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The ABCs of Eye Floaters

by Cindy Gray

They come out of nowhere, those little dots, squiggly lines or strands in your field of vision.  They appear suddenly if you gaze at a bright white piece of paper or look up to admire a cloud-free, brilliant blue sky, then they vanish just as quickly as they appeared.  What are these pesky little eye floaters anyway?

The Ins and Outs of Eye FloatersThe good news is that eye floaters are generally harmless and only mildly annoying.  They are composed of clumps and strands of collagen, a substance produced naturally by the body.  They are a part of the natural aging process and usually appear more often between the ages of 50 and 75 years old.  They are most likely to appear to those who are very nearsighted or have had cataract surgery.

Over time, the millions of collagen fibers your body has produced can accumulate in the region of the eye known as the vitreous.  This is a thick transparent substance in the middle of the eye that makes up two-thirds of its volume.  They can alter the amount of light that gets through to your retina (the light sensitive tissue at the back of the eye) and appear as floaters.  In extreme cases, a doctor can replace your natural vitreous with a gel-like substance; but that is very rarely needed or recommended.

The best news is that floaters do not harm your vision or interfere with your ability to see clearly.  However, they can be annoying; and if you are near-sighted or have a family history of cataract surgery, you might want to take a few preventive steps to keep floaters at bay.

Related: Fruit May Help Reduce Vision Disabilities

Vitamins and Supplements

There are several dietary supplements you can use that have shown to help keep eyes healthy and lessen your risk of developing eye floaters as you age, such as:

Vitamin C – this essential nutrient plays a key role in eye health by encouraging healthy collagen production, which supports the connective tissue in the cornea.  It also keeps the delicate capillaries in the retina healthy.  Finally, this vital nutrient may help reduce your risk of forming cataracts or experiencing a loss of vision due to macular degeneration.

Vitamin A – is another crucial nutrient that keeps your eyes healthy.  It helps protect them from infection and eye disease, distinguish between a wide-array of colors and helps prevents night blindness.

Taurine – is an antioxidant that supports your body’s efficiency in getting rid of waste products and can help keep eye floaters from forming.

Bilberry – is a supplement, not a vitamin, which mimics vitamin C in supporting collagen production and strong blood vessels for good circulation to your eyes.

L-Methione – is an amino acid that assists the body in removing heavy metal toxins, which are especially damaging to delicate eye tissue.

Inositol – plays a vital role in maintaining cell membranes.  A low level of this substance in the body is linked to several health problems like eczema, constipation and eye issues. 

Minerals – magnesium, selenium, calcium, copper, chromium and zinc are all essential minerals that play important roles in keeping your eyes healthy.

Other Causes of Eye Floaters:

There are several things that contribute to increased eye floaters, such as:

  • Being severely nearsighted

  • Eye trauma

  • Stress (it causes problems for all parts of the body!)

  • Some liver or kidney medications

  • Pre-birth (you can be born with them)

Eye Floater 911

If you get a sudden increase in eye floaters that are accompanied by flashes of light, or you experience a sudden loss in your peripheral vision, get medical help immediately!  These are signs of a detached retina, retinal tear or internal bleeding in the eye.  All of these issues can lead to permanent vision loss so seek medical help immediately if you experience those symptoms.

Float Away

While you may not be able to completely avoid experiencing eye floaters, you can take preventive steps to keep them at a minimum with a few dietary enhancements. Adding some of the above supplements into your diet will probably help you “see” some great health benefits.

 

 

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Learn How Eat Like a Caveman

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.

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.

The solution? Go Caveman!

Focus the bulk of your diet on anything you could hunt or gather.
This means lean meats, seafood, fruits, vegetables, 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.

Digestion Health Problems

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Selenium and Vitamins for Cataracts

by Cindy Gray

Many vitamins have important roles in treating or preventing various medical conditions. Just as in science, where a combination of substances can produce a different or stronger effect by working together, so too a combination of vitamins can be more powerful and effective when they work together. This exponential benefit, when the combined effect of two or more substances is greater than their separate effects, is called "synergy".

Vision Problems: Selenium and Vitamins for CataractsWhen it comes to healthy eyes, scientists have found that some vitamins work synergistically together to slow down or prevent the development of cataracts and other vision problems.

What are Cataracts?

Cataracts are a clouding condition in the lens of the eye that gradually reduces vision. Cataracts are usually age-related and by the age of 80, half of all adults will either have cataracts or will have had surgery to remove them.

Cataracts usually affect one eye more than the other but they do not spread and cannot be "caught" like an infection. Instead they gradually develop and require the lens to be replaced with an artificial intraocular lens under a simple surgical procedure.

The risk of developing cataracts is higher if you smoke, expose your eyes to bright sunlight or are diabetic. Some of these risks can be controlled or prevented but studies show you can also lessen your chance of getting a cataract by eating certain vitamins.

Related: How to Avoid Macular Degeneration Naturally

C is for Cataract!

Vitamin C has been shown to prevent or slow the progression of cataracts, along with vitamin E. As our levels of these vitamins decline with age, it’s important to take them either through diet or supplements. Research has shown that people with a diet high both in these vitamins have a lower risk of cataracts and other vision problems, suggesting these vitamins work synergistically together for good eye health.

Vitamin C is found in many fruits including oranges, blueberries, papaya, guava, strawberries, sweet peppers and spinach. Good sources of vitamin E are almonds, sunflower seeds, broccoli, peanuts, tomatoes and similarly in spinach and blueberries. Both these vitamins are high in antioxidants that neutralize free radicals in the body and help reduce oxidative stress. 

Other vitamins that have been found to be effective against cataracts include thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (B2) and niacin (B3). What is most interesting is that it is a combination of these vitamins that appear to be most effective in preventing or slowing the rate of cataracts, suggesting they work in synergy for maximum effect.

Studies on Cataracts and Vitamin Intake

A study by Professor Paul Jacques at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University was held on 112 older patients.  The study found that 77 of them had cataracts while 35 did not. However, those with low levels of vitamin C were 11 times more likely to have a cataract than those with higher levels. In fact, the highest concentration of vitamin C in the body is found in the eye and it appears to be a protective agent on eye health. Jacques' study also found that those who ate less than 3.5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day were 13 times more likely to develop cataracts.

A Nurses Health Study in the U.S. found that women who regularly ate vegetables, fresh fruit and whole grains (i.e. a diet high in antioxidants including vitamins C and E) were half as likely to develop cataracts as those who ate less healthily. However, when the study gave patients vitamin supplements, they did not appear to have the same beneficial effect on arresting cataract development. This may be because getting vitamins from your diet means they can act in synergy with other vitamins and nutrients, making them more effective.

Although no single vitamin is a magic "cure" for cataracts, one thing is for sure, getting a range of vitamins B, C and E from your 5-portions-a-day diet appears to reduce the quantity and severity of cataracts, and it certainly won't do you any harm at all!

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How Probiotics Can Regulate Your Digestive System

by Health News

A healthy regulated digestive system is the key to our bodies receiving all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients needed to provide energy and overall good immune system health.

The bacteria in our intestine need to be perfectly balanced to efficiently digest our food. Any imbalance can lead to an irregular digestive system, which can cause physical discomfort and possible harm to our overall health.

Age, stress, illness, medications such as antibiotics, dehydration, lack of sleep and a harmful environment can all affect our microbial equilibrium which can cause gas, constipation, bloating, bad skin, fatigue and, in more severe cases, diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome.

It all goes back to having a healthy regulated digestive system with a correct balance of microfloras to maximize the benefits of healthy eating.

Taking a natural probiotic dietary supplement can ensure that beneficial microflora are naturally maintained in proper balance.

Probiotics also play an important role in maintaining a healthy immune system, helping to fight off bacteria, bugs and viruses. Good bacteria are vital to keep our immune system health in good working order.

Digestion Problemsn Free Ebook Download

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5 Nutrients for a Healthy Heart

by Not in Use Not In Use

What are some of the best high blood pressure remedies?

Check out this list of 5 nutrients with proven scientific benefit for the cardiovascular system.


1) Omega-3 fatty acids - One of the best ways to help prevent heart disease is to eat a diet low in saturated fat and to eat foods that are rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (including omega-3 fatty acids). Studies suggest that EPA and DHA (eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, the two omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil) help reduce risk factors for heart disease, including high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Fish oil has been shown to decrease dangerous blood fats known as triglycerides by an average of 29 per cent and lower cholesterol by 12 per cent.

2) Vitamins A, C, E and Beta-carotene - Deficiencies of Vitamins A, C, E, and beta carotene have been linked to heart disease. All of these nutrients have antioxidant effects and other properties that may benefit the heart. Good natural foods with Vitamin A are fish oil, liver, and egg yolk. For Vitamin C, try eating citrus fruits, strawberries, peas, red peppers, and kiwis. Sources for Vitamin E include garbanzo beans, avocados, almonds, sunflower oil, tuna, and muesli. Lastly, eat spinach, tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli, peas, carrots and sweet potatoes for natural sources of beta-carotene. These items can also be taken as all natural supplements.

3) Selenium and Zinc - Selenium and zinc help the body absorb antioxidants such as Vitamins, A, C, and E, and they are essential to the antioxidant process, ridding the system of free radicals. It is found in lentils, wholemeal bread, sardines and Brazil nuts.

4) Allicin - Studies have shown that allicin, which is found most abundantly in garlic and also in onions and leeks, lowers blood pressure, may help preventing blood clots from forming in coronary arteries, and is known to have blood-thinning properties, all of which keeps the heart in good shape.

5) Folic acid - Folic acid helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease associated with high blood levels of homocysteine. It is found mainly in green leafy vegetables, mushrooms, nuts, fruits and roots.

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Prevent Decreased Muscle Mass in the Grocery Store

by Cindy Gray

The great thing about natural medicine is that most vitamins and supplements can be obtained from a grocery store rather than from a pharmacy. To be more exact, most health foods can be found in the produce department where fresh fruit and vegetables provide a ready supply of vitamins, minerals, natural fiber and antioxidants.

Prevent Decreased Muscle Mass in the Produce AisleYou may be aware that these foods are the key to weight management, balancing blood sugar and supporting a healthy heart, but scientists have also found they are essential for preventing decreased muscle mass.

What is Sarcopenia?

Sarcopenia is a medical term that refers to a steady loss of lean body mass, specifically muscle and bone loss. It affects around 45% of older adults and generally starts at the age of 40 and accelerates in the mid-late 70s. Although it is most severe in those who are physically inactive, it also affects people who remain fit and active into older age.

Although sarcopenia affects older people, it may be an avoidable consequence of aging, as a recent Korean study showed.

Related: 3 Healthy Foods That Support Healthy Aging

Study on Sarcopenia and Diet

Scientists at Ajou University in the Republic of Korea looked at whether foods high in antioxidants, such as fruit and vegetables, could be associated with sarcopenia in older people. The study focused on data provided by 823 men and 1,089 women who were aged 65 and above. They used questionnaires to obtain information about the participants' diet, along with physical measurements including height and body mass.

The study found that men who had a high dietary intake of both fresh fruit and vegetables had a significantly lower risk of sarcopenia than those who ate fewer fruits and vegetables. In women, they found that those who had a high consumption of fruit showed a lower risk of decreased muscle mass/sarcopenia. The scientists concluded that a high consumption of fruit and vegetables was inversely associated with the presence of sarcopenia in older people.

Risk of Muscle Loss

The natural aging process means that we generally move more slowly as we age and there is a decline in muscle strength. When extreme, this loss of muscle increases the risk of injury from a fall due to weaker leg muscles, and it can eventually affect the ability to live independently.

Decreased muscle mass is related to bone loss (osteoporosis) as healthy muscles create a positive stress which keeps the bones strong and healthy. A decline of muscle through sarcopenia can start a vicious circle: less lean body mass causes decreased mobility which in turn results in yet more muscle loss.

Sarcopenia has other implications for general health too. The body stores reserves of proteins and metabolites in the muscles. The reason many frail elderly people do not survive a fall, major surgery, or illness such as influenza, is due to their lack of metabolic reserves in their muscles to support their immune system and aid recovery.

Although our western diet provides plenty of protein to fight the decline of muscle and bone mass, studies increasingly show that this must be accompanied by plenty of fruit and vegetables to provide the necessary antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that are also needed to age healthily.

Next time you visit the supermarket, make sure you visit the produce aisle and top up your health reserves to stave off sarcopenia before it’s too late.

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=PMID%3A+24646604

http://www.brinkzone.com/articles/sarcopenia-the-undiagnosed-epidemic/

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080527121104.htm

http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/090112p62.shtml

 

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Understanding Leaky Gut Syndrome & Indigestion Home Remedies

by Cindy Gray

Leaky gut syndrome affects millions of Americans, and they may not even know they have it. This one condition may be at the root of an array of health problems, from indigestion and allergies to joint pain to autoimmune disorders.  While it sounds like a digestive problem, leaky gut syndrome affects various areas of the body if left unchecked.

indigestion home remedies

What is leaky gut syndrome?

Essentially, the walls of the digestive tract are lined with tiny pores that allow certain molecules and nutrients to pass through to the bloodstream.  Damage to these pores makes them bigger, allowing undigested food particles and other impurities to leak through.  The body reacts to these foreign invaders with an immune reaction.

What causes leaky gut syndrome?

An overabundance of unhealthy intestinal bacteria is a common cause of leaky gut syndrome, causing inflammation, irritation, and eventual damage to the intestinal wall.  Another cause is chronic constipation.  The stool sits in the digestive system and builds up toxins that irritate the intestinal lining and cause damage.

How does leaky guy syndrome affect the health?

When the immune system responds, it builds up antibodies to food particles and other foreign invaders.  This can lead to inflammation throughout the body causing a wide array of symptoms:

  • Digestive problems

  • Fatigue

  • Food sensitivities

  • Headache

  • Joint pain

  • Metabolic syndrome

  • Skin problems like acne, rash, and rosacea

  • Thyroid conditions

  • Weight gain

Leaky gut can affect absorption of key nutrients including iron, zinc, and vitamin B12.  In addition, there is some evidence to suggest that if left unchecked, leaky gut can lead to autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, anxiety, and depression.

Indigestion Home Remedies: What are some natural ways to soothe a leaky gut?

Modifying the diet and making other lifestyle changes can help heal a leaky gut.  People should eliminate foods that contain sugar and grain and replace conventional beef and lamb with grass-fed versions.  It is important to swap tap water for filtered water or pure spring water, and always eat organic fruits and vegetables.  People should not smoke or drink alcohol when trying to heal a leaky gut, and they should limit the use of NSAIDs and antibiotics.

Related: Start the Day out Right – Eat Breakfast

Foods that are especially helpful for leaky gut include:

Bone Broth – Collagen and important amino acids found in bone broth help repair damaged cell walls.

Coconut Products – Because medium-chain fatty acids in coconut are easier to digest than other fats, they take less of a toll on the system.  In addition, the antibacterial properties of coconut oil encourage a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut.

Fermented Vegetables – Organic acids and probiotics found in fermented vegetables like sauerkraut and kimchi encourage proper pH balance and a healthy bacterial balance in the gut.

Foods High in Omega-3 Fats – Because of the anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 fatty acids, foods like wild-caught salmon and grass-fed beef help sooth certain symptoms of leaky guy syndrome.

Yogurt – Probiotics found in yogurt help populate the gut with healthy bacteria and promote healing.

Supplements that help sooth a leaky gut include:

Probiotics – A supplementary version of the good bacteria found in yogurt, probiotics help encourage healthy intestinal balance.

Digestive Enzymes – Products that contain protease, lipase, and amylase encourage better digestion of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, lowering the chances that these particles might damage intestinal walls.

L-Glutamine – An essential amino acid with anti-inflammatory properties, glutamine helps encourage growth and repair of the intestinal lining. 

Quercetin – Because it promotes the production of tight junction proteins, quercetin helps repair damaged intestinal walls.  Studies show quercetin also curbs the release of histamine, a compound associated with immune response to allergies like those associated with food.

Because of a wide range of symptoms, people experience leaky gut syndrome in different ways. Taking advantage of a few natural methods can help repair intestinal walls and ease symptoms.  If these methods are unsuccessful, people who suspect they may have leaky gut syndrome should consult with a health care professional.

 

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How To Prevent Bone Loss Naturally

by Cindy Gray

Most middle-aged women nearing or undergoing menopause are told that they need to get their bone density tested because they are at a high risk for developing bone loss, which can potentially lead to hip fractures.

According to Christine Horner, MD, bone mineral loss happens as a result of physical inactivity, specifically lack of weight-bearing activity. This includes any activity that uses the weight of your body or outside weights to place extra stress on your bones and muscles.  As a result, your body responds to this weight and movement within your bone material and your bones become denser and stronger. Brisk walking, dancing, tennis, and yoga have all been shown to benefStrong Bones, Naturally!it bone strength.

Bone loss occurs when more bone is ‘reabsorbed’ than is formed by the body, typically after the age of 30 when reabsorption begins to exceed new bone formation. Bone loss in women occurs fastest in the first few years after menopause and continues into old age. By the age of 65, men catch up to women and lose bone at the same rate, primarily due to low testosterone levels.

Factors such as diet, exercise and age determine how much old bone is reabsorbed and how much new bone is made. Specifically, a diet that creates an acidic environment, not exercising, smoking and taking certain medications such as corticosteroids contribute toward bone loss.

A major risk factor for developing bone loss is the modern diet, which is typically poor in magnesium, potassium and fiber, while being enriched in saturated fat, simple sugars and salt. Such a diet is likely to induce so-called ‘metabolic acidosis’, especially with aging.

Calcium in the form of phosphates and carbonates is stored as a reservoir of base in our body. These calcium salts are released into blood to balance pH in response to metabolic acidosis, which depletes our body of the calcium it needs to function optimally. Health experts believe that this may be one of the main reasons for bone loss.

According to Dr. Horner, the bone density test measures ‘cortical’ bone, which is the outer layer of bone. Cortical bone is dense and found mainly in the shafts of long bones, such as the tibia.  The problem, according to Dr. Horner, is that bone strength doesn’t lie in cortical bone, so the bone density test isn’t an accurate reflection of bone strength!  Not only that, but the drugs prescribed to strengthen cortical bone does not reduce the incidence of hip fractures—in fact, they may even raise the likelihood of hip fractures.

Instead of treating bone loss with drugs or supplements, Dr. Horner believes that its far better to reverse it by regularly consuming a diet rich in calcium, magnesium, vitamin K and vitamin D.

Foods that increase calcium intake include:

  • Leafy greens such as Chinese cabbage, bok choy, spinach and kale

  • Flax and lignans, which help to absorb calcium

  • Milk, yogurt and cheese

  • Sardines

  • Salmon, which contains both calcium and vitamin D

  • Peanuts and almonds which contain potassium, which protect against the loss of calcium in urine. They also contain proteins and other nutrients that support the building of strong bones

  • A low-salt diet, which prevents calcium loss from the body

  • Getting vitamin D through sunshine or a supplement

Given the benefits of a healthy diet and exercise in preventing bone loss, why not introduce these healthful changes into your daily life today?

 

Source:

How to Prevent Bone Loss, Naturally  

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Improve Your Memory With Supplements

by Institute for Vibrant Living

It’s no overstatement to say that your brain can be considered the “leader” of your entire body. After all, it controls everything that you do, think, feel, see, and hear—both consciously and subconsciously. 

Maintaining the health, wellness, and optimal functioning of your brain is essential if you are to remain capable of carrying out the many complex activities of human life in its most evolved state. And the key to this optimal functioning depends on a variety of neurotransmitters and hormones.

Improve Your Memory With Supplements

In addition to memory and emotions, these brain chemicals are also responsible for stress, blood pressure, pleasure and pain, motivation, learning, attention, muscle movement, energy, thyroid function, reproductive function, sleep, and even your very heartbeat. In other words, virtually every body function you can think of.

While many people realize that the brain performs all of these functions, most of us think of memory and/or comprehensive first and foremost when we think brain health. And, in our darker moments, these thoughts may turn to Alzheimer’s disease and/or dementia.

This makes total sense when you consider that more than five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most common form of dementia in the U.S. And while most adults fear the idea of Alzheimer’s, the majority of treatments for the disease center around treatment rather than prevention. Ludicrous, isn’t it?

That’s exactly what researchers from Switzerland thought. Rather than look at ways to treat the disease, they foods at ways to prevent the disease by focusing on maintaining a healthy neural function in an effort to protect against the development of dementia and/or Alzheimer’s disease.

They found that the essential fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), as well as B vitamins and vitamins C, D, and E all play a role in brain health and work to delay brain aging. This makes perfect sense!

First of all, vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, which is known to fight the free radical damage that has been associated with both dementia and Alzheimer’s. Similarly, vitamin E is an antioxidant powerhouse, working to prevent cell damage throughout the body.

To this point, a Johns Hopkins University study examined the use of vitamins C and E in 4,740 patients ages 65 and older. Researchers found that the people who took both vitamins had significantly lower incidence and severity of Alzheimer’s disease compared to the people who took one or neither of the nutrients.

Vitamin D supports brain and nervous system function and correlates with cognitive function and mood. Additionally, there is evidence that low levels of vitamin D are correlated with low mood and poor cognitive performance. 

B vitamins are a group of 11 separate water-soluble vitamins that are known to support brain health and boost energy levels. Within this group, vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid appear to be the most beneficial for brain health.

Vitamin B6 is important to a healthy inflammatory response, and one disease in particular that has been associated with inflammation is Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin B6 is also critical for the synthesis of neurotransmitters.

Similarly, vitamin B12 is also important for the synthesis of neurotransmitters. Plus, it helps in DNA synthesis, nervous system health, and brain functioning. 

Folic acid is known to prevent neural tube defects in the first eight weeks of pregnancy, and research indicates that folic acid helps with brain health, DNA synthesis, and neurotransmitter function. Additionally, folic acid deficiencies have been associated with depression and dementia. 

Lastly, the omega-3 fatty acid DHA is a natural brain booster. Your brain needs DHA to create healthy nerve cell membranes. Your brain uses nerve cells for mood, attention, and memory.  

Given all this, it’s no wonder the researchers concluded, “The use of vitamins and DHA for the aging population in general, and for individuals at risk in particular, is a viable alternative approach to delaying brain aging and for protecting against the onset of AD pathology.”

What does this mean for you? Simple. If you aren’t already, immediately start taking a high-quality multinutrient and fish oil supplement that is high in DHA. Your body—and your brain—will thank you.

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Hair Loss: Causes and Solutions

by Cindy Gray

Did you know that all hair exists in one of three different cycles: growth, transition and resting phases?  About 90% of head hair is in the growth cycle, which can last anywhere from two to eight years. The transition phase typically lasts 2-3 weeks, that’s when hair follicles shrink. During the resting cycle, which lasts around two to four months, hair ‘rests’.

So for most of the time the hair on your scalp is growing, while about 10% of hair strands are in transition or resting at any time.  Anything that interferes with hair growth cycles, such as medications, illness, infections or chemicals, can prevent your hair from growing properly. Although men’s hair tends to recede from the forehead or crown of the head, women typically experience thinning on the top third to one half of the scalp.Causes and Solutions for Hair Loss

These are the most common causes of hair loss in women:

  • Androgenic alopecia - Women with androgenic alopecia have diffuse thinning all over their scalp thanks to the actions of male hormones. The hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) appears to be to blame in women suffering with female pattern baldness. Heredity is another major factor.

  • Telogen effluvium - Traumatic events such as child birth, major surgery, intense illness, dramatic weight loss, too much vitamin A, malnutrition, severe infections or extreme stress can shift up to 90% of the hair in the growing phase or resting phase into the shedding phase. Hair loss can happen within weeks or months after any of these experiences.

  • Anagen effluvium - This type of hair loss occurs after an insult to hair follicles; for instance, after chemotherapy. Since chemotherapy targets rapidly dividing cancer cells, rapidly dividing cells such as hair follicles are also affected. Soon after chemotherapy begins, approximately 90% or more of hair can fall out.

  • Traction alopecia – This condition is caused by localized trauma to the hair follicles; for instance, from tight hairstyles that pull at hair. If the condition is detected early enough, the hair will regrow. Braiding, cornrows, tight ponytails and extensions are the most common styling causes. Dyes, chemical treatments, bad brushes, blow dryers and flat irons can also result in hair damage and breakage. Luckily, damaged hair typically grows back by itself or can be reversed with medical treatments.

A malfunctioning thyroid gland, autoimmune disease, and heredity can all contribute toward hair loss. Although some people have suggested a link with menopause, not everyone is convinced that there is a direct correlation.

Health experts agree that the primary cause of female pattern baldness is increased production of DHT in hair follicles. Currently available medications interfere with hair loss either by increasing blood flow and nutrient supply to the hair follicle, or by directly inhibiting DHT production.

If you’re suffering from hair loss, you may want to look for a natural supplement that contains multiple nutrients shown to block DHT as well as nutrients from the sea that are known to promote hair growth. These types of supplements should contain a comprehensive blend of extra-strength nutrients to stop hair loss and promote hair growth.  Look for a product that contains ingredients such as:

  • Powerful, proven nutrients that block DHT production;

  • Nutrients from the sea that revitalize and renew hair follicles;

  • Powerhouse antioxidants that neutralize destructive free radicals;

  • Proven phytonutrients that strengthen hair follicles and boost scalp circulation;

  • Anti-aging nutrients like zinc and cracked cell chlorella that stimulate production of keratin, the primary structural component found in skin and hair.

If you are worried about hair loss, don’t give up!  There are safe and natural remedies ready to help you! 

 

Source:

Hair Loss: Causes and Solutions   

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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.

 

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Can Vitamin D Benefit You Without Magnesium?

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How to Improve Blood Circulation with Alternative Medicine

by Health News

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

Bonito Peptide

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

L-Carnitine

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

Nattokinase

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

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

Garlic

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

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

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

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Can 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