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Eyesight Improvement with Vitamin D

by Health News

You’ve probably heard what recent studies have concluded about Vitamin D boosts you immune system naturally, and how it can be an invaluable ally during flu season. And you’ve no doubt heard the more recent news that Vitamin D might protect against the ravages of type II diabetes. But here’s another amazing benefit this vitamin might offer: strengthen your eyesight as you age.

Eyesight Improvement with Vitamin DDr. Glen Jeffrey and other researchers at the University College of London Institute of Ophthalmology in the UK conducted a study* in which they treated middle-aged mice with Vitamin D for six weeks. For the treated group, one-year-old female mice were injected with safflower oil containing 0.9 micrograms of Vitamin D every three days.  One mouse year is roughly 50 human years.

After six weeks, tests measuring the electrical responses of retinal cells showed significant improvement in the vision of the treated mice. So, what is the mechanism behind these very promising results? According to Dr. Jeffrey, it has to do with the reduction in amyloid deposits and inflammation in the blood vessels—a finding that could have even broader implications beyond those gleaned from this study.

“Finding that amyloid deposits were reduced in the blood vessels of mice that had been given Vitamin D supplements suggests that Vitamin D could be useful in helping to prevent a range of age-related health problems, from deteriorating vision to heart disease, " says Dr. Jeffery.

Ask your health care professional about the best way to incorporate this important nutrient into your supplement regimen.

*http://www.neurobiologyofaging.org/article/S0197-4580(11)00519-7/abstract

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Turmeric: The Natural Cancer Fighter in Your Curry

by Nancy Maneely

Turmeric Cancer Fighter If you’ve ever enjoyed Thai or Indian food, you have (probably unknowingly) consumed one of the most powerful natural cancer-fighting substances known to science. This miracle ingredient? Turmeric.

Turmeric is a spice made from grinding the roots of the Curcuma longa plant which grows wild in the forests of South and Southeast Asia. It is one of the key ingredients for many Indian, Persian and Thai dishes. Ancient Indian medicine (Ayurveda) has long recommended its use in food for its medicinal value.

Commonly used as medicine in many Eastern countries, turmeric has been found to suppress cancer growth, reduce brain tumors, support overall immune system health, and even alleviate symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. While the benefits of turmeric are just coming to light within the Western mainstream and alternative media, it has been known for quite some time that this inexpensive spice holds powerful health benefits.

Curcumin (not to be confused with cumin, the dried seed of the herb Cuminum cyminum, a member of the parsley family) is a natural phenol and derivative of turmeric, and may be responsible for many of these effects -- particularly the anti-cancer benefits.

In the July edition of the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, scientists noted that curcumin dramatically decreased the size of brain tumors by 81 percent in 9 out of 11 studies without apparent side effects.

Additional studies have found that turmeric and curcumin inhibit the spread of cancer by actually blocking a key enzyme responsible for its growth. Given chewable curcumin supplements containing 1,000 milligrams of curcumin each, 21 study participants with head and neck cancer experienced a halt in cancer spread after intake. Conducted by the UCLA, the results were examined by an independent lab in Maryland which confirmed that curcumin supplements ultimately stopped the spread of malignant cancer cells.

Curcumin gives turmeric its unique yellow color, and each 100 grams of turmeric contains 3 to 5 grams of the compound. In medieval Europe, turmeric was known as Indian saffron, since it was widely used as an alternative to the far more expensive saffron spice.

Some culinary facts and tips about turmeric:

  • It is one of the principle ingredients of curry powder.
  • It can be used as a substitute for saffron.
  • It is used to flavor and color butter, cheese, margarine, pickles, mustard, liquor, fruit drinks, cakes, table jellies, fruit dishes and other foodstuffs.
  • Use it to add Eastern mystery to new favorites as well as in traditional curries, rice and chicken dishes, and condiments.
  • It is a classic addition to chutneys, pickles, and relishes.
  • Blend it with melted butter and drizzle it over cooked vegetables, pasta, or potatoes.
  • It adds a warm, mild aroma and distinctive yellow colour to foods.

Some health experts believe that turmeric will soon reach the popularity level of vitamin D, which is only now becoming universally recognized for its wide-ranging health benefits.

Turmeric and curcumin are both extremely inexpensive methods of boosting health, and are readily available worldwide. They can be purchased in the form of spices or as health supplements.

Have you cooked with Turmeric? What is your favorite recipe that uses Turmeric?

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Healthy Travel Begins With Immune-Boosting Supplements

by Health News

Boost Your Immune System NaturallyWhether it’s for business or pleasure, travel requires careful planning. That’s why we develop extensive to-do lists that include filling up the gas tank, making airline reservations, obtaining maps and packing suitcases. Unfortunately most of us make travel plans that provide little or no focus on the most important thing of all - our health. 

While maintaining a strong immune system is critical for vibrant health every day of our lives, it becomes increasingly important when we are on the move. Travel can compromise the immune system because it upsets the internal body clock that regulates sleep, hunger and digestion. (This can be particularly troubling when you cross time zones.) Many travelers fall into poor eating habits and consume more caffeine and alcohol than their bodies can tolerate. 

To further complicate matters, travel also means increased exposure to germs and viruses that thrive when people are hoarded together in cars, airplanes, busses or trains. Poor air circulation contributes to the spread of illnesses and doorknobs, counters, banisters and other surfaces are likely to be contaminated by germs.   

With a little planning you can supercharge your immune system so that you can enjoy your travels and protect your health. One of the best ways to prepare your immune system for travel is to take nutritional supplements before and during your trip. Supplements containing green tea and resveratrol are particularly important. Green tea contains an agent called catechin polyphenol that is considered “jet fuel” for the immune system. Green Tea Elixir, which is available through the Institute for Vibrant Living, is the most concentrated extract of green tea ever formulated. Just add two droppers of this supplement into your favorite hot or cold beverage and you will receive the protective power of 20 cups of green tea. 

Resveratrol is another potent immune system booster that can help keep you healthy before and during your travels. This powerful antioxidant, which is present in red wine, fruit and the skin of grapes, is associated with a lower risk of developing cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Because it would be difficult to obtain optimal amounts of resveratrol from food and wine, many people use resveratrol supplements. 

Many people also add probiotics to their daily regime before and during travel to prevent gastric distress. Probiotics, which are available from natural health stores, populate the intestinal tract with “friendly” bacteria that limits the growth of “bad” bacteria such as salmonella, clostridia and E coli. 

The next time you make travel plans, make sure you take your healthy habits with you. Supercharge your immune system so that you can enjoy every second of your trip.  

What do you do to stay healthy while traveling?

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Boost Immune System Naturally

by Health News

Boost Immune System NaturallyA complex network of cells, glands, tissues and organs - this immune system support works to shield the body from disease. One quarter to one half of all body cells are committed to strengthen the immune system with important organs being the thymus and the spleen.

Certain white blood cells are important to boost your immune system and some herbs and spices work to stimulate these cells and occasionally boost the amount of white blood cells present in an infected body. Many of these herbs and spices have been used for centuries in traditional Chinese and Native American medicine.

Astragalus – This is a perennial plant native to China, Korea and Mongolia which is harvested for its root and dried for medicinal purposes. Astragalus is labeled an adaptogen which is a medicine thought to help shield the body from physical, mental or emotional stress.

Many studies have found that astragalus can boost specific and non-specific immunity. It has been linked to increased white blood cells, and it works with prescribed drugs to enhance effectiveness of treatment for cancer and diabetes. As it contains powerful antioxidants, astragalus may also be helpful in the prevention of colds and upper respiratory infections.

Garlic – This plant contains several antioxidants that fortify the immune system and some think of it as the “herbal antibiotic.”   Garlic has been used to combat intestinal parasites, as an external antiseptic and it is said to strengthen the immune system.   It is also said to be an effective agent against H. pylori, a bacteria that has been linked to ulcers and stomach cancer.  To maximize the medicinal properties of garlic in meal preparation, peel and chop the cloves, and let sit for 15 minutes before cooking.

Ginger – This is a warming herb that helps the body sweat out a fever.   Ginger also soothes an upset stomach and is said to boost immunity. A cup of hot water, honey, lemon and steeped, fresh ginger root is a recommended folk remedy for the onset of a cold.

Goldenseal - This is a bitter root that contains a powerful compound called berberine which has been found to destroy many types of bacteria in test tubes. It can also destroy germs responsible for candida (yeast) infections, and it combats various parasites in the body. Berberine may also stimulate white blood cells, which leads to a stronger immune system.

Herbs and spices are generally a safe way to strengthen the immune system. You should always discuss any type of alternative medicine with your health care provider, however to check for contraindications. Medicinal herbs and spices come in many forms - capsules, powders, teas and tinctures – which can commonly be found at your local whole foods store or through natural supplement websites.

Sources: 

http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/ss/slideshow-immune-foods

http://www.acupuncturetoday.com/archives2000/mar/03chen.html

http://www.mscd.edu/student/resources/health/healthymoves/Herbs%20to%20Support%20the%20Immune%20System%201~27~09.pdf

http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/goldenseal-000252.htm

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Top 5 Tips for Preventing Colds and the Flu

by Health News

Many people mistakenly believe that colds and flu are inevitable when winter sets in. The fact of the matter is that there are many steps you can take to keep your immune system strong and your body healthy all year long.

1. One of the most important things you can do to ward off illness is to stay active. When it’s cold outside it’s harder to get motivated to go for a walk or for that matter, even a workout inside. But you can get exercise without having to endure the bitter cold. Check out your community recreation center for exercise classes or take a stroll at the nearby shopping mall.

2. During a recent interview, a well-known naturopathic MD revealed his secret to avoiding colds and flu while traveling around the world. He attributed his good health is to wash his hands often. It’s hard to believe that something as simple as washing your hands can protect you from illness. But it can. Wash your hands often during cold and flu season.

Use warm water and soap; wash your hands, up to the elbows if possible, for 20 seconds. Rinse thoroughly to remove soap. Also, make sure the children in your life understand the importance of frequent hand washing. 

3. Drinking plenty of fluids is another “stay-well” strategy for winter. Fluids, especially water, flush out toxins. The beauty of water is that it is readily available and it has no calories, salt or sugar. Bear in mind that fruits are comprised of 80-90 percent water, so they can be an excellent source for increasing the fluids in your diet. 

4. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 19 percent of adults use some form of herbs, botanicals and enzymes to enhance their health and boost their immunity. Consider adding supplements to your diet. Look for these popular immune boosters.

  • Vitamin C is especially helpful in strengthening the immune system.
  • Vitamin D is an effective dietary supplement that infuses your body with all-natural vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for immune function and the metabolism of calcium. Without vitamin D, you would be susceptible to constant infection and your bones would be weak and brittle.
  • Zinc is a mineral that is needed for a healthy immune system and is often sold as an over the counter natural treatment for the common cold.
  • Echinacea is available as a dietary supplement that can be used to prevent or decrease the duration of the common cold. 

5. It may surprise you to know that one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy is to nurture your mind, body and soul. Make sure you take time to pamper yourself. Indulge in a massage, a hot bath or an aromatherapy treatment session. Spend some quiet time with family and friends. Get plenty of sleep. Smile and laugh often. Focus on the positive people and events in your life.

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Antioxidant Supplements For Men

by Institute for Vibrant Living

I’ll bet you’re reading this because you have a man you dearly love; and you want nothing more than to help this man achieve optimum health. Or maybe you are a man and you’re keen on your own good health and everything it takes to be healthy and to stay healthy—for life. Either way, you can probably relate when I say, a healthy man is a sexy man. That’s right. No matter what the man may look like on the outside, no matter how old he may be, if he’s unhealthy on the inside, his attraction level drops waaaay down. Way down. Right?   You know it’s true. In the converse, if this man is healthy, if he feels really good on the inside, it’s going to show—from the inside out! 

 

Antioxidant Supplements for Men

When a man is healthy and feels really good, he emits a certain energy: the allure of attraction... and THAT is what makes him desirable.   Like a magnet, good health pulls people toward him—it can even help attract and set the stage for good luck and positive happenings. When a man feels good and is healthy, it’s much easier for him to feel balanced, mentally, physically, and emotionally. Just like a woman with child is said to radiate “that glow,” when a man feels great, it shows. His color is true, his eyes are clear, his hair (or scalp!) has a shine, and he emits an aura of confidence. He has a positive energy that feels relaxed and centered. His inner chemistry thrives and everyone wants to be around him. 

 

So how does this man get there? How does he become healthy and sexy? The shortest path to optimum health is no surprise—it’s by making positive, intelligent, common sense health care choices. 

 

Profile of a healthy, sexy man:

 

  • He gets at least 7-9 hours of sleep a night, knowing that if he doesn’t, he’ll pay for it the next day. His bed is comfortable, and his bedroom is inviting. 
  • He drinks at least 8 eight-ounce glasses of pure water every day, knowing it’s hydrating his cells at their very core.
  • He doesn’t smoke and he limits his alcohol consumption to a reasonable minimum because it’s the smart way to go.
  • He eats lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and proteins. Whether he cooks or not, he knows the best restaurants in town.
  • He knows exactly which natural supplements he needs to strengthen his immune system, his organs, his heart, his mental agility and his libido.
  • He takes good care of his teeth by brushing and flossing every day—thus creating a very kissable mouth.
  • He works out at least three or more times a week, and has numerous activities because he’s so interesting.
  • He takes pride in his health, his life, his family, and his community, because he senses a profound connection that he know begins with him.

 

This healthy, sexy man has a vital voltage about his energy, and he has a personal strength that is simply delicious! If you took a peek into this fine gentleman’s personal “medicine cabinet” you’d probably see the following natural supplements—chosen by him because he knows what makes him feel his personal best.

 

This healthy, sexy man’s daily regimen consists of the following:

 

An antioxidant—chock full of powerful vitamins such as A, C and E. This healthy, sexy man is also smart, and he keeps up on the latest health information. He knows that recent research points to the encouraging role that antioxidants may play to help reduce the progression of Alzheimer’s—an age-related disease that he simply cannot risk. 

 

Vitamin D—to help him maintain not only his weight, muscle mass, athletic performance and strength, but his hair and his virility as well… You may see him on a treadmill in the gym, but he’s not watching TV…he’s reading recent research that helps him to understand that Vitamin D is vital to men’s health, and he won’t be without it.

 

L-Arginine—to help him avoid the dreaded erectile dysfunction that affects so many of his buddies. He’s told them that L-Arginine is an essential amino acid and one of the building blocks of proteins in a man’s body. He’s told them that this natural supplement has become known as a safe and effective pro-sexual nutrient for men (and women.) L-Arginine is a precursor of nitric oxide (NO) in the human body, and has been shown to be vital for blood circulation and normal sexual function. This healthy, sexy man knows that insufficient blood flow is a major cause of incomplete erection in men. He knows that L-Arginine has been shown to improve blood flow to the genital area by dilating blood vessels and helping to….well, let’s just say size, hardness, and frequency is something he doesn’t worry about.

 

And Fish Oil—Finally, this smart guy is in the know, and he knows that fish oil is loaded with the essential omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. He knows that fish oil can reduce triglycerides, boost HDL cholesterol, and lower blood pressure.  He also knows that healthy fats may also reduce inflammation and improve cognitive performance, and may lower his risk of colon and prostate cancers. He relies on fish oil to protect his overall great health to help him keep up with his busy lifestyle.

 

As an aside, we switched family doctors recently. My smart, healthy, sexy man and I were relieved to find a doctor with whom we would be compatible with in terms of health and wellness. I knew I liked this doctor right away when she asked my husband if he took supplements. She asked what dosages he takes, and she said that a quality fish oil supplement was tops on her list of essential natural supplements for her patients. 

 

So for the man who wants to make the most of his life, he needs to make the most of his health—he can’t have one without the other. A healthy man is a sexy man. He’s strong and smart and proactive, and makes the best choices for himself. The élan of this man’s energy is vibrant. He’s like a magnet for the best things in life. A healthy, sexy man can easily be “himself,” because there’s no one else he’d rather be!

What supplements does your Sexy Man take? 

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How to Boost Immune System

by Health News

Having a strong immune system is key to a healthy life. Being sick is no fun and during the How to Boost Immune Systemcolder months our immune system needs all the support we can give it. Certain natural supplements and vitamins are known to help counter bacteria and viruses and should play an important part in boosting your immune system this winter.

Provide Your Body with Good Nutrition
If you are undernourished, either generally or lacking specific groups of vitamins and minerals, your body will be susceptible to disease and sickness. Eat nutrient-dense whole foods and concentrate on eating five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. Avoid sugars and processed foods as they are known to decrease the function of your immune system and should be avoided at all costs if you are on the verge of sickness. Also drink plenty of clear liquids every day – water and herbal teas are best – to keep the body flushing out any toxins.

Get Plenty of Sunshine or Vitamin D
There is compelling evidence showing that colds and flu are related to a deficiency in vitamin D. Spending ten minutes in the sunshine each day, exposing arms and legs, is sufficient to allow your body to produce its own vitamin D. If you live in an area where that is not practical, then make sure you take a vitamin D supplement daily.

Take Vitamin E
Vitamin E naturally strengthens the immune system by stimulating the production of immune cells that create antibodies to fight germs and disease. In a study on vitamin E supplements conducted by Tufts University in Boston, the patients who received 200mg of vitamin E for four months produced more antibodies in response to vaccines for tetanus and hepatitis B than those who were given a placebo.

Consider Echinacea
Studies in Germany are way ahead of the U.S. and in double-blind, placebo-controlled studies Echinacea users had less frequent virus infections and less severe symptoms than those taking a placebo. Echinacea is most effective if taken when you feel a cold coming on, when you are under extra stress or when entering a situation that will challenge the immune system, such as returning to school after a break. A 300mg dose taken three times a day will be an effective natural immune booster.

Keep Active
Exercise helps boost the immune system as the increased blood flow stimulates all the body’s cells. Regular exercise allows the immune system to counter bacteria and viruses before they can cause problems, resulting in less colds, sickness and flu.

Get Plenty of Sleep
Your immune system will function best if you are well rested. During the cold and flu season your immune system is at its most stressed, so make a special effort to get plenty of sleep.

Manage Stress
Chronic stress is known to suppress the immune system. Studies have shown that people living stressful lives have a lower count of white blood cells, an indicator of a poor immune system. Laughter helps lower the stress hormones that circulate when you are under pressure, so make sure you laugh with friends or have a few good comedies to watch to boost your immune system and ward off illness the natural way this winter.

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All Natural Energy

by Health News

In this article we will look at some of the ways that you can increase your energy natuarlly, stay sharp throughout the day and maybe even drop a few pounds at the same time.  There are simple and beneficial ways that you can naturally boost energy.

All Natural Energy

The fact is that if you find yourself depending on repeated sugar boosts throughout the day, your overall health can suffer. Snacks like donuts, candy bars and drinks with high levels of sugar and hidden high fructose corn syrup will not only cause weight gain, but can lead to diabetes and other serious health consequences. Yet, it is important for most of us that we do boost our energy levels.

The Vital Importance of Sleep
Simply stated, you just shouldn't skip the sleep. The fact is that sleep is your foundation for feeling better, looking better, fighting off disease, recovering from injury and maybe even living longer! Many people believe that they can make up their sleep at a later date, but this idea is simply flawed, as scientific studies have indicated.   Northwestern University research on sleep deprived animals showed that when we don’t get enough sleep night after night, we can’t simply make up this “sleep debt” later. Further, chronic sleep loss can interfere with endocrine and immune system function.

Taking quality multivitamins and other supplements can help keep you sharp and healthy, but they are no replacement for sleep in the long run. Sleep is invaluable, and you likely need more of it! Sleep has been proven to increase the strength of your immune system, reduce stress hormone levels that can lead to weight gain, improve your memory and cognitive abilities and serves to repair injuries throughout your body. 

Food Choices Do Make a Tangible Difference
Replacing foods with low nutritional value with foods that are high in nutritional value is a second great step towards having more energy. The majority of people don't eat enough fruits and vegetables. By getting more fruits and vegetables into your diet you will naturally see your energy levels increase. Carbohydrates in the form of whole grain and brown rice can also boost energy. Nuts are also a great choice for increasing energy as their high levels of magnesium convert sugar into energy.

Quality Supplements Can Be an Essential Aid
There are also many good energy supplements, which can help you increase your energy levels, for example, a quality broad spectrum B vitamin. Moreover, B vitamins help you deal with the effects of stress as well, meaning that if you feel that you are being "drained" by the stress of life in general, turning to B vitamins for help is a good idea.

Increasing your sleep, making smarter food choices and taking quality supplements, such as B vitamin supplements, can help you feel better and have more energy naturally. All of these steps will help keep your immune system strong and functioning properly, reducing your chances of illness and helping you keep your energy levels consistent.

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Natural Immune System Boosters

by Health News

Natural Immune System BoostersA healthy immune system is the body’s first line of defense against microorganisms that can cause disease, so it is important to keep it strong and healthy.  As the immune system is not a single unit, but a complex group of components, this can sometimes be a challenging dance requiring balance and harmony.  There is still a lot to learn about how to naturally support the immune system, but there are strategies that one can adopt to give the immune system a boost naturally.

Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle
Make healthy choices.  Don’t smoke cigarettes, use alcohol in moderation, and eat a diet composed of fresh produce, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats.  Make sure to exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, keep blood pressure under control and get a sufficient amount of sleep.
 
If your diet is occasionally lacking in some nutritional components, a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement can be helpful. Here are several specific vitamins, minerals and other supplements that may be promising for their potential effect on immune system support.

Vitamins 
Vitamin A Low levels of vitamin A have been linked with reduced immunity and an increased risk for infection.  However, one study found that supplementation with vitamin A without a deficiency had no effect on T cell immunity in a healthy group of older adults.

Vitamin B6 – Research suggests that deficiencies in vitamin B6 can weaken immunity.  Supplementation with moderate doses of B6 can restore immune function, but large doses provide no added benefit. 
 
Vitamin C - Scientists have examined immune-boosting effects of vitamin C, but many of the studies have been poorly designed.  It has been suggested however, that vitamin C combined with other nutrients may provide health benefits.

Vitamin D Since it can be manufactured by the body with exposure to sunlight, this vitamin is really a hormone.  Researchers have found that vitamin D signals an antimicrobial response to mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium responsible for TB. Whether vitamin D has similar ability to fight off other diseases will be determined with further research.

Vitamin E Research involving healthy individuals over age 65 has shown that an increase in vitamin E from 30 mg (RDA) to 200 mg raises post-vaccination antibody responses to hepatitis B and tetanus. However, these responses did not occur following the administration of diphtheria and pneumococcal vaccines.

Minerals
Selenium -
Some studies have linked low selenium levels with a greater risk of bladder, breast, colon, lung and prostate cancers.  A comprehensive, multiyear study is currently under way which is examining whether a combination of selenium and vitamin E might aid in the prevention of prostate cancer.

Zinc - This is a trace element that is essential for immune function.  Low levels of zinc affect the ability of T cells to properly function.  A word of caution: an adequate amount of zinc varies from 15–25 mg per day, but too much can lower immune response.

Other Supplements
Garlic - In laboratory tests garlic has proved successful in fighting bacteria, viruses and fungi, but there haven’t been enough human studies conducted to know whether this benefits people. One 2006 study on consumption of garlic and onion in southern European populations found a link between the frequency of garlic and onion consumption and a lower risk of some cancers.

Probiotics – The human gut is full of different types of “good” bacteria which aid in digestion.  Researchers are finding evidence of a link between these bacteria and the immune system.  It is now known that certain bacteria in the gut influence the development of the immune system resulting in an increase in certain T cells.

Probiotics like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are beneficial bacteria that have been added to many dairy products, beverages, cereals and energy bars. Unfortunately, a direct connection between consumption of these products and improved immune response has not yet been made. Nor is it known if taking probiotics will replenish good bacteria destroyed through the consumption of antibiotics.

More research is needed regarding the effects of various micronutrients on the immune system.  In the meantime, it is wise to maintain a healthy lifestyle and take a daily vitamin and mineral supplement.

What steps do you take to ensure that your immune system is healthy?

Source:
http://www.health.harvard.edu/flu-resource-center/how-to-boost-your-immune-system.htm

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Ideas for an Improved Immune System

by Health News

Want to learn more about how to strengthen your immune system naturally with vitamins, minerals and supplements.

The immune system is the body’s first line of defense against microorganisms that can cause disease, so it is important to keep it strong and healthy.  As the immune system is not a single unit, but a complex group of components, this can sometimes be a challenging dance requiring balance and harmony.  There is still a lot to learn about immune response, but there are strategies that one can adopt to give the immune system a head start.

Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle
Make healthy choices.  Don’t smoke cigarettes, use alcohol in moderation, and eat a diet composed of fresh produce, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats.  Make sure to exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, keep blood pressure under control and get a sufficient amount of sleep.

If your diet is occasionally lacking in some nutritional components, a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement can be helpful. Here are several specific vitamins, minerals and other supplements that may be promising for their potential effect on immune response.

Vitamins
Vitamin A
– Low levels of vitamin A have been linked with reduced immunity and an increased risk for infection.  However, one study found that supplementation with vitamin A without a deficiency had no effect on T cell immunity in a healthy group of older adults.
Vitamin B6 – Research suggests that deficiencies in vitamin B6 can weaken immunity.  Supplementation with moderate doses of B6 can restore immune function, but large doses provide no added benefit.

Vitamin C - Scientists have examined immune-boosting effects of vitamin C, but many of the studies have been poorly designed.  It has been suggested however, that vitamin C combined with other nutrients may provide health benefits.

Vitamin D – Since it can be manufactured by the body with exposure to sunlight, this vitamin is really a hormone.  Researchers have found that vitamin D signals an antimicrobial response to mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium responsible for TB. Whether vitamin D has similar ability to fight off other diseases will be determined with further research.

Vitamin E – Research involving healthy individuals over age 65 has shown that an increase in vitamin E from 30 mg (RDA) to 200 mg raises post-vaccination antibody responses to hepatitis B and tetanus. However, these responses did not occur following the administration of diphtheria and pneumococcal vaccines.

Minerals
Selenium
- Some studies have linked low selenium levels with a greater risk of bladder, breast, colon, lung and prostate cancers.  A comprehensive, multiyear study is currently under way which is examining whether a combination of selenium and vitamin E might aid in the prevention of prostate cancer.

Zinc - This is a trace element that is essential for immune function.  Low levels of zinc affect the ability of T cells to properly function.  A word of caution: an adequate amount of zinc varies from 15–25 mg per day, but too much can lower immune response.

Other Supplements
Garlic
- In laboratory tests garlic has proved successful in fighting bacteria, viruses and fungi, but there haven’t been enough human studies conducted to know whether this benefits people. One 2006 study on consumption of garlic and onion in southern European populations found a link between the frequency of garlic and onion consumption and a lower risk of some cancers.

Probiotics – The human gut is full of different types of “good” bacteria which aid in digestion.  Researchers are finding evidence of a link between these bacteria and the immune system.  It is now known that certain bacteria in the gut influence the development of the immune system resulting in an increase in certain T cells.

Probiotics like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are beneficial bacteria that have been added to many dairy products, beverages, cereals and energy bars. Unfortunately, a direct connection between consumption of these products and improved immune response has not yet been made. Nor is it known if taking probiotics will replenish good bacteria destroyed through the consumption of antibiotics.

More research is needed regarding the effects of various micronutrients on the immune system.  In the meantime, it is wise to maintain a healthy lifestyle and take a daily vitamin and mineral supplement.


Source:
http://www.health.harvard.edu/flu-resource-center/how-to-boost-your-immune-system.htm


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10 Best Natural Vitamin Supplements

by Health News
Best Natural Vitamin Supplements IVL ProductsThe complex human body needs hundreds of vitamins, minerals and supplements to function healthily. Here are ten of the most important vitamins and minerals, and what foods will provide them.

Magnesium
Although only needed in tiny quantities, magnesium supports more than 300 functions in the body. It can be found in whole-grain bread, spinach, broccoli, nuts and legumes. It helps maintain lower blood pressure, improves vision in those diagnosed with glaucoma and protects the brain from damage by heavy metals in the bloodstream.

Zinc
Zinc is found in animal products, oysters and nuts. It helps the body to heal, boosts immunity and has been shown to support a healthy prostate.

Calcium
The body needs calcium for strong bones and teeth. Taking 1000-1200 mg of calcium per day is particularly important to help prevent bone loss and osteoporosis. It is found mainly in dairy products including low-fat and fat-free options. It is also found to a lesser extent in dark green leafy vegetables. Most people have problems getting sufficient calcium from their diet, so top up with IVL Calcium Complex or the Calcium Magnesium and Zinc supplement with vitamin D. 

Vitamin D
As well as aiding the absorption of calcium supplements, vitamin D supports the immune system. Those not living in a sunny climate, when the body naturally produces vitamin D, should take a supplement of 600-800 IUs. It is also found in oily fish and fortified foods such as cereals and milk.

Vitamin A
Vitamin A has many important roles in promoting healthy eyes and skin, it also supports the immune system. Along with vitamins C and E, vitamin A fights the damage from free radicals in the body.

Vitamin C
Commonly found in citrus fruits, peppers and leafy green vegetables, vitamin C is important for fighting disease and lowering blood pressure. You simply cannot get too much of this vitamin, so consider adding a vitamin C supplement to your natural intake.

Vitamin E
Known as the “elixir of youth”, vitamin E provides far more than just superficial benefits. It fights illness, prevents heart attacks and lessens the effects of aging. Eat generous amounts of avocados, olive oil, sunflower seeds, wheat germ and nuts to top up your vitamin E.

Folic Acid
Vitamin B9, more commonly known as folic acid, is important for brain function and helps prevent heart disease. It is found in liver, kidneys, yeast and leafy green vegetables. Although it is important to all age groups, it is particularly required by pregnant mums and seniors.

Vitamin B12
All the B vitamins play an important role in a healthy body but B12 is particularly diverse. It maintains healthy nerve cells and red blood cells as well as being necessary to make DNA. Meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products are a good natural source of B12. However, as we age our bodies absorb less B12, making it wise to add a supplement in later life.

Vitamin B6
Eating poultry, beans, fish, wheat germ and bananas will provide the body with B6 for clear brain functions and enhanced mood. 
Eating a balanced diet topped up with these essential vitamins and minerals will help you maintain the best possible health.
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Five Natural Anti-aging Solutions

by Health News
Five Natural Anti-aging Solutions

While getting older is unavoidable, many of the side effects like wrinkling of the skin, elevated risks for heart disease and stroke, high cholesterol, osteoporosis and memory loss can be forestalled with healthy lifestyle choices including good nutrition.  Take a look at these five tips for nutrition and anti-aging.

Consider supplementation of certain vitamins and minerals.  Aging individuals absorb nutrients with less efficiency, resulting in the need for better nutrition.  The body makes vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, but with aging the amount is progressively reduced.  Vitamin D is important for the prevention of osteoporosis because it helps the body process calcium.  It also aids in the prevention of cancer, and it may have therapeutic effects on autoimmune diseases and protective effects on cardiovascular disease and diabetes.  Most experts recommend 600 to 1000 IU of vitamin D daily for aging individuals.

The need for B vitamins also increases with age. Three in particular - folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 - are essential for the maintenance of homocysteine levels in the blood.  Research suggests that high homocysteine levels may contribute to heart disease and stroke. A review of several studies found that consumption of folic acid reduced homocysteine levels by about 25 percent, according to a 2002 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association. When folic acid was paired with vitamin B12, homocysteine levels were reduced by an additional seven percent.  A daily vitamin B-complex supplement or a multivitamin that contains the recommended daily amounts of folic acid, B6 and B12 will ensure adequate intake of these important nutrients.

Women in particular should boost their calcium intake as they age to keep bones young and guard against osteoporosis.   The National Institutes of Health recommends 1,000 mg per day during middle age.  After menopause, 1,200 mg is recommended if on hormone replacement therapy (HRT), and 1,500 mg is recommended after menopause if not on HRT.

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.  Diets packed with fresh fruits and vegetables help boost energy, maintain a healthy weight, and lower chances for disease.  With the exception of a few, most fresh fruits and veggies are full of fiber, low in calories and free of fat, cholesterol and sodium.  This helps lower risks for heart disease, cancer, diabetes and hypertension. 

Fresh fruits and vegetables are loaded with minerals like calcium, iron and magnesium and vitamins C and E, beta-carotene and folic acid.  Fruits and veggies also contain antioxidants which fight free radicals that attack and damage cells.   Antioxidants also help boost the immune system and protect the brain from oxidative stress.

Consume healthy fats with omega-3 fatty acids.  Foods like salmon and halibut contain omega-3 fatty acids.  According to research, these may help lower risks for heart disease and cancer, boost immunity and improve mood for a younger, healthier body.  A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that regular consumers of fish have significantly less incidences of colorectal, esophageal, stomach and pancreatic cancers. Even those who consumed small amounts of fish were found to have reduced risks for cancers of the digestive tract.

Drink enough water.  The body depends upon water for survival.  In addition to ensuring adequate moisture in the eyes, ears, nose and throat, water helps the skin stay healthy by hydrating skin cells, removing toxins and delivering nutrients to cells.  Also, proper hydration ensures more efficient perspiration which helps keep skin clean and clear. Drink at least 64 ounces of pure water each day.

Cut unneeded calories.   Studies have shown that a reduction in calories increases lifespan in small mammals and lowers incidences of age-related diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancer and memory loss.  Ask your health-care provider about the appropriate daily calorie level for your height and weight, and make sure your calories come from healthy sources:  fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean meats. 

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Prescription Drugs Contain Chemicals That Accelerate The Aging Process

by Health News

Millions of older Americans who take prescription drugs may be misinterpreting medication side effects and falling prey to the belief that being tired, confused, forgetful and weak are just natural phases of the aging process.  Contrary to popular belief, getting older does not automatically cause a person to slow down or become mentally dull, but the side effects of prescription medications may trick some people into thinking that is the case.     

IVL Products Natural Supplements

The fact of the matter is that all prescription drugs have side effects ranging from minor annoyances to life-threatening conditions. Older people are more prone to experience adverse effects because normal bodily changes affect the way our bodies absorb and process chemicals, including prescription drugs. Because prescription medications are highly concentrated they can negatively affect liver and kidney function, which can lead to a host of problems.

Despite the risk of side effects, many Americans think it is easier to pop a pill than to make the lifestyle changes needed to prevent or treat disease and improve their health. Drug companies spend billions of marketing dollars on TV and print ads each year to convince us that the majority of our physical illnesses can be conquered with pharmaceuticals.  Drug companies also send marketing reps directly to doctor’s offices bearing gifts that can influence a provider’s decision to prescribe a certain drug.

Before you resort to taking prescription medications, talk to your holistic practitioner about natural ways to resolve your health problems. Sometimes all that is needed is a minor lifestyle change, like a low-fat diet coupled with daily exercise. Nutritional supplements and medicinal herbs can also go a long way toward the prevention and treatment of many common ailments.

The Institute for Vibrant Living offers several natural nutritional supplements prescribed by Mother Nature herself.  One example is Pain and Brain Plus, which contains the highest quality and most concentrated Ayurvedic botanical extracts available to boost the immune system, eliminate pain and promote clearer thinking. This unique nutritional supplement contains curcuminoids which have been scientifically proven to fight the free radicals that accelerate the aging process and lead to a host of diseases, including cancer and heart disease.

The next time your doctor reaches for the prescription pad for solutions to your health issues talk with him or her about the natural alternatives that drug companies don’t want you to know about. All medications contain chemicals that have to be processed within your body and consequently they all have side effects. Talk to your holistic practitioner about your unique physical needs so you can develop a natural regimen that keeps you feeling strong, healthy and vibrant.

What negative experiences have you had with prescription drugs?

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The Health Benefits of Superfoods

by Health News

In the past few decades it has been determined that signs of aging like wrinkles and diminished skin elasticity are enhanced by oxidation, a process in which damaging free radicals begin to break down DNA.  Research is The Health Benefits of Superfoods | Institute for Vibrant Livingshowing that we can slow the aging process with the consumption of antioxidant-rich foods.  Studies also show that the amount of antioxidants consumed is directly proportional to longevity.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends eight to ten servings of fruits and vegetables per day, but not all of these have the same effect.  The effects of antioxidants are measured by a food’s oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC).

Check out these ORAC-rich fruits and vegetables, and implement them into your daily diet to generate a youthful appearance. 

  • Avocado
  • Berries
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Red Grapes
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli

Here are a few other superfoods that have shown great potential for enhancing a youthful appearance. 

Acai Berries – These tiny, purple berries can be found in the Amazon rainforest of Brazil.  In addition to boosting energy, this antioxidant-laden superfood is said to promote healthy hair, nails and skin.  Acai is available in supplement form in various powders and caplets.

Red Ginseng – A study published in the December, 2009 edition of the Journal of Medicinal Foods showed that red ginseng reverses wrinkles.  The study examined a group of female volunteers over the age of 40. The subjects took three grams of red ginseng extract daily for 24 weeks, and it was found that facial wrinkles were significantly reduced and collagen levels were increased.  Collagen is a product made from proteins in the body which is necessary for healthy skin.  Further, a gene that destroys collagen was inhibited and elastin, a protein that enhances skin elasticity, was increased.

Resveratrol - This important nutrient can be found in the skin of red grapes and in blueberries, cranberries and pomegranates.  Besides supporting cardiovascular health, resveratrol is said to promote a youthful appearance.  In addition to the fruits mentioned above, resveratrol supplements are available in whole foods stores and through natural supplement websites.

Sea Buckthorn Berries – This small, sour berry is found in harsh environments of Eastern Asia and is packed with vitamin C, providing 12 times more than an orange.  It is said to provide weight loss and immune system support and to foster good hair, nail and skin health.  Typically the fruit cannot be found in your local grocery store, but liquid and caplet supplements are available in stores and online.

Soy – Research that is soon-to-be-published in the British Journal of Pharmacology has concluded that soy can have positive effects on age-related skin changes in post-menopausal women. 

As adequate estrogen levels are required for youthful skin in women, an ovariectomy can accelerate aging of the skin.  This study examined the effects of soy on the skin of ovariectomized rats.  Researchers began treating rats six months after ovariectomy with genistein, a soy-derived isoflavone, for a period of 12 weeks.   At the end of treatment, the thickness of collagen and skin strength was significantly improved, which suggests that soy therapy might be a reliable alternative for age-related skin changes in post-menopausal women.

Everyone wants to look young for as long as possible and adequate nutrition is an easy fix.  In addition to a daily vitamin and mineral supplement, it might be worth a try to incorporate some of the foods above into your daily diet for a more youthful appearance.


Sources:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/food_and_drink/article6986044.ece
http://theview.abc.go.com/blog/top-7-superfoods-women

Cho, S. et al.  Red ginseng root extract mixed with Torilus fructus and Corni fructus improves facial wrinkles and increases type I procollagen synthesis in human skin: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.  Journal of Medicinal Food, 2009 Dec;12(6):1252-9.

Polito, F. et al.  Genistein Aglycone, a Soy-derived Isoflavone, Improves Skin Changes Induced by Ovariectomy in Rats.   British Journal of Pharmacology.  2011 Aug 9. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01619.x. [Epub ahead of print]

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Green Tea Extract May Help Offset Fatigue for Workaholics

by Health News

The Institute for Vibrant Living Green TeaThe health benefits of green tea are becoming more widely accepted among medical experts, and as a result the marketplace is booming with green tea products. This antioxidant-rich nutrient has shown promise for its positive effects on heart disease, cancer, weight loss, Alzheimer's disease, and for boosting the immune system. Now research from Japan suggests that supplements of EGCg, a potent ingredient in green tea, may offset physical and mental fatigue that can be attributed to a workaholic lifestyle.

In a laboratory study it was found that rats treated with EGCg could swim for longer periods than rats treated with saline solution. Levels of thiobarbituricacid reactive substance (TBARS), which can cause oxidative damage, were higher in the livers of fatigued animals as compared to the livers of control animals. However, treatment with EGCg for five days significantly reduced these levels in the livers of fatigued animals.

Study results suggest that EGCg is effective for easing fatigue and appears to have a positive effect on the damaged livers of fatigued animals. Researchers concluded, "We demonstrated that oral administration of EGCG (50 or 100 mg/kg intraperitoneally [not for 25 mg/kg]) improved performance in an animal model of combined fatigue...”

Study author Masaaki Tanaka from Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine stated, "Acute fatigue is a normal phenomenon that disappears after a period of rest. In contrast, the effects of accumulated fatigue are sometimes irreversible, and the compensation mechanisms that are useful in reducing acute fatigue are no longer effective." He further stated, "To avoid fatigue, it is important to develop effective strategies for attenuating fatigue."

Natural supplements containing green tea extract might be an ideal solution if the results of this study can be replicated in people. Green tea and its extracts already have a positive reputation, but this is one more reason to consider daily consumption of the tea or a natural green tea supplement.

Further study is needed, however, before EGCg can be considered a viable treatment for accumulated fatigue in workaholics. If the study above can be replicated in humans, it will provide more information on dosage needed and potential health risks.

What is your favorite way to drink green tea - hot or iced?

Sources:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18455659

http://www.naturalnews.com/

Tanaka M, Baba Y, Kataoka Y, Kinbara N. Sagesaka YM, Kakuda T, Watanabe, Y. Effects of (-) -epigallocatechin gallate in liver of an animal model of combined (physical and mental) fatigue. Nutrition 24(6):599-603, 2008

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Natural Health Vitamin Arginine

by Health News

Arginine is an amino acid that can be manufactured by the body, but there are dietary sources as well. Common food sources of arginine include meat and dairy. Most forms of dairy have some arginine, and it can also be found in chicken, turkey, beef, pork and some seafoods, such as salmon. Oatmeal, chickpeas as well as nuts and seeds are all plant-based sources of arginine. Of course, you can also add arginine supplements to your diet to be confident that you are getting a high enough dose of this important amino acid.

Arginine-May Help with a Variety of Injury Repair Issues
Many people take the supplement L-arginine, as it is believed to aid in the healing time of a variety of injuries. This helps to make L-arginine one of the more commonly taken supplements for athletes and those looking to recover from injuries.

Boosting the Immune System
Yet, arginine's role in injury repair is only one aspect of why people take this amino acid supplement. Since arginine may play a role in the body's immune system functioning, it is an attractive option for those looking to boost their immune systems.

Arginine and Growth Hormone Production
One of the more interesting and controversial uses of arginine is in the stimulation of growth hormone production. Some evidence indicates that arginine may play a role in the production of growth hormone in the body. However, it is important to note that, in general, taking supplements of any sort to increase one's level of growth hormone is a decision that should be reached with one's doctor.

Arginine and Heart Attack
Some studies are indicating that L-arginine may play a role in decreasing the likelihood of death after a heart attack. Yet, these studies are far from conclusive.

High Blood Pressure
In addition, arginine’s second most promising aspect is that it may help to decrease blood pressure. Anyone suffering from high blood pressure should be under the care of a doctor and should also realize that their condition is, of course, very serious. Unfortunately, high blood pressure can lead to heart disease. Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in America. Of course, you may reduce the risk of dying from heart disease with proper diet and exercise. However, additional measures such as taking arginine may also be helpful in reducing blood pressure.

Additional Possibilities for Arginine
Arginine may also be quite useful in helping the kidneys to remove waste products out of the body. Since it increases blood flow, arginine may be useful in treating erectile dysfunction. Arginine supplementation can be quite beneficial, but you should first consult with your physician before adding it to your health regime.

Do you take a Arginie supplement?

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HGH Dietary Supplements – Benefits v. Safety Concerns

by Health News
HGH stands for human growth hormone which is a master hormone that controls the body’s growth, particularly during adolescence. In the growing years, up to the age of 20, the body naturally produces around 500 mcg of HGH daily in the pituitary gland, but this declines to 200 mcg by the age of 40 and just 25 mcg for octogenarians.

As HGH is responsible not only for controlling height but also increasing muscle, reducing fat, increasing energy levels, strengthening bones and boosting the immune system, one begins to understand why we no longer look 20 when we reach the age of 50+. It also explains the reason why HGH supplements are acclaimed as the “Fountain of Youth”.

How Can HGH be Administered?

HGH is offered as an oral spray but tests show that HGH cannot be absorbed through the tongue or lining of the mouth, so sprays are largely ineffective and a waste of money.

HGH injections certainly produce fast results but they have been shown to have some serious side effects as the synthetic cocktail of drugs cannot mimic the body’s natural hormonal cycle and may result in shutting down the pituitary gland. It is also a very expensive treatment costing up to $3000 per month and finally, it must be prescribed by a doctor.

Thankfully there is a third option which has no side effects, is very affordable and easy to take. HGH supplements in pill and powder form give a time-released dose of HGH and do not have any side effects. They are safe as they are completely natural and are not a replacement therapy. Instead, they work by stimulating the pituitary gland to increase production of natural HGH, just as it did in your youth. Those taking HGH supplements report an increase in natural energy, a reduction in body fat, reduction in wrinkles, enhanced libido, an improvement in bone strength/density and an improvement in mental alertness.

No wonder HGH supplements have been seen as the answer to youthfulness in both looks and physical health. They are advertised as a complete body makeover and are promoted to help reverse the signs of aging in many ways. Do your research and listen to those who have tried HGH anti-aging treatments to see whether this supplement is right for you. Those with diabetes or a history of heart disease may not be suitable candidates, but for all others, taking a supplement seems to only have positive benefits.

What risks do you see in taking HGH Supplements?

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9 Benefits of Bee Pollen

by Health News

The natural health solution bee pollen has been touted for its health benefits. Ancient Greeks and Romans called it “ambrosia” and “life-giving dust,” and there are some today who believe that humans could live on bee pollen alone.

Pollen is the seed or grain of a flower blossom. There are two kinds of pollen grains - anemophile and entomophile grains. Anemophile grains are those that cause allergies in people, and these are not collected by bees. Bees do collect the heavier and stickier entomophile grains which are chock full of nutrients. When combined with special digestive enzymes and nectar, bee pollen is formed. 

Bee pollen contains vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, and it is a complete protein - packed with all 22 amino acids. It contains more protein per gram than fish or meat, which makes it a great choice for vegetarians looking for an all-natural supplement to boost protein consumption.

In addition to its “super food” status in terms of nutrition, bee pollen is said to be a natural solution for many health problems.

  1. It helps regulate the digestive process, and it contains a natural antibiotic that destroys harmful bacteria in the intestines.
  2. Bee pollen helps to flush poisons and toxins from the body.
  3. Important phytochemicals like lycopene and beta-sitosterol, as well as many flavonoids found in bee pollen have proven to slow growth of prostate tissue and reduce inflammation and pain.
  4. It is said that bee pollen helps reduce cravings for alcohol and other drugs.
  5. Bee pollen has been espoused to boost fertility in women and sexual potency in men.
  6. As an immune system booster, bee pollen helps prevent communicable diseases, such as the flu and the common cold. It is even believed to slow the aging process.
  7. Bee pollen is said to help reduce symptoms of depression.
  8. Because of its detoxifying properties, bee pollen helps to lower blood pressure. It flushes impurities from the blood, allowing oxygen to reach body cells, including those in the brain. 
  9. Lastly, many people swear by bee pollen’s ability to help relieve seasonal-allergy symptoms. Allergies cause the body to release antibodies or histamines. Bee pollen contains quercetin, which is known for its power to neutralize histamine response, providing relief from inflammation caused by hay fever and other allergies.

The Journal of Allergy reports:
74% of hay fever patients experienced an average 75% improvement in symptoms when supplemented orally with bee pollen.

17.8% of those with hay fever and 33.3% of asthma patients experienced marked improvement with oral bee pollen supplements.

A study published in the Journal of Phytotherapy Research in April 2009 studied mice that were fed bee pollen. The researchers from the Juntendo University School of Medicine in Japan found that active mast cells were reduced depending on amounts of bee pollen in the diet – the more bee pollen, the better the result.  Mast cells cause the production and release of histamines with exposure to allergens.  Histamines trigger inflammatory responses such as itching, runny nose, sneezing and coughing.

With so many potential health benefits, it might be wise to investigate bee pollen supplements, but always check with a health care professional in advance.

IVL Products Bee Pollen Vitamin Supplement


Bee pollen can be found in your local health food stores and at many natural supplement suppliers like The Institute for Vibrant Living.

Are you supplementing your diet with Bee Pollen?

Read related content:
How to Control your Fall Allergies
Allergy Answers in Your Kitchen
Natural Anti-Inflammatory Supplements vs. NSAIDs
Five Natural Ways to Fight Allergies
All Natural Health Product Spirulina Alleviates Allergic Rhinitis

 

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How to increase Fiber Intake without Increasing Calories

by Health News

Fiber is an important part of a healthy diet, but many people do not get enough. The recommended daily amount (RDA) of fiber for a healthy adult depends on calorie intake. For instance, based on a diet of 2,000 calories per day, the RDA of fiber is 25 grams, increasing one gram per day for every 100 calories. It is easy to boost daily intake of fiber without adding calories to your waistline – just pay attention to your diet, or try all natural, fiber supplements.

Adequate fiber in the diet provides important health benefits including reduced risks for developing diabetes and heart disease, lowered cholesterol levels, enhanced weight loss and an improved digestive system.

Plants are the only source of dietary fiber, which includes all the parts of the plant that the body can’t digest or absorb into the bloodstream. Dietary fiber is sometimes known as roughage or bulk. Unlike fats, proteins and carbohydrates, which the body has enzymes to digest, fiber passes through the body without being digested and absorbed into the bloodstream.

If a food is high in fiber, there is not a lot of room left for calories, which can be a benefit to people looking to lose weight. For instance, one ounce of milk chocolate, which has no dietary fiber, contains 15o calories. One ounce of blueberries, which has 4.1 grams of fiber, contains 16 calories. This means that you could eat almost ten ounces of blueberries to get the same number of calories as one ounce of milk chocolate. High-fiber foods are bulkier so they make us feel full faster than low-fiber foods, and they require more chewing, which means we tend to eat less.

Here are some quick and easy changes you can make to your diet to boost fiber without increasing calories:

  • Get five servings of fruits and vegetables per day
  • Consume 100% whole-wheat or whole-grain breads
  • Substitute cream-based soups with broth-based soups containing lots of vegetables
  • Eat high-fiber cereals
  • Replace white rice with brown rice in recipes
  • Sprinkle wheat bran into foods and smoothies
  • Make cooked beans a part of your daily diet – add to soups, tacos, and salads

High fiber foods are good for the health, but to prevent stomach upset like gas, bloating and cramping, make sure to gradually increase your fiber intake until your body adapts. Also, as it passes through the body, fiber absorbs water, so it is important to also boost water consumption when fiber intake is increased.

In addition to dietary changes, try all natural supplements as a way to boost fiber in the diet. Check out Beautiful Barley from the Institute for Vibrant Living. The perfect “fast food,” this healthy supplement is chock full of fiber, offering even more than bran. It is made from 100% whole-leaf barley powder, which gives all of the natural plant fiber and health benefits of a whole plant.

IVL Product's Beautiful Barley Supplement

In addition to fiber, Beautiful Barley is a rich source of EFAs (essential fatty acids) and amino acids – the building blocks of protein. A complete “super food,” just four tablets per day provides more antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and protein than a standard meal – without the calories! Not only is Beautiful Barley full of fiber to help the digestion, but it is also an energy booster, it may help control blood sugar levels, enhance sleep and improve immune system health!

Read related content....
Does dietary fiber aid weight loss?
Knock down bad cholesterol with these 4 foods
Flax Seed Meal: Unleashing the Health Bounty of a Wonder Seed
Regulate Digestive System: A Plant-Based Diet May Help
Liver Health: 10 Tips for Optimum Liver Health

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How the Antioxidants in Superfruits Keep Your Healthy

by Health News

MangosteenWe all know that fruits and vegetables are an important part of a daily diet. However, if you’re looking for a little extra boost of good health and nutritional support, supplement your diet with superfruits. They contain uniquely high concentrations of nutrients and antioxidants, making them a worthwhile addition to a healthy lifestyle.

Here is a list of several exciting superfruits and their healthy properties.

Acai: A very popular superfruit, Acai contains many healthful antioxidants including phytosterols, which encourage good circulation. Acai is a palm berry that comes from Brazil, and it is known as the “beauty berry,” for its promotion of healthy skin and other cells. Its important phytosterols protect the body from exposure to sunlight, toxins and environmental pollutants.

Acerola: With nine times the vitamin C of an orange, acerola is used to treat and prevent scurvy. It also contains vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin, and it has been used for natural prevention of heart disease and hardening of the arteries. The fruits are bright red and cherry-like, but contain three lobes.

Blackcurrants: Commonly used in jams, juices, yogurts and wines, blackcurrants have been rediscovered for their distinct, juicy flavor and numerous healthy properties – which are backed up by many scientific studies conducted over the last few decades. Since the Middle Ages, blackcurrants have been used by herbalists in the treatment of gallstones and liver disorders, and they are blended into cough syrups. They are rich in anthocyanins, and they contain high levels of vitamin C. Blackcurrants are also high in potassium, magnesium, iron and calcium. New research is proving that blackcurrants offer natural benefits to heart health, brain function and urinary tract health.

Goji: A pink berry from China, goji contains healthful polysaccharides that are not found in other fruits. It is an excellent source of carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin that can improve eye sight. This healthy pink berry is naturally full of 18 amino acids, more beta-carotene than carrots and more iron than spinach – no wonder the Tibetans say that it is the secret to “chi,” or life energy.

Mangosteen: Another popular superfruit, mangosteen is rich in antioxidants and contains over 40 types of xanthones which can prevent and treat inflammation. A tangerine-sized fruit grown in Southeast Asia, mangosteen is said to enhance youth and vitality and support the immune system.

Maqui berry: A deep purple berry that grows wild in parts of southern Chile, maqui berries are an unusually rich source of anthocyanins, specifically, delphinidins.   These beneficial delphinidins carry natural anti-inflammatory properties, thereby helping to reduce the risk of many degenerative diseases that stem from inflammation. These berries are also said to be helpful in the prevention and treatment of colon cancer.

We all know that fruits and vegetables are an important part of a daily diet. However, if you’re looking for a little extra boost of good health and nutritional support, supplement your diet with superfruits. They contain uniquely high concentrations of nutrients and antioxidants, making them a worthwhile addition to a healthy lifestyle.


Are you looking to add a high quality antioxidant supplement to your diet? Consider trying Berry Essentials - composed of the 10 most powerful superberries, herbs, vegetables and fruits that contain the most potent, disease-fight antioxidants.

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