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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Early Risers Not As Alert As Night Owls

Early birds may be chipper in the morning, but they mentally wear out faster, a new brain-scan study reveals. Scientists monitored the brain activity of self-described early birds and night owls in a sleep lab.

The team, led by Christina Schmidt of the University of Liège in Belgium, also took hourly saliva samples to measure the sleepers' levels of melatonin, a hormone thought to help naturally regulate sleep cycles in mammals.

Both night owls and early birds were allowed to stay on their preferred sleep schedules, but each group was awake for the same number of hours each day. Read the entire article.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Appetite Control in Weight Loss

Though there has not been much research in the United States on aromatherapy, more research has been done in Europe indicating that the use of scent can affect physical and psychological changes in humans.

One study done in the United States found that inhalation of certain aromas appeared to be able to induce sustained weight loss over a six-month period. The research was published in the Journal of Neurological and Orthopedic Medicine and Surgery (1995).

The study involved over 3,000 subjects and Alan R. Hirsch, M.D., neurologist and director of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, Illinois conducted it. Dr. Hirsch wanted to see if smelling pleasant food aromas would help reduce appetite and food cravings in people, thereby helping them lose weight by reducing their food intake.

Subjects were given plastic nasal inhalers scented with banana, green apple and peppermint. They sniffed the inhalers before, during and between meals. They recorded how often they sniffed. It was found that those who sniffed more frequently lost weight faster than those who did not.

Dr. Hirsch explained that it worked because "Odors have a direct effect on the satiety center in the brain, which is the area that tells your body when you've had enough to eat." Continual exposure to pleasant food aromas indicates to the brain that the body is satisfied and does not need to eat. It was shown in the study that there was successful weight loss.

Maybe that's why Grapefruit Essential Oil has helped with weight loss? I have used Peppermint Essential Oil while driving to stay awake and it also takes my ravenous driving appetite away. A study led by Dr. Mark Norrish at Coventry University in the UK, and published in the International Journal of Psychophysiology in 2004, found that peppermint oil was effective in reducing day-time sleepiness.




Peppermint Essential Oil

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Different Perspective on Heart Health

by Steven H. Horne, RH (AHG)

When someone says “heart,” does it conjure up the image of a pump? Most likely not. While Western science has told us that the organ beating inside our chests is just a pump, our cultural use of the word heart suggests the “heart” is much more. For instance:

* We talk about “giving our heart” to someone when we fall in love.
* We feel our “heart breaking” when relationships end.
* We say “take heart” to encourage someone.
* We “take things to heart” when we allow them to affect us emotionally.
* We “have a heart” when we exhibit compassion for others.
* We “harden our heart” when we emotionally lose good feelings for someone because of hurt and betrayal.
* We refer to love and relationships as “matters of the heart.”

All of these examples show that subjectively, we experience our heart as much more than a mechanical pump for blood. The heart is deeply connected with feelings and relationships with others. However, when the heart is diseased, most of us tend to completely ignore this deep emotional experience of the heart and act as if our feelings have little or nothing to do with the health of our heart.

I believe that when it comes to treating heart problems, addressing these emotional and relationship issues is just as important as working on the heart nutritionally. I have often told people that “the heart knows things the brain does not.” I know this because 22 years ago I started working with emotional healing. I’ve had a lot of success working with clients on both the emotional and physical levels at the same time, but have lacked the objective language to explain some of what my heart understands.

Recently, however, I came across a book called The Secret Teachings of Plants: The Intelligence of the Heart in the Direct Perception of Nature by Stephen Harrod Buhner. This remarkable book provided me with the understanding I needed to vocalize the truths my own heart had been teaching me. The fact is, science has confirmed our heart is much more than a pump. Let me share what I’ve learned. Read the entire article.

I've personally been using herbs for the heart for many years avoiding any prescription drugs. My favorite is Hawthorn Berries. I love the taste of the glycerin extract. Any of the products mention in this very enlightening and informational article can be found at The Herbs Place.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

How Acne Works

There are around 17 million people in America who woke up this morning, shuffled into the bathroom, looked at themselves in the mirror and yelled, "Aw, come on!" Then, many of them started scrubbing, washing, peeling and picking at their faces in their attempts to rid themselves of their acne.

Most of these acne sufferers are teenagers and twentysomethings. However, the good times don't always end with the passing of adolescence -- adults get acne, too. In this cruel world, even babies get it. At some point in our lives, most of us will experience the unpleasantness of acne.

­Acne can take many forms, which we'll discuss in this article: whiteheads, blackheads, pimples and even large, cystlike masses. It's caused essentially by the blocking of one of the hair follicles in your skin. As infection deepens and pressure grows behind this clog, a pus-filled bump forms on top of your skin -- the dreaded pimple. In a moment, we'll take a more in-depth look at how your skin functions when things are running smoothly (and not-so-smoothly). Read the entire article.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Bad Weather Linked to Headaches

As if there weren't already enough reasons to curse fickle weather: a new study confirms it can trigger headaches.

For the 32 millions Americans who suffer from migraines, this may not come as a surprise. Weather-related headaches are a common complaint, and several smaller studies have hinted that variables like temperature and barometric pressure may play a role in causing painful outbreaks.

Now a survey of 7,054 patients admitted to emergency rooms in the Boston, Mass. area has confirmed the suspicion. For every 5 degree Centigrade (9 degrees Fahrenheit) increase in temperature, both migraine and non-migraine headache risk went up 7.5 percent over the next 24 hours.

For every 5 millimeters (.20 inches) of mercury drop in pressure, there was also a 6 percent increase in headache risk, though the effect showed up two to three days later. Drops in pressure typically happen as stormy weather moves in. Read the entire article.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Heart Health

A healthy cardiovascular system is essential for maintaining well-being and vitality. However, the health of the cardiovascular system is often undermined by risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, physical inactivity and diabetes. All of these contribute to coronary heart disease (CHD).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and is a major cause of disability. Almost 700,000 people die of heart disease in the U.S. each year. That is about 29% of all U.S. deaths.1

Fortunately, the threat of heart disease can be reduced or prevented by making healthy lifestyle choices that include daily exercise, not smoking, prudent eating, maintaining a healthy weight and reducing alcohol consumption.

Additionally, certain nutritional products can aid in supporting optimal cardiovascular system health. Coenzyme Q10, Cardio Assurance, Blood Pressurex and Super Omega-3 EPA provide healthful benefits.

Coenzyme Q-10 (Co-Q10) is a vitamin-like compound considered by some to be a “miracle nutrient.” It is present in virtually all cells, and is found in especially high concentrations in the heart, liver, kidneys and pancreas.2 Many studies suggest that Co-Q10 supports already-normal-range blood pressure levels. It also promotes a healthy heart muscle and plays a key role in energy production within cells. As an antioxidant, Co-Q10 scavenges free radicals, protects cardiac cells and promotes the regeneration of vitamin E, another heart-healthy antioxidant.

Levels of Co-Q10 decrease with age, which is why it is important to supplement the diet. Nature's Sunshine offers several nutritional supplements to help meet your daily Co-Q10 needs: Co-Q10 (30 mg), Co-Q10 Plus, and Co-Q10 75 mg softgels.

Nature's Sunshine's Cardio Assurance is formulated to support optimal heart function and cardiovascular system health. Hawthorn berries, resveratrol and vitamin K2 are the key ingredients.

Hawthorn berries contain flavonoids with potent antioxidant and heart protecting effects. Hawthorn flavonoids help keep blood vessels clear, relax and dilate blood vessels, and increase blood flow in the heart arteries.4-6

Studies indicate that resveratrol has promising heart-health benefits and may be the answer to the French Paradox. (Despite their high intake of fat, the French have a low incidence of heart issues.) Resveratrol may help inhibit platelet aggregation and promotes vasorelaxation.7-8

Vitamin K2 supports circulation already within a normal range by helping to keep the arteries clear. This important nutrient has emerged as a key factor in regulating calcium in the body. Adequate vitamin K2 consumption helps keep calcium out of the arteries and in the bones where it belongs.

Many supplements for hypertension on the market target only one or two underlying causes. Blood Pressurex targets many underlying causes to provide maximum support. The ingredients in Blood Pressurex help the body maintain blood pressure levels within a normal range by reducing oxidative stress, relaxing and strengthening blood vessels, and promoting blood flow.10-13

Super Omega-3 EPA softgels contain a blend of fish oils high in omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. Supportive but not conclusive research shows that daily consumption of 1 gram of fish oils from fish or fish oil supplements seems to decrease the risk of heart attack, stroke and the progression of atherosclerosis.14-15

According to one analysis, consuming dietary fish oil or taking fish oil supplements is associated with a 23% reduction in overall mortality and a 32% reduction in death from cardiovascular causes in people with or without cardiovascular disease.16 However, most American diets lack omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, the typical American consumes a disproportionate amount of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. The ratio typically ranges from 10:1 to 25:1 (omega-6 to omega-3); a preferable ratio is closer to 1:1. Super Omega-3 EPA softgels offer a convenient way to meet your daily omega-3 fish oil needs.

Related Articles:
Scientific Research - Omega 3's
Lowering Cholesterol With Fish Oil and Red Yeast Rice

1. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/
2. Jellin JM, Gregory PJ, Batz F, Hitchens K, et al. Pharmacist’s Letter/Prescriber’s Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. 8th ed. Stockton, CA: Therapeutic Research Faculty; 2006:pg 351.
3. Jellin JM, Gregory PJ, Batz F, Hitchens K, et al. Pharmacist’s Letter/Prescriber’s Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. 8th ed. Stockton, CA: Therapeutic Research Faculty; 2006:pg 350.
4. Al Makdessi S Sweidan H Mullner S Jacob R. Myocardial protection by pretreatment with Crataegus oxyacantha: an assessment by means of the release of lactate dehydrogenase by the ischemic and reperfused Langendorff heart. In: Arzneimittelforschung. 1996 Jan 46(1):25-7.
5. Chen ZY; Zhang ZS; Kwan KY; Zhu M; Ho WK; Huang Y. Endothelium-dependent relaxation induced by hawthorn extract in rat mesenteric artery. Life Sci. 1998 63(22):1983-91.
6. Schussler M Holzl J Fricke U. Myocardial effects of flavonoids from Crataegus species. In: Arzneimittelforschung. 1995 Aug 45(8):842-5.
7. Bertelli, A. A., Giovannini, L., Giannessi, D., Migliori, M., Bernini, W., Fregoni, M., and Bertelli, A. Antiplatelet activity of synthetic and natural resveratrol in red wine. Int J Tissue React. 1995;17(1):1-3.
8. Naderali, E. K., Smith, S. L., Doyle, P. J., and Williams, G. The mechanism of resveratrol-induced vasorelaxation differs in the mesenteric resistance arteries of lean and obese rats. Clin Sci (Lond) 2001;100(1):55-60.
9. Available at: http://www.americanheart.org
10. Visioli, E; Galli, C. "Oleuropein Protects Low Density Lipoprotein from Oxidation." Life Sci. 1994; 55(24):19651971.
11. Shafiq, J; Suzuki, S.; Itoh, T and Kuriyama, H. Mechanisms of vasodilation induced by NKH477, a water-soluble forskolin derivative, in smooth muscle of the porcine coronary artery. Circulation Research, Vol 71, 70-81.
12. Mafffei Facino, R., Carini, M., Aldini, G., Bombardelli, E., Morazzoni, P., and Morelli, R. 1994. Free radicals scavenging action and anti-enzyme activities of procyanidines from Vitis vinifera, A mechanism for their capillary protective action. Arzneim-Forsch./ Drug Res. 44:592-601.
13. Lambert, TL ; Dev, V. ;Rechavia, E; Forrester, JS ; Litvack, F.; and Eigler, NL . Localized arterial wall drug delivery from a polymer-coated removable metallic stent. Kinetics, distribution, and bioactivity of forskolin. Circulation 1994 90: 1003-1011.
14. Burr ML, Fehily AM, Gilbert JF, et al. Effects of changes in fat, fish, and fiber intakes on death and myocardial reinfarction: diet and reinfarction trial (DART). Lancet 1989;2:757-61.
15. Bucher HC, Hengstler P, Schindler C, Meier G. N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in coronary heart disease: a metaanalysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Med 2002;112:298-304.
16. Yzebe D, Lievre M. Fish oils in the care of coronary heart disease patients: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Fundam Clin Pharmacol 2004;18:581-92.

This Material Was Created By Larisa Wright
Health Sciences Department
Nature's Sunshine Products

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Vitamin C Lower Risk Of Gout In Men

Men with higher vitamin C intake appear less likely to develop gout, a painful type of arthritis, according to a report in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

"Gout is the most common type of inflammatory arthritis in men," the authors write as background information in the article. "Epidemiologic studies suggest that the overall disease burden of gout is substantial and growing. The identification of the risk factors for gout that are modifiable with available measures is an important first step in the prevention and management of this common and excruciatingly painful condition."

Hyon K. Choi, M.D., Dr.P.H., then of University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and now of Boston University School of Medicine, and colleagues examined the relationship between vitamin C intake and gout in 46,994 men between 1986 and 2006. Every four years, the men completed a dietary questionnaire, and their vitamin C intake through food and supplements was computed. Every two years, participants reported whether they had been diagnosed with or developed symptoms of gout. Read the entire article.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Red Meat Increases Risk of Dying

People who eat red meat every day have a higher risk of dying over a 10-year period -- mostly because of cardiovascular disease or cancer -- than their peers who eat less red or processed meat, according to a new study of about half a million people.

People who ate the most red meat had about a 30 percent greater risk of dying than those who ate the least.

"This is the biggest and highest quality study like this," says Barry M. Popkin, Ph.D., from the University of North Carolina, who wrote an editorial accompanying the study, which was published Monday in Archives of Internal Medicine. "They collected the diet data very carefully, and it's saying to people, 'You don't have to eat red meat every day.' "

In the study, a research team led by Rashmi Sinha, Ph.D., from the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Maryland, looked at more than 500,000 people who were aged 50 to 71 when they enrolled in the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health study.

Over a 10-year period, people who ate the most red meat every day (about 62.5 grams per 1,000 calories per day, equivalent to a quarter-pound burger or small steak per day) had about a 30 percent greater risk of dying compared with those who consumed the least amount of red meat (a median of 9.8 grams per 1,000 calories per day). The excess mortality was mostly the result of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

The red meat in the study included all types of beef and pork, including bacon, cold cuts, ham, hamburgers, hot dogs, and steak, as well as meat in pizza, chili, lasagna, and stew. Read the entire article.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Buy, Sell or Trade Local Veggies

Have a bumper harvest of winter squash that's leaving you stumped in the kitchen? Or maybe you have a hankering for fresh, local broccoli rabe. Get your barter on at Veggie Trader, a free Web community that allows members to buy, sell, and trade greens with their neighbors. Check it out.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Silver Fights The Germ War

Antibiotics are becoming more potent and dangerous as their failure rate increases. They are also the cause of new strains of superbugs, like MRSA. Health care costs are rocketing out of control and bioterrorism is a real threat. We've stocked up on this item because of it's effective for many health ailments.

With a variety of viral flu outbreaks, e-coli contamination, and a host of other potential pandemics that create a strain on health in America, the new Silver Shield solution and gel offers a fighting chance in germ warfare.

"Silver has undergone rigorous testing and has been found to kill anthrax, bubonic plague, hospital staph and SARS.  In short, we currently do not have anything with such a wide spectrum of efficacy in our inventory."
General P.K. Carlton, M.D., Director of Integrative Center for Homeland Security

Silver provides a simpler and more economical solution for many health issues besides fighting any invaders that would challenge your immune system. Read the entire article.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Stress and Well-Being Quick Technique

The Quick Coherence Technique® helps you create a coherent state, offering access to your heart’s intelligence. It uses the power of your heart to balance thoughts and emotions, helping you to achieve a neutral, poised state for clear thinking. It is a powerful technique that connects you with your energetic heart zone to help you release stress, balance your emotions and feel better fast.

The technique is a rapid three-step tool that is a great first step for shifting into coherence and experiencing a sense of well-being, which are essential for creating personal confidence when building loving and lasting relationships. Write down the 3-step technique now. It only takes a minute to process through the 3 steps.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Outdoor Poison Exposure Concerns

Springtime brings new poison exposure dangers, warns the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC). Poisonous plants, snakes, pesticides and fuel products are just a few hazards of which consumers should be aware.

Nice weather prompts many people to begin planting and tending to a garden. The use of pesticides and fertilizers to supplement a green thumb, however, can pose potential hazards.

“Use your common sense when using pesticides,” explains AAPCC Board Member Edward P. Krenzelok, PharmD, director of the Pittsburgh Poison Center. “Always follow label directions and remember to keep children and pets away from pesticides.”

Dr. Krenzelok offered the following suggestions:

• Keep pesticides locked-up where children cannot see them or reach them.
• Keep pesticides in their original containers.
• Use child-resistant packaging properly by closing the container tightly after use.
• Wash thoroughly with soap and water after handling or using pesticides.

Nice weather means cutting the grass and as well as summer barbeques. As a result, fuels such as gasoline, kerosene and charcoal lighter fluid are often left around the yard. Always keep these products secure from children.

Not all mushrooms are poisonous, but they should never be eaten unless they have been certified safe by an expert. To protect children, check your yard regularly for mushrooms and dispose of any you find. Instruct children never to touch, taste or eat any outdoor mushrooms.

Warm weather inevitably brings out insect hordes. Wear a Medic-Alert bracelet if you suffer from a life-threatening allergic reaction to insect bites or stings.

In the spring, snakes emerge from their winter hibernation hungry for food and water. The best way to prevent snake bite is to avoid them – most people are bitten when trying to capture or otherwise disturb the creatures.

Poison control centers around the country are prepared to respond with information and treatment advice about springtime poison exposures. To reach a local poison center call 1-800-222-1222. More information about poison exposures may be found on the AAPCC’s Website at http://www.aapcc.org.

Editor's Note:
We personally switched from all the toxic chemicals for our yard and garden back when we started thinking our our son's little feet being on the poison-filled grass and his little hands playing in the poison-soaked dirt in our flower and vegetable beds.

Sure, you won't find your children or pets dead on the ground after exposure, but those warnings aren't on the bags and written in the above press release for nothing. These chemicals accumulate over time and research is now showing how much damage they are doing to humans, birds and other forms of wildlife.

Products are being made available in the large "big box" stores, so there's no excuse. The prices are sometimes the same, but even when they're more, consider the real cost of the product when you look down the road to it's side effects for your family and generations to come. We're in a green revolution. Hop in and enjoy the extremely gratifying ride of seeing the big picture of our choices.