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Can Vitamin D Work Without Magnesium?

by Cindy Gray

According to extensive research, vitamin D deficiencies play a major role in the development of breast, prostate and colon cancer as well as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, psoriasis and mental illness.  While people are now beginning to realize the full extent of health benefits that vitamin D has to offer, they may not be getting the benefits of this vitamin without supplementing their diets with magnesium.

In order to receive the health benefits of vitamin D, its cofactors must be present, including magnesium, vitamin K, vitamin A, zinc and boron.

Does Vitamin D Work With Magnesium?Magnesium is a vital nutrient because it converts vitamin D into its active form. In fact, the effectiveness and benefits of vitamin D are greatly undermined in the absence of adequate magnesium in the body, yet most Americans do not get their recommended daily allowance (RDA) of this important mineral.

The importance of magnesium as a nutrient required for proper vitamin D metabolism has been recognized by several studies as follows:

  • Magnesium is necessary for vitamin D metabolism

  • Magnesium influences utilization of vitamin D by activating cellular enzyme activity. All the enzymes that metabolize vitamin D require magnesium

  • Magnesium has a possible role in vitamin D's effect on the immune system. Low magnesium has been shown to lower production of vitamin D's active form

  • Several studies show that magnesium is also necessary for vitamin D's beneficial actions on bone

  • Vitamin D inhibits calcium deposition in arteries, and magnesium converts vitamin D into its active form so that it can prevent calcium buildup into plaque in arteries. The combination of magnesium and vitamin D helps to prevent clogged arteries by drawing calcium out of the blood and soft tissues back into bones, where it is needed to build healthy bone structure and prevent osteoporosis, some forms of arthritis and kidney stones.

 

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Can Vitamin D Work Without Magnesium?

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Can Vitamin D Benefit You Without Magnesium?

by Cindy Gray

You may already know about the many powerful health benefits of having sufficient levels of vitamin D in your body. However, you may not be getting many of these benefits if you suffer from magnesium deficiency.

Vitamin D is made by skin cells in response to sunlight. It is also found naturally in fatty fish, fish liver oils and egg yCan Vitamin D Benefit without Magnesium?olks; as well as in fortified grains and dairy products.

Along with helping to build strong bones by maintaining proper calcium and phosphorus levels in the body, vitamin D also appears to protect against many other health problems.

For instance, having adequate levels of 25-hydoxyvitamin D (the biologically active form of vitamin D) can lower the risk of a first heart attack and peripheral vascular disease, along with reducing risk for many cancers.

Low levels of 25-hydoxyvitamin D are associated with increased likelihood of type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure (BP). Many studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency also plays a major role in the development of breast, prostate and colon cancer, as well as arthritis, osteoporosis, psoriasis and mental illness.

Increasing vitamin D intake to about 800 international units (IU) per day has been reported to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 30%.

While more and more people are learning about the powerful health benefits offered by vitamin D, they may not be getting many of these benefits if they suffer from magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium converts vitamin D into its active form. It acts with and is essential to the activity of vitamin D. In fact, vitamin D’s effectiveness is significantly reduced without adequate levels of magnesium in the body. However, most Americans do not get their recommended daily allowance (RDA) of this important mineral.

Nutrients act to enhance each other. To get the health benefits of vitamin D, magnesium, vitamin K, vitamin A, zinc and boron must also be present in suitable amounts.

The importance of magnesium for proper vitamin D metabolism has been confirmed by several studies as follows:

  • Magnesium is essential for the metabolism of vitamin D

  • Magnesium influences how the body uses vitamin D

  • All enzymes that metabolize vitamin D require magnesium (enzymes are special proteins that carry out chemical reactions in the body)

  • Magnesium may play a role in vitamin D's effects on the immune system

  • Magnesium is necessary for vitamin D's beneficial actions on bone structure

Last but not least, in its active form in the presence of magnesium, vitamin D stops calcium from being deposited in arteries, interfering with plaque formation or atherosclerosis, the first critical step towards developing heart disease.

Magnesium and vitamin D work together to draw calcium out of blood and soft tissues back into bones, where it is needed to build a healthy, strong bone structure; thereby preventing osteoporosis, some forms of arthritis and kidney stones.

If you feel you’re not getting enough vitamin D or magnesium, it may be a good idea to look for a supplement that gives you both of these vital nutrients and add it to your daily supplement regime right away.

 

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Can Vitamin D Benefit You Without Magnesium?

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How to Improve Blood Circulation with Alternative Medicine

by Health News

Low Blood Pressure Natural Treatment - Improve Blood CirculationPoor blood circulation can have a serious impact on one’s overall health.  For example, poor blood circulation means less blood flowing to your brain and typically means you have low blood pressure. This alone comes with a variety of significant symptoms, such as dizziness, problems thinking or even headaches.  In fact, poor blood circulation can impact every organ in your body and may even explain tingling and a lack of sensation in your arms and legs.  In short, poor blood flow can be quite serious.  Luckily, there are many natural health solutions that one can take in treating poor circulation.  In this article, we will examine a few of these low blood pressure natural treatments and natural health products.

Bonito Peptide

The bonito peptide is one natural dietary supplements that is currently being used for improving blood circulation.  This supplement is believed to contribute to general heart health and may have the ability to help regulate one’s blood pressure.  This compound is derived from the bonito fish.

L-Carnitine

L-carnitine is a compound derived from the amino acids methionine and lysine.  It plays a vital role in the metabolism and has enjoyed great success as a nutritional health supplement.  Generally considered to be safe, L-carnitine is often used to treat heart conditions.  It is believed that L-carnitine can be used to increase blood flow as well, which could make it a potentially useful supplement for those with blood circulation issues.

Nattokinase

Enzymes are vital for life and can provide a wide variety of health and medical benefits.  For example, the bromelain enzyme derived from pineapples can be a very effective anti-inflammatory.  Likewise, nattokinase is another enzyme with a variety of interesting properties.  This enzyme is extracted from a food called natto

Natto is a Japanese food made from fermented soybeans.  Nattokinase is often used as a blood thinner, and its role in overall heart health is being explored.  However, nattokinase is not for everyone and has been known to have negative interactions with aspirin.  Anyone considering taking nattokinase should consult with his or her doctor.

Garlic

You might be tempted to believe that there is little that garlic can’t do!  Garlic has been sought after for generations as a natural anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal agent.  Garlic is, in fact, so complex and beneficial that it literally has different properties depending on whether or not its been cut or crushed.

Additionally, garlic is believed to even have anti-cancer properties and is high in an assortment of vitamins and minerals.  It should come as no surprise that garlic may even be a heart healthy food as well.  A great deal of attention has been given to garlic’s potential as a heart healthy food, as it may protect the heart from oxidative damage and might lower bad cholesterol levels.  Further, garlic has the ability to positively impact artery walls.  All in all, garlic is a great pick for those looking for a natural way to increase blood flow.

Of course, following a healthy diet comprised largely of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat protein choices will do wonders for your health, regardless of whether or not you have any heart or circulation issues.  Following a diet rich in these foods will not only keep your heart healthy and your blood flowing, but will also give your body the nutrition and anti-oxidants it needs to fight off aging and disease as well.

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Can Supplements Offset the Effects of an Unhealthy Lifestyle?

by Cindy Gray

According to a 2010 study, poor lifestyle choices, including a diet low in micronutrients and minerals, inactivity, smoking and excessive drinking, all add up to a massive increase in the likelihood of death.  Study researchers found that risk of ‘all-cause mortality’ (dying from any cause) rose 85% for people with any one of these risky health behaviors; and went up a massive 3.5 times in those who engaged in all four harmful activities.  In fact, the combination of all four behaviors prematurely aged a person 12 years, in terms of mortality risk!Can Supplements Offset the Effects of an Unhealthy Lifestyle?

These results are not surprising, since each factor has shown an independent effect on mortality in prior studies. However, this study shows the heavy price people pay when they engage in two or more of these poor lifestyle choices.

On the positive side, even modest positive adjustments to any of these lifestyle behaviors are likely to have a significant impact on health.

This study analyzed results from the prospective Health and Lifestyle Survey, in which 4,886 participants aged 18 or older were followed over an average of 20 years. Individuals were scored for unhealthy behaviors, including:

  • Eating less than three servings of fruits and vegetables a day

  • Getting less than two hours of leisure time physical activity per week

  • Drinking more than 14 eight-gram units of alcohol per week for women or 21 units for men

Men were seen to be more likely than women to meet each of these unfavorable criteria.  The effect on all-cause mortality was weakest for a nutrition-poor diet. Physical inactivity, current smoking, and high alcohol intake scored the highest.  Cardiovascular deaths were higher with all four unhealthy behaviors, but significantly associated only with lack of exercise. Cancer deaths were significantly associated with both current smoking and inactivity.  The greater the number of unhealthy behaviors, higher the overall death risk as well as specifically from cardiovascular, cancer and other causes of death.

Of these four unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, a nutrition-poor diet is perhaps the most common. A diet of overly refined, processed, overcooked foods and not enough fruits and veggies can deplete your body of the micronutrients and minerals it needs to function optimally, making you more susceptible to infections, premature aging and chronic diseases.

Fortunately, one simple solution is to include a high quality multivitamin supplement every day.  Many unique formulas are now available that include natural probiotics and enzymes to help with digestion and overall metabolism; energy boosting ingredients; antioxidants to help fight off harmful free radicals; phytonutrients to balance pH and combat acid overload; immunity boosters to help your body fight off disease; and multiple anti-aging constituents to help you look and feel young again.

So why not include a daily multivitamin supplement in your routine, and take a positive step towards a healthy lifestyle?

 

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Can Supplements Offset the Effects of an Unhealthy Lifestyle?   

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Can Nettle Root Protect Against Hair Loss?

by Cindy Gray

Nettle root extract is a common ingredient found in hair products to stimulate hair growth and is believed to be effective for treating both male and female pattern Can nettle root protect against hair loss? baldness. Nettle root is also taken orally as a vitamin supplement.

The common or stinging nettle is a flowering plant with hollow stinging hairs on its leaves and stems, which act like hypodermic needles and inject chemicals that produce a stinging, burning sensation when they come into contact with skin. The nettle plant has a long history of use as a medicine, as a food source, and as a source of fiber.

The effectiveness of nettle root for hair loss has not been thoroughly studied. However, research shows that this herb can block production of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is mainly responsible for hair loss - known as androgenic alopecia. DHT is the active form of testosterone and is 15-30 times more biologically potent than testosterone.

Only 2% of total testosterone in the blood is free and only free testosterone is biologically active. A protein known as sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) binds to the remaining 98% of testosterone, keeping it inactive. When consumed, nettle root binds to SHBG instead of testosterone, increasing levels of free testosterone in men and estrogen in women.

To perform its biological functions, DHT binds to so-called ‘receptor sites’ for testosterone and DHT in the body. Nettle root competes with DHT for these receptor sites in the scalp, meaning that DHT is unable to interfere with hair growth.

Nettle root also directly blocks the enzyme that causes hair loss in androgenic alopecia and can be used as a stand-alone herb for treating male pattern baldness.

Additionally, women suffering from female pattern baldness have also seen positive effects with the use of topical solutions such as creams, lotions, shampoos and conditioners. Besides blocking production of excess DHT, topical nettle applications are thought to stimulate the scalp, strengthen the hair shaft, and stimulate the roots of the hair.

However, it may be a good idea to perform an allergy patch test or consult a medical professional before using nettle supplements or topical solutions, as some users have reported allergic reactions.

Having healthy, vibrant hair is important for both men and women. As we age, hair maintenance becomes even more important than ever before. If you’re unsure about what you can do to take care of your hair, there are natural supplements formulated with targeted nutrients that have been shown to support hair health, including nettle root extract. Natural supplements can be safe, effective alternatives to traditional cosmetic-based approaches.

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Can Nettle Root Protect Against Hair Loss?  

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Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH): Symptoms, Risk Factors and Treatment

by Cindy Gray

BPH (Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy: Symptoms, Risks & TreatmentBenign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, is a common adverse health condition typically seen in aging men. It is associated with lower urinary tract symptoms that affect quality of life by interfering with daily activities and normal sleep patterns. The prevalence of BPH has been shown to increase with age.  It is present in approximately 8% of men aged 31-40 years, 50% of men aged 51-60 years, 70% of men aged 61-70 years and 90% of men aged 81-90 years.

The prostate gland is located just below the bladder, surrounding the urethra. Its main role is to produce a thick liquid that makes up a substantial portion of the seminal fluid, or semen. Muscles in the prostate help move semen through the ejaculatory duct; and also help open the bladder to allow urine to pass through the urethra. Thus, a healthy prostate gland performs both sexual and urinary functions.

Enlarged prostate or BPH is the abnormal but non-cancerous growth of prostate cells. Half of all American men over age 60, and most over the age of 70, typically experience one or more symptoms of an enlarged prostate. As the prostate grows larger, it pushes against the urethra and bladder, blocking normal urinary flow. Even a slight enlargement of the prostate can lead to significant obstructive symptoms. Urinary storage symptoms are usually a result of instability in the bladder. An increase in the size of the prostate raises intravesicular pressure, so the bladder adapts by increasing in size. When its muscles become too large, the bladder becomes hypersensitive and unstable, causing urinary storage symptoms.

The prostate gland produces DHT by converting testosterone in the presence of an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. Together, testosterone and DHT along with estrogen promote a balance between cell growth (proliferation) and death (apoptosis) in the prostate gland. However, as men age and their testosterone levels fall, DHT levels remain high, suggesting that this imbalance may be responsible for BPH development. Some studies suggest that men who do not produce DHT typically do not develop BPH. Estrogen may also play a role in the growth of prostate cells in aging men.

Typical symptoms of BPH include:

  • Frequent urination

  • A sudden, uncontrollable urge to urinate

  • Difficulty starting a urine stream, leading to hesitancy and straining

  • Weak flow of the urine stream

  • Dribbling after urination

  • Feeling that the bladder is not completely empty

  • An urge to urinate again soon after urinating

  • Pain during urination, known as dysuria

  • Waking at night to urinate, known as nocturia

In a few cases, BPH may even completely block the bladder, making it nearly impossible to urinate. Chronic urinary retention over time can lead to bladder infections, kidney stones and kidney damage.

Risk factors for BPH include:

  • Being older than 50 years

  • Levels of the male hormones testosterone and DHT and the female hormone estrogen

  • High intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids and red meat, especially beef

  • Hypertension or high blood pressure (BP)

  • Level of physical activity, which is inversely proportional to the risk of BPH and lower urinary tract symptoms

  • Body weight, body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference, which exhibit a linear relationship with prostate volume

  • Elevated levels of fasting plasma glucose, which influence prostate growth; also, elevated insulin levels, which are associated with increased prostate volume

  • Alcohol consumption - which may have a protective effect on BPH development, likely related to its cardiovascular effects and ability to modulate steroid hormone metabolism.

Diagnostic tests for BPH include a urine test (urinalysis) and a digital rectal exam, which lets the physician assess the size and tenderness of the patient’s prostate. In some cases, a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test can help in diagnosis: the higher the PSA level, the more likely is the diagnosis of prostate cancer. However, there can be other reasons for having elevated PSA levels and some men who have prostate cancer do not show elevated PSA levels.

When BPH causes only mild symptoms, healthcare practitioners may advise ‘watchful waiting,’ a term used to describe frequent testing to monitor changes in the prostate gland. Health practitioners may also recommend lifestyle changes, as well as herbal medicines and supplements. If symptoms start to worsen, treatment should be considered because severe BPH can lead to serious health problems over time, including permanent bladder damage. Men who experience any symptoms of BPH, however minor, are usually advised to see their healthcare practitioner to be evaluated for the most serious prostate condition, which is prostate cancer. Medical treatment is usually reserved for men who have significant symptoms.

Available drugs include:

  • Alpha blockers, which relax the smooth muscles of the prostate and the bladder neck, helping to relieve urinary obstruction caused by an enlarged prostate. Side effects can include headaches, fatigue, problems ejaculating or lightheadedness. These drugs generally will lead to improvement in symptoms within several weeks, without having any effect on prostate size.

  • 5-alpha reductase inhibitors block conversion of testosterone into its active form DHT in the prostate. Prostate enlargement in BPH is a direct consequence of DHT levels, so these drugs lead to a reduction in prostate size over 6-12 months. Side effects may include declining interest in sex, erectile dysfunction and problems with ejaculation.

Surgical procedures may also be used to treat BPH, most commonly in men who have not responded satisfactorily to medication or those who have developed more severe problems, such as a complete inability to urinate. These include:

  • Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)

  • Laser procedures, involving the removal of obstructing prostate tissue and generally associated with less bleeding and quicker recovery than TURP; however, they may not be as effective over the long term.

  • Microwave therapy, involving the use of microwave energy delivered to the prostate to kill some of the cells, leading eventually to shrinkage of the prostate.

Men with BPH should carefully weigh the risks and benefits of each of these options. Prostate surgery has traditionally been seen as offering the most benefits, but unfortunately also carries the most risks.

 

Reference

https://www.clinicalkey.com/topics/urology/benign-prostatic-hyperplasia.html

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Is Moderate Alcohol Consumption Healthy?

by Institute for Vibrant Living

You’re probably already aware that a glass or two of red wine is good for your heart and reduces your risk of strokes and gallstones. Now, a new study suggests that moderate alcohol consumption can play a key role in healthy aging by bolstering your immune system, A new study suggests that moderate alcohol consumption can play a key role in healthy aging by bolstering your immune system, improving its responsiveness.improving its responsiveness.

In this study, 12 macaque monkeys were trained to drink alcohol freely and given free access to a 4 percent alcohol mixture as well as food and water. Their alcohol consumption - which mimicked human alcohol consumption - caused the research team to divide them into two groups.

The first group of macaques was made up of so-called ‘heavy drinkers’ who ended up with a blood ethanol concentration (BEC) of 0.08 percent or more. Interestingly, 0.08 percent is the maximum legal BEC for anyone driving a vehicle in the US. The second group of drinkers had lower BECs ranging from 0.02 to 0.04 percent.

Before giving the macaques access to alcohol, study researchers first observed their response to vaccinations. At first, all the macaques had comparable response times. However, after they were granted access to alcohol, their immune system response times to the vaccinations changed dramatically.

For instance, heavy drinking macaques showed diminished vaccine response times when compared to a group of macaques that consumed sugar water in place of alcohol.

Surprisingly though, macaques that consumed moderate amounts of alcohol actually showed enhanced immune system responses to vaccinations - in fact, these study researchers suggest that the health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption may be linked directly to its positive impact on the immune system.

It’s important to remember that while moderate alcohol consumption is beneficial, downing too many glasses can prove detrimental to health and wellbeing.

This new study did not identify the specific alcohol component that acts to enhance the immune system. Once health experts know what it is, less controversial health supplements are likely to be developed in future.

Source: Moderate Alcohol Consumption may Boost the Immune System.

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7 Green Superfoods With Cancer-Fighting, Heart-Healthy Benefits

by Cindy Gray

SUPERFOODS FOR CANCER-FIGHTING, HEART-HEALTHY BENEFITSEat your greens! How many times have you heard that growing up? Well, it turns out green foods really are some of the healthiest foods on the planet.

For instance, these seven green Superfoods are chock full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and flavor - so they should always have a place of honor at your table:

  1. Brussels sprouts - are a cruciferous vegetable, related to cabbage. Rich in vitamins A and C, folate, potassium, and cancer-fighting phytochemicals, these high-fiber vegetables are also a good source of amino acids and are considered delicious roasted with olive oil.

  2. Green tea - is brimming with cancer-fighting antioxidants and supports heart health, helps digestion and speeds up metabolism. Tea experts swear by loose-leaf teas for the best flavor.

  3. Avocados - are packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which help lower cholesterol and keep you feeling full for longer. They are a good source of vitamins E and C, potassium and lutein. You can add avocados to a salad, use them to make guacamole, or simply eat them plain.

  4. Kiwi fruit - contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps with digestion and conveys feelings of fullness. It has double the vitamin C content of an orange and is very high in potassium. It’s also a good source of vitamin E and folate. Kiwi fruit has a delicious tangy flavor and is ideal for a fruit salad.

  5. Spinach - has double the fiber of other greens, making it a great choice for health-conscious eaters. It’s rich in vitamins A and K and is a good source of iron and folate. Spinach provides antioxidants like beta-carotene, which supports heart health, fights cancer and keeps your eyes healthy. Raw spinach is delicious in salads, or you can add a few handfuls to scrambled eggs, soup or pasta. You can even drink spinach by tossing a handful into a fruit smoothie or a green drink!

  6. High-fiber kale - along with being a good source of vitamins A, C and K, kale also contains calcium and heart-healthy omega-3 fats. Kale is rich in carotenoids, which help protect your eyes from damaging UV rays. Most people prefer to lightly steam or cook kale.

  7. Broccoli - is a great source of vitamins A, C and K, as well as folate and calcium. Like all cruciferous vegetables, it’s also rich in cancer-fighting phytochemicals. Broccoli is very high in fiber, which helps with satiety and supports weight maintenance. It's delicious when lightly steamed or roasted with olive oil and a dash of salt.

However you like your greens - whether raw, cooked or mixed into soup, it’s important that you make them a part of your daily diet so that you can fully benefit from their cancer-fighting, heart-healthy properties. And don't forget, an easy way to add "green superfoods" to your diet is with a quality green powder supplement. 

Go green today and you will look and feel great every day!

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Enzymes Set the Stage For Vibrant Health

by Health News

Wondering how to gain energy?

Natural health products like enzymes are critical to tHow to Gain Energy: Enzymes Set the Stage For Vibrant Healthhe performance of virtually every process in the body. Although most people understand the vital roles that vitamins and mineral play in keeping us healthy and energized, many do not understand the importance of proper enzyme balance.

Enzymes serve as catalysts for the body’s essential chemical reactions that support health and vitality. They work their magic by breaking down the nutrients in our body so that the nutrients can pass through the intestinal walls and eventually be absorbed into the bloodstream. Vitamins and minerals are referred to as “coenzymes” which means that they require an enzyme in order to work.

Enzymes are the driving force behind tissue regeneration, proper digestion, cardiovascular health, kidney and liver function and many other life-sustaining processes. The powerful antioxidant properties associated with enzymes help protect the body from disease. When enzymes become depleted the body suffers. Chronic enzyme deficiency or malfunction can lead to serious and sometimes life-threatening health problems.

Most scientists classify enzymes into three main groups: metabolic enzymes, plant enzymes and digestive enzymes. Because they play such a pivotal role in our health, it is essential to get the proper balance of enzymes. Ideally, we should get many of the enzymes we need from food, but that is rarely the case. Fruits, vegetables and other raw foods are good sources but the average American diet contains very few enzymes. In today’s fast-paced world most people turn to time-saving convenience foods that are overcooked and over processed to the point that essential enzymes are destroyed.   As we age, it becomes more difficult for our body to produce the enzymes it needs to thrive, so older people are at a higher risk for significant enzyme deficiency.   

As we have learned more about the critical role that enzymes play in our overall health, more and more medical researchers are recommending daily enzyme supplementation. Enzyme supplements can be purchased at natural health stores and come in powder, tablet or liquid form. The supplements make digestion more efficient by enhancing the absorption of vital nutrients. For best results choose an enzyme supplement which contains a blend of different enzymes. Your holistic health practitioner can help you determine which natural supplements will work best for you.   

Elevating the enzyme levels in your body through natural supplementation will result in improved metabolic and digestive function that will make you look and feel younger. Keeping enzymes in balance will also make you less susceptible to serious diseases. Consider adding enzyme supplements to your “stay-well” plan so you can enjoy vibrant health throughout your life.

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5 HEALTH BENEFITS OF DIETARY FIBER

by Institute for Vibrant Living

You likely already know that adding fiber to your diet is a great way to improve your regularity or to treat constipation.

However, the fact is that dietary fiber - ideally from plants and nuts - has many other important health benefits, including -  

5 HEALTH BENEFITS OF DIETARY FIBER

  1. Blood sugar control - because it is not broken down by the body, fiber in an apple or a slice of whole grain bread has no effect on blood glucose levels. Of course, most foods that contain fiber - such as fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads, cereals and pastas - also contain other types of non-fiber carbohydrates such as sugar and starch that do raise blood sugar levels. According to a recent study, people with diabetes who ate 50 grams of fiber daily - especially soluble fiber - were able to control their blood sugar much better than those who ate far less. The average person needs to consume between 20-35 grams of fiber every day.
  2. Better heart health - fiber-rich foods are clearly associated with lower risk of heart disease. Research shows that people who regularly consume a high-fiber diet have a 40 percent lower risk of heart disease. A high-fiber diet also lowers levels of LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol and reduces blood pressure (BP). 
  3. Stroke protection - getting more fiber can reduce risk of stroke. Researchers found that each seven-gram increase in total daily fiber intake was associated with a 7 percent decrease in first-time stroke risk. One serving of whole wheat pasta plus two servings of fruits or vegetables provides about 7 grams of fiber. 
  4. Effective weight loss management - a high-fiber diet tends to be low in calories and takes longer to eat. It makes you feel full sooner and for longer. Also, if you're eating more fiber, you're eating less of other foods that cause weight gain - which is also beneficial for heart health. 
  5. Radiant skin health - fiber helps to make your skin appear radiant and healthy. Along with water, fiber cleanses the body of fats and toxins. For example, adding psyllium husk to your diet helps to remove harmful yeast and fungus out of your body, instead of being excreted through your skin where they could trigger acne or rashes.

What are the best sources of fiber? 

Vegetables are a major dietary source including artichokes, cooked green peas and broccoli. Fruits high in fiber include raspberries and pears, eaten with the skin. Legumes - including split peas, black beans and lentils - are also an excellent source of dietary fiber. 

Another way to get adequate fiber in your diet is to take a daily serving of a psyllium supplement. One serving with 8 ounces of water will provide you with about 20% of your daily fiber needs.

Psyllium seed husks are hygroscopic, which means they expand and become mucilaginous on contact with water. Being indigestible, they are a source of soluble dietary fiber and are typically used to relieve constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea. They are also used as a dietary supplement to improve and maintain regularity. 

Recent research has shown that psyllium seed husks may also be effective in lowering cholesterol and controlling certain types of diabetes. Other uses include gluten-free baking, where ground psyllium seed husks are used to bind moisture and make breads less crumbly.

 

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Healthy Eating Habits

by Health News

Our diet today looks nothing like that of our ancestors. While they first subsisted on foliage, leafy vegetables, fruits, and some nuts and seeds, once fire was discovered during the Paleolithic era, the diet began to include game food and seafood.

How to Gain Energy with Healthy Eating Habits

It wasn’t for another 10,000 years later that agriculture was introduced. This meant grains, legumes, vegetable oils, and dairy products. This diet was high in fiber, vegetable-based protein, and plant sterols. Still good, right?

Then came 1800s and the start of the Industrial Revolution and the introduction of hydrogenated oils, refined grains and sugar, packaged foods, and fast foods. In the past 200 years alone, we’ve managed to virtually undo evolution by turning away from whole grains, legumes, lean meats and fish, and leafy greens and veggies, and towards saturated fats, dietary cholesterol, and high glycemic carbohydrate food sources.

As a result, many people in our modern world struggle with maintaining energy levels throughout the day. Essentially, the food we are putting into our bodies is not fueling us properly, which has many people wondering how to gain energy in our day to day life.

The solution? Go Caveman!

Focus the bulk of your diet on anything you could hunt or gather. This means lean meats, seafood, fruits, vegetables, and nuts and seeds. This also means that you won’t have many natural sources of calcium and/or vitamin D, so you’ll need to supplement with a good calcium/magnesium product, as well as 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day.

Boost Health and Vitality

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Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Protect The Heart From Harm Caused By Smoking

by Health News

Omega 3 Fatty Acids for Heart and Digestion Problems

Omega 3 fatty acids may reduce the physical harm caused by smoking, according to a Greek study presented at the World Congress of Cardiology. This article looks at the findings from this study, and provides a list of foods that are a good source of Omega-3s. As a bonus, all of these foods are also conducive to a healthy digestive system.

This study looked at the effects of a four-week long oral therapy of 2 grams each day of omega 3 fatty acids on arterial wall properties of cigarette smokers. Arterial function is an independent marker of heart disease risk. Short-term treatment with omega-3s was seen to improve arterial stiffness and slow down smoking-induced damage to the elasticity of blood vessel walls in smokers.

These heart protective properties of omega-3s appear to be due to a combination of multiple mechanisms, including both anti-inflammatory and anti-atherosclerotic effects.

Further, a recent meta-analysis was conducted on over 39,000 patients with cardiovascular problems who were administered omega 3 dietary supplements for at least a year. This supplementation therapy significantly reduced risk of death in these patients due to heart disease and all other causes. In fact, omega-3s were clearly more effective than statin drugs in reducing heart disease-related deaths.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), even people without a documented history of heart disease should consume a variety of oily fish rich in omega-3s, such as sardines, wild salmon, herring, mackerel and tuna at least twice per week.  

Almonds, walnuts, flax seed, canola oil, soybean oil and green leafy vegetables are plant sources of omega-3s. They contain a short-chain form of omega-3s known as alpha-linolenic acid or ALA. ALA needs to be processed by your body into the longer form of omega-3s before you can benefit from them.

While the only way to protect your body from the harmful effects of tobacco is to stop smoking, eating a healthy diet rich in omega 3s can clearly reverse some of the physical harm caused by smoking, including lowering the risk of heart disease.

Aging Adults Guide to Healthy Holiday Digestion

Sources:
Omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the physical harm caused by smoking.

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Anti-Aging Tip: Stretching is Good for Seniors

by Health News
Want to know how to increase energy levels, improve circulation and balance? It’s simple, just stretch your muscles every day and stick to an exercise program.
 
Stretching is a powerful part of any exercise program. Unfortunately it does not replace exercise, but rather it complements it by increasing circulation, flexibility and balance. Other benefits from stretching exercises as we get older include maintaining flexibility to avoid injury and disability. Simple stretching exercises can help delay the onset of some chronic diseases associated with old age. And, for those curious about how to increase energy levels during the day, taking a break to stretch your muscles is a great way to get an instant energy boost too.
Want to know how to increase energy levels, improve circulation and balance?

A few simple stretching exercises performed every morning can alleviate stiffness and prevent lower back pain brought on by unused muscles tightening up over time, causing anything from minor discomfort to severe backache.

Almost anyone can perform stretching exercises which in turn improve the ability to lift objects, bend over or reach out for something – tasks that are part of everyday life. Without regular stretching exercises to keep our bodies supple, it is easy to strain or pull a muscle. Stretching also prevents injury during other types of exercise such as walking, swimming, cycling or sports.

The Benefits of Stretching

  • Allows us to perform everyday activities more safely
  • Prevents injury by improving balance and suppleness
  • Slows aging and eases digestion problems by improving circulation
  • Releases tension

Examples of Simple Stretching Exercises for Seniors

Hamstring Stretch
Sit on the floor with your legs together, stretched out straight in front of you. Reach out with your fingers a far as you can without pain. Hold for a count of five then relax. Repeat five times, trying to reach a little further each time.

Chest Stretch
Stand up and clasp your hands behind your back. Move your arms out away from your body and hold for a count of five, feeling the stretch in your chest and shoulders. Repeat five times, trying to reach a little further each time.

Wall Push Ups
Stand about two feet back from a wall. Place your hands on the wall at shoulder height and bend your arms, leaning in until your chin touches the wall. Hold for a count of five then straighten the arms. Repeat five times.

Yoga Lumbar Stretch
Get down on the floor on all fours. Breathe in, and arch your spine upwards with your head down. Hold for a count of three then breathe out, lifting the head and curling the spine downwards. Hold again and then repeat the full stretch five times.

Lower Back Stretch
Still on all fours, keep your hands on the floor and slowly push back until your buttock sits on your heels. Lower your head to the ground, arms stretched forward and relax. Walk your hands to the right until you feel a stretch in your left side and hold. Then walk your hands to the left and feel the stretch in your right side. Repeat three times.

Relaxation
Finish any stretching routine by lying on your back, drawing your knees up to your chest and wrapping your arms around them. Gently rock from side to side a few times before standing up.
Keeping flexible and supple is all part of a healthy lifestyle, along with eating wisely and taking daily supplements to support a healthy body. After all, you are only as old as you feel!

Sources:
http://www.suite101.com/content/easy-stretches-to-prevent-aging-a284492
http://www.easystretchingexercises.com/
http://www.easystretchingexercises.com/5-easy-stretching-exercises-for-seniors

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Top 3 Vitamins and Minerals to Support a Healthy Heart

by Health News

When it comes to heart health and aging healthy, most of us understand the importance of maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet rich in high-fiber vegetables and whole grains, and getting regular aerobic exercise.  But do you know what is good for high blood pressure? Your heart, arguably the hardest working organ in your body, needs a steady supply of certain vital vitamins? Here is a list of some of those vitamins and minerals, and why the getting proper balance of them is essential for optimal heart health.

What is good for high blood pressure?Calcium.
More than any other muscle in your body, you rely on your heart to contract regularly—and that’s a huge understatement. Calcium is vital for muscle contractions. Calcium is critical to healthy aging because it is stored in the bones, where it is released regularly to maintain a consistent level in the bloodstream. If you don’t consume enough calcium, you can get a condition called hypocalcemia, whose symptoms include muscle spasms and irregular heartbeat. Foods rich in calcium include dairy products, leafy greens and broccoli. Many foods are now fortified with calcium, such as bread, juice and cereals.

Iron.
This mineral is essential for heart health because it delivers its supply of oxygen through the hemoglobin in red blood cells. Without oxygen, your heart cannot function. If you don’t have enough iron in your body, you can get a condition called anemia. Severe anemia can actually lead to heart failure. Sources of iron include animal meat, seafood, molasses, tofu, spinach, peas, raisins and beans. Iron-fortified products include breads and cereals.

Magnesium.
Magnesium is essential for maintaining heart rhythm. But with magnesium, balance is extremely important. Magnesium deficiency can cause muscle spasms and weakness. Too much magnesium can cause the heart to stop beating! Consume green vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, peas and whole grains for a healthy supply of magnesium.

Talk to your health care practitioner about what is good for high blood pressure, and how much of these essential vitamin mineral supplements you need to keep your heart in top form and to set yourself on the path to healthy aging.

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The Key Supplement for a Healthy Heart?

by Health News

Looking for some high blood pressure remedies? The best vitamin supplement for a healthy heart is vitamin B. Taking Vitamin B supplements may just be one of the key components to healthy aging. Let’s take a closer look at this essential vitamin.Looking for some high blood pressure remedies? Learn how Vitamin B supplements may be able to help.

The vitamin B complex is a group of 11 separate, water-soluble nutrients: B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6, B12, biotin, folic acid, para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), choline, and inositol.

Of these, vitamins B6 and B12, as well as folic acid and niacin are the most beneficial for heart health.

B6 helps block blood clotting, lowers blood pressure, and reduces blood cholesterol levels. It also works to reduce homocysteine levels, which is a good thing, as this toxic substance has been shown to increase your risk of heart attacks and strokes. 

B12 is necessary for the production of healthy red blood cells. Like B6, it too reduces homocysteine levels, as well as improving arterial function, maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, and promoting blood vessel dilation.

Folic acid is necessary for the production of healthy red blood cells. It also supports the adrenal glands to enhance energy and stamina, helps to maintain healthy homocysteine levels and arterial function, and supports normal cholesterol levels, blood vessel dilation, and decreased plasma viscosity. 

Niacin has been shown to raise HDL cholesterol and lower LDL cholesterol. It also helps dilate your blood vessels, which increases blood flow and helps lower blood pressure.

Aim for 10-12 mg of B6, 50-65 mcg B12, 400 mcg folic acid, and 10-25 mg of niacin daily. Just be sure to take B vitamins with breakfast or lunch rather than at night, as they can be too stimulating.


 

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5 Ways to Prevent Colds and Flus

by Health News

Cold and Flu Tips | Natural Flu Prevention

Apart from maintaining sensible fitness levels, how else can we lower our risk of catching seasonal illnesses?

Avoid Exposure
Avoiding contact with those suffering from infection is a sensible precaution but it is not easy. Children are known to suffer more colds than adults so avoid large get-togethers where possible and postpone social engagements with anyone hinting at the first signs of cold and flu symptoms. If you have a cold or flu, stay home from work to avoid spreading the illness further.

Wash Hands Regularly
Frequent hand-washing has been shown to be the best and easiest way to prevent picking up flu and colds. Thoroughly wash your hands when you return home, before you eat, before handling food and after visiting the bathroom, sneezing or wiping a child’s nose. Use hot water and antibacterial soap. If you cannot get to a sink, use a hand sanitizer gel.

Clean Surfaces with Anti-Bacterial Cleaners
Shaking hands, using doorknobs and touching contaminated surfaces are the prime way that colds and flu infections are passed on. To counter these problems, wipe surfaces, doorknobs, supermarket cart handles, telephone handsets and other areas which get heavy public use with antibacterial wipes, or use cleaning sprays.

Avoid Touching Eyes, Nose and Mouth
Cold and flu viruses enter the body via the eyes, nose and mouth, so avoid introducing harmful bacteria by resisting rubbing the eyes or touching the nose and mouth unnecessarily.

Diet - Eat Foods That Act as Digestive Aids
Eat a diet which is wholesome and healthy with plenty of Vitamin C. Eating foods that act as digestive aids, such as fresh fruits, vegetables and natural yoghurt can help you feel your best during cold and flu season. Also, drinking plenty of fluids can help boost your immunity as a last line of defense against infections and viruses

Those deficient in Vitamins A, E, B6, B12, C, folic acid, zinc, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium and copper may be suffering from an impaired immune function which can easily be countered with a healthy diet and a daily vitamin supplement

If you are unfortunate enough to catch a cold or flu this winter, drink plenty of fluids, quarantine yourself and take gentle exercise in the fresh air in the case of a head cold to speed recovery.

Free Guide for Digestive Health

 

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Don't Reach for Antacids for Digestive Problems

by Health News

Digestive Enzymes versus Antacids

Most men and women over forty suffer from poor some type of digestive problem. It doesn't have to be that way. Natural food supplements such as spirulina and chlorella are the best health supplements for people with digestion issues, who are looking for a natural solution.

According to the American Pharmacists Association, Americans spend more than $3 billion a year on over-the counter antacids. Plus we spend another $13 billion on prescribed acid reducing drugs.

Worse than the expense: antacids cause a great deal more harm than good.

In fact, taking antacids regularly is one of the most dangerous things you can do for your health. Here are two reasons why they are dangerous and why you should stop taking them.

REASON #1: Antacids Prevent Digestion
Antacids work by neutralizing stomach acid, but you need acid to digest your food. Because digestion gets stopped, people eat more which is why antacids are one of the primary reasons why so many people are overweight.

REASON #2: Antacids Disrupt the Balance Of Power in Your Gut
Stomach acids do more than just break down your food. They also destroy dangerous bacteria in your food that could make you sick or even kill you. But when your stomach acid is neutralized, it can't destroy these dangerous microorganisms, so they get into your intestines. And unless you've got a healthy army of good bacteria in your gut (and few people do), you're going to get sick. Spirulina is especially good at helping people stop taking antacids and start eating again with gusto.

How?
Spirulina and Chlorella are both loaded with digestive enzymes and they help stimulate the production of good intestinal flora. Once you start using Spirulina, you'll never need to turn to an antacid solution again (which is no solution at all).

Adding a Spirulina-based supplement as a daily food normalizes an under-active intestinal tract by enhancing the natural contraction of the intestinal walls; and by supplying cellulose, a form of fiber.

Aging Adults Guide to Healthy Digestion

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Top 5 Anti-Aging Tips

by Health News

Top 5 Anti Aging Tips Institute for Vibrant LivingLooking for ways to stay youthful through the holidays and all year round? Check out these top 5 anti-aging and healthy holiday eating tips.

1. Get plenty of essential fatty acidsAmong the nutrients that our bodies need for good health are essential fatty acids – alpha-linolenic acid (of the Omega 3 family) and linoleic acid of the Omega 6 family.  These essential fats also help to promote youthful skin and can be obtained through supplementation or through diet.  Alpha-linolenic acid can be found in flaxseed, canola oil, wheat germ and soybeans, and vegetable oils and grass-fed beef are good sources of linoleic acid.

The benefits of EFAs to the body are many, but they are of particular importance to body cells as they are a fundamental component of cell membranes. A steady supply of EFAs in the diet is necessary to maintain healthy-looking skin because skin cells are regularly reproduced.

2. Look into HGH supplement products.  A 1990 medical study published by Dr. Daniel Rudman in the New England Journal of Medicine reported exciting results from the injection of synthetic human growth hormone (HGH) in men over 60 years old. These included an increase in muscle mass, decreased body fat, elevated energy levels, improved sleep and enhanced skin and muscle tone. This synthetic, injection therapy is very expensive, but today there are several natural, non-prescription HGH supplement products on the market (called releasers) that stimulate release of the body’s own human growth hormone by the pituitary gland.

3. Eat plenty of whole, organic fruits and vegetables.  When waging war against the effects of time, there are anti-aging fruits and vegetables that actually work. They help to hydrate the body and provide fiber and important disease-fighting antioxidants.  Citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, bananas are loaded with potassium and berries contain a host of vital anti-oxidants.  Green, leafy vegetables like spinach, leaf lettuce and kale are loaded with nutrients, and broccoli, carrots and cucumbers provide fiber and a good, crunchy texture!

4. Discover the importance of water for healthy aging.  Drink at least 64 ounces of pure, filtered or spring water throughout the day.  When aging skin is not properly hydrated, it loses resilience and becomes more susceptible to wrinkling. Water fights wrinkles by keeping skin moist and supple and helps to deliver essential nutrients to skin cells.

5. Try glucosamine supplements to retain moisture in aging skin.  Research by the Department of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School studied the effects of N-acetyl glucosamine and niacinamide on in-vitro human skin cultures and on women aged 35-60 in clinical trials with fine-to-moderate wrinkles. The research found that the two compounds accelerated the production of hyaluronic acid, a key ingredient in skin hydration and in the formation of collagen.

The tests also showed that in human subjects, improved hydration brought about by glucosamine and niacinamide led to a visible reduction in fine lines and wrinkles of tested subjects, particularly in the area around the eyes.  The researchers concluded that together these compounds could be a highly effective anti-aging treatment.

These tips are but a few of the many new, natural anti-aging practices coming to light. For many who are approaching the golden years, there is still a lot of living to do. 

Overall Health Starts with Your Digestive System

Are you adopting a few of these natural habits to promote healthy holiday eating and healthy aging?

Sources:

New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 323, July 5, 1990, Number 1:   EFFECTS OF HUMAN GROWTH HORMONE IN MEN OVER 60 YEARS OLD, Daniel Rudman, M. D.

http://www.consumerproductsreview.org/hgh-supplement.aspx

http://www.cosmeticsdesign.com/Formulation-Science/Research-suggests-glucosamine-is-an-effective-anti-aging-treatment

 

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Healthy Aging and Nutritional Supplement Vitamin E

by Health News

Healthy Skin and Healthy Digestion From Vitamin ENutritional health supplement Vitamin E is one of the most important nutrients we need to survive. It is a powerful antioxidant supplement with numerous scientific studies that have demonstrated how necessary it is for normal growth and development and for maintaining optimal health through adulthood.

But can it also help us age healthy and contribute to looking and feeling younger than our chronological age?

First of all, Vitamin E is not a single nutrient. It is actually made up of a group of individual compounds. Naturally-occurring Vitamin E actually contains 8 different compounds. One of these compounds is called d-alpha-tocopherol. D-alpha-tocopherol is the only form of Vitamin E that has been recognized to meet the requirements of the human body and that maintained in the body.

Because Vitamin E is such a powerful antioxidant, it helps prevent the body’s cells from being damaged by free radicals. This means that our organs stay healthier longer. One example of this is how it protects the cardiovascular system. Vitamin E has been shown in scientific studies to prevent arthrosclerosis (plaque buildup in the arteries).  Arthrosclerosis is a major cause of heart attack and stroke. Furthermore, because Vitamin E is such a potent antioxidant, scientists believe it can stave off a host of other degenerative diseases as well.

Vitamin E is also added to lotions, creams, and other skin care products to assist in anti-aging. It helps skin look younger by reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. And what it does for the internal organs applies to the skin as well: it protects the skin against free radical damage, in turn helping us age healthy. When applied 20 minutes before sun exposure, Vitamin E can also help protect the skin against sun damage because it increases the effectiveness of sunscreens.

Healthy Digestion and Vitamin E for Healthy Skin

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Natural Health Solutions: Vitamin E Deficiency & Diseases of the Digestive System

by Health News

Vitamin E deficiency may cause digestive problems and other diseaseVitamin E is one of the most important antioxidant nutrients our bodies need. It is found in nut oils, sunflower seeds, whole grains, wheat germ, and spinach. Not only is it a powerful antioxidant, it is also essential for child growth and development and for maintaining healthy tissues in adulthood. But what happens to people who don’t get enough of this important vitamin?

In infants, a Vitamin E deficiency can cause severe growth retardation. In adults, Vitamin E deficiency can have severe effects on the central nervous system including ataxia (difficulty coordinating body movements) and peripheral neuropathy. It can also cause anemia (insufficient red blood cells).

People who suffer from Vitamin E deficiency sometimes suffer from conditions or diseases of the digestive system that prevent them from absorbing fat. Because Vitamin E is fat soluble, people who can’t absorb fat properly will have a difficult time absorbing Vitamin E, even if they are getting plenty of the vitamin in their diets. Such people often get excellent results by taking Vitamin E as a nutritional supplement and may well see a reversal of the symptoms of deficiency.

Digestive problems? Download this guide to healthy holiday digestion.

Scientists also believe Vitamin E plays a role in preventing atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in the arteries) by helping prevent the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Several epidemiological studies have indicated that high dietary intake of Vitamin E is associated with high serum concentrations of alpha tocopherol, as well as with lower rates of ischemic heart disease.

The upshot? Eat plenty of foods that contain this important nutrient, and if you suffer from a condition or disease of the digestive system that prevents you from absorbing it properly, speak to your health care professional about taking a Vitamin E natural dietary supplement. 

Is your family taking enough Vitamin E?