A U G U S T 2019
20 Memory boosters Fiber for athletes Natural sinus care
chamomile tea can help
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August 2019 vol. 15 no. 8
27 12 feature
6 From the Editor’s Desk 8 Health Pulse
Osteopenia a problem for younger men • Regular exercise may stave off heart attacks • More
10 New Frontiers
CBD may ease OCD symptoms.
15 Herbal Healing
Help for sinus pressure and congestion.
Discover the benefits of chiropractic care.
18 Healthy Aging
Arthritis pain? Try massage.
20 Supplement Spotlight
meet the enemies of cognition Strategies to stay sharp as you age.
Natural ways to prevent and treat heartburn.
23 Everyday Remedies Tips to beat the bloat.
27 Sports Nutrition
Fiber aids weight loss and more.
29 Healthy Glow
Soothe acne-prone skin. Cover: Chamomile.
A source for news, information, and ideas for your healthy lifestyle. remedies-and-recipes.com
@RemediesRecipes August 2019
l remedies 5 7/1/19 2:20 PM
from the editor ’s desk
Thinking Ahead This month’s issue of remedies offers much to think about, including an important article than might help keep us thinking. “Meet the Enemies of Cognition” (page 12) by Karen Jensen, ND, explores the underlying factors that can lead to cognitive decline, such as diet, stress, and systemic inflammation. Dr. Jensen also provides a comprehensive list of memory-supportive supplements. Exercise is one critical element of a brain-supportive routine. In “Fiber for Athletes” (page 27), Victoria Dolby Toews delves into the often-overlooked benefits of fiber for physical training. Hint: It can help regulate your energy levels. I had the pleasure of speaking to chiropractor Jeb Thurmond, DC, recently, and our interview begins on page 16. His “whole-person approach” to wellness is refreshing. We focused on why pain occurs, how to prevent it, and what actually happens during a spinal manipulation. If you’re apprehensive about scheduling a chiropractic session, this interview should help put you at ease. You’ll also find articles on heartburn (page 20), sinus care (page 15), and acne (page 29) in this issue. Enjoy the rest of your summer!
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) Retail Account Manager Kim Willard 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); ©2019 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.
Creative and Sales Offices: 149 Emerald Street, Suite O, Keene NH 03431 603-283-0034 Rich Wallace, editor
Correction: In the article “Calm and Support Your Skin” in our July issue, the nutritive-topical company referred to is named For the Biome.
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Products advertised or mentioned in this magazine may not be available in all locations. 6 remedies
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a bone-health surprise Osteoporosis is a common condition in older women, but a new study carries a strong caution for men as well. “We typically associate loss of bone mineral density [BMD] with postmenopausal women, but our findings showed elevated risk in younger men,” said Martha Ann Bass, PhD. She led the study, which examined the extent of osteopenia among men and women ages 35 to 50. Osteopenia is a precursor to osteoporosis. It signifies bones that are weaker than normal but do not yet break easily. The results showed that osteopenia was slightly more common in male participants (28 percent) than in women (26 percent). Dr. Bass said the best way to maintain BMD is through weight-bearing exercises such as walking, running, and jumping. Moderate weight training can also help. “Bone mineral density among men and women aged 35 to 50 years” by M.A. Bass et al., Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, 5/19 l “Researchers find 28% of 35- to 50-year-old men studied are at-risk for osteoporosis,” American Osteopathic Association, 5/28/19
vital vitamin D did you know?
Regular exercise appears to make a person less likely to die from a heart attack. Danish scientists tracked more than 14,000 people for nearly 40 years. Heart-attack patients who had exercised survived at much higher rates than those who hadn’t. “Exercise associated with improved heart attack survival,” European Society of Cardiology, 4/12/17
Eating specific dairy foods can help prevent bone loss in older adults, but only when combined with a vitamin D supplement. That’s the conclusion of a group of Boston researchers who identified milk, yogurt, and cheese as bone-mineral boosters in the spine and hip. The study found that supplemental vitamin D stimulates absorption of calcium, which is crucial for bone growth and maintenance. “Dairy and vitamin D supplements protect against bone loss,” Hebrew SeniorLife Institute for Aging Research, 3/1/17
l August 2019
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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.
cannabinoids show OCD promise Obsessive-compulsive disorder can be a disabling impairment. Presently available medications to treat it are often ineffective or a cause of intolerable side effects. A significant body of research points to the role of the human body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the anxiety, fear, and intrusive repetitive thoughts and behaviors that are common in OCD. Some patients have shown improvements in OCD symptoms after receiving cannabinoids, and a new review of studies suggests that the ECS may be a target for new treatments of OCD. Serotinin reuptake inhibitors are the only medications approved by the FDA for OCD treatment. They usually provide only limited relief, and some patients find them ineffective.
CBD’s potential The authors of the 2019 review see potential in cannabidiol (CBD) for relief of OCD symptoms. “CBD has garnered increasing interest as a potential treatment for a variety of neuropsychiatric conditions, including anxiety,” the authors wrote. “CBD has been shown to reduce experimentally induced anxiety and enhance the extinction of fear memories in healthy adults.” They also stated that CBD has been shown to reverse some of the negative effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), “including paranoia and memory impairment.” Much more research is needed, and much is ongoing. The authors concluded that “further exploration of this topic will determine whether cannabinoids pass the most important test: Helping more patients with OCD to achieve wellness.” “Can cannabinoids help treat obsessive-compulsive disorder?” www.EurekAlert.org, 5/30/19 l “The endocannabinoid system: A new treatment target for obsessive compulsive disorder?” by R.R. Keyser et al., Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 5/29/19
l August 2019 6/20/19 3:34 PM
6/17/19 2:49 PM
meet the enemies of cognition and learn how to fight them
—E xcerpted with permission from Women’s Health Matters: The Influence of Gender on Disease by Karen Jensen, ND ($19.95, Mind Publishing, 2017) 12 remedies
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Gluten Intolerance and the Brain
Although there is a connection between family history and genetics for some people, many other factors have been linked to the development of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. Multiple clinical observations have demonstrated that dementia in general, and Alzheimer’s in particular, are associated with Type 2 diabetes and obesity. Moreover, Type 2 diabetes is considered an independent risk factor for dementia, with the prevalence of dementia in diabetic populations double that of healthy patient populations. Metabolic syndrome is an important factor in the development of mild cognitive impairment, vascular dementia, and Alzheimer’s. Stress hormones, inflammation, and oxidative stress contribute to an insulin-resistant brain state, causing decreased glucose metabolism and the formation of beta-amyloid and tau proteins, both signatures of Alzheimer’s.
Gluten, which is in most carbohydrates such as breads, pastas, and cereals, might cause inflammation in the brain. Grains also cause an increase in blood sugar, and even slight elevations in blood sugar can increase the risk of developing dementia. Dr. David Permutter, well-known neurologist and author of Grain Brain, says, “The biggest issue by far is that carbohydrates are absolutely at the cornerstone of all of our major degenerative conditions.” He adds, “That includes things like Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and even cancers. What we know is that even mild elevations in blood sugar are strongly related to developing Alzheimer’s. Even mild elevations in blood sugar compromise brain structure and lead to shrinkage of the brain.” In addition to gluten, other food intolerances or allergies can affect brain function and memory.
Inflammation is the cornerstone of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and other autoimmune disorders. Researchers have found that systemic inflammation leads to the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the hippocampus region of the brain. This region is involved in memory and learning. A UK study published in the Journal of Biological Psychiatry suggests inflammation in the brain may accelerate the progress of dementia. The research team found that just one episode of systemic inflammation (whole body inflammation) could be sufficient to trigger a more rapid decline in neurological function. The researchers found that systemic inflammation leads to the production of a pro-inflammatory cytokine by the brain’s immune cells in the hippocampus. This region is involved in memory and learning.
Head and Heart Connection Growing evidence suggests that the health of the brain is closely linked to the overall health of the heart and blood vessels. A healthy heart helps ensure that enough blood is pumped through these blood vessels to the brain, and healthy blood vessels help ensure that the brain is supplied with the oxygen and nutrient-rich blood it needs to function normally.
Free-Radical Damage Excessive free-radical damage is now thought to be a major player not only in brain aging and traumatic brain injury, but also in degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s and in mild cognitive impairment. As cognitive function begins to decline, markers for free-radical damage correlate directly with the degree of mental impairment.
Stress hormones appear to rapidly exacerbate the formation of brain lesions and the progression of dementias, including Alzheimer’s. Management of both physical and psychological stress is crucial in the prevention and treatment of this devastating disease. The hippocampus is the primary area of degeneration in Alzheimer’s. Stress hormones are toxic to nerve cells, and stress-mediated glucocorticoids, whether too high or too low, reduce the size and plasticity of the hippocampus.
Gut Microbiota Imbalances In addition to the stress factor, neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and generalized cognitive decline are marked by age-related brain changes, disturbed immune function, and increased oxidative stress, which are influenced by diet and abnormal gut microbiota.
Pesticides Evidence published in JAMA Neurology suggests that pesticides and Alzheimer’s could be intricately linked. The research showed that 74 out of the 86 Alzheimer’s patients studied had blood levels of DDE (a toxic chemical compound) almost four times higher than those of the 79 people in the control group who did not have Alzheimer’s. Epidemiological studies also show evidence that DDT/ DDE affect pathways associated with the development of beta-amyloid plaques, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s.
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continued from page 13
Elevated Homocysteine Levels Elevated homocysteine levels occur in approximately one-third of people over 61 years of age. This risk factor is estimated to account for 22 percent of the instances of Alzheimer’s. The rate of brain atrophy is associated with elevated levels of homocysteine, an essential amino acid that regulates phospholipid metabolism. Elevated homocysteine inhibits this process and, as a result, fewer omega-3 fatty acids are incorporated into phosphatidylcholine (PC). Decreased omega-3 content of PC has been linked to Alzheimer’s. B vitamins, particularly B6, B12, and folic acid, reduce levels of homocysteine. One study showed a nine-fold reduction in brain shrinkage and substantial reduction in rate of memory loss with the addition of these vitamins. In subjects with above average omega-3 levels, B vitamins reduced brain atrophy rates by 40 percent.
Support for Memory Disorders • Huperzine A (Huperzia serrata) can significantly improve the cognitive function in patients with mild-to-moderate vascular dementia. • ALA (alpha lipoic acid) plays a therapeutic role in supporting cognitive functions. • NAC (N-acetylcysteine) has been shown to be effective in the treatment of Alzheimer’s. • PS (phosphatidylserine) can slow, halt, or reverse the decline of memory and mental function due to aging. • Acetyl-L-carnitine increases synaptic connections in the brain and consequently improves learning capacity. • Vinpocetine (periwinkle) increases blood circulation and glucose metabolism, and reduces brain impairment after ischemic stroke.
• Ginkgo biloba, a powerful antioxidant, is often associated with increased cerebral blood flow and enhanced memory. • Curcumin (Curcuma longa) is a potent anti-inflammatory that can prevent and help treat the inflammatory cause of Alzheimer’s. • Boswellia (Boswellia serrata) has been used as an anti-inflammatory agent for centuries. • Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) can be used for cognitive and neurological disorders, brain injuries, inflammation, and neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. • Bacopa (Bacopa monnieri) provides antioxidant protection for memory centers and reduces the effects of stress on the brain. • Omega-3 fatty acids protect the brain from damages related to oxidative stress (free-radical damage). Dr. Jensen received her degree from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. She is a well-known lecturer and author or co-author of seven books, including Three Brains: How the Heart, Brain and Gut Influence Mental Health and Identity and Women’s Health Matters: The Influence of Gender on Disease. Dr. Jensen also lectures on behalf of Natural Factors.
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sinus relief these herbs can help
Our paranasal sinuses are mucus-making air cavities in the bones near the nose. The mucus keeps the inside of the nose moisturized and stops micro-organisms from entering the body. But blocked nasal passages can trap mucus in the sinuses and lead to sinusitis—an infection or inflammation of the sinus lining. It can be hard to tell the difference between allergies and sinusitis. The two conditions share the symptoms of runny nose, nasal congestion, and sinus pressure. Itchy, watery eyes and an itchy nose are telltale symptoms of seasonal allergies; thick green or yellow nasal discharge is the calling card of sinusitis.
Consider these plant extracts for relief n Andrographis. This herb, native to India and Sri Lanka, has long been used in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine practices to stimulate the immune system and reduce the inflammatory symptoms of sinusitis. But anyone taking certain meds such as blood pressure–reducing drugs, anticoagulants, and antiplatelet drugs should not use andrographis. n Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapple. Studies show that taking bromelain supplements can help improve symptoms of sinusitis, including the thinning of mucus secretions. Bromelain thins the blood, so consult your healthcare practitioner if you take blood-thinning meds or have a bleeding disorder. n Quercetin. This natural plant compound acts as an antihistamine and reduces mucus secretion. It’s often combined with bromelain and vitamin C in supplement form. n Butterbur works well for allergies, appearing to inhibit inflammation. In one study with more than 300 participants, butterbur worked as well as Allegra at reducing hay fever symptoms. —remedies staff “A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of Andrographis paniculata fixed combination Kan Jang in the treatment of acute upper respiratory tract infections including sinusitis” by E.S. Gabrielian et al., Phytomedicine l “Oral bromelain attenuates inflammation . . .” by E.R. Secor et al., Evid Based Complement Alternat Med l “Pay close attention to symptoms to determine if cause is sinus infection or allergies” by Shawn Bishop, www.MayoClinic.org, 4/12/13
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chiropractic questions this interview may adjust your thinking!
Chiropractic is a hands-on, drug-free approach to healthcare that includes patient examinations, diagnosis, and treatment. According to the American Chiropractic Association, practitioners “have broad diagnostic skills and are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary, and lifestyle counseling.” Still, misconceptions (and fears) about chiropractic remain somewhat common. We spoke to Jeb Thurmond, DC, owner of Evolution Chiropractic in Keene, NH, to clear up some of those concerns.
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remedies: Many people are hesitant to make a chiropractic appointment out of fear that it might cause an injury. How do you allay those fears? Jeb Thurmond: If a patient is nervous or scared, I ask what they are scared of and address each concern. I have never had someone leave the office because they were afraid to receive treatment after we’ve had a chance to talk. I explain that my job as a clinician is to find out what is wrong with them to the best of my ability, explain it to them, and make a plan that may include care with me and/or other practitioners. As I tell my patients, I may be able to adjust your spine and help your body get out of pain fast, but there is nothing—and I mean nothing—as powerful as what you do with your body each and every day. How you sit, stand, walk, sleep, lift, bend, and twist are the things that hold the greatest sway over how healthy your spine is. r: Please explain what causes most back pain. JT: Most back pain is mechanical in nature. The phrase I use is “recurrent postural strain.” This may be from too much sitting, too much hunching over, slouching on the couch, or staring at TV, phones, or other handheld devices coupled with the absence of regular, appropriate exercise, including flexibility and mobility work. We simply don’t move enough, and when we move, we often move improperly. Recurrent postural strain works to develop abnormal movement patterns that we get really good at. The problem is that after a while, these patterns create wear and tear to the soft tissues in and around the joints. This feeds corrupt information back to the brain and results in a reinforcement of these patterns. As the joints move less and less efficiently, they become starved for nutrients (they only get nourishment with movement). As these joints become stuck together and the soft tissues around them become tacked down or laminated together, the whole region becomes stiff, immobile, more painful, and more prone to injury. r: How does a chiropractic adjustment work to alleviate that discomfort? JT: Chiropractors can help by normalizing joint movement. This improvement of joint range of motion stimulates blood flow around the joints, nourishes the joint surfaces, inhibits pain signals (which makes it even easier for the joints to move), and helps lymphatic
drainage via increased muscular contraction and joint and soft-tissue movement. All of this slows or stops the degenerative cycle of the joints that leads to osteoarthritis. We suggest follow-up exercises and restorative movements and tips for managing inflammation through diet, sleep management, and other personal habits. r: What happens during a spinal adjustment? JT: During the spinal adjustment or spinal manipulation, a force is applied segmentally or specifically (to an individual bone), regionally (to a region or group of spinal bones), or to soft tissue surrounding or connected to the spine. The forces range from very fast and abrupt to sustained contacts for up to one minute. The velocity or speed of force applied may be very low to high. High-force adjusting is very low amplitude—in other words, short and quick. Spinal manipulation or the adjustment can be performed by hand and with different adjusting instruments. In my office, I use both. They both work well and offer slightly different approaches that allow me to tailor my care to the individual’s clinical and emotional requirements. r: What are some common misconceptions that you hear from your patients? JT: Pinched nerves. It is rare for a nerve to be pinched by a “bone out of place,” which almost never happens. Joints of the spine, shoulders, shoulder blades, and pelvis get stuck. They may get stuck in a non-neutral position, but they are not out of place. The loss of normal joint function from injury or recurrent postural strain may result in fibrotic adhesions (think gristle), muscular imbalance, or changes in movement patterns (the way we walk, sit, stand, twist, bend over, push, pull, and lunge). The changes in the movement pattern feed corrupted information back to the brain, which adapts to this information and reinforces the bad habits or muscle memory. The pain people feel may be from inflammation secondary to tissue damage (trauma: strains, sprains, contusions, repetitive movement injuries). The structures around the joints are very sensitive and may prompt muscle spasms, which can be devastatingly painful. r: Thanks for these great insights! Jeb Thurmond, DC, is a licensed chiropractor, committed to promoting the optimal health and wellbeing of patients. He uses a “whole person approach” to wellness—looking for underlying causes of any disturbance or disruption and making interventions and lifestyle adjustments to optimize the conditions for normal function.
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massage eases arthritis pain
Osteoarthritis is a leading cause of discomfort for more than 30 million Americans, ringing up significant costs for over-the-counter and prescription medications. New research identified massage as an effective treatment option for arthritis of the knees.
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“Medications are available, but many patients experience adverse side effects, raising the need for alternatives,” said lead author Adam Perlman, MD, program director of the Leadership Program in Integrative Healthcare at Duke University School of Medicine. “This study demonstrates that massage has potential to be one such option.” Patients saw significant relief from pain and improvements in mobility after having a weekly whole-body massage. The 209 participants were split into three groups: Some received a weekly, hour-long Swedish massage for eight weeks; some received a light-touch control treatment; and others received no extra care other than their usual regimen. After eight weeks, participants were again randomized to continue with massage or light-touch every other week, or to receive no treatment for the remainder of the year-long study. Patients were assessed every two months using a standardized questionnaire that measures pain, stiffness, and functional limitations. Those who received massage saw significant improvements. “Massage therapy is one of the most popular complementary medicine interventions,” Dr. Perlman said. “At a time when people are looking for effective non-medication options for pain, this study provides further evidence that massage has a potential role, at least for those suffering with osteoarthritis.” —remedies staff “Efficacy and safety of massage for osteoarthritis of the knee . . .” by A. Perlman et al., J Gen Intern Med, 3/19 l “Study shows massage helps ease arthritis pain, improve mobility,” Duke University Medical Center, 12/13/18
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l remedies 19 6/14/19 9:15 AM
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ban the burn simple home remedies may relieve acid reflux
l August 2019
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Heartburn—that burning sensation in your chest after you’ve eaten or when you lie down—happens to most of us now and then. It’s uncomfortable, but an infrequent case isn’t cause for concern. Consider treating it with these natural alternatives to over-the-counter antacids. What it is
Ways to treat it
Heartburn or acid reflux happens when food in your stomach flows back up into your esophagus, otherwise known as your food pipe. It’s caused when the sphincter muscle at the bottom of the esophagus doesn’t properly close. More than 60 million people in the US suffer from acid reflux monthly.
When heartburn strikes, try these remedies. Posture: If you’re lying down, sit up. Your symptoms will likely fade. If it’s the middle of the night, prop up your upper body with pillows or a wedge. Baking soda: Stir a teaspoon of baking soda into 8 ounces of water and drink it. The soda neutralizes stomach acid. Fruit: Some fruits act as natural antacids. If you’re experiencing heartburn, eat a banana or apple or snack on honeydew, cantaloupe, or watermelon. Mustard: Try a teaspoon of mustard if you’re experiencing acid reflux or feel it coming on. The condiment neutralizes stomach acid. Ginger root: Ginger is used for gastrointestinal relief; it may work because of anti-inflammatory properties that can alleviate esophageal swelling and irritation. Don’t overdo it, though: too much ginger can cause heartburn! Other herbs: Other herbal remedies that some people have found to be effective include peppermint oil, caraway, garden angelica, German chamomile flower, licorice root, lemon balm, milk thistle, and turmeric. Try one or more to see if they work for you.
Ways to prevent it You may be able to get ahead of acid reflux by taking a few preventive measures. Vitamins: Vitamins were effective in two studies on acid reflux. In one, 100 percent of participants reported that their symptoms went away after 40 days of taking a supplement containing vitamins B6, B9, and B12 plus L-tryptophan, methionine, betaine, and melatonin. Only 60 percent of people in the control group, who were given the over-the-counter drug omeprazole, said their symptoms improved. The second study found that vitamins A, C, and E—in food and through supplements—might help prevent the condition. Lifestyle changes: A few simple adjustments may be all you need to avoid heartburn. Try putting blocks under your bed’s headboard to elevate it. Give yourself plenty of time to digest your dinner before going to bed. Do what you can to reduce stress. Get some gentle exercise several days a week. Avoid tight-fitting clothes. Limit your alcohol intake. Eliminate or cut back on carbonated drinks. Keep a food diary: Certain foods can set off acid reflux. They vary from person to person, so a good way to figure out which foods to avoid is to write down what you eat, when you eat it, and whether you have heartburn each day. Among foods that are frequent culprits are coffee, chocolate, citrus fruits and juice, garlic, onions, tomatoes, and fatty, fried, spicy, and salty items. Chew gum: Chew a piece of sugar-free gum for a half hour after eating. It will stimulate your salivary glands to increase saliva, which helps wash away acid. Bedtime tea: A cup of chamomile tea 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime can ward off nighttime heartburn.
—Jane Eklund “7 natural GERD home remedy solutions,” www.FisherTitus.org, 7/25/17 l “14 home remedies for heartburn and acid reflux” by Atli Arnarson, 1/22/17; “Alternative treatments for GERD: Herbs and supplements” by Dale Kiefer and Kristeen Cherney, 3/22/16; “Vitamins for acid reflux: What works?” by Annette McDermott, 9/25/16, www.HealthLine.com l “Acid reflux: Causes, treatment, and symptoms” by Markus MacGill, 11/13/17; “Home remedies for acid reflux and hearetburn relief” by Charlotte Lillis, 9/25/18, www.MedicalNewsToday.com l “Home remedies: The discomfort of heartburn” by Dana Sparks, www.MayoClinic.org, 10/31/18
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e ve r y d a y r e m e d i e s
bloating What is it? A feeling of pressure or excessive fullness in the abdomen. What causes it? High-fiber foods; certain medical conditions including inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, and Crohn’s disease; food intolerances; and constipation.
Homeopathy: Carbo vegetabilis, Lycopodium, Magnesia phosphorica, Nux vomica, Pulsatilla.
Chamomile, fennel, ginger, peppermint.
Food: Papaya; easy-to-digest foods including broths, soups, and steamed vegetables. Avoid beans and other high-fiber foods, carbonated beverages, salt, and artificial sweeteners.
Probiotics, digestive enzymes.
Eat slowly and smaller portions; get regular exercise; don’t smoke; keep a food journal to determine if certain foods are causing bloating.
Body into Balance by Maria Noël Groves ($24.95, Storey, 2016) l “Gas and gas pains—symptoms and causes,” www.MayoClinic.com, 12/21/18 l Prescription for Natural Cures, 3d ed, by Mark Stengler, James F. Balch, and Robin Young Balch ($34.99, Turner Publishing Company, 2016)
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fiber for athletes it offers lots of benefits
Aside from fiber’s well-known health perks— think regularity and keeping heart disease, diabetes, and colon cancer at bay—there’s a lot for fitness enthusiasts to appreciate.
“Whether you’re trying to lose weight or put on muscle, fiber has benefits for everyone,” said Erin Mahoney, vice president of education at the International Sports Sciences Association. It’s a safe bet that adding more fiber to your life would be a sound choice, considering that most Americans do not come close to getting the recommended amounts of fiber in their daily diet. Daily fiber goals should be 38 grams for men and 25 grams for women, according to Kristi Veltkamp, a registered dietitian with the Spectrum Health medical system in Michigan.
One small caution After noting that fiber should be included in a balanced diet for long-term health benefits, Veltkamp added that there are times when adding more fiber doesn’t necessarily make sense. “Since fiber is not absorbed and used for energy, it is not a main focus for enhancing performance and is, in fact, recommended to be reduced before any events or training to prevent an upset stomach or bowel urgency during training and exercise,” she explained. August 2019
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continued from page 27
If your fitness goals include lightening the number on the bathroom scale, then fiber can lend a hand. Increasing your fiber intake improves satiety, since fiber takes longer to break down and thus contributes to a feeling of fullness. And foods high in fiber are typically low in calories. “Fiber’s slow breakdown helps regulate blood sugar levels—meaning you’ll have more consistent energy levels throughout the day, which is a great benefit for those wanting to lose weight because they’ll be more active spontaneously while having more energy for their workouts,” Mahoney said. That’s not all: Counting fiber (instead of calories) can inadvertently cause weight loss. “For example, if you’re counting and hitting your fiber needs, you’re probably eating foods lower in calories and feeling fuller longer,” Mahoney said.
A High-Fiber Smoothie A spinach smoothie can be a great way to increase fiber. Erin Mahoney, vice president of education at International Sports Sciences Association, shares this recipe that does double duty for energy levels and satiety.
Spinach Smoothie Recipe Servings: 1 2 cups spinach ½ avocado ½ banana ½ cup almond milk 1 tsp vanilla extract Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.
What about folks looking to bulk up with some more muscle mass? For them, fiber can help, but with some “rules.” “For muscle growth, don’t consume a lot of fiber right after your workout,” Mahoney explained. “Your body needs the fuel to recover and maximize strength gains in the 45 minutes after your workout. The slow breakdown could prevent this. Instead, eat foods high in fiber throughout the day rather than closer to your scheduled workout times.”
Added value Then there are less specific, but still important reasons to focus on fiber. Fiber helps a well-running GI system, which in turn means that your body is breaking down and absorbing vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients. Supporting the good bacteria living in your gut represents yet another fiber perk. As Veltkamp sums it up: “These good bacteria help to digest our food, absorb nutrients, and can also improve brain health and immune function. Thinking clearly and not being sick goes a long way toward improving your exercise performance!” —Victoria Dolby Toews, MPH
Victoria Dolby Toews, MPH, has been a health journalist for more than two decades.
Personal communication: Erin Mahoney, Kristi Veltkamp, 6/19
Fast Fact: Where to Find Fiber Soluble fiber (lowers cholesterol and blood sugar): apples, citrus fruits, oats, carrots, potatoes, psyllium supplements Insoluble fiber (regulates elimination): whole grains, leafy greens, avocados, nuts, seeds
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put the brake on breakouts acne responds to supplements Acne is a chronic inflammatory skin disorder that not only affects teens but also 12 percent of women and 3 percent of men well into adulthood. Breakouts have been linked to substance P, a neuropeptide that transmits pain signals. Fortunately, research has targeted lifestyle and nutrition factors to help take the sting out of this condition. continued on page 31
BORAGE August 2019
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continued from page 29
Dietary links Recent research shows that more than half of people with moderate to severe acne tend to consume more sugar and servings of milk per day than those without acne. Other food associations include higher intakes of saturated fats and trans fats. Studies also indicate a link between deficiencies of essential fats and acne. Researchers concluded that inflammatory acne lesions decreased significantly in people who supplemented with 2,000 milligrams (mg) of the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid or 400 mg of gamma linoleic acid from borage oil for 10 weeks. Sipping green tea may also provide support, as the epigallocatechin3-gallate polyphenol inhibits the proliferation of Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), the bacteria associated with acne.
Bacterial balance The surface of the skin hosts both permanent and temporary micro-organisms. Factors including pH, sweat, and sebum secretion influence your skin’s microbiome. P. acnes represent approximately 20 to 70 percent of the permanent bacteria group. The bacteria stimulate oil glands and trigger immune system responses, including inflammation. To ease acne symptoms, then, it’s crucial to support your immune system.
Start with the basics n E at fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. n Avoid refined carbohydrates and saturated fats. n Keep homeopathic Zingiber officinale (ginger) on hand to ease an outbreak. n V itamins A and D3 help to support the immune system responses triggered by P. acnes. —Lisa Petty
More sleep, fewer breakouts? Research shows that stress promotes secretion of substance P, which has been linked to acne outbreaks. Also, poor sleep increases production of stress hormones that aggravate the condition.
Lisa Petty, ROHP, is a nutrition and healthy living expert for TV and radio, an award-nominated journalist, and an author who has shared her unique perspective with thousands of people through her workshops, lectures, coaching, and extensive writing. She is author of Living Beauty: Feel Great, Look Fabulous & Live Well, a modern guide to feeling younger at any age.
“Could adult female acne be associated with modern life?” by R.R. Albuquerque et al., Archives of Dermatological Research, 2014 l “Effect of dietary supplementation with omega-3 fatty acid and gammalinolenic acid on acne vulgaris . . .” by J. Jae Yoon et al., Acta Dermato-Venereologica, 2014 l “Relationships of self-reported dietary factors and perceived acne severity in a cohort of New York young adults” by J. Burris et al., Journal of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, 2014 l “Propionibacterium acnes: An update on its role in the pathogenesis of acne” by C. Beylot et al., Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology & Venereology, 2014 l “Propionibacterium acnes induces an IL-17 response in acne vulgaris that is regulated by vitamin A and vitamin D,” by G.W. Agak et al., Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 2014
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