Sunday, August 28, 2011

Health Benefits of Probiotics

In the past when antibiotics were first introduced into our world, most people had a very vague idea about bacteria in general. Most didn't recognize the extreme importance of the friendly bacteria living in our own bodies. The term "bacteria" was more often than not used to describe something harmful, something that could cause a disease.


Now people are becoming more and more aware of the fact that there are also beneficial bacteria without which life would not be possible. It is actually the friendly, life-sustaining bacteria which live inside our bodies and on our skin that keep our bodies functioning and thriving. Without them we would not be able to exist. They not only keep the bad bacteria in check, but have many other health-sustaining functions.

Our bodies are designed to function best with millions of friendly probiotic bacteria living in our intestinal tract and on our skins. There are more than four hundred different bacteria living in the human gastrointestinal tract. The most common forms of intestinal probiotics are L. acidophilus and Bifidobacteria bifidum.

In the past, we constantly replaced the probiotics in our system by eating organic vegetables grown in soil that was rich in soil-based organisms or by consuming raw milk products. Today we need to supplement as almost all milk products on the market are made of homogenized, pasteurized milk and most vegetable grow in depleted soil.

Our digestive systems especially rely heavily on friendly probiotic bacteria to aid in digestion and assimilation of our food. Hydrocarbons are broken down by probiotic bacteria which means that the food is being split into its most basic elements. This allows almost total absorption through the digestive system. In this way probiotics dramatically increase overall nutrition and enhance rapid cellular growth and development.

Probiotics not only aid digestion, but also help clean the digestive tract and reduce inflammation in the colon. Digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea and constipation are safely relieved by probiotics. The bowel movements become normalized.

Studies have shown that probiotics, especially acidophilus, promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the colon and reduce the conversion of bile into carcinogens or cancer-causing substances.

Probiotics also stimulate the production of many important enzymes such as the lactose digesting enzyme lactase, and increase the availability of vitamins especially Vitamin B, Vitamin K, and nutrients such as iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, and fatty acids.

The friendly bacteria also stimulate B-Lymphocyte and related anti-body production. They produce huge pools of extra anti-bodies, ready to protect and defend against infection. They not only stimulates the immune system thus helping the organism fight off acute infections but also help alleviate allergies, chronic fatigue syndrome and systemic candida.

Probiotics may also be useful in maintaining urogenital health. Like the intestinal tract, the vagina is a finely balanced ecosystem. The dominant lactobacilli strains normally make the vagina too acidic for harmful microorganisms to survive there. But this finely tuned system can be thrown out of balance by a number of factors, including extreme stress, antibiotics, spermicides, and birth control pills. Probiotic treatment may help restore the equilibrium and alleviate such common female urogenital problems as bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, and urinary tract infections.

There are many probiotic products on the market now and they vary in quality and efficacy. In order to be effective, the bacteria in these supplements must be "alive" and active and able to reach the intestines unaffected by the stomach acid. The supplements must be sugar or glucose free as both, sugar and glucose, actually slow down the growth of lactobacilli. Very few supplements are actually viable.

The best way to deliver the healthy bacteria to the system is to acquire them through cultured foods where they are still actively involved in the fermentation process. Because the probiotics are in a food-based medium, the body can easily recognize and absorb them. Also, the food itself very easy to digest because it has been "predigested" by the friendly bacteria and is therefore an instant source of nutrients and life sustaining energy.

Cultured foods include kefir and yogurt made from organic raw milk, homemade sauerkraut and kimchi, unpasteurized miso paste, traditionally brewed unpasteurized kombucha, unpasteurized vinegars such as apple cider vinegar or coconut vinegar. People on a vegan diet may enjoy coconut or nut and seed based yogurts and cheeses made with controlled ferments.

Many common organically grown leafy green vegetable are also excellent sources of probiotics. The best green supplements for increasing probiotics include spirulina, chlorella, barley and  wheat grass. The advantage of getting these disease-fighting bacteria from green sources is that these foods are also very high in other nutrients such a s the immune system-stimulating vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. They also help to alkalize and detoxify the body.

Because stress, unhealthy lifestyles, unhealthy acidic diets, and most importantly, over-medication with antibiotics, deplete probiotics naturally occurring in our bodies, it is vital to add probiotics to our diet. Probiotics must be used to re-populate intestines with the healthy bacteria after intensive treatment with antibiotics, radiation or chemotherapy.

And although it is easier to take a capsule or two, enriching the diet with naturally fermented foods is probably more effective and fun.

By Dominique Allmon


         

Creative Commons License
Benefits of Probiotics by Dominique Allmon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


*This information is for educational purpose only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Obesity and Prostate Health

Over the past 40 years, the rate of obesity has been exploding in the United States. A massive 65% of adults in the US were classified as overweight or obese, with a body mass index over the accepted normal of 25. Even more disturbing is that 31% of children who are classified as overweight or obese. Since 40% of Americans do not exercise regularly, there seems to be little hope of this changing in the near future. This dangerous combination of increased food consumption and decreased physical activity has taken a tragic toll on Americans and has resulted in increased rates of a multitude of diseases, particularly diabetes. It is literally a major health crisis looming over America, adding to an already strained healthcare system. Obesity is also bloating healthcare cost, making healthcare in the US among the most expensive in the world.


Although research has yet to identify the link between obesity and the increased chance of developing prostate cancer remains unclear; there is little question that obesity does have negative effect on disease outcomes. Studies have shown that prostate-specific antigen test results in obese men can be considerable lower despite the presence of disease, leading to delayed diagnosis and treatment; recovery from surgery tends to be longer for the obese, and the risk of death from prostate cancer can be much higher.

Whatever nutritional approaches the individual chooses for prostate health, weight management is a must for an overall strategy. Increasing the intake of fresh vegetables can be beneficial, as long as they’re not swimming in high-fat dressings, oils, or sauces. Nuts can be an excellent source of some key nutrients, but they can also be very high in calories and fat. Knowing what to eat is a start, the real step in incorporating good nutrition into your lifestyle.

In addition, exercise is essential for effective weight management, it’s important to exercise regularly, at least 30 minutes a day and at least 3 days each week. Exercise not only helps burn off extra calories, but help keep the individual flexible and help maintain muscle strength and endurance. Walking, jogging, leisure activities, amateur sports, can be effective types of exercise. The key is to stay active and stay off the couch. Many American’s face an uphill challenge to regain control of their health and weight. Taking care of the prostate requires taking care of yourself.

Article courtesy of Prostacet website

For more information please click here



*This information is for educational purpose only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Cancer is Not a Disease!

A book review

In his book, Cancer Is Not A Disease, bestselling author and internationally acclaimed health expert, Andreas Moritz, proves the point that cancer is the physical symptom reflecting our body's final attempt to eliminate specific life-destructive causes. He claims that removing such causes sets the precondition for complete healing of our body, mind and emotions.

This book confronts you with a radically new understanding of cancer - one that out dates the current cancer model. On average, the conventional approaches of killing, cutting or burning cancerous cells offer most patients a remission rate of merely 7%, and the majority of the few survivors are "cured" for just five years or less.

The prominent cancer researcher and professor at the University of California (Berkeley), Dr. Hardin Jones, stated: "Patients are as well, or better off, untreated." Any published success figures in cancer survival statistics are offset by equal or better scores among those not receiving any treatments. More people are killed by the treatments than saved.

Cancer is Not a Disease shows you why regular cancer treatments can be fatal, what actually causes cancer, and how you can remove the obstacles that prevent the body from healing itself. Cancer is not an attempt on your life. Quite to the contrary, cancer is trying to save it. Unless we change our perception of what cancer really is, it will continue to threaten the life of nearly one out of every two people. This book opens a door for those who wish to turn feelings of victimhood into empowerment and self-mastery, and disease into health.


This book by Andreas Moritz may rock or even dismantle the very foundation of your beliefs about the body, health and healing. It offers the open-minded reader concerned about cancer a radically different understanding of what cancer really is. According to Andreas Moritz, cancer is a desperate and final attempt by the body to stay alive for as long as circumstances permit - circumstances that are, in fact, in your control.

Today's conventional approaches of killing, cutting or burning cancerous cells offer a mere 7% "success" rate for cancer remission, and the majority of the few survivors are "cured" for just a period of five years or less. In this book, you will discover what actually causes cancer and why it is so important to heal the whole person, not just the symptoms of cancer. You will also learn that cancer occurs only after all other defense mechanisms in the body have failed, for obvious reasons.

A malignant tumor is not a vicious monster that is out to kill us in retaliation for our sins or abuse of our body. As you will find out, cancer does not attempt to kill the body. It is a symptom of a life-saving process.

However, unless we change our perception of what cancer really is, it will continue to threaten the life of one out of every two people. This book opens a door to those who wish to become whole again, in body, mind and spirit.



*This information is for educational purpose only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Natural Cure for the Irritable Bowel Syndrome

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome also known as the "spastic colon", "irritable colon", or "nervous colon", is a sadly common gastrointestinal disorder experienced by nearly 15% of the population. It's characterized by painful and sometimes debilitating abdominal cramping, constipation and/or diarrhea, gas, bloating, and the sudden onset of urgency.


It is not the same as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Crohns, or Colitis.

There is no known cure for IBS, however, medical science has made significant strides in understanding the "triggers" (both internal and external), allowing many sufferers to gain control of their symptoms through a process of systematic trial and error...

Eliminating triggers (like stress and certain foods) while testing various treatment options that may include supplementation of nutrients, minerals, herbals, probiotics, enzymes, and fibers that are shown to be particularly beneficial for IBS sufferers.

Over 40 million Americans have received an official diagnosis of IBS, with 80% of sufferers being women between 20 and 55 years of age.

And while IBS is not generally reported to progress into more serious health conditions, it can have an extremely negative impact on your overall quality of life, resulting in days off work, avoiding social events, an inability to travel, and general depression.

Plus, it only makes sense, given that
  1. 60% of your immune system is found in your small intestine and,
  2. Your GI tract is responsible for keeping toxins out of the rest of your body,
  3. Your GI tract is responsible for "feeding" your body nutrients & minerals, and
  4. 95% of your body's serotonin (which plays a role in pain management & mood) is contained in your GI tract
A lifetime of IBS where triggers aren't effectively managed is bound to have a collectively negative impact on your overall physical and mental health!

Symptoms of the Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Symptoms of IBS can vary greatly from person to person, but frequently include:
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Gas & excessive passing of wind
  • Cramping
  • Uncontrollable urge to defecate
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
Symptoms that are often present with IBS but that may not seem (at first glance) to be related to your compromised digestive function include:
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Low energy
  • Frequent headaches
  • Allergies
  • Eczema or dermatitis
  • Heartburn
  • Bad taste in mouth
  • Poor sleep quality
  • Sexual dysfunction/issues
  • Urinary problems
The frequency and degree of symptoms can vary drastically from person to person.

However, managing your triggers using an educated combination of IBS-friendly diet, stress management, and daily supplementation can help reduce the frequency and degree of flare ups you experience.

Diagnosing IBS 

In order for doctors to make a positive diagnosis of IBS, there's a set of criteria, called the “Rome III Criteria,” that you must meet.

You must have experienced recurrent abdominal pain or discomfort at least 3 days
per month in the last 3 months associated with two or more of the following:
  • Improvement with defecation
  • Onset associated with a change in frequency of stool
  • Onset associated with a change in form (appearance) of stool
You must have been experiencing symptom onset for 6 months prior to the official diagnosis.

If your doctor suspects that you may have IBS, he or she will ask about your symptoms, review your medical history, give you a physical exam, and perform diagnostic testing.

To further exclude other illnesses, your doctor may order blood and stool tests. They may ask for a breath test or ask you to temporarily eliminate dairy products from your diet to determine whether or not you're lactose intolerant.

They may also conduct a flexible sigmoidoscopy, in which a flexible, finger-sized tube with a camera is placed inside the rectum to examine the lower part of the colon. The entire colon and the rectum may also be analyzed with a colonoscopy.

Causes of IBS

The exact cause of Irritable Bowel Syndrome has yet to be discovered.

However, having that said, medical science has continued to make significant advances in our understanding of IBS, and some common triggers have been uncovered that can be targeted and potentially managed through daily supplementation with IBS Relief System by Digestive Science.

Too little hydrochloric acid in the stomach 

Digestion of food begins with a delicate balance of hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes in your stomach.

Hydrochloric acid plays a critical role in the stomach, aiding in the digestion of proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals, as well as maintaining a pH level (acidic) in your stomach that helps to kill off bacteria, viruses, and parasites.

Research has shown that one lesser known but common trigger of IBS can be too little hydrochloric acid in the stomach (hypochlorhydria), which can set off a series of problems including:
  • Stomach doesn't properly digest proteins, having a far reaching impact on everything from collagen production, elastin, hormones, neurotransmitters, enzymes, muscle, and much more.
  • Potentially sets off an allergic reaction to partially digested proteins.
  • Not enough hydrochloric acid to kill microorganisms in the food we eat, causing yeast, bacterial, viral, parasitic, and protozoal infections and more, with accompanying constipation, diarrhea, gas, etc.
  • Minerals like calcium and magnesium are not properly absorbed.
By increasing your levels of hydrochloric acid, you may not only speed digestion and help kill off potentially harmful organisms before they reach your small intestine, but you can also improve the function of the digestive enzymes as well as nutrient absorption and synthesis!

Inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract

Inflammation of the gut lining occurs for many reasons. Poor diet, food allergies, stress, drugs, antibiotics, candida (yeast), and fatty acid deficiencies can all be triggers.

And this inflammation is the first stage in a vicious cycle that sets off a wide variety of health problems ranging from slightly annoying to life-threatening.

Why?

Because when the gut lining becomes inflamed, cells separate and begin “leaking” toxic substances into your body that would normally be blocked.

Hypersensitive stress response

While it's not yet fully understood, medical studies to date have conclusively proven that there is a link between stress, anxiety, depression, and IBS.

More specifically, evidence is piling up showing that IBS sufferers frequently have abnormal communication between the brain and the gut.

An estimated 95% of your serotonin receptors are located in your intestinal tract! And research has shown that IBS sufferers may have extra sensitive pain receptors in their gut, which may be directly related to low levels of serotonin.

So while it's helpful to make lifestyle changes to reduce your overall stress levels, to combat your potentially low serotonin uptake, it can also be worthwhile supplementing to promote increased serotonin production!

Unbalanced intestinal flora

Intestinal bacteria perform important functions, including:
  • Synthesizing roughly half a dozen vitamins, supplementing those that we get from our diet.
  • Helping to eliminate more dangerous bacteria and pathogens like Salmonella.
  • Stimulating your immune system. (Roughly 60% of the body's immune system is found in the small intestine!)
Yet medical science has been steadily piling up evidence, showing that the population of friendly bacteria in your digestive system is frequently not enough for optimal health, allowing “bad bacteria” to take over and create an imbalance.

And when these “bad bacteria” overtake your digestive system, a host of digestive problems can occur including bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, changes in bowel movements, and more!
  • Inflammation can occur, overwhelming your body's ability to effectively metabolize, synthesize, and absorb nutrients.
  • It can lead to toxins “escaping” or “leaking” through the walls of the gastrointestinal tract into the blood stream.
  • It can trigger a host of other health problems that can include, at best, weight gain, fatigue, and chronic pain or, at worst, debilitating, life-threatening diseases such as cancer.
Irregular contractions of the digestive tract

As part of normal digestion, food is moved through your digestive tract with a series of wave-like, rhythmic contractions of the gastrointestinal tract walls, called peristalsis.

Peristalsis aids in nutrient absorption and digestion by bringing undigested material in contact with the colon walls as well as by pushing undigestable material towards the rectum.

When IBS is present, though, these contractions may be too fast (hypermotility) or too slow (hypomotility) resulting in either diarrhea or constipation, often with painful cramping.
Reducing emotional stress and avoiding trigger foods can be important steps in regulating these muscle contractions.

However, a daily supplementation of fibre, nutrients, minerals and herbals that support the normal function of the GI tract can be extremely beneficial, too, as your digestive system may be compromised to the point that you're not getting maximum nutritional benefit from your diet alone!

Other common triggers of IBS
  • Infection - Studies have shown that you have a six times greater chance of developing IBS after experiencing a gastrointestinal infection. This is referred to as post-infection IBS.
  • Hormones - Researchers believe that hormones may play a role in IBS, since many women report that their symptoms are worse before, during, and/or after menstruation.
  • Food Allergies and Sensitivities - Diet is one of the biggest triggers of IBS. Your goal should be to eliminate trigger foods. If you have not yet identified which foods trigger flare ups, with guidance from your doctor, you may wish to experiment with an elimination diet that can help you to systematically identify problem foods. Foods that are commonly reported problematic are dairy, wheat, corn, insoluble fiberss, caffeine, alcohol, and fatty foods.
  • Stress and Anxiety - Research into IBS has demonstrated a strong link between the brain and gut (often referred to as "The Brain Gut Axis").While the jury is still out on how, exactly, this works, it's clear that there's a connection between your central nervous system and the specialized enteric nervous system of the gut that is profoundly impacted by stress and anxiety. Studies have shown that many IBS sufferers are prone to anxiety, panic attacks, and depression and that lessening psychological stress has a noticeably positive impact on the severity and frequency of IBS flare ups.
  • Medications - Some drugs can trigger spasms of the colon, which can exacerbate your IBS symptoms. These drugs include:
  • Antibiotics
  • Antidepressants
  • Medicine with sorbitol (an artificial sweetener)
  • Hormones like contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy
    Other Triggers
    • Eating while working or driving
    • Eating too quickly
    • Chewing gum
    • Lack of exercise
    Treatment options

    Any IBS treatment program should start with an official diagnosis by a qualified medical professional. And you shouldn't stop taking prescribed medications without first discussing it with your prescribing doctor!

    That said, most IBS sufferers will tell you that self-education is a critical step in gaining control of your IBS flare ups.

    And no IBS treatment program is complete without:
    1. A healthy diet, free of trigger foods
    2. Drinking plenty of water
    3. A relaxed, thoughtful approach to meal times
    4. Better stress management (consider regular meditation)
    5. Regular exercise
    As well, unless advised by your doctor, you should try to avoid laxatives, antidiarrheals, and antacids as, generally speaking, these can further disrupt the digestive imbalances associated with IBS.

    Prolonging the cycle of flare ups and ultimately making your symptoms worse!

    Also, do your homework and have a careful conversation with your doctor before starting any prescription medications to manage your IBS.

    In many cases, some simple lifestyle changes accompanied by natural supplementation of herbals, nutrients, probiotics, enzymes, and fibres that are shown to support the compromised digestive system of an IBS sufferer can bring the cycle of flare ups under control.

    And do it without the side effects commonly associated with many IBS prescriptions!
    Remember, relief from your IBS will only come when you commit to some healthy lifestyle changes.

    And seek to revitalize your complete digestive system by combating the common triggers like too much hydrochloric acid, hypersensitivity to stress, gut inflammation, unbalanced microflora, and more.



    Article courtesy of the Digestive Science website

    *This information is for educational purpose only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease

    Tuesday, August 16, 2011

    Prostate Cancer

    Prostate cancer is the male equivalent of breast cancer, which plagues millions of women. Fortunately, a little precaution can reduce the dangers of prostate cancer, and might even help save your life. It is crucial for men to pay attention to their health, especially as they age. Prostate cancer is the third major cause of cancer-related deaths in men. Many men do not realize the severity of this hazardous disease and fail to receive regular prostate checkups.


    Prostate cancer starts with the growth of a malignant tumor inside the prostate gland and spreads by extending into the bladder, seminal vesicles, and peritoneal cavity. It eventually metastasizes to the bones, lymph nodes, lungs, liver, and kidneys. The cause of prostate cancer is unknown, although recent studies find a small relation between increased testosterone levels and high dietary fat intake. Prostate cancer is rarely occurs in men under 40 years of age. The highest level of occurrence is greatest in African-American men over 60 years old. Increased occurrence is also associated environmental exposure to cadmium, a metallic element. The lowest incidence of prostate cancer occurs in vegetarians.

    The cancer is classified based on the tumor's aggressiveness and the degree it affects surrounding tissue. Most prostate cancers are staged or characterized by utilizing the Whitmore-Jewett system (A, B, C, D system).

    The system groups tumors using the following scale:
    • A - Tumor that cannot be detected by touch but only through microscopic tissue sampling. 
    • B - Tumor that can be detected digital inspection and is still confined to the prostate.
    • C - Spreading of the tumor beyond the prostate gland. 
    • D - The cancer has advanced to regional lymph nodes.

    Risk factors

    The risk factors are well researched but commonly misunderstood. Some studies show positive associations with age, race, family history, and diet.

    Age: Prostate cancer is particularly common among older men. Its occurrence has been reported in over 4 0 percent of men aged seventy years or older.

    Race: Extreme variations in the number of cases and mortality rate of prostate cancer have been observed among different countries and in racial and ethnic groups. African-Americans suffers the highest mortality levels for prostate cancer in the world, followed by white males in Scandinavian countries. Asian males have the lowest mortality rate.

    Family History: Studies report that men who have family histories of prostate cancer, fathers or brothers, are two or three times more likely to develop the disease.

    Diet: The main component associated with prostate cancer is consumption of fats and obesity. Individuals can actually reduce his chances of developing prostate cancer by modifying their diet and controlling their weight.

    For more information visit Prostacet website




    *This information is for educational purpose only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.

    Saturday, August 13, 2011

    Increase Libido with Maca

    Maca root has been an important food for the native people in the Andes of Peru, including the Incas, for at least 2,000 years. It is eaten baked, dried, mixed with milk, or in a variety of other forms and dishes. It is also traditionally believed to enhance strength, endurance, libido, and fertility.


    Active constituents: Maca contains substantial quantities of protein, fat, fiber, and minerals including iron, which also contribute to its nutritional value. It also contains glucosinolates, the strong-smelling compounds that are responsible for the pungent smell and taste of mustard family plants. Neither these nor any other constituents in maca have definitively been shown to contribute to its actions.

    Preliminary studies have shown that maca can increase libido in healthy men. It does this without influencing levels of testosterone or any other sex hormones. Healthy men who take maca have also been shown to have increased semen volume, increased sperm counts, and enhanced sperm motility.

    Numerous animal studies show that maca extracts can increase sex drive and improve fertility. Other studies support that it can relieve the negative effects of stress reactions. The red cultivar, though not the black or cream, also reduced enlarged prostates in rats.

    Article courtesy of Natural Gain website



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    *This information is for educational purpose only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.

    Wednesday, August 10, 2011

    How to Eliminate Stress with Sleep

    Are you feeling irritable, having trouble coping with people, feeling sluggish, stressed, not as productive, and having trouble concentrating. These are all just the immediate symptoms of not getting enough sleep. Did you know that many specialists believe Americans are sleep deprived, and that prolonged periods of not getting enough rest can lead to other more serious problems?

    Stress May Cause Problems Such As:
    • Weakened Immune System
    • High Blood Pressure
    • Depression
    • Obesity
    • Stress

    Benefits of Sleep

    It is hard to imagine that being sleep deprived can contribute to these problems. The role of sleep in our lives cannot be overstated. For best performance at work and home, we all need to optimize our quality of sleep. The amount of stress you feel during the day can be greatly magnified when you do not get enough rest.


    Sleeping repairs your body. Did you know that there 2 types of sleep. You have Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep and non-REM sleep.² Each serves an important purpose to the rejuvenation process the body goes through nightly. The mind has various activities that we don't know much about, that may take place while dreaming. Sleep allows the brain to relax and helps you to feel more refreshed and ready for a busy day.

    How To Eliminate Stress With Sleep?

    Sleep is the time when your brain processes many thoughts. It's the reason you can wake up with answers to questions that were before unanswerable. Sleep is the time when the body rejuvenates and heals itself.
    • One of the reasons for temporary sleeplessness is the fact that thoughts are racing through your mind. These may be thoughts of what will be your actions for the next day, or worries about what you've not yet done, or fears of what might be coming down the pike. A good way to begin your rest for the night is to calm your thoughts, slow your brain down so that you can fall asleep. Sleep doesn't stop your brain from working; in fact it improves your brain's ability to function in the many capacities that it must.
    • Many things affect adequate sleep including foods and drinks and medications. It's important to get good sleep naturally because sleep aids often suppress stages of sleep that the body needs to regain is optimal condition for the next day. By restricting the complete process, you may function poorly at home, at work and in social settings. And this will increase your stress levels.
    • Your bed clothes make a difference in your quality of sleep. Clean hypo-allergenic pajamas, sheets, pillowcases and mattress covers decrease your chances of breathing in irritants.
    • While you may like to have light in the room, studies have shown that darkness is optimal for sound sleep.
    • Your body has an optimal number of sleep hours. For adults this is from 7 to 9 hours. Learn what your optimal number of hours is, and take the time to sleep. Don't shortchange your sleep time to get ahead of the day; it will only put you behind in the long run.



    *This information is for educational purpose only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.

    Saturday, August 6, 2011

    Iodine Supplementation in the Event of Crisis

    By Carl Robinson, MH

    Radio isotopes, such as uranium derivatives, are even more dense and heavier than iodine, which is why radiation spillage/blooms into the environment are such a critical event since the heavy radio isotopes have a profound affinity for the heavy iodine element – a sort of "likes attracts likes" scenario. Here the "two edged sword" quality of iodine really manifests itself. Iodine has a strong affinity for radio isotopes, and, iodine also has a strong affinity for the tissue proteins of the body, provided the iodine is able to embed itself into those tissues protein matrix and not be displaced by the other halogen group of elements (e.g. bromine, chlorine and fluorine) that undermine iodine tissue bonding.

    If the tissues of the body, especially the thyroid gland, are not saturated with adequate amounts of tissue-bound iodine those tissues are not capable of turning away the heavier radio isotope, many already bound with free iodine in the body's fluid systems, and those toxic molecules will have easy passage into the tissues and once tissue invasion takes place the much heavier radio isotopes and radio-bound iodine is difficult to remove, including the accompanying toxicity and problems.

    If the body should be subjected to an incursion of radio isotopes/radio-bound iodine and intrinsic iodine saturation is already present in the tissues of the body, especially the thyroid, the combination of the pre-saturation of iodine (called "Iodine Loading") and the cells own intrinsic biological processes are able to block radiation and accompanying radio-bound iodine from entering the tissues, this allows the body to keep toxic molecules in a free unbound state and eliminate them from the body via its elimination systems.

    In fact, if the body has high tissue levels of iodine to the point of saturation, continued intake of iodine will allow the free iodine/iodide to act as a sort of "chelator" wherein the free iodine will bind with radio isotopes and in turn carry the radiation out of the body.


    This phenomenon of the free body-wise iodide letting go of a mineral carrier it is bound to in favor of bonding to the radio isotope is due to the stronger attraction the iodine has for a radio isotope as opposed to the former lesser attraction the iodine, as a body-wise iodide, had for the mineral (e.g. potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, etc). 

    This is not to say that free radio-bound iodine circulating throughout the body will not have some effect on tissues it comes into contact with, but because tissues are pre-saturated with tissue-bound iodine and the radio isotope/radio-bound iodine is blocked from entering 'into' the cellular matrix of the tissues, the eliminatory systems of the body are able to expel radio isotopes and radio-bound iodine from the body. This is why pre-saturation of the body's tissues, especially the thyroid, are essential to dealing with and eliminating radio isotope incursions into the body.

    Fact is, our environment has much higher levels of radio isotopes and radiation particulates than prior to the "Atomic Age". In fact, the height of the "Industrial Age" (early 1900's) was the beginning of radiation residue and its effects making its way into the atmosphere, water shed and ground water supplies. The problem is not sudden but has been building for generations as a result of the compounding effects of BOTH environmental phenomena (volcanic eruptions being one) and industrial waste/after effects. 

    The world's humanity has seen a steady increase in environmental radiation levels, both environmental and man-made, for well over a century now, that went exponential during the 1950's and 1960's due to surface (both land and oceans) and underground nuclear explosions, and high atmosphere detonated atomic weapons testing (which ironically was done solely by the United States) that ripped and thinned the ionosphere and spewed radio isotopes onto the high altitude jet streams, all while world-wide human tissue iodine levels have concurrently experienced a steady and precipitous decline.

    This is why a catastrophic radiation spillage/bloom is considered a tipping point of consternation for a major health crisis (that is also a national security issue) for people in the path of the after effects of a catastrophic radiation event. It's like adding insult to an already festering injury.

    I believe this is why populations who suspect they are in the path of a catastrophic radiation event or will be affected by such an event now intrinsically know the need to not wait for an arrival of radiation before they do something, but take immediate action to procure a source of adequate iodine supplementation to begin the process of iodine loading their bodies with a safe and effective form of iodine. Sadly, governments tend to minimalize such impending crisis, typically for stated 'national security' reasons, and as such a critical timeline passes for effective, appreciable and sustainable iodine loading of the population. The population at large must take the initial initiative on an individual basis to see to the viable iodine loading of themselves and their families for effectively facing a radiation crisis.

    However, in the final analysis, humanity, on a world-wide basis, is woefully deficient in tissue iodine levels. Sadly, attention and public demand for iodine supplementation seems to spike only when a catastrophic radiation event is imminent. Nuclear weapon stockpiles and their potential consequences aside, in a world in which an appreciable percentage of electrical power is generated with nuclear power facilities, and such facilities are dotted around the globe, usually within a short distance of high population locations, such radiation spills/blooms crisis will undoubtedly come and go.

    That's the nature of the technology, including the nuclear waste stock piles dilemma, especially when environmental events, such as earthquakes or deep seismic events (resulting in tsunamis), are factored in. That said, it seems logical that since tissue iodine levels of people are woefully deficient in the first place, the need to simply supplement one's iodine needs on a daily level (first iodine loading the body's tissues, then falling back to a decreased adequate daily maintenance level of supplementation) would be akin to hitting two birds in the bush with one stone – taking care of a daily need while at the same time preparing the body for that possible catastrophic radiation event (or incursion through food, water or the environment) since available supplies of supplemental iodine may not be adequate enough to meet a large populations emergency need for immediate iodine loading for saturating the body's tissues in the event of a crisis.

    Such a crisis and concurrent shortages in the industry took place due to the March 2011 Japan earthquake/tsunami caused Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant meltdown/explosions, when world-wide supplies of raw iodine were in short supply within 1 day of the event and many iodine supplement manufacturers were not able to meet demand. Here the old adage, "An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure," aptly applies in the case of one taking care of their tissue levels of iodine on a daily iodine supplemental basis well before they are confronted with a crisis.

    Did you know that Iodine deficiency is, in fact, the leading preventable cause of mental retardation in the world?

    Did you also know that iodine deficiency, as low tissue levels of iodine, is not only implicated as a primary causative factor in thyroid and cardiovascular problems, including cholesterol, but is being implicated in many of the most debilitating conditions affecting humanity today, including cancers and an exploding plethora of auto-immune disorders? Being a clinical & formulary herbalist does not preclude me from making some fact-based and observational conclusions and assertions concerning the issue of iodine deficiencies, especially since these observations and assertions are referenced to clinical, nutritional and extensive cadaver autopsy studies among the populations being studied, not to mention my own years as a clinical herbalist and nutritionist who has often dealt with conditions that should have resolved or seen results with a prescribed protocol but in some instances didn't.

    These baffling outcomes became more prevalent over the years, setting me on a course of research, studies and inquiries. It was not until a colleague gave me a book by Mark Starr, MD that the iodine factor came into focus, especially his references to groundbreaking work on the thyroid/cardiovascular/iodine triangle of health and well-being by Broda O. Barnes, MD. In the past seven years over a dozen books written by eminent physicians, many who also refer to Dr. Barnes research and conclusions, have made their way into bookstores and libraries. The subject of deficient iodine and thyroid function are no longer fringe ideas but have become an accepted fact among a growing cadre of medical doctors and endocrine specialists.

    One of the most outstanding things that has stood out in my studies of iodine deficiencies is the listed established RDA levels for optimal iodine intake that appear to not be high enough for current population needs, and in fact may be woefully insufficient. Many physicians who specialize in thyroid related endocrinology have gone on record agreeing with this assessment.

    First things first however. No doubt, that where health issues are concerned iodine is a element that is both essential to health and yet if used wrongly or in the wrong form can result in serious health problems, for some even death. Of all the minerals declared essential to health and well-being and that require a daily intake, iodine, because of its extremely powerful nature (it is the most dense and heavy of the minerals in its class and most dense and heavy of the essential minerals needed for daily health), is most like the legendary Sword-of-Damocles in its consequences if iodine is misused, intentional or not.

    Like the legendary sword, which only hung by a single horse's hair tied to its hilt with its tip pointed down directly above the one seated at the throne of power, so iodine is with the body. Most importantly, where general supplemental use is concerned, iodine must be in the right non-toxic form to be relatively safe, and secondly, only taken in a manner that benefits health and well-being. Where thyroid and/or cardiovascular problems exist or a person is taking medications, iodine supplementation should only be done under the direction of a qualified licensed physician. It's that simple!

    The most reoccurring observation alluded to in iodine deficiency based studies is that the American (and world-wide) population is consistently showing a profound increase in health problems that can be traced back to deficient iodine/thyroid problems and low general tissue iodine levels both statistically and concurrent with when iodine added to certain foods ceased (e.g. no longer added to bakery products since the early 1980's).

    These factors are bringing the current RDA levels for daily iodine intake into serious question. In fact, there is mounting evidence that current RDA levels for iodine were set too low in the first place putting the daily intake at too precarious a threshold level leading to imminent deficient daily intake, especially as society, over the ensuing years, has become more stressed that in turn shocks the endocrine system, especially the thyroid. There are numerous facts and considerations, both anecdotal and scientific, that support this premise.

    First, is the history upon which the original iodine RDA levels was based. When it was established that iodine needed to be supplemented into the daily diet the next step was to ascertain what the RDA level would be for the general population. By "general population" it is meant to imply a normal fairly healthy population, not sick or infirmed subjects. This means a study taking a cross section of a generally healthy population would be required to perform such a study. 

    Goiter, an enlargement of the thyroid gland caused by profoundly deficient tissue iodine levels was the catalyst for concern, since it was at epidemic levels across the America in the late 1800's/early 1900's. In the early 1900's a landmark clinical run study was initiated by government and science to ascertain the maximum safe daily intake of iodine. During the study's early phase all of the participants experienced good results from the iodine intake protocols, however, part way through the study one of the participants suddenly died of a cardiac incident. This frightened the researchers who attributed her death to too high iodine intake during the study. It was an erroneous assumption as related to the 'healthy' subjects of the study. As a result of this death the study was immediately closed down and the scientist rashly set a highly subjectively and arbitrarily low RDA level for iodine, an RDA level many times lower than the researchers had originally thought would be the case and many endocrinologists, especially those specializing in thyroid issues today, have now gone on record as saying are woefully low to meet current population needs.

    A thorough investigation of this study shows that it was flawed from the beginning. The woman who had died from the too high iodine intake should not have been part of the study as she had already had experienced two life threatening cardio events prior to her participating in the iodine intake study. Her being included in the study was totally counter to the study's standard that participants were supposed to be representative of a 'healthy' segment of the general population, and was not supposed to include any participants with a prior history of serious health problems, especially of a cardio-vascular nature. Sadly, that study, so essential to health and wellbeing of the population, has never been redone according to sound scientific protocol for accurately ascertaining optimal RDA levels, and so the woefully low RDA level for iodine continues to be based on a flawed interpretation of a badly crafted and executed study, done by 'scientists' no less!

    Interestingly, iodine is the heaviest of the elements required (e.g. "essential") by the body for health and well-being. This is important from an energetics point of view as it also tells us something about the alchemical-based qualities of iodine. These alchemical-based qualities are of course meant to be approached from a metaphorical perspective, however, metaphor often has profound implications and ramifications of a direct cause-and-effect temporal nature. Such is the case with iodine's density and heaviness.

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    *This information is for educational purpose only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.

    Monday, August 1, 2011

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    *This information is for educational purpose only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.
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