Health

With so many vitamins available, it can be difficult to determine which ones you need and which ones you can afford to leave aside.

To help, we have put together this guide that gives an overview of many well-known vitamins, as well as why and when you should make them a key part of your diet. The list is in alphabetical order too, for easy reference.

 

Beta-carotene

Found in: Green peppers, sweet potatoes and carrots.

The benefits: Beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A as it moves around the body. This is an important vitamin, helping to keep your vision healthy and your immune system in tip-top condition.

 

Calcium

Found in: Yogurt, milk and cheese.

The benefits: Calcium helps to defend the body against the loss of bone density as you age. It is also proven to help build strong teeth from an early age, as well as assist your nervous system.

 

Coenzyme Q10

Found in: Rich organ meats like liver and kidney are high in Coenzyme Q10. Furthermore, the vitamin is available as a dietary supplement, from specialist chemists such as Medicines2u.com.

The Benefits: Your cells need Coenzyme Q10 as a means of giving the body energy. This energy then enables the body to achieve cell growth and maintenance. On top of this, Coenzyme Q10 acts as an antioxidant in order to keep youhealthy.

 

Folate

Found in: Fortified breakfast cereal, citrus fruit juice, dark green vegetables, bread and pasta.

The benefits: Also referred to as B9, folate is a great vitamin to have when pregnant as it is known to assist fertility and fetal development. Most importantly, folate helps to prevent neural tube defects in babies.

 

Iron

Found in: Seafood, nuts, green leafy vegetables, lean meats and liver (the latter of which is particularly high in iron).

The benefits: Iron will ensure red blood cells are functioning properly around the body, which results in you being at lower risk of anemia and your immune system becoming weaker as a result.

 

Omega-3

Found in: Fish oil and algae.

The benefits: Omega-3 helps keep the body healthy by lowering the risk of cancer and heart disease. Omega-3 is also found to generally improve the mood of people who consume it regularly.

 

Potassium

Found in: Milk, oranges, leafy green vegetables, raisins and bananas.

The benefits: Blood pressure can be lowered with the consumption of potassium, while the vitamin also works to reduce the effects of irregular heart rhythms.

 

Vitamin D

Found in: While a small amount of Vitamin D can be found in liver, eggs and fatty fish, the main source for your body to access the vitamin is through sun exposure.

The benefits: Research has suggested that Vitamin D can help reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and depression. It also assists the body when consuming calcium, the benefits of which we have already discussed earlier.

Air travel, for anyone who regularly participates in this modern miracle of technology, can be both terrifying and exhilarating. Not only will you be lofted at speeds greater than 500 miles per hour into the lower reaches of the stratosphere (30,000–39,000 ft) where you will be exposed to DNA-damaging cosmic x-ray radiation, but before you are in the clouds, you will inevitably face a wide range of physiological stressors, such as manmade irradiation via whole-body imaging, the prospect of body searches, some of the world's most non-nutritious food, and the constant worry of missing your flight or connection.  Is it any wonder that people experience jet lag, or much worse?

While all the health risks associated with modern air day travel are significant, especially when you add in the infectious disease risks associated with lackluster sanitation and jet fumes – which is one topic rarely discussed and so profoundly serious in its health implications that we can not do it justice here -- there is one deadly risk associated with air travel – particularly long haul flights[1] – which is perhaps most serious: venous thromboembolism (VTE).

The highly unnatural conditions of flight can result in increased risk of VTE, which is caused when a clot forms in a vein deep in the leg (deep vein thrombosis (DVT)) vein or vein in the lung (pulmonary embolism). VTE is believed responsible for 50,000 deaths annually in the United States alone.[2] But as is the case for so many modern day conditions that result from manmade causes, natural 'remedies' exist. Indeed, research indicates a plant extract named pycnogenol may provide an ideal preventive during air travel.

pinebark extract

Pycnogenol is an extract derived from maritime pine tree bark, and is exceedingly rich in the plant compounds known as proanthocyanidins, which are also found in a number of common foods, from apples to cocoa, and cinnamon to grapes.  What is so unique about pycnogenol is that it's extremely concentrated in these vital compounds, and has been specifically studied for preventing VT and other flight-associated health risks:

  • Pycnogenol Reduces the Risk of Deep Vein Clots (Thrombosis): A 2004 study[3] found that pycnogenol (dosage: 100 mg ,two capsules between 2 and 3 hours before flights; two capsules were taken 6 hours after the flight, and one capsule the next day) administered to subjects on flights on average 8 hours and 15 minutes, resulted in zero deep vein thrombosis events, and only nonthrobotic, localized phlebitis (inflammation of a vein, usually in the legs), in the treatment group, with five thrombotic events (one DVT and four superficial thromboses) in the control group.

According to the study, "The ITT (intention to treat) analysis detects 13 failures in the control group (eight lost to follow up + five thrombotic events) of 105 subjects (12.4%) vs. five failures (4.7%; all lost, no thrombotic events) in the treatment group (p<0.025). No unwanted effects were observed.

The study concluded: "[T]his study indicates that Pycnogenol treatment was effective in decreasing the number of thrombotic events (DVT and SVT) in moderate-to-high risk subjects, during long-haul flights."

  • Pycnogenol Reduces Ankle Swelling (Edema): A 2005 study,[4] which looked at the risk of edema (which is associated with increased risk of deep vein thrombosis) found that 100 mg of pycnogenol (two capsules between 2 and 3 hours before flights with 250 mL of water and two capsules 6 hours later with 250 mL of water and one capsule the next day), significantly reduced the risk of ankle swelling (a sign of edema).

According to the study, "After the in those treated with , the edema score was increased only by 17.9% (vs. an increase of 58.3% in the control group) (p<0.05). The RAS (a measure of ankle swelling), evaluated in 22 subjects in the Pycnogenol group (age 44.5; SD 8) and in 23 in the control group (age 45; SD 9) was increased on average by 91% in the control group and 36% in the Pycnogenol group (p<0.05). The variation on circumference at the ankle was 6% in the group (11% in the control group; p<0.05). These results indicate a positive effect of on edema during flights when considering subjective and objective data. No unwanted effects were observed."

Obviously, anything that can safely help you avoid deep vein thrombosis is promising, considering conventional approaches have serious side effects. Pycnogenol, however, is a powerful supplement and should and should be taken with caution – ideally, under the supervision of an integrative medical professional or medical herbalist– because it is anti-thrombotic and a blood thinner, much like aspirin. If you are already taking aspirin or a prescription blood thinner, combining pycnogenol could be dangerous – owing to the fact that aspirin by itself, like most pharmaceutical blood thinners, already carries a significant risk of hemorrhagic side effects, i.e. excessive bleeding. And therefore, adding pycnogenol on top of an already dangerous blood thinning chemical can have dire consequences. 

With that said, it should be noted that a 1999 study found that pycnogenol was superior to aspirin in preventing platelet aggregation (a risk factor for pathological clotting) in smokers.According to the study, "...a single, high dose, 200 mg Pycnogenol, remained effective for over 6 days against smoking-induced platelet aggregation. Smoking increased platelet aggregation that was prevented after administration of 500 mg Aspirin and 125 mg Pycnogenol. Thus, smoking-induced enhanced platelet aggregation was inhibited by 500 mg Aspirin as well as by a lower range of 100-125 mg Pycnogenol."

Most saliently, "Aspirin significantly (p<0.001) increased bleeding time from 167 to 236 seconds while Pycnogenol did not. These observations suggest an advantageous risk-benefit ratio for Pycnogenol."  In other words, pycnogenol was not only as effective as aspirin at preventing aggregation (at a lower dosage) but it reduced the risk of hemorrhagic side effects (excessive bleeding), clearly demonstrating its superiority over aspirin, and perhaps enabling those who are looking for a natural alternative to pharmaceutical blood thinners to 'free two birds with one hand.'  For more information on this topic read "The Evidence Against Aspirin and For Natural Alternatives."

If You Fly, This Supplement Could Save Your Life

There are two more compelling reasons why pycnogenol may be one of your most valuable air travel companions:

  • Pycnogenol is Radioprotective.[5]-[6]  This is relevant because according to the EPA's website, "About eight percent of our annual radiation exposure comes from outer space. The atmosphere shields us from cosmic radiation, and the more air that is between us and outer space, the more shielding we have. The closer we get to outer space, the more we are exposed to cosmic radiation. This holds true when we live at high altitudes or fly." Add in the largely unknown risks associated with whole-boding scanning devices at airport security, and taking a flight today may generate exposures as significant as radiation-based medical diagnostics – each time you fly
  • Pycnogenol is Supports Immunity. Flight involves subpar sanitation (have you ever seen a cleaning crew between flights?), and re-circulating air can increase the risk of exposure to airborne infections. Thankfully pycnogenol has been found to help fight off retrovirus infections in the animal model, [7] and there is indication that it has antibiotic properties, as demonstrated by an cell study on its ability to inhibit Helicobacter pylori.[8]

Finally, pycnogenol has been studied to fight jet-lag and the associated brain edema (yes, flying can make your brain swell).  A 2008 study found that subjects given pycnogenol (50 mg tablets 3 times/day, for 7 days starting 2 days prior to the flight) experienced both significant reductions in jet-lag symptoms (reduced from 39.3 hours in the control group to 18.2 hours in the treatment group).[9] They also tested a separate group using brain CT scans in order to measure brain edema, in association with typical signs and symptoms, observed in previous published flight studies. The study found the "...difference between the Pycnogenol and the control groups was statistically significant (P<0.05) for all items assessed including the cerebral edema score obtained by CT scan. The short-term memory was significantly altered in the control group and associated to edema and swelling of the lower limbs. The score (and the level of edema) was comparatively higher in a subgroup of hypertensive subjects in the control group. Minor alterations of cardiac function were observed in association with de-stabilisation of blood pressure. Fatigue was also significantly higher in the control group in comparison with the Pycnogenol group. A number of spontaneously reported symptoms was also scored and there was a statistically significant difference (P<0.05) between the Pycnogenol and control groups. In conclusion, Pycnogenol was useful to control jet-lag and minimal brain edema."

While supplements like pycnogenol have powerful, evidence-based properties, it is always good to be reminded that optimizing your nutrition via whole, organic, traditionally prepared foods is always going to be your best bet for ensuring good health while traveling.  On the other hand, it is always reassuring to know that Mother Nature provides effective, clinically tested solutions where no pharmaceutical one exists – that is, not without health risks that can be greater than the one(s) they are taken to prevent or treat.

 

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/clone-if-you-fly-plant-extract-could-save-your-life-1?

When the craving for chocolate strikes, there isn't another food in the world that can substitute.

Of course, as you've heard by now, REAL chocolate is a superfood with a myriad of health benefits.  Rich organic cocoa is one of the most powerful antioxidant foods. It also helps blood vessels relax, lowering blood pressure. And it boosts endorphins, giving you a euphoric feeling (it's no wonder "chocoholics" are so hooked).

So what's not to love?

Is Your Chocolate Addiction Keeping You From The Lean Body You Crave?

While savoring a small square or two of organic dark chocolate (ideally 80% cacao!) is delicious and satisfying, many people find that it's all too easy to go back for MORE.

Before you know it, half the bar is gone and you've consumed several hundred calories and 20+ grams of sugar.

If you're one of those people, your daily chocolate ritual could be adding calories and sugar you body doesn't need, adding to the padding in those places you don't want.

How to Eat MORE Chocolate for Leaner, "Greener" Body

I love to enjoy squares from a high quality chocolate bar. But when it comes to really reaping the benefits of cocoa, I prefer it in a dessert with a matrix of fiber, protein and other healthy fats. Not only will you feel more satisfied, but with the right recipes, you can enjoy MORE chocolate-y goodness with less calories and sugar.

Today I'm going to share two super-simple and delicious chocolate recipes that will satisfy your cravings for chocolate, while also providing powerful detoxifying ingredients that fill you up and purify your digestive system.

Feel free to top these treats with organic raspberries, sliced almonds or cacao nibs for even greater flavor and more health benefits!

Detox with chocolate? Who knew!

To your health,

Kelley Herring
Healing Gourmet

P.S. Recipes below... and for more great recipes and valuable education on how to enjoy a low-glycemic lifestyle while still enjoying the sweet treats you love, check out Guilt-Free Desserts...

 

Chocolate Chia Detox Pudding

If you haven't jumped on the chia seed bandwagon yet, here's the recipe to try! Not only are chia seeds a rich source of protein and fiber, but gram-for-gram they also boast a greater antioxidant score than blueberries, more potassium than bananas, more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach and more vitamin C than oranges. How's that for a superfood!

But what makes chia seeds great for detoxifying is their unique ability to form a soluble gel which helps to stabilize blood sugar, absorb toxins and cleanse the digestive tract.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. Nutiva Organic Chia Seeds
  • ½ cup organic coconut milk*
  • 1 Tbsp. organic cocoa powder
  • 5-10 drops liquid stevia (to taste)

Directions

  • Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender.
  • Blend on high speed to a smooth consistency.
  • Chill and enjoy!

Nutrition Information Per Serving

156 calories, 9 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 0 g monounsaturated fat, 5 g polyunsaturated fat, 13 g carbohydrate, 0 g sugar, 12 g fiber, 8 g protein

 

Chocolate Avocado Mousse Recipe

Avocado is the detox star in this delicious recipe. Not only does research show that the "alligator pear" is the food highest in glutathione - your body's master antioxidant and detoxifier - but it has also been shown to protect liver cells from damage.

Ingredients  

  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup organic cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk*
  • 10 drops liquid stevia (to taste)
  • 1 tsp. organic vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Add cocoa powder and coconut milk to a high-speed blender. Blend on low speed and add in the avocado. Blend on medium speed until smooth.
  2. Scrape mousse into a bowl and stir in the vanilla and stevia.
  3. Chill and enjoy!

Nutrition Information Per Serving

190 calories, 16 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 10 g monounsaturated fat, 2 g polyunsaturated fat, 13 g carbohydrate, 1 g sugar, 9 g fiber, 4 g protein

*Light coconut milk used in nutrition calculation

 

REFERENCES

  1. American Chemical Society (2000, December 20). Avocados Contain Potent Liver Protectants.
  2. Jones, D.P. and others: Glutathione in foods listed in the National Cancer Institute's health habits and history food frequency questionnaire, Nutrition and Cancer 17 (1), p. 57, 1992. 

  3. Nieman DC1, Gillitt N, Jin F, Henson DA, Kennerly K, Shanely RA, Ore B, Su M, Schwartz S. Chia seed supplementation and disease risk factors in overweight women: a metabolomics investigation.  J Altern Complement Med. 2012 Jul;18(7):700-8. 

  4. Mohd Ali N1, Yeap SK, Ho WY, Beh BK, Tan SW, Tan SG. The promising future of chia, Salvia hispanica L. J Biomed Biotechnol. 2012;2012:171956. 

  5. Chicco AG1, D'Alessandro ME, Hein GJ, Oliva ME, Lombardo YB. Dietary chia seed (Salvia hispanica L.) rich in alpha-linolenic acid improves adiposity and normalises hypertriacylglycerolaemia and insulin resistance in dyslipaemic rats. Br J Nutr. 2009 Jan;101(1):41-50. 

  6. Vuksan V1, Whitham D, Sievenpiper JL, Jenkins AL, Rogovik AL, Bazinet RP, Vidgen E, Hanna A. Supplementation of conventional therapy with the novel grain Salba (Salvia hispanica L.) improves major and emerging cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes: results of a randomized controlled trial. Diabetes Care. 2007 Nov;30(11):2804-10.

By Dr. Mercola

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in your body. If you don’t have enough of it, your body simply cannot function at its best. Insufficient cellular magnesium levels set the stage for deterioration of proper metabolic function that typically snowballs into more significant health problems.

As reported by GreenMedInfo,1 researchers have now detected 3,751 magnesium-binding sites on human proteins, reflecting how important this mineral is to a great many biological processes.

For example, magnesium plays a role in your body's detoxification processes and therefore is important for minimizing damage from environmental chemicals, heavy metals, and other toxins.

Even glutathione, considered by many to be your body's most powerful antioxidant, requires magnesium in order to be produced.

Magnesium also plays roles in preventing migraine headaches, cardiovascular disease (including high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes), sudden cardiac death, and even reduces death from all causes.

This important mineral is required by more than 300 different enzymes in your body, which play important roles in the following biochemical processes, many of which are crucial for proper metabolic function:

Creation of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the energy molecules of your body Proper formation of bones and teeth Relaxation of blood vessels
Action of your heart muscle Promotion of proper bowel function Regulation of blood sugar levels

Low Magnesium Levels Consistently Found in Those with Elevated Insulin

In just the past year, there have been several significant studies about magnesium’s role in keeping your metabolism running like a well-oiled clock—specifically in terms of insulin sensitivity, glucose regulation, and protection from type 2 diabetes. Here are just a few:

  • One 2013 study involving pre-diabetics found that most had inadequate magnesium intake. Those with the highest magnesium intake reduced their risk for blood sugar and metabolic problems by a whopping 71 percent.2
  • An ADA study from October 20133 found that higher magnesium intake reduces risk of impaired glucose and insulin metabolism and slows progression from pre-diabetes to diabetes in middle-aged Americans. Researchers stated, “Magnesium intake may be particularly beneficial in offsetting your risk of developing diabetes, if you are high risk.”
  • In a large Japanese study (the Hisayama Study) published in Diabetic Medicine December 2013, researchers found magnesium intake was a significant protective factor against type 2 diabetes in the general Japanese population, especially among those “with insulin resistance, low-grade inflammation and a drinking habit.”4
  • And in the Framingham Offspring cohort (2006), higher magnesium intake improved insulin sensitivity and reduced type 2 diabetes risk.5

Why Is Magnesium So Critical for Proper Metabolic Function?

The mechanism by which magnesium controls glucose and insulin homeostasis appears to involve two genes responsible for magnesium homeostasis.6 Magnesium is also required to activate tyrosine kinase, an enzyme that functions as an “on” or “off” switch in many cellular functions and is required for the proper function of your insulin receptors.

It is well known that people with insulin resistance also experience increased excretion of magnesium in their urine, which further contributes to diminished magnesium levels. This magnesium loss appears to be secondary to increased urinary glucose, which increases urinary output.7

Therefore, inadequate magnesium intake seems to prompt a vicious cycle of low magnesium levels, elevated insulin and glucose levels, and excess magnesium excretion. In other words, the less magnesium your body has, the less it appears to be able to “hang onto it.8

Rarely do so many studies from around the world find universal agreement on a subject! The evidence is clear: if you want to optimize your metabolism and keep your risk for type 2 diabetes low, one of the things you need to do is consume adequate magnesium. Unfortunately, this is not the norm, as an estimated 80 percent of Americans are magnesium deficient.

Are Your Magnesium Levels Up to Par?

Dietary surveys suggest that the majority of Americans are simply not getting enough magnesium from their diets alone. Other factors that can make you more prone to magnesium deficiency include:

An unhealthy digestive system:which impairs your body's ability to absorb magnesium (Crohn's disease, leaky gut, etc.) Diabetes: especially if poorly controlled, leading to increased magnesium loss in urine Age: older adults are more likely to be magnesium deficient because absorption decreases with age and the elderly are more likely to take medications that can interfere with absorption
Unhealthy kidneys:which contribute to excessive loss of magnesium in the urine Alcoholism:  up to 60 percent of alcoholics have low blood levels of magnesium Certain medications:  diuretics, antibiotics, and medications used to treat cancer can result in magnesium deficiency

Magnesium Deficiency Can Lead to Heart Arrhythmias, Coronary Spasms, and Seizures

There's no lab test that will give you an accurate reading of the magnesium status in your tissues. The reason for this is that only one percent of the magnesium in your body is found in your blood. Fifty to 60 percent resides in your bones, and the remaining is in your soft tissues. Since most of your magnesium is stored inside your cells and bone rather than in blood plasma, there are no satisfactory blood tests for assessing it.

That said, some specialty labs do provide an RBC magnesium test, which is reasonably accurate. Other tests your doctor may use to evaluate your magnesium status include a 24-hour urine test or a sublingual epithelial test. Still, these can only give you an estimate of your levels, and doctors typically need to evaluate them in light of the symptoms you exhibit. Early signs of magnesium deficiency may include headaches, loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting, and fatigue or weakness. However, ongoing magnesium deficiency can lead to far more serious symptoms such as:

  • Abnormal heart rhythms and coronary spasms
  • Muscle cramps and contractions
  • Seizures
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Personality changes

In her book, The Magnesium MiracleDr. Carolyn Dean lists 100 factors that will help you decide whether or not you might be deficient. You can also follow the instructions in her blog post, “Gauging Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms,”9 which will give you a checklist to go through every few weeks. This will help you gauge how much magnesium you need in order to take away your deficiency symptoms.

Your Best Magnesium Source: REAL Food

Most people can keep their magnesium levels in the therapeutic range without resorting to supplements, simply by eating a varied diet, including plenty of dark-green leafy vegetables. However, it is important to remember that the magnesium content of your foods depends on the richness of magnesium in the soil where they're grown. Most soils are now sorely depleted of nutrients, and for this reason, some magnesium experts, such as Dr. Dean, believe that virtually everyone needs to take supplemental magnesium. Organic foods may have more magnesium if grown in nutrient-rich soils but it is very difficult to make that determination.

One way to really increase your magnesium, as well as many other important plant-based nutrients, is by juicing your greens. I typically drink one pint to one quart of fresh green vegetable juice every day, and this is one of my primary sources of magnesium. An article in GreenMedInfo lists more than 20 foods that are exceptionally high in magnesium, including the following (for the full list, please refer to the original report). All listed portions equate to 100 grams, or just over three ounces:

Seaweed, agar, dried (770 mg) Spices, basil, dried (422 mg)
Spice, coriander leaf, dried (694 mg) Flaxseed (392 mg)
Dried pumpkin seeds (535 mg) Almond butter (303 mg)
Cocoa, dry powder, unsweetened (499 mg) Whey, sweet, dried (176 mg)

Magnesium Supplements, A to Z

The current government guidelines for magnesium intake among adults call for 300 to 420 mg per day (depending on your gender, age, pregnancy, and lactation), but many people consume less than 300 mg per day. The current research would suggest that many would benefit from a higher intake, about 700 mg per day or even more. Magnesium is lost in sweat during exercise and used up in higher amounts when a person is under stress.

If you opt for a supplement, be aware that there are a wide variety of magnesium supplements on the market, because magnesium must be bound to another substance. There's simply no such thing as a 100 percent magnesium supplement. The substance used in any given compound can affect the absorption and bioavailability of the magnesium, and may provide slightly different, or targeted, health benefits.

The table that follows summarizes some of the differences between the various forms. Magnesium threonate is likely one of the best sources, as it seems to penetrate cell membranes, including your mitochondria, which results in higher energy levels. Additionally, it also penetrates your blood-brain barrier and seems to do wonders to treat and prevent dementia and improve memory.

Besides taking a supplement, another way to improve your magnesium status is to take regular Epsom salt baths or foot baths. Epsom salt is a magnesium sulfate that can absorb into your body through your skin. Magnesium oil can also be used for topical application and absorption. Whatever supplement you choose, be sure to avoid any containing magnesium stearate, a common but potentially hazardous additive.

Magnesium glycinate is a chelated form of magnesium that tends to provide the highest levels of absorption and bioavailability and is typically considered ideal for those who are trying to correct a deficiency Magnesium oxide is a non-chelated type of magnesium, bound to an organic acid or a fatty acid. Contains 60 percent magnesium, and has stool softening properties
Magnesium chloride / Magnesium lactate contain only 12 percent magnesium, but has better absorption than others, such as magnesium oxide, which contains five times more magnesium Magnesium sulfate / Magnesium hydroxide (milk of magnesia) are typically used as laxatives. Be aware that it's easy to overdose on these, so ONLY take as directed
Magnesium carbonate, which has antacid properties,contains 45 percent magnesium Magnesium taurate contains a combination of magnesium and taurine, an amino acid. Together, they tend to provide a calming effect on your body and mind
Magnesium citrate is magnesium with citric acid, which has laxative properties Magnesium threonate is a newer, emerging type of magnesium supplement that appears promising, primarily due to its superior ability to penetrate the mitochondrial membrane, and may be the best magnesium supplement on the market

Balance Your Magnesium with Calcium, Vitamin K2, and D

 

Download Interview Transcript

One of the major benefits of getting your nutrients from a varied whole food diet is that you're less likely to end up with too much of one nutrient and not enough of another. Foods in general contain all the cofactors and needed co-nutrients in the proper ratios for optimal health... the wisdom of Nature takes out the guesswork. When you're using supplements, you need to become a bit savvier about how nutrients influence and interact with each other.

For example, it's important to maintain the proper balance between magnesium, calcium, vitamin K2, and vitamin D. An appropriate magnesium to calcium ratio is currently thought to be 1:1, according to Dr. Dean who has studied this issue for the past 15 years. To learn more, please see my recent interview with her, in which she discusses the health benefits of this important mineral.

These four nutrients work together synergistically, and lack of balance between them is why calcium supplements have become associated with increased risk of heart attacks and stroke, and why some people experience vitamin D toxicity. To learn more about this, please see our previous article that delves into this topic in some depth. The above video focuses on the role of vitamin K, specifically.

Preventing Type 2 Diabetes Requires a Multi-Pronged Approach

 

Type 2 diabetes, which involves loss of insulin and leptin sensitivity, is easily preventable, and nearly 100 percent reversible without drugs. However, preventing this terrible disease requires a multi-faceted approach. Getting adequate magnesium is just one part of the formula. The primary driving force behind obesity and type 2 diabetes is excessive dietary fructose, which has adverse effects on all of your metabolic hormones, so it’s important to address the sugar in your diet, particularly fructose. Other critical lifestyle factors include exercise and optimizing your gut flora.

If you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, it is best to avoid the pharmaceutical approach. Diabetes drugs fail to address the underlying problem, and many, like Avandia, can have dangerous side effects. Avandia is linked to 43 percent increased risk of heart attack and 64 percent higher risk of cardiovascular death, compared with other treatments. For more tips on how to steer clear of the diabetes zone, refer to my comprehensive diabetes article.

by Dr Mercola

 

If you are concerned you may be deficient in minerals please check out www.worldsbestminerals.com for Sizzling minerals, wafers that you put into water that give you 75 plant based essential minerals. Before this product was developed, there was nothing else like it on the planet. For under £30 a month sizzling minerals is one of the best ways to ensure you are not deficient in minerals.

 

 

(NaturalNews) Hospital antibiotics have become one of the most over prescribed "medicines" today. As a result people have ruined their digestive systems, and ironically, have lowered their natural immunity to all types of infections in the future. Get rid if infections without the digestive destruction, with these five powerful natural antibiotics.

Garlic

Garlic has been used medicinally by cultures around the world for thousands of years. In fact, it was used in the 1700s to ward off plague.

Garlic possesses potent antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties and is able to help protect and facilitate removal of unfriendly bacteria. It is also very high in natural antioxidants that destroy free radicals, which also supports a strong immune system.

The active ingredient in garlic, allicin, is the key component to killing and warding off harmful bacteria. Crush it to activate these compounds, and eat it raw, in a warm tea, or in lightly cooked food.

Colloidal silver

Colloidal silver has been known as an effective antibiotic for centuries. In the early 1900s, Alfred Searle, founder of the Searle pharmaceutical company, discovered that it could kill the most deadly pathogens.

Searle stated that applying colloidal silver to human subjects has been done in a large number of cases with astonishing results. The main advantage was that it was rapidly fatal to microbes without toxic action on its host.

Recent research has also stated that colloidal silver can destroy antibiotic resistant microbes like MRSA, the bird flu, and SARS.

Oil of oregano

Oil of oregano takes care of pathogenic bacteria without disrupting beneficial bacteria. It is also antiviral and antifungal which makes it a powerful three-in-one combination that rivals pharmaceuticals while not encouraging antibiotic resistance.

The key antimicrobial ingredient in oil of oregano is carvacrol. You should ensure that your source is at least 70 percent carvacrol content in order to be effective.

Echinacea

Echinacea has been used to treat a wide variety of infections for hundreds of years. Traditionally, it was used to treat open wounds, diphtheria, blood poisoning, and other bacterial related illnesses.

Today, this potent herb is used mostly for colds and flu, due to its ability to destroy the most dangerous forms of bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus, which causes deadly MRSA.

Manuka honey

Perhaps the most palatable antibiotic comes in the form of manuka honey. Applied topically it can kill a wide range of pathogens including MRSA and flesh eating bacteria. It was also found that the treated bacteria did not build up any resistance, which would eventually render manuka honey ineffective.

This is certainly not an exhaustive list of natural antibiotics, but a great start for an all natural pharmacy. Also consider reishi, pau d'arco, una de gato, olive leaf extract, cloves, turmeric, and even lemons to round out your antibiotic arsenal.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.naturalnews.com

http://www.naturalnews.com

http://www.naturalnews.com/035516_natural_antibiotics_superbugs.html

http://www.naturalnews.com/033475_oil_of_oregano_anti-viral.html

About the author:
Motivated by his own story of being sick and crippled at age 30 to healthy and pain free 5 years later, Derek is an expert in helping people get on track in a fraction of the time it took him on his own journey. Actively engaged in the research of natural healing for over 6 years, Derek has spent over 3000 hours studying and collaborating with top minds in nutrition and utilizes that extensive knowledge to deliver protocols that help people overcome their own health challenges. 

Derek is the owner and Master Health Coach at Healing the Body, and writer of over 200 natural health articles, many of which are featured at his Healing the Body Facebook Fan Page

Derek specializes in specific nutritional and wellness programs, from simple lifestyle transitions to complete healing protocols. Check out his popular free health consult.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/044931_natural_antibiotics_manuka_honey_anti-virals.html#ixzz31KYxGDSa

How ironic it would be for the most prized food of Western culture -- wheat -- to be at the root of the global epidemic of depression?

The powerful neurotoxic and psychoactive properties of wheat have only recently come to light. For many decades the near exclusive focus was on gluten's life-altering gastrointestinal adverse effects – once considered exceedingly rare and limited to those with celiac disease.  Only now are we beginning to realize that this "king of grains" is truly a debilitating force in the Western diet that we must go to great lengths to avoid.

Beyond the already 200+ adverse health effects identified in the biomedical literature on this globally popular food's inherent health damaging properties, a solid body of research also exists linking wheat to schizophreniaacute bouts of maniaautismcerebellar ataxiareduced blood flow to the brainautoimmune neurological issues, and many other neurotoxic reactions. For an exhaustive analysis of the neurotoxicity of wheat visit our Wheat Toxicity page which contains 24 biomedical citations on wheat's brain- and nerve-damaging properties.

Recently, the holistic psychiatrist Dr. Kelly Brogan, MD, reported on the relationship between gluten consumption and depression in non-celiac disease subjects on her cutting-edge website, commenting on a study published in the journal Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics titled, "Randomised clinical trial: gluten may cause depression in subjects with non-coeliac gluten sensitivity - an exploratory clinical study," wherein it was clearly revealed thatgluten consumption significantly increases the risk of depression.

The doubled-blind cross over study consisted of twenty-two subjects (24-62 years, five male) with irritable bowel syndrome who tested negative for celiac disease and whose condition was symptomatically controlled on a gluten free diet.

The participants randomly received one of three dietary challenges for 3 days, followed by a minimum 3-day washout before crossing over to the next diet. Their gluten free diet was challenged with either gluten (16 g/day), whey (16 g/day) or not supplemented at all (placebo).  The study end-points included mental state as assessed by the Spielberger State Trait Personality Inventory (STPI), cortisol secretion and gastrointestinal symptoms.

The results of the intervention were reported as follows:

"Gluten ingestion was associated with higher overall STPI state depression scores compared to placebo [M = 2.03, 95% CI (0.55-3.51), P = 0.010] but not whey [M = 1.48, 95% CI (-0.14 to 3.10), P = 0.07]. No differences were found for other STPI state indices or for any STPI trait measures. No difference in cortisol secretion was identified between challenges. Gastrointestinal symptoms were induced similarly across all dietary challenges."

The study concluded:

"Short-term exposure to gluten specifically induced current feelings of depression with no effect on other indices or on emotional disposition. Gluten-specific induction of gastrointestinal symptoms was not identified. Such findings might explain why patients with non-coeliac gluten sensitivity feel better on a gluten-free diet despite the continuation of gastrointestinal symptoms."

 

read more here: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/eating-wheat-root-your-depression?page=2

(NaturalNews) A study published April 29 in the journal Nature Communications has provided the first proof that a mother's diet can change the expression of genes in her unborn child. The study was conducted by researchers from the Medical Research Council (MRC) International Nutrition Group at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the MRC Unit in the Gambia.

"Our results represent the first demonstration in humans that a mother's nutritional well-being at the time of conception can change how her child's genes will be interpreted, with a life-long impact," senior author Branwen Hennig said.

The study was funded by the Wellcome Trust and the MRC.

Effects of poor diet... inherited?

In addition to inheriting our DNA (genetic code) from our parents, we can also inherit certain "instructions" that determine which genes are expressed or not expressed. The study of these inherited modifications of gene expression is known as epigenetics.

Many factors can produce epigenetic changes, and animals studies have suggested that maternal diet during pregnancy may be one of those factors. Many of these epigenetic changes take place by means of preventing the normal "tagging" of certain regions of the genome with chemicals in the family known as methyl groups. This process, known as methylation, is known to turn off the expression of certain genes that should not normally be active.

For example, a 2003 study found that changes in the diets of pregnant mice permanently modified the methylation of certain DNA regions, leading to changes in the coat colors of their offspring.

In order to test whether a similar effect could be seen in humans, researchers studied 167 pregnant woman living in a rural region of the Gambia whose diets were heavily dependent on seasonal climate changes. The researchers found that the 84 women who conceived during the rainy season had significantly higher levels of nutrients in their blood in early pregnancy than the 83 women who had conceived during the dry season. Using these blood samples, as well as year-round data collected from non-pregnant women, the researchers estimated the quality of the pregnant women's diets prior to conception.

The researchers then took blood and hair follicle samples from their children sometime between the ages of two and eight months. Using these samples, they tested six different genes in each child for the presence of methyl groups.

The researchers found that children conceived during the rainy season had significantly higher methylation rates than children conceived during the dry season. Higher methylation rates were also linked to higher concentrations of certain nutrients in the mother's blood, especially homocysteine and cysteine.

It came as no surprise that a poor diet led to lower methylation rates, as normal methylation requires nutrients such as choline, folate, methionine and vitamins B2, B6 and B12.

Lifelong effects

The study was not able to determine what lifelong effects might result in the children with lower methylation rates.

"Our on-going research is yielding strong indications that the methylation machinery can be disrupted by nutrient deficiencies and that this can lead to disease," researcher Andrew Prentice said. "Our ultimate goal is to define an optimal diet for mothers-to-be that would prevent defects in the methylation process. Pre-conceptional folic acid is already used to prevent defects in embryos. Now our research is pointing towards the need for a cocktail of nutrients."

In addition to diet, prior studies have shown that exposure to toxins may also produce epigenetic changes in the offspring of pregnant women.

"The susceptibility persists long after the exposure is gone, even decades later. Glands, organs, and systems can be permanently altered," according to Linda S. Birnbaum, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and of the National Toxicology Program.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.sciencedaily.com

http://www.naturalnews.com

http://www.lshtm.ac.uk

http://science.naturalnews.com

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/045040_epigenetics_maternal_diet_gene_expression.html#ixzz316iD4X4e

Over two fifths (45%) of 45-54 year olds are unhappy with their lives, according to a new health and wellbeing report from the insurer Aviva. Based on a survey of 2,000 UK adults, The Aviva Health Check UK Report also shows that the pressures on the generation who are increasingly caring for elderly parents as well as their children1, are causing the highest rates of stress and lowest rates of good health across all ages.

The findings add weight to calls for more carer-friendly policies to relieve pressure on the 'sandwich generation', whose health, mental wellbeing and finances are struggling under the strain of dual care responsibilities in the family.

As the population ages, with estimates that 23% of the population will be aged 65 or over by 20352, there is a well-placed focus on the health and happiness of Britain's pensioners. However, at the same time, the pressures on the generation below – the children of Britain's oldest citizens – are only likely to increase further.

Midlife unhappiness

As well as unhappiness peaking for those aged 45-54, those in the sandwich generation are also alarmingly less likely than any other generation to feel that their life is worthwhile. A third (33%) of this age group state that they do not feel their lives are worthwhile, compared to a UK average of 24%.

Similarly, they are less likely to feel positive about the future compared to all other age groups. Two fifths (40%) of 45-54 year olds say this, with 36% of 55-64 year olds feeling the same.

Levels of happiness start to rise again from the age of 55, with a lower 39% of 55-64 year olds saying they are unhappy with their life. Those aged 65+ are the happiest of all though, with just 27% saying they are unhappy – and 73% happy - with their lives.

Health within the sandwich generation

With work pressure and personal accountability for generational care at home, it is no surprise that health and mental wellbeing for many in this generation is poor, and is generally worse than for people aged 65 and over.

The lowest rates of good health in the UK are seen amongst 55-64 year olds with just one in four (41%) saying their health is good compared to a national average of 52%. Those slightly younger, aged 45-54, share the same rate of good health (45%) as those aged 65 and over, who traditionally are thought to be more susceptible to ill health than those in their middle years.

Stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia

More 45-54 year olds are experiencing stress than any other age group. Two fifths (41%) of people in these middle years have suffered stress in the last year, compared to a UK average of 34%.

Insomnia also affects over a quarter (27%) of 45-54 year olds, again the highest level across all age groups, with a UK average of 20% experiencing an inability to sleep.

While depression is more prevalent amongst those aged 35-44 (26%), rates are second highest for those aged 45-54, with just under a quarter (23%) of the population in this age group experiencing the condition in the last year. 

Similarly, anxiety affects 24% of those aged 45-54 and 21% of those aged 55-64, with the youngest generation aged 18-24 experiencing the highest rates at 27%.

Financial worries and work/family pressures impact mental wellbeing

The rising cost of living coupled with static wage growth has affected the nation as a whole. Yet for those who are trying to support not only themselves but their children and elderly parents, financial pressures are greater and are at the root of a number of mental health issues.

Money concerns are the leading cause of anxiety across all ages, but are especially so for those aged 45-54, with two fifths (41%) citing worries over their finances as the prime cause of their anxiety. Financial concerns are also specified as the principal reason for insomnia amongst those aged 45-54, with 28% saying money worries keep them awake.

Work pressures are the leading cause of stress amongst the sandwich generation, with nearly half (46%) of 45-54 year olds stating this as the cause of stress, followed by money worries at 23%.

For a significant number though, money worries are leading to deeper problems. Amongst 45-54 year olds with depression, concerns about finances play a greater role than problem relationships, ill health and family pressures, with four out of 10 (39%) saying that money worries are the main cause.  Relationship difficulties account for 30% of depression in this age group followed by family pressures at 23%.

While the sandwich generation is clearly suffering under the weight of money concerns, they are unlikely to tell anyone about it. Three quarters (75%) of 55-64 year olds say they keep their problems to themselves and 71% of 45-54 year olds say the same.

Dr Doug Wright, medical director at Aviva UK Health, says:

“In contrast to our natural belief that our health and wellbeing is worse the older we are our findings show that it actually dips much earlier than we think.   

“The health and happiness of those in the sandwich generation, especially those aged 45-54, is being hit notably by financial pressures and the strains of balancing work with family responsibilities, where dual care is becoming increasingly commonplace.

“Too many in this generation are suffering stress and other mental health conditions, but at the same time are keeping their problems to themselves. It's important they realise that seeking help and guidance for their problems can help prevent concerns spiralling out of control into ill health. There are a range of free confidential services available in the UK as well as GPs to discuss problems with, while a large number of employers also offer assistance programmes to help employees cope with problems in their lives.” 

  1. According to a YouGov poll in 2012 there are an estimated 2.4 million sandwich carers in the UK. Charity Carers UK estimate around a fifth of 45-60 year olds are actively caring for elderly parents whilst their own children are still at home.
  2.  Office of National Statisticshttp://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171776_258607.pd

The UK is struggling to make inroads into the obesity epidemic that is gripping the nation, with no progress on improving nutritional standards in schools, restricting junk food advertising or improving the built environment over the last year, according to leading healthcare professionals who publish the UK's Annual Weigh-In today.


The Weigh-In marks a year since the Academy of Medical Royal College (AoMRC) launched 'Measuring Up: the medical profession's prescription for the nation's obesity crisis', and rates progress on the 10 recommendations made in the report.


Latest figures show that almost a third of 10-11 year olds and over a fifth of 4-5 year olds were overweight or obese. In adults, 24% of men and 26% of women are classed as obese.


Five of the ten recommendations made in Measuring Up are given a red label a year on, indicating cause for concern:


• Weight management services: the report called for an investment of at least £100m in each of the next three financial years to extend and increase provision of weight management services across the country, to mirror the provision of smoking cessation services. Although there have been some small pilots developed for 3 monthly weigh-ins, the departments of health in the 4 nations have made little progress 

• Nutritional standards in schools: Free schools and academies are still exempt – and with more than 2 million children now being educated in free schools or academies it's imperative that these children aren't left behind 

• Junk food advertising: The report recommended a ban on advertising foods high in saturated fats, sugar and salt before 9pm and on 'on demand' services. No progress made despite further calls for this by Action on Junk Food Marketing. A cause for concern 

• Sugary drinks tax: The report recommended a one year pilot for a 20% sugary drinks tax. No progress, despite further evidence from a joint Oxford and Reading University study in October 2013 that such a measure would be beneficial and CMO Professor Dame Sally Davies adding her support for a potential tax. A coalition of medical experts have formed Action on Sugar to press the food industry and government on the harmful effects of sugar 

• The built environment: Public Health England has failed to issue guidance to Directors of Public Health on how to integrate public health considerations into local environments and developments 


Professor Terence Stephenson, Chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, said:


“It's disappointing that we haven't seen more progress over the last year – particularly on some of the areas such as nutritional standards in Academies and Free Schools and junk food advertising. These have the potential to have a real positive impact on childhood obesity at very little cost.


“When we launched these recommendations, we made it clear that the only way to tackle the obesity crisis was by governments, the healthcare professions, schools and individuals taking collective responsibility and working together to change the culture. Whilst we're seeing action in some areas, such as food labelling and training for healthcare professionals, the bold steps needed to have real impact are sadly still missing.”


Despite the overall lack of progress, three of the recommendations do get the 'green light', indicating significant process over the last year. These are:


• Food labelling: the recommendation of a unified system of traffic light food labelling for restaurants and fast food outlets came to fruition in June 2013 the Department of Health produced new guidance on nutrition labelling 

• Increasing support for new parents: there is progress on 'skilling up' the wider early years workforce to help parents make healthy choices for their children as Health Minister Dan Poulter MP introduced a Healthy Child Programme to sit alongside the NHS Information Guide for Parents and Start4Life schemes 

• Education and training programmes for healthcare professionals has been stepped up, including In October 2013 NICE guidelines on Managing overweight and obesity amongst children and young people. The Medical Royal Colleges have also introduced a range of courses on obesity management for child health professionals 

Professor Stephenson added: 

“As the General Election approaches, we want to see parties of all colours committing to tackle the obesity crisis head on. Without the political will, we risk the country's health budget continuing to be consumed by diseases resulting from an entirely avoidable condition.” 

The report will be downloadable on Monday 28th April at:http://www.aomrc.org.uk/publications/reports-a-guidance?view=docman

I was just reading a fascinating article about the Hadza tribes of Tanzania (Men's Fitness, April 2014, pg 96.) ... The Hadza are a people that still live an ancient hunter-gatherer lifestyle and diet, unaffected by today's modern industrial food supply loaded with chemical additives, pesticides, and unprecedented levels of starchy grains, refined vegetable oils, and sugars.

The Hadza still live off the land, hunting and gathering for their daily meals, and living in a community tribe structure with close bonds and a healthy lifestyle.

A couple really interesting things stood out in this article...

First, the journalist observed one of the Hadza's hunts... they successfully hunted an Impala (an African antelope) with a bow and arrow to feed the tribe.  Interestingly, once the Hadza tribesman started butchering the animal, they sliced open the guts and all of the other tribesmen gathered around to get a handful of the stomach contents and rub it all around their hands almost like "washing their hands" with gut juices.

While this Hadzan ritual may sound a bit weird to most of us (and some germophobes would even say "disgusting"), the Hadza people had somehow figured out over thousands of years that rubbing the gut juices from their kill all over their hands was actually a great thing for their health.  Not only did this populate their skin with billions of probiotic bacteria from the impala's belly, but now as they use their hands to eat any type of food, they are ingesting billions of probiotics (that are now residing on their hands) with each bite.

Not only that, but as part of this Hadzan ritual, the men then started cutting chunks of the impala's stomach into pieces and everyone takes a bite... this is yet another method of ingesting billions of probiotics from the impala's gut with each bite.  Meanwhile, most modern "civilized" humans are using antibacterial soap 10x a day (that is causing superbugs to form), eat a processed sterilized food supply teeming with chemicals, and take antibiotics based on their doctor's advice for every little sniffle (which destroys their probiotic gut bacteria), and we wonder why everybody is so sick all of the time...not just with colds and flu, but also diabetes, cancer, heart disease and more.

The Hadza, on the other hand, despite eating large quantities of meat (in a cyclical manner since they don't make a kill every day), are completely free of modern diseases like cancer and heart disease.  They are even known to eat as much as 15 lbs of meat per person in a single DAY during a feasting event after a kill is made, since they might not know when their next kill will occur (it could be weeks). 

And yes, they remain free of heart disease!  Tell that one the next time some clueless health "expert" (or preaching vegetarian) tells you that you shouldn't be eating meat because it's somehow "bad for you". 

Now granted, the Hadza are eating pristine game meat that lived a healthy life eating species-appropriate food (grass and other greens), which is a far cry from modern-day factory-farm confinement raised meat that fed on genetically modified corn and soy and were given antibiotics every day.  But we all certainly have grass-fed meats available (both online and in many stores now), which is fairly equivalent in nutrition quality to wild game as long as the meat was truly pasture-raised and grass-finished.

The remainder of the Hadza diet typically consists mostly of berries, tubers that they dig up, and honey... but this varies based on the season... more meat during the dry season, and more berries, tubers, and honey during the wet season.  This aspect of their diet naturally cycles their protein, fat, and carbohydrate intake to much different ratios during different times of year.

Again, let's be reminded that they are free of heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other "western" diseases.  They are also very lean despite eating up to 15 lbs of meat on "feasting days" when they successfully get a kill.  Their immune systems also fight off pathogens very easily due to their massive intake of probiotics and their corresponding gut health.

Let's get back to the topic of belly bugs...

We've already talked in previous newsletters how having gut dysbiosis (an imbalance of bad to good bacteria in your gut) has been linked in numerous studies to everything from obesity, brain conditions, skin conditions, digestive disorders, and even cancer.

Getting back to the Men's Fitness article (btw, I think MF is stepping up their game, as this was the best article I've seen them publish in a while; Good work MF!), the author shows some links between gut bugs and obesity, saying "obese people's GI tracts have a less diverse population of bacteria than those of lean people"

Bruce German, a PhD food chemist from the Foods for Health Institute at the Univ of California states in the article, "The inappropriate, indiscriminate use of antibiotics looks like it's been a real problem for our microbiota. We tended, for decades, to believe that there really was no risk associated with antibiotics, so it was widely prescribed for just about anything."

The article continues, "However, a recent study from the Stanford University School of Medicine showed that the first few days of antibiotic use will decimate the population of gut flora, which frees up the sugar and nutrients that harmful pathogens use to gain an upper hand.  If you're lucky, this sort of damage can take more than a month to repair, and some bacteria strains may experience a permanent loss."

As you can see, our belly bugs are one of THE most important aspects of our health and whether we get certain diseases or gain weight.  And your gut flora balance is completely controlled by how you live your life, what you eat, how much exercise you get and the type, stress levels, social bonds, your surrounding microbial environment, and more...

Take this Belly Bug Quiz to find out if YOUR gut bugs are destroying your health (weight gain, digestion problems, sickness, skin problems, and more)

To keeping your belly critters happy and healthy,

Mike Geary
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

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