered an expeller pressed borage oil, contained in an opaque plastic bottle, may provide you the absolute best source of unadulterated GLA supplementation.

One company that provides such a product and always fulfills the quality requirements listed is Barlean’s Organic Oils. Their organic flax oil and borage oils are available at VitaNet.



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Fighting fat with fat makes sense with conjugated linoleic acid.
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Date: April 03, 2006 04:57 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Fighting fat with fat makes sense with conjugated linoleic acid.

Trimming flab away with CLA

Fighting fat with fat makes sense with conjugated linoleic acid.

Substances that enhance human health and well being can be discovered in all sorts of odd places. Take conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), for example. This unique fatty acid currently under intense study as an aid to help dieters reduce body fat—was first isolated from grilled ground beef in the early 1980’s by researchers at the University of Wisconsin. (CLA is also found in hamburger that ma actually help you slim down? Who knew?

What’s more, CLA (now generally derived from plant sources like safflower oil) also shows promise in two important areas. First, evidence suggests it can slow down some of the steps in cancer’s complex progression. In addition, CLA may help tame excess inflammation.

Fat City

When you take in more calories through food than you burn off through exercise, all those extra energy units have to go somewhere and if you’re like a lot of folks, they wind up being deposited into your fat cells. Not only are jam-packed fat cells responsible for the dreaded disappearing waistline effect, but they also promote unhealthy changes in blood pressure, cholesterol levels and other makers of possible hazards to your continued well-being.

CLA helps make life miserable for fat cells in several ways. First, it inhibits an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase that shuttles fat molecules from the blood stream into the cells. It encourages lipolysis, or the breakdown of fat that’s already in storage. Finally, in some studies CLA has shown an ability to actually encourage fat cells to commit a form of cellular suicide call apoptosis—which results in fewer places for fat to hide. At the same time, CLA promotes the transport of fat into exercising muscle cells, helping them to both burn off calories and become more toned (and shapely).

CLA Comments: What is it: a special form of linoleic acid, an essential fat: CLA is found naturally in diary foods.

What it does: CLA has shown an ability to help reduce body fat and increase muscle mass (When used as part of a healthy diet and exercise plan); it has also demonstrated cancer-fighting and immune enhancing effects.

While CLA is the subject of ongoing research, early human trials have produced promising results. In Norway, for example, scientists from five separate institutions teamed up for a study involving people who were healthy but over weight. For the first year some of the individuals took CLA while the others took placebo (look-alike) softgels that contained olive oil instead; in the second year, everyone took CLA. At the end of two years, all the people in this study showed significant reductions in body fat, body mass index (BMI), a standard measure of obesity, and weight(Journal of nutrition 4/05).

Extra Helpings

While battling the bulge is a major goal for many people, fending off cancer may just be America’s number one health concern. And here, too, CLA has come up big in a number of studies, such as a Swedish investigation that shows a link between high CLA intake and reduced colorectal cancer risk (American Journal of Clinical nutrition 10/05). In various lab studies CLA has been shown to interfere with tumor development and keep cancerous cells from spreading to nearby organs.

What’s more, CLA appears to regulate immunity by helping to strengthen the body’s natural defenses while protecting against the inflammatory damage the immune response can cause. That’s important because low-level inflammation has been linked to an ever-growing list of disorders, including cancer, cardiovascular disease and arthritis.

If you want to fight off both fat and cancer without eating a mountain of cheeseburgers, don’t have a cow. Turn to CLA instead.

--Lisa James.

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CLA Extreme Fact Sheet
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Date: December 07, 2005 12:59 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: CLA Extreme Fact Sheet

CLA Extreme Fact Sheet Neil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 01/31/05

LIKELY USERS: People wanting to control body fat; People wanting to increase their body’s lean mass (muscle tissue); People wanting an oil that helps to reduce pro-inflammatory body chemicals; Those wanting to prevent undesirable cellular changes through diet KEY INGREDIENT (S): CLA from safflower oil, L-Carnitine amino acid, Guarana Seed extract (20% naturally occurring caffeine), Green Tea extract (40% polyphenols), Chromium Picolinate

MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is a derivative of linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid. The softgel is formulated with CLA (derived from safflower oil), Green Tea extract (polyphenols), Guarana extract (caffeine), L-Carnitine, and Chromium (III) Picolinate for synergistic effects of reducing body fat and increasing lean muscle mass.

OTHER IMPORTANT ISSUES: One study, titled "Efficacy and Safety of One-Year Supplementation with Conjugated linoleic Acid in Moderate Overweight," found that compared to placebo, CLA-supplemented subjects had Body Fat Mass index scores averaging 9% lower than the placebo group and had Lean Body Mass results showing lean muscle mass averaging 2% more than the placebo group. Analyses of blood tests showed no side effects over this one-year period. CLA plus Guarana reportedly reduces the size and number of fat cells in another report. CLA may also reduce insulin resistance and prevent undesirable cellular changes.

AMOUNT and HOW TO USE: One to five capsules a day, preferably with meals.

COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Alpha Lipoic Acid, Vitamin E, other Antioxidants

CAUTIONS: CLA may reduce insulin resistance, so people on blood sugar medications may not need as much of their drugs. Use with caution to avoid an overdose of your blood sugar medication when using this oil. Please notify your physician about your supplement use if you are using any drugs!

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

REFERENCES:

Gaullier JM, Halse J, Hoye K, Kristiansen K, Fagertun H, Vik H, Gudmundsen O. Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation for 1 y reduces body fat mass in healthy overweight humans. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 79(6):1118–1125 (2004).

Tricon S, Burdge GC, Kew S, Banerjee T, Russell JJ, Grimble RF, Williams CM, Calder PC, Yaqoob P. Effects of cis-9,trans-11 and trans-1 0,cis-12 conjugated linoleic acid on immune cell function in healthy humans. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 80(6):1626–1633 (2004).

Aminot-Gilchrist DV, Anderson HDI. Insulin resistance-associated cardiovascular disease: potential benefits of conjugated linoleic acid. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 79(6):1159S–1163S Suppl. S (2004).

Bassaganya-Riera J, Reynolds K, Martino-Catt S, Cui YZ, Hennighausen L, Gonzalez F, Rohrer J, Benninghoff AU, Hontecillas R. Activation of PPAR gamma and delta by conjugated linoleic acid mediates protection from experimental inflammatory bowel disease. Gastroenterology 127(3):777–791 (2004).

Bergamo P, Luongo D, Rossi M. Conjugated linoleic acid - Mediated apoptosis in Jurkat T cells involves the production of reactive oxygen species. Cell Physiol. Biochem. 14(1–2):57–64 (2004).

Bouthegourd JC, Martin JC, Gripois D, Roseau S, Tome D, Even PC. Fat-depleted CLA-treated mice enter torpor after a short period of fasting. Appetite 42(1):91–98 (2004).

Brown JM, Boysen MS, Chung S, Fabiyi O, Morrison RF, Mandrup S, McIntosh MK. Conjugated linoleic acid induces human adipocyte delipidation - Autocrine/paracrine regulation of MEK/ERK signaling by adipocytokines. J. Biol. Chem. 279(25):26735–26747 (2004).

Cheng WL, Lii CK, Chen HW, Lin TH, Liu KL. Contribution of conjugated linoleic acid to the suppression of inflammatory responses through the regulation of the NF-kappa B pathway. J. Agric. Food Chem. 52(1):71–78 (2004).

Choi JS, Jung MH, Park HS, Song JY. Effect of conjugated linoleic acid isomers on insulin resistance and mRNA levels of genes regulating energy metabolism in high-fat-fed rats. Nutrition 20(11–12):1008–1017 (2004).

Cortes HN. CLA and body composition: Research shows conjugated linoleic acid can help maintain a healthy balance between lean muscle and body fat. Agro Food Industry Hi Tech 15(2):49–51 (2004).

Dauchy RT, Dauchy EM, Sauer LA, Blask DE, Davidson LK, Krause JA, Lynch DT. Differential inhibition of fatty acid transport in tissue-isolated steroid receptor negative human breast cancer xenografts perfused in situ with isomers of conjugated linoleic acid. Cancer Lett. 209(1):7–15 (2004).

Eyjolfson V, Spriet LL, Dyck DJ. Conjugated linoleic acid improves insulin sensitivity in young, sedentary humans. Med. Sci. Sport Exercise 36(5):814–820 (2004).

Field CJ, Schley PD. Evidence for potential mechanisms for the effect of conjugated linoleic acid on tumor metabolism and immune function: lessons from n-3 fatty acids. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 79(6):1190S-1198S Suppl. S (2004).

Hirao A, Yamasaki M, Chujo H, Koyanagi N, Kanouchi H, Yasuda S, Matsuo A, Nishida E, Rikimaru T, Tsujita E, Shimada M, Maehara Y, Tachibana H, Yamada K. Effect of dietary conjugated linoleic acid on liver regeneration after a partial hepatectomy in rats. J. Nutr. Sci. Vitaminol. 50(1):9–12 (2004).

Inoue N, Nagao K, Hirata J, Wang YM, Yanagita T. Conjugated linoleic acid prevents the development of essential hypertension in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 323(2):679–684 (2004).

Kritchevsky D, Tepper SA, Wright S, Czarnecki SK, Wilson TA, Nicolosi RJ. Conjugated linoleic acid isomer effects in atherosclerosis: Growth and regression of lesions. Lipids 39(7):611–616 (2004).

Lamarche B, Desroches S. Metabolic syndrome and effects of conjugated linoleic acid in obesity and lipoprotein disorders: the Quebec experience. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 79(6):1149S–1152S Suppl. S (2004).

Malpuech-Brugere C, Verboeket-van de Venne WPHG, Mensink RP, Arnal MA, Morio B, Brandolini M, Saebo A, Lassel TS, Chardigny JM, Sebedio JL, Beaufrere B. Effects of two conjugated linoleic acid isomers on body fat mass in overweight humans. Obesity Res. 12(4):591–598 (2004).

McCann SE, Ip C, Ip MM, McGuire MK, Muti P, Edge SB, Trevisan M, Freudenheim JL. Dietary intake of conjugated linoleic acids and risk of premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancer, Western New York Exposures and Breast Cancer Study (WEB study). Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prevent. 13(9):1480–1484 (2004).

Moloney F, Yeow TP, Mullen A, Nolan JJ, Roche HM. Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation, insulin sensitivity, and lipoprotein metabolism in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 80(4):887–895 (2004).

Ochoa JJ, Farquharson AJ, Grant I, Moffat LE, Heys SD, Wahle KWJ. Conjugated linoleic acids (CLAs) decrease prostate cancer cell proliferation: different molecular mechanisms for cis-9, trans-11 and trans-10, cis-12 isomers. Carcinogenesis 25(7):1185–1191 (2004).

O'Shea M. Clarinol(TM) CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid): the weight of evidence supports a safe and efficacious product for weight management. Agro Food Industry Hi-Tech 15(4):24–26 (2004).

O'Shea M, Bassaganya-Riera J, Mohede ICM, Immunomodulatory properties of conjugated linoleic acid. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 79(6):1199S–1206S Suppl. S (2004).

Rainer L, Heiss CJ. Conjugated linoleic acid: Health implications and effects on body composition. J. Am. Dietetic Assoc. 104(6):963–968 (2004).



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Why do I need more EPA & DHA Omega-3 fatty acids?
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Date: November 10, 2005 09:22 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Why do I need more EPA & DHA Omega-3 fatty acids?

Why do I need more EPA & DHA Omega-3 fatty acids?

Both omega-6s and omega-3s are essential fatty acids. According to experts and the world health Organization, the optimal ratio between omega-6 and omega-3 is approximately 5:1. The average American’s ratio ranges from 12 – 18:1. Typical western diet is to blame. Our food supply contains an abundance of omega-6 fatty acids from vegetable oils such as corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, olive oil and meat. Many metabolic/physiological functions depend on a balanced ratio between these two essential fatty acids. It is recommended that people try to improve this ratio as good health depends on it. To achieve optimum balance, we should attempt to consume fewer omega-6s (vegetable oil and meat) and more omega-3s (fish and fish oil).



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Is Fish Oil good for my heart?
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Date: October 25, 2005 02:59 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Is Fish Oil good for my heart?

I know that fish oil is good for my heart, but I was told I should also consume fish to protect my bones. Is there any truth to that?

Many people are familiar with the literature that omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. Animal studies, and now recent human studies, suggest a role in bone health as well, particularly in relation to omega-6 fatty acids. A long-term study in California tracked the ratio of dietary omega-6 fats to omega-3s in relation to bone-mineral density in middle- and older-age individuals. They tested BMD by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry—the gold standard for assessing bone loss—and found that the higher the ratio of linoleic acid (omega-6) to alpha-linolenic acid(omega-3), the lower the BMD. These results were independent of age, body mass index and various lifestyle factors.

The ratios creating problems were in the range of 7 to 1 and 8 to 1 of omega-6s to omega-3s. Foods high in omega-6 (or with a high omega-6 and omega-3 ratio) are corn, safflower, sunflower, soybean, and cottonseed oils. One of the best sources of omega-3 is fatty, cold-water fish such as salmon. The best vegetarian source is flax oil. In addition, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, canola oil (I recommend cold-pressed and unrefined), and some dark, leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach, purslane, mustard greens and collards do have some omega-3s.

Also, available is a dry fish oil Vectomega by Europharma, if you do not want to take an oil softgel then give vectomega a try.



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CLA and Cancer
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Date: June 22, 2005 09:44 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: CLA and Cancer

CLA and Cancer

Because of Pariza’s 1979 research, some of the earliest studies done on CLA were to see if it could block the development of cancer. Dr. Pariza and his colleagues at the University of Wisconsin/Madison’s Food Research Institute in Madison took extracts from beef that they knew had “mutagen modulators” (this was before they isolated CLA.).15 They took two groups of mice, to one they applied this extract on their skin. On the other group, they did not apply the extract on the skin. Then, on both sets, researchers put a cancer-causing substance called dimethylbenaanthracene—DMBA for short—and applied it to the skin.

Sixteen weeks later, doctors counted the mice that had tumors and how many tumors each of those mice had. The number of mice with tumors was 20 percent lower when given the beef extract, and, significantly, the numbers of tumors on those mice that did develop cancer was half what it was on the untreated mice. This meant that this extract could, perhaps, prevent some cancers in mice and, slow tumors after they develop. (Today, Pariza writes that CLA inhibits cancer development at various stages, from initiation to metastasis.)16 After isolating CLA by itself, Pariza and others found that CLA also cut the incidence of skin tumors.17

Scientist Clement Ip at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo did a similar study using DMBA with rats, this time feeding different amounts of CLA into the diet and over a longer period of time. He and his team measured how many breast tumors these rats developed. As might have been expected with the earlier work, 20 percent fewer animals developed the tumors—among those receiving the most CLA—than the rats that received none, and the total number of tumors that developed was 60 percent less. In general, the data showed that the more CLA, the greater the protective effect.18 This is significant in the human world because many researchers see a link between a woman’s consumption of fat and her risk of getting breast cancer, and CLA could help modulate that. Any research to lower a woman’s chance of contracting breast cancer is useful. Today in the United States, as many as one in eight will contract the dread disease.19 In 1990, Dr. Pariza and his colleagues also found a lower incidence of cancers in parts of the stomach.20 Rats were given something called 2-amino-3-methylimidazo (4,5-f]quinoline, which can give them colon cancer. Again, the total number of aberrant growths was lower for those given CLA compared with those given safflower oil, which is rich in essential oils but not so high in CLA.21

Does this mean that CLA will prevent cancer in humans? Perhaps. You might even say probably—in some circumstances Still, science can be imprecise in predicting cancers from animal models to humans, and scientific tests must be controlled in ways that don’t mimic the complexities and confounding factors of daily life. Few of us, for example, will be exposed daily to DMBA. T h e re f o re, all the science says for certain is that CLA seems to hinder the development of cancer in these animals when the cancer is caused by one particular substance. T h a t’s a little way, at least, from saying it pre vents cancers in humans.

However, the animal models are encouraging, and often meet mathematical tests to be “statistically significant.” In fact, scientists have taken to saying CLA has an anti-carcinogenic effect without hedging. Ip himself says, “CLA is more powerful than any other fatty acid in modulating tumor development.” 22 Indeed, so excited have many scientists become that some say one day governments may want to fortify our foods with CLA much the way we fortify our morning bran flakes with vitamin C.23 Furthermore, since at least several ways of giving different species of animals cancer have been studied, and in all of the tests, cancer was hindered, it gives better evidence to the notion that CLA hinders cancer in humans as well. Pariza wrote, “Few anticarcinogens, and certainly no other known fatty acids, are as effective as CLA in inhibiting carcinogenesis in these models.”24 This is clear language saying scientist believe this to be a powerful nutrient in the war against cancer. However, until human research is completed, and human research is underway, the positive effects of CLA on humans as a possible preventative of cancer best be considered preliminary.

Another important point about this is: Since the breakdown and changing of fats and fatty acids like CLA occur in the liver, CLA may have unknown effects on this vital organ. One study showed that fats increase in the livers with the increase of CLA in the diet.25 Could this lead to an increased risk of liver cancer?

Scientists do not have a complete answer to that question either.26 Pariza says, however, that such problems of fat accumulation do not occur in higher mammals, and is something specific to mice and some rats.27

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America's Most Wanted
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Date: June 14, 2005 05:23 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: America's Most Wanted

America's Most Wanted

by Brian Amherst Energy Times, January 6, 2000

The United States eats well, a little too well, according to experts. Amply supplied with a large supply of high-calorie food, our diets might seem to be chock full of every conceivable nutrient. Well, to the question "Getting all the right vitamins, minerals and other nutrients?" the most appropriate answer seems to be "Not exactly." Eating a lot doesn't equal eating a lot of the most important vitamins and minerals. So, which vitamins and minerals are likely to show up in short supply in the typical American diet? Calcium certainly sits at the top of list. According to the most recent Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals, which is conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), women and girls age 12 and up are not consuming adequate calcium from their diet. Research reveals that about 1200 mg. day suffices for those over age 50 and 1000 mg a day should be adequate if you're between the ages of 19 and 50. Since strong bones are formed during "the first three decades of life," says Laura Bachrach, MD, of Since strong bones are formed during "the first three decades of life," says Laura Bachrach, MD, of Stanford University, ". . .osteoporosis is a pediatric disease." For long-range protection against that bone-weakening disease, kids should eat calcium-rich, low-fat dairy products and plenty of leafy greens (broccoli, cabbage, kale) as well as salmon (with bones), seafood and soy. But the calcium campaign does not end in early adulthood. Bone mass begins to deteriorate at about age 30. Menopausal hormonal changes can exacerbate bone brittleness. Medical conditions, including cancer, liver disease and intestinal disorders; prescription drugs; tobacco and alcohol indulgence; or a decline in activity, especially the weight-bearing kind, also jeopardize bone strength. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, about one in every two American women will break a bone after age 50 due to osteoporosis. That translates into about half a million fractured vertebrae and more than 300,000 shattered hips. Frequently, those breaks are life-threatening.

Crucial Calcium

The critical role of calcium in many body functions is perhaps the most extensively clinically documented among nutrients. Researchers in the Department of Medicine, Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, reviewed epidemiological and clinical studies conducted over the past two years on the relationship between dietary calcium and blood pressure (J Am Coll Nutr October 1999: 398S-405S). "Nearly 20 years of investigation in this area has culminated in remarkable and compelling agreement in the data," the researchers report, "confirming the need for and benefit of regular consumption of the recommended daily levels of dietary calcium." Investigators at the State University of New York, Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, presented results of their studies of calcium and vitamin C and gum disease at the June 26, 1998 meeting of the International Association for Dental Research. Two separate inquiries revealed that people who consumed too little calcium as young adults, and those with low levels of vitamin C in their diets, appear to have nearly twice the risk of developing periodontal disease later in life than folks with higher dietary levels of either nutrient.

Calcium: Much Documented Researchers offer extensive evidence of calcium's benefits on many fronts: n Osteoporosis poses a threat to older men as well as women, according to Randi L. Wolf, PhD, research associate at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. Dr. Wolf presented her award-winning study to an October 3, 1999 meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. Dr. Wolf suggests that men increase their consumption of calcium, particularly after age 80, to avoid age-related declines in the amount of calcium absorbed. According to Dr. Wolf, "It appears that the hormonal form of vitamin D, which is the main regulator of intestinal calcium absorption, may have an important role. We are conducting more research to better understand the reasons for why calcium absorption declines with age in men." n Scientists at Tufts University in Boston did some earlier work on the calcium-vitamin D connection and reported it in the September 4, 1997 New England Journal of Medicine. Using the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) increased recommended daily intake of 1200 milligrams of calcium and 400 to 600 international units of vitamin D for people over 50, the Tufts researchers found that with supplementation of the nutrients, men and women 65 and older lost significantly less body bone and, in some cases, gained bone mineral density. n Two studies published in American Heart Association journals show that atherosclerosis and osteoporosis may be linked by a common problem in the way the body uses calcium. The September 1997 Stroke revealed that, in a group of 30 postmenopausal women 67 to 85 years old, bone mineral density declined as atherosclerotic plaque increased. Researchers reporting in Circulation (September 15, 1997) advanced the theory that the osteoporosis-atherosclerosis connection may be related to a problem in handling calcium. n For people who had colon polyps removed, taking calcium supplements decreased the number of new polyps by 24% and cut the risk of recurrence by 19%, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, School of Medicine. The study, published in the January 14, 1999 New England Journal of Medicine, was a first in crediting calcium with anti-cancer properties.

The D Factor

Without adequate vitamin D, your absorption of calcium slips and bone loss can accelerate, increasing the risk for fractures. Fifty percent of women with osteoporosis hospitalized for hip fractures at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston had a previously undetected vitamin D deficiency (Journal of the American Medical Association, April 28, 1999). University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute researchers told participants at the April 14, 1997 meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research that vitamin D "significantly inhibits highly metastatic, or widespread, prostate cancer in animals," suggesting its potential for treating men with similar conditions. Few foods that Americans eat, except dairy, contain much vitamin D, but we can usually synthesize sufficient amounts from as few as five minutes' exposure to the sun. But as skin ages, its ability to act as a vitamin D factory decreases. According to Michael F. Holick, the director of the Vitamin D, Skin and Bone Research Laboratory at Boston University Medical Center, upwards of 40% of the adult population over age 50 that he sees in his clinic are deficient in vitamin D. Recently, the National Academy of Sciences (the official body that decrees the required amounts of necessary nutrients) increased the daily recommendations of vitamin D to 600 IU for people over 71, 400 IU for those aged 51 to 70 and 200 IU for people under 50. The best dietary sources, apart from dependable supplements, are dairy and fatty fish like salmon. Four ounces of salmon provide about 300 IU.

The Facts About Fats

The American lust for low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets filled with sugary foods has exploded into nothing short of "obsession," according to experts at the General Research Center at Stanford University Medical Center (Am J Clin Nutr 70, 1999: 512S-5S). That mania oftens robs us of the crucial balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids typical of the Mediterranean diet that protect us from heart disease by controlling cholesterol and making blood less likely to form clots. These fatty acids cannot be made by the body but are critical for health: n Omega-3 fatty acid (linolenic acid) comes from fresh, deepwater fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines) and vegetable oils such as canola, flaxseed and walnut. n Omega-6 fatty acid (linoleic acid) found primarily in raw nuts, seeds and legumes and in saturated vegetable oils such as borage, grape seed, primrose, sesame and soybean. The American Heart Association recommends limiting total fat consumption to 30% of daily calories. Saturated fats like those in dairy and meat products as well as vegetable oil should comprise 10% of total calories; total unsaturated fat (fish oils, soybean, safflower nuts and nut oils) should be restricted to 20 to 22% of daily calories.

Be Sure About B12

Vitamin B12 presents a particular problem for the elderly because older digestive systems often don't secrete enough stomach acid to liberate this nutrient from food. (The elderly have no problem absorbing B12 from supplements, because it's not bound to food.) Vitamins generally moderate the aging process but, ironically, that process and the diseases that frequently accompany it affect vitamin metabolism (Schweiz Rundsch Med Prax 83, 1994: 262-6). And because of those changes, we need more of certain vitamins. This is the case for vitamins D, B6, riboflavin and B12. Crucial for health, B12 is necessary to prevent anemia, and, according to recent studies, needed (along with folate and B6) to help stave off heart disease. B12, with thiamine and niacin, boosts cognition (Adv Nutr Res 7, 1985: 71-100). Screening for vitamin B12 deficiency and thyroid disease is cheap and easy and can prevent conditions such as dementia, depression or irreversible tissue damage (Lakartidningen 94, 1997: 4329-32). In the January 5-12, 1999 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, the AHA urged doctors to screen levels of homocysteine (the amino acid byproduct of protein digestion that damages arteries, causes heart disease and, possibly, strokes) in patients at high risk for heart disease. They also recommended all Americans to up their daily levels of vitamins B6 and B12, as well as folic acid. Since fruits, vegetables or grains lack B12, vegetarians need B12 supplements. And they're a good idea for the rest of us, too.

Folic Acid Benefits

Folic acid made headlines in the early 1990s when the U.S. Public Health Service declared that "to reduce the frequency of neural tube defects [spina bifida, or open spine, and anencephaly, a lethal defect of the brain and skull] and their resulting disability, all women of childbearing age in the United States who are capable of becoming pregnant should consume .4 milligrams (400 micrograms) of folic acid per day." This recommendation followed voluminous research that showed taking folic acid was associated with a significantly reduced risk of birth defects. (The advisory is based on the fact that nearly half of all pregnancies are unplanned. If you think you are pregnant, consult your health practitioner for supplementary advice.)

A Team Player

Folic acid's efficacy intensifies when it works with other nutrients. Among many studies on the preventive powers of folic acid on birth defects, one published in The New England Journal of Medicine (327, Dec. 24, 1992: 1,832-1,835), disclosed an even greater decrease in neural tube defects when supplements of folic acid contained copper, manganese, zinc and vitamin C. As a warrior against homocysteine, folic acid joins the battalion of B12 and B6 in detoxifying this harmful protein. At the University of Washington's Northwest Prevention Effectiveness Center, researchers recently analyzed 38 published studies of the relationship between folic acid, homocysteine and cardiovascular disease and, according to associate professor Shirley A. Beresford, MD, folic acid and vitamin B12 and B6 deficiencies can lead to a buildup of homocysteine.

Compelling Evidence

Canadian researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association (275, 1996: 1893-1896) that men and women with low folic acid have a 69% increase in the risk of fatal coronary heart disease. This 15-year study of more than 5,000 people stressed the need for dietary supplementation of folic acid. Folic acid also has been credited with the potential to protect against cancers of the lungs, colon and cervix. It appears to help reverse cervical dysplasia, the precursor cells to cervical cancer, especially for women taking oral contraceptives, which may cause a localized deficiency of folic acid in the cells of the cervix. According to Shari Lieberman, PhD, and Nancy Bruning, authors of The Real Vitamin & Mineral Book (Avery), folic acid derivatives work with neurotransmitters, the chemicals that permit signals to be sent from nerve fiber to nerve fiber. A lack of folic acid can cause some nervous-system disorders, such as depression, schizophrenia and dementia; it also may be related to some forms of mental retardation. Other supporting roles of folic acid, according to researchers: the formation of normal red blood cells, important for preventing the type of anemia characterized by oversized red blood cells; strengthening and improving white blood cell action against disease; limiting production of uric acid, the cause of gout.

The Best Sources

Many foods are rich in folic acid: beef, lamb, pork and chicken liver, spinach, kale and beet greens, asparagus, broccoli, whole wheat and brewer's yeast. But experts believe that only 25 to 50% of the folic acid in food is bioavailable. Processing also reduces an estimated 50 to 90% of its content. Folic acid supplementation overcomes these obstacles with little risk, as it has no known toxicity. Women taking folic acid who are current or former users of oral contraceptives may require additional zinc. And be sure to augment your folic acid supplement with its synergistic counterpart, vitamin B12.

Focus on Fiber

The American Heart Association came out squarely behind fiber in a June 16, 1997 issue of its journal Circulation: Double your daily intake to lower cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. The American diet is consistently low in fiber, notes Linda Van Horn, PhD, RD, author of the article. Twenty-five to 30 grams a day from foods (or supplements) are not only heart healthy but seem to aid weight control.

Iron Problem

Getting enough iron? An estimated 25% of adolescent girls in the United States are iron deficient, according to an October 12, 1996 issue of the British medical journal The Lancet, which reported that girls who took iron supplements performed significantly better on verbal tests than those who took a placebo. "Teenage girls should be regularly tested for iron deficiency because rapid growth and the onset of menstruation during puberty increase the body's need for iron," says Ann Bruner, MD, of the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and a lead author of the study.USDA data reveal that women up to age 50 also tend to get much less than recommended levels of iron, a lack of which leads to anemia, a deficiency of red blood cells, hemoglobin or volume of blood. For kids, deficiency is more common from six months to four years and during the rapid growth spurts of adolescence when the body is growing so quickly that the body's iron stores may sink to dangerous levels. Vegetarian women run the greatest risk for deficiency, as meat is iron-rich; foods like beans, grains and vegetables also contain some iron. Supplements, of course, supply easily absorbable iron. And to absorb iron from vegetarian sources, take vitamin C with your meals. That boosts the amount of this mineral you will take in. Bear in mind, however, that certain folks-older men and post-menopausal women-generally have adequate dietary supplies of iron. Of greater concern, in fact, is excessive iron, and for these folks iron-free multivitamin and mineral supplements are available.

Ante Up the Antioxidants

Antioxidant nutrients help protect the body from oxygen-scavenging molecules called free radicals. The products of pollution, the body's own metabolic processes and other sources, free radicals are linked to heart disease, cancer and other chronic health problems. The most important antioxidants, which include vitamin C, E, beta carotene, and selenium, are often lacking in the American diet. Plus, optimal amounts of vitamin E cannot be consumed from food. You need supplements. The bottom line: even though we live in a land of plenty, you can still miss vital nutrients. So make sure to consume these vital substances.

Sprouts: Nutritional

Source of Missing Nutrients In the search for the nutrients missing from America's diet, one big help is the sprout. The sprout is truly one of nature's heavyweights: fresh, tiny and moist, its power punch of vitamins, minerals, protein, chlorophyll and disease-busting phytochemicals land it in a weight class far beyond that of its full-grown competitors. Size does NOT matter to this nutritional giant. A championship belt currently wraps around the miniscule broccoli sprout, catapulted into the ring by Paul Talalay, MD, professor of pharmacology and molecular sciences at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Talalay discovered that the seedlings contain substantially more of the cancer-fighting substance sulforaphane than mature plants (Proc. Natnl. Acad. Sci. USA, 94, 10367-10372). Sprouts, the quintessential health food of the Sixties, provide a wonderfully varied and versatile way to get your daily greens. Raw or cooked, strong or mild, vegetable and grass sprouts and their algae cousins add low-calorie texture to recipes and a rich, diverse complement of nutrients and fiber.

Ancient Asia to the Modern Lab

Asians stir-fried sprouts as one of the earliest fast foods as long as 5,000 years ago. The ancient Chinese relied on sprouts for year-round vegetables in colder regions of their vast country. Today, researchers studying sprouts and adult plants have identified their important chemoprotective and other health-bolstering substances. In Paul Talalay's research project at Johns Hopkins, scientists found that three-day-old broccoli sprouts contain up to 50 times more sulforaphane than mature plants, which prompts the body to produce an enzyme that prevents cancer tumors from forming. Uniform levels of the compound saturate the shoots, unlike the chemically uneven adult plants. The Brassica family of broccoli and cabbage is richly endowed with phytochemicals that also help reduce estrogen levels associated with breast cancer. Other phytochemical compounds in the Brassica family are associated with the prevention of stomach and lung cancers. Most of the initial landmark work on phytochemicals' cancer-fighting powers has taken place since 1989 under the aegis of the National Cancer Institute's "Designer Food Program," which isolated, for example, the isoflavones in beans that seem to neutralize cancer-gene enzymes.

Strong Suit: Soy and Spirulina

The isoflavones and phytosterols in soy produce an estrogenic effect that appears to relieve menopausal symptoms and help prevent breast cancer. Soy foods expert Mark Messina, PhD, has done extensive work on the subject, some of which has been published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute 83, 1991: 541-6. Researchers also have synthesized a bone-strengthening form of soy isoflavones called ipriflavone, following impressive clinical trials in the treatment of osteoporosis (American Journal of Medicine, 95 [Suppl. 5A] (1993): 69S-74S). Spirulina and other micro-algae are fascinating organisms that inhabit a niche between the plant and animals kingdoms. Named for its tiny spirals, spirulina, a blue-green algae, grows in saline lakes but is cultured for maximum nutritional content. In her book Whole Foods Companion (Chelsea Green), Dianne Onstad notes that spirulina contains "the highest sources of protein, beta carotene and nucleic acids of any animal or plant food." Its nucleic acids, she says, benefit cellular regeneration; its fatty acids, especially GLA and omega-3 acids, make it one of the most complete foods. Sprouts, like any other produce, should be rinsed thoroughly before serving. People at high risk for bacterial illness-young children, the very elderly or folks with weakened immune systems-should limit their consumption of raw sprouts. But no matter how you eat them, you may find more spring in your step from these tiny, sprouting nutritional wonders.



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Good Hydration
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Date: June 14, 2005 11:44 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Good Hydration

Good Hydration by Lisa James Energy Times, June 17, 2004

Ah summertime, and the living is lovely: ocean fragrances wafting on a summer wind, the summer sun warming the body and relaxing the mind.

But all that sun and wind can dry your summer skin, making it uncomfortable and parched-looking. Moisture counteracts the discomforts that summer elements can bring, allowing your fresh, dewy look to shine through. Knowing how to hydrate your skin is the key.

Skin Structure

Skin consists of three layers, each with a different function:

  • • The deepest layer, the subcutaneous tissue, contains the fat cells that help hold in body heat and protect the vital organs, and that serve as an energy reserve.
  • • The middle layer, or dermis, is the thickest of the three layers. It is rich in nerve endings, blood vessels, sweat glands and hair follicles. The dermis also holds the oil glands that keep the skin properly lubricated and impervious to water. Two proteins, collagen and elastin, found in the dermis support the skin's top layer and provide shape, tone and flexibility.
  • • The topmost skin layer, the epidermis, protects the body against the outside world. It contains melanocytes, pigment-bearing cells that determine skin color and help guard against sun damage. The epidermis is also equipped with immune cells that guard the body against foreign substances. The epidermis is further divided into five separate sublayers. Cells are formed at the basal cell layer on the bottom; they then push their way upward until they reach the surface, called the stratum corneum, in a process that takes roughly 28 days. As the skin cells mature, they produce a tough protein called keratin, which also forms the structure of hair and nails.

    Natural Moisturizers

    Do you have dry skin? How well your skin holds moisture depends on the arrangement of cells within the stratum corneum. Fat contained in this layer, as well as natural moisturizing factor (made by the epidermis), also keeps skin moist. Unfortunately, as you age, the amount of natural moisturizing factor produced by your skin decreases.

    Skin Care 101

    Obviously, anything that affects the all-important epidermis can dry out your skin-sun and wind both rob skin of moisture. For starters, just say no to tobacco. Smoking tightens the skin's abundant blood vessels; this reduces the flow of oxygen and nutrients, creating dryness. Smoking also breaks down elastin, the protein that gives skin its flexibility. The next step is to add water from within. " It takes at least six to eight cups of pure water each day to keep the skin and body well hydrated," notes Jeanette Jacknin, MD, board-certified dermatologist and author of Smart Medicine for Your Skin (Avery/Penguin).

    Bathtime Tips

    At the same time, be careful about how you bathe your skin. Bathing or showering for too long, or using water that's too hot, can actually cause your skin to lose moisture for two reasons. First, prolonged bathing washes away the oils that help lock moisture in; second, it encourages your skin's own moisture to evaporate after you dry yourself off.

    Before you shower or bathe, Dr. Jacknin recommends using a dry, soft-bristled brush to increase skin circulation and gently remove dead cells. Brushing in small circles, gradually move up your legs and arms, always moving towards the heart. When you do get into the tub or shower, don't scrub your skin and don't use harsh cleaning agents. Instead, go for natural cleansers that feature such skin-friendly ingredients as glycerin.

    Feed Your Inner Skin

    As your body's largest organ, your skin depends on the nutrients in your diet. You have to feed your skin well if you expect it to stand up to wind and sun. " Eat fish, rolled oats and ground flaxseeds frequently," recommends Dr. Jacknin. "These foods are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help the skin retain moisture." Include other healthy oils, such as safflower and olive oil, in your meals. Supplemental omega-3s, in the form of flaxseed or fish oils, can also help.

    Supplemental Skin

    Various vitamins help make your skin happy and healthy. Skin growth and repair requires vitamin A, while natural vitamin E provides antioxidant protection and vitamin C promotes creation of collagen, which provides skin with its structure.

    The B vitamins are essential to keeping dryness at bay; without them, the skin can crack, peel and redden. Choline, a member of the B family that helps with fat transportation within the body, is available as lecithin. Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is another skin-friendly nutrient. MSM provides sulfur, which the body needs to create healthy skin proteins. It also fights inflammation and encourages better blood flow.

    Slake Your Skin's Thirst

    A good moisturizer can help arid skin return to soft freshness. To get the most out of moisturizers, use them consistently, and start at a young age. " [M]ost people start to benefit from [moisturizers] in their twenties [when] their skin begins to dry with age," state Charles Inlander and Janet Worsley Norwood in Skin: Head-to-Toe Tips for Health and Beauty (Walker and Company). "Moisturizers boost skin health by preventing water loss from the skin."

    The same antioxidant nutrients, such as vitamin C and natural vitamin E, you feed your skin from within also abound in natural moisturizers, as do an impressive variety of herbal essences and essential oils. Aloe vera, used to treat burns for centuries, helps ease inflammation, as does chamomile. Fresh-smelling lavender oil helps soothe insect bites and minor wounds. Jasmine and peppermint offset excessive oil production.

    Moisturizers: Timing and Type

    The ideal time to moisturize is right after a bath or shower, since that's when evaporation promotes water loss; for best results, apply while your skin is still slightly damp. But bathtime isn't the only time to consider your skin's moisture needs. Carry some moisturizer with you so you can use it every time you wash your hands, especially if you're prone to cracked cuticles and split fingertips.

    Match your moisturizer to your skin type. If your skin tends to oiliness, use a water-based product; otherwise, an oil-based formulation -jojoba oil and shea butter are good choices-is fine. (Oily skin may first need a gentle astringent like lemon peel or cucumber to remove dirt and excess oil.)

    Also pay careful attention to the type of moisturizer you use. Lotions are easy to apply, but may not stay on your skin as readily as creams, which may be a better choice for your face, feet and hands. By all means, enjoy the summer sun. Just make sure your skin enjoys the summer, too, by staying hydrated and happy.



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    Vitanet ®

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    Celebrating Women: Age Is Just a Number
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    Date: June 13, 2005 07:43 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Celebrating Women: Age Is Just a Number

    Celebrating Women: Age Is Just a Number by Carl Lowe Energy Times, March 10, 2004

    As women age, their physical needs shift. The health challenges that face a woman in her thirties do not match those of a woman in her fifties.

    At the same time, some basic health needs stay constant: At any age, every woman requires a wealth of vitamins, minerals and the other natural chemicals that fruits, vegetables and supplements supply. She also constantly needs families and friends to support her spiritual health.

    As the internal workings of your body alter, your lifestyle must stay abreast of those adjustments. Peak health demands a finely tuned health program designed with your individual needs-and your stage of life-in mind.

    Ages 30 to 45

    When it comes to maintaining health, younger women might seem to have it easier than older women. If they exercise and stay in shape, they maintain more stamina than women 10 to 20 years their senior.

    Unfortunately, many women in this age group mistakenly think they don't have to be as careful about their lifestyle habits and their eating habits as they will in later decades. But even if your health doesn't seem to suffer from poor eating choices or a sedentary lifestyle right away, your foundation for health in later life suffers if you don't care for yourself now.

    By age 45 you should have established the good habits that will carry you successfully through the aging process. As an added bonus, good lifestyle habits pay immediate dividends. If you pay attention to your nutrients and get plenty of physical activity when younger, you'll feel more energetic and probably enjoy better emotional health.

    Set Health Goals

    According to Gayle Reichler, MS, RD, CDN, in her book Active Wellness (Avery/Penguin), good health at any age doesn't just come to you-you have to plan for it. In order to stick to good habits, she says, "living a healthy lifestyle needs to be satisfying." Reichler believes that you need to picture your health goals to achieve them: "Every successful endeavor first begins in the mind as an idea, a thought, a dream, a conviction." Good health at this age and in later years requires a concrete strategy and visualization of how your body can improve with a healthy lifestyle.

    Your long-term health goals at this age should include an exercise program that will allow you to reach a physically fit old age with a lowered risk of disability. In addition, your short-term plans should encompass losing weight, staying optimistic, living life with more vim and vigor, increasing your capacity for exercise and lowering your stress.

    As Reichler points out, "Your long-term goal and your ideal vision establish what you want to achieve....[You should do] something good...for yourself every day and every week that makes your life easier and more consistent with your goals."

    Develop an Eating Plan

    Today, the average American gains about two pounds annually. As a result, every year a greater portion of the US population is obese and overweight. By controlling your food intake earlier in life, you may be able to avoid this weight gain. In his book Prolonging Health (Hampton Roads), James Williams, OMD, recommends basic changes to your diet that can provide long-term support of your health:

  • • Cut back on sugar. Dr. Williams says that, "Over my more than 20 years of clinical practice, I have found that nothing undermines health more than refined sugar."
  • • Limit your carbohydrates, especially the refined ones. Dr. Williams says you should "substitute whole grain breads for...white bread....[A]void commercial breakfast cereals....[E]at small amounts of beans several times a week."
  • • Cut calories. Cutting the amount of food you eat supports health in a number of ways and is believed to boost longevity. Dr Williams notes, "Calorie restriction is necessary...to normalize your weight...to reduce the metabolic burden of overeating on your liver and intestinal tract and to minimize insulin production from the glucose spikes caused by overeating." Problems with insulin production, linked to diabetes, may result from eating large amounts of sugary foods and little fiber, and are thought to accelerate aging.
  • • Eat mostly low-fat foods. Check product labels to limit fat. Foods that are high in healthy omega-3 fats, like fish and soy, can be eaten more often.
  • • Eat foods high in lean protein. Reichler recommends meats like lean beef, poultry, beans and non-fat dairy. • Eat fish. It provides a wealth of healthy fats and protein. "Fish, because it contains the good omega-3 fats, does not need to be lean; the same is true for soy products that do not have added fat," adds Reichler.

    Get Supplemental Help

    If you're in your thirties or forties and you don't take at least a multivitamin, start taking one today! A large body of research shows that taking vitamin and mineral supplements over a long period of time significantly supports better health.

    Calcium and vitamin D are two of the most important supplemental nutrients, helping to build stronger bones now that can withstand the bone-loss effects of aging.

    Calcium can also help keep your weight down. One study of younger women found that for every extra 300 milligrams of calcium a day they consumed, they weighed about two pounds less (Experimental Biology 2003 meeting, San Diego).

    In the same way, taking vitamin D supplements not only helps strengthen your bones, it can also lower your risk of multiple sclerosis (Neurology 1/13/04). In this study, which looked at the health records of more than 180,000 women for up to 20 years, taking D supplements dropped the chances of multiple sclerosis (although eating vitamin D-rich foods did not have the same benefit). And if you're thinking about having children at this age, a multivitamin is crucial for lowering your baby's risk of birth defects and other health problems. A study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that women who take multivitamins during pregnancy lower their children's risk of nervous system cancer by up to 40% (Epidemiology 9/02).

    " Our finding, combined with previous work on reducing several birth defects with vitamin supplementation and other childhood cancers, supports the recommendation that mothers' vitamin use before and during pregnancy may benefit their babies' health," says Andrew F. Olshan, MD, professor of epidemiology at the UNC School of Public Health. "We believe physicians and other health care providers should continue to educate women about these benefits and recommend appropriate dietary habits and daily dietary supplements."

    In particular, Dr. Olshan feels that folic acid (one of the B vitamins), and vitamins C and A, are particularly important for lowering the risk of childhood cancers and birth defects.

    Ages 45 to 55

    When you reach this in-between age-the time when most women have moved past childbearing age but haven't usually fully moved into the post-menopausal stage-you enjoy a propitious opportunity to take stock of your health and plan for an even healthier future. One thing that may need adjustment is your sleep habits, as sleeplessness is a common problem for women in this age group. Even if you haven't been exercising or watching your diet until now, it's not too late to start. Making lifestyle changes at this age can still improve your chances for aging successfully.

    For instance, it is at these ages that women should have their heart health checked. Research published in the journal Stroke (5/01) shows that having your cholesterol and blood pressure checked at this time more accurately shows your future chances of heart disease than having it checked at a later date after menopause, in your late fifties.

    " The premenopausal risk factors may be a stronger predictor of carotid atherosclerosis [artery blockages] because they represent cumulative risk factor exposure during the premenopausal years, whereas the risk factors...during the early postmenopausal years have a shorter time for influence," says Karen A. Matthews, PhD, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. In other words, Dr. Matthews' research shows that if you have high blood pressure and high cholesterol before menopause, you are at serious risk for a stroke or heart attack soon after menopause: These are important reasons that you need to start improving your health habits immediately.

    Increase in Heart Disease

    Before menopause, a woman's hormones and other physiological characteristics usually hold down her chance of heart disease. After menopause, when hormones and other bodily changes occur, the risk of heart attacks and stroke in women rises significantly. (Heart disease is the leading killer of women.) At least part of this increased risk is linked to the postmenopausal decrease in estrogen production.

    Dr. Matthews studied about 370 women in their late forties, measuring their weight, their BMI (body mass index, an indication of body fat compared to height), blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. Ten years later, after the women had entered menopause, she and her fellow scientists used ultrasound to measure blockages in these women's neck arteries (a sign of heart disease).

    The researchers found that indications of potential heart problems (such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and being overweight) when women were in their forties did indeed forecast future difficulties.

    " Women who had elevated cholesterol, higher blood pressures and increased body weight before menopause had increased blood vessel thickening and atherosclerotic plaque formation in the neck arteries after menopause. Such changes in the carotid arteries are associated with an increased heart attack and stroke risk," says Dr. Matthews.

    Heart Health Factors

    The four main lifestyle factors you should adjust at this age to support better heart function are diet, stress, exercise and weight. According to Dr. James Williams, "[M]ore than any other cause, dietary factors are the most critical factor in cardiovascular disease." He recommends eliminating "dietary saturated fatty acids as found in flame-broiled and fried meats." He also urges women to eat more fish and poultry, consume organic fruits and vegetables and cut back on refined sugar.

    Stress becomes an ever more important heart disease factor at this age as estrogen begins to drop.

    " Our study [in the lab] indicates that stress affects estrogen levels and can lead to the development of heart disease-even before menopause," says Jay Kaplan, PhD, of the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center (The Green Journal 3/02).

    Dr. Kaplan's research shows that stress in women ages 45 to 55 may reduce estrogen earlier in life and make women more susceptible to the arterial blockages that lead to heart disease. "We know from [lab] studies that stress can lower estrogen levels to the point that health is affected," he says.

    Stress can also hurt bone health: In a study of 66 women with normal-length menstrual periods, estrogen levels were low enough in half of the women to cause bone loss, making the women susceptible to osteoporosis.

    Exercise and Weight

    Although exercise used to be considered to be mainly a young woman's activity, the thrust of recent research suggests that physical activity actually becomes more important to health as you get older.

    A 17-year study of about 10,000 Americans found that exercising and keeping your weight down is probably the most important thing you can do to lower your risk of heart disease as you enter your forties and fifties (Am J Prev Med 11/03).

    Of the people who took part in this study, more than 1,500 people died of heart disease. Those who performed the most exercise were thinner and had a 50% chance less of dying of heart disease than overweight nonexercisers.

    " The fact is that those who both exercised more and ate more nevertheless had low cardiovascular mortality," says Jing Fang, MD, a researcher at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York.

    An added benefit of exercise: If you burn up calories exercising, you can eat more and not have to worry as much about being overweight.

    Supplements and Diet

    If you're a woman at midlife, a multivitamin and mineral is still good nutritional insurance. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables are also important for getting enough phytochemicals, the health substances in plants that convey a wealth of health benefits.

    As you enter this age group, your immune system gradually slows down. To help support immune function, eating produce rich in antioxidant nutrients, and supplementing with antioxidants like vitamins C and E as well as carotenoids, can be especially important. For example, a study of people with ulcers found that people with less vitamin C in their stomachs are more likely to be infected with Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that can cause peptic ulcers and is linked to stomach cancer (J Amer Coll Nutr 8/1/03).

    This research, which looked at the health of about 7,000 people, found that vitamin C probably helps the immune system fend off this bacterial infection.

    " Current public health recommendations for Americans are to eat five or more servings of fresh fruits and vegetables a day to help prevent heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases," says Joel A. Simon, MD, MPH, professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco.

    Calcium and Bones

    At midlife, calcium continues to be a vital mineral for supporting bone health.

    According to Gameil T. Fouad, PhD, "It has been routinely shown that a woman's calcium status and level of physical activity (specifically, the degree to which she participates in weight-bearing exercise) are positively associated with bone mineral density. It is less well appreciated that this is a process which takes place over the course of a lifetime."

    Dr. Fouad adds that calcium works in concert with other vitamins and minerals to keep bones healthy: "Research in the United Kingdom involving nearly 1,000 premenopausal women over age 40 illustrates those women with the highest bone density tended to have the highest intake of calcium. Surprisingly, this study also demonstrated that calcium does not act alone: those women with the best bone health also had the highest intakes of zinc, magnesium and potassium."

    Dr. Fouad stresses that supplements should go together with a lifestyle that includes enough sleep and exercise to help the body stay in top shape.

    " As a general guideline," he says, "a woman concerned with her mineral intake should take concrete steps to make sure she is getting adequate rest, is eating a well-balanced diet focused on fresh fruits, vegetables and lean protein as well as getting adequate exercise....A multi-mineral containing bio-available forms of zinc, magnesium, copper and selenium is probably a safe addition to anyone's routine. Taking these proactive steps dramatically reduces the chances that deficiencies will arise."

    Ages 55 and Beyond

    Entering the post-menopausal phase of life can present challenging opportunities for a new perspective on life and health. While some signs of aging are inevitable, experts who have looked at how the human body changes with age are now convinced that healthy lifestyle habits can improve how well you can think, move and enjoy life well past age 55.

    As Dr. Williams notes, "In your fifties, the force of aging is undeniably present: Your body shape changes and organ function declines, both men and women have a tendency to gain weight....Heart disease becomes more common, energy and endurance are considerably reduced and your memory begins to slip."

    But Dr. Williams also points out that you don't have to age as rapidly as other people do. He believes you should employ a "natural longevity program...[that starts] to reverse the course of aging as early as possible."

    One key to staying vital as you age is your outlook on life, an aspect of life that's greatly enhanced by strong social ties.

    Avoiding the Aging Slowdown The latest research shows that one of the most crucial ways to slow the effects of aging is to exercise and keep your weight down. It won't necessarily be easy, though. The change in hormonal balance at this age makes the body more prone to extra pounds (Society for Neuroscience Meeting, 11/12/03).

    " In women, it has been demonstrated that major weight increases often occur during menopause, the time in a woman's life in which cyclic ovarian function ends and the ovarian hormones estrogen and progesterone decline," says Judy Cameron, PhD, a scientist in the divisions of reproductive sciences and neuroscience at the Oregon Health & Science University.

    In Dr. Cameron's lab trials, she has found that the decrease in estrogen after menopause "resulted in a 67% jump in food intake and a 5% jump in weight in a matter of weeks."

    In other words, the hormonal changes you undergo as enter your late fifties causes your appetite to grow as well as your waistline: Developments that increase your chances of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke and joint problems.

    Vigilance against this weight gain is necessary to save your health: Start walking and exercising. Research on exercise in people aged 58 to 78 found that getting off the couch for a walk or other physical activity not only helps control weight but also helps sharpen your thinking and helps you become more decisive (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2/16-20/04, online edition). This recent study, done at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, found that performing aerobic exercise improved mental functioning by 11% (on a computer test).

    " We continue to find a number of cognitive benefits in the aerobic group," says Arthur F. Kramer, PhD, a professor of psychology at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at Illinois. "The brain circuits that underlie our ability to think-in this case to attend selectively to information in the environment-can change in a way that is conducive to better performance on tasks as a result of fitness." In simple terms, that means that walking at least 45 minutes a day boosts brain power as well as protecting your heart.

    An Herb for Menopause

    The physical changes that accompan> y menopause can be uncomfortable. But traditional herbal help is available: Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa), an herb used for eons by aging women, has been shown in recent studies to be both safe and effective (Menopause 6/15/03).

    " This [research] should reassure health professionals that they can safely recommend black cohosh to their menopausal patients who cannot or choose not to take HRT [hormone replacement therapy]," says researcher Tieraona Low Dog, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico Department of Family and Community Medicine.

    While HRT has been used to help women cope with menopause, a flurry of studies in the past few years have shown that HRT increases the risk of heart disease and cancer. Instead, black cohosh, which alleviates such menopausal discomforts as hot flashes, has been shown to be much safer.

    Keeping Track of Crucial Vitamins

    While continuing to take multivitamins and minerals at this age is important, some experts believe that as we grow older, vitamin D supplementation, as well as taking antioxidant nutrients, is particularly vital. Arthritis is a common affliction of aging, and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is one particularly destructive form of this joint problem. But taking vitamin D can significantly lower your risk of this condition.

    When scientists analyzed the diets of 30,000 middle-aged women in Iowa over 11 years, they found that women who consumed vitamin D supplements were 34% less likely to suffer RA (Arth Rheu 1/03).

    Other vitamins are equally important to an older woman's well-being. For example, vitamins C and natural E have been found to lower the risk of stroke in those over the age of 55 (Neurology 11/11/03). In this study, smokers who consumed the most vitamin C and natural vitamin E were 70% were much less likely to suffer strokes than smokers whose diets were missing out on these vitamins.

    Rich sources of vitamin C in food include oranges and other citrus fruits, strawberries, red and green peppers, broccoli and brussels sprouts. Sources of vitamin E include vegetable oils such as sunflower seed, cottonseed, safflower, palm and wheat germ oils, margarine and nuts.

    Saving Your Sight

    After age 55, your eyes are particularly vulnerable. Eight million Americans of this age are at risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a condition that destroys structures in the back of the eye necessary for vision (Arch Ophthal 11/03). But you can drop your risk of AMD by taking supplements of antioxidant vitamins and zinc, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins' Wilmer Eye Institute.

    Their research shows that a dietary supplement of vitamins C, natural vitamin E and beta carotene, along with zinc, lowers the chances of progressing to advanced AMD in certain at-risk people by about 25%. Daily supplements also reduced the risk of vision loss by about 19%.

    The carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin also help protect aging eyes. When scientists compared healthy eyes with eyes suffering from AMD, they found that AMD eyes contained lower levels of these vital nutrients (Ophthalmology 2003; 109:1780). Furthermore, they found that levels of these chemicals generally decline as you grow older.

    Healthy at All Ages

    When it comes to designing a healthy lifestyle, general rules like these can be followed, but you should individualize your plan to fit your needs. No matter which type of exercises you pick out or what healthy foods you choose, look for a strategy and a plan you can stick to. If you think a selection of foods are good for you but you absolutely hate their taste, chances are you won't be able to stick to a diet that includes them.

    The same goes for exercise: Pick out activities that you enjoy and that you can perform consistently. That increases your chance of sticking to an exercise program.

    Staying healthy is enjoyable and it helps you get more out of life every day, no matter what stage of life you're in.



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    Breast Cancer
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    Date: June 10, 2005 09:44 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Breast Cancer

    Breast Cancer by Joseph L. Mayo,MD Mary Ann Mayo, MA Energy Times, May 2, 1999

    What do you fear most? Bankruptcy? Floods? Heart disease? If you're like many women, breast cancer stands near the top of that dreaded list.

    But that fear doesn't permeate other cultures the way it does ours.

    A woman like Mariko Mori, for instance, 52 years old, Japanese, worries about intense pressures beginning to burden her toddler grandson. But worry about breast cancer? Hardly.

    In Indiana, Mary Lou Marks, 50, has similar family frets, mulling over her 28-year-old daughter's career choice.

    But on top of that, when Mary Lou tabulates her other worries, she recoils at the thought of breast cancer. She's heard about her lifetime risk: 1 in 8. Meanwhile, Mariko's is merely 1 in 40, according to Bob Arnot's Breast Cancer Prevention Diet (Little, Brown).

    American Problem
    Experts reporting in "Women at High Risk for Breast Cancer: A Primary Care Perspective" (Prim Care Update Ob/Gyns, vol. 5, no. 6, 1998, p. 269) say the risk of developing breast cancer for the average American woman during ages 40 to 59 is 3.9%; by 60 to 79 years of age that rises to 6.9%. A high-risk 40-year-old has a 20% chance of breast cancer in the next 20 years.

    New studies have found the effect of carrying the gene linked to breast cancer, which is responsible for only 5 to 10% of breast cancer incidence, is not as great as first suspected. Earlier estimates that the gene reflects an 80% chance of incurring breast cancer by age 70 has been recalculated to be only 37% (The Lancet, 1998;352:1337-1339).

    Complex Causesbr> Researchers agree: No one factor is solely responsible for breast cancer. Risk depends on many factors, including diet, weight, smoking, alcohol consumption, activity level and, of course, those genes.

    Regardless of their actual chance of getting breast cancer, women worry. Mary Lou faces no factors that would place her in particular jeopardy. But her anxieties about radical therapies and medical expenses paralyze her: She forgets to visit her health care provider and skips her annual mammogram appointments. Mary Lou's daughter, perhaps in reaction to her mother's gripping fears, campaigns ardently for cancer prevention, educating herself and mobilizing against the cumulative effects of known cancer risks. Smart young woman: A malignancy, after all, can take years to develop. A tumor must swell to one billion cells before it is detectable by a mammogram.

    Dietary Benefits
    Of all the tactics for reducing the risk of breast cancer, diet ranks high on the list.

    The soy-rich regimen of Japanese women like Mariko Mori, for example, helps to explain the low breast cancer rates in Asian countries (see box at center of the page).

    Tomatoes, because of their high quotient of the carotenoid lycopene, have been found to protect cells from the corrosive clutches of oxidants that have been linked with cancer in 57 out of 72 studies (The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, February 17, 1999, page A6, reporting on a Harvard Medical School study). For more on tomatoes see page 16.

    But there's no one magic anti-cancer food or diet. Eating to prevent breast cancer requires a balanced menu with fiber, healthy fats, phytoestrogens and antioxidants, all fresh and free of chemical additives.

    Modifying the balance and type of estrogen, the female sex hormone produced by the ovaries, offers an important breast cancer safeguard. Fat cells, adrenal glands and, before menopause, the ovaries, produce three "flavors" of estrogen, the strongest of which, estradiol, is believed to be carcinogenic when too plentiful or persistent in the body.

    Estrogen does its work by attaching to estrogen receptors. Receptors are particularly numerous in the epithelial cells that line milk sacs and ducts in the breasts.

    A receptor site is like a designated parking spot: Once estrogen is parked there it triggers one of its 400 functions in the body, from preparation of the uterus for pregnancy to intensifying nerve synapses in the brain.

    The food we eat can be a source of estrogen; plant estrogens, called phytoestrogens, are much weaker than the body's estrogens, but they fit the same receptors. Phytoestrogens exert a milder estrogenic effect than bodily estrogen and are capable of blocking the more potent, damaging versions.

    Finding Phytoestrogens
    Foods high in phytoestrogens include vegetables, soy, flaxseed and herbs such as black cohosh, chasteberry, red clover and turmeric. Soy is the darling of the day for good reason. Both soy and flaxseed can lengthen periods, reducing the body's overall exposure to estrogen.

    Soy also contains genistein, an "isoflavone" very similar in molecular form to estrogen but only 1/100,000 as potent. Because of its structure, genistein can attach to cells just as estrogen does; it also helps build carriers needed for binding estrogen and removing it from the body (Journal of Nutrition 125, no.3 [1995]:757S-770S). It acts as an antioxidant to counteract free radicals.

    Tumor Inhibition
    Studies have demonstrated that genistein inhibits angiogenesis (new tumor growth), slowing the progression of existing cancer.

    Soy is most protective for younger women. Postmenopausal women benefit from soy's ability to diminish hot flashes and for cardiovascular protection, especially in combination with vitamin E, fiber and carotene (Contemporary OB/GYN, September 1998, p57-58).

    Experts don't know that much about the cumulative effect of combining hormone replacement with soy, herbs and a diet high in phytoestrogens. Menopausal women who boost their estrogen this way should work with their health care providers and monitor their hormonal levels every six to 12 months with salivary testing.

    The Vegetable Cart
    Some vegetables are particularly protective against breast cancer because they change the way the body processes estrogen. Indol-3-carbinol, found in the co-called cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage, diminishes the potency of estrogen. (Broccoli also contains isothiocyanates that trigger anti-carcinogenic enzymes.) These vegetables supply fiber, beta-carotene, vitamin C as well as other vitamins and minerals (Proc of the National Academy of Science USA, 89:2399-2403, 1992).

    Fiber from fruits, vegetables and whole grains reduces insulin levels and suppresses the appetite by making make us feel full, thus helping with weight control, so important to resisting cancer. Fiber also helps build estrogen carriers that keep unbound estrogen from being recirculated and reattached to the breast receptors.

    Cellulose, the fruit and vegetable fiber most binding with estrogen, also rounds up free radicals that damage DNA within cells.,p> Feeding the Immune System Despite heightened public awareness and efforts to stick to wholesome, healthful diets, experts increasingly link poor nutrition to depressed immune systems. Many Americans are at least marginally deficient in trace elements and vitamins despite their best attempts to eat well; that's why a good multivitamin/mineral is wise, even mandatory. Vitamins given to people undergoing cancer treatment stimulate greater response, fewer side effects, and increased survival (International Journal of Integrative Medicine, vol. 1, no. 1, January/February 1999).

    Nutrients tend to work synergistically on the immune system. They should be taken in balanced proportions, and in consultation with your health care provider.

    Immune Boosters
    In Research links low levels of calcium and vitamin D, an inhibitor of cell division and growth, to higher breast cancer rates.

    n Riboflavin (B2), pyridoxine (B6), pantothenic acid (B5), zinc and folate strengthen immunity. Selenium, in lab culture and animal studies, has helped kill tumors and protect normal tissues.

    n Beta-carotene and vitamins A, E and C are antioxidants. Vitamin C enhances vitamin E's effects, boosting immunity and protecting against cell damage. The antioxidant isoflavones in green tea, with soy, convey the anticancer effects of the Asian diet. Research shows actions that discourage tumors and gene mutations.

    The food you eat influences hormones. Excess sugar raises insulin, which acts as a growth factor for cancer and interferes with vitamin C's stimulation of white blood cells. It may contribute to obesity.

    Alcohol is converted to acetaldehyde, which causes cancer in laboratory animals. It affects gene regulation by decreasing the body's ability to use folic acid. It increases estrogen and the amount of free estradiol in the blood. The liver damage that accompanies high alcohol consumption frequently reduces its capacity to filter carcinogenic products, regulate hormones and break down estrogen. Studies of alcohol consumption have caused experts to estimate that drinking more than two alcoholic beverages a day increases breast cancer risk by 63% (OB-GYN News, November 1, 1998, p. 12).

    Fat Can be Phat
    Fat conveys nutritional benefits. Not all fats are bad: we can't survive for very long without certain fats. Fat can turn you into a "well-oiled" machine. But the wrong kind of fat (the fatty acids in red meats and fatty poultry) is believed to be a major culprit in breast cancer.

    Fat cells produce estrogen. Excess fat stores carcinogens and limits carriers that can move estrogen out of your system.

    Once estrogen has attached itself to a receptor, the health result depends on the type of fat in the breast. Saturated fat, transfatty acids and omega-6 fat from polyunsaturated vegetable oils such as safflower oil, peanut, soybean oil, corn oil and in margarine can increase the estrogen effect and trigger a powerful signal to the breast cell to replicate.

    Restraining Prostaglandins
    Blood rich in the essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-9 lowers cancer risk by driving down levels of prostaglandins, which promote tumor growth. The blood and tumors of women with breast cancer usually contain high levels of prostaglandins.

    Breast tissue is protected by omega-3 fat chiefly from fish and flaxseed and by omega-9 from olive oil. Salmon once a week or water packed tuna three times a week are particularly beneficial. Fish oil supplements processed to reduce contaminates are available. Cod liver oil isn't recommended: its vitamin A and D levels are too high.

    Flaxseed is the richest known plant source of omega-3. Use a coffee grinder to benefit from the seed and oil for the full estrogen effect; sprinkle ground flaxseed over cereal or fold into baked goods. Drizzle flaxseed oil, found in the refrigerator section of your health food store, over salads or cereal. (Store the oil in the refrigerator.)

    Olive oil, especially in the context of the so-called Mediterranean diet of vegetables, omega-3-rich fish and fresh fruit (Menopause Management, January-February 1999, p. 16-19), lowers the risk of breast cancer (The Lancet, May 18, 1996;347:1351-1356).

    Selecting Organic Food
    Select organic foods for extra anticancer protection. Pesticides stimulate erratic cell action and often inhibit the estrogen carrier's ability to attach and remove estrogen from the body. Free floating estrogen then can attach to breast receptors and cause trouble.

    Buy or grow fresh, organic foods whenever you can. When grilling meat, fish or poultry, reduce the area where carcinogens may accumulate by trimming fat. Charred, well-done meat is known to be carcinogenic. When grilling, marinate meat first and reduce the cooking time on the grill by slightly precooking.

    Cancer prevention is an interlocking puzzle requiring the limitation of fat consumption, weight control, exercise, stress reduction and care for psychological and spiritual balance. Possessing more cancer fighting pieces makes you more likely to be able to complete the prevention picture.

    Joseph L. Mayo, MD, FACOG and Mary Ann Mayo, MA, are the authors of The Menopause manager: A Safe Path for a Natural Change, an individualized program for managing menopause. The book's advice, in easy-to-understand portions, isolates in-depth explanations with unbiased reviews of conventional and alternative choices. A unique perspective for mid-life women who want to know all their options.

    Also from the Mayos - The HOW Health Opportunities For Women quarterly newsletter to help women learn HOW to make informed health choices. Learn HOW to: - Choose nutritional supplements

  • - Integrate natural remedies with conventional medicine.
  • - Pick healthier foods.
  • - Reduce breast cancer, osteoporosis and heart disease risk.
  • - Slow aging's effects. Protect against environmental toxins.



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    Vitanet ®

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    Improve Your Diet and Stop Being S.A.D.
    TopPreviousNext

    Date: May 27, 2005 09:24 AM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Improve Your Diet and Stop Being S.A.D.

    Improve Your Diet and Stop Being S.A.D.

    The Standard American Diet (or S.A.D.) is exactly that ? sad! Sadly lacking in essential nutrients and sadly loaded with an excess of the wrong things, like fat, cholesterol, salt and sugar. How can we improve our diets and truly nourish our bodies?

    Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

    Why are fruits and vegetables so important? Not only are they high in vitamins and minerals, but they also contain bioflavonoids?naturally occurring plant constituents that act as antioxidants and support the integrity of our connective tissue. And fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, so crucial in maintaining our digestive tract health.

    What fruits and vegetables don't contain is just as important as what they do contain: fruits and vegetables are free of cholesterol, additives and preservatives, contain no added sugar or salt, and are low in fat?nature's perfect foods. All you have to do is look at the bright, crisp colors?the vibrant greens, yellows, oranges, reds and purples?to know how good fruits and vegetables are for you.

    Eat More Whole Grains

    Whole grains, like oats, brown rice and barley, help us meet important nutritional goals. They are low in fat and high in fiber, and, because the germ of the grain has not been lost in the milling process, they are higher in essential fatty acids, vitamin E and B vitamins compared to processed grain products like white bread or pasta. And they're delicious! Have a bowl of hot oatmeal with fresh fruit and nuts for breakfast?or make a hearty barley-vegetable stew for dinner. Your body will thank you!

    Increase Your Fiber Consumption

    Fiber exercises our digestive tract?toning and strengthening the muscle that surrounds our intestines just the way lifting weights tightens and tones our skeletal muscles. Low-fiber diets increase our risk for a variety of bowel problems, from constipation and hemorrhoids to diverticulosis and diverticulitis to colon cancer. Increasing fiber in the diet is good for the digestive tract, helps regulate blood sugar and may also help reduce cholesterol levels.

    What are the best dietary sources of fiber? All plant foods (whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds) contain fiber. And all animal products (meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products) contain zero fiber?that's right, none!

    Eat Healthy Fats and Oils

    Fats and oils have gotten a bad rap. Somehow the idea has been promoted that all fats are bad and we should eat as little fat as possible. The truth is that fat is an essential part of our diet, and dietary fats are used for many important functions in the body, from energy production to cell membrane maintenance to nerve conduction. While much of the focus has been on the amount of fat we should eat, the type of fats we eat is at least as important.

    High-quality fats are rare in the standard American diet. Most of the fats and oils we eat have been damaged by exposure to heat or light during processing or cooking. This damage destroys essential nutrients and creates free radicals, chemically unstable molecules that can wreak havoc in the body. For this reason, fried foods and highly processed fats like margarine and shortening are best avoided. Health concerns have been raised about margarine, as it contains trans fatty acids?a configuration of fatty acids not found in nature.

    And our ratio of fat consumption is skewed. Most Americans consume too many saturated fats and not enough polyunsaturated oils. How do you tell which fats are saturated and which are not? Saturated fats are solid at room temperature (think butter, lard and coconut oil). Polyunsaturated oils are liquid at room temperature (like corn oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil). In addition to polyunsaturated oils, olive oil, a monounsaturated oil, is also a heart-healthy choice and one of the best oils to use.

    Reduce Your Consumption of Animal Products

    While animal products (meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products) contain many valuable nutrients, as a nation, we tend to overdo it. A diet high in animal products is a diet high in cholesterol, and is strongly linked to the number-one killer in the industrialized nations: cardiovascular disease, which includes high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes.

    How do you know which foods contain a lot of cholesterol without having to read labels? All animal products contain cholesterol. All plant foods (grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables and nuts and seeds) contain zero cholesterol. It's that simple. Eating a predominantly vegetarian diet is one way to maintain your cardiovascular health.

    Avoid Stimulants?Like Caffeine

    Most people think caffeine "gives" them energy. Nothing could be farther from the truth! Caffeine in fact robs the body of energy?by withdrawing from your energy 'savings account' now, leaving you less reserves to draw upon later. The pick-me-up feeling artificial stimulants provide is inevitably followed by an energy crash.

    Reduce Your Caloric Intake

    About a quarter of the U.S. population is now considered to be obese, and the numbers are rising. Our children are increasingly overweight, from a steady diet of junk food and TV-watching. As a nation, we are overfed and undernourished?our diets are too high in "empty" calories and too low in essential nutrients.

    Being overweight significantly increases the risk for a variety of cancers, including colon, prostate, breast, ovarian, and uterine cancer. Animal studies have shown that the only consistent way to extend the life spans of laboratory animals is to put them on a lower calorie diet. Thinner rats live longer?and we suspect the same is true for humans.

    Lighten Up!

    Are you too serious about your diet? Do you miss out on social opportunities because you are too busy counting calories or grams of fat? Lighten up! To paraphrase one poet, "?Tis better to eat steak and beer with cheer than sprouts and bread with dread!" Don't allow your dietary restrictions to rule you or limit your social life.

    Eating out is possible, even on a restricted diet. Most restaurants are willing to accommodate your requests. It's just a matter of learning how to order the healthiest meal possible. Good options include poached fish with lemon, salads with vinaigrette dressing, and plain baked potatoes. Get in the habit of ordering sauces on the side and avoid filling up on empty calories, like white bread rolls.

    Take Time To Savor Each Meal

    We often make the mistake of eating hurriedly, standing at the sink wolfing something?anything!?down so we can move on to the next activity in our busy lives. But digestion actually functions better when we take the time to slow down. The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for enhancing circulation to the digestive organs and promoting the flow of digestive juices. There is only one catch?we must be relaxed for our parasympathetic nervous system to predominate. So, take a deep breath and relax, there's plenty of time!



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    VitaNet ® Staff

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