27 healing Secrets your doctor doesn't know: you'll love the side effect of this radical weight loss solution.
This surgery not only results in weight loss, it actually causes diabetes to disappear! If you or anyone you know has type-2 diabetes, is moderately-to-morbidly obese, and hasn't been able to lose weight or get their blood sugar under control, this information could be life changing.
The surgery I'm talking about is a form of bypass surgery. But it's not the usual gastric banding surgery you've heard about that allows you to eat only a few spoonfuls of food. Instead of reducing the size of your stomach, it re-routes food so that it bypasses the duodenum. Now, in case you've forgotten, or didn't know, the duodenum is the upper part of your small intestine that connects the rest of your small intestine to your stomach.
Not many people are aware of what the duodenum does. It breaks down the fats and sugars in your food so their nutrients--and calories--can then be absorbed. Instead of having your food travel along the entire length of the small intestines, this surgery reduces the amount of calories your body can utilize. In other words, some of the calories in your foods "don't count" because they're not absorbed.
But Dr. Francesco Rubino, the surgeon who led a recent study on this duodenal exclusion surgery, believes that the duodenum does much more. He thinks it releases signals that lead to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance means that your body produces insulin, but your cells don't respond to it. The result is high blood sugar, otherwise known as diabetes.
It looks like this signal is overly sensitive in some people. This includes diabetics. When your duodenum inappropriately triggers this signal, it plays havoc with blood sugar and insulin levels.
In the past, we all thought that the pancreas played the major role in blood sugar regulation. Now it looks like the duodenum plays a primary role. If Dr. Rubino's theory is right, and both animal and human studies indicate he is, bypassing the duodenum could stop this overly sensitive insulin resistance signal.
Duodenal exclusion surgery is very new. But researchers have already published favorable animal and human studies in esteemed medical journals. The results of these studies are so impressive that many countries around the world are now conducting clinical trials. I don't know of any studies underway in this country, however. But it's something we need to look out for. Here's what we know so far:
Surgeons who performed this surgery on obese diabetics noticed that 98% of them not only lost weight, they had no diabetes a few weeks after their operations.
Two of the patients in Dr. Rubino's original study were able to stop their diabetes medications completely.
The diabetes disappeared too quickly to be caused by weight loss alone.
Weight loss and glucose control had nothing to do with dietary restriction. These results were independent of the amount of food the participants ate.
Duodenal bypass surgery worked better than dietary restrictions to control diabetes.
Doctors have performed duodenal exclusion surgeries on diabetics in Mexico, Peru, Dominican Republic, and India. All of them have seen similar results. They haven't published the studies yet, but I expect they will shortly.
This surgery has significant implications, since the current treatments available for obesity rarely result in getting diabetes in remission. Dr. Rubino is working diligently to make this surgery more available. He has asked the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) to recommend duodenal exclusion surgery for the treatment of type-2 diabetes. They haven't made a decision yet. Instead, this eminent group of doctors advocates a healthy diet along with exercise for weight and blood sugar control. We know this often isn't enough. Especially if diabetes is triggered by a sensitive signal in the duodenum. Unfortunately, it's an all-too-common response from the powers-that-be in conventional medicine.
I realize that the AACE is being cautious. After all, only a handful of people have tried the surgery. But the results were so amazing, along with a remarkable lack of side effects, that researchers have already begun human clinical trials using this technique in other countries. There seems to be no downside in making this procedure available.
In four or five years, we may see this surgery in the mainstream. Meanwhile, if you're interested in more information on duodenal exclusion, speak with your doctor or a bariatric surgeon and show them this article. They can contact Dr. Rubino, the pioneer for this procedure, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please don't contact Dr. Rubino yourself. He's a busy doctor who needs to use his time making this surgery available to you.
How to Prevent Hearing Loss
I recently found an amazing way to prevent hearing loss and possibly even improve your hearing! A new study links hearing loss to low levels of two nutrients.
In the first study associating hearing loss with vitamin status, researchers at the University of Georgia found that women with lower levels of vitamin B12 and folic acid had more hearing loss than women with normal levels of these nutrients.
The reason could simply be a lack of sufficient green, leafy vegetables in their diets. As we get older, we tend to have more problems with our digestion. I've noticed a large number of older women who no longer eat raw foods, such as salads. And it takes a lot of effort to eat cooked greens every day. Yet, that's our best source for folic acid.
Vitamin B12, found most abundantly in animal protein, is absorbed in the large intestines. If your digestion isn't good, you may be eating enough foods high in B12 and still be deficient.
A simple blood test can measure folate (folic acid) and vitamin B12. If either are low, I suggest you increase greens and protein, take enzymes with your meals, and be sure to include a good, well-absorbed multivitamin to your diet.
Johnson, Mary Ann, PhD. University of Georgia (706-542-2292). Press release, March I, 1999.
You May Be Taking This Supplement, But Your Brain Needs Much More Than It's Getting
There's a nutrient your body desperately needs to prevent heart attacks and preserve brain function.
Let me explain. The older you get, the more you need this nutrient and the less of it you have. One reason is that your body produces less with age. It's a vicious cycle. Your liver needs it to neutralize and remove toxins, and you need it to protect yourself from free radical damage. But many toxic substances can't be completely avoided, and they deplete your body's stores.
The lower your levels fall, the more likely you are to have heart disease, memory problems, or a compromised immune system. If you're physically past your prime, getting more of this antioxidant can help you light the damage to your cells that contribute to disease and aging.
The substance I'm talking about is glutathione (GSH), a naturally occurring protein that's been called the body's master antioxidant.
Why Do You Need More?
I've talked about glutathione's ability to support your immune system in my newsletter in the past. It also neutralizes free radicals that can lead to degenerative diseases of all kinds from cancer to heart, vision, and memory problems. And it helps recycle vitamins A, C, and E to keep them active.
I've also told you about glutathione's ability to help your liver detoxify carcinogenic chemicals, as well as heavy metals and prescription drug residues. And I've explained how it can boost your memory. You can find these articles on my website at www.womenshealthletter.com at no cost.
It's hard to find good quality glutathione that's easily absorbed. But I've found one that really works. It's a form of glutathione you can take that's absorbed right into your cells. You may find that a well-absorbed glutathione is the missing link to solving some of your difficult health problems. If you're healthy, like me, it can help you stay healthy longer. I'll tell you more about it in a moment.
What Causes a Deficiency
There are several factors we can't escape that contribute to our declining levels of glutathione: aging, ultraviolet and other radiation, and environmental toxins. That's not all. Glutathione is also depleted by many household cleaning products, cigarette smoke, automobile exhaust, heavy metals, viruses, inflammation, and surgery. So, first reduce your exposure to as many of these contaminants as you can.
Acetaminophen, a popular "non-aspirin" pain reliever (like Tylenol) is found in more than 100 over-the-counter products. It greatly reduces glutathione and can cause liver toxicity. Find other pain medications. Acetaminophen is downright dangerous!
Even when we're careful and minimize our exposure to toxins, we're still going to have less glutathione than we need to get and stay healthy. And to retain our memory.
Boost Your Levels
There are just two forms of this antioxidant that your cells absorb especially well into your cells: intravenous (IV) or oral liposomal glutathione. Intravenous glutathione is strongest, but it's both expensive and is only available through a few doctors who know how to use it. The liposomal form is less expensive and most available. And it can be bought without a prescription.
Liposomes are tiny liquid bubbles made from purified water, glycerin, and soy lecithin. The outer part of the bubble is fat soluble, while the inner part is water-soluble. Liposomes containing glutathione fuse with cells, delivering the glutathione where it's most needed. To make liposomal glutathione, the liposome wraps around glutathione so it can get into the cells and not be destroyed in the digestive tract. Human studies show that your body absorbs more than 90% of oral liposomal glutathione.
I spoke with Dr. Graeme Shaw, a medical doctor who uses liposomal glutathione both alone and with intravenous (IV) glutathione. He's found the liquid works almost as well as the IVs and the liposomal glutathione gets where it's needed right away.
You know that I don't write about anything that can't be backed by science. Well, until recently there haven't been any studies on liposomal glutathione. Now, the prestigious journal, Atherosclerosis is publishing the first study. Researchers found that oral liposomal glutathione significantly reduced cholesterol and atherosclerotic plaque in mice. It also inhibited LDL oxidation. This means that it kept the bad cholesterol from going rancid and becoming dangerous.
By the way, the researchers gave these mice liposomal glutathione for just two months.
IV and liposomal glutathione are effective against age-related memory loss, Parkinson's, autism, Lyme disease, atherosclerosis, COPD, heavy metal toxicity, and chronic fatigue. Dr. Shaw uses it successfully for any infections, and to eliminate any detox reaction.
Finding and Taking Liposomal Glutathione
You can get this product, under the label of Lipoceutical Glutathione from Advanced Bionutritionals (800-791-3395). This is the same product as ReadiSorb, sold only to health practitioners. It's not cheap. A three-week supply costs $60. But if you need glutathione, and many of us do, you should feel its benefits with the first bottle.
How much glutathione do you need? Some say one teaspoon a day, which comes to 420 mg (taken in the morning on an empty stomach). Others have experienced results with just one-quarter teaspoon a day. Start with the lower amount, then increase your amount to one-half teaspoon twice a day on an empty stomach. You can mix the liquid in a little juice or take it straight. Don't be surprised if it has a sulfur smell. It's not bad; this odor comes from one of the amino acids it contains.
Glutathione may be the most important antioxidant you can take to slow down the aging process of your brain and nervous system. If taking it is not an option for you, increase the foods that help increase glutathione levels. Asparagus is at the top of the list, followed by cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, and Brussels sprouts). Avocados and spinach also boost glutathione levels a bit.
How much liposomal glutathione can you take safely? Quite a bit. I've been taking more than five times the suggested daily amount intravenously for nearly two years. My "senior moments" have almost completely disappeared, and I have more sustained energy. Even small amounts can make a difference in your life--if it's the liposomal kind.
To find a doctor who uses IV glutathione therapy, contact ACAM (the American College for the Advancement in Medicine) at www.acamnet.org, or call them at 800-532-3688.
This Amazing Healer Lowers Inflammation, Reduces Dental Plaque, and Kills Bacteria (Even Staph)--So Why Do Doctors Ignore It?
Doctors at Columbia University Medical Center recently met to discuss a national standard of care for repairing and healing chronic wounds. They discussed many different treatments.
But they missed one very important treatment. This ancient remedy has sound scientific studies behind it. These studies prove it effectively kills stubborn strains of bacteria found in infected wounds.
Its broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity kills many strains of Staphylococcus aureus, the most common cause of staph infections.
It reduces the bacteria in dental plaque and bleeding gums, and while you might think it contributes to dental cavities, it doesn't. This "drug" is honey.
There have been a number of randomized controlled studies over the past 40 years using honey as a wound dressing. They found, repeatedly, that honey stopped bacterial growth and reduced inflammation. In fact, Dr. F.R. Khan, lead author of a review published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice said: "The research suggests that honey seems to be especially indicated when wounds become infected or fail to close or heal." He added that surgeons should seriously consider using honey postoperatively to prevent infection in wounds. The doctors at the Columbia symposium apparently didn't hear him.
But as good as honey is, this one's the best.
As amazing as honey is, you shouldn't use just any honey to fight bacteria. That's because not all honey is alike in its bacterial activity. While all varieties kill some bacteria, one of them has extra strong activity. Its strength comes from the amount of particular plant chemicals found in its nectar.
This honey is called Manuka. Manuka's unique phytochemicals make it a superior product for wound care. And these phytochemicals come from just one species of plants: Leptospermum, a wild shrub that grows in New Zealand.
When compared with other varieties of honey in scientific studies, Manuka honey has the highest and broadest antibacterial activity. As far back as 1992, it completely inhibited the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, a bacterium that can cause a wide range of problems from a minor skin irritation to a life-threatening disease. Staph. aureus is more likely to cause serious health problems, such as abscesses and septicemia, in older, immune-compromised patients.
In one study, an immune-suppressed patient had a leg ulcer containing the deadly antibiotic-resistant MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staph. aureus) bacteria. Topical and systemic antibiotics were not enough to get the infection under control. The ulcer was simply not healing. As soon as it was treated with a topical dressing of Manuka honey, the ulcer healed.
In another study, doctors used Manuka honey to dress leg ulcers once a week for four weeks in eight patients. There was a 50% improvement in the ulcers. It also eliminated all odors (a sign of bacterial overgrowth). And it reduced pain in all the participants.
Free radicals contribute to inflammation, and Manuka was the only honey that completely quenched free radicals within minutes. This explains why Manuka honey is so effective in reducing inflammation associated with wounds.
Gingivitis and Bleeding Gums
Most sugars cause dental cavities because they feed bad bacteria. But not Manuka honey. It has antibacterial properties. In one study, 30 people chewed or sucked on a "honey leather" (a flat candy made from dried honey) for 10 minutes, three times a day after meals for three weeks.
To the researchers' surprise, these people had less plaque and fewer bleeding sites at the end of the study than when they began. So if a candy sweetened only with Manuka honey comes on the market, it's safe for your gums and won't contribute to caries.
Use the Appropriate Strength of Manuka
You can use any Manuka product, but one with the correct UMF factor is best. What is the UMF factor? It stands for Unique Manuka Factor. This is a way to rate the antibacterial potency it contains. Manuka honey with UMF ratings is standardized. All batches will have the same potency.
Don't be fooled into thinking that the higher the UMF the better. This is one case where more can actually be harmful. Manuka with a UMF rating that's too high (19 or over) can cause burning or stinging. The most therapeutic range appears to be between 16-18. You can use this UMF amount safely both internally and externally.
Bandages containing Manuka are currently available on the Internet, but they're terribly expensive--up to $5 each. Instead, you may want to get a jar of Manuka honey and apply it to bandages yourself. Another advantage of buying this honey by the jar is that you can use it in many other applications. For instance, you can mix it in a little hot water and drink it at the first sign of a cold or sinus attack.
If you can't find Manuka honey with the right UMF rating, contact the folks at www.manuka-honeyusa.com. Or call them in Florida at 800-395-2196. They'll tell you about their many products made with Manuka with the right UMF rating. These include cough syrup and lozenges. All of their products contain safe amounts of UMF. And they assure me that their prices are the lowest around for pure, standardized Manuka products.
For more information on scientific studies using honey, pick up the little book Honey: The Gourmet Medicine by Joe Traynor (800-247-6553).
Vitamin D Deficiency Now Linked to More Serious Diseases
I've talked before about the importance of getting enough vitamin D to prevent osteoporosis, colds, and the flu. But this hormone we call the "sunshine vitamin" does much more. Recent studies indicate that vitamin D is protective against sunburn and neurological conditions, such as Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis. It can also prevent memory losses as we age. Let's look at some of the latest research on this important vitamin/hormone. They may give you a few more reasons to increase your vitamin D, either through exposure to the sun, in supplements, or both.
Sunburn: When summer comes, you hear the yearly mantra "don't forget your sunscreen," warning for you to use it whenever you go outdoors, or risk sunburn and skin cancer. But wearing sunscreen may not be as smart as you once thought. It can result in a vitamin D deficiency, especially in people who don't go outdoors every day or who wear a lot of clothing.
Worried about getting skin cancer? Don't be. Skin cancers occur when we get sunburned, not because we go out in the sun. Unless you're exposed to bright sunlight on a hot summer's day for hours at a time--enough to bum--you may not need sunscreen at all. I use it when I'm kayaking or out in the garden for hours on end. But not when I'm weeding or harvesting vegetables for an hour or two. That's when my body is converting sunlight to much-needed vitamin D.
Getting sufficient vitamin D actually protects your skin from sun damage. Researchers have found that people who take 5,000 IU of vitamin D a day are not likely to bum. In fact, a new study published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (January 2007) supports this theory that vitamin D3 actually protects against sunburn and skin cancers. So get out in the sun. It can protect you from sun damage, as long as you don't burn.
Parkinson's disease is on the rise. Experts expect the number of people with it to double by the year 2030. They blame this rise on aging populations. But Parkinson's may be another disease linked to a vitamin D deficiency. That's what some researchers think.
Drs. Harold and Jonathan Newmark, a father and son team, believe that a vitamin D deficiency could be the major cause of Parkinson's disease. The reason this disease affects so many older people could simply be that they stay indoors too much and don't get enough sun.
This makes sense. We know from previous studies that vitamin D helps normalize brain function. Its protective effects on nerve growth factors in the brain make it an ideal nutrient to use for either the prevention or treatment of Parkinson's. The Newmarks tested this theory on one of their Parkinson's patients who took 4,000 IU of vitamin D a day. His Parkinson's improved.
This treatment on a single Parkinson's patient is just the first tiny step forward in the exploration of an effective treatment. But since low amounts of vitamin D appear to be present in neurological diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and loss of memory, it's a safe theory for us to test.
Multiple sclerosis: The association between vitamin D and multiple sclerosis is compelling. There are more people with MS who live in the low altitudes of Switzerland than in the high altitudes where the UV rays are stronger. Almost no cases of MS can be found at the equator, but the further away you go, the more MS you find.
People with MS often have enough vitamin D to keep their bones healthy, but not enough to prevent the disease or reduce its symptoms. One large study found that when researchers gave people vitamin D supplements, they had a 40% lower risk of developing MS. It's also possible that getting enough vitamin D could prevent someone with a genetic predisposition to MS from getting it.
But what about people who already have MS? Four smaller studies concluded that vitamin D lessens its symptoms.
Memory: What does vitamin D have to do with your memory? Possibly, a lot. A group of seniors had their memory evaluated at the University of Wisconsin using a mini-mental state examination (MMSE). Then the researchers measured their levels of vitamin D. There was a significant correlation between having enough vitamin D and getting a good score on the MMSE. The more vitamin D, the better their memory.
Other studies support these findings. One found that nearly 60% of participants had abnormally low levels of vitamin D. These low levels correlated with depression or bipolar disorder, and impaired memory. A vitamin D deficiency may cause more than memory problems; it can lead to mood swings and depression, as well.
What's Enough Vitamin D?
Dr. John Cannell, whose work and passion revolves around vitamin D, suggests getting a blood test to check your levels. He keeps his 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels between 50-70 ng/ml, year-round. This means taking 2,000 IU in the summer (none if you go out every day for a few hours), and 5,000 IU in the fall and winter months. Someone with a disease that could be due in part to low levels of vitamin D might want to take much more. But only do so under a doctor's direction.
Vitamin D3 is the natural form of this nutrient, and is better absorbed than the synthetic version. It's available in most natural food stores. Or you can order 5,000 IU from Advanced Bionutritionals (800-791-3395).
Don't expect to get enough vitamin D from your diet if you're already deficient. It's hard to get that much from foods. And some of the amounts stated on food labels may not be accurate. Although milk is fortified with vitamin D, it often contains only 20% of the amount listed on the label.
Fish is not necessarily any better. A study to evaluate the amount of vitamin D in different species of fish found that farmed salmon had about one-forth as much vitamin D as wild salmon. In addition, no one knows how baking, frying, or broiling fish affects its levels of vitamin D. If you know you need more, supplements are the quickest solution.
A Reasonable Approach to Your Health Problems
Several years ago, I was talking to a doctor of integrative medicine who was extolling the benefits of a particular Chinese herbal formula. I knew that some Chinese herbs were tainted. In fact, some formulas contain prescription drugs illegally. And most are not listed on their labels.
So I asked this doctor, "How do you know it's safe?" His answer shocked me: "Because their sales representative said it was."
This wasn't a reasonable answer. "Because every batch is tested by a top laboratory to ensure its purity" is the kind of answer I was looking for.
When it comes to your health, it's important to have reasonable expectations and answers. It's reasonable to ask for an analysis of a product conducted by an independent laboratory to ensure its safety. It's not reasonable to trust your health to someone with a vested interest in selling you a product. And it's definitely not reasonable to believe anyone whose claims are not backed by science.
It's not reasonable for you to spend your time and money on hype or half-truths. Or on recommendations for products based solely on anecdotes from companies that sell them. You deserve the best, most reasonable information currently available. Good, sound, scientific studies, preferably conducted on humans (and preferably on women). That's what you'll find in all of my newsletters and books. If the information is not based on good science, you won't find it here.
Take a reasonable approach in all aspects of your health. For instance:
It's reasonable for you to ask your health team to give you copies of studies to back up their treatment recommendations. And to explain them to you if necessary. You should feel comfortable taking the medications and supplements they suggest, not just take something because the doctor says to. After all, the doctor might be listening to a drug-company rep for his information.
It's reasonable to ask your doctor to give you enough time to answer your questions without feeling rushed. You need to understand and agree with your treatment plan. When you make your next appointment, explain that you have questions. Write them down. Keep your questions simple and to the point, and don't leave until you feel comfortable with the answers.
It's reasonable to ask for a yearly review of all of your drugs and supplements to make sure there are no negative interactions. There may be more recent information on their safety, your health may have changed, and you may need fewer, or different, drugs and vitamins. If your doctor doesn't help you, ask your pharmacist.
It's reasonable for you to participate fully in your health program. You can't expect a positive outcome if you don't eat foods that support your health and get regular exercise. The proper exercise for your condition, done four or five times a week, will result in better heart and lung function, better balance, and strong enough arms and legs for you to remain mobile at any age. Insufficient exercise, like strolling through the mall once a week, won't do much at all. Don't fool yourself.
Bottom line: Both conventional and integrative medicine have become more and more complex. And doctors have less time than ever to spend with us. To get the best results from your doctor and your treatment, you need to be pro-active ... and reasonable.
Is Your Chia Pet the Source of This New Super-Food?
There's a new grain on the market that many sellers are touting as the latest super-food. If you haven't heard about it already, you will soon. It's actually the seed of a mint plant. And it's been an important source of nutrients since before Columbus discovered America (it's not that new after all). But is it a super-food? Let's take a hard look before you rush out to buy some.
The marketing behind this product encourages you to add two tablespoons into various recipes to boost their nutritional content, not eat it by the bowlful. This grain is not really a food. Like flaxseed, it's more of a supplement or a functional food ingredient you can add to your recipes. But I don't know anyone who's cooking it up as a grain. That's because it's too expensive.
Just what am I talking about? A particular patent-pending variety of a grain you may have played around with in the past. Literally. For the last couple of decades, people were growing its seeds into sprouts on little clay animals. That's right. This new "super-food" is nothing more than chia seeds (Salvia hispanica L).
However, the product you'll see marketed heavily is not just any chia seed. Rather, you'll see two particular varieties of white chia re-named Salba. Marketers claim it's superior to other varieties. But just how good is chia? And is Salba all that different?
An Ancient Grain From Mexico and Latin America
The Aztecs, Mayans, and other 'Native Americans were among some of the earliest people to discover chia. They ate its seeds and added its ground flour to their foods. They didn't know at the time that it was packed with nutrients. They just knew it grew in the sandy desert where they lived and it was edible.
Over time, they discovered some of its healthful properties. For instance, chia forms a gelatinous mass when you soak the seeds in water. This led to its use as medicine for colds, sore throats, and poultices for wound healing. This gelatinous quality, and its high-fiber content, helped regulate blood sugar and energy, as well.
Chia seeds are high in protein, fiber, calcium, magnesium, and omega-3 fats. In fact, there's no plant that contains more omega-3s than chia. Not even flaxseed. You know by now many of the benefits from omega-3 fats: better brain function, a healthy heart, weight loss ... the list goes on. You can read more about them on my website if you like.
Exactly What Is Salba?
Buy a pound of chia seeds and you'll see thousands of tiny black seeds and a few white ones. If you sow the white seeds, you get a plant with white flowers and white seeds. If you sow the black ones you get plants with purple flowers and black seeds.
Manufacturers have registered two varieties of chia seed as Salba and have patents pending. Do these two varieties make Salba a superior product?
Well, it depends on whom you ask. The folks at Salba claim their seeds are nutritionally superior to common black chia. But an analysis of the two conducted at an independent laboratory at the request of one of the foremost researchers on chia found them to be almost identical.
The only significant difference between white and black chia seed appears to be their color. So how can the manufacturers make such a claim? They are looking at one scientific study.
Show Me the Studies
You know I like to back up claims with science, so I was interested in looking at any human studies to support the many advertising claims about Salba. I found one three-month trial just published in November 2007. The researchers in this study gave Salba to a handful of people with well-controlled type-2 diabetes. Only nine of them were women.
In this study, around 35 grams of Salba a day lowered systolic blood pressure and inflammation (C-reactive protein). It also helped normalize blood sugar and reduced fibrinogen--a substance that can thicken blood and cause it to clot. So we know what affect Salba had on only nine women with type-2 diabetes that's already under control. The rest is speculation.
And there's not much evidence for black chia, either. There are several studies on the use of chia seeds on improving chicken-egg production. They indicate that chia seeds are high in healthy fats, protein, and fiber. They do not suggest how much chia is recommended for any health condition in humans.
Bottom line: Chia is a healthy supplement and functional food ingredient that's high in omega-3 fats and other important nutrients. But there's not enough evidence to suggest that Salba is superior to ordinary black chia seeds, nor worth paying four times the price of ordinary chia. In fact, Mother Nature might argue against Salba's superiority. After all, the darker the color of fruits, vegetables, and grains, the more nutritious they are. It stands to reason that black seeds would be even more nutritious than white seeds.
If you like the way chia tastes, and enjoy foods fortified with Salba, add them to your diet. Just don't believe all the hype based on so little science.
They are a great way to get more omega-3 fats in your diet. But instead of buying the patent-pending Salba, I suggest you buy chia seeds from your health food store. If you can't find them, visit www.chia-farms.com. It may not be Salba, but I doubt you'll be able to tell the difference. However, your pocket-book will.
A one-pound jar of Salba costs around S25-S30. The label suggests you take 12-60 grams per day (2-8 tablespoons). If you take two tablespoons, one jar will last a little more than a month. The higher amount will last one week. If you take the 35 grams like the nine women in the single study, one jar of Salba will last you two weeks. That's $50-$60 a month.
Pretzels, crackers, and com chips made with Salba or other varieties of chia are likely to have higher amounts of omega-3s than foods made without them. If you like the taste and they're not too expensive, buy them instead of the regular snacks.
For more information on chia, along with a lot of recipes, pick up a copy of James F. Scheer's excellent book, The Magic of Chia (Frog, Ltd, 2001).
Warning: Sensitivity to sesame seeds is rare. But if you can't eat products with sesame (tahini), avoid all forms of chia seeds. You'll be sensitive to them, as well.
Peruvian Herbal Extract Reverses Disease and Aging
No matter how healthy their diets and lifestyles, some people still get sick. You've heard and seen it for yourself. A world-class athlete gets prostate cancer. A devotee of natural foods and yoga gets breast cancer.
People who shouldn't get sick get sick all the time. And as we get older all of us become more prone to illnesses. Why is this?
Blame some of it on your parents, because your health is determined in part by genetics. It's also affected by a lack of nutrients needed to repair cells, as damaged cells lead to aging and illness. Disease and aging begin with your DNA.
While 99.9% of the DNA in your body is identical to the DNA in every other person's body, it's the 0.1% percent that separates you from everyone else and determines your health. Over one million genetic variations lie within this tiny fraction of a percent.
Cells reproduce themselves constantly. Over time, this duplication process becomes impaired. For example, if some of your cells are lacking folic acid, the new ones will be folic acid-deficient as well.
When your DNA becomes damaged, it affects aging and your health, if only these damaged cells could be repaired, we'd stay healthier and look younger. Fortunately, there's a way to repair DNA and turn back the aging and disease clocks.
I've found a nutrient that actually repairs damaged DNA. You know how much I value sound scientific research. Well, there are good studies to back up this nutrient. What's more, I've personally seen it work miracles on some very sick people. And I've spoken with health care professionals who have seen similar results. If it can repair their DNA, it can repair the DNA in those of us who are not sick.
Peruvian Herbal Extract Repairs DNA
The nutritional ingredient I found is the standardized extract of a Peruvian herb. But it's not just any extract. This one not only protects DNA, it's the only form of the herb that has ever been shown to actually repair DNA! The herb originates from a vine called Cat's Claw, or Una del Gato, (Uncaria tomentosa). The patented extract that works wonders beyond anything that Cat's Claw itself can do is called AC-11.
Peruvian natives have used a tea made from Cat's Claw for hundreds of years. They drink the tea for inflammation, cancer, and infections because it's anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and protects ceils from damage. But AC-11 does much more because of how it's extracted.
This extraction method separates AC-11 from all other Cat's Claw products. Cat's Claw contains tannins and water-insoluble alkaloids. The tannins irritate the kidneys. In some people they cause cramping and diarrhea, limiting how much Cat's Claw they can take and absorb. AC-11 is low in tannins.
Ron Pero, PhD, an expert researcher in DNA, duplicated the extraction method used by Peruvian shamans and ended up with a product that's just the right molecular size and weight to get into your cells. Not only is it 100% bioavailable, it outperforms other types of Cat's Claw because it's both water-soluble and oil-soluble. The fat-soluble properties allow it to get through your intestines and into your cells.
In developing this new extraction process, Dr. Pero manipulated the herb so that the extract would contain more of the beneficial alkaloids and less of the irritating ones. In fact, he found a new class of active ingredients, carboxy alkyl esters (CAEs), which actually stimulate DNA repair enzymes.
When I first heard about AC-11, I was a little skeptical. I trust the person who first told me about AC-11, but I wanted to see for myself how well it worked. In three months, it reduced pain in one patient with a 30-year history of Lyme disease. She also had fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and asthma. Her pain, usually an 8-9 out of 10 (most severe) was reduced to occasional twinges.
Another patient with fibromyalgia, severe arthritis in her knees, and pain from a back injury, noticed a significant reduction in inflammation and an overall lessening in pain.
I was amazed! But it didn't surprise Dr. Tim Hall, a medical doctor in Colorado Springs, Colorado, who uses traditional medications in his chronic pain practice. He has been using AC-11 for years and finds it not only reduces pain, it increases energy and stamina. His patients with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and depression love it.
But don't just take our word for it. Scientific studies show that AC-11 repairs DNA damage from radiation in laboratory animals. It significantly reduces signs of DNA damage in patients who use it for just four to six weeks, compared to controls.
Where to Find AC-11
Healthy DNA is a blueprint for a healthy life. Repairing damaged DNA helps you keep or regain your health. AC-11 increases immunity, reduces inflammation, improves collagen in the skin, and helps you sleep. You can get 30 capsules of pure AC-11 from Optigenex for $29.95 by calling 866-678-4469. A bottle of 60 capsules is available from ProThera (888-488-2488) for $44. The ProThera product is called Protectagen.
Soy + Bacteria = A Super-Food That Protects Your Heart and Brain
Blood clots can be deadly. They can block blood flow to muscle tissues, causing them to die. They can trigger a heart attack or chest pain. They can get in your brain and cause a stroke or senility.
Some people take natural blood thinners like ginkgo biloba and vitamin E to prevent blood clots, but there's more you can do, especially if you're at risk for getting blood clots or have had them in the past.
Now there's a super-food from Japan that can keep blood clots from forming. If you have any existing blood clots, whether you know about them or not, it can dissolve them. And it does so even more effectively than blood-thinning drugs. How? Well, blood thinners stop working shortly after you stop taking them. The active ingredient in this food is an enzyme that works for hours after you stop taking it.
Your blood needs to be just right--not too thick and not too thin--and your body with its infinite wisdom knows this. It makes a number of enzymes that cause blood to clot so you don't keep bleeding after surgery or when you cut yourself. But it only makes one primary enzyme to thin your blood. This enzyme is called plasmin.
The food I found works a lot like plasmin. Actually, it's even better. It doesn't cause excessive bleeding like some blood thinners and it doesn't have any side effects. All the research has shown it is exceptionally safe. I'm talking about a fermented cheese-like food made from soybeans called natto. The enzyme that works like plasmin is called nattokinase. Nattokinase is only found in natto.
What Is Natto?
Natto is a glutinous food with stringy fibers that tastes like smelly cheese. The Japanese love it. They eat natto for breakfast on top of rice, so they get plenty of this clot-busting food regularly. You may be one of a select few people who enjoys eating natto. If you want to try some, you can probably find it in an Asian market. Let me know what you think of it!
If you don't like natto, can't find it, or don't want to try it, there's another solution. You can take a supplement containing its active enzyme--nattokinase, like Circutol (800-791-3395) It's an excellent heart formula. This is what most people are doing based on dozens and dozens of studies on the enzyme alone.
How Nattokinase Works
Back in 1980, Dr. Hiroyuki Sumi, who had been researching enzymes and blood clots for many years, made a remarkable discovery. After testing nearly 200 foods for clot-busting properties, he found one that actually dissolved blood clots in just 18 hours. It was the most potent clot-busting enzyme he had ever seen. And it had been hiding right under his nose in a popular Japanese food that he knew all his life--natto. Dr. Sumi dubbed the enzyme "nattokinase" and began studying it more thoroughly.
Blood clots form when red blood cells and platelets are bound together with a protein in the blood called fibrin. If you have a cut, this clotting can save your life. But if a clot forms inside one of your blood vessels, it can block an artery in your heart or brain, causing a heart attack or stroke.
Dr. Martin Milner, a naturopath at the Center for Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon, found that nattokinase dissolves both fibrin and helps the body make more plasmin and other blood-clot busting substances. "In some ways, nattokinase is actually superior to conventional clot-dissolving drugs," he says.
Fibrinogen (which converts into fibrin) is a protein in the blood that makes it thicker, stickier, and more difficult to move through your veins. It also causes clotting. High levels of fibrinogen often contribute to dangerous blood clots and varicose veins. A blood test will show your fibrinogen levels. It should be from 200-400 mg/dl. Talk with your doctor about getting this test if you have any concerns.
There have been many studies on nattokinase over the past two decades that show it can be effective in the prevention and treatment of stroke, chest pain (angina), fatigue, fibromyalgia, blood clots in the eye, atherosclerosis, diabetes, and deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
When Not to Take Natto
Because nattokinase thins the blood and breaks up blood clots, you shouldn't take it if you have any type of bleeding disorder. This includes ulcers and hemorrhoids. If you've ever had intracranial bleeding or a stroke, avoid this supplement. And don't take it right before or after surgery. Avoid nattokinase if you're on any blood thinning medications unless you have your doctor's okay and are monitored. Perhaps your doctor would allow you to take this natural supplement, which has excellent safety studies, rather than aspirin or other blood thinners.
How Nattokinase Is Made
Natto is a fermented food, and to make it or nattokinase you need to add a particular bacteria to boiled soybeans. The bacteria is popularly called Bactillus natto, but it's actually one of a number of strains of Bacillus subtilis.
Maybe I'm being a little overly cautious, but I'm particularly concerned about this bacteria. Some strains of B. subtilis are safe and some are not. Some are antibiotic resistant. Others can cause immune problems. Since it's not easy for anyone to tell the difference between various strains of B. subtilis, only buy nattokinase supplements from trusted companies.
Now you know that all nattokinase supplements are not alike. Its effectiveness depends on the bacteria used in its fermentation, how it's processed, and the amount you take. Don't waste your money on ineffective products. The strongest, best quality nattokinase I have found is NSK-SD. Make sure that any supplement you take contains NSK-SD.
One such product is Circutrol (800-791-3395), a new concept in heart supplementation that targets many aspects of heart health, including lowering fibrinogen. The amount of NSK-SD nattokinase in Circutrol is just enough to enhance and support its other ingredients. You don't need to take the highest amount of nattokinase--you need the best quality in an integrative formula.
Your Doctor Is Ignoring a Primary Risk for Heart Disease and Stroke
(Here's the Problem ... And Some Solutions)
Each year, your doctor carefully measures your cholesterol level. If it's too high, he or she may suggest dietary changes and medications to bring it down. Meanwhile, a silent killer goes overlooked.
A minimum of 10 large studies have found it to be at least as important a predictor of heart disease and stroke as cholesterol. I expect that it will be found to be a much more accurate risk marker for heart disease than cholesterol. But most doctors don't pay any attention to it. Oh, they're aware of its dangers, all right. They ignore it because they don't know what to do about it!
I had this problem myself. It's high fibrinogen, a protein that makes blood thicker, stickier, and causes it to clot. Fibrinogen is caused, in part, by inflammation, and it becomes elevated in the presence of inflammation. This creates a cycle that has to be broken if you want a healthy heart.
Fibrinogen levels tend to increase as we age, so it's not surprising to find so many people having heart attacks, clogged arteries, and strokes in later years. A genetic predisposition counts for over 50% of elevated fibrinogen. That's where mine came from. Smoking raises it as well.
Natural Solutions Abound
Earlier, I talked about a natural solution to pharmaceutical blood thinners--nattokinase, an enzyme found in a fermented soy food called natto. It's being touted as an answer to high fibrinogen. Nattokinase can lower fibrinogen, but yours may rise at first. This is because it's dissolving blood clots and releasing trapped fibrinogen. In time, your fibrinogen should go down. Still, I think there are better, less expensive solutions.
My favorite one is the new heart formula I mentioned earlier called Circutrol. It also reduces inflammation, an important factor in high fibrinogen. Fibrinogen is a protein that can become elevated when there's inflammation. Circutrol can prevent fibrinogen from being made, and it can dissolve any clots that may have already formed. You can order it, and get more information, from Advanced Bionutritionals (800-791-3395).
Here are some additional ways to lower fibrinogen.
The pineapple plant may hold the key to lowering fibrinogen. It contains a complex of proteins called bromelain that breaks down proteins. Take it with meals and it helps you digest the proteins in your food. Take it between meals and it helps break down fibrin, the form of fibrinogen that produces clots! Bromelain also activates plasmin, an enzyme that digests fibrinogen.
Bromelain works by slowing down fibrinogen production, as well as by breaking it down. Its effects are dose-dependent. The more you take, the better the results. Bromelain is extremely safe to take. There's no way you can overdose. Because it breaks down quickly in the body, it's best to take bromelain three or four times a day rather than all at once.
If you think that eating more pineapple can have a similar effect, you're wrong. Commercial bromelain comes from the stem of the fruit, not the fruit itself. You can find bromelain supplements in any health food stores. NOW Foods sells 180 tablets of bromelain (500 mg) for $16.36 online (www.iHerb.com). This is a 60-day supply if you take one, three times a day. Be sure to take it on an empty stomach.
Powdered turmeric root (Curcuma longa) is a spice found in curry powder. It's sometimes used to make rice yellow. But turmeric, and its active ingredient curcumin, has additional value. It has strong medicinal properties. It's antibacterial, reduces inflammation, and inhibits the formation of fibrinogen. There aren't a lot of studies using this herb to reduce fibrinogen, but those that have been conducted are promising. In one study, a group of people with high fibrinogen was given 200 mg of curcumin extract a day for two weeks. Every single person lowered their fibrinogen.
Studies say that 200 mg of curcumin a day works. But the more you take, the better, says Tim Smith, MD. He's currently writing a book on natural solutions to heart health and has used both bromelain and curcumin successfully with his patients.
You can find curcumin in your local health food store, or order 665 mg capsules (NOW Foods) for $10/60 capsules from www.iHerb.com. Turmeric's anti-inflammatory properties also help arthritis.
What About Aspirin?
So, your doctor wants you to take an aspirin a day for your heart. What will it do for you? No one really knows because most trials were conducted on men. One large study that gave 100 mg of aspirin every other day found that it reduced the risk for heart attacks, but not stroke, in women.
Another found it reduced stroke, but not heart attacks. Among women aged 65 or older, aspirin reduced heart attacks, strokes, and deaths from heart disease, but they had more intestinal bleeding that required transfusions. In fact, the dangers from taking aspirin, especially in people over 50, outweigh its benefits.
Here's another problem with aspirin: Like curcumin and bromelain, aspirin is dose-dependent. So the more you take, the faster and better it works. If you take enough aspirin to lower your fibrinogen, you'll likely irritate your stomach lining and risk intestinal bleeding. The irritation is a sign of inflammation. Inflammation creates fibrinogen. Enough said?
Get Yourself Tested!
Get a baseline fibrinogen blood test and have it re-checked each year. If it's high or begins to rise, take fibrinogen-lowering supplements. High fibrinogen is a silent time bomb. Insist that your doctor perform this simple and inexpensive blood test for you immediately. It could prevent a heart attack or stroke. Even ifyour doctor doesn't know what to do about high fibrinogen, now you do.
Eat This to Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes, Weight Gain, and Colon Cancer
I usually eat a Mediterranean diet--lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, goat cheese, olive oil, and sometimes a small glass of red wine with dinner. It's considered to be one of the most healthful diets you can eat.
I also eat a little fish. And I add a food that's high in protein and important minerals. Its unique characteristics protect me against diabetes, heart disease, and colon cancer. It also keeps my weight down.
This is a common, inexpensive food you can find in every supermarket in the country. Yet some people haven't ever tasted it. I think it's one of the most beneficial foods you can add to your diet. Make it a regular part of your meals and you, too, can enjoy its many healthful benefits.
If you haven't figured it out already, this food is the chickpea, or garbanzo bean. It's one of many legumes that are popular throughout India, Egypt, and the Middle East. There, both the bean itself and its flour are a dietary staple. Chickpeas have a mild taste, which lends them to be included in soups, salads, curries, and a dip called hummus. If you stay away from beans because they cause gas, I'll have some solutions for you in a minute.
Building Healthy Bones and Muscles
Chickpeas are higher than other plant foods in several nutrients. These include calcium and magnesium, two minerals essential for strong bones. Less than half a cup of chickpeas contains 190 mg of calcium and 140 mg of magnesium. Studies are finding that dietary calcium is better absorbed than calcium supplements, so include calcium-rich foods in your diet. These beans are also high in bone building, heart-regulating phosphorous.
They're also 23% protein. Because plant proteins lack some essential amino acids, eat chickpeas with a little rice, millet, wheat pilaf, crackers, or bread to get a complete protein.
Chickpeas also have more resistant starch than other foods. Resistant starch is a starch that isn't completely digested or absorbed in the small intestines. Instead, it migrates into the large intestines and acts like fiber. Here's what it does:
* It has a mild laxative effect that keeps you regular and helps move wastes gently through your colon.
* It's a prebiotic fiber, stimulating the growth of beneficial bacteria in your intestines.
* It increases short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), the end products of bacterial fermentation. Butyrate, one SCFA, protects against colon cancer. The more resistant starch you eat, the lower your risk of getting this cancer.
* It lowers the glycemic response of other carbohydrates eaten at a meal. When you eat a potato, your blood sugar rises quickly and then drops. But if you add chickpeas to that meal, glucose is released slowly and steadily, eliminating this spiking and subsequent low blood sugar.
* It helps control your weight in three ways: increasing fiber, replacing higher calorie foods with lower calorie foods, and helping to burn fat before carbohydrates and protein.
A meal high in resistant starch (chickpeas) or soluble fiber (beta-glucan from mushrooms), reduces insulin surges and low blood sugar. When you take them together, you get even more blood sugar stability. When researchers combined resistant starch with beta-glucan in overweight women, it dropped their blood sugar to the same levels as in women of normal weight. Ordinarily, overweight women have more insulin resistance and higher blood sugar than women of normal weight.
Legumes cause gas when you don't have enough enzymes to digest them. Here are three solutions. First, begin eating them in small amounts--like a tablespoonful at a time. Add a few chickpeas to your soup or salad. Gradually increase the amount.
If you still bloat, take digestive enzymes found in health food stores, many supermarkets, and drugstores. One product, designed to digest legumes, is Beano. Always take Beano before your first mouthful of beans. You can take other enzymes before, during, or after a meal.
If you'd like relief and don't want to take enzymes forever, try IDF, Integrated Digestive Formula (800-791-3395). It repairs the digestive tract over time. You may need to take it with each meal for several months or longer. But eventually, you should be able to eat healthy foods without any discomfort. I used to get gas from beans, but no more. With IDF, I can eat just about anything without discomfort.
I add canned chickpeas to my salads and soups, and I make, or buy, hummus often. Hummus is a Middle-Eastern puree made from chickpeas and mild spices. I eat it with whole grain crackers or baby carrots. Sometimes 1 thin it with a little more olive oil and lemon juice and use it as a salad dressing. I use canned chickpeas, but you can soak the dried beans overnight and simmer for two hours or more if you prefer. Feel free to adjust the spices to your taste.
Fight Cancer, Infections, and Wrinkles With This Powerful Nutrient
You may have heard about this strange-sounding nutrient before for its ability to boost immunity. But it does much more. It fights bacteria and viruses, reduces tumors, and improves wound healing and skin elasticity. All of these are qualities associated with staying youthful and healthy. Small quantities of this ingredient are found naturally in some grains, mushrooms, and yeast. But there's an easy way to get it in a more potent form.
I'm talking about a group of non-digestible sugar molecules (polysaccharides) called beta-glucans. But not all beta-glucans are alike. Their effectiveness is determined by their molecular size, structure, and solubility. To get a therapeutic effect you need large quantities of the best-absorbed, highest quality beta-glucans you can find.
Polysaccharides are sugar molecules strung together in a particular design. Beta-glucans are just one configuration. Then there are variations in structure within different beta-glucans. The ones with the most immune and anti-tumor activity are called 1-3 beta-glucans. These are found in mushrooms and the cell walls of baker's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae).
Each mushroom makes its own slightly different form of beta-glucan, stimulating the immune system differently. That's why you get better immune-boosting effects when you take a combination of medicinal mushrooms rather than just one variety. The idea is to give your body multiple mushrooms to stimulate your immune system in as many ways as possible.
While you may have heard more about beta-glucans from mushrooms, yeast-derived beta-glucans are the most extensively studied form. Published trials show that they lower cholesterol, increase healthy HDL cholesterol, support the immune system, and improve the quality of the skin. I prefer using both for the strongest combination. You can find them in a powerful formula I discovered several years ago. I'll tell you about it in a moment. First, let's look at how beta-glucans keep you healthy.
Cancer and immunity: Beta-glucans' ability to reduce the size of cancer tumors dates back to 1975, where a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute reported on its effects in nine cancer patients. Their tumors ranged from skin cancer to breast and lung cancer. The researchers injected beta-glucans into their tumors. And in every case, the beta-glucans reduced their tumors within five days. More recently, researchers found that yeast-derived beta-glucans has immune-enhancing properties in laboratory, animal, and human studies.
But immune support doesn't start and stop with anti-cancer activity. Beta-glucans attach themselves to white blood cells and stimulates them to surround and destroy bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses. I can attest to some of this. Since I've taken medicinal mushrooms with added beta-glucans I've had just one mild head cold in the past seven years--rather than my usual two or more severe bouts with the flu or pneumonia every year.
Fights infection: In another study, researchers gave beta-glucans to half of a group of high-risk patients undergoing abdominal or gastrointestinal surgery. They gave the other half a placebo. The patients who took beta-glucans had significantly fewer infections after surgery, needed less antibiotics, and spent a shorter time in intensive care.
Beta-glucans work by binding to white blood cells and stimulating free radical production. This signals immune cells to destroy foreign bodies (i.e., bacteria, viruses, parasites, and tumor cells). The ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria is directly proportionate to the dose of beta-glucans. The more you use, the better the results.
When researchers gave beta-glucans along with antibiotics, the antibiotics became more effective. So be sure to take a beta-glucans supplement or mushroom formula with and after any antibiotic.
Younger, healthier skin: Studies out of East Tennessee State University found that beta-glucans stimulate wound healing after surgery by activating skin cells to regenerate. They also act as an anti-inflammatory. They're so powerful that they even help heal bedsores. And they improve your skin.
As we age, scavenger cells under the skin, designed to remove topical skin debris and keep it wrinkle-free, become overwhelmed with the amount of work they have to do. They work more slowly and don't recognize changes in skin pigmentation as debris. Beta-glucans change this. In fact, a study of 150 women found that they improved skin elasticity and moisture. They even reduced the amount and depth of their wrinkles. Not a bad side effect for an immune-booster!
Beta-glucans also protect skin cells from exposure to sunlight. One study found that they prevented sunburn and damaged skin cells by 50% when they were used topically. But don't think of them as a sunscreen. They're not. They protect skin cells so they're less likely to become damaged from exposure to UV rays.
Cosmetic manufacturers already have added beta-glucans to some of their formulas and I expect to see more in the future. Not all are likely to be good quality, so try them and see if they work for you. You know as well as I do that healthy skin begins on the inside. One of the best ways I know of to have younger, moister skin is to take beta-glucan supplements.
Allergies: A recent small study took a fine, well-absorbed oral beta-glucans formula and gave it to 30 people with pollen allergies. Half of them had less itchy eyes, sneezing, and drippy noses within two weeks. I expect we'll see more studies using this nutrient to suppress allergy symptoms. For now, don't be surprised if your symptoms lessen when you start taking beta-glucans.
Mushrooms vs. Yeast? Take Both
Mushrooms are the most common food source for this nutrient, and the co factors present in any food enhance its benefits. So eat plenty of shiitake and other culinary mushrooms if you enjoy them. But to get the greatest amounts of well-absorbed beta-glucans, supplements pack the strongest punch.
All mushroom formulas contain some beta-glucans. Some even contain high quantities. But more is not always better. The issue is how well beta-glucans activate an immune response. This depends on its source, size, how it's processed (some beta-glucans clump together, making them less absorbable), and whether or not its particles are uniform. The bigger and heavier the molecules, the less effective they are. Beta-glucans that clump together and have varying sizes are often sold in high quantities. They aren't effective in any amount.
The structure of the beta-glucan molecules in MycoPhyto Complex, the formula I've taken for years, prevents it from clumping. It's also clinically proven to be effective by a leading integrative oncologist. Each serving (two capsules) of MycoPhyto Complex already contains 33 mg of yeast-derived beta-glucans, along with the additional amount found in the mushrooms it contains.
But since large amounts of well-absorbed beta-glucans work best for therapeutic effects, I've asked to have this amount increased. It now contains 50 mg of yeast-derived beta-glucans per dose. And Advanced Bionutritionals (800-791-3395) is now stocking this new and improved formula.
By the way, MycoPhyto Plus is an exclusive formula available only through Advanced Bionutritionals. You won't find this fantastic product anywhere else. And once you've tried it, please let me know how well it works for you.
Some Mice--and People--Are Immune to Cancer (In time, you could be, too)
I recently stumbled across an amazing discovery. Researchers had injected a colony of mice with a particularly virulent form of cancer for one of their experiments. As expected, the cancer grew in all of the mice. All but one, that is. He didn't get the cancer.
So they injected him again. Still no cancer.
No matter how many times they injected cancer cells into this mouse, he stayed cancer-free. How can this be? Turns out the mouse was immune to cancer. He had a particular subset of white blood cells called neutrophil granulocytes that gave him an immune system capable of searching out and killing cancer cells.
The researchers used this mouse to father a colony of mice. And lo and behold--all of them were resistant to cancer!
Next, they gave a transfusion of their granulocytes to a number of mice with cancer. Their tumors disappeared within a few weeks. What's even more impressive is that this single transfusion gave the mice permanent immunity to cancer.
The original researchers, headed by Dr. Zheng Cui at the Comprehensive Cancer Center of Wake Forest University, are now finding these same granulocytes in people. As with mice, they're only present in a very few people.
Dr. Cui is learning more about them. For instance, they're not equally effective throughout the year. These granulocytes are strongest during the sunny months. This may be due to fluctuating melatonin and vitamin D3 levels, which are highest in the summer and lowest in the winter.
They're also affected by stress. In fact, stress can wipe them out.
The FDA has given approval for a study where researchers will give these granulocytes from cancer-resistant people to cancer patients. All Dr. Cui is waiting for is the necessary funding. I'll let you know as soon as there's more information.
Meanwhile, although we may not have all of the information yet, you may want to take supplemental vitamin D3. The doctors I confer with have found that even their patients who spend a great deal of time in the sun are low in this cancer-fighting vitamin/hormone.
I've written about the cancer-fighting properties of both melatonin and vitamin D3 in the past. Read those articles here and on my website and consider boosting your intake of these nutrients. Since most people are very low in vitamin D, I suggest--and take--5,000 IU a day. You can get Vitamin D3 in any health food store, or find 5,000 IU tablets at Advanced Bionutritionals (800-791-3395).
The Breakfast Food That Protects Your Eyesight
I frequently meet friends for breakfast on weekends. It's our time to slow down and check in with one another. And while I often overhear other people in surrounding tables order egg white omelets, mine are made with good old-fashioned whole eggs. My friends, who are health-conscious, eat eggs, too.
That's because we know that eating them in moderation won't raise our cholesterol levels or contribute to heart disease. Most people don't know this.
I told subscribers to Women's Health Letter years ago that eggs don't raise your cholesterol or contribute to heart disease. Now you'll be the first to know that eggs are great for your eyes. In fact, they protect your eyes from age-related macular degeneration--a major cause of impaired eyesight in seniors.
So if you want to eat an egg or two a day - or on weekends like I do--go right ahead. Eggs are a healthy source of protein and they're perfectly safe.
The Cholesterol Issue
It's true that of all foods, eggs are the highest in cholesterol. But this doesn't mean you should avoid them. Eating foods that contain cholesterol does not cause high blood levels of cholesterol. Most of the cholesterol in your blood is made in your liver. If you have high cholesterol, eat a diet that supports a healthy liver: plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Then make sure you eat plenty of foods high in soluble fiber, such as cholesterol-lowering beans and oat bran.
While eggs contain cholesterol, they also have nutrients that counteract this fat. In a recent study, a group of men and women over 60 with normal cholesterol levels ate either three large eggs every day for a month or a fat-free, cholesterol-free substitute. At the end of the study, all of the participants had healthy levels of cholesterol, HDL, and LDL.
After gorging themselves on eggs for a month, their LDL (bad cholesterol) levels rose a bit. But so did their protective HDL. This cancelled out their slightly elevated LDL. What's more important, the size of their LDL particles became larger. Larger LDL molecules are protective against atherosclerosis.
What you should care about is whether or not a food, like eggs, contributes to heart disease, stroke, and other health problems. And the bottom line is: Eggs don't promote disease. In fact, a study published in Medical Science Monitor found no difference in strokes or coronary heart disease in nearly 10,000 participants whether they ate no eggs at all or more than six eggs a week.
Eggs and Macular Degeneration
On the other hand, there's evidence that eating eggs is good for your eyes. A recent study concluded that eggs help prevent against age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This is great news for all seniors who are worried about losing their eyesight--which is practically everyone I've ever talked to over the age of 50!
This protection comes from two antioxidants that are found in the macular area in the retina--lutein and zeaxanthin. These same nutrients are found in the yolks of eggs--the part that's shunned by so many people who worry unnecessarily about their cholesterol. So much for the health benefits of egg white omelets!
In one study, a number of people over the age of 60 were separated into two groups. One group ate an egg a day while the other group didn't. At the end of five weeks, the people who ate eggs had a significant increase in serum lutein and zeaxanthin. But what's equally exciting--and not at all surprising to me - is that their total cholesterol, along with their HDL and LDL cholesterol, didn't increase at all.
But there's more. In another study, conducted entirely with women, researchers gave some a sugar pill and they gave others six eggs a week. As you might expect, serum zeaxanthin increased in the women who ate eggs and their cholesterol and triglycerides remained stable. What was surprising was the effect of the placebo in this trial. The women who took a daily sugar pill had higher cholesterol and triglycerides than those who ate cholesterol-laden eggs!
Which Eggs Are Best?
All eggs are not alike. Some have been enriched with omega-3 fats - the healthy kind you want in your diet. Omega-3 fats are the same kind of fats found in fish. While all eggs are good, those containing more omega-3 fatty acids are better. You won't find them in restaurants, but you will find them in all health food stores and many supermarkets.
Feeding hens extra nutrients, such as flaxseed, enriches these eggs. Some have as much as six times more essential fats as commercial eggs. The extra omega-3 fats can raise healthy HDL and lower unhealthy LDL levels. Eating omega-3 eggs can be an excellent alternative for people who don't eat fish, or who don't eat it often enough.
So forget your egg white omelet and enjoy an egg or two for breakfast. It's an excellent source of protein, and getting enough protein is a major problem for many women. They won't hurt your heart, and they may help you save your eyesight.
This Simple Laboratory Test Can Give You Early Information on Bone Loss
Your bones are not dry, dead sticks holding your body together. They're made from living tissue that is constantly breaking down and rebuilding itself. Old bone cells are being replaced with new ones in a process known as "remodeling."
When you were young, your body made large numbers of new cells to keep up with your bone growth. But when you were in your 30s, your bones stopped growing and your need for new cells decreased.
At this time, your body began to make fewer new cells. Your bone tissue still kept breaking down, however. This increased the gap between your bones breaking down and building up. As we get older, this gap continues to widen. By the time we reach menopause, our bone tissue may very well be breaking down taster than it can build. The consequence is thinner bones and a higher risk for fractures.
You're never too old--or too young--to take a look at how your bones are being formed. The problem is, doctors are relying on one method alone, and it's not enough. They usually measure bone density--one marker for osteoporosis--with tests like dual X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) and ultrasound. I've never particularly liked either as accurate predictors of bone health. All they do is take a snapshot of your bone that says, "This is what your bone looks like today." They can't tell you how quickly your bones are breaking down and how well they're rebuilding themselves.
But I've found a simple urine test that can do this very thing. It's not expensive and most insurance companies, including Medicare, pay for it. This test will tell you if your rate of bone loss is high before anything can be detected with common bone scans. Just how important is it to identify how fast your bones are breaking down? One study I just read shows that bone resorption (breakdown) is a better predictor for hip fractures than the more familiar tests that measure bone mass.
This urine test does not subject you to even minute quantities of harmful radiation. What's more, instead of having to wait a year or two for another bone density test to measure your progress or deterioration, you can repeat this urine test in three months and find out whether or not the particular therapy you've chosen is working.
It's About Measuring Your Dpd
Let me explain how this test works. When bone breaks down, it produces a byproduct called deoxypyridinoline (Dpd) that's excreted into the urine. A simple urine test, called Pyrilinks-D, measures the Dpd in your urine and determines whether or not your bones are breaking down faster than they're being rebuilt. If they are, you can talk with your doctor about some form of bone-saving therapy: exercise, hormones, medications, dietary changes, supplements, etc.
Then you can try the therapy of your choice and repeat this test in three months to see how well you're doing. No guesswork or waiting until it's too late. Combined with the DEXA or ultrasound, Pyrilinks-D gives a more complete evaluation than either one alone.
How Accurate Is This Test?
A group of researchers compared the Pyrilinks-D test to other bone resorption tests like Osteomark and CrossLaps. The Pyrilinks-D test had less variability than the others. In addition, its precision and accuracy was either equal or superior to the other two tests in all areas. This is an accurate test to measure your rate of bone loss.
The Dpd urine test is most valuable for pre- and perimenopausal women whose bones are beginning to thin. They can use the information to begin a bone-conserving program before a great deal of damage has been done. But it can be helpful for postmenopausal women as well, especially for those who are using either hormone therapy or supplements that could reduce bone turnover. Don't you want to know it's working? How about your exercise program? If you want to know whether or not it's working, or whether or not you're taking the proper balance of supplements, this test will take the guesswork out. The normal range for this test is 2.5-6.5. If your results are 6.5 or greater, you will want to take action.
Where to Get It
A number of different kinds of health care practitioners can order this test, including MDs, osteopaths, chiropractors, acupuncturists, and nurse practitioners. Once you've found someone to order the test, you need to find a lab to run it.
Check with your local labs to see if they perform the Pyrilinks-D test. If they regularly check for hormone levels, there's a good chance that they do. Many labs charge a reasonable $80. Be sure to ask about coverage with your current insurance plan. You need a doctor's order in most states before your insurance will pay for it.
If you can't find a lab near you to run this test, contact Aeron Life Cycles Laboratory (800-631-7900). Their staff can answer your questions. By the way. Aeron accepts Medicare for payment in full for this test.
The test itself couldn't be simpler. You or your doctor contact the lab with the doctor's order and ask to have a test kit mailed to you. Then you collect some of your urine the next morning and put it into the vial that's included in the kit. Mail it back in the enclosed pre-paid padded envelope, and the lab will take care al' the rest.
Making "Young Bones"
Any information I give you on osteoporosis would be incomplete without my frequently stated caveat about bone structure. When bone tissues are both thinner and brittle, you're at an increased risk for fractures. All of the tests I've mentioned measure bone density. They don't measure fragility--or brittleness. There is no test for this. However, it's a huge factor in whether or not you'll break any bones if you fall.
High amounts of calcium create brittle bones. Magnesium makes bones less brittle and more flexible. I've talked about this in greater length in past articles, available on my website, and in my book. User's Guide to Calcium and Magnesium (800-610-2107). If you're taking supplemental calcium, or eating a lot of dairy, make sure you get as much magnesium as calcium. That way, any bone you have is more likely to be supple, like young bones.
Tibetan Herb Formula Cleans Arteries and Reduces Inflammation
Several years ago, I was asked to write a small book about a Tibetan herbal formula. What I learned amazed me.
This formula cleans out arteries, lowers total cholesterol and the "bad" LDL, cools down inflammation, boosts the immune system, and relieves depression. This means it can help reverse an existing condition, such as arthritis, coronary heart disease, diabetes, and atherosclerosis. Or prevent you from getting them.
If it's not the Fountain of Youth, this formula looks like a close second! What's more, instead of taking a number of supplements, you may be able to take just this one.
This formula was developed many decades ago high in the Himalayan mountains and hand-carried to Switzerland via Siberia. It's been tested in more than 50 scientific studies and found to be safe and effective. And it's already well known and used extensively ... throughout Europe.
Unfortunately, the U.S. has been behind the times in using this valuable combination of herbs and other nutrients. I thought you'd want to learn more about its many uses.
I'm talking about an ancient combination made from 19 herbs, camphor, and calcium sulphate. Originally, the herbs were gathered in the Himalayas and prepared by local village doctors. Today, some of them are cultivated in Switzerland where a pharmaceutical company manufactures the formula. The current formula, known in this country as Padma Basic, is closely based on the original. In fact, the Tibetan doctor who founded Tibet's premier medical school, and who was the Dalai Lama's personal physician, found it identical in its effect. This is the real thing.
You may want to read the fascinating story of how these Tibetan herbs found their way to European doctors. You can find it in my small book, Padma: An Ancient Tibetan Herbal Formula (Basic Health Publications, 2003). But it's even more important to understand how it works.
Last year, I discussed inflammation in depth. It's the single underlying cause of a number of degenerative conditions. These include arthritis, bronchitis, hepatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, heart disease, gum disease, diabetes, psoriasis, and others. In fact, every condition that ends in "itis" includes an inflammatory process. It's rare that any of us has inflammation in only one area. So when you treat inflammation for one disease, you improve your total health.
A little inflammation can actually help your body heal itself. It brings increased blood flow to an area. But when tissues are repeatedly inflamed, they break down faster than they can repair themselves. Then, a minor inflammation can become chronic and lead to serious health problems.
Inflammation means heat. If you have an inflammation, you want to cool it down. The herbs in Padma are cooling herbs that are also high in antioxidants. Both help reduce inflammation.
Some of its herbs contain oils that prevent the fat in animal products from becoming rancid. Rancid oils produce free radicals--substances that promote inflammation. These free radicals can permanently "turn on" your immune system. You want your immune system activated as needed, not all the time. Padma breaks the inflammation cycle by reducing free radicals, cooling down an inflammation, and preserving your immune system.
Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory condition triggered by excessive free radicals where plaque builds up in the coronary arteries. This causes the arteries to become stiff, or "hardened," which slows down circulation. The condition often progresses causing fatigue, pain in the heart (angina), and chronic leg pain.
Studies found that Padma reduced angina and gave participants the ability to exercise longer without pain. It reduced both plaque and inflammation. How long did they take Padma? Two short weeks! That's right! Noticeable results were seen in just 14 days. Their cholesterol and triglycerides both decreased dramatically, as well.
Intermittent claudication and peripheral artery disease are complications of atherosclerosis. Never heard of them, you say? What about chronic leg pain? If you get pain in your legs when you walk, it may be due to inflamed arteries filled with plaque.
When plaque builds up in your legs, it's called peripheral artery disease, or peripheral vascular disease. Eventually, plaque can cause sporadic pain known as intermittent claudication. This is a huge problem affecting 12% of all adults over the age of 50. Padma reduces both plaque and inflammation, which increases circulation and reduces pain.
Padma originally became well known when a Swiss medical doctor used it on a high-profile patient of his. The patient's leg pain was so intense that he could hardly walk. This doctor remembered that a pharmaceutical salesman had told him that Padma was effective in relieving leg pain. With nothing to lose, he gave his patient the Padma. It worked beautifully! After just a few weeks, his patient could walk without pain.
Then the doctor gave Padma to some of his other patients with similar results. Soon, a number of other Swiss doctors began to use it. It was even the subject of controlled studies at the Zurich University Clinic. Now there's more research on using Padma for peripheral artery disease than for any other condition. But if Padma can reduce plaque in the leg, it can reduce plaque in coronary arteries. That means it will reduce your risk of heart attacks and stroke.
Fibrinogen is a protein that helps regulate the thickness of your blood. The more fibrinogen you have, the thicker and stickier your blood becomes. And the higher your risk is for blood clots. This sticky, fibrous blood can break off and cause a heart attack or stroke. High fibrinogen is a strong predictive risk factor for both of them. It can also be an indication that someone who has had a stroke is likely to have another one. Most doctors don't routinely test fibrinogen. They should. The test is cheap and important.
If you're taking a long bus, train, or plane trip, you simply must have your fibrinogen checked. High fibrinogen indicates a higher risk for having DVT, deep vein thrombosis. This is a condition where blood clots can cause swelling and inflammation. They can also break off, travel through the bloodstream, and damage your lungs, heart, or brain.
Wear compression stockings, don't cross your legs, and keep moving your legs. Consider taking some form of blood thinner on all trips longer than four hours if you have high fibrinogen. And consider taking Padma.
Your body has many checks and balances. It makes substances that cause your blood to clot so that a minor cut or a surgical procedure won't result in a great blood loss. And it makes other substances that keep your blood from getting too thick. Dr. Kaj Winther, a Danish researcher at the University of Copenhagen, found that Padma neutralizes the substances that thicken the blood allowing blood clots to dissolve more quickly.
Doctors prescribe a blood-thinner, such as Coumadin, to thin the blood. Like all medications, Coumadin has side effects. Padma could be a safe alternative. Discuss this with your doctor and give him or her a copy of my book on Padma. Dr. Isaac Eliaz, a medical doctor who has used Padma for years with his patients, suggests taking two tablets, three times a day for at least four months to dissolve fibrinogen.
Padma regulates your immune system. If yours is underactive, it gives it a boost. If it's overactive, it turns it down.
In one study, Padma not only reduced atherosclerotic plaque in rabbits, it also restored their immune systems. The researchers of this study found a connection between atherosclerosis and immunity. One human study with hepatitis patients saw incredible results with Padma. More than 75 percent of the participants had stronger immune systems after taking the formula for one year. They also had no inflammation in their livers!
A number of studies on children with a history of recurring colds and respiratory infections found fewer infections after taking Padma. In one, the children had more than an 80 percent decrease in the frequency of their infections after they had stopped taking Padma for nine months!
As we age, our immune systems weaken. If you're using Padma for other conditions, this additional benefit is reassuring.
Most recently, scientists have found a connection between inflammation and mood. A group of Austrian researchers testing Padma on leg pain discovered this quite by accident. In addition to helping the leg pain, they found the study participants reported an increased feeling of well-being. They looked at the tryptophan levels of these patients. Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps regulate our moods. Sure enough, Padma increased tryptophan by preventing it from breaking down.
Would I use Padma for slight depression? Probably not. There are other less expensive solutions. But if you're taking Padma for any of the above conditions, pay attention to how you feel emotionally, and don't be surprised if you feel better.
I've personally found Padma to be a remarkable supplement. To order Padma, call Advanced Bionutritionals (800-791-3395).
The Link Between CoQ10 and Cancer
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a vitamin (vitamin Q10) that, along with vitamin B6, has been found to be low in people with cancer. CoQ10 is made from tyrosine, an amino acid found in proteins like meats and beans. But to make CoQ10, the body needs a number of vitamins, and without the coenzyme form of vitamin B6--one of the necessary vitamins--there can be dysfunctions to the DNA, which lead to mutations and cancer. Most vitamin formulas with B6 contain pyridoxine HCL. The coenzyme form of B6 is called Pyridoxyl-5-phosphate (P5P).
One more fact about CoQ10: It requires fatty acids to be taken along with it or it can't be absorbed well. Some CoQ10 products have no fatty acids added to them. If they don't, you need to take them with a meal that contains some fats. Other products have fatty acids added, and are well absorbed at any time.
Folkers, K. "Relevance of the biosynthesis of coenzyme Q10 and of the four bases of DNA as a rationale for the molecular causes of cancer and a therapy," Biochem Biophys Res, 224(2), 358-361 (1996); Intl Clin Nutr Rev, July 1997.
Q: What causes hair loss in postmenopausal women? --G.P.J., e-mail
A: Decreased levels of progesterone usually cause post-menopause hair loss. Progesterone helps produce a number of adrenal hormones. When there isn't enough progesterone, your body makes more androstenedione--another hormone that makes adrenal hormones. The problem is, androstenedione promotes hair loss. One obvious solution would be to take natural progesterone.
First, get an evaluation from a nurse practitioner, medical doctor, or naturopath who specializes in natural hormone therapy. Then, if you need more progesterone, get it from a natural compounding pharmacy, such as Women's International Pharmacy (800-279-5708). They'll make a progesterone cream to meet your specific needs. This means you're getting the safest form and amount.
Next, be patient. It can take six months or more to see any results.
If you're completely against taking any hormones, even natural ones, try these supplements; Zinc (30-50 mg), vitamin B6 (100-200 mg), and sulfur (found in egg yolks) all support healthy hair. Onions, garlic, broccoli, and cabbage are also high in sulfur. Include them in your diet every day, when possible.
Finally, it's important to know that an underactive thyroid and stress can contribute to hair loss. Have your thyroid checked and practice some type of stress-reduction daily. Exercise and meditation are two excellent stress-reducers.
Conrad, Christine. A Woman's Guide to Natural Hormones, Perigee Books, 2000.
Kunin, Richard A., MD. Mega-Nutrition for Women, Plume, 1983.
World's Best Dental Floss--Removes 40% More Plaque Than Other Flosses
Dr. Tung's Smart Floss: You might wonder why I'm excited about dental floss, but anything that removes additional plaque from teeth gets my attention. Bacteria in the mouth can lead to periodontal disease and can contribute to heart problems. This particular dental floss removes up to 40 percent more plaque than other flosses. That's impressive! Just cut off a length of floss, stretch it a little, and suddenly it becomes a wider floss that grips more plaque as you use it. Because it's soft, Smart Floss doesn't irritate your gums.
Smart Floss is packaged in three bright colored, round containers. If you can't find it in your local drugstore, you can order three packets for just $9.45 through the Internet (www.toothandgum.com) or by calling the company direct (800-222-0935).
"The safety of nattokinase has also been tested in combination with heparin in acute stroke victims and in combination with warfarin in those taking it as a maintenance prophylactic. In both these studies nattokinase was safely administered along with the other fibrinolytic agents."
NSK-SD Nattokinase, "A comprehensive scientific review of nattokinase," Japan BioScience Labs Co Ltd.
How to Prevent Pain and Swelling on an Airplane
If you're planning to take an overseas plane flight, you're at risk for DVT. In addition to moving around, you may want to take a product I found called Flite Tabs. Flite Tabs is a proprietary blend of 150 mg of pycnogenol and nattokinase. The pycnogenol is a powerful bioflavonoid that reduces swelling, is anti-inflammatory, and strengthens the walls of capillaries.
In an independent study, nearly 100 people took two capsules before flying, and two capsules six hours later. They had less swelling and pain than the controls. You can get enough Flite Tabs for a round-trip overseas flight from ARC Nutrition (877-272-3508) for $28.95.
There are less expensive nattokinase products, but this one contains two anti-clotting nutrients and has been tested and is endorsed by British Airways.
Kill Harmful Bacteria
I would be remiss if I didn't mention another way to prevent heart disease. Gum disease is a now a known cause of heart disease. The infection from gums can get into your bloodstream and infect your heart.
One of the easiest ways for you to get an infection is from your toothbrush. Bathroom air is filled with pathogenic bacteria, and bacteria breed like crazy on wet toothbrushes. When you set your toothbrush down on your counter or stick it in the drawer, it's a prime target for bacteria.
However, there's a device that sterilizes your toothbrush and cuts down on harmful bacteria that breed and live on your toothbrush. This clever little device called the Germ Terminator kills 99.99% of germs that find their way onto your toothbrush using steam and dry heat. It's like using a new brush every time you clean your teeth! Two toothbrushes fit into this sanitizer at once. Both standard toothbrushes and Sonicare (and other) brush heads fit.
Once costing around $100--and well worth it in my opinion--you can now order it directly from The Germ Terminator Store (www.germterminator.com or 800-247-1000). You may also find it at some retail stores.
Since un-sterilized toothbrushes are responsible for a host of bad germs getting into our mouths, the combination of a clean toothbrush and a good mouthwash can dramatically improve gum and tooth diseases.
Regular strenuous exercise (not a leisurely stroll), garlic, weight loss, and moderate alcohol consumption (a glass of wine per day), can all help reduce clotting and lower fibrinogen. Fish oil supplements may help, but you may need high doses of it, as well.
How High Is High?
Genova Diagnostics Lab says that fibrinogen levels should be between 180 and 350, but Tim Smith, MD, who practices integrative medicine in Northern California, thinks that 350 is too high. He works to bring down his patients' fibrinogen below 200. I suggest you make 200 your target.
Trouble Sleeping? Try Eating Some of This Chocolate Before Bedtime
The Doctor's Chocolate has sugar and it's not certified organic. So why is it worth mentioning? Well, it's packed with 125 mg of a patented form of l-theanine, a nutraceutical found in more than 50 studies to reduce stress. Eat one candy for a calming mid-day snack, or before bedtime if you have trouble getting to sleep.
The night before an eight-hour drive hack from Expo West I had difficulty getting to sleep. I ate a Doctor's Chocolate and the next thing I knew it was morning! Friends have had similar experiences. Each dark chocolate drop with raspberry center contains only 20 calories, 1 gram of fat, and 3 grams of carbs. What's more, half of the sweetener used is xylitol, a no-calorie sweetener that's safe for diabetics. The chocolate is very high quality and unprocessed--they don't use any harsh alkali to make it. Call 888-400-2920 to order.
Q: I am recovering nicely from breast cancer treatment and don't ever want to go through that again. I know there are no guarantees, but can you suggest one or two things I can do that could be particularly effective in preventing a recurrence?
-- J.S.S., via e-mail
A: I have a few ideas. A recent study by Italian researchers published in the International Journal of Cancer (July 1, 2006) found that Syndrome X, or Metabolic Syndrome, was a significant predictor of a recurrence of breast cancer. Syndrome X is a cluster of abnormalities that are associated with heart disease and diabetes. Now we can add breast cancer to the list. These abnormalities include high cholesterol (with low HDL), high blood sugar, high triglycerides and blood pressure, and abdominal obesity.
So keep your weight down and lose some of your abdominal fat, if you have it, through diet and exercise. Keep your sugars low, and eliminate all or most refined sugars. Definitely don't add sugar to your coffee or tea. Also, limit your fruit consumption to small portions during the day rather than one large portion. Sugar feeds Syndrome X. It also feeds cancer cells. It's the worst food you can eat if you have cancer.
Add Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP) to your supplements. It's the most important supplement you can take if you've had cancer, are at high risk for it, or have it now. The reason is simple. It prevents cancer cells from clustering and forming tumors. The only MCP I know of that has the correct size and weight to get into the bloodstream and survive long enough to prevent this clustering comes from EcoNugenics' PectaSol-C (800-308-5518). It's the same MCP found in the PectaSol Chelation Complex. However, plain PectaSol-C is less expensive than the complex in the larger doses you'll want (five grams, three times daily). And it's more specific for cancer prevention.
Pasanisi, P., et al. "Metabolic syndrome as a prognostic factor for breast cancer recurrences," Intl Journ of Cancer, July 1, 2006.
Popular Blood Pressure Drugs That Damage Your Heart!
Almost one out of three adults in this country has high blood pressure. Many take medications. Propranolol and other beta-blockers prevent CoQ10 from getting into the heart muscle. So do some hypertensives like Clonidine, guanfacine, and alpha-methyldopa. Low levels of CoQ10 are seen in people with congestive heart failure. Vasodilators also deplete vitamin B6, which can cause depression, anxiety, low libido, water retention, and blood sugar imbalances. If you're taking blood pressure medications you may want to supplement with CoQ10 and vitamin B6.
Q: I'm confused. Your report on arthritis stresses the importance of magnesium. Yet your Ultimate Bone Support contains none of this mineral. Why?
-- M.B.E., Aurora, OH
A: Magnesium IS important, not only for arthritis and osteoporosis-prevention, but for dozens of other reasons. But some people can't take large quantities of this mineral. It gives them stools that are too loose.
We designed Ultimate Bone Support so you can take it along with a good multivitamin, such as Advanced Bionutritionals Women's Vitality. It contains equal amounts of calcium and magnesium - two important minerals for strong bones.
The problem is that strontium, equally important for your bones, competes with calcium and magnesium and blocks their absorption. You need to take these minerals away From one another. I take my multi and extra magnesium with food, and take Ultimate Bone Support morning and night on an empty stomach.
By the way, all Advanced Bionutritionals supplements are specifically formulated to contain enough, but not too much, of each of its ingredients--even when they're combined. You can safely mix and match according to your health status and goals.
Get Rid of Headaches and Fibromyalgia for Months at a Time with a Single Treatment
In a recent analysis of 18 studies, people treated with hypnosis had a better pain-reducing response than 75% of people who received standard care (medications) or no treatment.
Another review of 19 studies found that hypnosis was more effective than drugs for headaches or physical therapy for the pain from fibromyalgia. The effects lasted for several months.
Q: I've been taking PectaSol Chelation Complex for many moons now and believe it is truly a great product. Thank you. My question is: Does PectaSol have any positive effects on cholesterol?
-- D.F., e-mail
A: Yes, it does. There was a double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the journal Clinical Cardiology way back in 1988 that answered this question. Researchers gave participants with high cholesterol pectin supplements for four month and made no dietary or other lifestyle changes. Their cholesterol dropped by 7.6%, and their LDL (bad) cholesterol dropped by 10%.
But PectaSol is not the same as the grapefruit pectin used in this study. It's better. The manufacturer has modified it to be a certain size and weight. The pectin used in the 1988 study could bind only to cholesterol in the intestines. Its molecules were too large to pass through into the bloodstream.
PectaSol binds to cholesterol both in the bloodstream and in the intestines. Its smaller size allows it to get into the bloodstream and attach itself to cholesterol there. So using PectaSol, which is a modified citrus pectin, should give much better cholesterol-lowering results (800-791-3395).
Cerda, J.J., et al. "The effects of grapefruit pectin on patients at risk for coronary heart disease without altering diet or lifestyle," Clin Cardiol, 1988.
The Cosmetic Cream That Really Trims Flab Off Your Hips and Thighs!
Believe it or not, you can actually reduce the size of your thighs and buttocks simply by rubbing them with a cream containing caffeine.
I know it sounds improbable, but it looks like it's true. A group of Brazilian researchers gave nearly 100 women a cream containing 7% caffeine and asked them to rub it into their thighs and buttocks twice a day for a month. The results were astounding. More than 80% of them had slimmer thighs. And almost 68% of the women also had thinner hips.
Two other studies, conducted by companies that make and sell caffeinated creams said to reduce cellulite, found that caffeine is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory substance. It well may work. But combine a cream with a healthy diet (plenty of fresh fruits and veggies) that's low in sugar, drink plenty of water, and get regular exercise.
Caffine research is rather new, so you won't find many creams saturated with it on the market yet. But be assured others are on the way. If you hear about a caffeinated cream that claims it can tone the thighs and rear, pick up ajar and give it a try. It could actually work. You have nothing to lose but inches and a few dollars. And it won't keep you awake at night.
Improve Your Posture By Taking a Vitamin? Yes!
Some researchers say that 90% of older adults are deficient in vitamin D. Even those who live in sunny places. I agree. Many people don't go outdoors enough to absorb sufficient vitamin D from the sun. And we've been told for years to slather ourselves with sunscreen before stepping outside--even on cloudy days. But using a lot of sunscreen guarantees you'll be low in vitamin D. And more likely to be frail.
In a study out of Johns Hopkins, vitamin D was significantly lower in older frail women. Another study of 1,300 adults found that higher amounts of D meant better performance in a number of neuromuscular activities.
The researchers of another study found similar results. When they gave several hundred healthy older adults 800 IU of vitamin D along with calcium, their posture improved and their thigh muscles became stronger.
There's more. Studies found that 800 IU of vitamin D a day taken for three years could reduce broken bones by 32% to 68%.
Most dietary sources of vitamin D are oily fish and cod liver oil, or fortified foods. Cod liver oil contains too much vitamin A and fortified foods (like milk), don't contain enough vitamin D to raise your levels. I take and suggest 5,000 ID of vitamin D a day for people over 60, and 1,000 IU daily for other adults. It's safe and inexpensive. You can order it from Advanced Bionutritionals by calling 800-791-3395.
The Popular Kitchen Spice That Makes Cancer Cells Grow like Crazy!
We know that cinnamon is very good for you. Cinnamon is very safe when it's used as a spice. However, we don't know how safe it is to take from one-and-a-half to three teaspoons of it a day, every day for two months or longer. This is the amount a recent study found to improve blood glucose levels.
Richard Anderson, a cinnamon expert with the USDA, cautions that cinnamon contains toxic compounds and shouldn't be used in high amounts. What's high? As much as half a gram is safe, says Anderson. However, the higher amounts used in other studies may not be.
Concerns about cinnamon's safely resurfaced with the publication of an Indian study that found raw-Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) caused cells to mutate and promoted several forms of cancer. What about other species of cinnamon? The jury is still out.
Cinnamon is generally recognized as safe by the FDA. It shows promise in the treatment of type-2 diabetes. Just one-quarter of a teaspoon of cinnamon can reduce high blood sugar in diabetics.
Cinnamon also has antimicrobial activity. So we know it kills bad bugs. In addition, laboratory cell studies found it to have a compound (MHCP) that increases glucose metabolism.
Using cinnamon to regulate blood sugar may work, but with conflicting study results, we don't know how much is safe and effective. There are too many unknowns for me to feel comfortable. I want to know how and why it works. I need to know how much can be toxic and if this amount is the same for everyone. I need to know if it's contraindicated when taken with other substances. My suggestion: Wait for more studies on its safety and efficacy. It looks promising, but I'm not convinced of its safety. For now, stick with using it freely and often as a spice. It's unlikely you'll take too much this way.
The Popular Over-the-Counter Medicine That Interferes Wth Thyroid Medication
If you're taking medication for your thyroid and notice it's not working as well as you think it should, then look at your medications. Certain drugs can reduce the effectiveness of your thyroid medication.
The biggest problems come from drugs called PPIs (proton pump inhibitors). Simply speaking, PPIs are antacids. They reduce the amount of acid in your stomach. These medications include Nexium, Prilosec, Advil, and Aleve--drugs commonly prescribed for acid reflux and indigestion. PPIs are the strongest inhibitors of acid secretion you can find. That's what makes them so dangerous--as well as effective.
You see, lung-lasting antacids prevent the absorption and utilization of calcium, magnesium, protein, iron, and other nutrients. That's not all.
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine discovered that you need stomach acid to utilize the thyroid medication thyroxine. So if you take PPIs, you can end up being deficient in important nutrients and create other health problems. My advice is, don't take PPIs--unless you're well informed, have tried other safer solutions, and are convinced they're your best course of action.
Rubino, F., et al. "The mechanism of diabetes control after gastrointestinal bypass surgery reveals a role of the proximal small intestine in the pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes." Annals of Surgery, November 2006.
Rubino, R. "Bariatric surgery: effects on glucose homeostasis," Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care, July 2006.
Alpert, M., DO. Alternative & Complementary Therapies, 2005, 11(5).
Kaczorowski, E. "Exploring statins: what does the evidence say?" Women's Health Activist, May/June 2007.
Mira, R., et al. "Anti-oxidant and anti-atherogenic properties of liposomal glutathione: Studies in vitro, and in the atherosclerotic apolipoprotein E-deficient mice," Atherosclerosis, 2007.
Rosenblat, M., et al. "Anti-oxidant and anti-atherogenic properties of liposomal gluathione: Studies in vitro and in the atherosclerotic apolipoprotein E-deficient mice," Atherosclerosis (2007).
Shah, Priya. www.glutathione-report.com.
Allen, K.L., et al. "A survey of the antibacterial activity of some New Zealand honeys," J Pharm Pharmacol, December 1991.
English, H.K., et al. "The effects of manuka honey on plaque and gingivitis: a pilot study," J Int Acad Periodontol, April 2004.
Gethin, G. and S. Cowman. "Case series of use of Manuka honey in leg ulceration," Int Wound J. March 2005.
Henriques, A., et al. "Free radical production and quenching in honeys with wound healing potential," J Antimicrob Chemother, October 2006.
Khan, R.F., et al. "Honey: nutritional and medical value," Int'l J Clin Practice, October 2007.
Molan, P.C. "The evidence supporting the use of honey as a wound dressing," Int J Low Extrem Wounds, March 2006.
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|Publication:||Women's Health Letter|
|Date:||Jun 1, 2010|
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