Volume 1, Issue 0714
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BANISH BACK PAIN
A new cause of depression?
Sea Buckthorn Head-to-toe benefits
Fast Fixes for Fatigue
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Does not interfere with stomach, liver or kidney function. † Occasional muscle pain due to exercise and overuse **Member of the EuroPharma Scientific Advisory Board *THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THESE PRODUCTS ARE NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE OR PREVENT DISEASE.
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In this issue...
Every Saturday morning I have the same routine. I get to the gym for either an indoor cycling class or an hour in the weight room before hitting the local farmers’ market. Armed with my reusable bags, I eagerly load up on vibrant, seasonal fruits and veggies that come from nearby farms and orchards. These local, often organic foods—which are so much tastier than what I can get at the grocery store—will form the basis for a week’s worth of delicious meals.
3 Editor's Corner
Adopting these healthy habits has its advantages. Oh sure, it can reduce the risk of a number of diseases over the long haul. But I’m talking about the benefits I experience day in and day out. Exercise has improved the shape of both my body and my cardiovascular system, making me stronger, more flexible, and more confident. Eating well nourishes my body and ratchets up my energy levels so I can meet whatever daily challenges come my way. Add in a good dose of sunshine to boost my mood and I’m good to go! Of course, creating this healthy lifestyle didn’t happen overnight. It’s been years in the making—and I’m still far from perfect (we won’t talk about my recent encounter with a chocolate cupcake!). But the desire for better health is there. If you’re reading this issue of Good Health Lifestyles, I’ll bet you have the desire as well. Our summer issue is packed with loads of tips that can help you create your own healthy life—how to eat seasonally, why you need to add weights to your fitness routine, smart strategies to enhance leg health, and a DIY first aid kit for your next warm-weather outing. Think of it as your summer survival guide. You’ll also find useful information to help you prevent and manage common ailments, including back pain, an overactive bladder, adrenal fatigue, and more. So settle into that hammock or patio chair, turn the page, and let’s get healthy together!
4 News You Can Use 6 Health Makeover: A Healthy Bladder = Better Sleep 8 The Other Omega 10 Beyond Calcium 12 Get a Leg Up 14 The Fire in Your Mind 16 Burnout! 22 Back in Action 24 Nutrition: 15 Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet 26 The Joy of Seasonal Eating 28 Expert Corner: Healthy Benefits of Lifting Weights 30 Herbal Helpers: The DIY Herbal First Aid Kit
Good Health LIFESTYLES
Jaye McDonald Roberta Jones
Digital Creative Director
Perla Björk Egilsdóttir Dr. Frederic Denis Dr. Ajay Goel Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum Ellen Davis Dr. Holly Lucille
Editorial Offices 1725 S. Rainbow Blvd. Suite 16-63 Las Vegas, NV 89146 firstname.lastname@example.org
Yours in health and happiness,
Jaye McDonald Editor-in-Chief EP257_07_2014
Published quarterly by FreshLife Media, 1725 S. Rainbow Blvd., Suite 16-63, Las Vegas, NV 89146. ©FreshLife Media. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. The opinions expressed by the contributors to Good Health Lifestyles are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher. The information in this publication is solely for educational purposes under Section 5 of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 and is not intended as medical advice.
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NEWS You Can Use The Cholesterol-Busting Benefits of Beans Could a chickpea a day keep the statins away? According to a new analysis of 26 clinical trials that appeared in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, it just might. The metaanalysis, which involved more than 1,000 people, found that eating just one serving—or about 3/4 cup—of “pulses” like beans, chickpeas, lentils, or peas every day led to a five percent drop in LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. This, say the study’s authors, could translate into a six percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Pulses also have a low glycemic index and are inexpensive, making them a smart addition to any meal. (Source: Ha V. Effect of dietary pulse intake on established therapeutic lipid targets for cardiovascular risk reduction: a systemic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. CMAJ. April 7, 2014; cmaj.131727.)
Low B6 Levels Increase the Risk of Fracture Hip fractures can mark the start of a rapid decline in health and mobility, especially for women over 65. But Chinese researchers may have discovered one little known—but easily corrected—factor that’s putting these postmenopausal women at risk. Researchers at the National University of Singapore tracked the dietary intake of B vitamins in more than 63,000 men and women over a six-year timeframe. During the next 14 years, the researchers documented the number of hip fractures that occurred among the participants. The women taking part in the study who had the lowest dietary levels of B6 had the highest risk of fracture. But women with the highest dietary levels of B6 had a 22 percent lower risk of hip fracture. Foods high in B6 include tuna, salmon, turkey, chicken, beef, sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds, and bananas. Taking supplemental B6 can also ensure that you’re getting a healthy dose of this hip protective nutrient. (Source: Dai Z. Dietary B vitamin intake and risk of hip fracture: the Singapore Chinese Health Study. Osteoporosis International. 2013;24(7):2049-59.) 4
Green Tea Extract Boosts Brainpower Researchers at the University of Basel in Switzerland report that green tea extract enhances cognition, especially working memory. During their study, which appeared in the journal Psychopharmacology, 12 healthy male volunteers were given either a soft drink containing 27.5 grams of green tea extract or a placebo soft drink containing whey before solving working memory tasks. The researchers evaluated brain activity in each participant using functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The MRI showed increased connectivity between the parietal and the frontal cortex lobes of the brains of those in the green tea group. The parietal lobe is located under the crown of your skull and is responsible for interpreting sensory information (cold, hot, pain, etc.). The frontal lobe extends from the forehead to the crown and is involved in planning, problem solving, and memory. The MRI results correlated with better task performance among the participants who received the green tea-laced beverage. While the researchers note that these findings could prove promising for the treatment of cognitive impairment, including dementia, earlier studies suggest that a lower daily dose may help sharpen cognition in healthy individuals. Look for a green tea extract standardized to 80 percent total polyphenols. Typical doses used in these studies range from 500 mg to 1,500 mg per day. (Source: Schmmidt A. Green tea extract enhances parietofrontal connectivity during working memory processing. Psychopharmacology. 2014; DOI: 10.1007/ s00213-014-3526-1.)
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Eating Watermelon May Lower Blood Pressure
Too Much Salt Speeds Aging Adding excessive amounts of salt to your food has long been implicated as a risk factor in hypertension, stroke, and heart attack. But a new report by Doctors Health Press shows that too much sodium may also accelerate the aging process. Researchers studying a group of overweight and obese teenage boys found that a high-salt diet increased the speed of cellular aging by shortening telomeres. Telomeres are protective caps at the end of chromosomes. The shorter the telomeres are, the "older" they are.
Just in time for that summer barbeque! A new study by researchers at Florida State University suggests that enjoying a juicy slice of watermelon could lower your blood pressure. The research, which appeared in the American Journal of Hypertension, showed that watermelon supplementation lowered aortic blood pressure and the amount of oxygen needed by the muscular tissues of the heart during stress. Watermelon is rich in L-arginine and L-citrulline, two amino acids that act as vasodilators and improve the way blood vessels function. Plus, this summertime treat is packed with lycopene, which earlier studies reported reduced vascular inflammation and improved HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
Currently, the recommended daily intake for salt is just 1,500 mg—or a little over one-half teaspoon.Yet, the average American consumes about three times this amount. Trading in processed foods, which are a primary source of hidden sodium in our diets, for fresh foods can help you slash your salt intake.
(Source: Figueroa A. Effects of watermelon supplementation on aortic hemodynamic responses to the cold pressor test in obese hypertensive adults. American Journal of Hypertension. 2014; DOI:10.1093/ajh/hpt295.)
(Source: Zhu H. Abstract MP64: High sodium intake is associated with short leukocyte telomere length in overweight and obese adolescents. Circulation. 2014;129:AMP64.)
Be Active, Stay Active! P-5-P/Mag™ provides bioactive vitamin B6 and magnesium for optimum muscle and recovery support. Together, these highly absorbable nutrients support: • Healthy tendons, ligaments, and cartilage • Muscle and nerve signaling • Comfort for anyone with physical jobs or strenuous workouts*
*THIS STATEMENT HAS NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.
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????????????? ?????????????? Get the Health Answers ?????????????? ?????????????? You’ve Always Wanted ????????????? ?????????????? TM
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It’s easy! Sign up for FREE. Participate in the live events, or enjoy our full archive of topics, including:
Our all-star lineup of experts features:
• The Great Cholesterol Myth, presented by Jonny Bowden, PhD
• Treating the Problem Thyroid and Adrenal Glands, presented by Terry Lemerond
Dr. Ajay Goel
• Preventing and Treating Alzheimer’s Disease, presented by Jacob Teitelbaum, MD
Dr. Holly Lucille
• Got Pain? Curcumin: The All-In-One Solution for Pain and Inflammation, presented
by Terry Lemerond
• Treating the Acute Injury: Sprains, Strains and Pains, presented by Holly Lucille, ND, RN …and many more! For even more health knowledge, catch Terry Lemerond’s radio show online every Saturday morning from 8:00 - 9:00 AM CST at www.terrytalksnutrition.com/radio-shows.
Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum Chris Kilham Jonny Bowden Dr. Ralph Martins Dr. Lise Alschuler
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The Other Omega The elusive essential fatty acid you need now
When you hear about omega fatty acids, omega-3s probably come to mind. But there is another “omega” that is just as necessary, but less common in foods. Omega-7 fatty acids reduce inflammation, prevent oxidative stress, protect blood vessels and arteries, relieve dry eyes, and improve skin appearance and elasticity. One of the richest sources of omega-7 can be found in the bright orange berries and seeds of the sea buckthorn shrub. Sea buckthorn has a long history of traditional use in northern Europe and Asia. Often called “the nutrient bomb,” the seed, pulp, and skin of the berry are packed with over 200 nutrients, including antioxidant tocopherols, beta-carotene, phytosterols, and omega fatty acids including omega-3, 6, and 9. But it's sea buckthorn’s high levels of omega-7— which makes up 50 percent of its fatty acid content— that sets this unique fruit apart.
Omega-7 reduces inflammation, particularly in blood vessels. It protects the cellular lining of arteries, known as the endothelium, by reducing the activity of the system that moderates how things “stick” to the inside of the blood vessel. A study in Finland of 80 slightly overweight women found that a patented sea buckthorn berry and seed oil (SBA24) reduced plasma levels of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM) after just one month. The extract also reduced the waist circumference of participants, prompting the authors to state that these compounds could be quite useful for metabolic diseases.
Sea buckthorn also improves plasma concentrations of HDL (good) cholesterol. In a study published in The Journal of 8
Nutritional Biochemistry, patients consuming capsules of sea buckthorn berry oil saw a significant increase in their HDL cholesterol levels and improvement in atopic dermatitis after four months. A shorter British clinical study reported a 20 percent increase in plasma HDL in eight weeks. Another study in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry showed that supplementing with a sea buckthorn berry and seed oil combination reduced factors that could lead to the creation of dangerous blood clots.
Supports Healthy Mucous Membranes
Mucous membranes—the mucous-secreting tissues that line the digestive, respiratory, and urogenital tracts, as well as the inner surface of the eyes—play an important role in whole body health. Yet they are constantly challenged by stress, the environment, and aging. Sea buckthorn provides both vital omega fatty acids and key antioxidants that support healthy mucous membrane tissue. For instance, preliminary research suggests that supplementing with sea buckthorn oil reduces the formation of gastric ulcers and speeds the healing of existing ulcers. A study currently being conducted by Finnish scientists is also looking at sea buckthorn's potential for vaginal dryness. Yet another double-blind, placebo-controlled Finnish study found that SBA24 relieved redness, irritation, and inflammation in those with dry eye syndrome.
Makes Skin Look Younger
Wrinkles are in part due to sun damage and environmental assaults that reduce the skin’s ability to retain moisture and undermines the formation of elastin and collagen—the building blocks of a youthful complexion. Supplementing with sea buckthorn may help turn back the hands of time. In a clinical study, healthy women in their early sixties used sea buckthorn berry and seed oil (SBA24) for a total of three months. By the end of the study, researchers noted a 49 percent improvement in skin moisture (33 percent in just one month!), a 9.2 percent continued >
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decrease in wrinkle depth, and a 26 percent improvement in skin elasticity.
How to Find Sea Buckthorn
Sea buckthorn shrubs are covered in thorns, and harvesting the berries by hand is difficult. Yet hand picking is worth the extra time and effort since unsustainable, mechanized techniques damage the fruit and compromise its nutrient value, so hand harvesting results in superior berries. There are many valuable nutrients in sea buckthorn, so look for one that includes both the pulp and the seed of the berry, as each contributes a different nutrient spectrum. Omega-7 is found only in the pulp of the berry, not the seed oil. Additionally, look for a supplement with clinical studies proving its health benefits, because not all sea buckthorn products are the same.
Omega-7 by Terry Naturally® is a clinically studied complete Sea Buckthorn Extract from the whole berry and seed oil that contains an array of nutrients and fatty acids—including omega-7—for outstanding beneﬁts: • Hydration of the eyes, mouth, and digestive system • Proper heart function • Smooth, hydrated skin*
EuroPharmaUSA.com *THIS STATEMENT HAS NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.
— E — LISH B
UD 15 D ST
A Bright Beginning ® with CuraMed ! Curcumin has been clinically shown to support mental well-being. The BCM-95® Curcumin—found in CuraMed— provides the powerful, concentrated benefits you need now for bright days, every day! Ultra-strong BCM -95® Curcumin provides up to 10 times the absorption and is retained in the bloodstream at significant levels for up to 12 hours compared to standard extracts, for lasting benefits. That means strong support for: • Mental Wellbeing • Cognitive Health • Critical Cellular Defense*
EuroPharmaUSA.com *THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.
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Beyond Calcium The missing nutrient your bones need now!
bones are living, growing tissues. Throughout a person's lifetime, new bone is added to the skeleton and old bone is removed, a process known as remodeling. Bone remodeling involves two types of bone cells. Osteoblasts create new bone cells, while osteoclasts are responsible for removing old cells from the skeleton. This delicately balanced process is carefully regulated by many of the hormones and nutrients in our bodies such as estrogen, progesterone, calcium, and vitamin D.
by Frederic Denis, PhD Do you know someone who has broken a wrist or, even worse, a hip? Blame osteoporosis. Marked by hip fractures and the distinctive dowager's hump, osteoporosis literally means "porous bones." It’s a disease in which the bones gradually lose their density and begin to deteriorate. As a result, bones become brittle and highly susceptible to fractures. The statistics for osteoporosis are truly astounding. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, osteoporosis threatens an estimated 44 million Americans—or 55 percent of people over the age of 50. Of these, 10 million already have the disease and another 34 million suffer from low bone mass—a condition known as osteopenia—
placing them at an increased risk for fracture. And although 80 percent of those affected by osteoporosis are women, men are affected as well. Bone Basics Although many people think of the skeleton as an unchanging structure,
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EuroPharmaUSA.com *THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE OR PREVENT DISEASE.
During the early years of life, new bone is added faster than old bone is removed. But after the age of 40, the bones become thin and porous as they lose increasing amounts of protein and minerals—more than they can build up. Once bone loss starts, a woman can lose 1/2 to 1 percent of her bone mass each year. After menopause, the rate of bone loss is even greater because of the abrupt drop in estrogen and progesterone. During the decade after menopause, it’s estimated that women lose up to 3 percent each year. The Bone-Building Nutrient You’re Not Getting When it comes to maintaining strong bones, calcium and vitamin D steal the spotlight. But, despite the hype, focusing on these two nutrients alone can leave you vulnerable to future bone loss. What’s missing? The trace mineral silica. This often forgotten mineral plays a critical role in the formation of bone. Silica is present in areas of bone that are undergoing mineralization and is a major component of osteogenic (bone-building) cells. continued >
Research over the past 30 years has found a strong link between supplemental silica and bone mineral density. As part of the Framingham Offspring Cohort, higher silica intake was linked to better bone mineral density in the hips of men and pre-menopausal women. Bone mineral density (BMD) is a marker of bone strength. Other research shows that supplementing with silica increases bone volume and boosts femoral and lumbar spine BMD. One retrospective study conducted in France found that silicon supplementation among 53 women with osteoporosis was more effective than either fluoride or the bone-building pharmaceutical bisphosphonate etidronate. Not only is this mineral vital to new bone growth, low silica levels can negatively affect collagen formation during the different stages of bone development. However, silica from mineral-based supplements is notoriously hard for the body to absorb. And, although some foods like bananas and string beans are high in silica, research shows that approximately 41 percent of the silica from food is excreted in our urine. However, a uniquely effective source of bioavailable silica can be found in the herb horsetail (Equisetum arvense). Through a gentle, proprietary extraction process, the silica in horsetail is preserved in a form that is more readily absorbed by the body. For best results, look for a horsetail-derived silica supplement that also includes trace minerals from the sea and healthy marine lipids which enhance the silica’s bioavailability for even greater bone support. Build Better Bones The habits you keep can also contribute to bone loss. One of the biggest culprits is an acid-forming diet. Large amounts of meat, saturated fat, and phosphoric acid (found in soft drinks), combined with low intakes of fruit and vegetables contribute to an acidic environment. Smoking can also contribute to bone loss by adversely affecting bone mineral density and strength. The good news: Adopting a healthier diet and becoming smoke-free appears to reduce the risk of low bone mass and fractures. Since a lack of exercise is one of the primary contributors to bone loss, it's also important to get some weight-bearing exercise several times a week. Weight-bearing aerobic exercises like walking or dancing have been shown to be a particularly effective way to boost bone mass and density, even in older women. Remember, combined with a healthy lifestyle and bone-friendly silica, using your bones can help keep them strong for life. Frederic Denis, PhD, has worked as investigator in the field of oncology, molecular and cellular biology at the French Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM, Paris). He is interested in natural and nutrition-based alternatives for improving health.
hen you think of healthy bones, you probably think of calcium. But research says you may need silica for healthy bone density, too.*
Bone-Sil™ provides it. A natural silica blended with bio-flavonoids, trace minerals from the sea, and healthy marine lipids to enhance absorption.
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Absorption of Calcium In Bone
† In vitro evaluation on cultured human bone.
EuroPharmaUSA.com *THIS STATEMENT HAS NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FDA. THIS PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.
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Get a LEG UP! Summer’s here! And the warm weather has many of us sporting shorts and swimsuits. But for those who suffer from varicose veins and spider veins, this time of year can make it difficult to cover-up our less-than-perfect legs. It’s estimated that 60 percent of all Americans experience visible veins and swelling in their lower extremities. Although age, family history, pregnancy, and long hours standing or sitting can increase the odds of developing venous disorders, hot weather can also aggravate existing circulatory problems in our legs. Are You Vein? Your legs contain three types of circulatory vessels: arteries, which channel blood from the heart to the legs; veins, which bring blood from the extremities back to the heart; and very fine capillaries that connect the arteries and the veins. Thanks to the powerful pumping action of the heart, the arteries bring nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood down to your legs. Since there isn’t a pump in your legs to force the blood back to the heart, your leg veins are equipped with specially designed oneway valves that prevent the blood from flowing backwards. Unfortunately, as we age, these protective valves can fail to close properly. As a result, blood can collect in our legs.
Spider veins are small broken veins that appear as jagged red, blue, or purple lines on the surface of the skin. Varicose veins, on the other hand, are thick, rope-like veins that run deeper beneath the skin and can make your legs feel fatigued, heavy, achy, or even itchy. Varicose veins can also cause burning, throbbing, cramping, and restlessness. Of more concern, legs can also fall victim to more dangerous conditions such as intermittent claudication and deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Intermittent claudication occurs when blood flow is blocked due to peripheral artery disease (PAD). DVT is caused by a blood clot that forms deep within a large vein—often in the legs. Both of these conditions increase the risk of heart attack. Mesoglycan for Magnificent Legs Your strategy for battling vein problems naturally is twofold: improving circulation and strengthening the walls of your blood vessels. One exceptionally effective tool for accomplishing both of these goals is mesoglycan, a compound naturally found in the lining of blood vessels. When taken in supplemental form, it provides glycosaminoglycans (GAGs)— vital and necessary components of the endothelial cells that line healthy blood vessels and keep them flexible. As a result, blood vessels are stronger, which helps maintain healthy blood flow. A recent clinical trial of patients with varicose veins found that those taking mesoglycan experienced a 77 percent improvement in overall vein health after just two months. In those with swollen legs, 83 percent also showed marked improvement. Another clinical review published in the International Journal of Vascular Medicine found that a daily dose of mesoglycan made artery walls more responsive and improved both the symptoms and the quality of life in subjects with PAD. This novel compound also sped the healing of chronic venous ulcers and helped to prevent the recurrence of DVT in those prone to the condition. If you’re ready to say goodbye to the discomfort of varicose veins or intermittent claudication—or if spider veins are keeping you from showing off your legs this summer—mesoglycan can offer safe and effective relief. Along with regular exercise to boost circulation and strengthen the muscles around your veins, mesoglycan can help you get a leg up, making unsightly and painful veins a thing of the past.
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Supports Healthy Bladder Strength and Function* SagaPro® Bladder Health is perfect for men and women looking for support of bladder strength and function.* Clinically-studied to support the smooth muscle tissue of the bladder.*
People in a recent study reported improved sleep and healthy bladder function.*†
Bladder Comfort. Peace of Mind. Better Rest.* † In subgroups of participants with speciﬁc bladder and urination characteristics
*THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.
Show of f ! your legs
Clinical studies on mesoglycan show amazing benefits • Supports strong blood vessels, vein and artery structure • Helps keep veins and arteries flexible* Healthy legs start with healthy veins! EuroPharmaUSA.com
*THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.
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THE FIRE in Your Mind
New Research: The depression-inflammation connection
by Ajay Goel, PhD According to the Centers for Disease Control, about one in ten Americans report symptoms of depression. Unfortunately, many of the current prescriptions for depression are only effective and safe in the short term. One reason for this may be that these medications only address brain chemistry. Yet emerging studies suggest that chronic, low-grade inflammation may actually be one of the major physiological causes of depression and depression-like symptoms. More Than Chemical Chronic inflammation due to lifestyle factors like diet can’t be underestimated. Research reported in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity has shown the connection between an inflammatory diet and the risk of depression. High levels of inflammatory markers, including TNF-alpha, have been correlated with patients suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD). But it becomes even more complicated than that. Studies conducted at Cork University Hospital and College in Ireland found that chemical stress responses from the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis encourage the release of inflammatory cytokines that have a detrimental effect on the brain and behavior. This is a much more complex set of factors than the previous “brain chemistry only” model. 14
Other work published in the journal BMC Medicine, which explored the causes of inflammation, showed that diet, environment, smoking, lack of sleep, and vitamin D deficiency are all linked to depression. The researchers concluded that beyond depression, “most, but not all, of the above mentioned sources of inflammation may play a role in other psychiatric disorders, such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, autism, and posttraumatic stress disorder.” One of the challenges for the treatment of clinical depression is that inflammation creates resistance in the brain to therapeutic medication. Lowering the levels of inflammatory
cytokines, including IL-6, tends to improve antidepressant responses. Unhealthy or maladaptive learned responses to stressors early in life can lead to a pattern that virtually guarantees inflammatory activity in the brain. For example, an unhealthy diet— including the lack of omega-3 fatty acids, healthy whole foods, and sources of high fiber—increases inflammation as junk foods become more prevalent. However, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that men randomized to consume eight servings of fresh fruits and vegetables per day showed reduced levels of C-reactive protein compared to men with a low intake of carotenoid-rich foods. The Curcumin Connection Since stressors of various kinds elevate inflammatory markers, an effective treatment plan needs to include anti-inflammatories that either can work in tandem with prescriptions or on their own. One of the major treatment challenges is finding an effective, natural therapeutic agent that can act as a stand-alone or an add-on therapy. Many botanical extracts effective at reducing stress or anxiety often fall short of the mark when targeting more serious mental health concerns. However, current research and traditional practice point to an alternative botanical compound: curcumin from turmeric. Stop Inflammation, Stop Depression Curcumin is a medicinal extract from the herb turmeric, which has a long history in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine for mental health concerns. Unfortunately, turmeric continued >
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contains only about 2% to 5% curcumin. That’s why finding a strong source of curcumin—as opposed to only turmeric—is so important. Curcumin reverses the physical effects of stress and depression. It reduces inflammatory markers in the bloodstream, which ultimately travel to and through the brain, and it prevents low levels of serotonin, noradrenaline, and dopamine. Additionally, laboratory research published in the journal Brain Research shows that curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior and dysfunction of the HPA-axis.
Put out the fire
One of the most effective forms of curcumin is BCM-95 which combines curcumin extract with turmeric essential oils. This unique formulation offers seven to ten times the absorption and up to 12 hours of blood retention of standardized curcumin extracts. That is why this specific bioavailable form of curcumin was chosen for use in laboratory models and clinical research of depression, and used in a recent clinical study of MDD. This randomized, controlled clinical trial compared the efficacy and safety of BCM-95 curcumin with the prescription anti-depressive fluoxetine to determine whether curcumin could be a viable
therapeutic treatment for patients with MDD. To qualify for inclusion in the trial, the patients were required to be 18 years or older, diagnosed with MDD, and score more than seven on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale 17-Item questionnaire (HAM-D17) a standard diagnostic tool used for interviewing and screening patients with possible depression. The highest proportion of response, measured by the HAM-D17 scale, was in the group using the combination of fluoxetine and high-absorption curcumin at 77.8 percent. Interestingly, the single-therapy groups scored almost exactly the same, with fluoxetine at 64.7 percent and curcumin at 62.5 percent— numbers so close that the data is not statistically significant from one another. There are two important conclusions from the result of this study. First, BCM-95 curcumin worked as well as the prescription drug fluoxetine in terms of the measurable changes in the HAM-D17 score from baseline to six weeks of treatment. Second, this study provides the first human clinical indication that BCM-95 curcumin may be used as an effective and safe treatment for patients with MDD without causing concurrent suicidal ideation or other psychotic disorders. Depression is a worldwide health issue with treatment options that vary in effectiveness and safety. While prescription medications, cognitive therapy, and other proven treatments can—and should—play a therapeutic role, curcumin may hold the key to a more holistic and risk-free intervention. Ajay Goel, PhD, is an Investigator at the Gastrointestinal Cancer Research Lab at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, TX. He is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research and the American Gastroenterology Association.
More Help For Depression • Talk to a professional
If you ever feel that you are depressed or have depressionlike symptoms, talk to a professional. Whatever the ultimate cause, don’t put off taking care of yourself.
• Monitor your “inner monologue” Replace
negative self-talk, such as “I can’t ever do this right,” or “They don’t like me,” with positive statements, such as, “I’ll give this a try” or “This could be a great experience.” Keep a journal each day and note when you start to think negatively about yourself to help you change this habit.
• Avoid alcohol and limit caffeine Alcohol shortcircuits long-term thinking and depresses the nervous system. Too much caffeine can cause anxiety and nervousness.
• Exercise Physical activity helps you build up levels of natural “feel-good” compounds, relieves inflammatory conditions and can practically be a form of therapy in itself. • Avoid inflammatory foods Foods have a profound
influence on your body chemistry and, as a result, on your thoughts. Inflammatory foods, including sugar, refined carbohydrates, and fried foods set up a spiral of oxidative stress and inflammation that makes depression harder to fight. Also avoid omega 6 fatty acids, especially processed soy, corn, and canola oil. 15
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Could adrenal & thyroid dysfunction be stealing your energy? There’s been a lot of talk lately about energy—especially the fact that we are running out of it. But what about your personal energy stores? Do you have enough or are you frequently exhausted and overwhelmed? If your "get up and go" got up and went, it may be an indication of a more serious condition known as adrenal fatigue. The adrenals are two tiny, triangular-shaped glands seated on top of your kidneys that, along with the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, are part of the body’s Hypothalamus-PituitaryAdrenal (HPA) axis. The HPA axis regulates things such as temperature, digestion, immune system, mood, sexuality, and energy usage, as well as your body’s response to stress. Here’s how it works: In response to physical or emotional stress, the hypothalamus produces norepinephrine and other neurochemicals and hormones that stimulate adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) in your pituitary gland. ACTH then triggers your adrenal glands to secrete cortisol, the most infamous of all the stress hormones. While these hormones can help to protect us in times of danger, frequent stress can keep your adrenals in a state of constant alert. Countless studies show that chronic adrenal stress depresses hypothalamic and
pituitary function. And since these two organs direct thyroid hormone production, anything that disrupts the HPA axis will also suppress thyroid function. And since these two organs direct thyroid hormone production, anything that disrupts the HPA axis will also suppress thyroid function—an issue that may be indicated by low iodine levels. Beyond Fail-Safe Your adrenal glands are tough—they have to be in today’s hectic world—but they aren’t invincible! If you live with constant stress, your adrenal glands can become fatigued and eventually cease to function properly. This can leave you feeling inexplicably tired or irritable for no apparent reason. If you skip meals or chow down on junk food, don’t exercise, deprive yourself of sleep, or use stimulants like caffeine, nicotine, or sugar, you’re putting your adrenal glands in a state of constant alert and setting yourself up for eventual adrenal fatigue. If your adrenal glands are frequently asked to work overtime or are continually overstimulated, the unending tide of stress hormones can deplete your continued >
SAY NO TO STIMULANTS As much as you may want them to help you jump-start your day, stimulants like caffeine, guarana, or prescription stimulants can put further stress on overworked adrenals. Things to avoid include coffee, tea, colas, chocolate, energy drinks or shots, and even some sports or weight loss supplements. If your adrenals are already exhausted, stimulants merely drive your adrenals further into the red. Once you have normalized your adrenals you may choose to reintroduce some forms of caffeine like those found in green tea, chocolate, or coffee—in moderation. These natural sources of caffeine also provide antioxidants and other beneficial compounds that help support optimal health. 16
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adrenal reserves. You may notice that you are increasingly overwhelmed, suffer from unaccountable brain fog, or just feel tired all of the time, making even the most routine task seem insurmountable. These are classic signs of adrenal burnout. Other symptoms of adrenal fatigue are often vague and seemingly unrelated. Depending on the level of adrenal dysfunction, they can include fatigue, food cravings, or unexplained changes in weight or mood. These symptoms can also masquerade as hypothyroidism, which isn’t surprising since adrenal fatigue, if left untreated, will eventually impact the thyroid. In fact, adrenal fatigue is one of the most common causes of low thyroid function. Fortunately, hypothyroidism can often be reversed once the underlying adrenal fatigue is resolved. If you suspect that you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue—or if you have been diagnosed with secondary hypothyroidism—it’s wise to consult a naturopath or integrative physician familiar with the condition. But there are also a number of things you can do now to help support overtaxed adrenals. Eat for Energy When life becomes frantic, it’s easy to skip meals or be lured by the call of the drive-thru. And, after a hard day, convenience foods or take-out sound oh-so-easy. But these types of food are packed with unhealthy fats, sugar, and refined carbohydrates that can stress your adrenals by sending your blood sugar on a rollercoaster ride. Using caffeine to prop up your body also overstimulates the adrenals. On the flip side, a diet high in lean protein, colorful fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats can provide your HPA axis with the nutrients it needs to function optimally. Vitamins C and B5 are particularly important to adrenal health. Increase your vitamin C intake by frequently eating strawberries, kiwi fruit, sweet red peppers, citrus fruits, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, collards, mustard greens, broccoli, and spinach—all foods rich in this critical nutrient. Vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin involved in the Krebs cycle of energy production. It is also essential in producing, transporting, and releasing energy from fats. What’s more, adding foods that pack a healthy B5 punch to your meal plan supports normal adrenal response to ACTH stimulation. These include brewer's yeast, egg yolks, avocados, cashew nuts, peanuts, brown rice, lentils, and broccoli. Adapt with Herbs Adaptogenic herbs can also help keep your adrenals functioning well by supporting a healthy stress response. Instead of overstimulating the adrenals like caffeine does, adaptogens actually support proper function and help them produce cortisol in natural patterns. This helps the body maintain homeostasis. Among the most effective adaptogens, ashwagandha has been shown to improve the body’s overall resistance to chronic stress. During one
FAST FIXES for FATIGUE Move your body Exercise will make you feel more energized, awake, and alert. Take a 10 minute walk outside, do jumping jacks for 60 seconds, or simply get up and stretch.
Have a cuppa A recent report found that the pairing of caffeine and L-theanine in green and black tea decreased mental fatigue and improved alertness, reaction time, and memory. What's more, black varieties can help you recover from stress, according to researchers at University College London.
Tap in to some flower power Texas A&M researchers found that volunteers who kept a vase of vibrant flowers on their desks generated more creative ideas than those in a vegetation-free setting.
Tune into your tunes One study found that people who donned headphones while they worked were 10 percent more productive than without them.
Take a breath Inhale as deeply as you can, making sure your stomach expands with each breath. Repeat a few times to instantly re-energize.
Snag some zzzzz’s Taking a 20-minute afternoon nap can help restore your energy levels. Just don’t sleep too long or your body will go into deep-sleep mode and you’ll be left feeling groggy.
continued > 17
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randomized, double-blind trial, volunteers with a history of frequent stress were given either ashwagandha or a placebo. After 60 days, those taking the herb showed a clinically significant drop in their stress and anxiety levels. Specifically, stress surveys indicated an average 76 percent decrease in the physical symptoms of stress, a 69 percent reduction in stress-related insomnia, 68 percent less social dysfunction, and a 79 percent improvement in feelings of depression. Cortisol levels also dropped significantly. Those in the placebo group experienced only negligible improvement. The compounds responsible for ashwagandhaâ€™s stress-modulating effects are special plant chemicals known as withanolides. Withanolides serve as important hormone precursors that can transform into usable human hormones when needed. Because of this ability, ashwagandha modulates hormone function during times of stress, helping to keep the body in balance.
EuroPharmaUSA.com *THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION.THIS PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.
Another adaptogenic herb that supports adrenal function is rhodiola, which studies show reduces fatigue while also improving mood and cognition. One double-blind trial of 161 men that appeared in the journal Phytomedicine reported that rhodiola supplementation reduced stress and fatigue, improved memory, enhanced concentration and 18
physical fitness, and increased overall well-being. Another double-blind trial of 60 volunteers by Swedish researchers found that rhodiola improved stressrelated fatigue and increased mental performance, particularly the ability to concentrate. And a third study noted that rhodiola reduced fatigue in
56 physicians on night duty. Research also shows that rhodiola stimulates the immune system, enabling the bodyâ€™s own defenses to ward off the adverse effects of stress. Licorice has also been traditionally used to rebalance adrenal function by continued >
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supporting healthy cortisol levels. One small British crossover study of 20 healthy men and women found that supplementing with licorice extract for just one week increased DHEA in all the participants. Salivary cortisol levels also rose in the women. Rehmannia is a little known herb used as an adrenal tonic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. In one animal study, rabbits experimentally subjected to adrenal depletion were fed rehmannia for two weeks. The herb prevented or reversed damage to the pituitary gland and adrenal cortex, suggesting that rehmannia supports the cells of the HPA-axis during times of prolonged stress. According to Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology, rehmannia may also work by inhibiting the negative feedback loop from the cortisol steroid to the pituitary gland. Adrenal Balancing Nutrients Along with an adrenal-supportive diet and adaptogenic herbs, it’s important to ensure that your adrenals get the key nutrients they need to function optimally—especially during times of sustained stress. Topping the list is vitamin C. The adrenal glands accumulate over 100 times more vitamin C than that found circulating in the bloodstream. During times of stress, this powerful antioxidant protects against free radical damage. However, excessive stress can ultimately deplete your levels, making supplementation essential. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a hormone synthesized by the adrenal glands which is critical to the production of testosterone, estrogen, and corticosteroids. Unfortunately, our ability to produce DHEA wanes as we age. Adrenal fatigue can also result in low blood levels of this key hormone. This may be due in part to the fact that, when cortisol levels go up, DHEA levels go down. Maintaining adequate DHEA levels through supplementation helps neutralize cortisol’s immunesuppressant effect, thereby improving resistance to stress and disease. Studies show that DHEA also improves mood, energy levels, and libido. Another healthy hormone to add to your adrenal arsenal is pregnenolone. Reported to reduce stress-related fatigue, pregnenolone has a balancing effect and can bolster your defenses against chronic stress, improve mood and energy, and reduce the symptoms of PMS. It is also a precursor to many other hormones, including DHEA, and may play a role in bringing the levels of these hormones up or down as needed. But, just like DHEA, the body’s natural pregnenolone levels decline with age—a situation easily remedied through supplementation. Since chronic stress can interfere with your body’s ability to convert phenylalanine to L-tyrosine—an amino acid needed to make the brain chemicals norepinephrine and dopamine— continued >
Hypoadrenal and Hypothyroid?
A common condition that often accompanies adrenal fatigue is hypothyroidism. Often called the “master” of the entire endocrine system, your thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland at the base of the throat. It excretes two critical hormones—thyroxine, known as T4, and triiodothyronine, known as T3. These two hormones increase basal metabolism—the amount of energy required to keep your body functioning at rest. Without optimal thyroid function, you can experience many symptoms that are similar to those of adrenal fatigue. Because the symptoms—especially fatigue, food cravings, and mental or mood changes—are so similar, you might think that treating both conditions simultaneously would be a smart move. But because thyroid hormones speed up metabolism, boosting thyroid production can actually put more stress on compromised adrenals. This is why it’s critical to heal adrenal fatigue before you address hypothyroidism. In fact, you may find that thyroid production improves once your adrenals are functioning properly. Enhancing and supporting healthy thyroid function in the face of recent adrenal fatigue may require a gentle, natural approach instead of aggressive thyroid hormone replacement using synthetic T4. While there are a number of nutrients that support a healthy thyroid, the most critical is iodine. This trace mineral is needed to create the thyroid hormones T4 and T3. Yet many Americans are deficient in this critical mineral. Iodized salt is frequently touted as the solution to sub-optimal thyroid function. But studies show that the body can only absorb about 10 percent of the iodine found in iodized salt. One reason for this is iodized salt’s chloride content. Chloride competes with iodide for absorption in the intestinal tract. What to do? Try taking a bioavailable iodine supplement. Research suggests that supplemental iodine can support the body’s natural ability to produce thyroid hormones and convert T4 to the more metabolically active T3. But because individual needs vary, it’s best to work with a health care provider familiar with iodine’s benefits.
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Low Adrenal vs Low Thyroid LOW ADRENAL
Sleep: awake at midnight or after Crave salt or sugar Generally exhausted after exercising Intolerant to heat or neutral about hot or cold
Sleep and sleep a long time Craves carbohydrates and fat Feel better after exercise Intolerant to cold
The following is adapted from Hypoadrenocorticism by John Tintera, MD.
LOW ADRENAL SYMPTOMS
LOW THYROID SYMPTOMS
Fatigue (excessive) Premenstrual tension Mental depression Inability to concentrate Craving for sweets Allergies Apprehension Headaches Alcohol intolerance Weakness Pain in the neck & trapezius muscles Intervals of confusion Poor memory Heart palpitations Epigastric distress Backache Lightheadedness Constipation or diarrhea Faintness or fainting spells Insomnia Dermatitis (various types) Compulsive behavior
94% 85% 79% 77% 75% 73% 71% 68% 66% 65% 65% 61% 59% 57% 51% 48% 47% 45% 42% 40% 39% 38%
Fatigue, sluggishness Decreased libido Heavy menses Depression Mental slowness, confusion, lethargy, apathy Craving carbohydrates and fats Increased blood lipids, cholesterol and triglycerides Ridged nails Tingling hands from carpal tunnel syndrome Cold intolerance Deep, monotonous voice Dull, expressionless look Possible goiter Constipation
Postural hypotension Skin dry or thin Perspiration scanty Low basal metabolic rate Hair sparse (on body) Underweight
93% 91% 91% 85% 83% 78%
*Percentage of people with adrenal insufficiency who exhibit this condition
SUPPORT ADRENALS WITH ADAPTOGENIC HERBS AND ADRENAL-SPECIFIC NUTRIENTS
PHYSICAL SIGNS Decreased Achilles’ reflex return Skin dryness, flakiness, cracking Facial puffiness and paleness Decreased basal body temperature (less than 97° F) Hair loss Weight gain Thinning of the outer 1/3 of the eyebrow
SUPPORT THYROID FUNCTION WITH IODINE AND L-TYROSINE
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supplementing with L-tyrosine may be a smart option. L-tyrosine acts like an adaptogen, relieving the symptoms of stress. It’s also a precursor for the thyroid hormone thyroxine (T4), stimulates growth hormone, and is essential to adrenal and pituitary function. As a bonus, L-tyrosine is a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals and inhibits fat oxidation.
Get the Mineral You've Been Missing with Tri-Iodine and Feel Vibrant Again!
Relaxation can calm the mind and interrupt the cycle of chronic stress.
The B vitamins also play an important role in supporting healthy adrenals. Two notables are pyridoxal-5phosphate (P-5-P)—the active form of vitamin B6—and pantothenic acid. In recent years vitamin B6 has gained attention from researchers because of the role it plays in supporting a healthy stress response. It’s also needed to form cortisol, as well as the body’s “feel good” chemicals, serotonin and dopamine. Pantothenic acid, on the other hand, is essential for the production of energy, as well as for the creation of cortisol and other steroid hormones. Research suggests that it also supports a healthy adrenal response to ACTH stimulation. Without adequate levels of this B vitamin, adrenal function suffers. If you are experiencing adrenal exhaustion, you may also want to consider taking an adrenal extract. Adrenal glandulars, derived from bovine sources, supply the raw, naturallyoccurring compounds and nutrients that your adrenal glands need to heal. However, it is critical to obtain a pure, safe source with guaranteed potency so you can be sure that the extract comes from healthy cows. Check the label for a glandular derived from range-raised Argentinian cattle to ensure the highest quality adrenal extract.
✔ Supports Breast, Uterine, Prostate, and Colon Cell Health ✔ Enhances Detoxification ✔ Supports Healthy Hormone Levels*
You Can't Live Without Iodine: Every Cell in Your Body Requires It. EuroPharmaUSA.com *THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION.THIS PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.
Visit the Om Zone Engaging in relaxation activities like yoga or meditation can also calm the mind and interrupt the destructive physiological cycle of chronic stress. This was shown during a recent study of 18 breast cancer survivors. The women were randomly assigned to either attend a 90 minute yoga class
twice a week or take part in a control group. Compared to the control group, the yoga group had significantly lower morning and evening salivary cortisol levels after eight weeks—an indication of better HPA axis function—as well as improved emotional well-being and less fatigue. 21
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Back in Action Natural Interventions for Low Back Pain by Jacob Teitelbaum, MD Back pain is the number one cause of job disability in the world. Most people have suffered at least one episode of back pain. For even minor back problems, recovery is tedious and painful. Unfortunately, in more severe cases, millions of Americans fail to achieve significant relief, or reduce pain temporarily just to have recurrence of back pain only weeks or months after the first problem. Are You at Risk? So why are people so prone to back problems? Partly because we stand on two legs instead of four. As humans spent more time upright, our center of gravity shifted and added certain stressors to the spine which makes it more prone to dysfunction. Additionally, inactivity weakens the muscles that work in conjunction with our spine, and obesity has added even more pressure to a fragile system. All of these factors combine to create a perfect storm of inflammation and structural stress on the lower back. The back is made up of the spine, muscles, nerves, fascia, ligaments, and tendons. Because the back and spine are so complex and interconnected, a problem in one area directly impacts the function of the machinery as a whole. For example, a deteriorating vertebra (bone in the spine) may cause compression that affects a nerve, causing pain and leading to muscle spasm. Conversely, straining or tearing a muscle may cause inflammation and swelling that presses on a nerve and leads to nerve pain. Back pain can be caused by muscle strain or damage, sometimes in conjunction with accidents, improper lifting, or
uneven hip heights; arthritic changes; bone spurs; osteoporotic changes; and, more rarely, diseases of the bone itself. Unfortunately, whatever the cause, once damaged, your back may be more prone to subsequent injuries. Drug Dangers The most common intervention for low back pain is the use of over-the-counter or prescription drugs. This can be very dangerous. These drugs damage the kidneys, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, and erode stomach and intestinal lining, causing ulcers. Over 16,500 people die each year from bleeding ulcers caused by ibuprofenrelated medications (non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs). If you consider the total deaths associated with all NSAIDs, that number climbs to over 30,000 deaths a year. In the case of narcotics, you do nothing to relieve the inflammation, yet risk addiction and liver damage. Overdose from prescribed narcotics causes an additional 45,000 easily preventable deaths in the U.S. annually. You should not have to risk a life-threatening adverse effect for a condition that is not itself life threatening. Safe and Natural Solutions Fortunately, there are effective, natural ingredients that stop pain and inflammatory damage, and help rebuild the cushioning cartilage of your spine. My recommendation for targeted support of the back is a group of herbs: devil's claw, boswellia, and white willow bark. Devil’s claw is from South Africa, and has powerful benefits for back pain. It has been used for centuries, and this ancient wisdom has been verified by modern scientific research to relieve the pain and stiffness of lower back pain. In fact, devil’s claw has been shown to inhibit inflammatory enzymes, which can help stop the deterioration of the joints seen in those with rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. In a clinical study published in the journal Phytomedicine, devil’s claw significantly relieved the pain of osteoarthritis. In another German clinical study, devil’s claw was equal in pain-relieving ability to rofecoxib—better known to pain sufferers as Vioxx, a prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) continued >
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that was pulled from the market in 2004 because of its lethal cardiovascular side effects. However, not all devil’s claw extracts are equal. Many are only standardized at 2 percent harpagosides (the plant’s key compound) instead of the effective level of 20 percent. Concentrated devil’s claw with 20 percent harpagosides has been found to reduce inflammation pathway activity by 31 percent—without the adverse effects you find with drugs that moderate this pathway. Devil’s claw provides a much more multifaceted approach to inflammation compared to many over-thecounter and prescription pain medicines. In addition to fighting inflammation, devil’s claw helps regenerate the natural cushioning in the joints by increasing the level of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), natural building blocks of tissue. This can strengthen the extracellular matrix that acts as a shock absorber between the vertebrae by an average of 38 percent. Additionally, devil’s claw boosts hyaluronic acid synthesis in chondrocytes—the cells that produce and maintain the natural cushioning cartilage between your vertebrae—by up to 41 percent. Boswellia, better known as frankincense, is one of nature’s most powerful anti-inflammatory medicines. Many people think that inflammation has a single mechanism and that all inflammation responds to the same interventions. This is untrue. There are various types of inflammation, and boswellia is particularly potent at targeting a type of inflammatory pathway that most drugs don’t touch. It modulates 5-LOX, an enzyme that activates inflammation-inducing leukotrienes. Boswellia contains a family of compounds called boswellic acid. The most active and beneficial of these is known as AKBA (Acetyl-11-keto-B-boswellic acid).
f l e x ib
However, not all boswellia extracts are equally beneficial. In unstandardized boswellia, there can be as little as 1 percent AKBA. To make sure you get the best, look for boswellia standardized to at least 10 percent natural (not spiked) AKBA, and purified to remove BBA (beta boswellic acid), which is a pro-inflammatory compound. White willow bark extract is excellent for low back pain. In a clinical trial published in the journal Rheumatology, white willow was found to be equal to rofecoxib. In another study, published in the journal Phytotherapy Research, it was found to significantly reduce pain. A review of various botanicals found that white willow bark was one of the most effective natural herbs for lower back pain. Salicin is one of the most important compounds in white willow bark, and a quality supplement should be standardized to 30 percent. Rebuild Strength, Reduce Pain Back pain disrupts work, play, and rest. The combination of devil’s claw, boswellia, and white willow bark extracts will stop the pain, and help strengthen your back to prevent future injuries. Best of all, these powerful botanicals provide an effective option without the risks of overthe-counter and prescription medications. For additional support, I recommend a combination of high-absorption curcumin, specially standardized boswellia, the amino acid dl-phenylalanine, and the enzyme nattokinase. Using these interventions together can be a pain relief miracle. Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, is a recognized leader in the treatment of pain, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. His most recent book is The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. He has been a guest on Good Morning America, CNN, Fox News, the Dr. Oz Show, and Oprah & Friends. His web site: www. JacobTeitelbaum.com
n i ! a g a t a e le a n d fe e l g r
Rediscover your active life with
Low Back Formula™
For comfort you can rely on every day.* EuroPharmaUSA.com *THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE OR PREVENT DISEASE.
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15 Benefits of a
Ketogenic Diet by Ellen Davis You donâ€™t have to fear fat. Research indicates a high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet is beneficial for many health conditions. What is a ketogenic diet? A ketogenic diet is very low in carbohydrates (sugar/starch), provides enough protein for good health, and allows a very high fat intake. A typical ketogenic meal includes some sort of protein, a source of natural fats (butter, cream, olive oil, lard, and coconut oil) and green leafy vegetables. When you cut back on your carbohydrates and increase the fat and protein in your diet, it has the effect of helping your body heal itself. Instead of using harmful sugar for energy, your body uses the fat you eat or your stored fat for energy, and this has many positive health effects. Hereâ€™s a list of 15 benefits associated with the introduction and continuance of a ketogenic diet:
Improved Cardiovascular Risk Factors: Ketogenic diets have the effect of reducing serum insulin and blood sugar, increasing good HDL cholesterol, making LDL cholesterol safer by increasing its particle size, lowering total triglycerides, and improving the ratio of HDL/total cholesterol. These changes result in a reduction in inflammation and overall improved cardiac risk factors.
Reduction of Elevated Blood Pressure: Ketogenic diets reduce blood pressure. If you are taking any blood pressure medications and want to start a ketogenic diet, talk with your doctor about monitoring your progress and reducing your blood pressure medication if needed.
Reduction of Serum Triglyceride Levels: Carbohydrate consumption is closely tied to blood levels of triglyceride, a potent indicator of heart disease risk. The fewer carbohydrates you eat, the lower your triglyceride readings will be, especially if you suffer from conditions such as insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome.
Lower HbA1c Test Results, as a Measure of Average Blood Glucose, Both Baseline and After Meals: As your carbohydrate intake drops, your fasting and after meal blood sugars will drop. An average of these measurements can be seen on a hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c) test. The HbA1c test is a long-term (three month) measure of average blood glucose. Since a ketogenic diet lowers blood glucose, this measurement should drop over time.
Lower Baseline Insulin Levels: Lower blood glucose results in lower overall insulin levels. Lower insulin is one of the most powerful benefits of a ketogenic diet, as high insulin levels impact so many other metabolic health factors.
Lower Levels of Inflammation and Pain: The ketogenic diet reduces cellular oxidative stress and immune system irritants. This results in lower systemic inflammation and reduced pain. As a result, inflammation in the body decreases. For example, research published in the journal Metabolism shows that levels of C-reactive protein, an inflammatory marker, tend to drop on a ketogenic diet.
Less Joint Stiffness and Pain: A ketogenic diet eliminates grain-based foods from your diet. For many, they are perhaps the largest single cause of chronic inflammation, illness, and pain, especially muscle stiffness and joint pain.
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Clearer Thinking: The brain "fogginess" that accompanies a high-carb diet should disappear. One explanation is that the brain is over 60 percent fat by weight, and the more fat you eat, the better it can maintain itself and work to its full capacity. Cognitive improvements may also be a benefit of lowering brain inflammation.
Reduction of Inappropriate Hunger: Ketone bodies dampen the appetite, and fat is very satisfying. You'll notice at times, you may forget to eat. You may find this is the most amazing part, especially if you struggle with food addiction.
Heartburn Relief: If you suffer from GERD or other heartburn issues, the symptoms should lessen or disappear. Heartburn is a direct result of eating grain-based foods, sugar, and for some people, nightshade vegetables such as tomatoes. Ketogenic diets restrict all of these foods.
Less Gum and Tooth Disease: Eating a sugary, starchy, high-carbohydrate diet changes the pH of your mouth and contributes to tooth decay. Current research indicates that after approximately three months of a ketogenic diet, teeth and gums return to a healthier state.
Better Digestion and Gut Health: You should see a decrease in stomach pain, bloating, gas, and other digestive issues after being on the ketogenic diet for several weeks. These symptoms are all associated with grain and sugar consumption, which the ketogenic diet restricts.
Mood Stabilization: The ketogenic diet has been shown in studies to be effective in treating mental health issues such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
Reduction of Migraines: One case report discussed the effect that a ketogenic diet had on twin sisters who suffered from terrible migraines. They started the diet for weight loss and discovered that their migraines also disappeared. When they went off the diet, the migraines returned.
Seizure Reduction: The ketogenic diet has been used as a treatment for epilepsy for both children and adults for over 20 years. It is effective and non-toxic. It may also treat symptoms of Parkinson’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and multiple sclerosis (MS). Ellen Davis is the creator and owner of www. ketogenic-diet-resource.com, a website devoted to sharing information on the health benefits of ketogenic diets. She is an avid supporter of ketogenic diets in all forms, and attributes her devotion to personal experience. You might find her www.gluten-free-diet-resource.com website helpful as well.
• EGGS of any kind, prepared any way you like • Beef, pork, lamb, bacon, and sausage (no preservatives) • SEAFOOD AND FISH, including trout, salmon, shrimp, and tuna • Chicken and turkey • VEGETABLES such as lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, cauliflower, carrots, celery, peppers, cucumber
• NATURAL FATS, including butter, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, lard, and cream • NUTS AND SEEDS; macadamia, pecans, and sunflower seeds
• All foods made with SUGAR: cake, candy, pie, cookies, biscuits, white sugar, brown sugar, honey, fructose, fruit jam, and jellies • SOFT DRINKS, both sugared and diet sodas
• FRUIT JUICES, including juice, and any fruit flavored drinks • All foods made with FLOUR: bread, crackers, tortillas, flat bread, pita bread, bagels, muffins, cornbread, waffles, pancakes, hot and cold cereals, pretzels, pasta, macaroni
• CORN PRODUCTS such as popcorn, polenta, grits, stuffing mixes, and cornmeal • CANNED soups and stews; boxed foods 25
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The Joy of
Seasonal Eating Seasonal eating. It’s not just for foodies any more! A growing number of Americans are actively searching out locally grown, seasonal fruits and vegetables bursting with flavor and nutrients. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, farmers’ markets are one of the fastest-growing segments of the food market. Community-supported agriculture (CSA)—where the consumer provides financial support to local farmers in exchange for a weekly box of produce during the growing season—is booming as well. Why are so many consumers opting for locally sourced seasonal foods over the offerings at their local supermarket? Modern farming techniques use huge amounts of fossil fuels to move products from one end of the country to the other. The so-called fresh produce in supermarkets is often weeks old, and may have traveled more than 2,000 miles, no matter where you live. To make the journey, produce is often picked green, treated with chemicals to retard ripening, and dipped in wax before being packed in bags, boxes, and crates that end up in landfills. These practices not only degrade flavor, they also destroy vital nutrients. Much of the produce in your neighborhood supermarket is also grown using pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides that are known or suspected carcinogens, neurotoxins, or hormone disruptors. The news is even worse for foods coming from other countries where large amounts of pesticides—including DDT, dieldrin, and other agricultural chemicals that have been banned in the U.S.—are routinely used. The chemical residue in produce—both foreign and domestic—is so rampant that the San Francisco-based Pesticide Action Network notes that a single serving of supermarket spinach contains traces of 48 different pesticides, including 5 known or probable
carcinogens. Fortunately, most small farmers use far fewer agricultural chemicals, if any. Some may even have organic certification. Farmers’ markets, roadside fruit stands, and CSAs are a wonderful way to find seasonal, just-picked produce while supporting local farmers. It’s also a delicious way to encourage sustainability since many local farmers practice crop rotation and foster biodiversity. In addition, eating seasonally increases the nutritional value of the foods you feed your family. This was shown in a study conducted at New Jersey’s Montclair State University. When researchers compared the vitamin C content of in-season supermarket broccoli to broccoli that had been shipped from another country in October, they found that the out-of-season broccoli had only half the vitamin C found in the seasonal broccoli. Seasonal foods also taste better and are often less expensive. Plus, exploring the wide range of foods during each season can help you eat a wider variety of fruits and vegetables. To find a farmers’ market or CSA in your area, visit www.localharvest.org.
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Watermelon Salad with Feta & Herbs
Surprise the guests at your next cookout with this simple, yet sophisticated salad based on a summer staple. The fresh flavor profile makes it an ideal side dish to accompany grilled chicken or fish. Serves 4 Ingredients: For the dressing
¼ cup freshly-squeezed orange juice ¼ cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice 1 shallot, minced 1 tablespoon maple syrup ½ cup extra virgin olive oil ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon pepper
For the salad
6 cups fresh arugula 2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed 6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled 1 cup fresh mint, chopped ½ cup cucumber, thinly sliced and quartered
Place the orange juice, lemon juice, shallot, maple syrup, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a mini food processor or a blender. Slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream and process until the ingredients have emulsified. Set aside. In a large bowl, gently toss all of the salad ingredients. Drizzle with just enough dressing to lightly coat the arugula. Toss again to distribute the dressing and serve immediately.
(Grilled Eggplant Dip) This classic Middle Eastern appetizer has a wonderful smoky flavor, making it a perfect stand-in for hummus. For the best results, choose an eggplant that is shiny and firm to the touch.
and score the inner flesh. Spray the flesh lightly with olive oil, then place face down on the grill and close the lid. Cook for 5 minutes or until flesh begins to soften. Flip the eggplant over. Close the lid and grill for another 5 to 10 minutes or until the skin turns black. Remove from the grill and cool at least 15 minutes.
Serves 6 Ingredients:
2 globe eggplants (about 2 pounds) Olive oil spray ¼ cup tahini ¼ cup fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon salt 2 cloves garlic ¼ teaspoon cumin ¼ cup fresh parsley, minced
Set a gas grill to medium-high heat. Cut each eggplant in half lengthwise
Meanwhile, put the tahini, lemon juice, salt, garlic, and cumin in the bowl of a food processor. With a large spoon, scoop the cooled flesh out of the eggplant and into the food processor. Secure the lid and pulse until all ingredients are blended and the eggplant is fairly smooth. Transfer the baba ganoush to a serving dish and mix in the minced parsley. Chill well. Serve with pita chips or crunchy strips of fresh red sweet pepper.
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R E RN O The C Healthy Benefits of Lifting Weights
by Holly Lucille, ND, RN Want to feel stronger, healthier, and more vibrant? Pick up a dumbbell! While strength training is a good addition to anyone’s fitness routine, recent studies show that lifting weights may have special health benefits for women. And that’s particularly true for older women. Among its many benefits, strength training: • Boosts bone mineral density. Two recent Norwegian studies show that resistance training using body weight (squats) not only optimizes peak bone mass in younger women, it also stimulates bone formation in those with osteoporosis and osteopenia. • Reduces the risk factors for heart disease. Scientists at Appalachian State University have confirmed that resistance training can enhance blood flow while reducing blood pressure by as much as 20 percent. • Lowers the risk of diabetes. Research in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness reported that lifting weights prevented inflammation and blood sugar spikes in a group of overweight postmenopausal women who engaged in weight lifting three times per week. • Lifting weights makes you smarter. Canadian researchers at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, found that women in their 60s and 70s who engaged in strength training once or twice a week improved the executive cognitive function 10.9 percent and 12.6 percent respectively. Executive function in those women that only engaged in balance and tone exercises (think yoga or stretching) actually deteriorated by 0.5 percent. • Helps thwart low back pain. Core-strengthening resistance exercises (planks, crunches, etc.) help to prevent and relieve low back pain, according to a recent trial at the William Beaumont Health Center in Royal Oak, Michigan.
• Enhances joint flexibility and range of motion. When elderly women took part in either low volume weight training (one set of several exercises) or high volume (three sets) weight training twice a week for 13 weeks, Brazilian researchers found that both groups experienced a significant increase in muscle quality as well as range of motion in the knee and elbow. • Prevents frailty and the loss of muscle mass. Even very low-intensity resistance training done slowly has been found to boost muscle size and strength in healthy senior citizens. Practiced twice a week, scientists at the University of Tokyo noted that even low intensity weight lifting can help prevent sarcopenia—the gradual loss of muscle mass common in the elderly. It’s ideal if you can work with a trainer who will instruct you on proper form and help you find the right weight for your fitness level. If you are taking a strength-training class or continued >
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setting up a program on your own, it’s important to always warm up by doing five or ten minutes of light cardio. Once you begin, lift and lower your weights slowly. Don’t use momentum—if you have to swing to get the weight up, chances are you're using too much weight. And remember to engage your abs and breathe. Finally, make sure you give your muscles time to recover. Give specific muscle groups at least one full day to recuperate before exercising them again. Also be careful to listen to your body. Although mild muscle soreness is normal, sharp pain and sore or swollen joints are signs that you've overdone it.
Holly Lucille, ND, RN is a nationally recognized licensed naturopathic physician, author, educator, and certified crossfit instructor. Dr. Holly has a private practice in Los Angeles called Healing from Within Healthcare. She is a frequent contributor to several publications, hosts the “Dr. Holly Lucille Show: Mindful Medicine” on RadioMD, and provides natural health videos at her web site, drhollylucille.com.
Downplaying Muscle Soreness Whether you favor using weight machines, free weights, resistance bands, or your own body weight, resistance training can result in delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS)— especially if you’re new to exercise. DOMS is caused by microscopic tears in muscle fibers, releasing chemical irritants that trigger inflammation. Downward movements like squats or pushups that force your muscles to contract while lengthening seem to cause the most soreness. But instead of reaching for that ibuprofen, try some curcumin. Responsible for giving the curry spice turmeric its vibrant yellow hue, the University of South Carolina notes that curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory that can help offset post-workout muscle soreness. Another great addition to your gym bag is comfrey cream. Used topically, a comfrey cream containing the unique cultivar trauma comfrey has been shown to work faster and better than over-the-counter pain relievers. Just make sure to choose a cream that is free of pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) that can damage the liver.
CRAZY FOR CROSSFIT?
Crossfit “boxes” (a.k.a. training centers) are springing up across America. Little wonder— this form of high-intensity power training is the hottest exercise trend around. While crossfit may seem intimidating, it offers a number of benefits, no matter what your fitness level. Not only will you get fitter faster, rev your metabolism, lose weight, improve your flexibility, strengthen your cardiovascular system, and boost your confidence, you’ll also have fun and become part of a supportive crossfit community. Best of all, you can start slowly. Check out one of the country’s more than 4,000 crossfit facilities to give it a try.
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Herbal HELPERS The DIY Herbal
FIRST AID KIT
Whether it’s a cut, bruise, or bug bite, summer can be filled with minor emergencies. Be ready for whatever the season has in store by creating your very own herbal first aid kit. Our handy guide will let you know what you’ll need to treat a variety of summer ailments.
BLISTERS: While it’s tempting, never pop a blister. Doing so just invites infection. If a blister breaks on its own, wash the area with soap and water, then dab the blister with tea tree oil. Dubbed a “first aid kit in a bottle,” tea tree oil is a strong antimicrobial with antiseptic properties. Cover with a gauze bandage and change the dressing daily. BUG BITES: If you live in a humid climate, you’re all too familiar with the drone of mosquitoes and other flying insects. The best way to deal with these hungry critters is to thwart their attack with an herbal repellent. But forego commercial brands formulated with deet (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide),
a pesticide that studies show can be neurotoxic to children. Instead, look for a natural, herb-based insect repellent or make your own by combining two ounces of a carrier oil like almond or grapeseed oil with one-half teaspoon of fennel seed essential oil, which Korean researchers have found offers up to 84 percent protection for 90 minutes.
BURNS: Whether it’s a kitchen mishap or too much time in the sun, nothing is more painful than a burn. For any type of burn, it’s important to take immediate action. First, cool the burned area by immersing it in cold water— the cold numbs the pain and prevents further injury. Then apply a wet tea bag to the burn. Many herbalists maintain that the tannic acid and theobromine in the tea help to remove the heat from a sunburn. Other compounds in tea called catechins have been found to help repair
sun-damaged skin. Finish off with painrelieving trauma comfrey cream.
CUTS AND SCRAPES: Most cuts and abrasions heal on their own. But, because an infection can occur any time the skin is broken, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Clean minor wounds well with soap and water. Once clean, apply a comfrey cream to the area and cover with a bandage. Comfrey has long been used to treat wounds of all kinds. Several studies show that comfrey cream speeds healing faster than a placebo cream thanks to its antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Just make sure to choose a comfrey cream containing trauma comfrey—a special cultivar of comfrey that’s free of toxic compounds known as pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs).
NAUSEA AND INDIGESTION: Nothing spoils a picnic faster than a bout of nausea. Having an herbal blend containing carminative botanicals like basil, caraway, coriander, cumin, lemon, ginger, and peppermint can save the day. These herbs also reduce flatulence and bloating, decrease cramping, and improve bile flow.
SPLINTERS: Slivers of wood, metal, or glass that become embedded in the skin need to be removed to avoid infection. Use sterilized tweezers or a sewing needle to ease the splinter out, then wash the wound with soap and water to disinfect before applying a dab of trauma comfrey cream.
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