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Top 5 Foods for Beautiful Skin

by Health News

Did you know - your diet is the most important part of a good skin care routine?

Regardless of the facial products you use, the condition of your skin will almost always reflect the foods you regularly consume.

For instance, high-glycemic carbohydrates - such as refined grains and sugar - will trigger breakouts. By boosting the body’s blood sugar too quickly, they make the pancreas produce extra insulin rapidly, which also Top 5 Foods for Beautiful Skintriggers the sebaceous glands. These glands make sebum, a good oil which flushes out dead skin cells and keeps skin lubricated via pores - but too much of it can lead to jammed pores, whiteheads and blackheads.

Milk also triggers sebum production. Some vegetable oils such as safflower, sesame, corn and sunflower promote inflammation.

On the other hand, the following foods benefit both your skin and overall health:

  1. Carrots - vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant, present in the form of beta-carotene in carrots. It helps to maintain good vision, teeth and bones, while ensuring normal skin cell development and a firm skin tone.
  2. Berries - vitamin C is another great antioxidant that makes skin smooth and taut by boosting collagen production. Vitamin C supports the immune system, helps skin heal properly and gives your skin that glowing look. Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and black currants are particularly rich in vitamin C and are also lower in sugar than many other fruits.
  3. Brazil nuts - a small handful of Brazil nuts can provide your daily supply of selenium, yet another antioxidant that works with vitamins A and C to boost the immune system. Selenium protects against melanoma, sun damage and age spots. Other good sources of selenium are seeds (sunflower, chia, pumpkin), wheat germ and meat. Many nuts also contain vitamin E, which helps to hold in moisture.
  4. Parsley - a simple sprig of parsley is chock full of vitamin K, which helps skin to heal itself and promotes elasticity and good skin tone. Also loaded with vitamins A and C, parsley can cleanse the urinary tract and kidneys, while also clearing blemishes. Last but not least, parsley’s volatile oils have antibacterial and anti fungal properties that disinfect pores and prevent acne.
  5. Whole grains - packed with fiber, whole grains are good for reducing the inflammation caused by overly refined grains. They stabilize blood sugar levels and reduce insulin spikes. Whole grains contain zinc, which repairs skin damage, maintains smoothness and suppleness and regulates sebum production. The B-vitamin biotin found in whole grains helps skin cells to process fats - without which your skin can become dry and scaly.

Finally, always make sure to drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated. Herbal and green teas are generally also a good idea, but its better to stay away from sugary juices and soda.

Read more:
Fight Hair Loss With these Vitamins and Supplements
Natural Weight loss: Three Spices For Weight Loss
What to eat for Better Metabolic health
Are Antioxidants the Fountain of Youth?

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5 Foods For Beautiful Skin.

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Can Vitamin D Help Fight Multiple Sclerosis?

by Institute for Vibrant Living

According to a new study from Johns Hopkins, vitamin D blocks damage-causing immune cells from migrating to the brain in mice with a rodent form of multiple sclerosis (MS) - which may be how the so-called Can Vitamin D Help Fight Multiple Sclerosis?‘sunshine vitamin’ prevents MS symptoms in humans as well.

MS is believed to be an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system wrongly attacks a person's own cells - leading to symptoms such as blurred vision, weakness and numbness. An estimated 400,000 Americans between the ages of 20 and 50 years are afflicted with MS. Typically, it affects two to three times as many women as men.

Health experts became interested in the possible role of vitamin D in MS when it became clear that the disease is more prevalent in regions farthest from the equator where there is less sunshine - the main natural source of vitamin D.

The Johns Hopkins study shows that vitamin D works by preventing immune cells from getting into the brain - a treatment method that has the potential to be as effective as, and is likely to be safer than existing drugs used to treat MS.

Johns Hopkins researchers simultaneously gave mice the rodent form of MS and a high dose of vitamin D - which protected the mice from showing symptoms of the disease. They found a large number of immune T cells in the blood of the mice, but very few in their brains and spinal cords. In other words, it looks as though T cells are being kept away from these areas.

However, the immunosuppressive effects of vitamin D appear to be fleeting - once it is withdrawn, MS-like flare-ups occur very quickly in these mice.

Clinical trials are ongoing to determine whether vitamin D supplementation can actually prevent or slow the progression of MS in humans. This may offer an opportunity in the future to study samples taken from participants in these trials, to see whether vitamin D has the same effect on human cells as it does in mice.


Read more:
Infections In Mothers Can Lead To Autism In Offspring
The Risk Of Developing Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?
Insufficient Vitamin D Levels Linked To Severity Of Asthma In Children
Eyesight Improvement with Vitamin D
How to Boost Immune System

 

Source: Can Vitamin D Help Fight Multiple Sclerosis?

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Is Moderate Alcohol Consumption Healthy?

by Institute for Vibrant Living

You’re probably already aware that a glass or two of red wine is good for your heart and reduces your risk of strokes and gallstones. Now, a new study suggests that moderate alcohol consumption can bolster your immune system, Is Moderate Alcohol Consumption Healthy?improving its responsiveness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Moderate Alcohol Consumption may Boost the Immune System.

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Cranberries For Preventing Urinary Tract Infections

by Health News

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

Cranberries For Preventing Urinary Tract Infections

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The 2 Best Natural Energy Booster Superfood Supplements

Superfoods can Create a Youthful Appearance

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

How to Improve Your Immune System

 

Source:

Cranberries can prevent Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs).

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What are the Benefits of Bioflavonoids?

by Institute for Vibrant Living

When it comes to antioxidants, vitamins seem to take center stage. But what about those “sort of” vitamins with incredible health benefits? Yes, we are talking about bioflavonoids.

What are the Benefits of Bioflavonoids?

While not true vitamins in the strictest sense, bioflavonoids work together with vitamin C to form collagen, one of your body's main structural proteins. Bioflavonoids also aid your body’s immune-defense system and have mildly estrogenic properties, making them helpful in regulating some hormonal conditions. They are also the Crayola of the vitamin world, providing all the brilliant colors to fruits and vegetables. Some of the best sources of bioflavonoids include citrus fruits—lemons, oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, and limes—and buckwheat (a gluten-free grain that is not botanically related to wheat). Other good sources are apricots, cherries, grapes, plums, blackberries, papayas, green peppers, broccoli, and tomatoes.

In addition to “eating the rainbow,” you can also take bioflavonoids in supplement form. Aim for 1,000-2,000 mg per day.

Other related blog posts you should read:
Allergy Answers in Your Kitchen

Top 5 Anti-Aging Tips

10 Best Natural Vitamin Supplements

Immune System Booster: Vitamin C

Top 5 Tips for Preventing Colds and the Flu

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Tips on How Not to Sabotage your Health Goals

by Health News
Top Tips on How to Keep Your New Year's ResolutionsAnother weekend, another potential hazard to all of your hard work this month. Don't give in the mid-month slump!
 
Take some time today to thoughtfully plan out your weekend.
  
Extend your five minute walk beyond your neighborhood and explore a new part of your community at large.
 
Shop for the ingredients you'll need to make chili and your spinach salad.   
 
Mix up a bag of nut-laden trail mix. Add in fun dried fruits like dried banana or even strawberries or blueberries. Kick up the heat with a dash of cayenne pepper!
 
If you haven't tried yoga, why not give it a try? Rent a video or take advantage of a free introductory class at a local yoga studio.
 
Make Sunday an electronic-free day. Silence your phones, unplug your computer or tablet, and leave the TV off. Instead, meet friends in real time and catch up live.
   
Don't let the weekends sabotage your health goals. Make them work for you rather than against you! And keep up the great work with your New Year Resolutions!
 
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Top Three Heart-Healthy Nutrients

by Health News
There’s no question that, when it comes to lowering cholesterol, your first step should be to eat healthy and exercise. But when you want that extra boost, these three nutrients should be at the top of your list.Top Three Heart-Healthy Nutrients
 
CoQ10—Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a fat-soluble compound found in every plant and animal cell. Research has shown that CoQ10 also prevents the oxidation of LDL—the pivotal step in artery clogging—and, along with vitamin E, can help to lower cholesterol levels. Plus, the frequently prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs in the statins class significantly deplete CoQ10 stores, so it is particularly critical that you use CoQ10 if you are taking a statin. Aim for 100 mg of CoQ10 (as ubiquinone) daily.
 
Essential Fatty Acids— Essential fatty acids (EFAs), the omega-3s EPA and DHA, are fats that your body does not produce and that you must therefore obtain through diet or supplementation. They are important for the production of series 1 and 3 prostaglandins, potent hormone-like anti-inflammatory substances that help regulate blood pressure, the breakdown of fat or cholesterol in your blood, heart rate, blood clotting, and your immune system’s response to injury and infection. EFAs also help decrease inflammation. Aim for 200 mg of EPA and 100 mg of DHA every day.
 
Quercetin—Quercetin belongs to the bioflavonoid family—a subgroup of flavonoids known for their potent antioxidant and antiviral capabilities. It also helps to maintain the strength of small blood vessels and reduce vascular fragility. In addition to its ability to reduce bleeding and bruising, quercetin is beneficial in preventing “sticky” platelets and promoting relaxation of the entire cardiovascular system. It also helps to regulate blood pressure and heart rate. Aim for 250 mg a day.
 
Read more...
 
 
 
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The Top Weight Loss Tips

by Health News
The Top Weight Loss TipsBefore you embark on that weight loss journey, make a commitment to have your thyroid checked.
 
The thyroid is the organ that sits right next to your Adam’s apple, at the base of your neck, and it controls your metabolism. It also happens to be a critical part of your immune system.
 
When it comes to thyroid health, you often hear of the thyroid being underactive—which is the case 95 to 98 percent of the time—or overactive, which can lead to Grave’s disease. 
 
Up to 14 million Americans suffer from hypothyroidism and millions more suffer from the sub-clinical hypothyroidism that has yet to be diagnosed by their doctor or health care provider.  
 
One of the reasons for these non-diagnoses is the fact that many doctors only test for TSH, which is only one of four thyroid hormones. Worse yet, millions of people fall into the “normal range” when it comes to TSH, but still suffer from all the symptoms associated with an under-functioning thyroid gland. 
 
This year, get the real story with your thyroid. Ask your doctor to test you for all four thyroid hormones, including:
  • TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone)
  • Free T3
  • Thyroid antibodies.
 
The normal range for THS is 0.45 to 4.5 (see the problem!). The reality is that anything over 3 is too high. Ideally you want you fall between 1 and 2.
 
For T3, 2.0 to 4.4 is normal. The higher end of this spectrum is ideal, with numbers between 3.0 and 4.4 being the goal.
 
For T4, the range is a bit tighter—0.82 to 1.77. Again, the higher within this range, the better.
 
When it comes to thyroid antibodies, there are two in particular to pay attention to: thyroid peroxidase (range is 0-34) and antithyroglobulin Ab (range is 0-40). In this case, lower is better. Numbers that fall above these ranges (especially in the 100s) is a key sign of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which is an autoimmune condition. 
 
So forget that new diet or weight loss pill. This year, resolved to get your thyroid checked properly. It will create a foundation of health all year long. 
 
Read related posts:
 
 
 
 
 
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Top 10 Digestion Health Tips

by Institute for Vibrant Living
  1. Your digestive health influences and is influenced by many different body systems.
  2. Believe it or not, your digestive tract is a critical part of your immune system.
  3. A full 75 percent of your immune system is in your gut, which means that all of health truly starts here.
  4. Intestinal bacteria influence your body’s ability to pull nutrients and energy from the foods you eat.
  5. Research is beginning to reveal that the types of flora in the intestines determine whether a person is lean or overweight.
  6. Every day, you are exposed to hundreds (if not thousands) of chemicals, many of which did not even exist 100 years ago.
  7. Bile is stored in the gallbladder and released into the intestine to aid in fat digestion and absorption.
  8. The mucous membranes that line your intestines are not only designed to absorb nutrients, but to reject poisonous substances and waste.
  9. All of the blood coming out of your intestinal tract passes through the liver before being carried to other parts of the body.
  10. When your intestines have been compromised, your liver acts as a backup defensive to keep toxic substances out of your blood

Other related blog posts:

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What are the signs of Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth?

There’s an ongoing war for your health raging in your gut - whose side are you on?

A Probiotic Supplement That Prevents Fat Absorption

Are Pharmaceuticals Depleting You of Nutrients?

 

 

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Fight Colds and the Flu with Green Tea

by Health News

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

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

Fight Colds and the Flu with Green Tea

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other related blog posts:

Does Green Tea Health Benefits affect Type 2 Diabetes?

Boost the Immune System with Infection-Fighting Foods

Liquid Vitamin Mineral Supplement: Green Tea

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

 

Source:

Green Tea Effective Against the Flu Virus.

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What are the Symptoms of Being Gluten Sensitive?

by Health News

Symptoms of Being Gluten SensitiveAccording to health experts, more than 55 diseases have been linked to the consumption of gluten - a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.

Not only that - even though as much as 15% of the US population may be sensitive to gluten, 99% of people with gluten intolerance or celiac disease are not properly diagnosed.

How can you tell if you’re one of those who are sensitive to gluten?

Any of the following symptoms could be a sign:

  • Gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation after meals.
  • Migraines, fatigue, brain fog or feeling tired after a meal.
  • Dizziness or feeling of being off balance.
  • Hormonal imbalances such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or unexplained infertility.
  • Chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia - such diagnoses can sometimes mean that your physician is unable to identify the underlying cause of your fatigue or pain.
  • Inflammation, swelling or pain in your fingers, knees and hips.
  • Anxiety, depression, mood swings and hyperactivity or attention-deficit disorder (ADD).

Being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, lupus, psoriasis, scleroderma or multiple sclerosis.

The single best way to really know if you are sensitive to gluten is to do a complete elimination diet. This means you need to completely remove gluten out of your diet for at least 2-3 weeks and then reintroduce it.

Gluten is a very large protein and it can take months and even years to clear from your system. In other words, the longer you eliminate it from your diet before reintroducing it, the more conclusive the results will be.

If you notice that you feel significantly better off without gluten - and feel noticeably worse when you reintroduce it into your diet, then you are likely sensitive to gluten.

To get accurate results, you must eliminate 100% of the gluten from your diet as even trace amounts from medications or supplements can be enough to cause an immune reaction in your body.                                                       

Source

Other related blog posts.....

Gluten-Free Diet Helps Reduce the Risk for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Which Supplements are Best for Me?

Three Supplements to Slow the Aging Process

 

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What are the Benefits of Avocado Oil?

by Institute for Vibrant Living

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

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

What are the Benefits of Avocado Oil?

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

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

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

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

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

Read other blog posts on this topic:

The Dangers of Cooking Oils

10 Best Natural Vitamin Supplements

5 Nutrients for a Healthy Heart

Source:

Benefits of Avocado Oil for Skin and Health

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Can your Mood Affect your Heart's Health?

by Health News

Heart Health TipsA positive outlook and a cheerful disposition isn't just a better way to live your life - it’s much healthier for your heart as well.

There is a proven scientific connection between optimism and other positive emotions and good health - and this link appears to be particularly strong when it comes to the heart.

In a study of nearly 1,500 people with a higher risk of heart disease, those who reported being cheerful, relaxed, satisfied with life and full of energy had a nearly 33% reduction in heart attacks.

In other words - if you are a cheerful person by nature, you are much less likely to suffer from heart disease.

There are several theories to explain why a positive outlook is protective for your heart.

A positive mood is known to have beneficial biological effects on health, even though experts aren't yet 100% sure exactly why. Perhaps it has to do with the lower levels of stress in positive-minded people.

All feelings, positive or negative, come with physiological changes. Your skin, heart rate, digestion, joints, muscle energy levels, the hair on your head, and many other body systems are affected by every emotion.

For example -stress influences the immune system and can impact blood pressure (BP), cholesterol levels, brain chemistry, blood sugar levels, and hormonal balance.

Increasingly, stress is being viewed by health experts as a heart disease risk marker and regular stress relief is now considered necessary to protect heart health.

For example, people exposed to traumatic and/or long-term stress, such as combat veterans, have higher rates of heart problems than the general population.

In a study which looked at nearly 208,000 veterans aged 46-74 years, 35% of those diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) developed insulin resistance in two years, compared to only 19% of those not diagnosed with PTSD.

Insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes and hardening of the arteries. PTSD sufferers also had higher rates of metabolic syndrome, a collection of risk factors that raise the risk of heart disease. More than 50% of veterans with PTSD had these symptoms, compared to 37% not suffering with PTSD.

In another example - losing a significant person in your life raises your risk of having a heart attack the next day by 21 times, and in the following week by 6 times. However, the risk of heart attacks begins to fall after about a month had passed, perhaps because levels of stress hormones level out over time.

While there is little we can do about the unexpected stresses we may encounter in our lives, it is clear that regular stress relief and having a positive outlook is a much healthier way to live longer. 

Click here to learn more which natural supplements will help you have a healthier heart.

 

Other related blog posts:

4 Aging-Related Signs Of Heart Disease Risk

Heart Smart Solutions to Stress and Depression

Why Folic Acid May Prevent a First Heart Attack but Not a Second One

 

 

Source: Positive Outlook Linked to Better Heart Health.

 

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What is Cholesterol?

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Did you know -  

  • Cholesterol is only a minor player in heart disease?
  • Cholesterol levels are a poor predictor of heart attacks?
  • Roughly 50% of all heart attacks happen to people with normal cholesterol?
  • Half the people with elevated cholesterol have healthy hearts?
  • Lowering cholesterol has an extremely limited benefit?

The case against cholesterol as ‘the’ underlying cause of heart disease or even as an important marker has been crumbling steadily for decades.

What is Cholesterol?

Consider the Lyon Diet-Heart Study.

In the 1990s, French researchers decided to test the effect of different diets on heart disease. They took two groups of men who had every imaginable risk factor. All of them had survived a heart attack. They had high cholesterol, they smoked, they didn’t exercise and they had high levels of stress.

Of these men, half were advised to eat the American Heart Association ‘prudent diet’ (low saturated fat and cholesterol), while the other half were advised to eat a Mediterranean diet high in fish, omega-3 fats, vegetables and monounsaturated fat like olive oil.

The study was stopped midway because the reduction in heart attacks in the Mediterranean group was so pronounced at 70% that the researchers decided it was unethical to continue!

Surprisingly, cholesterol levels in men who ate the Mediterranean diet did not change at all, and were just as high when the study was stopped as they were when the study began.

They simply stopped dying. Cholesterol had nothing to do with it.

So - if cholesterol isn’t the cause of heart disease, what is?

The real causes of heart disease are inflammation and oxidative damage. Starting with small injuries to the vascular wall caused by anything from high blood pressure to toxins, oxidized (damaged) LDL-cholesterol particles enter the wall tissue.

As a result, the immune system sends inflammatory cytokines which create even more inflammation - which creates more oxidative damage in a vicious cycle that eventually results in atherosclerotic plaque formation and an increased risk for heart disease.

In other words - if there was no inflammation, there would be no plaques formed and no heart disease.

The other two major promoters of heart disease are stress and sugar. Stress releases hormones which harm artery walls and increase blood pressure.

Sugar - a far worse dietary danger than fat - is inflammatory on its own, but also contributes to insulin resistance and fat gain. More fat equals more inflammation.

In fact fat cells are literally tiny hormone factories, spitting out inflammatory cytokines and increasing overall inflammation and arterial damage.

Given all of this information, here is a simple seven-point program you can follow to reduce your heart disease risk:

1.      Eat an anti-inflammatory diet.

2.      Reduce grains, starches, sugar and omega-6 fats from your diet as much as possible.

3.      Manage your stress through meditation, yoga or other lifestyle changes.

4.      Exercise regularly, for a minimum of 30 minutes daily 5 days/week.

5.      Drink alcohol only in moderation.

6.      Don’t smoke.

7.      Supplement your diet with high quality, proven antioxidants, vitamin C, coenzyme Q10 and omega-3 fats.

Source:

The Great Cholesterol Myth.

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Is Krill Fish Oil Dangerous?

by Health News

Did you know - Eskimos have a low incidence of heart attacks, even though their diet relies heavily on whale blubber? That’s because whale blubber is rich in omega-3 fats.

Krill Fish Oil Facts

You may have already heard of omega-3 and omega-6 fats, which are both essential polyunsaturated fatty acids. Your body needs both of these to function properly, but it cannot make either of them on its own.

Omega-3 fats are made by cold-water algae. They’re also found in the fat of cold-water fish like sardines, wild salmon, herring, mackerel and tuna that feed on these plants, along with fish oil supplements and algae extract. Another type of omega-3 is also found in walnuts, flax seed, canola and soybean oil as well as in green leafy vegetables.

Omega-6 fats are found in cooking oils such as corn oil, safflower and sunflower oils, margarine and low-fat foods, meat and eggs.

Together, omega-3 and omega-6 fats control many of your body’s physiological processes. As long as they are in balance, your body remains healthy.

The problem is this - today, relative amounts of dietary omega-3 and omega-6 fats are completely out of balance. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate approximately twice the amount of omega-6s as omega-3s, which many experts believe is ideal for health. Believe it or not, the typical US diet today contains up to 20–50 times more omega-6s than omega-3s!

In such excessive amounts omega-6 fats can completely skew your body’s fat balance and physiology, causing real harm. Countless studies have shown a clear connection between high ratios of dietary omega-6 to omega-3 fats and skyrocketing rates of heart disease, arthritis, asthma, insulin resistance, metabolic disorder, type 2 diabetes - even some forms of cancer.

So what can you do to improve your odds?

It’s easy - do what the Eskimos do and increase your consumption of omega-3 fats.

Both fish oils and krill oil are a great natural source of omega-3 fats. The difference is - while high-quality fish oils have many important health benefits, their antioxidant content is poor - whereas krill oil has the health benefits plus high levels of potent antioxidants.

In fact, the antioxidant potency of krill oil is 48 times more potent than that of fish oil, which makes choosing between the two an easy task.

Antioxidants are your body's primary way to neutralize free radicals. They boost heart health, keep the immune system healthy and prevent memory loss with aging - in fact they seem to slow down many aging-related changes.

Genuine krill oil contains:

  • More than 300 times the antioxidant power of vitamins A and E  
  • More than 47 times the antioxidant power of lutein
  • More than 34 times the antioxidant power of coenzyme Q10

Not only that, krill oil also contains astaxanthin - a unique marine flavonoid - which makes antioxidants more readily available to your body.

In a recent study, supplementation of a high-fat diet with krill oil prevented buildup of triglycerides and cholesterol in the livers of rats, along with lowering blood levels of triglycerides and glucose.

In another study, consumption of krill oil countered body weight gain and increase in blood levels of total cholesterol and harmful LDL-cholesterol in rats given a high fat diet, along with preventing harmful oxidative damage.

Last but not least, krill is at the bottom of the food chain - which means that unlike fish oil, it’s unlikely to be contaminated by toxic heavy metals.

So why not boost your consumption of omega-3 fats and protect your health with a krill oil supplement today?

Do you currently take any Omega-3 supplements?

Learn more about the benefits of Omega -3's:

Omega-3 Fats: Best Defense Against Premature Aging

Fish Oil The Truth About Krill Oil 

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Gluten-Free Diet Helps Reduce the Risk for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

by Health News

In scary and unwelcome news - if you have celiac disease, you are likely to experience a higher risk for non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL).

NHL is a cancer of the lymphatic system, which includes components of the immune system such as lymph nodes and spleen.

There's good news too. Your lymphoma risk will taper off the longer you follow a gluten-free diet. Overall, your NHL risk depends on how your body reacts to the inflammation, intestinal damage and nutritional deficiencies brought on by villous atrophy in celiac disease.

After food passes from the stomach into the small intestine, nutrients are normally absorbed through the villi - which are microscopic, finger-like tentacles that line the wall of your small intestine. In patients with untreated celiac disease, inflammation makes the villi shrink and flatten, negatively affecting nutrient absorption.

Studies show that patients with celiac disease are significantly more likely to develop NHL than people in the general population. People with severe or refractory celiac disease appear to be at highest risk.

Gluten-Free Diet Helps Reduce the Risk for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

One study found 40 cases of NHL out of 1,285 celiac patients, a rate of 3.1%. Another study found a much higher rate (over a 5-fold increase) in people whose celiac disease was severe enough to lead to hospitalization. Unfortunately, people who have been hospitalized are more likely to have refractory celiac disease - which doesn't respond well to the gluten-free diet.

Interestingly, researchers have also found a higher NHL risk in non-celiac siblings of diagnosed celiac patients, indicating there may be a genetic component which raises the risk both for celiac disease and lymphoma.

Lymphoma in patients with celiac disease typically develops in 5-10 years following diagnosis. Patients who develop disorders of the lymphatic system, including lymphoma, tend to be older and are more likely to suffer from symptoms of diarrhea, abdominal pain and weight loss - indicating severe villous atrophy and poor macro- and micronutrient absorption.

The most recent medical research indicates that NHL risk depends for how long gluten was consumed prior to the diagnosis of celiac disease and how long a gluten-free diet is maintained. For instance, when adults spent 10 or more years on a gluten-free diet, their lymphoma risk returned to almost normal.

So if you have celiac disease, the best thing you can do to protect yourself against getting NHL is to stick rigorously to a gluten-free diet.

And if you ever develop any symptoms of NHL - including swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, unexplained weight loss, fever and night sweats - then you should consult your physician right away and make sure he or she knows all about the connection between celiac disease and NHL risk.

Want to read other related articles on this topic?
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There’s an ongoing war for your health raging in your gut - whose side are you on?

by Health News

 

 

According to health experts, our health is being profoundly affected by an ongoing bacterial war raging deep inside our gut.Are the Bacteria in Your Gut Dangerous | Institute for Vibrant Living
 
Our body has 100 trillion bacteria in it, which live (mostly) in the gut with the surface area of a football field. Most experts say the optimal ratio is 85%:15% good to bad bacteria.
 
An excess of pathogenic bacteria has severe and widespread consequences for health. They create mold, putrefaction and release toxins into blood causing diarrhea, bloating, bad breath and even emotional problems, including depression. The liver has to work overtime to filter the toxins they make. Not only that - up to 80% of the immune system is in now believed to function in the gut, so immune function is also likely to be compromised.
 
On the other hand, having enough beneficial bacteria in the gut ensures proper nourishment, that foods are broken down and necessary macro- and micro-nutrients absorbed, vitamins B and K are made, minerals are extracted from the diet and retained, toxins do not damage the intestinal lining, colon cancer risk goes down and immunity is boosted.
 
Antibiotics have dramatically changed the course of human history by lowering the incidence of many diseases to negligible levels. However, thanks to massive over-prescription and self-medication, today they actually act to damage health by eliminating most of the good bacteria with the bad.
 
Not only that - there are antibiotics in meats and dairy, non-organic foods are laced with pesticides and other chemicals and pollution is in the air. In other words, the environment is full of chemicals that threaten the well-being of gut probiotics - and by extension, our health as well.
 
A Native American elder once described his own inner struggles in this manner: ‘Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time.’ When asked which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, ‘The one I feed the most.’”
 
Which dog do you feed regularly?
 
Probiotic bacteria thrive on soluble fiber, which reach the colon more or less intact. The standard recommendation is six grams a day. On the other hand, feeding pathogenic bacteria requires sugar and processed foods low in fiber.
 
So creating the right bacterial balance in the gut is very simple: consume quality probiotics, consume fiber-rich, fresh foods and cut out as much sugar and processed food as possible.
 
You can also help the probiotics in your body stay on top by regular consumption of fermented foods including pickled vegetables, tempeh and fermented milk products like kefir or yogurt, natto and kimchi.
 
And while it would be ideal to get all the probiotics and the food they thrive on from the diet, that may not always be feasible - in which case quality probiotic supplements are invaluable.
 
So why not consult a dietician or nutritionist and start feeding your ‘good dog’ today?
 
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The Risk Of Developing Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?

by Institute for Vibrant Living

The Risk Of Developing Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?A new study carried out by scientists from the Universities of London and Oxford may provide clues as to why the risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) is influenced by month of birth - it seems that vitamin D levels and immune system development vary according to month of birth in newborn babies.

MS is a disabling neurological condition which happens when the body's own immune system attacks and damages the central nervous system. This interferes with the transmission of electrical messages between the brain and the rest of the body - leading to problems with vision, muscle control, hearing and memory.

Previous population studies already indicate that month of birth can influence risk of getting MS. This effect is particularly evident in England, where MS risk peaks in individuals born in May and drops in those born in November. As vitamin D is formed by the skin when it is exposed to sunlight, this effect may support a prenatal role for vitamin D in MS risk.

In this new study, blood was extracted from the umbilical cord of 50 newborn babies and analyzed to measure levels of vitamin D and autoreactive T-cells. Autoreactive T-cells are specialized immune cells whose role is to identify and destroy infectious agents such as viruses.

However, for some reason, some of these T-cells start attacking the body's own cells, triggering autoimmune diseases such as MS. Normally such self-harming T-cells should be eliminated by the immune system during its development by the thymus, a specialized organ in the immune system.

Study results showed that babies born in May had significantly lower vitamin D levels (around 20% lower than those born in November), along with nearly double the number of autoreactive T-cells compared to November babies.

In other words, lower levels of vitamin D in May babies are associated with twice the levels of autoreactive T-cells, which naturally increase the risk of damage to the central nervous system.

In the future, long-term studies are needed to understand whether vitamin D supplementation in pregnant women can impact immune system development and lower risk of MS and other autoimmune diseases.

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Allergy Answers in Your Cupboard

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Allergy RemediesThere are also several nutritional supplements that have powerful antihistamine properties, including vitamin E, quercetin, bromelain, and colostrum. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and natural antihistamine that has been shown to strengthen your immune system and its response to attack. Vitamin E is also a natural blood thinner. Therefore, if you are taking an anticoagulant, such as warfarin, check with your doctor before using vitamin E.

Quercetin has anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties, which makes a favorite natural treatment among allergists. It is believed to work by controlling the release of histamine and stabilizing cell membranes, making them less reactive to allergens.

A natural anti-inflammatory in its own right, bromelain also helps your body absorb quercetin. This pineapple derivative reduces inflammation in your respiratory system while also decreasing the amount and thickness of mucus in your respiratory tract.

Lastly, colostrum—the pre-milk all women produce immediately after the birth of a baby—is rich in immune-building and immune-enhancing properties. Colostrum contains several immunoglobulins, antibodies that help boost your immune system, as well as

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Why is Deadly Bacteria Dangerous to Your Immune System?

by Health News

Deadly Bacteria Dangerous to Your Immune SystemOutbreaks of deadly diseases often occur during winter, when people tend to stay indoors more often and their vitamin D levels are low. A new UCLA study - particularly relevant to tuberculosis (TB) - reveals how bacteria manipulate such social and environmental factors to make us ill.

According to UCLA researchers, some bacteria pretend to be viruses when infecting us, hijacking our immune response and hiding out inside our cells. With nearly 9 million people falling ill globally with TB each year, understanding how these bacteria fool our immune system may lead to better, more targeted therapies.

Our immune system protects us against bacterial infections by releasing a protein called interferon-gamma, which uses vitamin D to destroy invading bacteria.

When bacteria pretend to be viruses, they trigger the immune system to launch an attack with a different protein called interferon-beta - which is meant to fight viruses, not bacteria. Not only is interferon-beta ineffective against bacteria, it actually makes things worse by blocking the action of interferon-gamma.

If a real virus infects the body, triggering interferon-beta, it diverts the immune system from attacking the bacterial invader. This may be the reason why viral flu usually leads to a more serious bacterial infection like pneumonia.

UCLA researchers first compared how much virus-fighting interferon-beta protein and the bacteria-fighting interferon-gamma protein is expressed in skin lesions from leprosy patients. They found that interferon-gamma was expressed more in patients with milder leprosy, while interferon-beta was significantly higher in patients with the more serious, progressive form of leprosy.

Even more interestingly, genes triggered by interferon-beta were more frequent in the skin lesions of serious leprosy patients as well as in the blood of patients with severe TB, which are two very different diseases.

Previous work by the UCLA team had shown that the bacteria-fighting interferon-gamma defense pathway depends on vitamin D, a natural hormone that plays an essential role in the fight against infections.

This new study shows that virus-fighting interferon-beta suppresses aspects of the interferon-gamma-triggered vitamin D pathway, preventing the immune system from killing bacteria.

In other words, a shift in the balance of these two interferon proteins may also shift the balance from mild to more serious disease - while therapeutic interventions that block or enhance specific interferon responses may alter the balance against protection from bacterial diseases.

Finally, relative changes in interferon protein levels may explain why some people are more resistant, while others are susceptible to TB or have a more serious progression.

Are you looking for the best vitamin supplement that can boost your immune system naturally?

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How Deadly Bacteria Trick the Immune System.