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Harvard Study Finds Fluoride Reduces Children’s IQs

by IVL Products

Does ingesting and exposure to fluoride lower one’s intelligence quotient (IQ)?  A new study published by Harvard University and funded by the National Institutes of Health concluded that children living in areas where the drinking water with a high fluoride content have significantly lower IQ scores when compared to children who live in areas with fluoride free water.

Can exposure to fluoride impact a person’s intelligence?

The Study/Conclusions

To summarize the 32-page report:

  • A systematic review of 27 published studies regarding fluoride in drinking water spanning 22 years was done. The studies reviewed were those carried out in rural China.
  • The study also took into account hundreds of animal studies involving fluoridated water and reported that animals given water with a fluoride concentration of 1 ppm (one parts per million) showed increased levels of aluminum in the brain tissue and other morphological alterations.
  • The researchers concluded the report saying their results support “there is the possibility of adverse effects of fluoride exposure on children’s neurodevelopment.”

Dissention

The scientific and medical community remains divided on the issue of fluoride being added to drinking water. 

After the Harvard study was published several other scientific and medical institutions called the study flawed. According to them the results were not applicable to most countries since the study subjects were children in rural China were the water is known to be naturally high in fluoride.  The also noted that even the study authors admitted they could not determine the exact amount of fluoride the children were exposed to and that factors other than fluoride could effect the IQ of those children such as diet and/or other environmental toxins.

The American Dental Association maintains that fluoride does not have an adverse effect on the IQ of adults or children and says it is a critical public service that drastically reduced tooth decay, especially in children.

Related:  Brain Injuries in Pre-Term Infants

Those who hailed the study’s conclusions that fluoride is a dangerous neurotoxin and can lead to other health problems besides a diminished IQ point out the decades of research that already supported the Harvard study’s findings, such as:

  • The Journal of the American Medical Association stated in 1943 that fluorides are a kind of poison that changes the permeability of the cell membrane by certain enzymes (making the membrane less effective at keeping bad elements out of the cell).
  • Even the Food and Drug Administration (ADA) recommends against children under the age of six months being exposed to fluoride and classified the substance as a drug, not a mineral nutrient. Even so, fluoride is still recommended in drinking water despite never having been approved as a drug for widespread use by the FDA.

Fluoride Children & IQ

Even the Center for Disease Control has not provided a clear position on the effects of fluoride water and children’s IQs.  On one hand the CDC calls the fluoridation of water one of the top public health initiatives of the 20th century but cautions parents against mixing infant formula with fluoridated water because of the possible negative health issues; and fluorosis, a condition that stains and pockmarks teeth.

The United States is one of only eight countries that still adds fluoride to water supplies. Most of the rest of the developed world has terminated the practice due to insufficient evidence that the potential for less tooth decay outweighs the risk fluoride poses to the development of children’s brains and teeth. Since fluoride is only helpful in preventing tooth decay topically, there is no good reason for it to be ingested. 

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Beneficial Bioflavonoids

by Institute for Vibrant Living

When it comes to antioxidants, vitamins seem to take center stage; but what about those “sort of” vitamins with incredible health benefits? Yes, we are talking about bioflavonoids.

Bioflavonoids are found in colorful fruits and vegetables, and should be an ‘everyday food’ for a healthy diet!

While not truly vitamins in the strictest sense, bioflavonoids work together with vitamin C to form collagen, one of your body's main structural proteins. Bioflavonoids also aid your body’s immune-defense system and have mildly estrogenic properties, making them helpful in regulating some hormonal conditions.

Related:  Bioflavonoids May Decrease Risk of Macular Degeneration

Bioflavonoids are also the Crayola of the vitamin world, providing all the brilliant colors to fruits and vegetables. Some of the best sources of bioflavonoids include citrus fruits—lemons, oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, and limes—and buckwheat (a gluten-free grain that is not botanically related to wheat).

Keep in mind that other good sources of bioflavonoids are found in apricots, cherries, grapes, plums, blackberries, papayas, green peppers, broccoli, and tomatoes.

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Eat Healthier by Discovering Hidden Names for Sugar

by Health News

Since the 1980s, sugar intake in the United States has risen by roughly 28 percent, and the average American now consumes about 64 lbs. of sugar per year.  While many people use very little of the granulated kind, they don't realize that sugar goes by many other names and appears in many different forms.  People trying to limit their consumption of sugar can benefit from learning more about hidden names for sugar and carefully reading grocery labels. 

With so many hidden names for sugar, it is hard to know how much is being consumed.

The Problem with Labeling

The Food and Drug Administration has defined "added sugars" as those that don't occur naturally in foods, but consumers are given the task of deciphering hidden names for sugar.  Even after they learn all the names, it is impossible for consumers to tell how much of the hidden sugar is in any given product because the FDA does not require an "Added Sugars" line on nutrition labels.  Instead, ingredients are listed in descending order by weight and not by calories.  Because certain products contain more than one hidden form of sugar, the amounts of sugar that people eat on a daily basis can really add up.

Hidden Sugars

When examining grocery labels for sugar, look for these ingredients:  Agave syrup, barley malt, beet sugar, brown sugar, buttered syrup, cane juice, caramel, carob syrup, corn syrup, date sugar, dextran, dextrin, ethyl maltol, fruit juice concentrate, dehydrated fruit juice, fruit juice crystals, golden syrup, invert sugar, malt syrup, maltodextrin, maple syrup, molasses, refiner's sugar, sorghum, turbinado, and yellow sugar.

Related:  Blurry Vision with Diabetes:  Diabetic Retinopathy Information

In addition, many hidden names for sugar contain the suffix, "-ose."  These ingredients include:

  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Galactose
  • Glucose
  • Lactose
  • Maltose
  • Sucrose

Better Sugar Alternatives

Processed sugar offers empty calories with no nutritional benefits.  People looking for better alternatives to sugar can try any of these products:

Stevia:  Native to South America, stevia is an herb that is 300 times sweeter than table sugar.  It has no calories and diabetics can use it because it has no glycemic impact on blood sugar. 

Coconut Palm Sugar:  This sugar is manufactured by heating sap from the coconut palm, evaporating the water content, and reducing it to granules.  While it is more nutritious than sugar and features a low glycemic impact, it offers the same number of calories as sugar.

Raw Honey:  While people get minimal nutritional benefits from processed honey, raw honey offers antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, carbohydrates, and phytonutrients.  Whole food stores are the best sources for authentic, raw honey.

Blackstrap Molasses:  Blackstrap molasses is an excellent source of iron and calcium.  Because it is sweeter than sugar, people need less of it.  It makes a good alternative to sugar in baked products.

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An Apple a Day

by Health News

Who among us hasn’t heard the expression “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”? Seems like good advice. After all, whole foods are good for you. Fruit is good for you.  But it seems there’s more to that old saying than we’ve previously considered. 

Research is showing that eating an apple a day may very well keep the doctor away.  Read on to find out how and why!

Apples themselves are rich in vitamin C and certain B vitamins, as well as quercetin, which have been positively linked to reducing allergies, improving heart health, and even providing stress reduction by lowering cortisol levels. French researchers found that a flavanoid called phloridzin that is found only in apples may protect post-menopausal women from osteoporosis and may also increase bone density. Boron, another ingredient in apples, also strengthens bones.

The list of apple-related health benefits is long, and continues to grow! 

Here are just a few: 

  • Bone Protection (phloridzin)
  • Asthma Help
  • Alzheimer’s Prevention  (quercetin)
  • Lower Cholesterol  (pectin LDL (“bad”) cholesterol)
  • Lung Cancer Prevention (due to high levels of quercetin and naringin)
  • Breast, Colon and Liver Cancer Prevention
  • Diabetes Management (pectin supplies galacturonic acid which lowers the body’s need for insulin and may help in the management of diabetes)
  • Weight Loss

Related:  Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Recently, researchers have shown that among the apple eaters, 39 percent were able to “keep the doctor away,” meaning they had fewer doctor visits than non-apple eaters. Plus, apple eaters took noticeably fewer prescription medications than non-apple eaters.

The net takeaway?  Get your apple a day, every day!

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Researchers Identify New Genetic Risk Factor for Ovarian Cancer

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer to affect women, and is most common in women over the age of 50 who have been through menopause.  However, it can affect women of any age and new research has found a link between the faulty gene BRIP1 and ovarian cancer risk.

Ovarian cancer risks increase in those with the faulty gene BRIP1.

The Research

The study linking a faulty gene to a threefold increased of risk of developing ovarian cancer was published by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.  Led by scientists at the Cancer Research UK, Cambridge, UCLA and the Imperial College of London, the findings were the result of a study involving a comparison of 8,000 white women of European descent; 3,250 of which had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The rest of the study participants were made up of 3,400 women without ovarian cancer and 2,000 women who had a family history of the disease.

The study also found that those women with the faulty BRIP1 gene were more likely to be diagnosed with an aggressive form of ovarian cancer at a later stage at an older age.

Ovarian Cancer

What causes ovarian cancer is still not known. However, in light of these new clinical findings it does seem that genetics plays a large role in who does and does not develop it. 

The cancer forms in the tissue of a woman’s ovaries and is diagnosed as either ovarian epithelial carcinomas or malignant germ cell tumor.  Epithelial carcinoma is cancer found on the cells on the surface of the ovary. Malignant germ cell tumors are a cancer that originates in ovarian egg cells.

Ovarian Cancer Risk Factors

While there is no known cause of ovarian cancer, here are some risk factors identified by the medical community that increase the chances of developing it:

  • Obesity – a body mass index of 30 or more.
  • Age – ovarian cancer is rare in young women and most common in women over the age of 50 who have been through menopause.
  • Reproductive history – women who have been pregnant and carried the baby to term before the age of 26 seem to have a lower ovarian cancer risk.  The risk actually decreases with each full-term. pregnancy. Women who have their first baby after the age of 35 or never carry a pregnancy to term are at a higher risk for ovarian cancer.
  • Birth Control – women who have taken oral contraceptives have a slightly lower risk of developing ovarian cancer. The decreased risk is seen after only 3 to 6 months of continued use.
  • Gynecological surgery – tubal ligation may reduce ovarian cancer risk, as does a hysterectomy (removal of uterus).
  • Fertility drugs – some fertility drugs may increase a woman’s risk of ovarian tumors.

Preventing Ovarian Cancer

There is no proven method or drug that will prevent ovarian cancer. Women with a family history of the disease, who have not taken birth control or carried a pregnancy to term or are obese, should consult their doctor about ways to reduce their ovarian cancer risk factors and perhaps be tested for the BRIP1 gene if appropriate.

RelatedWhy Do African Americans have Higher Cancer Mortality Rates?

Taking birth control pills for at least three or more years, carrying a pregnancy to term before the age of 35 and breastfeeding have all been linked to a significant reduction in ovarian cancer risk.

Knowing the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer is critical for an early diagnosis.

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Abdominal pain and pressure
  • Feeling abnormally full even after a small meal
  • Trouble eating
  • Increased urination or the urge to urinate frequently
  • Fatigue
  • Indigestion and/or heartburn
  • Constipation
  • Back pain
  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Pain during intercourse

Treatment for Ovarian Cancer

In general, treatment for ovarian cancer involves surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy and radiation therapy.  Usually two or more therapies are combined depending on the stage the disease is in. The sooner it is diagnosed the more effective treatment is.

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Are You Western or Prudent?

by Health News

Americans seem to fall pretty neatly into two categories of eating: Western or prudent. The Western diet is what we’ve come to know (sadly) as the Standard American Diet. It consists of lots of red meat, fatty foods, saturated fat, processed foods, salt, and sugar. It is conspicuously short on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Compare the difference between a prudent or more modest style of diet with the Standard American Diet, and the health differences between the two.

Conversely, the prudent diet focuses on fish and poultry, whole grains, leafy greens and cruciferous veggies, tomatoes, beans, and fruit. It tends to eschew dairy, eggs, fast food, and most sugar.

Of the two, the prudent diet is clearly the better one. However, it is also the less common. In fact, even in the 1950s, meat and potatoes ruled the day. Yet people were significantly slimmer than now. Why?

Related:  Fight Obesity with Portion Control

Portions and convenience are likely the reason. Look at a typical burger offering in 1950s. The only choice was equivalent to a “single” at a typical fast food restaurant and often included one slice of cheese. Today, that’s the kid-size, while adults are clamoring for doubles and triples with lots of cheese, bacon, and more.

And that’s just one example. Let’s not even discuss soda sizes, high fructose corn syrup, and genetically modified foods.

Convenience is also a factor. Back “in the day” you didn’t have vending machines in schools and in every office. Coffee shops with baked goods didn’t grace every street corner. There wasn’t a new fast food restaurant popping up every other day.

And we weren’t as stressed and overwhelmed as we are now, with most of us relying on a grab-and-go breakfast and lunch, and often even dinner.

Clearly the Western diet needs to go the way of the old time Western movie. Strive instead for a prudent diet most days of the week. Prepare snacks and easy meals ahead of time, like boiled eggs, oatmeal, and lettuce for salads. And take advantage of the convenience of powdered supplements that you can simply add to water then go about your day to help you fill in the gaps.

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Six Ways to Prevent Skin Cancer

by Institute for Vibrant Living

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer within their lifetime, making it the most common type of cancer in the United States.  It occurs when mutations in skin cells cause them to multiply quickly and form a malignant mass.  The three main types of skin cancer include basal cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas, and melanomas. 

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer among Americans.

Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the number one cause of skin cancer.  What people may not know is that UV rays from the sun can be just as harmful on cloudy or hazy days as on sunny days, and UV rays can bounce off surfaces like water, sand, and snow.  The hours between 10 am and 4 pm have proven to be the most harmful when it comes to UV ray intensity, and in North America, the sun's rays are more powerful during the late spring and early summer.  While some people turn to indoor tanning to avoid the damaging effects of the sunlight, ultraviolet light from tanning beds is just as harmful.

To help prevent skin damage from UV rays, people can engage in a number of healthy practices. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends six tips to reduce skin cancer risk:

  1. Avoid the use of tanning booths or beds
  2. Stay out of the sun during midday hours
  3. Dress in protective clothing that covers the arms and legs
  4. Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect the head, face, neck, and ears
  5. Wear wrap-around sunglasses that advertise UVA and UVB protection
  6. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF factor of 15 or higher

Related:  Vitamins for Skin: ACE Your Skin Care with ACE

Benefits of Mineral-Based Sunscreens

The best types of sunscreens are those containing zinc or titanium.  Because these types do not break down in sunlight, they do not absorb into the skin and disrupt hormones.  These sunscreens are non-allergenic and block UVA rays better than non-mineral sunscreens, making them a better option for skin cancer prevention.  Because they offer the best safety profiles, mineral-based sunscreens make the best choice for children.

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27 Nutrients & 28,000 Calories!

by Institute for Vibrant Living

You eat well.  You have a fruit and vegetable (maybe even two!) at every meal. You forgo saturated fat and haven’t had sugar in a year. And everything in your home is organic…even your shampoo!

The RDA of key nutrients—is it possible to get them from food alone?

But, believe it or not, that is likely not enough. According to a study published in a 2010 issue of The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, in order to get the RDA levels (let alone higher) of 27 vitamins and minerals, you’d have to eat an average of 28,000 calories a day! What?

Related:  Three Protein-Packed Breakfasts

Obviously getting your RDA of key nutrients from food alone is NOT the way to go. Instead, supplement your already clean diet (and even more so with a not so clean one) with a high-quality fruit and vegetable food-based product to ensure you get all the nutrition you need—without all the calories.

 

 

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Top 10 Benefits of Fructose

by Health News

Fructose has a bad reputation. It’s blamed for a host of health problems ranging from obesity to diabetes and cancer.  So is fructose a dangerous poison as some doctors have claimed?  Apparently, fructose has a sweet side after all.  Let’s take a look at the benefits of fructose.

What is fructose?  Let’s examine the benefits.

Fructose: What Is It Really?

Fructose is sugar.  It is a very simple sugar that occurs naturally in foods and what gives fruits a sweet taste, hence the name.  Fructose is quite a bit sweeter than your average white table sugar (a combination of fructose and sucrose) but fructose contributes far fewer calories.

Crystalline fructose is what you get from processed corn or sugar cane. It is mistakenly confused with high-fructose corn syrup, which has earned its bad reputation.  Fructose is 100% pure, when not mixed with any other sweetener; whereas high-fructose corn syrup is comprised of equal parts fructose and glucose. Glucose is another one of those bad kids on the block that spikes blood sugar levels—but it’s not fructose.

Top 10 Benefits of Fructose

1.  Fructose is sweeter than sugar so you need far less of it to achieve the same sweetness, which means you are ingesting fewer calories, but still enjoying your food just as much.

2. Fructose is low on the glycemic Index, meaning it won’t spike your blood sugar levels leading to a whole host of health problems, namely diabetes.

3. Fructose is a great sweetener for cooking. You can use less of it to replace sugar and your food will still have the same sweetness and texture but with fewer calories.

4. Crystalline fructose makes glazes and dairy products creamier and more palate-pleasing than sugar.

5. Fructose prevents honey from crystalizing keeping it flowing from the container.

Related:  What Are The Best Sugar Substitutes?

6. Sprinkling fruit with crystalline fructose and letting it sit in the refrigerator overnight before you freeze it prevents ice crystals from forming in the fruit.

7. Since fructose has a much lower place on the GI, it won’t spike a rise in blood sugar levels like glucose or sucrose (white table sugar) without additional calories, making it a great sweetener for diabetics and anyone watching their weight.

8. Fructose has been shown in research studies to help significantly improve blood sugar control, almost to the equivalent of an oral anti-diabetic drug, again, making it an excellent choice for anyone with diabetes or at an increased risk for developing it.

9. Fructose can help with maintaining a health weight. Since it tastes sweeter than sugar but with less calories, swapping fructose for sugar in baked goods can help anyone trying to lose a few pounds or keep them off enjoy great tasting food with a pleasant texture and taste without driving up the number on the scale.

10.  When fructose is combined with other sweeteners like sucrose, saccharin or aspartame their perceived sweetness is greater than any of those sweeteners alone—and becomes a health danger like its counterparts.

Of course, excessive consumption of any sweetener, fructose included, can cause weight gain and other health issues, but when it comes to sweetening your food and watching your weight, there are certainly benefits of fructose, and it deserves your serious consideration. 

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Should You be Using a Fluoride-Free Toothpaste?

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Have you ever noticed that most toothpaste come with a health warning? That’s because they contain a toxin which, if taken in larger-than-necessary doses, can be harmful to health. So why doesn’t everyone switch to fluoride-free toothpaste? The argument is far from clear-cut, as you will discover.

Fluoride-free toothpaste reduces the risk of fluorosis

Why Fluoride is Widely Used

Most dentists agree with federal government research, which shows that for most people the dangers of fluoride are far outweighed by the benefits. The exception to this rule is the 1% of the population who have a fluoride sensitivity which can cause lethargy or unpleasant flu-like side effects.

Many municipalities began adding fluoride to the drinking water supply in the 1960s to reduce tooth decay. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC), research shows that fluoride reduces tooth decay by up to 70% in children, and reduces tooth loss by up to 60% in adults. Water fluoridation is considered one of the top 10 public health achievements of the 20th century and today around 72% of Americans with mains water receive fluoride every time they turn on the tap.

Fluoride works by strengthening or remineralizing the tooth structure to resist decay. It also reduces the risk of cavities by inhibiting the bacteria in plaque which produce acid, causing tooth decay.

Related:  Oral Health Care: Tips from a Holistic Dentist

Fluoride-Free Toothpaste may Counter Fluorosis

In moderation, fluoride may be a huge benefit to dental health, but how much fluoride do you actually get every day? It depends on how much tap water you drink and what strength of fluoride is in your municipal tap water, which varies from 2-4 mg per liter. In addition, fluoride is naturally present in some water supplies, with as much as 1.2 grams per liter. Unless you use fluoride-free toothpaste and mouthwash, you are probably getting far more fluoride than the “safe” recommended amount.

Although fluoride is toxic, too much fluoride will not kill you, although it does cause fluorosis on the teeth. Excess fluoride creates white or brown spots on teeth which can look ugly and require dental procedures to remove them. Too much fluoride may also kill the flora and bacteria in the gut, weakening the immune system.

Some people continue to protest against water fluoridation, either because it overrides their right to choose, or because they believe fluoride may cause allergies and brittle bones, although as yet these theories appear to be unfounded. 

According to recent studies, two in five adolescents receive too much fluoride, indicated by dental fluorosis. As a result of these findings, the Department of Health announced it would reduce the level of fluoride added to the water supply.

If you live in an area with fluoridated tap water (and chances are that you do), then consider using fluoride-free toothpaste and mouthwash to reduce the possibility of consuming too much fluoride, which can cause as many dental problems as too little.
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How to Reduce Sugar Intake in a Healthy Way

by Health News

Imagine eating your own body weight in sugar!  Even those with a sweet tooth or a secret sugar addiction may cringe at that thought, but the truth is that most Americans consume at least 128 pounds of sugar every year and need to reduce sugar intake for their health’s sake.

Take the sugar addiction test and learn more about hidden sugars

Take the Sugar Addiction Test

  • If you reach for just one cookie, is the bag empty before you realize it?
  • Are you lacking energy and tired all the time?
  • When you feel hungry do you snack on doughnuts, chips, candy and ice cream?

If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, you are definitely hooked on sugar and salty snacks that are engineered by food scientists to be addictive.  You need to reduce your sugar intake now!

How about carbohydrates?

  • Can you say no to desserts but pig-out on bread and pasta?
  • When you want to lose weight, is it easier to eat nothing than ration yourself to smaller portions?
  • Do you find it impossible to eat just a taste of pasta, bread, muffins or rice?

These are all the signs of addiction to white flour, which actually turns into sugar during digestion, creating the same problems as sugar.  As above, you need to reduce your carbohydrate intake before it takes a toll on your health.

Related:  What are the Best Sugar Substitutes?

How Sugar Addiction is Harmful to Health

Here’s the truth about how harmful sugar can be to your health, and why the World Health Organization is recommending that people reduce sugar intake by 70%.  Studies show a link between a diet high in sugar and raised levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol. Sugar is also responsible for tooth decay, obesity and inflammation in the body, which is the root cause of many health issues including arthritis.

Scientists have found that even thin people who consume more than 10% of their daily calories from sugar are three times more likely to die of heart disease than others. Sugar affects the brain, which controls signals such as when to stop eating. Sugar highs feed the brain with dopamine, producing an artificial sense of euphoria similar to gambling or cocaine use. In a similar way, tests on rats showed that sugar is addictive and we actually crave more and more sugar to satisfy the need.

Reduce Sugar Intake Benefits

You may never actually buy sugar and stir it into drinks, but modern-day foods are laden with hidden sugars delivering an average 22 teaspoons (150 grams) of sugar per day. In order to reduce sugar intake, you need to identify your sugar sources. Check the label on cereals, salad dressings, fruit juice and even yogurt and switch to unsweetened alternatives such as stevia, or natural whole foods.

Doctors recommend we should reduce sugar intake to around 42 grams per day, or 5% of your daily calories, in order to free yourself from your sugar addiction. You’ll find the benefits of reduced sugar intake will provide more energy, lower triglyceride levels and a healthier heart.

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Enough Fruits & Veggies: What We May Know, But Don’t Do

by IVL Products
Fruits & Veggies, How Much is Enough?

There is no question that eating fruits and vegetables is at the heart of an optimum diet. However, most (if not nearly all) of us aren’t getting anywhere near the optimum quantity of fruits and vegetables.

In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, less than one-third of Americans eat two or more fruits per day; and a mere 27 percent eat vegetables three or more times a day. That is grossly insufficient to meet our vitamin and mineral needs.

Given this, it is not only practical but critical that people use a fruit and/or vegetable supplement to fill in the nutritional gaps left by a poor diet, high stress, malabsorption issues, and other deficiency-related concerns.

Related:  Are Green Leafy Vegetables Good for Your Bones

In today’s day and age, augmenting with a supplement that fills in these gaps is not an option—it’s a necessity. By choosing a product with care and aiming for optimal levels of key nutrients, you can begin to create a habit that will support you for the rest of your life!

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Sensitivity to Fluoride: Stories, Symptoms and Allergy Facts

by Health News

Are you suffering from fluoride sensitivity? Do you know the symptoms of fluoride sensitivity? Do you even know if your public water supply is fluoridated? Let’s answer these important questions about fluoride and perhaps solve your undiagnosed health problems caused by fluoride sensitivity.

Fluoride can help prevent tooth cavities but may cause fluoride sensitivity symptoms

What are Fluoride Sensitivity Symptoms?

Not everyone has a fluoride allergy but those who are born with hypersensitivity or develop fluoride sensitivity may suffer from a range of minor or more debilitating fluoride sensitivity symptoms. These include:

  • Stiff painful joints
  • Asthma – especially after showering in chlorinated water
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Feeling cold all the time, or particularly after a shower or bath in chlorinated water
  • Dental fluorosis with brown or white spots on the teeth
  • Brain fog and fatigue – especially after showering or bathing
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gastrointestinal problems including pain, nausea and IBS
  • Kidney disease
  • Thyroid disease

Of course, having these symptoms does not indicate someone has a fluoride allergy, but having a blood and/or urine test may confirm the possibility. Alternatively, drink, cook and bathe with filtered or non-fluoridated water and switch to a non-fluoridated toothpaste.  Keep a diary to observe whether your symptoms improve when you avoid fluoride sources, and whether they return if you are exposed to fluoride again.

True Stories about Fluoride Sensitivity

Dr. DeLoss E. Winkler, a highly respected chemist with Shell Development Company, began working in Palo Alto. He developed regular flu-like episodes of sickness that led him to spend about one week a month in bed recovering. He experienced chronic fatigue and muscle weakness that severely weakened him. His wife had studied fluoride and suggested that he try avoiding the fluoridated water at work by carrying distilled water from home to work each day. His symptoms disappeared.

In order to further prove his fluoride sensitivity, Dr. Winkler took part in a double-blind trial, sometimes being given fluoridated water and sometimes given distilled water. His body reacted to the fluoride by developing the fluoride sensitivity symptoms accurately every time.

Related:  Give your Body what it Craves: Water

A similar story is recounted by a woman who moved to the city and developed agonizing stomach pain which her doctor was unable to diagnose. She experimented by switching to fluoride-free toothpaste and reverse-osmosis filtered water, eliminating tea (which retains fluoride), California wine (the wines’ skins retain fluoride-based pesticides) and beer made with fluoridated water. Her symptoms disappeared, returning only if she forgot to carry her own water and had to drink fluoridated water.

Fluoride sensitivity affects about 1% of the population. If you suspect you have fluoride sensitivity symptoms, it’s very easy to eliminate fluoridated water for a week and see if the symptoms disappear. In the long-term, installing a home water filter system to eliminate fluoride from your tap water could be the only way to enjoy a full and healthy life.
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Lung Cancer is the Leading Cause of Cancer Deaths among American Women

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Lung cancer does not get the same crusading profile as breast and prostate cancer, yet according to the American Cancer Society, it causes more deaths than breast, prostate and colon cancers combined.

Lung cancer remains a leading cause of death

Women and Lung Cancer

Although lung cancer is on the decline in men, lung cancer in women is on the increase, both in the numbers of cases diagnosed and the number of lives it claims. In almost 50% of cases, it occurs in women under the age of 50. Some studies suggest that women may be more susceptible to carcinogens in cigarettes as they tend to develop lung cancer after fewer years of smoking than men.

There is some indication that estrogen may play a role in the association between women and lung cancer. Statistics suggest that the use of both birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may lower the risk of lung cancer in women, suggesting that estrogen may provide protection in some cases. However, treatment with estrogen and progesterone HRT after menopause appears to increase the risk of death from lung cancer.

Although women with lung cancer historically respond better than men to chemotherapy and surgery, the survival rate for lung cancer in women is still grim. The overall survival rate five years after diagnosis is just 16%.

Related:  Former Smokers Respond Well to New Treatment

People with the Highest Lung Cancer Risk

Statistics show that African Americans are more likely than other ethnicities to develop and die from lung cancer, even though they have lower smoking rates.  

Age also does not appear to be a barrier to lung cancer risk. Although the disease is most frequently diagnosed in people aged over 55, it can tragically strike people in their 20s and 30s.

Nonsmokers and Lung Cancer

Although lung cancer risk is directly associated with smoking, non-smokers can get lung cancer too. One in 10 cases of lung cancer (around 24,000 cases a year) is diagnosed in people who never smoked. This may be due to genetic predisposition, inhaling smoke involuntarily from tobacco smoked by others, by environmental and occupational exposure to carcinogens, or it may be caused by exposure to radon in the home.

Reducing Your Risk of Lung Cancer

With such a high risk of death from lung cancer, smokers need to seek help to quit right away. Not only will you be reducing your own risk of lung cancer, you will be protecting non-smoking family, friends and work associates too.

Non-smokers should avoid secondhand smoke, eat a healthy diet high in antioxidants, exercise regularly and get your home tested for radon to reduce the risk of lung cancer.
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Even Healthy Eating and Supplements Aren’t Enough

by Institute for Vibrant Living

According to the Council for Responsible Nutrition, large national surveys show that even healthy eating habits combined with some supplements, Americans are still not getting the average daily requirements of many key nutrients. In fact, nearly everyone falls short on two critical vitamins—vitamin D and vitamin A.

Healthy eating habits combined with supplementation is the best routine.

More than one third of us are low in calcium, magnesium, and vitamin A, which are critical for bone, heart, and eye health. Plus, nearly half of us are short of our vitamin C intake. 

One of the surveys (the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) for 2003-2006 found, “Without enrichment and/or fortification and supplementation, many Americans did not achieve the recommended micronutrient intake levels set forth in the Dietary Reference Intakes.”

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They go on to say that not everyone uses supplements, so the ability to boost nutrient levels above and beyond food (even fortified food) is limited to those people who actually use supplements.

The takeaway? Be sure that you aren’t going the food-only route. The best way to get all the nutrients you need for optimum health is to eat a healthy diet of organic fruits and vegetables AND use a high-quality, food-based supplement to get the additional nutrients, vitamins and minerals you need.

 

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How Sugar Negatively Affects Your Body

by IVL Products

Although we need protein, fat and carbohydrates, sugar is one category of food we would actually be healthier without. It contains no nutrients or enzymes, does not satisfy hunger yet is laden with empty calories. The negative effects of sugar go on and on.

Digesting sugar actually saps minerals from the body and triggers a cascade of hormones to be released into the bloodstream, quite unlike any other food substance. It rots teeth, stresses the liver and increases triglycerides and bad cholesterol. So why do we consume on average 22 teaspoons of sugar per day? Because it’s addictive.

Inflammation is one of the serious negative effects of sugar

Here are seven negative effects of sugar:

1.     Sugar Spikes

Sugar is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream creating an initial “high” which triggers a flood of the hormone insulin, followed by an energy crash. When blood sugar levels decrease, the body releases the hormone cortisol. As well as causing highs and lows in energy, negative effects of sugar affect the brain causing mood changes, anxiety, headaches and cravings for more sugar.

2.     Sugar Increases Health Risks

Sugar rots the teeth, increases inflammation and contributes to obesity, which can lead to diabetes and heart disease.

3.     Chromium Deficiency

Another negative effect of sugar is that digesting refined carbohydrates depletes chromium, an essential mineral for maintaining blood sugar metabolism and transporting glucose for energy.

4.     Sugar and Liver Function

Added sugars cause the liver to turn excess sugar into fat, storing it in odd places. It encourages fat build-up around the liver which can be a precursor to nonalcoholic liver disease.

5.     Sugar Accelerates Aging

Sugar causes glycolysis which reduces body tissue integrity and speeds up the aging process.

6.     Dental Decay

We all know that one of the main negative effects of sugar is tooth decay and cavities due to the acid it creates in the mouth. It can go on to be the cause periodontal infection and this has been linked to increased risk of heart disease.

Related:  Maintaining Healthy Blood Sugar Levels with Ginger

7.     Sugar Slows Learning

Sugar often affects children’s behavior, but a study of New York schoolchildren found that when all sugar, artificial sweeteners and dyes were removed from pupils’ breakfast and lunch, the overall grades of the test group rose 15.7% while the placebo group improved just 1.7%. A more recent study on mice being fed a high-sugar diet showed similar negative effects of sugar in the results.

Added sugar is easy to substitute with a few simple lifestyle changes. Start reading the label on processed foods, salad dressing, sodas and other processed foods. By switching to a natural wholefood diet and cooking meals from scratch, you can counter all seven negative effects of sugar.

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What Is the Difference Between Sucrose, Glucose, and Fructose?

by Health News

With a trend toward better health and fitness in the United States, many Americans have concerns about sugar consumption.  Sugar is the universal name for short-chain, soluble carbohydrates with a sweet flavor. While most think of sugar as the stuff used to sweeten coffee or cereal, there are actually three key types of sugarsucrose, glucose, and fructose.  Learning about the different kinds of sugar and the way they affect the body can help people make healthier dietary choices.

Three key types of sugar include sucrose, glucose, and fructose.

Glucose and fructose are monosaccharides, sugars that cannot be broken down into simpler sugars. Glucose is the type of sugar the body uses for fuel and is the kind measured when doctors determine blood sugar levels.  It is found naturally in honey, in fruits like grapes, apples, and oranges, and it is an ingredient in corn syrup. 

Fructose is also an ingredient in honey as well as molasses, agave nectar, and high-fructose corn syrup.  Types of fruit that contain fructose include apples, pears, and pomegranates. Glucose and fructose combine to make a disaccharide called sucrose, which is abundant in sugar cane, sugar beets, and other plants.  When sucrose is extracted from plants and refined, it makes table sugar.  

Although all of these carbohydrates provide roughly the same amount of energy per gram, the body processes fructose and glucose differently.  Fructose metabolizes in the liver, triggering the release of insulin and the production of ghrelin, which is known as the hunger hormone.   

When glucose is processed, it circulates through the body and triggers the production of leptin, a hormone that helps control appetite.  The body either uses glucose immediately for energy or stores it in the muscles or in the liver as glycogen for later use.

Related:  Are Artificial Sweeteners Dangerous to Your Health?

Fructose vs. Glucose

In a study from the University of California at Davis, researchers compared the effects of glucose and fructose consumption on 32 overweight or obese individuals.  Subjects drank a beverage sweetened with glucose or fructose that supplied 25 percent of their daily calories for 12 weeks.  Researchers found that both groups gained weight, however, the people who drank the beverage sweetened with fructose experienced a number of additional effects.  These included:  

  • Increased visceral fat (the hard-to-lose type of abdominal fat that surrounds inner organs)
  • Reduced sensitivity to insulin (one of the first signs of diabetes)
  • Increased production of fat in the liver
  • Higher LDL (unhealthy) cholesterol
  • Elevated triglyceride levels

Results showed that the people who drank the beverage sweetened with glucose experienced none of these effects. 

Most experts agree that whole fruit provides the best source of natural sugar, and it contains healthy vitamins, minerals, and fiber.  Refined sugars deliver added, empty calories, devoid of any nutritional value.  To help ensure optimal nutrition and a healthy body weight, people should limit their intake of processed sugars, either in crystalline form or as an ingredient in foods, syrups, and beverages. 

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Powerful Pomegranates

by Health News

Pomegranates have gathered quite the fan base over the last 10-15 years, but this quirky little fruit has been used medicinally in the Middle East, Iran, India, Egypt, and Greece for thousands of years.

Learn why you should include the delicious and lovely pomegranates in your daily health regimen.  They help repair free radical damage, and may play a role in preventing and treating heart disease.

High in antioxidants (especially polyphenols) and ellagic acid, pomegranates have been found to help repair free radical damage. Specifically, research indicates that pomegranates may play a role in preventing and treating heart disease.

Research shows that pomegranate juice consumption decreases the accumulation of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in the arteries of healthy, nonsmoking men by 20 percent. In mice, pomegranate juice has been shown to reduce oxidation of LDL by 90 percent, and even shrink plaque-ridden lesions in the mice by 44 percent.

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Similar studies found that healthy subjects who drank 2–3 ounces of pomegranate juice a day for two weeks reduced the cholesterol oxidation process by as much as 40 percent. This is critical, as this process often creates plaque build up that narrows arteries and results in heart disease.

So don’t skip the pom. Break one open, sip on some juice, or use a powdered extract formula to get your pom on every day.
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Overweight AND Malnourished?

by Health News

The latest survey (2015) from the CDC shows that more than 68 percent of Americans are overweight…and under-nourished as it turns out. Experts from the Americans Institute of Cancer Research and the American Dietetic Association agree that excessive calories are a large part of the problem.

Empty and excessive calories linked to obesity and malnourishment in the U.S.

Back in 1990, the average calorie consumption for Americans was around 1,850 a day. Today, our caloric intake is more than 2,150 per day. That’s more than 300 extra calories a day. And those calories can add up, putting more than 30 pounds on a person in a year, theoretically.

Related:  Carbohydrate Digestion Strongly Linked to Obesity

And, as you can imagine, those extra calories aren’t coming from fruits and vegetables. While the USDA recommends two to five servings of fruits and veggies per day, most of us only get a totally of three servings, with 42 percent of Americans not even get two servings daily.

We are clearly in the midst of an alarming period of time where we as a country are significantly overweight, yet woefully malnourished.
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What You Should Know About Excess Sugar and Yeast Infections

by IVL Products

Three out of four women will get at least one yeast infection in their lifetime. The burning and itching “down there” is unpleasant but not necessarily harmful.  What many women may not realize is the link between too much sugar in their diet and yeast infections.

The connection between excess sugar and yeast infections.

Yeast Infection Causes

Yeast actually grows naturally all over our bodies.  The most common type of yeast found on our bodies and in the vagina is known as Candida albicans, or Candida for short.  This fungus thrives in warm moist places like a woman’s vagina and can be caused by a variety of things like:

  • Low estrogen
  • Wearing synthetic fabric pantyliners
  • Vaginal eczema
  • Spermicidal condoms
  • Synthetic chemicals in feminine hygiene sprays
  • Poor diet

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Diet and Yeast Infections

Yeast loves sugar as much as you do. Too much sugar in your diet can give yeast a boost causing it to spread and increase, especially if your immune system is depressed from a lack of sleep or stress.  If you are prone to yeast infections, or feel one coming on, try avoiding the following:

  • Foods with simple sugars
  • Starchy foods like white flour products or rice
  • Foods fermented with yeast like alcohol

Alcohol is very sugary.  A few drinks, some highly refined foods like pretzels or candy at the bar makes for a perfect combination to feed yeast and help it spread.

Probiotics Can Help

Probiotics are living microorganisms very similar to the “good” bacteria in your gut essential for digesting your food. This so-called “good” bacterium is prevalent in your digestive tract and in other places on the body. If you take antibiotics for a bacterial infection, you can inadvertently destroy the good bacteria along with the harmful stuff, paving the way for yeast to overrun your already-battered immune system; and they begin to multiply.

Eating foods that contain probiotics can help keep yeast levels in check.  Yogurt with live and active bacterial cultures, fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi, or a daily probiotic supplement can help keep yeast infections at bay.

Avoid Acidic Foods

Candida thrives in an acidic environment. Acidic foods to avoid if you are prone to yeast infections are:

  • Nuts (cashews, peanuts and walnuts)
  • Seeds (pumpkin and sunflower)
  • Acidic fruits like blueberries, cranberries and plums
  • Corn oil
  • Sugar and sweeteners including molasses, maple syrup, honey and especially aspartame
  • Salt
  • Condiments like mayonnaise, soy sauce or vinegar

Once Is Enough

If you have ever endured the painful symptoms of a yeast infection you’ll agree once is enough.  Making a few simple dietary changes can help stave off yeast infections.  Try to consume less sugar and alcohol and eat more probiotic-rich foods—you’ll get a host of other health benefits to boot.