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O C TOB ER 2015

for LIFE

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immunity page

Tea for healing

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Brain boosters Freshen breath

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cold & flu strategies

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October 2015 vol. 11 no. 10

25

26

departments 6 From the Editor’s Desk 10 Health Pulse Algae packed with protein • Leucine preserves muscle • More

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cover story

fighting back Natural ways to boost immunity.

17 Real-World Homeopathy Safe healing for seniors.

18 The Goods 20 Supplement Spotlight The top of the list for maintaining brain health.

23 Everyday Remedies Bad breath.

24 Healthy Glow Essential fats for better skin.

26 Lifestyle Balance the benefits of running with the risks.

28 Herbal Healing Green tea for total body wellness.

30 Postscript Acupuncturist and herbalist Jason Miller discusses “Essence” and offers his favorite stress reduction ideas.

A source for news, information, and ideas for your healthy lifestyle. facebook.com/RemediesMagazine @RemediesMag

Cover: Yellow swallowtail butterfly (Papilionidae) feeding on nectar from a coneflower (Echinacea purpurea).

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from the editor ’s desk

remedies for LIFE

It’s in the preparation Lately, I’ve learned a lot first-hand about the health issues we can’t control or plan for: the loss of an old school friend to breast cancer; a parent’s transient ischemic attack (TIA, or mini-stroke); and the trials of a beloved pet whose illnesses have snowballed to the point where I now understand clearly how retinal detachment works. It’s enough to make you throw up your hands and ask, “Why bother with prevention?” The right answer, when our heads are clear, is that taking care of ourselves as much as we can before these problems strike sets us up to handle them better. Boosting the immune system early on may not stop cancer from hitting home but it can help us fight it more efficiently. It can also help us through stressful times when we have to watch our loved ones struggle. Rich Wallace reveals ways to support immunity in our feature, which begins on page 12. On page 17, we review homeopathic remedies for elders taking multiple medicines with side effects, who want to consider safe options for common discomforts. And, in our Supplement Spotlight this month, we focus on supplements for brain health (page 20). Though these might not prevent every TIA, there are several that can help the brain regroup from many kinds of trauma and keep us more sharp as we age. We can’t control everything that happens to us, but it pays to do what we can to respond in good health. Wishing you and your family good health this fall!

Donna.Moxley@RemediesMagazine.com

Chief Content Officer and Strategist Lynn Tryba Managing Editor Donna Moxley Contributing Editors Lisa Fabian, Rich Wallace Editorial Assistant Kelli Ann Wilson Director, Creative & Interactive Justin Rent Senior Graphic Designer Michelle Knapp Custom Graphics Manager Donna Sweeney Business Development Director Amy Pierce Customer Service customerservice@tasteforlife.com Director of Retail & Customer Service Judy Gagne 800-677-8847 x128 Director of Advertiser & Customer Service Ashley Dunk 800-677-8847 x190 Western Brand Promotions Director Shannon Dunn-Delgado 415-382-1665 Group Brand Promotions Director Bob Mucci 978-255-2062 Executive Director of Retail Sales & Marketing Anna Johnston (Anna.Johnston@TasteforLife.com) National Sales Manager Diane Dale 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, 222 West Street, Suite 49, Keene, NH 03431, 603-283-0034 (fax 603-283-0141); © 2015 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: 222 West Street, Suite 49, Keene, NH 03431 603-283-0034

remedies 2015

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Products advertised or mentioned in this magazine may not be available in all locations.

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Discover the dynamic connection between your health and soil in our brand-new FREE eBook. Available at naturalvitality.com


healthpulse decaf tea extract boosts performance A decaffeinated green tea extract enhanced exercise performance in a group of young, active men. The participants in a recent study also lost more body fat than those who took a placebo. The men received the extract (571 milligrams per day) or the placebo for four weeks. During that time they cycled for one hour three times per week. Those who took the extract saw an increase in fat oxidation of nearly 25 percent, significant decreases in body fat, and a 10 percent improvement in cycling distance. Green tea has been shown to reduce cholesterol and triglycerides, increase fat burning, and reduce blood pressure in previous studies. “The Effect of a Decaffeinated Green Tea Extract Formula on Fat Oxidation, Body Composition, and Exercise Performance” by J.D. Roberts et al., Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 2015 ● “Green Tea Extract May Boost ‘Metabolic Efficiency’ and Help Endurance Training . . .” by Stephen Daniells, www.NutraIngredients-USA.com, 1/27/15

did you know?

Sales of tea and herbal teas increased by 3.6 percent in the US during 2014. More than half of all Americans drink some form of tea daily. “Market Report” by B. Keating et al., HerbalGram, 2015

leucine may help preserve muscle Supplementing with leucine can help preserve muscle mass in older adults, according to recent research. The amino acid significantly increases the synthesis of muscle protein. The authors concluded that “leucine supplementation is useful to address the age-related decline in muscle mass in elderly individuals.” However, the analysis of nine studies did not find that leucine increased muscle mass. “The Effectiveness of Leucine on Muscle Protein Synthesis . . .” by Z. Xu et al., British Journal of Nutrition, 1/14/15

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are you ready for algae? Consumers seeking a new protein source in snack bars, crackers, and other munchables have a new option. Algae is a vegan food that’s high in protein, fiber, healthy fats, and other nutrients. It was highlighted during the recent annual meeting and food expo of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). Algae is easily digested and is currently found in protein shakes, crackers and bars, cereals, and other food items. The IFT event also focused on the protein potential of quinoa and pulses (legumes, beans, chickpeas, lentils). “Algae, Quinoa, Legumes Top List of Alternative Protein Choices,” Institute of Food Technologists, 7/13/15

step it up with magnesium Taking a daily supplement of 300 milligrams (mg) of magnesium improved physical performance in older women in a recent study. Women who took a daily magnesium supplement instead of a placebo had a faster gait. Walking speed is a key indicator of frailty associated with the loss of muscle. Healthy women with an average age of 71.5 received the supplement or a placebo for 12 weeks while participating in a mild fitness program. Those who took the added magnesium scored substantially better in physical tests at the end of the trial. Participants whose intake of magnesium was below recommended levels at the start of the trial saw the biggest gains. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for magnesium is 320 mg for adult women and 420 mg for men. Most adults in the US fall below those levels. “Extra Magnesium May Boost Your Physical Performance,” Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter, 11/14

midlife D levels have long-term effects Having higher levels of vitamin D in midlife may increase a person’s “cognitive reserve,” leading to better memory later in life. A recent study published in the British Journal of Nutrition linked higher blood levels of the vitamin in adults ages 45 to 60 to better short-term and working memory 13 years later. The benefits were specific to participants who had low levels of education. “Cognitive reserve” has been used to explain why people with similar degrees of brain damage can have very different cognitive outcomes as they age. “Midlife Plasma Vitamin D Concentrations and Performance in Different Cognitive Domains Assessed 13 Years Later” by K.E. Assmann, British Journal of Nutrition, 4/13/15 ● “What Impact Will Mid-life Vitamin D Levels Have on Cognitive Health 13 Years Later?” by Annie-Rose Harrison-Dunn, www.NutraIngredients-USA. com, 4/15/15

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By Rich Wallace

fighting back

boost immunity from all corners With cooler weather approaching, cold and flu season isn’t far behind. It’s time to make sure your immune system is fit and ready to ward off viruses and other intruders.

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did you know?

Exercise, proper sleep, and a healthy Compounds in white button diet are choices that are within your mushrooms were shown to The adage that “laughter control. Filling nutritional gaps with enhance the activity of NK cells in is the best medicine” is foods and supplements will give your laboratory animals. NK stands for truer than you might think. system a boost. “natural killer,” and the cells are Laughing increases the The immune system is not found an important component of the body’s levels of IgA, an in a single place in the body. It’s a innate immune system. Research infection-fighting protein complex system of cells and organs has shown that substances in white produced by the immune that enable you to fend off the foreign button mushrooms may improve the system. Stress reduces proteins that can make you ill. And development of adaptive immunity, IgA levels, but positive that complexity can be compromised which begins after exposure to an interactions increase it. by any number of unhealthy choices. antigen or pathogen. “Use Your Immune system to Don’t overlook the effects of stress, Another study found that eating 5 Prevent Flu,” www.WebMD.com/ cold-and-flu-guide, 1/16/15 for example, which can wear you or 10 grams of shiitake mushrooms down and increase your susceptibility daily for four weeks led to improved to pathogens. The body releases immunity, including improved hormones such as adrenaline and proliferation and activation of cortisol in response to stress, and those hormones cells involved in immunity. Participants also saw a tax the immune system, making it less efficient. decrease in inflammation. A 2014 study suggested Maintaining emotional health through relaxation that “mushrooms may support healthy immune and techniques and exercise will help you release stress. inflammatory responses through interaction with the gut microbiota, enhancing development of adaptive Living in balance immunity, and improved immune cell function.” A wide range of nutrients support immune function, and deficiencies in any of them may compromise it. Herbal boosters Minerals such as zinc, selenium, iron, and copper Many herbal supplements have been shown to help and vitamins A, B6, C, E, and folic acid are key. All of increase immunity, including garlic, green tea, those nutrients are readily found in most multivitamin/ ginger, echinacea, black cumin, licorice, astragalus, mineral supplements. and St. John’s wort. “These plants are bestowed with Zinc enables T cells (white blood cells that attack and functional ingredients that may provide protection disable intruders) to function properly, while vitamin against various menaces,” write the authors of another C appears to work with other nutrients to provide 2014 study. “Modes of their actions include boosting benefits. There is also evidence that probiotics can help and functioning of immune system, activation and strengthen the immune system. These healthful bacteria suppression of immune specialized cells, [and] appear to increase the number of T cells. interfering in several pathways that eventually led “Everyone’s immune system is unique,” write the to improvement in immune responses and defense editors of Harvard Health Publications. “Each person’s system.” physiology responds to active substances differently.” Garlic has antibacterial and antivirus properties, and it’s the “herb of choice” for colds, flu, and sore throats, according to herbalist Rosemary Gladstar. Eating for health “It stimulates the production of white blood cells, A plant-based diet low in red meat is favored by most boosting the body’s immune function,” she writes. health professionals. Mushrooms are great meatYour kitchen cabinet can be a great source of replacement choices, as they have many immunityimmune boosters. Ginger may decrease the severity of boosting properties. And while culinary mushrooms colds. Cayenne is rich in vitamins A and C. Sage and like maitake and shiitake are loaded with immunitythyme are also tasty and helpful. strengthening nutrients, the humble white button mushroom is a powerhouse as well.

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continued from page 13

Healthy & beautiful hair

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Here’s a quick look at other notable herbal immune boosters. ■ Concentrated elderberry juice stimulates the immune response and may prevent viral infections. ■ Andrographis is useful for the prevention and treatment of colds and flu. ■ In China, astragalus is prescribed to enhance or restore immune function in patients with diseases such as HIV and cancer. ■ Echinacea appears to decrease the chances of getting a cold and to decrease the severity of symptoms when one occurs. ■ Eucalyptus inhibits the effects of bacteria that can cause respiratory tract infections, sinus congestion, coughs, colds, and sore throats. ■ Yarrow tea is effective in the early stages of the flu, particularly when combined with elderflower.

immuneboosting steps According to Harvard Health Publications, a healthy lifestyle is the “first line of defense” in building a strong immune system. ✦ Don’t smoke. ✦ Eat plenty of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains while limiting saturated fat. ✦ Exercise regularly. ✦ Maintain healthy blood pressure. ✦ Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all. ✦ Get plenty of sleep. ✦ Practice good hygiene by washing hands regularly and cooking meats thoroughly. ✦ Make regular visits to a healthcare professional.

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“Anti-influenza Effects of Elderberry Juice and Its Fractions” by E. Kinoshita et al., Biosci Biotechnol Biochem, 2012 ● “Consuming Lentinula edodes (Shiitake) Mushrooms Daily Improves Human Immunity . . .” by X. Dai et al., J Am Coll Nutr, 4/14 ● Herbal Therapy & Supplements by Merrily A. Kuhn and David Winston ($42.95, Wolters Kluwer, 2008) ● “Immune Enhancing Effects of Echinacea purpurea Root Extract by Reducing Regulatory T Cell Number and Function” by H.R. Kim et al., Nat Prod Commun, 4/14 ● “Immunity: Plants as Effective Mediators” by M.T. Sultan et al., Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr, 2014 ● “Mushrooms and Health Summit Proceedings” by M.J. Feeney et al., J Nutr, 7/14 ● Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs ($14.95, Storey Publishing, 2012)

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real-world homeopathy

for seniors

time-tested remedies without side effects We exercise regularly, eat a rainbow of fruits and veggies, avoid tobacco, and visit our healthcare practitioner regularly. But still we age. The physical and mental changes that accompany the aging process don’t necessarily indicate a serious condition or disease. Nevertheless, they can be frustrating. An aspect of aging that concerns many seniors, their families, and their doctors is the number of supplements and medications they take. In fact, multiple studies have established a link between aging and adverse drug reactions. This is especially a concern as individuals live longer and have more therapeutic options for diseases available to them. Reviewing your meds with your doctor is smart; know what you’re taking and why, and make sure the dose is right for you, whether it’s a supplement or an over-the-counter or prescription drug. Last but not least, consider homeopathy—a system of medicine that uses natural substances to mimic symptoms and acts quickly to encourage the body’s own healing mechanisms. These affordable remedies are safe with no side effects and can be taken alongside dietary supplements or medications. A visit with a trained homeopathic practitioner who will take the time to review your medical history and consider your holistic health profile is a great place to begin. —Marg Sommers Health concern

Homeopathic remedies to consider

Osteoarthritis, joint pain

Bryonia, Rhus tox

Colds, flu

Aconitum, Gelsemium, Oscillococcinum

Insomnia

Coffea, Kali carb, Ignatia

Irregularity

Alumina, Nux vomica

Depression

Causticum, Silica

Fatigue, weakness

Arsenicum, Phosphoricum acidum

Oral and dental problems

Carbo veg, Hepar sulph, Belladonna

Indigestion

Aloe, Calcarea carb

Sprains, strains

Apis, Arnica, Rhus tox

Vertigo, balance problems

Phosphorus, Lachesis

The Complete Homeopathic Resource for Common Illnesses by Dennis Chernin, MD, MPH ($29.95, North Atlantic Books, 2006) ● Easy Homeopathy by Edward Shalts, MD, DHt ($14.95, McGraw-Hill, 2006) ● “Homeopathic Treatment of Elderly Patients . . .” by M. Teut et al., BMC Geriatr, 2/10 ● Homeopathy, An A to Z Home Handbook by Alan V. Schmukler ($17.95, Llewellyn Worldwide, 2006) ● “How Healthy Are Chronically Ill Patients After Eight Years of Homeopathic Treatment? Results from a Long-Term Observational Study” by C.M. Witt et al., BMC Public Health, 12/08

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supplement spotlight

top of the list supplements that support brain health Remember that old saying, “Starve a cold, feed your brain?� Perhaps not.

Cocoa flavonols Citocoline

Choline Curcumin Aged garlic extract

Wheatgrass

Fish oil

Phosphatidylserine

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Medicinal mushrooms

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Maybe that’s because your memory is lagging. Well, no worries; there are plenty of foods and nutritional supplements to keep our brains sharp and our wits witty as we age gracefully. Scientific evidence supports the fact that certain nutrients can help maintain—and sometimes even improve—your brain’s functionality as you age. Want to think sharp and keep your mental edge well into old age? Here are some things science tells us can help:

Aged garlic extract Studies show it can reduce the risk of dementia by preventing cell damage in the brain.

Choline Found in egg yolks, choline is important throughout our lives. Developing babies in the womb use choline to build their brains while protecting against brain disorders. In adults, this amino acid supports brain function by helping to maintain the structure of brain cell membranes and acting as a precursor to making acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter used to relay messages to nerves and muscles. You can meet about half of your daily needs (which are about 550 milligrams (mg) for men, 425 mg for women) with two large egg yolks. It is widely available as a supplement. Citicoline Found naturally in the body’s cells, citicoline helps regulate memory and cognitive function while enhancing communication between your neurons. Supplementing may help maintain normal brain function as we age. Cocoa flavonols You knew it all along, didn’t you? Chocolate (the darker the better) is good for you! Drinking two cups of hot cocoa a day improved blood flow to the brain and memory recall on standardized tests, according to Harvard Medical School researchers. Another study suggests cocoa flavonols improve how your dentate gyrus (the part of your brain associated with memory) functions. To get maximum benefit from cocoa without the fat and sugar of chocolate bars or hot chocolate, look for cocoa supplements.

Curcumin, a compound found in turmeric, has anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to improve memory in Alzheimer’s patients.

Fish oil In a study published in July 2015, researchers working at the University of Leipzig and the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Germany found that consuming long-chain omega-3 fatty acids like those in fish, along with polyphenols like resveratrol— nutrients common in a Mediterranean diet—may have a synergistically positive effect on brain health and function as we age. Medicinal mushrooms Lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus), in particular, is noted for its ability to help nerve cells regenerate, improve cognition, and fight dementia. Research has shown that the benefits generally last only while taking it, however.

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Super Lion’s Mane from Mushroom Wisdom is a synergistic blend of concentrated hot water extract with whole fruiting body. Research has shown Lion’s Mane may support healthy brain function.

Phosphatidylserine This chemical compound maintains cellular functions—particularly in the brain. The body can make it and also obtains it from foods. Available as a supplement (typically made from cabbage or soy), it has been shown to significantly improve memory function, though improvements may only last a few months. Wheatgrass These green sprouts are rich in vitamin K, vitamin C, and folate, which aid in brain cell growth, support normal brain cell functioning, and help produce two neurotransmitters—dopamine and norepinephrine. These help increase alertness and can improve your ability to concentrate and recall memories. [Note: Consult your healthcare professional before taking wheatgrass if you take anticoagulants.] —Dave Clarke “Components of a Mediterranean Diet and Their Impact on Cognitive Functions in Aging” by S. Huhn et al., Front Aging Neurosci, 6/15 ● “Dietary Flavanols Reverse Age-Related Memory Decline,” Columbia University Medical Center, 10/26/14 ● “The Effect of Curcumin (Turmeric) on Alzheimer’s Disease . . .” by S. Mishra and K. Palanivelu, Ann Indian Acad Neurol, 1-3/08 ● “Eight Nutrients to Protect the Aging Brain,” Institute of Food Technologists, ScienceDaily, 4/15 ● “Garlic Reduces Dementia and Heart-Disease Risk” by C. Borek, J Nutr, 3/06 ● “Improving Effects of the Mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on Mild Cognitive Impairment . . .” by K. Mori et al., Phytother Res, 3/09 ● “Long-term Consumption of Fish Oil Partially Protects Brain Tissue from Age-related Neurodegeneration” by M. Firlag et al., Postepy Hig Med Dosw, 2/15 ● “Omega-3 Supplementation Improves Cognition and Modifies Brain Activation in Young Adults” by I. Bauer et al., Hum Psychopharmacol, 3/14

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e ve r y d a y r e m e d i e s

bad breath (halitosis)

What is it? Disagreeable mouth odor; can be chronic. What causes it? Certain foods such as onions, garlic; food particles trapped in and around teeth; infections in the mouth, nose, sinuses, or throat. Some diseases and medications can cause “dry mouth,” which leads to a decrease in saliva production and a greater risk of bad mouth odors.

Oral Care: Brush after every meal, and floss at least once a day. Thoroughly clean any dental appliances. Brush your tongue.

Lifestyle: Drink lots of water. Avoid foods and drinks that cause bad breath, especially sticky, sugary treats. Get dental checkups at least once or twice a year.

Herbal Therapy: Chamomile and peppermint teas; tea tree oil toothpaste; goldenseal, barberry, and turmeric tinctures can be used daily as mouthwashes.

Supplements: Alfalfa, cat’s claw, and hawthorn are available in capsule or tablet form. “Bad Breath,” www.MayoClinic.org, 12/18/2012 ● Prescription for Herbal Healing by Phyllis A. Balch ($23.95, Avery, 2002)

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healthy glow

essential beauty secret healthy fats heal the skin Let’s get real for a minute. We want to be healthy, but most of us want to look healthy too. Fortunately, the same essential fatty acids (EFAs) you are already taking to support the health of your heart and brain can also impart a healthy glow.

An essential overview

an antimicrobial effect against P. acnes bacteria. Remember that the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA help to soothe inflamWhen it comes to EFAs, remember that you already get mation, which will help smooth the way to clear skin. enough omega 6s through your diet from vegetable oils and prepared foods. Except for gamma linolenic acid (GLA), Eczema excess omega-6 fats lead to inflammation, which Eczema has been linked with diets that favor is a factor in skin conditions that involve redness, omega-6 fats at the expense of omega 3s. flaking skin, or pain. On the other hand, omega-3 omegas Correcting this imbalance could be the answer for skin fats including EPA and DHA help resolve inflamif you suffer from eczema. In one study, particprotection mation. You can get omega-3 ALA from flax and ipants receiving 5.4 grams (g) of DHA daily for omega-3 fats walnut oils; EPA and DHA are found in fish oil. eight weeks had significant clinical improveincrease sunburn ments in eczema symptoms versus the group Acne threshold of skin who did not take DHA. Other research shows Acne is a combination of inflammation, Propionand promote the benefits of both GLA from evening primrose the death of ibacterium acnes (P. acnes) bacteria, and horoil and the omega-3 fat DHA. melanoma cancer mones. Although often associated with the teen cells. years, adults can be troubled by this condition Wrinkles well past puberty, and men tend to experience With long winters, in which we are either more extreme cases of acne than women. Forjammed inside buildings warmed with dehydrating air or tunately, essential fats can help keep skin clear. Laboratory abused by cold, blustery winds outside, the skin on our research shows that EFAs, particularly EPA and GLA, have faces and hands can take a beating. As we age, we also 24

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beautiful salad oils Avocado oil contains 13 percent polyunsaturated fatty acids. Hemp seed oil is a balanced source of omega 3s and 6s, without boosting levels of inflammatory arachidonic acid. Drizzle these tasty oils on salads or veggies.

might see a few more lines when we look in the mirror. Luckily, research shows that in as little as 12 weeks, supplementation with 500 milligrams evening primrose oil capsules three times daily can improve skin moisture levels, elasticity, firmness and smoothness along with decreased water loss through skin. —Lisa Petty Beautiful!

Lisa Petty, ROHP, is a nutrition and healthy living expert for TV and radio, an awardnominated journalist, and an author who has shared her unique perspective with thousands of people through her workshops, lectures, coaching, and extensive writing. She is the author of Living Beauty: Feel Great, Look Fabulous & Live Well, a modern guide to feeling younger at any age. Her website is www.LiveVibrantly.ca.

“Antibacterial Activity of Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Against Propionibacterium acnes . . .” by A.P. Desbois and K.C. Lawlor, Mar Drugs, 11/13/13 ● “Cell Cycle Arrest and Apoptosis of Melanoma Cells by Docosahexaenoic Acid . . .” by A.P. Albino et al., Cancer Res, 8/00 ● “Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) Supplementation in Atopic Eczema . . .” by C. Koch et al., Br J Dermatol, 4/08 ● “Hass Avocado . . . Potential Health Effects” by M.L. Dreher and A.J. Davenport, Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr, 2013 ● “Healing Fats of the Skin: The Structural and Immunologic Roles of the Omega-6 and Omega-3 Fatty Acids” by M.M. McCusker and J.M. Grant-Kels, Clin Dermatol, 7-8/2010 ● “The Opposing Effects of n-3 and n-6 Fatty Acids” by G. Schmitz and J. Ecker, Progress in Lipid Research, 3/08 ● “The Potential of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in the Prevention of Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer” by H.S. Black and L.E. Rhodes, Cancer Detect Prev, 7/26/06 ● “Review of Evidence for Dietary Influences on Atopic Dermatitis” by S. Mohajeri and S.A. Newman, Skin Therapy Lett, 7-8/14 ● “Systemic Evening Primrose Oil Improves the Biophysical Skin Parameters . . .” by R. Muggli, Int J Cosmet Sci, 8/05

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lifestyle

running reality going the distance–or not

Running is like eating fruit — people do it because it’s healthy. But how much fruit is too much? Some might say the sugar in fruit makes it bad for you, while others depend on this nutritious snack.

Running is similar: It’s about a balanced approach. There are many health benefits to this cardiovascular activity. However, too much running or running with improper technique can lead to negative effects. You don’t need to run marathons for good results, but the right amount can greatly benefit your body. A boom with benefits Running improves cardiovascular health and bone density, which entices many people to add it to their routine. It’s also a great way to manage weight; compared to other activities, it is one of the quickest calorie burners there is. Running contributes to mental health as well. It promotes the release of endorphins, which makes people feel energetic and happy. This is what creates the “runner’s high.” You may think that running will tire you out, but it often does just the opposite—providing energy instead. Paths to avoid If you develop a running-related injury, it can sometimes be difficult to heal. According to a recent study, up to 79 percent of runners—novice or advanced—will sustain a running-related injury in any given year. These include fractures and sprains often caused by improper technique. Being coached by a physical therapist or running coach can help you avoid this path, but overuse injuries can still become an issue. Many runners fight through all sorts of discomfort, but skin, joint, and mental wounds can escalate. Simple blisters can lead to serious pain, and lower back pain is often a distance-running downfall. Lightheadedness can also occur, along with extreme fatigue or exhaustion. It is important not only to run properly, but to be aware of how your body is feeling at all times, and to slow down or stop when anything doesn’t feel right. “Running through the pain” —Diana Pimer isn’t the best policy. Diana Pimer is a college athletics coach and trainer and holds a bachelor’s degree in exercise science. “The Pros and Cons of Running,” www.DrWeil.com ● “Running: Improving Form to Reduce Injuries,” Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 08/15

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herbal healing

mighty green tea

going green for better health Every cup of tea you pour contains powerful antioxidants. Although black tea and green tea originate from the same plant, differences in processing result in green tea having much higher levels of plant compounds called catechins. These catechins are antioxidants that can deactivate harmful free radicals that otherwise would damage the body at the cellular level and set the stage for numerous diseases.

The primary catechin superstar in green tea is called EGCG (short for epigallocatechin gallate). Considering that one cup is not enough to get the most out of the healthy benefits of EGCG, supplementing with green tea extract makes sense—especially if you are interested in one of the following health perks from green tea.

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acid called L-theanine. Certain neurotransmitters (namely serotonin and dopamine) experience a favorable change after people ingest L-theanine, which produces a feeling of relaxation, but without any loss of clear thinking. This gentle relaxation means that L-theanine supplements can be used as a nonaddictive and natural sleep aid. This nondrowsy, relaxed feeling also means that this supplement can be beneficial during the day for people with stress. For example, in one study with university students who were experiencing a stressful time in their studies, L-theanine supplements (compared to dummy pills) lessened anxiety. This was documented by a biomarker of stress in the saliva (called alpha-amylase), as well as self-reports of stress by the students.

When it comes to losing a few pounds, green tea extract offers some well-researched hope in a bottle. For starters, green tea quickens the body’s rate of burning calories. In addition, EGCG squelches the “hunger hormone” called ghrelin. This means people supplementing with EGCG don’t generally feel as hungry as they would without EGCG, which pays off when it comes time to weigh-in. When 115 overweight women were given a daily supplement of either EGCG (856 mg per pill) or a placebo pill, the EGCG group saw a definite slimdown. By the end of the 12-week study, taking EGCG produced an average weight loss of 2.5 pounds, even though there were no diet or exercise changes. Even better? The EGCG targeted belly fat, since the women measured smaller waist circumferences by the end of the study period.

Kind to the ticker

Relax and unwind

Blood sugar in balance

Green tea contains another interesting compound: an amino

Diabetes rates continue to rise, with more than one in every

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Healthy hearts and green tea go hand in hand. Drinking even just a cup or two of tea each day slashes the risk of heart disease and stroke for both men and women. Similarly, supplements of EGCG (from either black tea or green tea) bring significant cardiovascular benefits in terms of lower blood pressure, reduced LDL cholesterol, and other cardiovascular risk factors.

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going the distance Research into green tea’s antioxidants (namely EGCG) has also shown positive results in terms of the following health benefits: ✔ Protects against cancer ✔ Helps detoxify the body ✔ Slows the aging process ✔ Lowers total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels ✔ Lowers the risk of stroke ✔ Fights cavities and gingivitis ✔ Boosts immunity ✔ Aids digestion ✔ Defends against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s ✔ Lowers blood pressure ✔ Keeps skin looking younger, for longer

10 adults diagnosed (and for those 65+ the numbers are a shocking one in four). Looking at beverage choices in a large study while tracking health parameters, researchers discovered that drinking green tea had an inverse relationship to the risk of developing diabetes. Additional research shows that regularly including green tea in the diet lowers blood sugar levels. Whether it’s by the cup or by the capsule—green tea and green tea extract is a surefire way to support wellness. —Victoria Dolby Toews Victoria Dolby Toews, MPH, has been a health journalist for more than two decades; her latest book is Life After Baby: Rediscovering and Reclaiming Your Healthy Pizzazz (Basic Health Publications, 2012).

“Anti-stress Effect of Theanine on Students During Pharmacy Practice . . .” by K. Unno et al., Pharmacol Biochem Behav, 2013 ● “Association of Green Tea Consumption with Mortality Due to All Causes . . .” by E. Saito et al., Ann Epidemiol, 2015 ● “Green and Black Tea for the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease” by L. Hartley et al., Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2013 ● “Having a Promising Efficacy on Type II Diabetes, It’s Definitely a Green Tea Time” by H. Jiao et al., Curr Med Chem, 2015 ●“In Search of a Safe Natural Sleep Aid” by T.P. Rao et al., J Am Coll Nutr, 2015 ● “Long-term Tea Intake Is Associated with Reduced Prevalence of (Type 2) Diabetes Mellitus . . .” by D.B. Panagiotakos et al., Yonsei Med J, 2009 ● “The Relationship Between Green Tea and Total Caffeine Intake and Risk for Self-Reported Type 2 Diabetes . . .” by H. Iso et al., Ann Int Med, 2006 ● “Therapeutic Effect of High-Dose Green Tea Extract on Weight Reduction . . .” by I.J. Chen et al., Clin Nutri, 5/29/15

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postscript

Preserving our “Essence”

Jason Miller, LAc, MAcOM, is a graduate of the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine in Portland, OR. He is cofounder of Jade Mountain Medicine in Ashland, OR, and trains health professionals in the collaborative management of cancer and chronic disease for the Mederi Foundation. He also lectures around the country on herbal medicine and chronic disease. Learn more at www. JadeMountainMedicine.com.

Hormones are packets of information that are used for communication between the organ networks of the human body. We know that the thyroid hormones direct the metabolic rate of the body, that testosterone signals the rebuilding of muscle and bone, and that the adrenals are a part of our stress response system. However, the web of hormonal interactions in our bodies is a complex network we have only begun to understand. Whether observing the body as a whole or examining our blood under a microscope, we find that aging causes deficiencies in certain essential substances. We can measure our reproductive hormone levels as they begin to decline; our skin visibly begins to lose its elasticity, our bones lose density, and our muscle mass wanes. From the roots of traditional Chinese medicine comes the concept of “Essence,” the central formative substance of the human body. It is the material that we transform into our “essential substances”: bone marrow, blood, hormones, body fluids, brain matter, and neurological tissue. We have a finite amount of Essence to work with, and our daily choices affect how we use it. We can burn it up quickly or we can conserve it. We obtain some Essence through breathing clean air, and through the efficient digestion of nutrient-rich foods, but not enough to counteract the loss we experience through the stress of everyday life. During conditions of acute stress we use up our Essence rapidly, often in the form of adrenaline and noradrenaline. Under the influence of chronic stress, our ability to conserve the Essence we have is diminished, as our stress hormones, primarily cortisol, demand Essence for their manufacture. We can’t take stress out of our lives entirely, but we can change the way we respond to stress. By avoiding stressful situations, being less reactive to stressors in our lives, and by implementing stress-reduction strategies, we can slow the decline of our Essence and preserve our hormone levels. Here is a list of some of my favorite stress-reducing techniques: Meditation ■ T’ai chi and Qigong ■ Deep, conscious breathing ■ Yoga ■ Artistic expression ■ Emotional resolution ■

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