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Stop Thinning Hair: Top 3 Natural Hair Treatment Plans

by IVL Products

While hair loss is usually associated with men, millions of women also deal with this distressing problem.  Over 50 percent of Caucasian men experience some measure of balding by the age of 50, and while it takes a little longer for women, roughly 40 percent experience noticeable hair loss by age 70.  Infomercials market one topical product after another, but preventing hair loss begins with a healthy diet.  Certain nutrients encourage the growth of shiny, healthy locks, and three minerals play a key role.  Making silica, zinc, and copper part of a hair thinning treatment plan may help stimulate new growth and prevent further loss.

Three important trace minerals may prevent hair loss and promote new growth.

Silica

The body doesn't require very much silica, but trace amounts prove vital to human health.  In addition to strengthening blood vessels, silica boosts circulation, which enhances blood flow to the scalp and promotes hair growth.  In addition, silica plays an important role in the formation of collagen, the main structural protein found in bone, nail, and hair tissue.  Healthy levels of collagen improve hair's elasticity and repair damage, making silica one of the best minerals for thinning hair.  To boost levels of this mineral, people can take supplements or get dietary silica from oats, leeks, green beans, garbanzo beans, strawberries, cucumber, and mango.

Zinc

Another important trace element, zinc plays a role in cell reproduction, protein synthesis, nutrient absorption, and production and maintenance of hormones.  It also promotes hair growth, helps repair hair, and helps maintains healthy oil glands.  Studies show that zinc deficiency may cause hair loss.  To increase levels of this important mineral, people can take supplementary zinc or add peanut butter, pumpkin seeds, or chick peas to the diet.

Related:  Mineral Supplements:  Are You Getting Enough?

Copper

Studies link copper deficiency to a host of degenerative diseases.  Copper offers powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and it works with iron to formulate red blood cells.  Copper also is a key ingredient in the coating of nerve fibers and collagen, and it plays a key role in the production of the antioxidant, Superoxide Dismutase (SOD).  Scientists have discovered that copper helps the hair in two ways.  It boosts the production of follicle cells, and it reduces programmed follicle cell death.  Experts have noted that follicles around wounds treated with copper grow especially large, and researchers conducting a study on rats concluded that copper compares to the hair thinning treatment Minoxidil for increasing follicle size and encouraging hair growth.

Man or woman ─ hair loss can cause stress and affect self-esteem.  Before dropping a lot of money on hair plugs or potions, people may want to try three minerals for thinning hair.  Silica, zinc, and copper all contain properties that promote healthy tresses.  People who prefer taking supplementary forms of these minerals should consult with a health care provider in advance.

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5 Ways to Overcome Thinning Hair

by Health News

Hair today might be gone tomorrow for some men and women experiencing hair loss.  While genetics sometimes plays a part, men become susceptible to thinning hair when testosterone converts to DHT (dihydrotestosterone), a form of the hormone that affects the follicles.  For females, a sluggish thyroid or menopausal hormone changes are often to blame.  The possibility of balding can cause acute emotional distress, and people spend millions on products promising to bring back their lost tresses.  While conventional treatments like Minoxidil and Propecia have shown positive results, many people worry about side effects that could accompany long-term use.  Natural remedies offer a safer alternative. Check out five effective herbs for thinning hair

Five herbs for thinning hair offer promising, natural and safe solutions.

Horsetail

Providing double the benefits, horsetail makes one of the best herbs for thinning hair.  It offers potent anti-inflammatory properties that boost circulation and build stronger hair follicles.  It also contains silica, a trace mineral linked to improved hair health and hair growth.  Many people with dandruff benefit from shampoos containing horsetail extract.

Stinging Nettle

Found in abundance in North America, stinging nettle helps prevent the conversion of testosterone into DHT, making it a good product for men and some women.  People can take this herb in a supplement form, find it in shampoos, or make their own topical treatment. Placing stinging nettle leaves into a jar of olive oil for a period of three weeks makes a good topical hair loss treatment according to some herbalists. 

Saw Palmetto

Saw palmetto is another herb for thinning hair that helps prevent the conversion of testosterone into DHT, and it contains anti-inflammatory benefits.  Research shows that saw palmetto offers enhanced effectiveness when combined with stinging nettle.  While it may help prevent further hair loss, studies on hair growth are still in preliminary stages.  People can purchase saw palmetto dried or in teas, capsules, and tinctures.

Related:  What Are The Benefits of Green Tea?

Pelvetia Canaliculata

Also called channeled wrack, the herb Pelvetia canaliculata comes from seaweed.  It contains powerful antioxidants ─ comparable to vitamin E ─ that revitalize the scalp.  Channeled wrack also offers DHT-inhibiting properties, and it is used in many shampoos and other hair care products.

Green Tea Leaf

In addition to offering many other health benefits, potent catechins found in green tea leaves inhibit the formation of DHT like many of the herbs mentioned above.  According to some herbalists, men might reduce risks for male pattern baldness by drinking several cups of green tea daily or taking green tea supplements.

Although conventional hair loss treatments offer positive results in some people, many worry about the effects of certain man-made chemicals over the long term.  That's why many people turn to remedies like herbs for thinning hair. The five herbs above offer effective hair-boosting therapies wrapped in a safe and natural package. 

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Why Perricone Has It Right

by IVL Products

The word "Perricone", apart from being a type of Italian wine grape, generally refers to the Perricone diet, developed in 2001 by Nicholas Perricone. Dr. Perricone is a dermatologist who developed a diet specifically to prevent wrinkles and aging of the skin. 

Salmon is a key part of following the Perricone diet

In his book The Perricone Prescription, he explains why a diet rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids is the key to anti-aging. His later book, The Perricone Weight Loss Diet, follows the same principles but is adapted to achieving weight loss along with healthy skin and other benefits.

What is Perricone?

Perricone is a series of books promoting different aspects of a healthy diet. The books by Dr. Perricone cover topics such as weight loss, reversing the visible aging process, diminishing wrinkles, skin care and treating acne. However, all the Perricone books emphasize the power of a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.

Perricone and Fatty Acids

Dr. Perricone advocates eating salmon five times or more per week along with tuna, shellfish, cod, trout and other fish. These foods are all high in essential fatty acids, particularly omega-3s, which is a key principle of the Perricone diet.

Fish oils contain docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) which are heart-healthy. These essential fatty acids slow the build-up of atherosclerotic plaque and help to lower blood pressure. They are also particularly good for maintaining a youthful, wrinkle-free complexion.

Perricone and Antioxidants

Other foods promoted in the Perricone diet, regardless of whether your goal is weight loss or healthier skin, are green vegetables, nuts, beans, berries, egg whites, low-fat dairy products, olive oil, tomato juice, melons and many fruits. These provide the second key ingredient in the Perricone diet – antioxidants.

Antioxidants are one of the most important factors for good general health, because they help to prevent the oxidation of molecules in the body by countering harmful free radicals. Antioxidants are now believed to prevent many chronic diseases including cancer, Alzheimer's and heart disease.

RelatedReel In Relief:  Include Fish In Your Arthritis Diet

Perricone has it Right

By concentrating on foods that deliver high levels of essential fatty acids and antioxidants, it appears that Perricone really does have it right. By ensuring a healthy body through his recommended diet, Dr. Perricone is delivering a radiant, moisturized skin free of spots and wrinkles, which is the direct result of a natural diet low in carbohydrates and high in fish-derived protein, fruit and vegetables. This diet also naturally helps the body shed unnecessary fat, reducing the health problems related to obesity and poor diet.

While the Perricone Diet was devised to deliver a specific niche of health requirements for anti-aging, it seems Dr. Perricone indeed had the right idea. His diet leads to a healthy body from top to toe, resulting in weight control and a glowing, wrinkle-free complexion.

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What’s in a Name? Toxins, That's What!

by Cindy Gray

Many people find that products that are fragranced can give them an allergic reaction, such as itching and rashes. We'll explain what the word "fragrance" actually means on packaging, and why you should opt for essential oils instead.

What’s in Fragrance, really?

Although the word "fragrance" suggests rose petals, lavender and other naturally perfumed ingredients, the truth is shocking. The label "fragrance" can cover up to 200 different ingredients that are not required to be individually itemized on the packaging. 

Switch to essential oils for a healthier home and lifestyle

Unfortunately what's hiding behind that term is a slew of chemicals and ingredients that may be harmful or even toxic. No wonder our skin reacts with an angry red rash when subjected to these elements under the guise of perfume in soap, bath and shower products, makeup and other skincare products!

Synthetic Fragrances

Essential oils are expensive to produce, so manufacturers have turned to synthetic fragrances to use in perfumes, cleaning products, air fresheners, candles and other products where a fragrance enhances the product's appeal. However, these fragrances are produced from petroleum, coal tar, toxic solvents and other chemicals. Some of these ingredients are narcotic or may imitate hormones, and some have been found to be carcinogenic, or cancer-causing.

Unfortunately, these synthetic fragrances are not subjected to any safety checks or health regulations. When inhaled or applied to the skin on a regular basis, the harmful effects build up, producing allergies, sinus congestion, asthma, eczema and other more severe health problems. These synthetic chemicals stress the immune system, defying doctors and in extreme cases can affect a person's quality of life.

RelatedProbiotics Destroy Toxic Chemicals In The Gut

Why Choose Essential Oils?

By comparison, essential oils are extracted from plants such as roses, lemons and even frankincense, which is sourced from the Boswellia tree. Of course it takes a lot of those plants to produce even a few drops of concentrated essential oils, making them expensive to produce even a fluid ounce. These oils are produced through a distillation process and are often from rare plant species.

True essential oils are more than just a nicely perfumed concentrate. Unlike manufactured fragrance, essential oils are 100% natural, health-enhancing and chemical-free. They have been used for centuries to heal when inhaled, massaged onto the skin or even taken topically in tiny amounts.

If you are suffering from undiagnosed health issues, consider avoiding all artificially scented products for a couple of weeks and see how much healthier you feel. By switching to essential oils for room fragrance, adding drops to your pillow at bedtime, or mixing them with massage oil as a beauty treatment, you may discover just how much harm those synthetic fragrances have been causing. 

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The One Tactic That Can Stop Hair Thinning

by Health News

Scientists have recently discovered a new ally in the search for effective hair loss remedies – green lipped mussels. Known as Perna Canaliculus, these delicious mussels are brimming with vitamins, proteins and minerals as well as omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and enzymes. While research into the health benefits of green-lipped mussels was in progress, doctors discovered that these shellfish are one of the most effective hair loss remedies in nature's medicine cabinet.

To a degree, hair loss is governed by genetics, but hair thinning treatments can prevent unnecessary hair loss, as well as treating those suffering from alopecia or other hair loss problems.

Natural hair loss remedies for thinning hair include green-lipped mussel extract

History behind the Health Benefits of Green Lipped Mussels

The indigenous Maoris of New Zealand rarely suffer illness, despite their physically demanding lifestyle in a cold and damp climate. Scientists noticed that the Maoris never seemed to be afflicted with swollen joints, aches, back pain and arthritis that most Westerners suffer from as they age.

Doctors began studying the traditional Maori diet, which consists mainly of seafood, in particular green-lipped mussels. They found that the mussels were high in anti-inflammatory properties, making them a natural replacement for aspirin and ibuprofen. Another unexpected side effect of eating green-lipped mussels was that it boosted hair growth, providing a natural hair thinning treatment.

One of Nature's Most Effective Hair Loss Remedies

Further studies into green-lipped mussels found that the shellfish are exceptionally high in several components known to be effective hair loss remedies.   Shellfish are an excellent source of omega-3s and mussels contain even more powerful fatty acids than standard fish oil. As well as lowering cholesterol, supporting a healthy heart and reducing joint pain, omega-3s are known to improve skin, hair and nails. They can slow down or even restore hair loss by keeping the scalp lubricated and promoting the production of hormones responsible for maintaining a lush head of hair.

Green Lipped Mussels and Zinc

Zinc is another vital mineral that is an important ingredient in hair loss remedies. Zinc deficiency is known to cause hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and hair loss is a common symptom. If you are suffering from hair loss (alopecia), a boost of zinc from green-lipped mussels or a supplement of green mussel extract may be one the simplest and most effective hair loss treatments for you.

RelatedHair Loss:  Causes and Solutions

One final benefit found in green-lipped mussels is the high content of mucopolysaccharides they contain. More commonly known as glycosaminoglycans, these sugar molecules have been found to stimulate hair growth in clinical trials. They lengthen the anagen (growing stage) of hair follicles, producing the same effect as chemical hair loss remedies.

If your hair is thinning and in poor condition, take a tip from the Maoris and eat more green-lipped mussels. Alternatively, add a mussel extract to your daily diet and look forward to receiving those compliments about your thicker head of hair soon. 

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The Stress Menopause Connection

by IVL Products

The link between stress and menopause is well documented. It can become a vicious cycle of worsening menopausal symptoms leading to increased stress.  Jump off that debilitating merry-go-round and find natural menopause relief with a few simple changes to your diet, activity levels and outlook on life.

Studies are showing that there is a connection between stress and menopause.

The journal Menopause found in a study of over 400 women between the ages of 37 and 47 that those who reported the highest stress levels had as much as five times the hot flashes as those who women who reported less anxiety.  Even women who reported only moderate anxiety levels suffered three times more hot flashes than those who lived with less stress.

More bad news connecting stress and menopause came from a study in the Maternal and Child Health Journal that reported vaginal dryness, a common symptom of menopause due to decreased estrogen, was associated with high levels of psychological stress (not physical stress).

Related:  Modest Weight Loss Lowers Disease Risks in Middle-aged-Women

Stress reduces the secretion of all sex hormones like estrogen. Women going through menopause are already experiencing a dramatic drop in estrogen production, which causes hot flashes, insomnia, depression and vaginal dryness.  Being stressed out about life situations and menopause symptoms can be debilitating and greatly affect one’s quality of life.

The Dangers of Chronic Stress

It is well known that chronic stress is not good for you. It is linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure, headaches, gastrointestinal disorders, more illness and diseases like cardiovascular disease, stroke and even cancer.  It makes chronic illnesses like irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis and diabetes worse as well. 

Add the dramatic physical changes of menopause to an already stressed out life, and you get a recipe for disaster. Your personal relationships, career, and over all sense of wellbeing can be negatively affected.  The good news is natural stress and menopause relief is available with a little effort on your part.

Diet

Your diet has so much to do with how you feel each day. Weight gain is a common side effect of menopause, so paying attention to what you eat can help you manage your stress levels and menopausal symptoms.

Foods rich in probiotics like yogurt, kefir, and kimchi, along with probiotic supplements help keep your GI tract functioning smoothly and your immunes system strong.  Suffering less sever colds, urinary tract infections (also common during menopause), gas pain and bloating will greatly reduce your stress levels. 

Being chronically run down and feeling ill is very stressful. Boosting your immune system with a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, omega-3 rich foods and staying well hydrated will relieve stress and menopausal symptoms like fatigue, depression and hot flashes.

Exercise

Weight gain and insomnia are common menopause complaints.  Exercise can offset these two unpleasant symptoms and help you reduce your stress levels.  Making time every day for some physical activity is critical to managing your stress levels and menopause symptoms.

You don’t have to spend hours at the gym or run a marathon, either.  A brisk walk or a few laps in the pool is all you need.  Being outside to exercise has many health benefits and makes working out less of a chore and something to look forward to.

Attitude

Your outlook on life makes a huge difference when it comes to managing stress and menopausal symptoms.  Menopause and stress are a fact of life for all women.  Accepting that and making plans to deal with both are critical for keeping your spirits high and warding off depression and other mood disorders. 

Women's Health Top Superfood Recipes

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The Best Sprouts for Menopause

by Health News

Hormone replacement therapy for menopause is linked to a dramatic increase in your risk of developing breast cancer.  With that scary statistic in mind, you may want to consider finding natural menopause relief.

Different kinds of sprouts work for natural menopause relief.

Thanks to an abundance of research and anecdotal publishing, we know there are some natural remedies for menopause symptoms like hot flashes, fatigue, and weight gain. A food you may not realize can help alleviate some of the symptoms of menopause is sprouts.

What about Sprouts?

All sprouted seeds are very rich sources of natural enzymes.  A sprout is a seed in the active state of maturation, or sprouting, and has a lot of nutrients and healthy enzymes to offer. In fact, when a seed sprouts to become the plant it was destined to be, its nutrient value increases dramatically, but only for a short time.

There are many different kinds of sprouts, but the best ones to eat for natural menopause relief are:

Bean Sprouts – easy to grown and rich in folate protein, vitamin C, B vitamins and iron, these are most commonly found as mung, or soybean sprouts. 

Alfalfa Sprouts – best eaten raw to retain their crunchy texture these sprouts are a great source of beta-carotene (about as much as carrots!) calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamins C and K, riboflavin, manganese and copper. They are also loaded with fiber.

Alfalfa sprouts also contain high levels of phytoestrogens, a compound that can have the same effect on the human body as estrogen. This will help reduce the symptoms of menopause caused by a decline in estrogen production as women age.

Lentil Sprouts – These sprouts are a little high maintenance but worth it because of the vitamin C, thiamine, copper, iron, folate and manganese they contain.

Related:  Are Sprouts Superfoods?

Sprouted Grains – Found in brown rice and buckwheat, sprouted grains supply a crunchy texture to breads and a hefty dose of extra fiber.  They have been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, helping to control diabetes, alleviate depression and reduce blood pressure.

Depression, higher blood pressure and weight gain are common side effects of decreased estrogen and progesterone production making lentil sprouts a great natural remedy for menopause.

How to Incorporate Sprouts Into Your Diet

You can easily incorporate sprouts into your diet. They make a great addition to any salad, stuffed in a pita, part of a sandwich, and are a tasty burger topper.  They are delicious in stir-fries, soups and stews as well. 

Eating them regularly and throughout the day will not only help relieve hot flashes, but will also provide you with several nutrients critical to good health.

Sprout Safety

You can easily find sprouts at most grocery stores.  Since sprouts are known to be contaminated with E. coli and salmonella sometimes, it is a good idea to look for the organic variety, keep them refrigerated and buy fresh sprouts with the buds still on them.

You can also grow your own at home with a jar, cheesecloth and a rubber band. Those you know for sure are not contaminated!

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The Estrogen, Serotonin, and Melatonin Connection: Balance is Essential

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Menopause management is a balancing act that can be very confusing for women who are suffering from hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness and other symptoms. Understanding the causes for menopausal symptoms can be difficult because there are physical, psychological and emotional components associated with the change of life. Recent studies have found a link between estrogen, serotonin and melatonin that might shed some light on the causes for certain symptoms. 

For a smoother transition into menopause, learn about how balanced estrogen levels lead to healthier serotonin and melatonin levels.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that carries nerve impulses from your brain to your body. It is often called the “happy hormone” because of its positive effects on mood. Low levels of serotonin can lead to depression, fatigue, sexual dysfunction and sleep disorders. Because estrogen is needed to produce serotonin, the declining levels of estrogen associated with menopause result in lower serotonin levels.

To further complicate matters, low serotonin levels lead to low melatonin levels. Serotonin is synthesized in the body to make melatonin, the hormone that is essential to restful sleep. Melatonin controls the body’s circadian rhythms to regulate sleep cycles.

RelatedNine Ways to Naturally Boost Energy

People with low melatonin levels are prone to sleep disorders that leave them in a perpetual state of fatigue. Chronic insomnia has adverse effects on all aspects of health and it can be especially troublesome for menopausal women.

Simply put, the estrogen, serotonin and melatonin imbalances can (and often do) create the perfect storm for menopausal symptoms mood swings and sleep disorders. The symptoms can become so troublesome that women seek help from their doctors who often prescribe hormone replace therapy (HRT) and sleeping pills. Both HRT and prescription sleep aids have unpleasant and sometimes dangerous side effects. 

Fortunately both serotonin and melatonin levels can be boosted through dietary changes and nutritional supplements. Studies show that tryptophan supplements help to increase serotonin and melatonin levels in the brain. Food sources of tryptophan include soy, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, peas, whole grains and low-fat dairy products.

Serotonin and melatonin supplements area available online and in natural heath stores. They come in pill, capsule or powdered forms. These supplements are a safe, natural alternative to prescription medications. Add them to your daily regimen to boost your mood, help you sleep and keep you healthy.  

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Black Cohosh Provides Safe, Natural Relief for Hot Flashes

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Several recent studies have confirmed that black cohosh provides safe, natural relief for menopausal symptoms including hot flashes and night sweats. Approximately 75% of menopausal women suffer hot flashes and for many the symptoms are so severe that they significantly impact quality of life. 

Get Natural Relief from Hot Flashes and Other Symptoms of Menopause

A single hot flash can last anywhere from one to five minutes and some women experience several a day. Many women turn to hormone replacement  therapy (HRT) for relief but it has been linked to increased risk for several serious health issues, including certain types of cancer.

Black cohosh, also known as black snakeroot or bugbane, is a medicinal root that has been used for hundreds of years to treat women’s gynecological symptoms. Studies at the University of Maryland Medical Center showed that black cohosh might provide the same benefits as HRT without the negative side effects. 

A member of the buttercup family, black cohosh grows in the eastern and central areas of the United States. Native Americans embraced it for its positive effects on women’s health. It helps regulate the hormone mechanism in the body which is why it supports relief from menopausal symptoms including hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats and vaginal dryness. Both fresh and dried roots of the plant are used medicinally. It is available in tea, capsule and liquid extract forms online and at natural health stores.

Related: The Emotional Toll of Natural Weight Loss

If you are suffering from hot flashes and night sweats talk to your holistic practitioner about the benefits of black cohosh. Other tips for coping with menopausal symptoms include:

Watch Your Weight: Being overweight increases your chances for having frequent hot flashes.

Keep Your Cool: There are several products on the market designed help women cope with hot flashes. Products such as cooling pillows, breathable mattress pads and light cotton sheets can help ease the discomfort of hot flashes and night sweats.

Know Your Triggers:  Alcoholic beverages and foods that are spicy are triggers for some women. Listen to your body, learn your triggers and try to avoid them.

Embrace Layers: If you are having frequent hot flashes, dress in layers so that you can remove outer garments as needed to keep yourself more comfortable.   

Don’t Smoke: Women who smoke significantly increase both the frequency and duration of hot flashes and night sweats.  

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Six Potent Probiotics

by Cindy Gray

If you are seeking a natural remedy to help with diarrhea, then look to probiotics.  These potent little strains of live bacteria and yeasts are very good for your digestive system and can bring relief to those suffering from occasional to chronic diarrhea.

Those who suffer from diarrhea will find probiotics a powerful remedy.

Probiotics are naturally helpful to your body; and you can ingest them easily from certain foods and supplements.  There are many kinds of bacteria classified as probiotics and they all have different health benefits, but almost all of them come from two groups:

  • Lactobacillus – the most common probiotic, it can be found in yogurt and other fermented foods.  It can help those who are lactose intolerant and ease diarrhea.
  • Bifidobacterium – this type is found in dairy products like milk and can help those with IBS relieve their symptoms.

You are not alone if you suffer from diarrhea. Those who have three or more loose stools per day for a period of four weeks or more are diagnosed with chronic diarrhea.

Related Top Three Fermented Foods for Constipation Relief

Taking over the counter medications is fine if you only experience diarrhea occasionally. However, if your condition is chronic, you’ll want to consider these diarrhea natural remedies.

  1. Lactobacillus acidophilus – is found in foods like yogurt, kefir, pickles and soy products, and in supplement form.  It is very beneficial to the human GI tract because it helps break down sugars in milk products (lactose) and produces vitamin K.
  2. L. casei (lactobacillus casei) – is found naturally in fermented foods. It has shown to be a very effective way to speed up recovery time for those suffering from acute diarrhea. It helps the gut break down lactose, and relieve constipation. It also relieves gas and promotes healthy digestion, which improves your immunity.
  3. L. rhamnosus – is found in the human GI tract, mouth and vagina.  Its greatest health benefit is as an anti-inflammatory. This makes it beneficial for those with loose stools and vaginal infections.
  4. L.  plantarum – this strain of bacterial is a real powerhouse. It can take up residence in your gut and keep disease-causing microorganism from wreaking havoc there. It also has the ability to “stick” or coat the lining of your intestines and prevent dangerous bacteria from getting into your bloodstream
  5. Bifidobacterium breve – also known as B breve, a shortage of it in the intestinal tract has been linked to diarrhea, allergies, gas and irritable bowel syndrome. It can benefit you by balancing the acidity (pH) of your colon, reduce bloating and gas, and relieve constipation.
  6. B. longun (Bifidobacterium longum) – found naturally in the gastrointestinal tract and the vagina it is thought to be an effective way to help prevent certain diseases like colon cancer. It contains anticarcinogenic and antimutagenic properties that help keep the pH balance of your digestive track normal.

Eating fermented foods rich in the super six or taking supplements can improve your overall health by boosting your immune system, relieving painful gas or constipation and possibly even help lower your risk of developing some forms of cancer.

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Understanding the Dangers of Hormone Replacement Therapy

by Health News

As women age and go through menopause, estrogen levels diminish.  Until recently, women relied on conventional hormone replacement therapy to help combat menopausal and postmenopausal symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and more.  While it was once thought that this treatment might benefit women's health, it turns out the reverse is true.  The dangers of hormone replacement therapy include an increased risk of blood clots, breast and ovarian cancer, coronary heart disease, and stroke. 

Conventional hormone replacement therapy presents a host of dangers to women's health during menopause and beyond.

Blood Clots

Studies show that altering hormone levels through artificial methods can make blood thicker.  It's not surprising then that women using traditional hormone replacement therapy experience more blood clots than women who don't use this treatment.  Women should also be aware that more blood clots increase chances for deadly conditions like pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis.

Breast and Ovarian Cancer

Hormone replacement therapy boosts levels of reproductive hormones in female bodies that are no longer meant to reproduce.  Some experts believe this is one reason HRT has been linked to increased risks for breast cancer.  While studies have shown that Asian, Caucasian, and Hispanic women are at higher risk, researchers do not know why, and they continue to study HRT and its effects on breast cancer risks.  Although HRT has not been found to cause ovarian cancer, research shows that it stimulates growth of ovarian cancer cells already present.

Related:  Is There a Connection Between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Heart Disease?

Coronary Heart Disease

Researchers once assumed hormone replacement therapy would benefit heart health, but they have found the opposite is true.  Women using this treatment experience a greater risk for developing coronary heart disease than those who don't use it, and heart disease remains the leading cause of death among women in the United States.

Stroke

Studies show that HRT does not lower risks for death from cardiovascular issues, but numerous trials have pointed to a connection between hormone replacement therapy and a slight increase in risks for stroke

Natural Menopause Solutions

In lieu of conventional HRT, women might try bioidentical hormones made in the lab which are derived from plant products like soy and wild yam.  Women can also add phytoestrogens to the diet in the form of soy products like tofu, tempeh, miso, and soy sauce.  Flax seeds, bean sprouts, and cruciferous vegetables also help balance hormones.  Herbs that help alleviate menopausal symptoms include dong quai and black cohosh.

Vibrant Living Health Challenge. Free 30 Day Download.

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Why the Color Orange Represents Good Health

by Health News

Acid reflux or heartburn is a common ailment that strikes nearly everybody at one time or another.  There are plenty of drugstore products you can use to help ease the pain and discomfort of heartburn, but if you want more natural heartburn relief, look to the color orange.

What Is Heartburn? What Causes It?

Heartburn is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or simply acid reflux. Symptoms included a painful burning sensation in your chest and a sour taste in your mouth. Stomach acids that have escaped into the esophagus are burning the lining. 

Orange foods, such as oranges, can help with natural heartburn relief.

Normally a muscle at the entrance to the esophagus opens when you swallow, but then tightens to close off the stomach from the esophagus. If for some reason it does not fully close, powerful digestive acids that break down your food into digestible nutrients can escape.  

There are many potential causes of heartburn:

  1. A hiatal hernia, when the stomach pushes into the chest
  2. Eating large portions that strain the stomach’s capacity
  3. Wearing tight, restrictive clothing
  4. Lying down right after eating a large meal

Food Triggers:

  • Alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Tomato based sauces
  • Fried and/or fatty foods
  • Highly acid foods and juices like grapefruit, lemons, limes
  • Carbonated drinks

Related How Do You Naturally Prevent Acid Reflux?

Drugs:

  • Antidepressants
  • High blood pressure medications
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Progestin found in birth control pills
  • Sedatives
  • Some medications prescribed to treat Parkinson’s disease

Orange You Glad You Read This

Some dietary changes may help to reduce the severity or avoid heartburn. Many of them are come graced with a lovely orange hue.

  • Carrots – carrot juice contains alkaline compounds that can help the neutralize acid that causes heartburn. They have other health benefits like beta-carotene, which becomes vitamin A in the body and helps heal sores in the intestinal or esophageal lining
  • Mangos – these exotic orange slices are loaded with powerful antioxidants like ascorbic acid (vitamin C), dehydro-absorbic acid and carotenoids. These compounds promote anti-inflammatory action in the body to sooth the inflammation associated with GERD or heartburn
  • Apricots – these small little orange fruits are loaded with catechins, which are anti-inflammatories. They also have a lot of fiber and beta-carotene without being high in fat or calories
  • Nectarines – similar to peaches, but with a smooth skin, nectarines are a sweet way to get more beta-carotene, vitamin C and fiber into your diet
  • Peaches – they come in a range of colors from white to yellow and orange.  Regardless of their color, you should be eating them.  These stone fruits contain vitamins C, E, and K.

Color Me Happy

Cherries are red, some berries are blue and foods that are orange are good for you too!

Eating a diet rich in beta-carotene, vitamin C and other vitamins and minerals in place of most fatty foods, alcohol and coffee can go a long way toward helping you maintain a healthy weight, boost immunity and enjoy natural heartburn relief.

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Healthy Licorice

by Cindy Gray

Candy for what ails you?  Forget the sweet stuff!  Licorice root is known to be helpful for treating an impressively long list of health problems, including as an effective chronic diarrhea treatment.

Licorice root may help those who suffer from chronic diarrhea

Licorice root, also known as Glycyrrhiza Glabra, grows wild across Europe. It is an herbal remedy that has been used for thousands of years by the ancient Greeks and Romans to treat many health issues.  Licorice has played a large role in Chinese medicine for many years.

Good For What Ails You

Western medicine is finally catching up and realizing just how beneficial licorice root can be for a very long list of health conditions including:

  • Upper GI health- it has been shown to ease coughs and the symptoms of cold and flu
  • Ulcers – packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, it has been shown to be almost as effective as conventional medicine for reducing pain due to ulcers
  • Chronic Diarrhea Treatment – licorice roots blend of anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory properties make it an effective treatment for this disorder

Related Why Ginger Should Be Your Gut’s Best Friend

There are two kinds of licorice root:

  • Glycyrrhiza, which has been shown to have some serious side effects like low blood pressure, headaches and heart problems.
  • Deglycyrrhizinated (DGL) seems to have less serious side effects but is just as effective in treating a long list of health ailments. 

The Right Stuff

The key therapeutic compound in licorice root is called glycyrrhizin. It has been shown in numerous animal and human research studies to have the ability to soothe and coat inflamed membranes.  That kind of anti-inflammatory ability is what makes licorice root a good treatment for the symptoms of chronic diarrhea.

Having occasional loose bowel movements can be normal, and it usually clears up on its own or with the help of over the counter medications.  However, chronic diarrhea is defined as having loose stools for four or more weeks, three or more times per day.  It can have a very harmful impact on one’s health.  The loss of fluids, nutrients and electrolytes for a prolong period of time can lead to poor health and a compromised immune system.

Taking licorice root can help ease the symptoms and provide pain relief. The compounds in the root inhibit spasms in the colon and sooth irritated membranes. It also enhances immunity by boosting production of interferon, a key immune system chemical that helps your body fight off attacking viruses.

Licorice root also has compounds called flavonoids that are powerful anti-oxidants. They help the body neutralize cell damaging free radicals that could be contributing to chronic diarrhea, severe coughing and other upper GI tract problems, and ulcers.  

Forms, Dosage, and Side Effects

You will find licorice root in several different forms:

  • Powdered
  • Thinly cut slices
  • In teas
  • Capsules and tablets
  • As an extract

For chronic diarrhea, ulcers and upper GI health, the recommended dosage for adults is two to four 380 mg tablets of DGL (see above) before meals and at bedtime.

If you or someone you know is seeking a natural treatment for ulcers, upper GI problems or an effective chronic diarrhea treatment, licorice root could be a good choice. 

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Chlorophyll: Nature’s Remedy for Fatigue, Bad Breath & More

by Cindy Gray

If you struggle with fatigue, bad breath and excessive sweating your body might need to detox with chlorophyll. Foods containing chlorophyll can help neutralize and remove the toxins that cause tiredness and body odors. Chlorophyll is the green pigment in plants that collects energy from sunlight. Eating foods rich in these green pigments helps to cleanse the blood. 

If you struggle with fatigue, bad breath and excessive sweating, you may need to detox with chlorophyll.

Algae, seaweed and wheatgrass are among the most potent sources of chlorophyll. Other good sources include green leafy vegetables, sprouts, green juices and wild edible greens. Foods containing chlorophyll detoxify the body and work with the liver to restore vibrant health. They also absorb toxins from the intestinal tract and support the growth of “friendly” bacteria.

Some of the major benefits of chlorophyll include:

Neutralizes Body Odor:  Because chlorophyll cleanses you from the inside out, it can help reduce body odor. Chlorophyll has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that fight body odor at the source. It is so effective that it is often referred to as “nature’s deodorant.”

Eliminates Bad Breath: Foods containing chlorophyll fight bad breath because they cleanse the digestive tract.  Chewing on the leaves of parsley, dill, basil and cilantro can immediately freshen bad breath. Chlorophyll provides a natural alternative to chemical-laden mouthwashes and breath mints.

Related What Everybody Ought to Know About Liquid Chlorophyll

Removes Toxins: Toxic metals in the environment can take a toll on your health. Chlorophyll attaches to toxins and heavy metals and removes them from your body. It also increases your blood's oxygen-carrying capacity by stimulating red blood cell production. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of chlorophyll contribute to its cleansing effects.

Boosts Immune System: Chlorophyll-rich foods contain essential vitamins and minerals that are needed for disease prevention and vibrant health.

Speeds Healing: For the past 100 years researchers have studied the healing properties of chlorophyll. Studies show it speeds the healing process because it is a natural disinfectant and it fights inflammation.

Because it has so many beneficial health effects, many people use chlorophyll supplements to make sure they are getting recommended amounts. The supplements come in capsule, powder and liquid forms and can be obtained online and through natural health stores.

Boost your energy levels and eliminate embarrassing breath and body odors the natural way. Chlorophyll is a safe, plant-based detox method that can cleanse your body from the inside out. 

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Look Beyond NSAIDS For Inflammatory Arthritis Pain Relief

by Cindy Gray

More than 33 million Americans take NSAIDs every day to cope with the moderate to severe pain associated with inflammatory arthritis. While they may provide temporary relief, NSAIDs come with potentially serious side effects, and in some cases may even worsen the inflammation they are prescribed to relieve.

NSAIDs work by suppressing prostaglandins, which are lipids produced by the body to deal with injury. The body produces two types of prostaglandins, those that cause inflammation and those that fight inflammation. Unfortunately, NSAIDs suppress BOTH types of prostaglandins so the medications have the potential to do more harm than good.

It is important to note that NSAIDs are powerful drugs and they affect many organs in the body including the heart, kidney and liver. The gastrointestinal side effects are so well-documented that in 2009 the FDA ordered all manufacturers of NSAIDs to list the dangers on the product labels. Problems range from mild stomach upset to potentially fatal stomach bleeding and ulcers.

Related: Natural Anti-Inflammatory Supplements vs. NSAIDs

Many people risk the serious side effects because they think NSAIDs are their only option for pain relief, but there are many natural remedies that can ease the pain of inflammatory arthritis.  Millions of Americans use nutritional supplements to deal with arthritis symptoms.

Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements can speed the formation of new cartilage and help block enzymes that harm cartilage. A study conducted at Montreal Hospital found that patients who take supplements containing glucosamine and chondroitin have less pain and inflammation. Arnica Montana, often called “mountain daisy” for its bright yellow flowers, has been used for centuries to treat joint pain. It is available in capsule and powdered forms online and in natural health stores.

Talk to your holistic health practitioner to determine the supplement formation and dosage that best suits your needs. Treat your back pain the natural way and avoid the harmful side effects of NSAIDs.   

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Three Natural Arthritis Treatments in Your Kitchen

by Cindy Gray

Arthritis is a very common disorder that causes pain, stiffness and limited mobility in the joints.  Inflammation is the source of discomfort and often requires strong non-prescription and prescription pain relievers. However, there are several natural arthritis treatments that can be found in your kitchen.

Ginger

Many cultures around the globe have been using ginger in variety of medicinal ways. The root of the plant is where its many health benefits are contained. In addition to adding a spicy kick to many dishes, helping alleviate nausea, and being a rich source of antioxidants, ginger has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

Research conducted in 2001 found that ginger oil reduced knee pain in participants diagnosed with osteoarthritis.  The journal Arthritis published a study that compared the effectiveness of ginger extract to medications like cortisone and ibuprofen for arthritis suffers.  The ginger extract was as effective in reducing cytokine production (a substance produced by the body with inflammatory effects, linked to arthritis pain).

That’s good news for those who want to avoid the unpleasant side effects of cortisone (aka betamethasone) like depression, seizures, muscle weakness and sleep problems, just to name a few.

If you are eating fresh ginger, two or three tablespoons grated into your dish are a correct amount for most people.  Taking ginger in capsule form (100 to 200 mgs) is the best way to reap the benefits of ginger as a natural arthritis treatment.

Turmeric

Turmeric is another natural arthritis treatment in your kitchen, and is a probably on your spice rack. Turmeric is not as widely used in the U.S., but is a staple in Chinese and Indian diets for its taste and many health benefits.

Related: Turmeric - The Natural Cancer Fighter in Your Curry

Curcumin, the main compound in turmeric, is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Like ginger, clinical studies comparing it to regular drugs for pain relief showed turmeric to be as effective for pain relief, but without the unpleasant side effects of OTC and prescribed medications.  In addition to being an anti-inflammatory, turmeric is an abundant source of antioxidants that help neutralize cell damaging free radicals.

Adding turmeric to your diet by taking a supplement is the best way to get maximum benefits.  Take a 300-milligram capsule with the meals to reduce pain and inflammation due to arthritis.

Pineapple

Sweet, juicy exotic pineapple is proving to be tough on inflammation and a powerful pain reliever.  Bromelain, an extract from the fruit’s stem, has been shown to be an effective anti-inflammatory that helps reduce pain and joint swelling.

Pineapple has actually been used in Hawaii and other tropical cultures as an effective treatment for sore throats and digestive issues.  Besides tasting delicious, pineapples are also rich in vitamin C and calcium. The digestive enzymes it contains are called bromelain and the source of the fruit’s anti-inflammatory effects.

For natural arthritis treatments, taking bromelain in capsule form is best. There is no standard dose, but in general, from 80-320 milligrams of the extract taken two or three times a day could offer pain relief without side effects.

Natural Relief

Using natural arthritis treatments makes dealing with arthritis pain and discomfort much more manageable without having to suffer the side effects of many prescription drugs.  Always be sure to consult with your doctor before taking any supplements to avoid unfavorable drug interactions and to get the best dosage for you.

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Heartburn Home Remedies in Your Refrigerator or Pantry

by Health News

Leaving a sour taste in the back of the throat or a burning sensation in the chest, heartburn affects millions of Americans every day.  It occurs when stomach acid is refluxed into the esophagus ─ the tube that connects the pharynx to the stomach.  While there are a number of antacids, H2 blockers, and other OTC products that offer relief from heartburn, they only mask the symptoms.  Making changes to the diet may offer a better solution over the long term.  Three types of food in particular make excellent heartburn home remedies

Green foods, apple cider vinegar, and papaya make excellent heartburn home remedies.

Green Foods

Green foods high in chlorophyll like spirulina, chlorella, and dulse help diminish heartburn by alkalizing the body and counteracting excessive stomach acid.  They contain nutrients that heal mucosal linings and digestive enzymes important to the assimilation of foods.  People can eat these foods fresh or powdered in salads or smoothies. 

Related:  How Do You Naturally Prevent Acid Reflux?

Apple Cider Vinegar

Organic apple cider vinegar (ACV) is one of the best natural heartburn home remedies.  The "mother," which resembles a cloud of material at the bottom of the bottle, contains healthy digestive enzymes, pectin, and other nutrients.  Pectin soothes the gastrointestinal tract to block the occurrence of stomach cramps, bloating, and gas.  ACV is also thought to help stimulate digestive juices for a more efficient breakdown of food and encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria which can help relieve heartburn and treat GERD.  People should shake the bottle of apple cider vinegar before each use to distribute the “mother.”

Papaya

The healthful nutrients found in papaya include papain and chymopapain, enzymes that help with the digestion of proteins and reduces inflammation in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. These digestive enzymes also help people who suffer from nutritional deficiencies associated with GERD.  Other important nutrients found in papaya include fiber, antioxidants, carotenoids, vitamins A, C, E and K, copper, lutein, and magnesium.

While certain OTC medications help relieve the gnawing, burning sensation that comes with heartburn, the results are only temporary.  Changing the diet often proves a healthier solution.  Chlorophyll-rich green foods, apple cider vinegar, and papaya all make excellent heartburn home remedies that come straight from Nature to your refrigerator or pantry.  

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Dangers of Laxative Overuse for Chronic Constipation

by Cindy Gray

While laxatives can help increase stool frequency, overuse of laxatives often results in chronic constipation.While regular bowel movements are critical for good health, “forcing the issue” with chemically-laden laxatives can do more harm than good. The body can quickly become dependent on laxatives and once you stop taking them constipation symptoms return, sometimes even worse than before. Laxatives contain chemicals that help increase stool bulk and frequency, which provides temporary relief for constipation. But overuse often results in chronic constipation and so it becomes a vicious cycle. 

Laxative use is rampant in this country and millions of dollars each year are spent on products that claim to relieve symptoms. Since the colon is the largest organ in the immune system, keeping it working efficiently is critical to good health.

Related: The Best and Worst Foods for IBS

Instead of reaching for a laxative, consider some natural approaches to treat chronic constipation. Your first line of defense should be to add fiber your diet. Most American diets are woefully lacking in fiber due to our national obsession with over-processed foods. To increase you fiber intake, eat plenty of vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, leafy greens and whole grains. Keep fatty foods to a minimum.

Probiotics are also helpful in maintaining regularity and they are found in cultured dairy products such as yogurt. Many people take probiotic supplements that provide the “good bacteria” in the digestive tract that help our bodies break down foods into components that provide healthful nutrition. 

Talk to your health care provider about natural ways to manage chronic constipation and other digestive problems. Laxatives should be used only as a last resort and only under the supervision of your physician or holistic practitioner.  

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Are Supplements Regulated by the FDA?

by theintituteforvibrantliving admin

Natural supplements are not governed like drugs, as they are not drugs at all. However, they can be just as potent and those taking daily supplements should understand what checks are in place to maintain standards and support good health. You should be particularly careful of starting a new regime of natural supplements if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have chronic medical conditions or are on medications. 

The FDA has rules concerning dietary supplements that allow manufacturers to claim a product supports health or addresses a deficiency. However, the manufacturer must make a disclaimer that the FDA has not evaluated the claim.

Related Article: 10 Tips for Purchasing High-Quality Nutritional Supplements

Herbal supplement companies must follow good manufacturing practices (GMPs) and meet quality standards. GMPs ensure the right ingredients are included to match the product label and ensure that dangerous substances, such as lead, are kept out. Once a product is on the market, the FDA monitors it for safety and has the power to remove it if deemed dangerous. 

The FDA requires natural supplement labels to show the name of the supplement, the name and address of the distributor or manufacturer, a complete list of ingredients and the serving size, amount and active ingredients. This makes it easy to compare similar products from different brands or research more information. 

#vibrantliving

The best protection is to buy natural supplements from a reputable supplier who has been in the market for many years and has a good reputation. Buy from a company that has good information available on its products, is willing to answer questions and backs up its products with a fair, money-back guarantee. 

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Royal Jelly for Skin: Your Skin’s Best Friend

by Health News

What is royal jelly?  It sounds like something the queen of England would spread on her biscuits with tea.  Actually, royal jelly is a nutrient-packed bee product that can be taken as a nutritional supplement, but it also can take years off the appearance of aging skin.

Royal jelly transforms aging skin

Royal Jelly: The Who, What, Where, When, & Why

Honey bees produce the thick, milky substance known as royal jelly to feed their queen.  Royal jelly contains water, proteins, sugar, fats, vitamins, salts and amino acids.  Its composition varies depending on the geographical location and climate the bees live in.  It is the primary food source fed to female bees to greatly enhance their fertility and longevity, making them queen bees capable of sustaining the hive.

The pasty secretion of royal jelly is used for many different things in and on the body like:

  • Asthma and hay fever
  • Liver and kidney disease
  • Insomnia or sleep disorders
  • Ulcers
  • Skin disorders
  • Bone fractures
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • High cholesterol

The existence of royal jelly and its potential for treating a number of health problems has been known for centuries, and became more popular in the U.S. since the 1960s.  Research conducted identified a potent neurochemical that could actually prolong the lives of fruit flies given the substance.  This has led to speculation that royal jelly could be a potent anti-aging substance.

Related: Alpha Hydroxl Acids Benefits Your Skin

More recent clinical studies have confirmed that royal jelly is in fact a good friend to aging skin.  Researchers at the Nihon University of Japan found that the anti-inflammatory properties in it shortened the healing period of skin lesions.  It also seems to stimulate collagen production, the essential protein that makes up the support bands beneath our skin keeping it smooth and wrinkle free.

The Yin and the Yang of Royal Jelly

The concept of yin and yang is at the core of Asian medical models dating back thousands of years.  Yin represents the skin, bodily fluids, tendons and bones, which are thought to become drier and hotter over time, especially in women of menopausal age.

Royal jelly is particularly helpful to “yin deficient” or aging skin thanks to the many essential nutrients it contains.  Traditional Asian medicine has been using royal jelly as a healing and skin renewing treatment to restore “yin” for thousands of years because it is highly effective with no known side effects.

The complex combination of fatty acids, proteins, vitamins and minerals have strong anti-bacterial properties combined with its high water content make royal jelly very hydrating and nourishing to aging skin. 

  • The silicon content is what boosts collagen production leading to a smoother tighter complexion.
  • Royal jelly also contains a lot B-vitamins, B3 especially, that are highly effective in preventing redness, irritation, and discoloring from lifestyle and environmental damage.
  • The Journal of European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology reported in 2013 that the collagen-boosting fatty acids in royal jelly also have sun-blocking properties that can shield the skin from ultraviolet ray damage.

Healthier Skin with Royal Jelly

With thousands of years of use in Asian medicine and significant clinical research showing its health benefits, using royal jelly for skin is a safe, effective and natural way to turn back the clock and restore a more youthful glow.