Category Archives: Supplements

7 Ways Probiotics DETOXIFY Your Body

 

7 Ways Probiotics Help You To DETOXIFY Your Health

You’ve probably heard the buzz already about the many health benefits of probiotics, a word which literally translates to: pro- “for” + biotics “life” — FOR LIFE.  But did you know that these remarkable commensal microorganisms, which outnumber our bodily cells 10 to 1, and contribute over 95% of our body’s total genetic information, also break down highly toxic manmade chemicals which your body is either incapable, or only partially capable, of defending itself from?

Learn about some of the amazing ways in which ‘good bacteria’ help to detoxify chemicals within our body:

  • Bisphenol A: This ubiquitous toxicant — linked to over 40 diseases — found in anything from thermal printer receipts, paper money, canned food liners, dental composites, and of course plastics, is a powerful endocrine disrupter now found in everyone’s bodies. Remarkably, two common probiotic strains, Bifidobacterium breve and Lactobacillus casei, have been found in animal research to help the body detoxify it by reducing the intestinal absorption of bisphenol A through facilitating increased excretion. The animals receiving probiotic treatment were found to have 2.4 times higher excretion of Bisphenol A in their feces, suggesting probiotic supplementation could be of significant benefit to humans as well.
  • Pesticides: Probiotic strains from the traditional Korean fermented cabbage dish known as kimchi have been identified to degrade a variety of organophosphorous pesticides such as chlorpyrifos, coumaphos, diazinon, methylparathion, and parathion. These nifty organisms actually use these exceedingly hard to break down chemicals as sources of carbon and phosphorous – ‘food’! – and were found to break down the pesticide 83.3% after 3 days and degraded it completely by day 9.  While this test tube study likely does not reflect exactly what happens in our gut when we ingest both chlorpyrifos and Kimchi, it is provocative, and may indicate there is some protective effects in the gut.
  • Heavy Metals: Lactobacillus bacteria found in food have been looked at as a potential adjunct agent for reducing metal toxicity in humans.
  • Cancerous Food Preservatives: Another kimchi study found it contained a strain of bacteria capable of breaking down sodium nitrate, a naturally and artificially occurring chemical (used from anything to rocket fuel and gunpowder) linked to a variety of chronic degenerative diseases, including cancer.  A recent study found that four lactobacillus strains where capable of breaking this toxic byproduct down by up to 50%.
  • Perchlorateperchlorate is an ingredient in jet fuel and fireworks that widely contaminates the environment and our food. Sadly, even organic food has been found concentrate high levels of this toxicant, making it exceedingly difficult to avoid exposure. It is now found in disturbing concentrations in breast milk and urine, and is a well-known endocrine disrupter capable of blocking the iodine receptor in the thyroid, resulting in hypothyroidism and concomitant neurological dysfunction.  A recent study found that the beneficial bacterial strain known as Bifidobacterium Bifidum is capable of degrading perchlorate, and that breast fed infants appear to have lower levels than infant formula fed babies due to the breast milk bacteria’s ability to degrade perchlorate through the perchlorate reductase pathway.
  • Heterocylic Amines: Heterocyclic aromatic amines (HCA) are compounds formed when meat is cooked at high temperatures of 150-300 degrees C, and are extremely mutagenic (damage the DNA). Lactobacillus strains have been identified that significantly reduce the genotoxicity of theses compounds.
  • Toxic Foods: While not normally considered a ‘toxin,’ wheat contains a series of proteins that we do not have the genomic capability to produce enzymes to degrade. When these undigested proteins – and there are over 23,000 that have been identified in the wheat proteome – enter into the blood, they can wreak havoc on our health. Recent research has found that our body has dozens of strains of bacteria that are capable of breaking down glutinous proteins and therefore reduce its antigenicity and toxicity.

It is simple to Stay Healthy.

How The Gut Microbiome Influences Mental and Physical Health

Dr. Mercola
Your body houses some 100 trillion bacteria. In essence, we’re little more than walking microbe colonies.
These organisms perform a wide variety of functions, and we’ve now come to realize that they need to be properly balanced and nourished if we want to maintain good physical and mental health.
While the Human Genome Project (HGP) was expected to result in gene-based therapies to more or less rid us of disease, it actually revealed that your genetic makeup plays a much smaller role than anyone imagined. Your genes, as it turns out, are only responsible for about 10 percent of diseases.1
The remaining 90 percent are induced by environmental factors, and researchers are now realizing that your microbiome may be among the most important factors, as genes are turned on and off depending on which microbes are present!
Emerging science also shows that your microbiome can be rapidly altered, for better or worse, based on factors such as diet, lifestyle, and chemical exposures.
This is a double-edged sword, no doubt, considering how many of our modern conveniences (such as processed foods, antibiotics, and pesticides) turn out to be extremely detrimental to our gut flora.
On the other hand, your diet is one of the easiest, fastest, and most effective ways to improve and optimize your microbiome. So the good news is that you have a great degree of control over your health destiny.
How Gut Bacteria Influence Your Weight
The foods known to produce metabolic dysfunction and insulin resistance (such as processed foods, fructose/sugar, and artificial sweeteners) also decimate beneficial gut bacteria, and it may well be that this is a key mechanism by which these foods promote obesity.
Chemicals may also contribute to your weight problem by way of your gut microbiome.
A study found that one microbe called Akkermansia muciniphila helps ward off obesity, diabetes, and heart disease by lowering blood sugar, improving insulin resistance, and promoting a healthier distribution of body fat.
Fiber-Digesting Bacteria Also Influence Your Immune Function

Previous research has also shown that gut microbes specializing in fermenting soluble fiber play an important role in preventing inflammatory disorders, as they help calibrate your immune system. Specifically, the byproducts of this fermenting activity help nourish the cells lining your colon, thereby preventing leaky gut — a condition in which toxins are allowed to migrate from your gut into your blood stream.

The inflammatory response actually starts in your gut and then travels to your brain, which subsequently sends signals to the rest of your body in a complex feedback loop. So in order to address chronic inflammation and inflammatory diseases, it’s important to nourish your gut flora with the right foods. Examples include traditionally fermented foods and raw foods, and especially those high in fiber.
Sugar, on the other hand, feeds fungi that produce yeast infections and sinusitis. Researchers have also linked high-sugar diets to memory – and learning impairments, courtesy of altered gut bacteria. According to lead author Dr. Kathy Magnusson:
“We’ve known for a while that too much fat and sugar are not good for you. This work suggests that fat and sugar are altering your healthy bacterial systems, and that’s one of the reasons those foods aren’t good for you. It’s not just the food that could be influencing your brain, but an interaction between the food and microbial changes.”

Fiber and Fermented Foods Are Key Components of a Healthy Diet

While it’s virtually impossible to determine the composition of an ideal microbiome, seeing how our gut flora is as individual as our finger print, what we do know is that a healthy diet is key for optimizing your individual microbiome. We’ve also come to realize that fermented foods and foods high in fiber are very important components of a healthy diet, as these foods help nourish a wide variety of beneficial bacteria.
Such foods have been part of the human diet since ancient times, and replacing them with chemically altered and “sterilized” processed foods has led to many of our current health problems. Traditional sauerkraut, for example, has been identified as a heart-healthy superfood.

It helps in the following ways:
• Reduced cholesterol levels
• Reduced triglyceride levels
• Significantly increased levels of two powerful antioxidants known as superoxide disumutase (SOD) and glutathione
• Decreased the degradation of fats in the body (a process known as lipid peroxidation)”

Are You Getting Enough Fiber and Fermented Foods in Your Diet?

Ideally, include a variety of fermented foods and beverages in your diet, because each food will inoculate your gut with a mix of different microorganisms. There are many fermented foods you can easily make at home, including:
• Fermented vegetables
• Chutneys
• Condiments, such as salsa and mayonnaise
• Cultured dairy, such as yogurt, kefir, and sour cream
• Fish, such as mackerel and Swedish gravlax
As for fiber, dietary guidelines call for 20 to 30 grams of fiber per day. I believe an ideal amount for most adults is likely much higher, perhaps twice as much. Many whole foods, especially fruits and vegetables, naturally contain both soluble and insoluble fiber.
This is ideal, as both help feed the microorganisms living in your gut. So to maximize your health benefits, focus on eating more vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

I am a major fan of fiber especially soluble fibers like psyllium as they not only serve as a prebiotic for your microbiome but are also metabolized to short chain fatty acids like butyrate, propionic and acetate that nourish your colonic cells. They are also converted to ketones that nourish your tissues.
I personally consume nearly 100 grams of fiber a day and about 2 tablespoons of organic psyllium three times a day that provides about 25 grams of soluble fiber. The other 75 percent of my fiber comes primarily from vegetables and seeds.

Swapping Gut Bacteria May Help Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is another common health problem that can be traced back to impaired gut flora. Studies have found that the microbial composition in diabetics differ from non-diabetics. In particular, diabetics tend to have fewer Firmicutes and more plentiful amounts of Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria, compared to non-diabetics. A positive correlation for the ratios of Bacteroidetes to Firmicutes and reduced glucose tolerance has also been found.
A researcher in Amsterdam, Dr. Max Nieuwdorp, has published a number of studies looking at changes in the microbiome that are characteristic of type 2 diabetes. In one trial, he was able to reverse type 2 diabetes in all of the 250 study participants by doing fecal transplantations on them. Remarkable as it may sound, by changing the makeup of the gut bacteria, the diabetes was resolved.
Even more interesting, type 1 diabetes (insulin dependent) in young children also tends to be preceded by a change in gut bacteria. This makes sense as your gut flora control about 80 percent of your immune response and type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. The good news is that researchers have found that certain microbes can actually help prevent type 1 diabetes, suggesting your gut flora may indeed be an epigenetic factor that plays a significant role in this condition.

Your Gut Is Your Second Brain

The quality, quantity, and composition of the bacteria in your gut have enormous influence on your brain. For example, studies have found that autistic children have distinctly different microbiome compared to healthy children. Notably, they tend to have fewer beneficial bacteria such as Bifidobacterium.
This again goes back to the fact that gut microbes help maintain the integrity of your gut lining. As explained by Dr. Perlmutter, many of the factors that affect permeability of the blood-brain barrier are similar to those that affect the gut, which is why leaky gut can lead to neurological diseases as easily as it can manifest as some other form of autoimmune disorder.

Mood Disorders May Be Rooted in Impaired Microbiome Too

Depression is increasingly starting to be viewed as a symptom of poor gut health, and therein may lie the real cure as well … For example, in one recent study researchers found that fermented foods and drinks helped curb social anxiety disorder in young adults.
Previous trials have also demonstrated that probiotics can help ease both anxiety and depression. In another study, people who took a multi-strain probiotic for at least four weeks reported a lessening of rumination — recurring, persistent thoughts about something distressing that has or may happen, which tends to create anxiety. Another recent study found that high-glycemic foods (including those high in refined grains and added sugar) were associated with higher odds of depression.

Optimizing Your Microbiome Is a Potent Disease Prevention Strategy

I believe optimizing your gut flora may be one of the most important things you can do for your health, and here you can wield your personal power to the fullest by making healthy food and medical choices. Not only can optimizing your gut health help normalize your weight and ward off diabetes, it’s also a critical component for a well-functioning immune system, which is your primary defense against virtually all disease.
You will be pleased to know that supporting your microbiome isn’t very complicated. However, you do need to take proactive steps to implement certain key strategies while actively avoiding other factors. To optimize your microbiome both inside and out, consider the following recommendations:

Do:

Eat plenty of fermented foods. Healthy choices include lassi, fermented grass-fed organic milk such as kefir, natto (fermented soy), and fermented vegetables.

Take a probiotic supplement.
Boost your soluble and insoluble fiber intake, focusing on vegetables, nuts, and seeds, including sprouted seeds. Chlorinated and/or fluoridated water. Especially in your bathing such as showers, which are worse than drinking it.
Get your hands dirty in the garden. Germ-free living may not be in your best interest, as the loss of healthy bacteria can have wide-ranging influence on your mental, emotional, and physical health. Exposure to bacteria and viruses can serve as “natural vaccines” that strengthen your immune system and provide long-lasting immunity against disease.

Getting your hands dirty in the garden can help reacquaint your immune system with beneficial microorganisms on the plants and in the soil. According to a recent report, lack of exposure to the outdoors can in and of itself cause your microbiome to become “deficient.”

Open your windows. For the vast majority of human history the outside was always part of the inside, and at no moment during our day were we ever really separated from nature. Today, we spend 90 percent of our lives indoors. And, although keeping the outside out does have its advantages it has also changed the microbiome of your home. Research shows that opening a window and increasing natural airflow can improve the diversity and health of the microbes in your home, which in turn benefit you.

Agricultural chemicals, glyphosate (Roundup) in particular is a known antibiotic and will actively kill many of your beneficial gut microbes if you eat and foods contaminated with Roundup.
Wash your dishes by hand instead of in the dishwasher. Recent research has shown that washing your dishes by hand leaves more bacteria on the dishes than dishwashers do, and that eating off these less-than-sterile dishes may actually decrease your risk of allergies by stimulating your immune system.

Avoid:

Antibacterial soap, as they kill off both good and bad bacteria, and contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistance.

Conventionally-raised meats and other animal products, as CAFO animals are routinely fed low-dose antibiotics, plus genetically engineered grains loaded with glyphosate, which is widely known to kill many bacteria.

Packaged foods, as they can contain emulsifiers such as polysorbate 80, lecithin, carrageenan, polyglycerols, and xanthan gum which appear to have an adverse effect on your gut flora. Unless 100% organic, they may also contain GMO’s that tend to be heavily contaminated with pesticides such as glyphosate.

Processed foods. Excessive sugars, along with otherwise “dead” nutrients, feed pathogenic bacteria.

Artificial sweeteners have also been found to alter gut bacteria in adverse ways.

Be Healthy always.

 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids – The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide

 

 

Young Woman With Fish Oil and Glass of WaterOmega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that you must get from the diet. These incredibly healthy fats have important benefits for your body and brain. However, most people who eat a standard Western diet are not eating enough omega-3 fats. Not even close. This is the ultimate beginner’s guide to omega-3 fatty acids.

 

 Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats that your body needs, but can not produce on its own. For this reason, they are classified as essential fatty acids.

The 3 Main Types of Omega-3 Fats

Fish

1. EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid)

EPA  is primarily found in fatty fish, seafood and fish oil. The main function of EPA is reduced inflammation . It has been found to be particularly effective against certain mental conditions, especially depression.

2. DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid)

DHA is primarily found in fatty fish, seafood, fish oils and algae. The main function of DHA is being a structural component in cell membranes, particularly in nerve cells in the brain and eyes. It constitutes about 40% of polyunsaturated fats in the brain. DHA is very important during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It is absolutely crucial for the nervous system during development, and breast milk contains significant amounts of DHA .

3. ALA (Alpha-Linolenic Acid)

ALA is found in high-fat plant foods, especially flax seeds, chia seeds and walnuts. Despite being the most common omega-3 fat in the diet, ALA is not very active in the body. It needs to be converted into EPA and DHA in order to become active. Unfortunately, this process is highly inefficient in humans. Only about 5% gets converted into EPA, and as little as 0.5% get converted into DHA.

For this reason, ALA should never be relied on as the sole omega-3 source. Most of the ALA you eat will simply be used for energy.

Health Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Woman Holding Bottle of Oil-Filled Capsules

Omega-3 fatty acids are among the most comprehensively studied nutrients on earth.

They have been shown to have powerful health benefits for various body systems.

  • Blood triglycerides: Omega-3 supplements can lower blood triglycerides significantly.
  • Cancer: Consuming foods high in omega-3 has been linked to reduced risk of colon, prostate and breast cancer.
  • Fatty Liver: Taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements can help get rid of excess fat from the liver.
  • Depression and Anxiety: Taking omega-3 supplements, such as fish oil, can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  • Inflammation and Pain: Omega-3s can reduce inflammation and symptoms of various autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. They are also very effective at reducing menstrual pain.
  • ADHD: In children with ADHD, omega-3 supplements can significantly improve various symptoms.
  • Asthma: Omega-3s may help prevent asthma in children and young adults.
  • Baby Development: DHA taken during pregnancy and breastfeeding can improve the baby’s intelligence and eye health.
  • Dementia: Some studies link a higher omega-3 intake to reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
How Much Omega-3 to Take For Optimal Health

Cod Fish

There is no specific recommended daily intake for omega-3 fatty acids.

Mainstream health organizations like the World Health Organizations and European Food Safety Authority recommend a minimum of 250-500 mg combined EPA and DHA each day for healthy adults.

For pregnant and breastfeeding women, it is recommended to add an additional 200 mg of DHA on top of the recommended intake.

Should You Take an Omega-3 Supplement?

Omega-3 Capsules Close Up

The best way to ensure optimal omega-3 intake is to eat fatty fish at least twice a week. However, if you don’t eat a lot of fatty fish or seafood, then it is probably a good idea to take a supplement. In fact, most of the studies on the benefits of omega-3 used supplements, so they can definitely be beneficial.

Good supplements with EPA and DHA include fish oil and krill oil. For vegetarians and vegans, taking a DHA supplement made from algae is recommended.

When it comes to omega-3 supplements, there are many choices and not all of them are good. Some supplements may even contain harmful compounds because of pollution in the sea.

Safety and Side Effects

Oil Capsules

When it comes to nutrition, more is not always better. Same as with many other nutrients, there is an upper limit to how much you should take. According to the FDA, taking up to 2000 mg of combined EPA and DHA per day from supplements is safe.

In high doses, omega-3s can cause blood thinning and excessive bleeding. Speak to your doctor if you have a bleeding disorder or are taking blood thinning medications.

Some omega-3 supplements, especially fish oil, can also cause digestive problems and unpleasant fish oil burps.

Foods High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Little Boy Holding FishHere are a few foods that are very high in omega-3:

  1. Salmon: 4023 mg per serving (EPA and DHA).
  2. Cod Liver Oil: 2664 mg per serving (EPA and DHA).
  3. Sardines: 2205 mg per serving (EPA and DHA).
  4. Anchovies: 951 mg per serving (EPA and DHA).
  5. Flax Seeds: 2338 mg per serving (ALA).
  6. Chia Seeds: 4915 mg per serving (ALA).
  7. Walnuts: 2542 mg per serving (ALA).

Other foods that are high in EPA and DHA include most types of fatty fish. Meat, eggs and dairy products from grass-fed or pasture-raised animals also contain decent amounts.

Several other common plant foods are also high in the omega-3 fatty acid ALA. This includes soybeans, hemp seeds and walnuts. Some vegetables also contain small amounts, including spinach and Brussel’s sprouts.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Are Incredibly Important

There is a lot of controversy in nutrition, and it often seems like people can’t agree on anything. However, there is almost universal agreement about the importance of omega-3 fatty acids. They are among the most studied nutrients on the planet, and few things are as well supported by studies as their immense health benefits.

If you don’t eat fatty fish or seafood often, then you should seriously consider taking an omega-3 supplement. It is an incredibly simple but highly effective way to improve both physical and mental health, and may reduce your risk of disease down the line.

Be Healthy.

CoQ10 Facts Your Doctor Should Be Telling Patients

Dr Stephen Sinatra

 

CoQ10 levels decrease with age.

index

  1. Many cases of heart failure are actually a lack of CoQ10. It sparks energy in every cell of your body, including your heart which is your body’s largest energy user. Without enough CoQ10, your heart can’t pump blood as efficiently as it should.
     
  2. The lack of energy we call “aging” is often just a CoQ10 deficit. Your body naturally produces it throughout your life, but production drops off as you get older. When I put people on CoQ10, they often feel 10 years younger!
     
  3. CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant. It cleans up the destructive free radicals that are by-products of the energy production process.
     
  4. If you’re on a statin medication, you MUST take CoQ10. Not only do statins stop cholesterol production, they also hinder your body’s production of CoQ10. That’s why many people end up with muscle aches and weakness while taking statins. Statins can also cause memory loss and a host of other problems. If you’re on a statin, you need to take at least 200 mg of a highly-absorbable CoQ10.
     
  5. Not every CoQ10 supplement works. The form of CoQ10 you take affects how well it’s absorbed. Select one which is more bioavailable, enabling the nutrient to reach much higher levels in the blood.

How much CoQ10 do you need? Take at least 100 mg of a highly-absorbable form daily, and at least 200 mg if you have any form of heart disease or are taking statin medications. For best results, take it in divided doses with your meals. It’s more readily absorbed with food (especially some fat).

 

Images Courtesy Google.

How To Talk To Your Doctor About Your Nutrition Program

Dietitian Cassie

How to Talk to Your Doctor

So you’ve ditched the restrictive low-fat, low-calorie diets, embraced healthy fats like butter and coconut oil, and adapted a fresh, real food approach to fueling your body. As a result you’ve shed pounds without feeling deprived, your energy levels have soared, and your cravings have been suppressed. But… you still feel slightly uncomfortable about telling your doctor the good news.  Discussing your nutrition program with your doctor can be, but isn’t typically an easy task. As you’re thinking about having this conversation with your doctor, I would encourage you to take the following tips into consideration and step into your next appointment confidently and at ease, excited to share the healthy changes you’ve made with your doctor.

My Top 10 Tips for Talking to Your Doctor About Your Nutrition Program:

Have realistic expectations. Change rarely happens in a day.  Chances are you won’t change your physician’s opinion in one or two appointments, so keep your expectations realistic. Acknowledge they may be skeptical and probably won’t jump onboard right away, and that’s okay.  All you can ask for is their support as you run your own race.

Set the stage for a friendly chat. From the very moment you walk into the office, be intentional about keeping a smile on your face and a light heart. If you’re already in defense mode when you step foot in the door, then you’ve already put a negative stamp on the potential conversation. But, if you’re in the right mindset and have the right attitude, then go for it! Be excited about starting a respectful conversation with your doctor about the new nutritional approach you are taking and the positive changes you’ve already seen. It’s a good idea not to assume from the get-go that they are completely stuck in the mainstream way of thinking. You may even be pleasantly surprised to hear they are familiar with the positive benefits of eating more fat and less carbs or that they may have had other patients follow a similar PFC approach. Try not to accuse them of not being onboard or get defensive if you don’t need to. Even mainstream medical doctors may be more open-minded than you think.

Invite your doctor to the party. By inviting your doctor to the party you are allowing him or her to celebrate your health victories WITH you. Remember that you both have the same goal: improving your health. If you feel resentful or frustrated that they didn’t give you a more natural approach in the first place or maybe because they’re skeptical about the way you are eating, that’s okay. Acknowledge your feelings but don’t let them get in the way of the excitement you feel for reaching your health goals.

Be your own proof. You matter! When your acne clears up, your weight goes down and your blood sugars stabilize —that speaks wonders. There is nothing more powerful than a testimony. Show your doctor proof and explain your experiences and the positive results you’ve seen in your life. If your doctor gets defensive, back off a little. Being genuine and transparent will go a long way in making this a good experience for you both.

Come prepared.  If they don’t believe you, then refer them to someone they might believe! Some doctors may not be interested in seeing the research, but some might. If you’ve come across studies or have books that reference studies that can support your approach to nutrition, bring them with!

Keep in mind that your doctor is likely not a nutrition expert. Out of the long, many hours of medical school, a very small amount of these are spent on nutrition education, if any. In fact, NO nutrition classes are required to get a Harvard Medical degree and not many other programs do. Many doctors will admit they have a nutrition certification from a weekend seminar at most. Chances are high they didn’t become nutrition experts in the course of a weekend and you can bet the information they obtained at said seminar drilled the low-fat, lean meat, whole grain message. Because of the lack of nutrition knowledge required to be a doctor, you can’t expect them to be a nutrition expert. This isn’t the case for all doctors; some might have a passion for nutrition and its effect in their own lives, and there is an emerging community of holistic, primal-minded docs that are fantastic, but if yours does not fall into this category, don’t hold it against them. Give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they have your best interest at heart. Your doctor is likely doing the best job he or she can with the limited knowledge of nutrition they have.

Focus on the positive. Instead of listing the foods you no longer eat, emphasize the foods you DO eat that make you feel great. Maybe healthy fat has significantly improved your mental clarity and taken away your cravings. Maybe eating protein more frequently gives you more energy. Perhaps avoiding artificial sweeteners improves your digestive function. Perhaps eliminating grains clears up your sinuses.

Don’t ask for permission. Your health is in YOUR hands and only YOU have the power and authority to choose what you eat. Regardless of what your doctor says or believes, ultimately you are the one responsible for making your own choices. Be confident in your beliefs and stand by them.

Don’t challenge their authority.  Ask for their help if you can. Ask what it will take for you to come off a certain medication or if they’ve seen the research supporting health benefits of saturated fat. But flaunting what you “know” in most cases causes more harm than good.

You get to choose your physician. If you get to the point where you are overwhelmed with frustration, remember you can always find a different doctor. Just like you are in charge of what goes into your body, you also have the choice of which doctor gets to see you.

Be Healthy!

Dirt Poor: Have Fruits and Vegetables Become Less Nutritious?

EarthTalk

Because of soil depletion, crops grown decades ago were much richer in vitamins and minerals than the varieties most of us get today.


Dear EarthTalk: What’s the nutritional difference between the carrot I ate in 1970 and one I eat today? I’ve heard that that there’s very little nutrition left. Is that true?—Esther G., Newark, N.J.

It would be overkill to say that the carrot you eat today has very little nutrition in it—especially compared to some of the other less healthy foods you likely also eat—but it is true that fruits and vegetables grown decades ago were much richer in vitamins and minerals than the varieties most of us get today. The main culprit in this disturbing nutritional trend is soil depletion: Modern intensive agricultural methods have stripped increasing amounts of nutrients from the soil in which the food we eat grows. Sadly, each successive generation of fast-growing, pest-resistant carrot is truly less good for you than the one before.

A landmark study on the topic was published in December 2004 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition for 43 different vegetables and fruits, found “reliable declines” in the amount of protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and vitamin C over the past half century. The authors chalk up this declining nutritional content to the agricultural practices designed to improve traits (size, growth rate, pest resistance) other than nutrition.

“Efforts to breed new varieties of crops that provide greater yield, pest resistance and climate adaptability have allowed crops to grow bigger and more rapidly,” reported Davis, “but their ability to manufacture or uptake nutrients has not kept pace with their rapid growth.” There have likely been declines in other nutrients, too, he said, such as magnesium, zinc and vitamins B-6 and E.

The Organic Consumers Association cites several other studies with similar findings: A Kushi Institute analysis of nutrient data from 1975 to 1997 found that average calcium levels in 12 fresh vegetables dropped 27 percent; iron levels 37 percent; vitamin A levels 21 percent, and vitamin C levels 30 percent. A similar study of British nutrient data from 1930 to 1980, published in the British Food Journal,found that in 20 vegetables the average calcium content had declined 19 percent; iron 22 percent; and potassium 14 percent. Yet another study concluded that one would have to eat eight oranges today to derive the same amount of Vitamin A as our grandparents would have gotten from one.

Supplement wisely. And Stay Healthy.

Turmeric Extract May Prevent, Even Reverse Diabetes – both Type 1 and 2

Turmeric Extract May Prevent, Even Reverse Diabetes (Type 1 and 2)

What if the long sought after “cure” for diabetes was as safe, affordable, and accessible as a spice sitting in your kitchen cupboard?

Leave your drugs in the chemist’s pot if you can cure the patient with food.”

-Hippocrates, 420 BC

Slowly but surely the world is waking up to the reality that diabetes is not only a preventable but  reversible, and that the drug-based model of symptom suppression and disease management has fatal flaws. For instance, some of the drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes actually increase the risk of death, with a recent study showing GMO insulin given to type 2 diabetics may lead to the development of so-called “double diabetes“: type 2 and type 1 diabetes, together. Clearly, if medicine can’t at least abide by its founding principle to “do no harm,” it must seek the answer somewhere other than from the “chemist’s pot.”

There are now thousands of studies on hundreds of natural substances and therapeutic activities that may treat blood sugar disorders and their complications.

While plants like cinnamon and gymnema sylvestre have received plenty of attention for diabetes over the years, one special plant extract that is beginning to stand out from the crowd as being exceptionally valuable as an anti-diabetic agent is turmeric.

Turmeric’s primary polyphenol curcumin is the main compound in the plant that has been researched for it’s blood sugar regulating properties. One particularly striking study, published in the American Diabetic Association’s own journal, Diabetes Care, found turmeric extract to be 100% effective in preventing pre-diabetics from developing type 2 diabetesa feat of prevention that no FDA approved drug for type 2 diabetes has yet come even close to accomplishing.

Turmeric Extract May Reverse Pancreatic Damage In Type 1 Diabetes

 Pre-clinical research now reveals it may have a role in reversing pancreatic damage in insulin-dependent, type 1 diabetics, who are routinely told that their condition can not be cured. 

Back in 2013, an exciting study published in the journal Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome titled, “The effect of a novel curcumin derivative on pancreatic islet regeneration in experimental type-1 diabetes in rats (long term study),” found that diabetic rats who received a  curcumin derivative orally for 40 days showed an improvement of their plasma glucose, insulin and C-peptide (a marker for the health and insulin producing capability of the beta cells) levels, that began after about 4 months, and continued to improve until the 10 month mark, when their values were almost completely normalized and evidence of significant pancreatic regeneration could be observed. The researchers concluded the novel curcumin derivative (NCD): “…possesses antidiabetic actions and enhanced pancreatic islets regeneration.”

figure 2Plasma C peptide

The daily dose used in this rodent study (80 mg/kg) was the body weight equivalent of 6,400 mg or 6.4 grams of curcumin for an average North American male adult (80 kilograms). Rodent and human physiology is, of course, radically different, but significant crossovers nonetheless do exist. In another article, titled “Why Turmeric May Be the Diseased Liver’s Best Friend,” we reviewed research indicating that turmeric may help to reverse damage in and even regenerate the diabetic liver, as well as safety literature on what is a safe human dose: 

A 2001 study in cancer patients reported that quantities of curcumin up to 8 g, administered per day for three months, were not toxic and resulted in significant anti-cancer properties in a number of those treated. Turmeric is only 3-4% curcumin by weight.

Given that organ transplantation (pancreatic islet transplants) is exceedingly expensive and prohibitive due to a lack of donor material and the potential for rejection by the host, the notion that a safe, affordable, and non-prescription spice extract like curcumin may have significant therapeutic value and may even regenerate damaged pancreatic tissue, is truly exciting. That said, it should be noted that since curcumin is not patentable, it is unlikely the 800 million dollars or more needed to fund the requisite clinical trials needed to obtain FDA drug approval will materialize. Because the so-called “evidence” needed to justify the use of a new treatment is locked behind an insurmountably high paywall, don’t count on randomized, controlled, trials being performed on this “natural cure” in the near or distant future.

Curcumin’s  benefit in type 1 diabetes, also known as autoimmune diabetes, appears to be based on it reducing the activity of the host immune system in attacking self.

As the research continues to accumulate on the value of natural substances for disease prevention and treatment, it is clear the future of medicine will rely on returning to the wisdom of the ancients, where Hippocrates’ fundamental principle that one can “cure the patient with food” is once again passionately embraced.

It is indeed simple to Stay Healthy!

 

Take Fish Oil to lose weight

 
Fish Oil

 

Fish oil has been shown to benefit the human body, from improved cognitive abilities to the heart’s pumping efficiency — but it may be it’s ability to alter an individual’s gut bacteria that makes it an ideal weight loss treatment.

 Researchers at Harvard Medical School found that fish oil supplements are an easy way to protect the heart, ease inflammation, and even improve mental health and lengthen a person’s lifespan. Omega-3 fatty acid deficiencies, fish oil’s main ingredient, have been linked to heart disease, certain cancers, mental health disorders, and arthritis. Despite all of fish oil’s benefits, researchers still didn’t expect it to change the gut microbiome community into a powerful weight loss and anti-inflammatory treatment.

Omega-3 fatty acid is truly ‘laakh dukhon ki ek dawa’!

Why getting Your Nutrition Only from Food is A Bad Idea

Dave Asprey

The idea that you can get all your nutrients from food is fine in theory, but virtually impossible in practice.  Soil and water depletion, food and environmental toxins, poor absorption, pesticides, exercise, and lack of calories can all cause nutrient deficiencies.  There is evidence that consuming nutrients from food is more beneficial than supplements, which is why you should focus on a nutrient rich diet first.  However, it’s rarely enough.

supplementsAll your life you’ve eaten a “healthy” diet.  You’ve followed the USDA Food Pyramid from the beginning, and were always told supplements were unnecessary as long as you ate a balanced diet (whatever that means).

Maybe you’re wiser now, and are following a higher nutrient diet.  Either way, one of the most repeated beliefs among health conscious people is that you can – and should – get all of your nutrients from food.  Taking multivitamins often make people think they can eat even worse, which isn’t exactly productive.

In any case, you’re not dead yet, so you must be getting the right nutrients.  Supplements are unnecessary… right?

 11 Reasons You Should Take Supplements
1. You Eat Crap a Standard Diet

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Grains, legumes, and most forms of modern dairy are not food.  The purpose of consuming food is to nourish the body and mind.  These foods do the opposite.

First of all, grains, legumes, and conventional dairy are nutrient deficient (or void).  They contain extremely small amounts of nutrients, most of which are malabsorbed.  Grains and legumes deplete nutrient stores and interfere with nutrient absorption.  They are toxins in themselves, which increases your nutrient needs.  Grains and legumes both cause intestinal damage which further decreases your ability to absorb nutrients.  Even if you’ve stopped eating these foods, you may be in nutrient debt or have lingering intestinal damage which is interfering with nutrient absorption.

Conventional dairy also contains mycotoxins which are extremely damaging.

2. Soil Depletion

Improper farming practices deplete the soil of nutrients.  When plants are repeatedly grown on the same land, the soil loses nutrients faster than they can be replaced.  Over time, the plants have fewer nutrients to grow.  Fertilizer contains just enough nutrition for the plant to survive until harvesting, but not enough to support human health.  This results in plants that have 75% fewer micronutrients. In addition, most plants are not harvested fresh.  They sit on trucks, shelves, and counters for weeks before being eaten.  Over time, the nutrient content of these plants decreases.

Most modern fruits and vegetables are grown to increase their sugar content, not their nutrient value.  As a result, most of the common fruits and vegetables are artificially high in fructose and sugar and lower in key nutrients.

When plants contain fewer nutrients, the animals that eat these plants are also malnourished.  A study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Health found copper levels in the UK have dropped by 90% in dairy, 55% in meat, and 76% in vegetables.

3. Water is Depleted of Minerals

Water is also depleted of minerals due to modern production methods.  There is a huge variation in the mineral content of bottled and tap water, with tap water generally having more.  Water filters remove important minerals such as magnesium, which was a main source of magnesium for early humans.  If you don’t use a filter and you don’t have a well, it’s likely you’re consuming dangerous amounts of fluoride and/or are deficient in magnesium.  This could explain why people who drink water higher in calcium than magnesium develop more myocardial infarcts and ischemic heart disease.

4. Low Calorie Diets Are Low Nutrient Diets

Starving yourself is bad.  Consuming a low calorie diet means you’re consuming fewer total micronutrients.  Humans are designed to consume a large amount of calories, and it doesn’t make you fat.  When you eat less (as everyone says you should), it’s easy to become malnourished.  When you’re consuming low quality foods, you have to eat even more to obtain the right amounts of nutrition.  This is one more example of why food quality matters.

 According to this study most diets require 27,575 calories to supply all the essential micronutrients.  If you’re eating less than that, you’re deficient in nutrients.

Pesticide-treated vegetables are lower in phenolics than organic ones.  This is because polyphenols are produced as a defense against bugs and pathogens.  When there is no reason to defend themselves, the plant stops producing polyphenols.

There is also evidence that glyphosate – RoundUp herbicide – chelates minerals in crops on which it is sprayed. It’s safe to avoid GMO foods for a variety of other reasons.

6. Grain-fed Meat & Conventional Dairy

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Compared to grass-fed meat, grain-fed meat is abysmally low in antioxidants, micronutrients, fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins.

Raw, unpasteurized, unprocessed, full-fat dairy can be good for you, but the kind most people buy at the grocery store is not healthy.  The majority of nutrients in milk are found in the fat (cream).  When you remove or reduce the fat, you are removing and reducing the nutrient content.  Pasteurization destroys some of the nutrients in both skim and full fat milk.  Conventional dairy is also high in aflatoxin and other mycotoxins that were in the cattle’s feed.

If you eat grain-fed meat or conventional dairy – supplementation is a good idea.

7. Toxin Exposure

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Your body needs nutrients to deal with toxins.  When more toxins are present, you need more nutrients.  If you’re living in a cave or the garden of Eden, this will be less of a concern.  If you’re like the rest of us mortals – you’re exposed to a litany of toxins on a daily basis.

Here are just some of the things your body has to contend with:

    1. Xenoestrogens (plastics, BPA, some molds, petroleum products).
    2. Industrial solvents and cleaners.
    3. Unnatural lighting
    4. Food toxins.
    5. Stress and lack of sleep.

There are hundreds of other sources of unnatural stress that increase the body’s need for proper nutrition.  Even if you’re doing everything right in terms of diet – it’s almost impossible to get all of your nutrients from food.

8. Nutrient Absorption Declines With Age

Several studies have shown kids need more nutrients to support growth, and older people need more nutrients due to malabsorption.  As people age, they often begin taking medications which can interfere with nutrient absorption.  This means you need to take more nutrients in the most absorbable form possible.

9. Exercise Increases Nutrient Needs

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Athletes often think tons of exercise is the key to a long and healthy life (it’s not). I don’t advocate high amounts of exercise, but this is an important point.  If you’re doing enough exercise to substantially deplete energy reserves, you’re also using more nutrients for energy production and recovery.  As a result, athletes are at an even higher risk of nutrient deficiencies.

10. Supplementation May Help You Live Longer

Aging is a natural process, but being ancient may not be fun.  If there are supplements than can delay this process, why not take them? There is good reason to believe a higher intake of nutrients may prolong life.  If supplements can buy you a few more years of quality life, why not take them?

11. Expense & Health

Taking care of our health is the best health insurance there is. Staying healthy and productive, free of health worries, is any day cheaper than expensive treatments for avoidable diseases.

We live in a stressful, toxic world, and it’s a normal, healthy, optimized human behavior to understand the toxins and counteract them whenever possible. Hiding your head in sand won’t make the effects of these toxins go away. Neither will eating some vegetables.

How chronic inflammation causes chronic disease

Victor Marchione, M.D.

Inflammation is the body’s way of protecting itself from harm, but it typically gets a bad reputation. Although inflammation can be a shield, it can harm our health as well. When it lasts for months or even years, it becomes chronic and that is the type you want to avoid.

Inflammation is often seen as a symptom in many illnesses including arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and many coronary conditions like heart disease. Chronic inflammation results when the body is unable to remove whatever is threatening it. Inflammation can also be a sign of an autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis, where the body wrongfully attacks itself causing inflammation as a means to protect it. Lastly, chronic inflammation can result from a persistent irritant of low intensity.

There are four signs to pay attention to when it comes to deciding if you have chronic inflammation or not.

4 signs which reveal chronic inflammation

Joint pain
Rheumatoid arthritis is a form of inflammation which targets the joints. It is a type of autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack itself in error, resulting in inflammation. This inflammation can result in pain, stiffness and swelling.

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Depression
Research has shown that although not always a cause, inflammation can play a role in the onset of depression. In studies which observed heart patients with depression, markers of inflammation were higher compared to heart patients without depression.

Earlier this year another study came to light revealing clinical depression in association with a 30 percent increase of inflammation in the brain. The study was published in JAMA Psychiatry and it involved researchers examining brain scans of 20 depressed patients and 20 control patients. The brain scans revealed higher amounts of inflammation in those who were depressed.

If you suffer from depression, odds are you have higher levels of inflammation as well.

Stomach pain
There are endless causes for stomach pain. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has inflammation right in its name because it is a sure-fire sign of a problem in the digestive tract.

Symptoms of IBD include constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain and a somewhat constant stomachache. Irritable bowel syndrome and celiac disease are also considered to be caused by inflammation.

If you have been experiencing an upset stomach for quite some time, you may want to take a closer look to uncover if inflammation is the root cause.

Chronic fatigue
We all feel tired, but usually after a restful night’s sleep or some relaxation, we can have that get-up-and-go feeling once again. If you have chronic inflammation you may feel more tired than energized – no matter how much sleep you get.

Inflammation can affect the nervous system, resulting in fatigue. The Arthritis Foundation suggests that fatigue is a symptom associated with arthritis, revealing that where there is inflammation, energy can become zapped.

If eight, 10 or even 12 hours of sleep doesn’t seem like enough, you may have inflammation to blame.

Foods to combat inflammation
Inflammation can impede your health, so in order to reduce it try enjoying foods which work to minimize it. Here are some of the most helpful foods you should enjoy to reduce inflammation and stay healthy.

  • Fatty fish
  • Whole grains
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Nuts
  • Soy (speak with your doctor before you begin consuming more soy)
  • Low-fat dairy
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Beets
  • Ginger and turmeric
  • Garlic and onions
  • Olive oil
  • Berries
  • Tart cherries

These are just some of the foods you can start enjoying today in order to combat your inflammation and start feeling better.

Traditional treatment  using anti-inflammatory medication cannot address the situation because

  1. The medications have serious side effects and cannot be used long-term.
  2. They do not go to the root cause of treating the cause of the inflammation.

This is where Integrative Medicine comes in. By identifying and treating the root cause, all through natural means, the underlying condition is addressed and there is long-term relief.

Stay Healthy!

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