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Fibromyalgia: 10 Possible Underlying Causes

by Cindy Gray

Fibromyalgia syndrome affects the muscles and soft tissue. Typical symptoms of this condition include chronic muscle pain, fatigue, sleep problems and painful tender points, also known as trigger points. These symptoms can be relieved through medications, lifestyle changes and stress management. Other symptoms include sleep problems, fatigue, anxiety and depression, along with brain fog or cognitive impairment. It is estimated that fibromyalgia affects nearly six million or one in 50 people in the U.S. Conventional medicine has yet to uncover the cause of fibromyalgia and only offers management of symptoms through pain medications and antidepressants. On the other hand, functional medicine looks to find the root cause of fibromyalgia and other chronic diseases, treating these health problems at the root level as a means to restore patients to health.10 Possible Underlying Causes of Fibromyalgia

According to health experts, these are the top ten likely root causes of fibromyalgia:

  1. Gluten Intolerance - symptoms of gluten intolerance are not only digestive in nature, but also neurological such as pain, cognitive impairment, sleep disturbances, behavioral issues, fatigue and depression.

  2. Candida overgrowth - candida is a fungus or yeast, and a very small amount lives in our intestines. However, when overproduced, candida can break down the intestinal wall and penetrate the bloodstream, releasing toxic byproducts that are known to cause a number of unpleasant symptoms such as brain fog, fatigue, digestive issues and pain.

  3. Thyroid - more than half the people with thyroid issues have no idea they have a problem; 90% of these have hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid gland. Up to six different blood markers must be assessed to measure thyroid gland function. Every individual needs to get their thyroid levels into the optimal range, rather than the standard reference range, in order to alleviate fatigue, brain fog, sleep disturbances and depression.

  4. Vitamin deficiencies - magnesium, vitamin D and vitamin B12 deficiency are the most common vitamin deficiencies seen people diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Some physicians report that several patients completely reversed their fibromyalgia symptoms with magnesium alone. The best way to measure magnesium is a red blood cell (RBC) magnesium level test, which can be tested in any conventional lab.

  5. Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) and leaky gut - there are more bacteria in our bodies than there are of our own cells. When harmful bacteria, normally kept in check, overgrow or otherwise get out of balance through use of antibiotics or a sugar-rich diet, we lose our ability to digest and absorb nutrients, particularly vitamin B12. Gluten can cause SIBO and leaky gut, while SIBO and leaky gut in turn can lead to gluten and other food intolerances. It's a vicious cycle. Most functional health experts recommend 'fixing the gut' first in anyone with fibromyalgia.

  6. Adrenal fatigue - is usually a result of chronic, uncontrolled stress, whether real or perceived. Chronic pain overstimulates the adrenal glands, though typically it is not the initial adrenal stressor. The initial stressor is usually something such as food intolerances, candida, mercury toxicity, vitamin deficiencies or mycotoxins. One goal can be to support the adrenal glands with adaptogenic herbs while searching for the root cause of stress and eliminating it.

  7. Mycotoxins - are very toxic substances produced by molds. Approximately 25% of the human population carries genes that make them susceptible to the effects of mycotoxins. Conventional environmental mold testing only tests for levels of mold spores whereas a urine test can help to determine the extent of exposure to toxic molds and mycotoxins.

  8. Mercury toxicity - nowadays everyone needs to have their mercury amalgam fillings removed. Mercury is toxic to our bodies and can be one piece of the puzzle for those with fibromyalgia and other chronic illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome, autoimmune diseases, neurological disorders and cancer.

  9. MTHFR mutations - can be identified by a genetic test carried out in most conventional labs. The more mutations in the MTHFR gene, the less able you are to methylate and detoxify toxins such as mercury and lead. Further, the more mutations, the higher your requirements for methyl-B6, methyl-B12 and folinic acid to keep your detoxification pathways working properly. (Note: Folinic acid is different from folic acid, or vitamin B9).

  10. Glutathione deficiency - glutathione is the most critical component of the body's detoxification system. It gets recycled in the body unless the toxic burden gets too high or there is a lack of the two enzymes needed to recycle and produce glutathione. Taking glutathione or its precursors such as N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), alpha lipoic acid (ALA) and milk thistle as supplements have been shown to help fibromyalgia patients dramatically with their fatigue issues.

Many of these causes are interrelated. Often there is no one single root cause to fibromyalgia, which appears likely to be a combination of several or possibly all of the above causes. Because getting to the root cause can be complex, it is advisable to find a physician who practices functional medicine to help uncover the root causes and treat them, removing the need for unnecessary suffering or masking the symptoms with pain medication, antidepressants and other drugs.

 

Reference

http://www.justnaturallyhealthy.com/articles/203-10-root-causes-of-fibromyalgia?showall=&start=1

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6 Tips to Lowering High Blood Pressure Naturally

by Health News

Many people want to know “What is good for high blood pressure?” Here’s 6 tips on how to lower your blood pressure naturally.What is Good for High Blood Pressure: 6 Tips to Lower Blood Pressure

  1. Lose a few pounds. For every 2 pounds you lose, your blood pressure should drop at least one point in both systolic and diastolic readings.
  2. Exercise. Just a brisk half-hour walk 3 or 4 times a week can lower blood pressure from 3 to 15 points per month.
  3. Watch the salt. Cut down on snacks, prepared foods, and other dietary sources of salt. For many Americans, less salt means lower blood pressure.
  4. Get plenty of potassium by eating foods such as bananas, apples, avocados, oranges, potatoes, tomatoes, peaches and apricots or adding a potassium mineral supplement to your daily routine.
  5. Take a magnesium vitamin supplment to help regulate how much water your cells hold. By supplementing your diet with magnesium you can significantly reduce blood pressure.
  6. Cut back on sugar. The insulin and adrenaline released when blood sugar spikes cause the body to retain sodium and water, which raises blood pressure.

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Can Vitamin D Benefit You Without Magnesium?

by Cindy Gray

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Magnesium is essential for the metabolism of vitamin D

  • Magnesium influences how the body uses vitamin D

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Source:

Can Vitamin D Benefit You Without Magnesium?

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How to Improve Blood Circulation with Alternative Medicine

by Health News

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

Bonito Peptide

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

L-Carnitine

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

Nattokinase

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

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

Garlic

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

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

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

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Can Nettle Root Protect Against Hair Loss?

by Cindy Gray

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source:

Can Nettle Root Protect Against Hair Loss?  

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Natural Energy Boosters: How to Boost your Afternoon Energy with Green Supplements

by Health News

Natural Ways to Boost Energy with Green SupplementsWe all know how tough it can be making it through the afternoon hours once energy levels have dropped.  Yet, there are excellent natural ways to boost energy that are caffeine and chemical free, which can really revitalize you and improve your health at the same time.

Let’s face it; we all have days where our energy levels drop considerably in the afternoon.  Now on a particularly stressful or physically demanding day, this is understandable and quite natural.  However, it is important that you realize that there are steps you can take to keep this from happening to you. 

By using proper nutrition, such as vitamin, mineral and protein rich foods or green supplements, you can “recharge your battery” anytime of the day including during the all-important afternoon period.

When you are looking for natural ways to boost energy, its good to know that there are options other than caffeine.  The simple facts are that you don't have to reach for coffee, tea or an “energy bar or drink” to get your energy boost.  Energy bars and drinks tend to be high in an assortment of things that your body just doesn't need, such as sugar, chemicals, additives and preservatives. 

Even the best choices on the market have their problems.  For example, many of these products secretly contain caffeine.  What you really need to find are energy boosters that also improve health and well-being at the same time.  They will give you the “juice” you need to make it through those difficult afternoon hours.

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Antioxidant Supplements Provide Abundant Energy

by Health News

how to gain energyContrary to popular belief, energy levels do not automatically diminish with age and growing older doesn’t have to mean “moving slower.” If you want to learn how to gain energy, proper nutritional support that includes plenty of antioxidant supplements can give your body the boost it needs to increase energy naturally through all the years of your life.  

Energy loss can be traced to free radicals. These are the “bad guys” that damage cells and DNA. Free radicals are actually oxygen molecules that can be produced by the body, but there are also external sources such as air pollution, pesticides, food additives and cigarette smoke. As we get older these toxic oxidants build up in the body. If left unchecked free radicals will create a “perfect storm” within our bodies that accelerates the aging process and leads to a steep decline in energy levels.

Antioxidants are “good guys” that neutralize free radicals and help restore the body to health and balance. Antioxidants are plant-based phytochemicals, vitamins and nutrients that protect our bodies from the damage caused by toxic oxidants. They are abundant in raw fruits and vegetables, especially brightly colored ones.

Check out the selection at your local organic farmer’s market. Berries, including blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries pack a powerful antioxidant punch. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts are also rich in antioxidants as well as tomatoes, spinach, carrots and red grapes. Green Tea is another potent source. March is National Nutrition Month and the American Dietetic Association chose the theme “Eat Right With Color” to promote consumption of brightly colored fruits and vegetables.   

Because the body’s natural ability to produce antioxidants decreases with age, millions of older Americans use antioxidant nutritional supplements to neutralize free radicals and slow down the aging process. A good natural antioxidant dietary supplement may reduce the level of free radicals in the body while helping you to maintain strong metabolic activity which increases our energy levels.

how to gain energy

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Enzymes Set the Stage For Vibrant Health

by Health News

Wondering how to gain energy?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Healthy Eating Habits

by Health News

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

How to Gain Energy with Healthy Eating Habits

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

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

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

The solution? Go Caveman!

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

Boost Health and Vitality

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5 Ways to Prevent Colds and Flus

by Health News

Cold and Flu Tips | Natural Flu Prevention

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Free Guide for Digestive Health

 

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Top 5 Anti-Aging Tips

by Health News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall Health Starts with Your Digestive System

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

Sources:

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

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

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

 

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Healthy Aging and Nutritional Supplement Vitamin E

by Health News

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

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

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

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

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

Healthy Digestion and Vitamin E for Healthy Skin

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

by Health News

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

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

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

Digestive problems? Download this guide to healthy holiday digestion.

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

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

Is your family taking enough Vitamin E?

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Antioxidant Supplements: Vitamin E

by Health News

Do you know how to get the powerhouse antioxidant supplement vitamin E naturally?
Want to have healthier, more youthful skin?
Want to stave off degenerative diseases and fight digestion problems?


We all do! And one of the best ways to accomplish this is to get plenty of the potent antioxidant Vitamin E.

If getting Vitamin E from natural food supplements is good, getting it from food is better. So here is a list of foods that not only taste good but will provide a healthy dose of this vital nutrient.

Sunflower Seeds. Take them as an on-the-go snack or sprinkle them on your salad or in your soup. Sunflower seeds are tasty and add rich flavor to otherwise bland foods. These tasty seeds provide 36.6mg (222% RDA) of vitamin E in a 100g serving or 36.5mg (310% RDA) per cup.

Paprika and Red Chili Powder. If you’re a fan of spicy food you can add red chili powder to your food to awaken your taste buds while getting a good dose of vitamin E. If you have a more sensitive palate, you can get just as much of the vitamin from using paprika. Both offer the same amount of vitamin E, around 30mg (199% RDA) per 100g serving, or 2.1mg (14% RDA) in a single tablespoon.

Almonds, a good source of Vitamin E to support digestion

Almonds. Another excellent on-the-go snack that you can eat in raw form or get in the form of almond butter or almond milk. Almonds provide 26.2mg (175% RDA) of vitamin E in a 100g serving, 37.5mg (250% RDA) per cup, and 0.3mg (2% RDA) of vitamin E in a single almond.

Pine Nuts. They are an essential ingredient in pesto and are also great on their own or added to a fruit salad. They provide 9.3mg (62% RDA) of vitamin-E in a 100g serving, 12.6mg (84% RDA) per cup, and 0.2mg (1% RDA) in 10 nuts.

All of these natural, whole foods can help ease digestion problems and improve your complexion at the same time. Other good vitamin E sources include peanuts, basil, oregano, cooked spinach and dried apricots. Enjoy!

Do you include any of these natural sources of antioxidant Vitamin E in your daily diet?

 

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Vitamin Deficiency Symptoms

by Health News

If you are eating a healthy diet you may simply assume that you are getting all of the vitamins that you need. However, increasingly, people have different vitamin deficiencies and aren’t even aware that this is the case. If your body is lacking in essential vitamins like Vitamin D, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C, your health can quickly deteriorate.

If you’re experiencing frequent digestive problems or other regular health issues, your body may be lacking in essential vitamins.

If you’re experiencing frequent digestive problems or other regular health issues, your body may be lacking in essential vitamins.

In order for your body to function optimally, your body should be exposed to ample amounts of every key vitamin. After all, each kind of vitamin serves a vital purpose in the body. You may not immediately realize that you have a vitamin deficiency. However, there are signs that you can look for.

Do you get an upset stomach or experience other digestive problems on a regular basis? Your body may be having a hard time absorbing the nutrients from the food you eat. It could also be you're lacking in the proper amount of good bacteria and enzymes in your stomach needed to break down and digest your food. Probiotic supplements can help in these instances to provide your body with the bacteria it needs to support a healthy digestive system. It's important to consult your doctor about these symptoms.

One sign of vitamin deficiency that you can easily recognize occurs via changes in your hair, skin, teeth and nails. For example, is your skin is dry and cracking? Do you have dandruff?   Further, your nails and hair may break easily, and you may also experience hair loss due to vitamin deficiencies. Lack of Vitamin C in the body can also cause impaired wound healing, loose teeth and bleeding gums, while lack of Vitamin A can cause dry hair, and acne. People also commonly have eye problems, like dry eye and night blindness, when they have deficiencies in Vitamin A.

You might think that you are just depressed or tired. However, mood related issues could also be caused by lack of vitamins in the body. For example, a B12 deficiency can cause depression, fatigue, personality changes, and even psychosis. Lack of Vitamin D has also been traced to memory impairment in seniors. If you are finding that you are suddenly experiencing problems with your mood and just don’t feel like yourself, this could also be due to a vitamin deficiency.

Deficiency in Vitamin D is also a serious issue that is increasingly of concern to scientists and doctors. Research has linked this lack of Vitamin D to a variety of serious illnesses including cancer, cardiovascular disease and immune disorders. If you have a vitamin deficiency in D, there are measures you can take such as drinking fortified milk that is rich in Vitamin D. Also exposure to sunlight will help to maintain your body’s natural production of the vitamin.

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Which Supplements are Best for You?

by Health News

Which Supplements are Best? Get a Healthy Digestive SystemOne of the best ways to get a healthy digestive system is by taking dietary supplements. In fact, more than half of American adults take dietary supplements, but with hundreds to choose from, how do you know which supplements are best for you personally? Here is a rundown on some of the most common natural supplements and why you should include them in your daily diet.

Multivitamins

Those with a busy lifestyle who rely on fast food and microwave meals will almost certainly have a deficiency in vitamins and minerals. While daily supplements are not a substitute for a healthy diet in any way, multivitamins do make sure that trace elements and minerals such as magnesium and zinc are being consumed on a regular basis.

The best multivitamins are those specifically formulated for men or for women. Women need higher levels of iron, calcium and folic acid. A well blended formula for women can resolve issues such as irritability, mood swings, bloating, lethargy, cramps and breast tenderness while men benefit from ingredients such as beta-sitosterol and saw palmetto for healthy prostate function.

Fish Oil

Fish oil has been shown to significantly improve health when taken on a regular basis. From preventing heart disease to easing joint pain and arthritis with its anti-inflammatory properties, a good quality fish oil should be on everyone's supplement list. 

Some people avoid taking fish oil supplements due to the aftertaste. Choose a good quality brand from a reputable supplier.  If you still get nasty repeats, store the fish oil in the refrigerator and take them cold; and try taking them before going to bed. This allows the capsules to get deeper into the body before being digested which eliminates the problem. A good quality fish oil will also be properly distilled and processed to remove toxic metals and pollutants from the fish oil.

Calcium

More than 25 million Americans are diagnosed with osteoporosis and it is not just women that suffer from this "brittle bone" disease. It is too late to take a crash course once symptoms have been diagnosed. Our bodies need plenty of calcium (with vitamin D to help the body break it down) from an early age and throughout life. Calcium is also necessary for strong teeth as well as supporting the heart and nervous system.

Coenzyme Q10

CoQ10 is a relative newcomer to the health market yet its comprehensive benefits make it a top seller. It helps prevent heart disease and metabolizes energy from food. It also lowers cholesterol and blood pressure without the harmful side effects of prescribed medications. CoQ10 is found naturally in every cell in our body, but as we age it naturally diminishes and needs replenishing. It has been found to help prevent migraines, reduce inflammation and increase energy. The ideal daily supplement is around 100 mg per 100 pounds of body weight, although higher doses are beneficial to counter chronic fatigue. 

Once you have established a few basic supplements, continue to read and learn more about specific supplements. The best way to judge which are best for you is by trial and error. If you are receiving the correct nutrients and supplements, your body will feel fit, healthy and full of energy.

Want more tips on how to get a healthy digestive system? Get our FREE guide: The Aging Adults Guide to Healthy Holiday Digestion

Guide to a Healthy Digestive System

 

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When is the Best Time to Take Supplements and Vitamins?

by Health News

A common question among those concerned with healthy aging is, "When is the best time of day to take natural supplements?" If you are taking prescribed medications, it is a good idea to consult your doctor as occasionally a supplement may affect the efficacy of your medication if taken at the same time.

 

Here are helpful guidelines about taking vitamins and supplements:

 

Taking Vitamins at the Same Time Each Day

Many fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body for up to 24 hours making it important that you take supplements at roughly the same time each day to maintain a constant supply. This particularly applies to fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K which are often included in multivitamin tablets.

Want healthy aging tips? Learn the best time to take supplements in this article

Taking Vitamins on an Empty Stomach

Generally it is not advisable to take supplements on an empty stomach as they will quickly be passed out in your urine without having time to be digested and do the most good. This is particularly true of vitamins B and C as they dissolve in water.

 

Taking supplements on an empty stomach can cause nausea and gastro-intestinal problems for some. The exception to the rule is if you are taking enzymes or amino acid supplements to lower inflammation as they work best on an empty stomach.

 

Taking Vitamins with Breakfast

Most people establish a regular regimen of taking their daily supplements with breakfast. It is a good healthy aging habit to get into as it avoids them being forgotten and the food prevents them passing through the body too quickly.

 

Most naturally-sourced vitamins and minerals are present in food so it makes sense to take any additional supplements in the same way, as part of a meal. B vitamins are a source of energy and they promote metabolism so they are best taken early in the day to boost and maintain energy levels.

 

Fat-soluble vitamins are best taken with a meal that contains some fat. If your breakfast is totally fat-free, for example fruit, add a handful of nuts or some avocado to enable the vitamins to be fully dissolved and available to be digested.

 

 

Taking Supplements Throughout the Day

Some hard-to-digest minerals such as calcium are best taken in small but regular amounts

throughout the day. The body is unable to digest more than 500mg of calcium at any one time, so for those taking 1000mg in two tablets, consider taking one at breakfast and another with the evening meal for maximum benefit.

 

Magnesium promotes the relaxation of muscles, so it is better to take it in the evening when it can aid a good night's sleep.

 

Iron tablets are best taken separately as caffeine and tannins can affect its absorption. However, citrus fruits are particularly good for aiding iron absorption, so consider taking them with a glass of orange juice rather than water.

 

Take Supplements When it Suits You Best

The most important part of taking vitamins and supplements is taking them at all. Find a time when you will remember to take them, and if you find they are causing digestive problems like indigestion or nausea then try switching to other mealtimes to see if the problem improves.

Do you take your supplements and vitamins at a certain time of day?

 

 

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Probiotic Supplements: Not Just for Intestinal Health

by Health News

If you’re taking probiotics to improve your digestion problems, current research suggests you’re not just helping your gut—you’re doing your entire body a favor! And if you’re not taking probiotics, you might want to consider starting. Read on to find out why!

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are live microorganisms such as bacteria or yeast in a person's digestive tract. These microorganisms are “friendly” (beneficial to the host). Among many benefits, they help degrade toxic and allergenic substances in the intestine and colon. Probiotics occur naturally in certain foods like yogurt and cottage cheese. They are also available as nutritional supplements which can be purchased in health food stores. 

Probiotic Supplements

How do probiotics help my whole body?

These tiny organisms can do some pretty amazing things! To name just a few:

They help you absorb nutrients. The friendly bacteria Lactobacillus acidophilus helps with the absorption of the B vitamins and vitamin K, along with fatty acids and minerals such as calcium.

They improve immune function. Beneficial bacteria have a critical and powerful effect on your gut’s immune system and your systemic immune system. They also aid in the production of antibodies to pathogens.

A study* published in the journal Pediatrics in 2009 looked at the potential benefits of probiotics in children during cold and flu season. According to the authors, “Daily dietary probiotic supplementation for 6 months was a safe effective way to reduce fever, rhinorrhea, and cough incidence and duration and antibiotic prescription incidence, as well as the number of missed school days attributable to illness, for children 3 to 5 years of age.”

They have a systemic, anti-inflammatory effect. While mechanism behind this benefit is not fully understood, recent studies strongly suggest that the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus works against inflammation. One such study** looked at biological markers for inflammation in patients taking the probiotics and those take a placebo. The researchers concluded “…probiotic bacteria have strain-specific anti-inflammatory effects in healthy adults.”

Another study*** from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, looked at the effect of Lactobacillus rhamnosus in infants with eczema, an inflammatory skin condition. The researchers concluded that infants receiving this probiotic had a significantly reduced risk of eczema symptoms.

So if you thought probiotic supplements were just for digestion problems, think again! Now you have many more reasons to consider taking probiotic supplements.

Digestive Health

Sources:

*http://www.umm.edu/pediatrics/residents/journal-club/probioticscolds.pdf

**http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?orig_db=PubMed&db=pubmed&cmd=Search&term=%22World%20journal%20of%20gastroenterology%20%3A%20WJG%22%5BJour%5D%20AND%202029%5Bpage%5D%20AND%202008%5Bpdat%5D

***http://www.umm.edu/pediatrics/residents/journal-club/Wickens%20Lactobacillus%20rhamnosus%20JACI%202008.pdf

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7 Dietary Ingredients That Unclog Your Arteries

by Institute for Vibrant Living

As you’re probably already aware, progressive clogging of the arteries - scientifically known as atherosclerosis - is the number one killer on the planet. 7 Dietary Ingredients That Unclog Your Arteries | Institute for Vibrant Living

And while it’s true that atherosclerosis is a complex process that involves autoimmunity, infection, dietary incompatibilities, along with many other known and unknown factors - it’s both entirely preventable, and in some cases reversible as well.

For instance, there is plenty of peer-reviewed, published scientific research proving that regular consumption of these seven dietary ingredients prevents, and in some cases even reverses atherosclerosis:

  1. B vitamins - a doubled-blind, randomized 2005 study found that daily consumption of 2.5 mg folic acid, 25 mg vitamin B6 and 0.5 mg vitamin B12 for one year led to significant reductions in arterial thickness. Niacin or folic acid alone has also been shown to have this effect in patients. It’s always better to go with natural sources of these B vitamins rather than synthetic supplements.
  2. Garlic - has been shown to reverse plaque buildup in arteries, along with providing many other potentially life-saving health benefits.
  3. Pomegranate - this super fruit has been shown to reverse the process of atherosclerosis in both animal and human studies.
  4. Fermented cabbage - kimchi, a Korean recipe which includes fermented cabbage, hot pepper and other ingredients, appears to slow down atherosclerosis in animal models.
  5. L-arginine - this amino acid is capable of preventing arterial thickening, as shown in more than 30 animal studies. Other studies also show that L-arginine is capable of correcting the underlying condition typically associated with cardiovascular disease, known as endothelial dysfunction.
  6. Turmeric - more than 30 studies so far have shown that the main polyphenol in the cooking spice turmeric - known as curcumin - is an excellent cardioprotective agent. For instance, one study showed that curcumin prevented damage to arteries associated with blockage.
  7. Sesame seed - appears to be ideally suited for preventing the progression of atherosclerosis. One animal study found it was capable of preventing atherosclerosis lesion formation.

Remember - heart disease is not a natural process, one that you need to accept as inevitable based on your family history. Scientific studies have repeatedly shown that you can significantly influence your risk for this deadly condition by managing what you eat or don’t eat, along with your other lifestyle choices.

As the examples above clearly show, you can literally use food as medicine and regain control of your health with proper, life-giving nutrition.

Source: Seven Dietary Ingredients that Unclog Your Arteries.   

 

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Barley Grass: Benefits For The Heart

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Did you know that barley grass is a nutrient-packed ‘green superfood’ with multiple health benefits - including clearing up skin problems, healing ulcers and lowering the risk for heart disease and stroke? In fact, many people concerned with cardiovascular health have started adding barley grass to their diet as a high blood pressure natural treatment.

Green foods refer to young cereal grasses like barley grass and wheatgrass. During the early grass stage of their growth, barley and wheat are closer to vegetables than grains. However, as they grow further, their healthful chlorophyll, protein and vitamin levels fall sharply while levels of the indigestible fiber cellulose rises.

Barley Grass: High Blood Pressure Natural Treatment

Amazing, but true - an ounce of barley grass, wheatgrass and other green foods contains many more beneficial phytonutrients than an ounce of the healthiest green vegetables!

A concentrated source of several vitamins and minerals, barley grass is also rich in calcium, iron, potassium and chlorophyll. Unlike most plants, barley grass provides all nine essential amino acids, which your body can't produce on its own.

Back in 2002, researchers in Taiwan examined the effects of supplementation of young barley leaf extract - along with vitamins C and E - on the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in patients with type 2 diabetes. LDL oxidation is one of the first, critical steps in the development of atherosclerosis, which leads to heart disease.

Thirty-six patients with type 2 diabetes were enrolled in the Taiwanese study. Each patient received either extract of young barley leaf, vitamin C plus vitamin E alone, or barley extract plus the 2 vitamins daily for 4 weeks.

At the end of the study, the researchers observed that the vitamin E content of LDL increased significantly following supplementation, especially for the group that consumed barley leaf plus the 2 vitamins.

Atherosclerosis is responsible for heart disease and associated deaths in much of the world’s population. LDL oxidation is a critical first step in the development of atherosclerosis. Dietary antioxidants such as vitamin E lower atherosclerosis risk by reducing oxidative stress and preventing LDL oxidation.

This study shows that supplementation with extract of young barley leaf - especially in the presence of vitamins C and E - is likely to prevent LDL oxidation, thereby protecting patients with type 2 diabetes against vascular diseases including heart disease and stroke.

Talk to your doctor to see if taking barley grass supplements as a high blood pressure natural treatment is right for you.