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Effective Migraine Relief With Essential Oils

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Did you know that essential oil of lavender has been shown to relieve migraine pain and accompanying symptoms by 72% - in fact, more effectively than any prescription medications?

A 2012 study conducted at Mashhad University of Medical Sciences in Iran enrolled 47 diagnosed migraine patients and randomly assigned them to one of two groups.

Effective Migraine Relief With Essential Oils

Trial subjects were told to apply 2 to 3 drops of essential lavender oil onto their upper lip, inhale it for 15 minutes and then score the severity of their headache pain every 30 minutes for the next two hours. Control subjects received similar instructions but were given a placebo to inhale.

Out of 129 headaches experienced by study subjects, nearly 72% responded entirely or partially to lavender oil therapy. In the control group, fewer than half of headaches responded to the control oil.

So the next time a headache strikes - even a migraine - you might want to skip the aspirin and reach for an essential oil instead.

Many aromatherapists offer solutions for migraines as well as headaches that may arise because of a cold or flu, hormones, tension, sinus infection or hangover. Essential oil therapies are gaining in popularity because they’re effective and have no side effects, which is a tough combination to beat.

Besides lavender, essential oil of peppermint has also been shown in multiple studies to relieve nausea and vomiting associated with migraine as well as the perception of headache and migraine pain. Similarly, essential oil of rose has been found to combine well with lavender to soothe migraine pain.

In fact, even children aged five years and older can safely use essential oil remedies. This should make many parents happy, because one in six American kids and teens reportedly suffer from headaches and sometimes even migraines.

While lavender is the basic essential oil remedy for all headaches, aromatherapists often combine it with other oils for effective therapy.

For example:

  • Tension headaches call for a mix of lavender and peppermint.
  • Lavender with peppermint and rose is best for migraines.
  • Cluster headaches are best treated with a blend of lavender, basil, marjoram, peppermint and rosemary.
  •  Lavender along with eucalyptus, frankincense and rosemary is ideal for treating sinus headaches.

So if you’re experiencing a headache or migraine - why not reach for an aromatic essential oil instead of turning to your medicine cabinet?

Read more:
Migraine Symptoms & Triggers
Natural Joint Pain Relief: Boswellia Extract Is An Effective Therapy For Osteoarthritis
Headaches and Willow Bark
Migraines: Causes and Prevention
Chronic Pain Relief Supplements

Source: Do Essential Oils Offer More Effective Migraine Relief?

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What Are the Benefits of Black Seed?

by Health News

Benefits of Black SeedTwo new studies show that black seed (nigella sativa) provides multiple health benefits for aging women by protecting them against the ill-effects of metabolic syndrome and accelerated bone loss.

Black seed has been used for hundreds of years both as a food and medicine. The earliest record of its cultivation and use come from ancient Egypt. In fact, black seed oil was found in the tomb of the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun. In Arabic cultures, black cumin is known as the seed of blessing and ‘a remedy for all diseases except death’.

And now, a growing body of modern scientific research is confirming that black seed has beneficial medicinal value in over 40 different health conditions.

In the first study, 30 menopausal women aged 45-60 years were randomized into two experimental groups and given either a placebo or 1,000 mg capsules daily of black seed powder after breakfast for a period of two months. Women consuming black seed saw significant beneficial changes in many health parameters including total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol, HDL ‘good’ cholesterol and blood glucose levels, relative to the control group.

These results show that black seed therapy protected the health of these aging women by improving their lipid profile and blood sugar levels, both of which are at a higher risk of being elevated during the menopausal and postmenopausal period.

In the second study, black seed was shown to reverse the adverse changes associated with the removal of the ovaries of female rats in the so-called 'ovariectomy-induced animal mode of osteoporosis.' Female rats whose ovaries had been removed tend to lose bone mass. However, if they are treated with black seed, they experience a near-complete reversal of all adverse physiological changes.

In other words, black seed shows promise as a safe and effective therapy for osteoporosis - which study authors attributed to “its high content of unsaturated fatty acids as well as its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties."

Given the many health benefits of consuming black seed as a powder or oil - why not speak to your physician or caregiver about adding it to your diet as a protective agent?

Read more.....
Are You At Risk For Osteoporosis?
Pomegranate Juice Health Benefits
Five Natural Anti-aging Solutions
Superfoods can Create a Youthful Appearance

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Cranberries For Preventing Urinary Tract Infections

by Health News

More than 150 published research studies show that cranberries have the ability to reduce the incidence of infections, improve heart health and tone down inflammation. For example, uniquely bioactive natural compounds in cranberries have been shown to promote a healthy urinary tract.

Cranberries For Preventing Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) affect more than 15 million US women every year. Antibiotic treatment remains the standard approach for managing these infections. However, growing bacterial resistance to antibiotics makes it necessary to develop other approaches.

Cranberries are rich in polyphenolic compounds known as A-type proanthocyanidins, which provide anti-adhesion benefits that help to protect against urinary tract infections (UTIs). Cranberries may also reduce the recurrence of UTIs, helping to lower reliance on antibiotic treatment.

For example, two recent studies have shown that cranberry powder can inhibit the spread of bacteria commonly found in urinary tract infections (UTIs). Specifically, increasing cranberry powder concentrations reduced the bacteria's ability to make urease, an enzyme that helps them to spread in the urinary tract.

Previous studies have shown that exposure to cranberry extracts lowers the expression of a gene that codes for a structure known as a ‘flagellar filament’, which bacteria use to move around. This is a significant finding, since bacteria use movement to spread infection and escape the immune system.

Previous studies have also shown that cranberry juice stops E. coli sticking to other bacteria, making it easier for them to be flushed away from the urinary tract.

Last but not least, recent research shows that cranberry-enriched silicone substrates prevent the spread of germs - which could lead to cranberry extracts being used to limit germ spread in implantable medical devices such as catheters, with considerable potential benefits for patient health.

Cranberries are just one of 42 ingredients present in a single delicious glass of Go Ruby Go fruit superfood - a mix of all-natural phytonutrients, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds like nothing else available on the market today.

So why not order Go Ruby Go! fruit superfood and get your daily dose of healthful cranberries today?

Other related blog posts:
Want 5 Reasons To Eat More Blueberries?

The 2 Best Natural Energy Booster Superfood Supplements

Superfoods can Create a Youthful Appearance

Natural Remedies to Combat Cold and Flu and Boost the Immune System

How to Improve Your Immune System

 

Source:

Cranberries can prevent Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs).

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What Does The Term Biodynamic or Organic Mean?

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Everywhere you turn, you read seemingly healthy claims on foods, ranging from all-natural to organic and biodynamic. But what, exactly, do these terms mean?

What Does The Term Biodynamic or Organic Mean?

While the term “natural” or “all-natural” implies that the food or product has had little to no processing, there is no legal definition for either of these terms in the United States. In fact, most would agree that placing these terms on packaging is a marketing ploy more than claim of pure ingredients.

To bear the “organic” label, a food must be grown, stored, and processed without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, or other harmful chemicals. Plus, organic farmers have to adhere to a strict set of standards and must undergo regular inspections to ensure that they meet these standards—including no hormone use in animals, and no genetically engineered seed or stock. So, you can rest assured that foods labeled “biodynamic” or “certified organic” are free of any and all genetically modified ingredients.

Finally, “biodynamic” foods are farmed according to even stricter standards than organic farming and pre-date the organic movement by 20 years. Developed by Dr. Rudolf Steiner in 1924, biodynamics is a method of agriculture that seeks to actively work with the health-giving forces of nature. Biodynamic methods recognize the development of a farm as a balanced and sustainable unit. In addition to common organic practices such as crop rotation, recycling through composts and liquid manures, and increasing plant and animal bio-processes in the soil, biodynamics also includes homeopathic-like preparations to heal the soil and guarantee that such healthy soil will provide the best quality of nutrients.

Additionally, biodynamics relies on the rhythmic influences of the sun, moon, planets, and stars to determine the best times to plant, cultivate, and harvest. It is the combination of organic farming practices, along with the homeopathic remedies and planetary influences that define the essence of biodynamics. 

Read more related blog posts:

What Are The Benefits And Risks Of Regular Energy Drink Consumption?

Natural Vitamin Supplements: Spirulina

All Natural Supplements: Go for Great Health

Natural Supplements for Good Health and Wellness

 

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Fight Colds and the Flu with Green Tea

by Health News

By now, you must be familiar with at least a few of the amazing health benefits of green tea - and truth be told, if it isn’t already part of your daily health regimen, it should be. 

While most teas contain antioxidant compounds called polyphenols, green tea is also rich in equally powerful antioxidant compounds known as catechins. In fact up to 27% of unfermented green tea is made up of catechins.

Fight Colds and the Flu with Green Tea

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a polyphenol, is the most abundant catechin in green tea. Found also in acai berries, peaches, various vegetables and nuts, it has been shown to have therapeutic applications in the treatment of many diseases, including cancer.

And now, new research shows that EGCG in green tea may be very effective in treating influenza A virus infections.

The influenza A virus causes influenza in birds and some mammals. Found naturally in wild birds, some types of influenza A virus can cause severe disease both in domestic poultry and, rarely, in humans as well.

For example, the H1N1 flu - known as swine flu that caused a pandemic and a worldwide scare in 2009, was a variety of influenza A.

A 2012 study at Wuhan University in China looked at the effects of EGCG on the influenza A virus in a laboratory setting. Initially, the study authors found that treatment with EGCG blocked growth of the influenza A virus in cultured kidney cells.

Similarly, when EGCG was given to mice infected with influenza A virus, it dramatically improved their survival rate, lowered virus yields and lessened the extent of viral pneumonia in their lungs. In this regard, EGCG was found to be just as effective as oseltamivir, a drug used to treat influenza A.

And now you can get the enhanced immunity protection equivalent to 20 cups of green tea with just a few drops of IVL’s Green Tea Elixir™ - which combines the strength of green tea extract with four of nature's most powerful antioxidant sources and disease fighters; magic fruit, hibiscus, rose hips and pomegranate.

The most concentrated extract of green tea ever formulated, Green Tea Elixir™ has nothing artificial in it and no adverse side effects. It is simply an antioxidant powerhouse that helps boost your immunity and keeps it strong against infections, including influenza A - so why not boost your defenses against influenza A and order Green Tea Elixir™ today?

Other related blog posts:

Does Green Tea Health Benefits affect Type 2 Diabetes?

Boost the Immune System with Infection-Fighting Foods

Liquid Vitamin Mineral Supplement: Green Tea

Natural Remedies to Combat Cold and Flu and Boost the Immune System

 

Source:

Green Tea Effective Against the Flu Virus.

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Natural Joint Pain Relief: Boswellia Extract Is An Effective Therapy For Osteoarthritis

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Did you know that the Biblical-era incense frankincense was most likely an extract from the resin of the tree known as Natural Joint Pain Relief: Boswellia Extract Boswellia?

Four species of Boswellia trees - found mainly in Africa and Asia - are known for their fragrant resin. They are also well-known for their anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic and analgesic properties.

However, Boswellia is more than just an ancient herbal remedy.

A recent review of studies on the effects of Boswellia extract on osteoarthritis concluded that it provided clinically effective natural joint pain relief, with no serious safety issues. The review authors noted that evidence for the effectiveness of Boswellia extracts was ‘encouraging’.

Further evidence comes from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study on the effects of Boswellia extract on 30 patients from India with osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a chronic, progressive, degenerative disorder which typically affects the knee joint.

In the study, two groups of 15 patients were given either Boswellia extract or placebo for eight weeks. After the initial eight weeks, each group was ‘crossed over’ to receive the opposite therapy for eight weeks.

All patients receiving drug treatment reported a significant decrease in knee pain, improved knee flexibility and increased walking distance. Not only that, the frequency of swelling in the knee joint was reduced.

It’s worth noting that every one of the patients treated with Boswellia extract found relief from their pain and suffering.

The authors noted that “observed differences between drug treated and placebo being statistically significant, are clinically relevant”. Boswellia extract was well tolerated except for minor gut disturbances.

The study authors recommend Boswellia extract as a therapy for natural joint pain relief in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, with possible uses in other forms of arthritis as well.

If you too suffer from pain and stiffness in your knee, back and hips, IVL’s Alleviate™ - which contains Boswellia extract, along with many other natural anti-inflammatory components - offers a 100% natural, effective way to help ease your pain and suffering.

Order IVL’s Alleviate™ today for improved joint flexibility, pain relief and better overall mobility. 

Other Related Topics:
How to Ease Osteoarthritis Pain?

10 Supplements to Reduce Chronic Joint Pain

Natural Solutions to Chronic Joint Pain

Natural Pain Relief With White Willow Bark

4 Reasons Alleviate Helps to Relieve Chronic Joint Pain

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Dangers of Hospitalization and Patients With Dementia

by Health News

Dangers of Hospitalization and Patients With DementiaAccording to a recent study, more than 50% of all patients with pre-existing dementia will experience delirium while hospitalized. Failing to detect and treat their delirium early can be deadly, leading to a faster decline of their physical and mental health.

Delirium - a deadly, costly disease that significantly impacts people’s lives - is often overlooked, especially in people with dementia.

This study followed 139 hospitalized adults aged 65 and older with dementia. Study authors noted that patients who developed delirium had a 25% greater chance of dying within 30 days.

Dementia is an irreversible, progressive condition that affects cognitive and physical function. Symptoms usually occur over months to years and can include memory loss, inability to solve simple problems, difficulties with language and thinking, personality and behavior changes and other mental problems.

Delirium is a reversible condition that comes on quickly - if caught and treated early, it can be cured. Many symptoms of delirium may appear similar to dementia, but signs such as inattention and sleepiness or hyperactivity can help to differentiate delirium from dementia.

Study authors focused on a combination of disorders known as delirium superimposed on dementia (DSD). They found a 32% incidence of new delirium in the hospitalized patients with dementia - who stayed in hospital about four days longer than patients without delirium.

They also had a reduced level of physical and mental ability when they left the hospital and at follow-up visits one month later. Additionally, patients with DSD were more likely to have died a month after their hospital stay.

Common causes of delirium are infections, dehydration and changes in medication. One-third of the patients in this study arrived at the hospital dehydrated.

Preventing delirium is important because hospitals and health caregivers don’t want their patients to go home worse than when they came into the hospital.

The researchers say that their goal is to help practitioners recognize and treat delirium in patients with DSD as early as possible, helping to improve his or her overall quality of life along with reducing mortality rates.

Source

Read related blog posts:

Alzheimer's Disease: Early Signs And Risk Factors

Early Detection Of Alzheimer's Disease

Natural Remedies Resveratrol: Alzheimer’s Breakthrough

Aging and Alzheimer's

 

 

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What are the Benefits of Avocado Oil?

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Did you know that avocado oil is not only edible…but it is also very healthy for your skin?

Pressed from the fruit of the avocado, avocado oil is used for cooking as well as a salad dressing and garnish. With an unusually high smoke point, extra virgin avocado oil has a characteristic flavor and is excellent in almost any high heat cooking application - including baking, stir-fries, barbecue, roasts and sauté.

What are the Benefits of Avocado Oil?

In fact, extra virgin avocado oil has a similar monounsaturated fat profile to extra virgin olive oil, which protects it from breakdown during heating. 

‘Hass' cold-pressed avocado oil is a brilliant emerald green when extracted; the color is attributed to high levels of chlorophylls and carotenoids extracted into the oil, which add to its nutritious qualities.

Avocado oil is also extracted for cosmetic use. Valued for its regenerative and moisturizing properties, it easily penetrates skin and is rapidly absorbed. In fact, slicing open an avocado and applying its flesh directly on to skin is a very effective and natural approach to achieving a healthy facial glow or dealing with acne and dry skin. Simply apply the yellow pulp to soothe, protect and moisturize.

  • Avocados have very high vitamin E content. This vitamin is a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals along with slowing signs of aging.  
  • Avocado oil has a natural hydrating ability, because of which it makes skin soft and supple. So if you’re suffering from itchy and/or dry skin, you can use cosmetics and lotions with avocado oil to remedy the situation.
  • Avocado oil contains sterolins. These are natural compounds which help to properly absorb fat and boost your immune system, along with making more skin collagen and reducing the incidence of age spots.
  • Avocado oil contains omega-3 fatty acids. These have been shown to be highly effective in protecting skin from UV radiation, along with lowering sunburn and skin cancer risk. Not only that, foods with omega-3 fats such as salmon, nuts, flax seed and avocados should be consumed regularly for good heart and brain health.

Avocado oil can be obtained either cold pressed in liquid for or directly from the fruit.

Read other blog posts on this topic:

The Dangers of Cooking Oils

10 Best Natural Vitamin Supplements

5 Nutrients for a Healthy Heart

Source:

Benefits of Avocado Oil for Skin and Health

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Artificial Livers for Transplants

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Did you know that your liver can regenerate itself if a part of it is removed?

Researchers today are trying to exploit that ability in hopes of producing artificial liver tissue for transplantation.

Artificial Livers However, they keep running into the same problem - mature liver cells quickly lose their normal function when removed from the body. In other words, liver cells can regenerate themselves inside the body, but they don’t like to grow outside the body.

In a new breakthrough study, researchers have identified roughly a dozen chemical compounds that help liver cells maintain their normal function when grown in laboratory conditions - and also multiply themselves to produce new tissue. They believe liver cells grown in this way could help to treat many of the 500 million people suffering from chronic liver diseases such as hepatitis C.

The research team performed large-scale, rapid studies on how 12,500 different chemicals affect liver cell growth and function. After screening thousands of liver cells from eight different tissue donors, the researchers identified 12 compounds that helped liver cells maintain those functions, triggered liver cell division or did both.

The study authors are currently investigating whether these compounds can help to influence other types of cells into growing artificially as well. In future studies, they plan to implant treated liver cells in mice to test whether they can be used as replacement liver tissue. They are also developing the 12 compounds they discovered as drugs to help regenerate patients' own liver tissue in case of damage.

This research team has also recently made progress toward solving another challenge of engineering liver tissue, which is getting the recipient's body to grow blood vessels to supply the new tissue with oxygen and nutrients.

Together, these 2 studies may finally offer an exciting solution to two longstanding challenges in artificial liver tissue engineering - first, growing liver cells outside the human body and second, getting them to graft successfully to transplant recipients.

Other blog posts about liver health

What the heck is natural herbal support for your liver and why would I want it?

How to Achieve Natural Protection for Your Liver

Natural Remedies: A New Weapon Against Hepatitis C?

Source:

A Step Closer to Artificial Livers.

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Boost the Immune System with Infection-Fighting Foods

by Health News

Boost the Immune System with Infection-Fighting Foods.  Take advantage of the following natural foods when battling a cold or flu:

Try the BRAT Diet.  Immediately following stomach flu, it is best to consume fluids and broths.  On day two, try BRAT.  Commonly used for children with upset stomachs, this natural remedy of bananas, rice, applesauce and dry toast really works! 

Eat garlic, which has powerful antibacterial compounds that help the body fight infection.    A close relative with similar antibacterial agents is onion.  Cook with onions and leeks when you or family members have a cold.

Blueberries help to curb diarrhea, and they have aspirin-like properties, which may help to reduce fever and soothe aches and pains.

Try eating cranberries to prevent bacteria from invading the bladder and urinary tract.

Chili peppers help to open sinuses and clear the buildup of mucus in the lungs.  Other helpful foods for reducing nasal congestion and  mucus are mustard and horseradish.

Try a cup of tea as a natural cold and flu remedy.  Catechin, a phytochemical found in black and green teas is said to have antibiotic and anti-diarrheal properties.    

Steer clear of processed foods and sugar when battling illness as junk foods take a toll on the digestive system.

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You Give Me Fever

by Health News

For people of all ages, a normal temperature is 98.6° F (some people fluctuate a few degrees higher or lower). But when the thermometer reaches 100.4° F or higher, you have yourself a bona fide fever. Even without the thermometer, we can recognize those all-too familiar signs: flushed skin, a slight sweat, increased thirst, maybe even a low-grade headache.

While high heat, overdressing or overexerting, and certain medications and/or vaccinations can trigger a fever, the most common cause for the onset of increased body temperature is disease or infection. Most experts agree that the onset of a fever usually means that your body is “burning off” a virus or unwanted bacteria.

Sometimes the cause of a fever can be as benign as an earache, stress, or common cold or flu. Other times, it can signal a much more serious condition, including cancer, Lyme disease, staph infection, or pneumonia. And just as a fever can signal a variety of problems, it also calls for a variety of treatments—especially when it comes to children.

Fevers and children can be a tricky combination. The best rule of thumb to use is the age rule. If the child is three months or younger, a temperature of just 100.4° F can signal a serious problem and calls for immediate medical attention. For an older infant and toddler, they can often tolerate a temperature between 100° F and 103° F. In these cases, you have several natural options, including a cool bath, lots of fluids, and elderberry syrup.

One way to help your child be a bit more comfortable is to place them in a lukewarm bath. Just be sure it’s not too cold, or they can begin to shiver, which will only prolong the problem.

Because fevers often leads to sweating, you’ll want to be sure your child drinks lots of fluids, preferably water, soup, and diluted juice to avoid dehydration. One great fever-reducing cocktail for you child is antioxidant-rich pomegranate juice mixed with purified water and two tablespoons of elderberry syrup. Elderberries are an excellent antiviral remedy and have long been used to treat fevers and congestion.

These natural remedies are a great way to fight a low-grade fever in children and adults alike. However, a fever is not to be taken lightly. If these remedies don’t work within 24 hours, or if your child’s temperature climbs above 103.5° F, call your pediatrician. Additionally, under no circumstances should you give the child aspirin, as it can cause a serious condition called Reye’s syndrome, which affects all body organs, especially the brain and liver.

Finally, you should seek immediate medical attention if:

  • A child three months of age or younger has a temperature of 100.4° F or higher.
  • A child between six months and four years has a temperature of 103.5° F or higher.
  • An adult has a temperature of 104° F or higher.
  • The fever has lasted more than five days.
  • If the fever is accompanied by a severe headache and stiff neck or blood in the stool or urine.
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Natural Remedies: A New Weapon Against Hepatitis C?

by Health News

Hepatitis C is an infectious virus that attacks the liver and can lead to cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver, liver cancer and death. Hepatitis C the disease most commonly implicated in liver-transplant cases. While Hepatitis C is treatable, and in some cases curable, treatments are very difficult, expensive and outcomes are unpredictable; the disease often returns once treatment is stopped. Currently, standard medical treatments can cure 50-80% of patients.

But here is some welcome news: There might be a safer, much less expensive natural remedies against Hepatitis C: Vitamin B-12. The results of a recent study* published in the journal Gut suggest that adding Vitamin B-12 to the standard treatment improves cure rates. The researchers found that the addition of Vitamin B-12 strengthened the rate of sustained viral response 34%.

For the study, 94 patients with Hepatitis C infection were randomly selected to receive standard treatment or standard treatment plus Vitamin B-12 (5000 mcg every 4 weeks) for between 24 (for virus genotypes 2 and 3) and 48 weeks (for virus genotype 1—which is typically harder to treat).

While there was no difference between the two treatment regimens at 4 weeks, there were significant differences in response at all the other time points, particularly at 24 weeks after stopping treatment. 24 weeks after stopping treatment, the Vitamin B-12 group showed a significantly higher response rate than the standard treatment group. The goal of treatment is to cure the disease, and such a strong response at 24 weeks with the Vitamin B-12 group suggests the vitamin might be instrumental in curing the disease.

The effects were also significantly greater among those who carried the notoriously-difficult-to-treat type 1 strain and in those with high levels of infection (high viral load) to begin with.

The researchers believe that until better treatments are available, B-12 supplementation might be an effective and viable addition to current treatments. It might also be an easy, inexpensive alternative for people who can’t afford treatment or live in places where treatment isn’t available.

*http://gut.bmj.com/content/early/2012/06/28/gutjnl-2012-302344.abstract?sid=d08938d2-323d-450a-9833-d323f99078d6

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Natural Remedies for Balance Problems

by Nancy Maneely

Many people will experience balance problems as they age. Common symptoms of balance problems include:

  • Occasional feelings of unsteadiness or dizziness are not uncommon
  • Vertigo, the feeling that you or the things around you are spinning, is another often-reported symptom
  • Disturbances of the inner ear are a common cause of these events

Falls and fall-related injuries, such as hip fracture, can have a serious impact on an older person's life. If you fall, it could limit your activities or make it impossible to live independently. And in many instances, people 

become more isolated after a fall.

More than one-third of adults ages 65 years and older fall each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths. More commonly, 

falls can lead to a prolonged period of rehabilitation, diminished function, depression and declining health.

Here are some of the more common types of balance disorders:

Natural Remedies for Balance Problems
  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) – In BPPV, you experience a brief, intense feeling of vertigo when you change the position of your head, such as when rolling over to the left or right, upon getting out of bed, or when looking for an object on a high or low shelf.  In BPPV, small calcium particles in the inner ear become displaced and hit the inner ear balance sensors, causing dizziness. A doctor or specialist can treat BPPV by carefully moving the head and torso to dislodge these particles. For some people, one session will be all that is needed. Others might need to repeat the procedure several times at home to relieve their dizziness.
  • Labyrinthitis – Inflammation of the vestibular system, the part of the inner ear responsible for balance. To maintain your body's position, the labyrinth interacts with other systems in the body, such as the eyes, bones and joints. The cause is usually a viral infection, or less often, a bacterial infection.
  • Ménière's disease – This is a balance disorder that causes a person to experience vertigo, hearing loss that comes and goes, tinnitus (a ringing or roaring in the ears), and a feeling of fullness in the ear. Ménière's disease is caused by changes in fluid volumes in the inner ear. People with Ménière's disease can help reduce its dizzying effects by lowering the amount of sodium in their diets. Limiting alcohol and caffeine also may be helpful.

Certain specific exercises help make up for a balance disorder by moving the head and body in certain ways. These exercises are developed especially for a patient by a professional who understands the balance system and its relationship with other systems in the body.

Specific nutrients that may be beneficial are:

  • Magnesium (Grain, nuts, beans, green vegetables and bananas)
  • Calcium (Yogurt, milk and cheese, green leafy vegetables)
  • Potassium (Fresh fruits and vegetables)

Herbals to help vertigo:

  • Ginkgo biloba
  • Ginseng
  • Blessed thistle
  • Hawthorn
  • Gotu Kola
  • Cocculus compositum (Vertigoheel)

Natural anti-inflammatory supplements:

Other natural practices that may help:

  • Yoga
  • T’ai Chi
  • Qi Gong

Have you or a loved one ever experienced balance problems?

 

Other related articles:

5 Of the The most common age-related diseases 
See How Easily You Can Do Boosting Your Energy Naturally
Are You At Risk For Osteoporosis?
10 Best Natural Vitamin Supplements
Regular Exercise Provides Amazing Benefits for Arthritis Sufferers

 

SOURCES:
NIH Senior Health: Balance Problems
The Health Benefits of T’ai Chi: Harvard Women’s Health Watch
Mayo Clinic Slide Show: Balance Exercises

 

 

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Expert Tips For Healthy Skin, Hair And Nails

by Nancy Maneely

Healthy Skin, Hair and NailsThe hair, nails and skin are the body’s protection against damaging effects of harsh environmental elements – the sun’s ultraviolet rays, heat, cold, dirt, and abrasive surfaces. Together, they present your physical self to the world, which is why most of us want to keep them in good working order and healthy, vibrant appearance.

Here is a list of daily habits that will keep your skin, nails and hair glowing and prevent signs of premature aging, from the nation’s top dermatologists:

  1. Don’t smoke – It’s certainly bad for your insides, but it’s also terrible for your outsides. Smoking causes deep wrinkles around the mouth and dulls the appearance of skin. Studies suggest that tobacco smoke exposure decreases capillary and arteriolar blood flow, damaging connective tissues that help maintain healthy skin. There is also evidence that tobacco smoke is phototoxic: It becomes more toxic in the presence of ultraviolet light (UV), and causes more damage to skin cells than either smoke or UV would cause on their own.
  2. Wear sunscreen – Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen everyday on your face and exposed areas. It should have a Sun Protection Factor of at least 15 (30 for the face).  Anyone over the age of 6 months should use a sunscreen daily, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Even those who work inside are exposed to ultraviolet radiation for brief periods throughout the day, especially if they work near windows, which generally filter out UVB (the rays that cause sunburn) but not UVA rays.
  3. Eat a balanced diet rich in vitamins A, B, C, E, K and antioxidants – Colorful veggies and fruits are your skin’s best friends. They will give your skin a healthy glow, and help to strengthen hair and nails.
  4.  Do as little as possible to the hair – You may think that coloring, perming, hot-curling, etc., will improve your appearance, but in the long run it will lead to breakage and cause the hair to lose its natural luster.
  5.  Use soap sparingly – Many dermatologists advise avoiding soap unless you are a teenager or have excessively oily skin. The exception is for certain parts of the body – use a mild soap to clean face, underarms, and groin area. For the rest of your body, pure water will do the job.
  6. Avoid tanning – Whether it’s under the sun or a tanning lamp, this practice will expose the skin to harmful UV rays that can bring on premature aging, uneven complexion, age spots or even skin cancer.
  7. Use moisturizer and lip balm – They help to trap water in the skin and protect against drying, scaling and cracking. Wind, cold temperatures and heated houses in the winter can all dehydrate the skin, which can cause eczema to flare up and make the skin itchy and dry. Prevention of this dryness by moisturizing is the single most important factor in protecting the skin from the elements.
  8. Use skin products with care – Avoid any products that sting or burn unless directed by your dermatologist. Use as directed and avoid applying too much, which can clog pores. And test products, even those labeled hypoallergenic. Dab a small amount on your inner forearm and check for a reaction before applying to larger areas. Don’t use too many different products at once, especially the “anti-aging” remedies. This can irritate the skin.

What is your favorite anti-aging tip for the care of skin, hair and nails?

Sources:
Dermatologists' Tips to Reduce the Signs of Aging, Science Daily
Dermatologists Share Their Secrets For Maintaining Healthy Skin, Hair And Nails, Science Daily
About Sunscreen, Skin Cancer Foundation
5 Myths and Truths About Moisturizers, Best Health

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Naturally Boost Energy with American Ginseng

by Health News

Naturally Boost Energy with American Ginseng Fatigue…It may well be the most common medical complaint of the modern world. We have all experienced it to varying degrees. However, it is an even more widespread and difficult problem for cancer patients. Not only is the fatigue associated with cancer particularly severe, it is also difficult, if not impossible to treat. Is it possible, that Panax quinquefolius (American Ginseng) an herbal remedy used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years, could be an effective treatment for cancer-related fatigue? Debra Barton, PhD from the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center believes that indeed, it could.

Dr. Barton presented the results of a recent study* at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual meeting held in Chicago in June, 2012. The results of this study suggest that high doses of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) help reduce some of the fatigue experienced by up to 90 percent of people with cancer.

For the study, Dr. Barton and her associates administered capsules containing 2,000 milligrams of American ginseng or a placebo daily for two months to 340 patients who were undergoing or had recently completed treatment for cancer.

The results? While little improvement was seen at four weeks, those who received the ginseng capsules had less general and physical fatigue than the placebo group by the end of the study. After the full 8 weeks, the researchers noted a 20-point improvement in fatigue in the cancer patients, as measured on a 100-point, standardized fatigue scale. No difference in self-reported side effects was observed between the two groups.

So what is it about Panax quinquefolius that makes it so effective against cancer-related fatigue? The answer may lie in some compounds in ginseng known as ginsenosides. These compounds help regulate cortisol, a hormone released during stress. Because cancer is a very stressful experience, it naturally follows that cancer patients would produce higher-than-normal levels of this hormone. Ginsenosides also reduce cytokines, which are involved in inflammation.

Future research conducted by Dr Barton will examine the effect of ginseng on fatigue-related biomarkers.

*http://www.asco.org/ASCOv2/Meetings/Abstracts?&vmview=abst_detail_view&confID=114&abstractID=94721

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Regulate Digestive System: How Common Medications May Cause Digestive Problems

by Nancy Maneely

Regulate Digestive SystemIf you suffer from occasional digestive upsets – and who doesn’t? – do you reach for the contents of your medicine cabinet? If so, you may be doing more harm than good.

The best way to eliminate digestive problems like constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, excessive gas, or bloating, is to prevent them from happening in the first place. This we can do by drinking lots of water; eating smaller, more frequent meals; avoiding sugary sweets and drinks (the body has trouble processing sugar overloads); and making sure to replenish the “good” bacteria of the gut with probiotics (either in foods or a daily supplement).

In fact, many medications – both over-the-counter and prescription – can ramp up digestive problems. And ironically, some of the drugs we look to for digestive relief can be the worst offenders. Here are some medications to avoid when you are experiencing digestive upset:

  1. Antacids – The powerful acid blockers on the market today are effective at reducing stomach acid. The problem is, you need that acid to help digest and absorb the nutrients in food. And you also need it to destroy bad bacteria that invade your system. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA, Oct. 4, 2007) found that people who took antacids had four times more pneumonia, because they didn’t have enough stomach acid to protect them against bacteria and viruses.
  2. Laxatives – These may seem to work at first, but there are two downsides: Many people experience irritation of the bowel as a result of the harsh ingredients in most products, and the relief is temporary which can lead to dependence.
  3. NSAIDS and aspirin – These can upset and even damage your intestinal lining.
  4. Antibiotics – There’s no question that antibiotics can be necessary and effective at destroying harmful bacteria, but they also kill off the friendly flora that live in your digestive tract. Antibiotics encourage the overgrowth of the yeast Candida albicans, which can damage the lining of the small intestine and lead to digestive problems.
  5. Other drugs – Some medications tend to relax the lower esophageal sphincter, allowing acid to back up into the esophagus. These include antihistamines, beta-2 agonists for asthma, calcium channel blockers for high blood pressure, nitrates for angina, and tricyclic antidepressants.

Most of us know our bodies well enough to predict which foods cause the most trouble internally. In general, it is best to avoid the worst offenders like trans fats, processed meats, sodas, and low-fiber foods such as white bread and pasta). Many people are lactose intolerant and need to avoid dairy products, which can bring on painful bloating and gas. Other common food allergies include soy, peanuts, eggs and wheat. The best way to test for food sensitivities is to eliminate the suspected foods completely from your diet for several weeks and then add them back in. Keep a daily food journal while you are doing this.

Try incorporating foods that promote good digestion into your daily diet. These include: yogurt or kefir, sweet potato, winter squash, banana, apples, berries, whole grains, sauerkraut, peas, beets, and celery.

What’s your favorite natural remedy for digestive upset?

Read More:
EverydayHealth.com: Digestive Health

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Natural Health Product Curcumin Acknowledged with U.S. Patent

by Health News

Curcumin is the deliciously warm, earthy spice that gives Indian curry its distinct flavor. It is also the ingredient that gives curry and mustard their bright, yellow color. It also has incredible healing powers, according to one Dr. Chawnshang Chang, Ph.D., director of the George Whipple Laboratory for Cancer Research at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Dr. Chang is one of many researchers around the world investigating the potential health benefits of compounds related to curcumin. Two dozen patents, dating, back to 2004, have been issued to the University for Chang’s work with these compounds. Patents related to curcumin have also been issued in China, Europe, New Zealand, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Australia, as well as the United States.

This latest patent focuses on the potential for curcumin compounds to fight prostate, bladder, liver and other forms of cancer related to male hormones, as well as other androgen-related conditions like acne, baldness, enlarged prostate, and excessive growth of body hair. Those conditions and others involve the androgen receptor, which is best known as the molecule through which the hormone testosterone acts in both men and women.

So how do curcumin compounds help these conditions? Chang recalls as a child growing up in China that ginger, a family of spices that includes curcumin was widely used as a folk remedy for male-pattern baldness. He later became an expert on the androgen receptor. Today he and other scientists have shown that compounds related to curcumin exert powerful healing effects through this receptor.

Chang is developing curcumin related-molecules known as “androgen receptor degradation enhancers” that would degrade the androgen receptor. He hopes to develop compounds that treat conditions like prostate cancer and acne more effectively, with fewer side effects, than current therapies.

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Natural Remedies Resveratrol: Alzheimer’s Breakthrough

by Health News

Natural Remedies Resveratrol: Alzheimer’s BreakthroughYou’ve no doubt heard about the many natural health benefits of the  resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant phenol found in red wine and grape juice. But could it be a new natural health solution for Alzheimer’s-related dementia? Researchers from more than two dozen U.S. academic institutions plan to find out! A phase II clinical trial will investigate the effects of resveratrol on people with mild to moderate dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease. At the time of this writing, researchers are recruiting volunteers. R. Scott Turner, M.D., Ph.D., director of Georgetown University Medical Center’s Memory Disorders Program, is the lead investigator for the national study.

Early research studies suggest that resveratrol may prevent diabetes, act as a natural cancer fighter, ward off cardiovascular disease, and prevent memory loss, but there has been no large definitive study of its effects in humans.

According to the researchers, past resveratrol studies showing any health benefits have been conducted in animal models, such as mice, and with doses that far exceed intake from sipping wine or nibbling on chocolate. With this clinical trial, they will determine if daily doses of pure resveratrol can delay or alter memory deterioration and daily functioning in people with mild to moderate dementia due to Alzheimer’s.

For this study, they will also test whether resveratrol improves glucose and insulin metabolism in older individuals, although those who already have diabetes will not be included in this study.

The study will apply the “Gold Standard” for conduction clinical studies, double-blind, placebo controlled. Half of the participants will receive a placebo (a sugar pill made to look like the resveratrol pill) to allow researchers to more objectively test the benefits of resveratrol. Neither the patient nor the clinical staff will know if the study participant is receiving the placebo or resveratrol until the end of the study.

The research is sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS), through a grant from the National Institute on Aging (NIA). The lead rearchers report no personal financial interests related to the study.