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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Altered Water Increases Vitamin Absorption

From Whole Foods Magazine

A new study indicates that water that has been altered with the addition of a patented micelle catalyst (Willard Water, manufactured by CAW Industries) may enhance nutrient assimilation.

The three-month study aimed to measure the impact of two branded water drop-ins (Willard Water Dark XXX and Willard Water CLEAR) on the absorption rates of various vitamins in human subjects. It also aimed to determine if a measurable difference between the products’ effects on fat-soluble versus water-soluble vitamins could be observed.

Subjects were instructed to drink the altered water for 30 days and were tested for the absorption rates of vitamins in their bodies before and after the one month period. According to the study’s author, Hildegarde Staninger, Ph.D., the subjects demonstrated significant improvement .... Read the entire article.

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10 Home Health Remedies That Work

From AARP

We spend billions every year on over-the-counter health remedies for everything from canker sores to aching muscles, but in some cases there's no need to shell out a lot of money to find relief. All you need to do is check your cupboards for some surprising home remedies.

The 10 we picked are cheap, easy to find, and there's actual scientific proof that they work. Read now...

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Infants Affected by Fluoride in Water

This study shows that fluoride in the water system is causing adverse reactions in the youngest members of the population. An increasing number of people are affected by dental fluorosis, which occurs when the tooth enamel becomes brittle and discolored from fluoride.

While many health officials claim that fluoride prevents cavities and tooth decay, there is evidence that refutes this claim. Fluoride is actually a toxic substance that is formulated using leftover waste from the fertilizer industry.

It causes the bones and teeth to become weak and brittle, and there are also serious concerns that it causes cancer, brain and kidney damage, and a lower I.Q. Read the entire article.

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On SALE: Mood Elevator & Solstic Cardio

ON SALE - 02/26 - 03/03
Expires Saturday, March 03, 2012 at 11:15 PM MST


$2 OFF - $20.25
Buy 4 Get 1 FREE - $89.00

Its two key ingredients, bupleurum root and cyperus rhizome, support and nourish the liver, the organ (according to Chinese philosophy) that plays an integral role in mood. When the liver is functioning at its peak, positive mood may be maintained.


Buy 4 Get 1 FREE - $199.80
$5 OFF - $44.95

Solstic Cardio is formulated to provide maximum benefit to the cardiovascular system. It contains 5 grams of l-arginine per serving in a blend of minerals, amino acids and other ingredients that contribute to cardiovascular and immune health.

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Lipoic Acid and Cardiovascular Health

From Natural Products Foundation
By Giana Angelo, Ph.D.


What is Lipoic Acid?
Lipoic acid (LA), a compound synthesized in the body and obtained from food, is derived from a short-chain fatty acid. LA primarily serves as a critical cofactor, or assistant, in mitochondrial energy metabolism. At high concentrations, LA functions as an antioxidant, a metal-chelator, and in glucose metabolism.

Cardiovascular Disease
The antioxidant and metal-binding activities of LA may be particularly beneficial for diseases affected by oxidative stress and free-radical damage. Chief among such diseases is cardiovascular disease (CVD), referring to any abnormal condition affecting the heart and blood vessels that can progress to heart attack and stroke. CVD is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S.

Damage to blood vessels that supply the heart and brain with vital nutrients and oxygen is a common early event in CVD. Depending on the balance between injury and repair, these lesions can accumulate further damage, become constricted, and eventually result in a stroke or heart attack.

Research Findings
In cell culture and animal studies, LA exerts several positive effects on cardiovascular health. One benefit is LA’s metal-chelating capacity. By binding reactive iron and copper, LA interferes with the recruitment of immune cells to sites of injury in blood vessel walls, a crucial initiating event in atherosclerosis. LA can also influence blood lipid profiles in animal models. For example, feeding LA to rats prevented diet-induced abnormalities in triglycerides and HDL, thereby significantly modifying known risk factors for CVD. Very limited research in humans suggests that LA supplementation improves blood vessel function in high-risk CVD patients.

Recommendations
The levels of LA needed to exert metabolic effects are not commonly achieved dietarily because LA from food is not readily absorbed. Supplemental LA is absorbed with higher efficiency; on an empty stomach, 30-40% of doses over 50 mg are absorbed.

Because it is not considered an essential nutrient, there are no formal dietary requirements for LA. Scientists at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University (LPI) are investigating the mechanisms underlying the observed benefits of LA and conducting clinical studies to evaluate the effects of LA in humans. In the meantime, the LPI Rx for Health suggests that healthy adults over age 50 may consider taking a daily LA supplement of 200-400 mg, doses that appear to be safe and without serious side effects. For more detailed information on lipoic acid, please visit the LPI Micronutrient Information Center at: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/othernuts/la.

About Natural Products Foundation: NPF is a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit corporation. For more information visit the Foundation online: naturalproductsfoundation.org.

Story Source: Giana Angelo, Ph.D. received her bachelor's degree in Biology from Cornell University, and her master's degree in Human Nutrition and doctoral degree in Cell and Molecular Nutrition from Tufts University. She performed her postdoctoral research in the Division of Basic Sciences at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. Currently, Dr. Angelo is a Research Associate at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR.


Get more information on Alpha Lipoic Acid from Nature's Sunshine Products.

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Chronic Disease - The Invisible Illness

by Richard M. Cohen

Some argue that literally half the population — roughly 150 million of us — deals with some sort of chronic condition. How do we account for such rampant growth?

The most obvious explanation is that the vast cohort of baby boomers — those born between 1946 and 1964 — is aging, with the first boomers turning 65 this year. Eighty percent of all people over 65 have a chronic condition.

As a result, vast numbers of us live with chronic illnesses, and our needs are too little understood. Often, our illnesses or disabilities are invisible to the world around us. That may be why some people do not really believe we are really sick. But you look so good, becomes our inside joke. Read the entire article.

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Olive Oil Protects Against Stroke

From AARP

Countless studies have already demonstrated the benefits of olive oil in protecting against high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and other conditions that contribute to heart disease, but this is the first one to look at the effect of olive oil on strokes. Read the entire article.

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

On SALE: DHA & Mineral Chi Tonic

ON SALE - 02/19 - 02/25
Expires Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 11:15 PM MST


DHA - Buy Now
$2 OFF - $16.75
Buy 4 Get 1 FREE - $75.00

in the brain is DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)—an essential fatty acid. DHA is vital to brain development and maintenance. It can only be obtained through the diet or with supplementation. Supplementation with NSP DHA can help maintain the brain and support the entire nervous system. It can also benefit ocular health by improving the integrity of retinal cell membranes.

MINERAL CHI TONIC - Buy Now
Buy 4 Get 1 FREE - $111.80
$2 OFF - $25.95

Chinese Mineral-Chi Tonic features liquid trace minerals and nine carefully combined Chinese tonic herbs to help light up and nourish the body's energy system.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Nuts Offer Significant Health Benefits

Data from the University of Toronto show that replacing 50 grams of carbs (about a muffin's worth) in your diet with 2.5 ounces of nuts each day helps control blood glucose in people with type 2 diabetes.

Mice that ate a walnut-rich diet (the equivalent of 2 ounces daily in humans) were half as likely to develop breast cancer as those that didn't eat nuts, according to another study.

And when researchers recently pooled the results of 25 clinical trials, they found that eating 2.4 ounces of any kind of nuts a day lowered ... Read the entire article.

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Laughter Helps Depression & Insomina

A Korean study compared the effects of a four-week laughter therapy program with a control group (no laughter therapy) on measures of depression, insomnia, sleep quality, thinking (cognitive) function, and health-related quality of life in 109 senior citizens (average age 75 years).

At the end of the four weeks, depressive symptoms improved significantly among the people in the laughter group, but not in the control group. People in the laughter group had significant improvements in some measures of health-related quality of life, including vitality, general health, and mental health.

Sleep quality and insomnia also improved significantly after laughter therapy. No changes in cognitive function were noted in either group. Read the entire article.

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Suppressed Anger Creates Health Issues

Find Strength Flower Esssence Blend
By Steven Horne


Anger is the emotion that allows us to protect ourselves. Anger allows us to say “no” to people and situations that aren’t good for us. It allows us to protect ourselves and from those who would harm us, including the people we love.

However, sometimes people get the idea that anger is a bad emotion, period, which causes them to suppress their anger in unhealthy ways. When anger is suppressed, a person tends to sacrifice their own needs trying to please others and fails to take healthy care of themselves.

Suppressing anger causes a person to lose their personal will power. It turns them into easy prey for those who take advantage of others. It allows others to “leach” off of a person, which ultimately drains the person with suppressed anger’s energy. Low energy manifests as feelings of chronic fatigue, discouragement, loss of enthusiasm and joy in life, and ultimately full-blown depression.

The body’s ability to fight infection and detoxify becomes compromised in the person who suppresses their anger. Their lack of a healthy immune “shielding” can result in frequent infections, parasitic invasions, auto-immune disorders and cancer. Detoxification may also be compromised resulting in toxicity, constipation, bladder problems, liver and gall bladder diseases and environmental illness.

Suppressing anger also creates shallow breathing and a hiatal hernia. Holding back anger creates tension in the neck and shoulders which can result in frequent headaches and ultimately a “hunched over” defeated posture.
The Find Strength remedy is helpful for “people pleasers” and enablers, who tolerate abuse and neglect instead of standing up for themselves. It helps people to set healthy boundaries for others and have the courage to communicate openly and honestly in relationships. These benefits are created by the following flower essences.....

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

On SALE: Blood Pressurex, Dark Chocolate & Vit. D3

ON SALE - 02/12 - 02/18

Expires Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 11:15 PM MST


BLOOD PRESSUREX - Buy Now
Buy 4 Get 1 FREE - $87.80
$2 OFF - $19.95

Blood Pressurex is an excellent blend of essential and natural ingredients that can help your body maintain proper blood pressure levels.

NATURE'S SWEET LIFE PLAIN / DARK CHOCOLATE BARS - Buy Now
Buy 2 Get 1 Free - $97.90

Indulge in delicious chocolate without the calories and oral detriment of sugar. Unlike typical candy bars, these chocolate bars provide nutrients that benefit the body.  Our plain dark chocolate bar is packed with antioxidants and sweetened with all-natural xylitol.

VITAMIN D3, 2000 IU - Buy Now
Buy 4 Get 1 FREE - $34.00
$1 OFF - $7.50

Vitamin D is vital to the health of your skeletal and immune System. The body manufactures this essential vitamin through sun exposure, making it difficult to obtain adequate amounts of vitamin D during the cloudy winter months or when sunscreen is used.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Healing Power of Sweet Potatoes

by June Mims

The healing power of the sweet potato: another good food that has received a bad name, taking blame for weight gain. The sweet potato is one of the most nutritious foods you can eat.

It can help preserve your memory, control diabetes and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Sweet potatoes are more than just a filling food.

Scarlet O'Hara had a 19-inch waist, which she kept by eating the sweet potato her nanny prepared for her before filling up on party fare. She could truthfully say, "Why I can't eat a thing!" Read the entire article.

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The Invisible Diseases

by Richard M. Cohen

If you don't believe that health is life's most precious gift, go to one who does not know if he or she will sit at the table with those they love next year. The sick may have learned to live in the moment in ways few others understand. We have no choice. We have nowhere else to go, no matter who or where we are.

Life is precious. The sick understand that as well as anyone. Nothing lasts forever. We have figured that out, too. What is gone in my life, even with all the uncertainty and hardship, helps me focus on what is still there ... Read the entire article.

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Anger Used As a Weapon

Keep Cool Flower Essence Blend
By Steven Horne


Anger is a natural emotional response to something that threatens our safety and well-being. For many people, however, anger becomes a weapon they use to try to control other people through threats and intimidation. They feel that if others don’t conform to their wishes, they have a right to be angry and irritated.

Using anger in this manner is always a sign of a lack of love and respect for the rights of others. Used in this way anger destroys relationships, drives people away and ultimately becomes a self-destructive force in a person’s life.

The Keep Cool remedy is a blend of seven flower essences that are helpful for people who are easily irritated, impatient with others and tend to lose their temper. It helps a person be more receptive to other people’s points of view and work for cooperation, rather than competition, in relationships. It promotes forgiveness of past hurts, tolerance for differences, acceptance of others, and facilitates more open and loving communication.

Here are the seven flower essences in this blend and what they do to help a person not to “lose their cool.”

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Sunday, February 5, 2012

On SALE: Hawthorn Berries & Vitamin E

ON SALE - 02/05 - 02/11

Expires Saturday, February 11, 2012 at 11:15 PM MST


HAWTHORN BERRIES (100 CAPSULES) - Buy Now
$1 OFF - $8.35
Buy 4 Get 1 FREE - $37.40

Hawthorn is especially popular in Europe, where it is used in a number of herbal tinctures, herbal combinations and teas. The berries' effects on the circulatory system have been researched in Europe.
Certain chemical constituents in the berries seem to enhance enzyme metabolism and oxygen utilization in the heart muscle.

VITAMIN E COMPLETE W/ SELENIUM (60 GEL CAPS) - Buy Now
Buy 4 Get 1 FREE - $69.80
$2 OFF - $15.45

Vitamin E and selenium are antioxidants. They work together to help quench free radicals that form as byproducts of metabolic activity and as a result of exposure to damaging environmental chemicals. Both nutrients play key roles in the production of certain enzymes that are needed to maintain overall health, prevent premature aging and keep tissue supple.

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Immune Health and the Gut

by Dr. William J. Keller

If you have done some reading on the immune system lately, you know that immunity involves a complex network of specialized cells and organs that evolved to defend the body against attacks by foreign invaders such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and other parasites.

The two basic kinds or types of immunity are termed innate and acquired. Innate immunity, also known as genetic or species immunity, represents a wide range of immune protective factors that a person is born with. In contrast, acquired immunity becomes part of the host defenses by means other than heredity. Within this category, immune protection can be acquired naturally or artificially.

Natural acquired immunity is developed through the recovery from a specific infectious disease while artificial acquired immunity occurs when the host receives a vaccine or antitoxin. This category can be further subdivided by using the terms
active (the host actively produces antibodies in response to a solution of antigens such as those in a vaccine) and passive (the host passively accepts preformed antibodies present in products such as an antitoxin).

When our immune system malfunctions, the consequences can range from microbial infections to cancer. Many nutritional supplement ingredients are effective in supporting immune system health. Some of the more popular and scientifically substantiated ingredients include:

1. Echinacea has been shown to stimulate the immune system by increasing the activity of certain immune cells and by promoting the release of cytokines (cellular communication and regulatory molecules) from these immune cells (1).

2. Elderberry contains flavonoid derivatives called anthocyanidins that appear to have immunomodulatory effects. These compounds in elderberry extract have been found to bind to viruses and block their ability to invade host cells (2). In this way, elderberry is thought to reduce the severity of viral flu symptoms.

3. Vitamin D3 has been known for quite some time as being important in supporting bone health. However, recently Vitamin D3 has also been shown to be a key component in enhancing the immune system. Sophisticated experiments have demonstrated that Vitamin D3 is essential for the activation of immune cells needed to seek out and destroy infectious invading microbes (3). Without this activation, infections such as influenza and the common cold appear to be more severe and longer lasting.

4. Scientific studies on ingredients such as zinc, Korean ginseng, Vitamin C, beta-glucans and arabinogalactans show that all of these enhance and improve the effectiveness of the immune system by increasing the protective activity of certain immune cells. Macrophages, neutrophils, NK (natural killer) cells and T-cells (T-lymphocytes) are responsible for attacking and neutralizing foreign, disease-causing microbes. Without the proper function of these immune cells, infectious diseases such as colds and the flu usually occur more frequently, are more severe, and have a longer duration.

As a pharmacy student and during my graduate school days, I was always interested in the concepts of immunology. However, back in those days, the association of immune function and the gut was either not mentioned or was discussed very superficially. Now that we understand how important a properly functioning gut is to the immune system, I’m fascinated by reading the many excellent scientific papers on this topic. A particularly intriguing aspect focuses on how gut bacteria may influence various disease processes while being involved with their beneficial role in digestion and metabolism.

In a previous Hot Topic paper, I described how the “Western diet”—high in fats and simple sugars—can reshape the gut microbial community (microbiome) and predispose humans to obesity and all of the health problems that accompany the obese state. Dietary fibers escape host digestion, but resident microbes in the distal gut (large intestine) metabolize these indigestible leftovers to yield short-chain fatty acids such as acetic, propionic and butyric acids. Not only do these acids contribute about 10% to our daily energy supply but they also impact the immune system.

Gut microbe-generated acetate interacts with immune cells to quiet an overactive immune system while propionic acid appears to promote the acquired immune response by acting on T-lymphocytes (4). Butyric acid is known to serve as an important energy source for gut endothelial cells thereby enhancing innate immunity.

We’re all familiar with the benefits of the polyphenolic antioxidants. Recently, it has been found that the well-known ellagic acid, present primarily in berries and nuts, is metabolized by gut microbes to a class of compounds known as the urolithins. Specific urolithins are thought to reduce inflammation and thus protect against cancer (5).

We have focused on a few important aspects of gut health as they relate to a properly functioning immune system. However, keep in mind that our gut microbes have long been known to be part of other processes such as food digestion and the production of essential micronutrients.

On the downside, our gut bacteria can be directly linked to medical conditions such as obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes and cancer. Therefore, I believe that it’s imperative that we continue toward a better understanding of this huge population of microbes that live in our gastrointestinal tract and other parts of our body. Another way of looking at this situation is that we are outnumbered. Believe it or not, the vast majority of cells that make up the human body are microbial cells.

References:
1. Echinacea. Pharmacist’s Letter/Prescriber’s Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. 8th ed. Stockton, CA: Therapeutic Research Faculty ; 2010. p. 605.
2. Elderberry. Pharmacist’s Letter/Prescriber’s Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. 8th ed. Stockton, CA: Therapeutic Research Faculty ; 2010. p. 615.
3. Von Essen MR, et al. Vitamin D controls T cell antigen receptor signaling and activation of human T cells. Nature Immunology. 2010; 11(4):344-349.
4. Fukuda S, et al. Bifidobacteria can protect from enteropathogenic infection through production of acetate. Nature. 2011 Jan 27;469(7331):543-547.
5. González-Sarrías A, et al. NF-kappaB-dependent anti-inflammatory activity of urolithins, gut microbiota ellagic acid-derived metabolites, in human colonic fibroblasts. British Journal of Nutrition. 2010 Aug;104(4):503-12.


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Parkinson's Disease and Pesticide Link

Parkinson's Alley in Sierra Club Magazine, Jan/Feb. 2012

Recent studies have found statistical links between pesticide use and an outbreak of Parkinson's disease in California farm towns. Researchers even know which chemicals are the likely culprits. What's the government doing about it? Not much. Read the entire article.

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Berries Hold Amazing New Health Potential

They’re finding that berries of all varieties—from strawberries and raspberries to goji and acai berries—may hold the key to combating cancer, dementia and other diseases.

Scientists recently reported the first human evidence that blueberries can boost memory and may even help ward off dementia.

Nine older adults with early memory decline drank two cups of a commercial blueberry juice every day for two months, while a control group drank a beverage without blueberry juice.

Tests taken before and after revealed that those who drank the blueberry juice showed improvement in learning and memory, leading researchers to conclude that blueberries may offer neurocognitive benefits. Read the entire article.

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