M AY 2020
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May 2020 vol. 16 no. 5
28 17 feature
6 From the Editor’s Desk
8 Health Pulse
Nature walks boost health • Build your immunity • More
Blood tests—what are they and what do the results mean?
15 Herbal Healing
Rubus is the 2020 Herb of the Year.
20 New Frontiers
Get the latest on cannabidiol (CBD).
23 Healthy Glow
Reduce health risks with proper sun care.
25 Sports Nutrition & Performance
safeguard your vision Supplements to support eye health.
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) may boost performance.
28 Supplement Spotlight
Bee products offer many health benefits.
31 Everyday Remedies
Natural ways to deal with body odor. Cover: A bee pollinating a flower.
A source for news, information, and ideas for your healthy lifestyle. remedies-and-recipes.com
@RemediesRecipes May 2020
l remedies 5 4/7/20 11:37 AM
from the editor ’s desk
Namaste Namaste: “The divine in me bows to the divine in you.” Every yoga class I’ve ever attended has ended with that word, along with hands in the prayer position over the heart and a nod to the instructor and fellow participants. It’s a gesture I’ve incorporated into many interactions lately. Hugs? Handshakes? No, thanks. I’m writing this while the world is in the throes of a pandemic. I don’t expect to do much handshaking from now on, and I find this alternative much more rewarding. I don’t seem to be infected, and my social interactions have ground to a halt in the hopes that I’ll stay that way. Perhaps by the time this note is published we’ll be heading toward normalcy. But that normalcy ought to include a great deal more caution. One precaution I always take during cold and flu season (especially if I feel something coming on) is to take a few drops of echinacea herbal extract a couple of times a day. I don’t know if it works for everyone, but my immune system seems to react well to it. I believe it has reduced symptoms over the years when I’ve developed colds. So I’m taking it now just in case. Herbs are powerful things. Regular readers of remedies know that we publish many articles by knowledgeable herbalists. Roy Upton, founder of the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, has written pieces on medicinal mushrooms and CBD for us this year, and clinical herbalist Maria Noël Groves graces our pages nearly every month. Her article about the genus that brings us blackberries and raspberries is a fine example of her valuable work (page 15). Here’s to a healthful month. Namaste.
Rich Wallace, editor 6 remedies
Chief Content Officer and Strategist Lynn Tryba Contributing Editor Rich Wallace Assistant Editor Kelli Ann Wilson Art Director Michelle Knapp Graphic Designer Ronna Rajaniemi Custom Graphics Manager Donna Sweeney Business Development Director Amy Pierce Customer Service email@example.com Client Services Director—Retail Judy Gagne 800-677-8847 x128 Client Services Director—Advertising and Digital Ashley Dunk 800-677-8847 x190 Western Brand Promotions Director Shannon Dunn-Delgado 415-382-1665 Group Brand Promotions Director Bob Mucci 603-831-1868 Executive Director of Retail Sales and Marketing Anna Johnston (Anna.Johnston@TasteforLife.com) National Sales Manager Leanna Houle 800-677-8847 (x111) Founder and Chief Executive Officer T. James Connell EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Jeffrey Blumberg, PhD, FASN, FACN, CNS, professor, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and director, Antioxidants Research Laboratory, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University; Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director, American Botanical Council, editor/publisher of HerbalGram, senior editor, The ABC Clinical Guide to Herbs; C. Leigh Broadhurst, PhD, research geochemist, author, Natural Asthma Relief and Prevent, Treat, and Reverse Diabetes; Steven Foster, photographer, herbalist, and senior author of three Peterson Field Guides, author of 101 Medicinal Herbs, A Desk Reference to Nature’s Medicine and more, associate editor of HerbalGram, the journal of the American Botanical Council; John Neustadt, ND, founder of Montana Integrated Medicine, coauthor, A Revolution in Health Through Nutritional Biochemistry; Lisa Petty, RHN, RNCP, holistic nutrition consultant, author of Living Beauty and host of the health talk radio show Lisa Live; Dana Ullman, MPH, author of The Homeopathic Revolution: Why Famous People and Cultural Heroes Choose Homeopathy and other titles on homeopathy; Marc Ullman, partner at Ullman, Shapiro & Ullman, chairman, Legal Advisory Counsel, Natural Products Foundation; Amber Lynn Vitse, CN, is certified in Integrative Nutrition, a fusion bodyworker, and an Ayurvedic practitioner, and writes on health issues. remedies is published monthly by Taste for Life, 149 Emerald Street, Suite O, Keene, NH 03431, 603-283-0034 (fax 603-283-0141); ©2020 Connell Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. This magazine is not intended to provide medical advice on personal health conditions, nor to replace recommendations made by health professionals. The opinions expressed by contributors and sources quoted in articles are not necessarily those of the editor or the publisher. Advertisers and advertising agencies assume liability for all content of advertising and for any claims arising therefrom. Information appearing in remedies may not be reproduced in whole or in part without express permission of the publisher.
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go wild for health! Recent studies have shown that access to green space has significant benefits for human health. New research shines additional light on the value of experiencing wild natural spaces—especially in urban areas. “Different kinds of nature can have different effects on people,” said lead author Elizabeth Lev. “The wilder areas in an urban park seem to be affording more benefits to people—and their most meaningful interactions depended on those relatively wild features.” Some of the most meaningful experiences noted in the survey included seeing wild birds and other animals, visiting old-growth trees, walking along the edge of water, and following trails. SOURCE “Wildness in urban parks important for human well-being,” University of Washington, 2/26/20
boost your immune defense COVID-19 has caused the world to re-evaluate many aspects of healthcare. Consider these immunity-boosting supplement superstars. n Vitamin A helps maintain the health of the mucous membranes and cells of the respiratory system. n Vitamin C is an essential factor in antiviral immune responses, especially against flu. It supports various cellular functions and provides protection against pathogens. n Vitamin D reduces the risk of flu. Children and the elderly in nursing homes benefit the most from supplementation. n Zinc has been shown to have antiviral properties. It is especially important for the elderly. n Astragalus root, and its key formula Astragalus Jade Wind Screen Powder, was key in preventing hospital workers from contracting the SARS virus, which is closely related to COVID-19. n Andrographis and the Chinese herbal formula Yin Qiao San are firstresponse formulas to take as soon as you feel you’ve been exposed or feel flu symptoms coming on. —Roy Upton, RH, DipAyu 8 remedies
SELECTED SOURCES “Andrographis paniculata . . . symptomatic relief of acute respiratory tract infections in adults and children . . .” by X.Y. Huo et al., PLoS One, 11/14/18 l “Chinese herbal medicine for acute upper respiratory tract infections . . .” by Z.S. Huang et al., BioScience Trends, 5/12/19 l “The role of zinc in antiviral immunity” by S. Read et al., Advances in Nutrition, 4/22/19 l “Vitamin C and immune function” by A.C. Carr and S. Maggini, Nutrients, 11/17 l “Vitamin D for influenza” by Gerry Schwalfenberg, Canadian Family Physician, 6/15 l “Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections . . .” by A.R. Martineau et al., BMJ, 2/15/17
l May 2020
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3/10/20 10:01 AM
yoga may enhance memory “Yoga is the most popular complementary health approach practiced by adults in the United States,” write the authors of a recent review of yoga’s effects on brain health. The researchers determined that yoga and similar interventions may help limit age-related neurological decline. The review of 11 studies found that yoga led to increases in the size of the hippocampus—a region of the brain involved in memory. The hippocampus is known to shrink with age. “It is also the structure that is first affected in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease,” said lead researcher Neha Gothe, PhD, of the University of Illinois. Dr. Gothe suspects that the enhancement of emotional regulation is the key to yoga’s benefits for the brain. Previous studies have linked stress to shrinkage of the hippocampus and poorer performance on memory tests. SELECTED SOURCES “Experts review evidence yoga is good for the brain,” University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 12/12/19 l “Yoga effects on brain health: A systematic review of the current literature” by N.P. Gothe et al., Brain Plasticity, 11/5/19
good news on the heart front Cardiovascular health has generally improved among US adults, according to a new report published by the American Heart Association. But the report, in the journal Circulation, cautions that nearly 40 percent of adults and 18 percent of kids in the US are obese. And only about 26 percent of US youth meet the recommendation of an hour a day of moderate to vigorous physical activity. On the better side of the ledger, heart disease and stroke-related deaths continue to decline, although the rate of decline has slowed. And people are eating better, smoking less, and taking better control of cholesterol. SOURCE “Long life, good health,” UT Southwestern Medical Center, 1/29/20
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l remedies 11 4/6/20 8:23 AM
blood tests what do those readings mean?
Adapted from What’s in Your Blood & Why You Should Care by Earl Mindell, RPh, MH, PhD, and Gene Bruno, MS, MHS. © 2019. Used by permission. Square One Publishers. www.SquareOnePublishers
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Blood tests are performed to check for disorders, dysfunction, and disease on the basis of whether the substances being measured in your blood fall into a normal or abnormal range. Furthermore, a blood test is one of the best ways to ensure that your diet, lifestyle, and medication (if you are already being treated for a particular condition) are doing their jobs. The bottom line is that a blood test is a good way to measure the state of your health and allow you to manage it more effectively and easily. There are four traditional blood panels (specific groupings of blood tests), which include the lipid panel, the basic metabolic panel, the hepatic function panel, and the complete blood count (CBC).
Fat levels and heart health The lipid panel consists of blood tests used to evaluate your heart health. This panel includes four types of measurement of the fat found in your blood: triglycerides, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Homocysteine and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels provide two additional measurements of cardiovascular health.
Sugar levels, electrolyte balance, and kidney health The basic metabolic panel evaluates blood sugar regulation, electrolyte and fluid balance, and kidney function. The biomarkers (short for “biological markers,” which refer to quantifiable indicators of certain biological states) measured in this panel include glucose, calcium, potassium, sodium chloride, carbon dioxide, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), and creatinine.
Earl Mindell, RPh, PhD, is a registered pharmacist, master herbalist, and college educator. He is the award-winning author of more than 20 bestselling books, including Earl Mindell’s New Vitamin Bible.
Gene Bruno, MS, MHS, is a professor of nutraceutical science and provost of Huntington College of Health Sciences. He has graduate degrees in nutrition and herbal medicine, and is a Registered Herbalist of the American Herbalists Guild.
Liver health The hepatic function panel determines how well your liver is functioning by measuring levels of different proteins produced or processed by your liver, including albumin and globulin, as well as liver enzymes.
Complete blood count panel Lab values measured in the complete blood count (CBC) panel include red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and hemoglobin. Levels of these biomarkers give insight into your vitality and energy, immune system health, and cardiovascular health. May 2020
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tasty and terrific
Rubus is the Herb of the Year
l remedies 15 3/25/20 5:52 AM
continued from page 15
Chances are, you’ve eaten or seen this plant just this past week at the grocery store or in your yard—it’s the genus that includes raspberry, blackberry, and various wild bramble berries. And while you’ve surely enjoyed the berries as a healthy dessert, the plants are a cornucopia of medicinal properties. The International Herb Association has named Rubus its 2020 Herb of the Year.
Antioxidant fruits Rich in blue-purple-red pigments called anthocyanins as well as related antioxidant-rich polyphenols and flavonoids, raspberries and blackberries are delicious superfoods, similar in benefits to green tea. Their compounds decrease inflammation, improve cardiovascular health, discourage cancer, and improve the integrity of blood vessel lining. They have a low glycemic index— which determines how quickly they spike blood sugar—making them a treat-with-benefits for people with diabetes when enjoyed unsweetened. The seeds are rich in fiber, essential fatty acids, and ellagic acid. Obese people with Type 2 diabetes who incorporated raspberries into their daily diet had lower post-meal blood sugar and inflammatory markers compared to a control group. High triglycerides and blood pressure also began to creep down after four weeks. Blackberries have been shown to reduce insulin resistance. A diet rich in these berries also encourages good gut flora and a more vital microbiome.
Gentle, astringent leaves Non-fruit parts of Rubus are notably astringent due to the presence of tannins. Tannins tighten and tone tissues by binding to proteins and other compounds in the tissue and knitting them together.
For health, tannins tighten up leaky gut, tone the skin and gums, offer antimicrobial properties, and have some blood sugar-lowering properties. Tannins, used long term in excessive amounts, act as anti-nutrients, reducing your absorption of minerals and irritating the kidneys. (We use potent tannins to tan leather.) But the nice thing about leaves and flowers in the Rubus genus and related rose family is that they’re typically gentle and safe to consume on a regular basis. Raspberry leaves are gentler than blackberry and also rich in vitamin C, iron, and calcium. Raspberry leaf tea is popularly consumed for general nutrition and to tighten and tone the uterus at all ages and during the last trimester or two of pregnancy to reduce birth complications. Wild leaves are favored by herbalists; harvest from first year canes with happy green leaves in late spring.
Roots Rubus roots tend to be even more astringent and are used short-term for dysentery and acute and chronic diarrhea as an astringent and antimicrobial. Blackberry roots are most commonly used here as a standard alcohol liquid extract (a tincture) or by soaking the roots in brandy. Also consult a doctor—diarrhea’s cause may require diagnosis or medical care— and be sure to address life-threatening dehydration that often coincides with acute diarrhea.
Fun facts Nerdy (sometimes pretentious?) botanists love to point out that blackberries and raspberries aren’t technically berries but actually an “aggregate fruit.” Each little seed-filled burst of goodness is called a drupelet— essentially a mini stone fruit. In the land of botany, grapes, bananas, and tomatoes are berries while strawberries and raspberries are not.
Flowers Flower essences capture the healing vibes of a plant in a highly diluted solution of water and brandy and are used more for emotional, spiritual, and social purposes. (Rescue Remedy is a flower essence blend.) Raspberry flower essence helps us forgive, and blackberry flower essence helps us manifest our dreams instead of talking them up without any action. Next time you grab a pint of berries or weed-whack brambles to reclaim your lawn, consider all the amazing ways these common plants benefit our health! —Maria Noël Groves, RH (AHG) Maria Noël Groves, RH (AHG), is the best-selling, award-winning author of Body into Balance: An Herbal Guide to Holistic Self Care and Grow Your Own Herbal Remedies. Maria’s a registered professional herbalist with the American Herbalists Guild and a graduate of the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine and Rosemary Gladstar’s Sage Mountain. Learn more about Maria and herbs at www. WintergreenBotanicals. com.
SELECTED SOURCES “Blackberry feeding increases fat oxidation and improves insulin sensitivity in overweight and obese males” by P.M. Solverson et al., Nutrients, 8/18 l Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health by Aviva Romm ($73.95, Churchill Livingstone, 2017) l Grow Your Own Herbal Remedies by Maria Noël Groves ($24.95, Storey Publishing, 2019) l “Raspberries improve postprandial glucose and acute and chronic inflammation in adults with Type 2 diabetes” by J. Schell et al., Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 2019 l “Rubus: Herb of the Year 2020,” International Herb Association
l May 2020
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By Victoria Dolby Toews, MPH
safeguard your vision with these sight-preserving supplements
Each year, your eyes blink more than 7 million times. In between all that blinking, you rely on your eyes to show you the world.
Yet vision problems serious enough to interfere with eyesight afflict nearly 3 million American adults. With the support of key nutrients, you can improve your chances of maintaining clear vision.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in adults after age 50. Fortunately, numerous large research studies have shown that antioxidant supplements may reduce the risk of this common condition. Antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin tend to accumulate in the eye (particularly in the macula), where they filter out potentially dangerous elements of sunlight, such as free radicals and ultraviolet radiation. In two large trials following more than 4,000 older adults for up to 10 years, the benefits of antioxidant supplements were clearly documented. Specifically, an antioxidant combination supplement stopped the worsening of AMD for many participants. May 2020
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continued from page 17
Cataracts lead to a clouding of the lens of the eye, making them the leading cause of correctable reduced vision. It’s not uncommon for cataracts to slowly develop over time in the normal aging process. The exact trigger for cataract development remains elusive, although free radicals are a strong suspect. Whenever free radicals cause trouble, it makes sense to look to antioxidants for protection. Vitamins C and E serve as major antioxidants in the eye, so supplementing may help reduce the risk of developing cataracts.
As with macular degeneration and cataracts, antioxidant nutrients pitch in when it comes to glaucoma. People who supplement with vitamin C tend to be at lower risk for glaucoma, for example. Likewise, many eye experts recommend higher intakes of vitamin C from food sources as a way to protect against glaucoma. The B vitamin folate (called folic acid in supplement form) also plays a potential role in glaucoma. People who consume more of this B vitamin show a lower risk of later developing a type of glaucoma called exfoliation glaucoma.
Dry Eye Syndrome
Supplementing with the omega-3 fatty acid DHA shows promise for helping dry eyes. Taking fish oil or krill oil daily for several months has been shown in several studies to help those with dry eye syndrome. Long hours in front of a screen are a leading contributor to dry eyes and eye fatigue. A standardized extract of bilberry can ease symptoms in such circumstances, according to research that used 480 milligrams a day for two months.
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SELECTED SOURCES “The association between dietary intake of antioxidants and ocular disease,” by A. Braakhuis et al., Diseases, 1/30/17 l “Association of vitamin C with the risk of age-related cataract . . .” by L. Wei et al., Acta Ophthalmologica, 5/16 l “Bilberry extract supplementation for preventing eye fatigue in video display terminal workers” by Y. Ozawa et al., Journal of Nutrition, Health, and Aging, 5/15 l “The effect of a natural, standardized bilberry extract (Mirtoselect) in dry eye . . .” by A. Riva et al., European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, 5/17 l “An eye on nutrition: The roles of vitamins, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants in age-related macular degeneration, dry eye syndrome, and cataract” by M.M. McCusker et al., Clinics in Dermatology, 3–4/16 l “Glaucoma and vitamins A, C, and E supplement intake and serum levels . . .” by S.Y. Wang et al., Eye, 4/13 l “A randomized, double-masked, placebocontrolled clinical trial of two forms of omega-3 supplements for treating dry eye disease” by L.A. Deinema et al., Ophthalmology, 1/17
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l remedies 19 3/31/20 12:24 PM
CBD has short-term BP effect
A new study found that CBD reduced blood pressure (BP), particularly during periods of stress. “CBD reduces BP at rest after a single dose, but the effect is lost after seven days of treatment” due to increased tolerance, wrote the authors of the study. “However, BP reduction during stress persists.” The study also suggested improvements in participants’ endothelial function (the relaxation and contraction of blood vessels, among other processes). Participants received 600 milligrams of CBD per day, or a placebo, during the week-long study. “The reduction in arterial stiffness and improvements in endothelial function after repeated CBD dosing are findings that warrant further investigation in populations
Cannabidiol (CBD) supplements are obtainable in much of the US. A nonpsychoactive compound derived from the cannabis plant, CBD is being studied for its effects on many health conditions. Each state has laws regarding CBD with varying degrees of restriction. Learn about CBD’s status in your state at www.CBDCentral.com.
with vascular diseases,” the authors concluded. Another new study found encouraging signs that CBD may help reduce pain and inflammation in rheumatic diseases. The authors cautioned that “patients wishing to use CBD should obtain a product with certification of Good Manufacturing Practices, initiate treatment with a nighttime low dose, and [achieve] defined outcome goals within a reasonable timeframe.” Researchers have identified another nonpsychoactive cannabis extract as a potential antibiotic. Cannabigerol (CBG) helped control a staph infection in laboratory mice. The researchers tested 18 cannabis extracts, including CBD and THC, and found that CBG exhibited the most significant antibacterial activity.
SELECTED SOURCES “Cannabis compound acts as an antibiotic,” American Chemical Society, 2/26/20 l “A cautious hope for cannabidiol (CBD) in rheumatology care” by M.A. Fitzcharles et al., Arthritis Care & Research, 3/7/20 l “The effects of acute and sustained cannabidiol dosing for seven days on the haemodynamics in healthy men . . .” by S.R. Sultan et al., British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 3/3/20
l May 2020 3/25/20 5:42 AM
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3/30/20 9:20 AM
sunny side up! proper skin care is essential
More than 90 percent of skin cancer is caused by exposure to the sun. Taking steps to protect your skin will help you enjoy the beautiful days ahead while helping to ensure long-term health. Ultraviolet (UV) rays come from the sun, but also from items like sun lamps and indoor tanning beds. While exposure to UV radiation helps the body create beneficial and essential vitamin D, it can also increase health risks.
The 3 UVs There are three types of UV radiation rays: ultraviolet A (UVA), ultraviolet B (UVB), and ultraviolet C (UVC). UVC is absorbed by the earth’s atmosphere and ozone layer, so it’s not as much of an issue. UVA and UVB rays are the ones to be concerned about. Both UVA and UVB rays can cause skin cancer. UVA rays are responsible for prematurely aging the skin. UVB rays cause sunburns. UV rays intensify during spring and summer. UV rays also penetrate clouds, so a cloudy day offers little protection. Water, sand, snow, and pavement cause UV rays to bounce, so exposure increases when near these areas.
Sunscreen 101 Sunscreens made with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide are known as physical or mineral sunscreens. These types sit on the surface of the skin, deflecting UV rays. Chemical sunscreens are made from ingredients such as avobenzone or oxybenzone. This type works by absorbing the rays. To protect yourself from UV radiation and still enjoy the sun, seek shade from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when rays are at their strongest. Use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and that’s labeled broad spectrum, as these products have been tested and shown to protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Apply at least one ounce of sunscreen generously to your face, neck, arms, and legs 30 minutes before heading outside. Use a lip balm with SPF protection to protect your lips. —Eva Milotte
SELECTED SOURCES “15 Best Sunscreens for every skin type . . .” by Brittany Risher and Alisa Hrustic, 6/24/19; “The best natural sunscreens for sensitive skin . . . ,” 2/14/19, www.Prevention.com l “How do I protect myself from ultraviolet (UV) rays?” American Cancer Society, www.Cancer.org, 7/23/19 l “UV radiation,” www.CDC.gov, 5/20/19
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3/2/20 9:24 AM
sports nutrition & performance
make a power play with BCAAs get stronger and recover quicker with these building blocks
If you’re an avid exerciser looking to take your body and your performance to the next level, it might be worth giving certain types of protein a closer look. Protein in general serves as the bricks and mortar for building muscle. Without protein, muscles couldn’t contract, gain in size, or increase in strength. And athletic bodies require extra protein. May 2020
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Are BCAAs right for you? Do any of these words describe you: athlete, hard-charger, weekend warrior, or fitness enthusiast? Then Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS, a coach and personal trainer who works with elite professional athletes from the NFL, Olympic Games, and X Games, has several staple supplements he regularly recommends, including branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). “Of the 20 different amino acids that make up the thousands of different proteins in the human body, nine of the 20 are considered essential amino acids, meaning that they cannot be made by your body and must be obtained through your diet,” Durkin explained. “Of the nine essential amino acids, three are the branched-chain amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine.” This is where it gets interesting for athletes: BCAAs help build muscle, decrease muscle fatigue, and alleviate muscle soreness. “You can take BCAAs before or after working out, or in a drink throughout the day,” Durkin said. “You can also boost the effectiveness of your BCAAs by combining them with other amino acids such as creatine, which helps support muscle growth, and beta-alanine, which helps protect muscle tissue and minimize fatigue.”
BCAAs and your body Joel Totoro, RD, the sports science director at Thorne Research, points out that BCAAs garner buzz in the athletic community because the unique structure of these amino acids means they skip the normal digestion processes. They become quickly available in the muscles to be used as energy or they’re saved for later metabolism. Of the BCAAs, Totoro offers extra praise for leucine, since “this specific BCAA is responsible for ‘flipping the switch’ from muscle breakdown to muscle recovery after intense exercise.” This means that after high-intensity or long-duration training—which would ordinarily lead to a negative environment in the muscle—the body can instead move quickly to the repair and recovery stage. Furthermore, “emerging research is looking at the impact that amino acid supplementation, particularly 26 remedies
BCAAs, can have on muscles in immobilized individuals and in the active aging community where muscle wasting (sarcopenia) is an issue,” Totoro said. Getting down to brass tacks: BCAAs offer two key benefits for athletes as post-training support. First, they stop the breakdown of muscle after a workout. This reduces delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS. Second, BCAAs initiate the recovery process more quickly. “By maximizing the recovery process, muscles can better grow and repair, which in turn enables muscles to be in optimal condition for the next training period,” Totoro said.
Choose wisely One thing to remember with BCAAs and all supplements, Durkin cautioned, is that not every manufacturer is careful to use quality, patented ingredients. Be sure to look for NSF labels or Informed Choice brands that have been vetted for quality and safety. If you are a serious athlete, chances are that you already eat right and train hard—and this alone will take you quite a way toward your fitness goals. But if gym time and your dinner plate haven’t left you totally satisfied, it might be time to consider the extra edge you can get from BCAA supplements. —Victoria Dolby Toews Victoria Dolby Toews, MPH, a health journalist for more than two decades, is the author of Life After Baby: Rediscovering and Reclaiming Your Healthy Pizzazz (Basic Health Publications, 2012).
SELECTED SOURCES Personal communication: Todd Durkin, Joel Totoro, 2020
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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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bee healthy discover the benefits of honeybee products
Honeybees are amazing insects. At least a third of the food produced in the US each year relies on pollination by bees, including almonds, apples, avocados, cherries, cucumbers, kiwi fruit, pears, and more. Honeybees also contribute $20 billion to US crop production by increasing yields. Bees produce a variety of substances for their colonies that also have health benefits for humans.
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Ancient warriors would concur with modern studies touting honey as a topical wound treatment. This bacteriafighting antifungal helps heal wounds. A concoction of honey, beeswax, and olive oil has been used to treat dermatitis and psoriasis with no side effects, allowing patients to reduce their use of steroids. The FDA has approved manuka honey as a wound treatment option. On the cardiovascular front, one study showed that postmenopausal women who consumed 20 grams of Tualang honey a day for a year were able to decrease their blood pressure significantly. Current research emphasizes “medical-grade” honey that has been sterilized to inhibit the activity of bacterial spores and provide consistent antibacterial and antifungal effects. Some prefer raw honey because it contains active vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.
Bees make this resinous material from the buds of trees, including poplars and cone-bearers like pine. Humans have used this resin as an antiseptic and detoxifier for more than 2,000 years. Propolis has “proven antibiotic and antiseptic properties and may also have antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects,” says Andrew Weil, MD. “I consider it safe and useful as a home remedy.” More than 180 phytochemicals in propolis have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, or antihistamine effects. Propolis is potent against bacteria like staphylococcus and some streptococcus, as well as bacteria that attack gums and teeth. Propolis may be used daily as an immune booster, detoxifier, or anti-inflammatory. For skin wounds, try a mix of raw honey and propolis. Exercise caution if you suffer from allergies. “If you have had an allergic or hypersensitivity reaction to bee stings or bee products (including honey), you could react to propolis in the same way,” says Dr. Weil.
BEE POLLEN Bee pollen is a blend of pollen grains from various plants. It offers a concentrated source of nutrients. A teaspoon of pollen offers phytochemical content equal to that of a hefty helping of vegetables and is a quick nutrition boost. Bee pollen is favored by athletes who use it to improve stamina and performance. Studies have indicated positive effects on bleeding ulcers and enlarged prostate. Try just a few fresh granules at first to make sure you’re not allergic. Those who have pollen allergies may react to taking pollen. Pregnant women should consult with a healthcare provider.
ROYAL JELLY Royal jelly is made by bees from a mix of pollen and nectar, and then fed to larvae aspiring to be queens. Packed with amino acids and B vitamins, it’s been shown to affect insulin resistance in lab animals. Research shows that concentrated amounts help smooth wrinkles because of royal jelly’s collagen content. —remedies staff
SELECTED SOURCES “About honey”; “Bee health”; How honey is made,” National Honey Board, www.Honey.com l “About the honey bee,”; “Honey bees are pollinators,” American Beekeeping Federation, www.ABFnet.org l “Antioxidant properties of royal jelly . . .” by J. R. Liu et al., Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 11/13/08 “Apitherapy: Usage and experience in German beekeepers” by M. Hellner et al., Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 6/30/07 l “Bee pollen,” 1/11/19; “Honey,” 8/30/19; “Propolis,” 6/4/19, US National Library of Medicine, www.MedlinePlus.gov l “Honey: A guide for healthcare professionals” by J. Evans and S. Flavin, British Journal of Nursing, 8/14/08 l User’s Guide to Propolis, Royal Jelly, Honey, and Bee Pollen by C. Leigh Broadhurst ($5.95, Basic Health, 2005)
Did You Know?
Be A Bee Buddy!
All worker honeybees are female. A single worker bee will visit millions of blossoms in her lifetime. She collects flower nectar, which is then converted into simple sugars and stored in the honeycomb inside the hive. The warmth of the hive causes evaporation and transforms the sugars into liquid honey. Honey is used as food for the bees, so beekeepers take only the surplus. The average healthy hive produces about 65 pounds of harvestable honey each year.
Honeybees face many threats today, including drought, loss of forage areas, and colony collapse. Here are ways you can help: • Create a bee-friendly flower and herb garden in your yard. • Avoid pesticides and other chemicals on your lawn. • Place a shallow basin of fresh water with rocks in it so thirsty bees can get a drink. • Donate to organizations that work to protect honeybees and other pollinators. May 2020
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e ve r y d a y r e m e d i e s
body odor What is it? Bromhidrosis, or body odor, is an unpleasant smell coming from the body, especially from the underarms, groin, upper thighs, and feet. What causes it? Bacteria naturally occurring on the skin mix with sweat and multiply, causing an odor. Sweating tends to occur in warm weather, during exercise, and when a person is anxious, nervous, or stressed. Some health conditions can cause excess sweating.
Herbs: Cinnamon, coriander, cumin, ginger, licorice, oregano, nutmeg, rosemary.
Lifestyle: Shower at least once a day, especially
after exercising. Towel dry completely. Wash and change clothes, including socks, regularly and after sweating heavily.
Supplements: Probiotics and zinc.
Homeopathy: Calcarea, Ignatia, Lycopodium, Silica, Sulphur.
Food: Limit spicy foods that increase sweating including hot peppers, foods with a strong aroma like garlic and onions, and foods containing a lot of sulfur like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. Alcohol and caffeinated drinks may also cause excess sweating. Boost intake of raw vegetables including bell peppers, carrots, and cucumbers. Citrus fruits help to flush odor-causing compounds from the body. SELECTED SOURCES “6 tips for reducing body odor,” www.WebMD.com, 4/9/18 • “Can food cause body odor?” University of California Berkeley, www.BerkeleyWellness.com l The Green Pharmacy by James A. Duke, PhD ($29.95, Rodale, 1997) • “Sweating and body odor,” www.MayoClinic.org, 9/24/19 l “Sweating (excessive); primary focal hyperhidrosis,” National Center for Homeopathy, www.HomeopathyCenter.org
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