Tag Archives: antioxidants

Can we reduce the cancer risk?

CANCER

Cancer rates are projected to increase by 45% in the United Kingdom in the next 20 years? Why, with all our technology and medicine, is cancer over taking heart attack as the number 1 killer? Why, with all the money spent on cancer “research” and charities, is the medical community no closer to a cure?

Prevention should be the focus of medicine, yet more and more the focus is on drugs, surgery or poison. These “treatments” have been around for decades with more and more proof they do not work. As a society, we cannot sustain the cost of these “treatments” and the result of the harmful and debilitating side effects.

What if there was a way to give your body what it needed to fight disease and lessen your cancer risk? This is an article by Dr. Mercola explaining the cancer situation we face today. It is a lengthy article and gives a lot of detail, but it is a great way to educate yourself on being healthier without drugs.

Story at-a-glance

  • Cancer prevention strategies that need to become mainstream include: optimizing your vitamin D levels, normalizing your insulin levels, and exercise. Research shows you can likely cut your cancer-risk in half simply by optimizing your vitamin D levels with sun exposure. And if you are being treated for cancer it is likely that higher blood levels—probably around 70-100 ng/ml—would be beneficial
  • Cancer rates are projected to rise by 45 percent in the UK over the next 20 years due to population growth and an ageing population.
  • Global cost of cancer is estimated at $286 billion annually in medical expenses and lost productivity. According to a new report from a panel of 37 experts, the rate of increase in expenditure on cancer within health-care systems is unsustainable.
  • Ignoring the fact that cancer is likely a man-made disease caused primarily by toxic overload is at the heart of our rising cancer rates, yet most of the cancer research is directed towards expensive drugs that target late stages of the disease and greatly enrich the drug companies but simply do not prevent cancer.
  • Overlooked contributing factors to cancer include: chemical exposures, pharmaceutical drugs, processed and artificial foods, EMF and dirty electricity, radiation exposure, obesity, stress, poor sleeping habits, and lack of sunshine exposure.

Research in the UK suggests that the number of new cancer cases could rise 45 percent by 2030. Cancer Research UK, which funded the study, says that the National Health Service must act immediately to avoid being “overwhelmed”.

The research looked at 23 different types of cancer, and found an expected cancer increase of 55 percent for men and 35 percent for women.

BBC News reports:

“The rate of breast cancer is projected to fall by 7 percent. The authors attribute this to a recent reduction in the use of hormone replacement therapy, which is a risk factor for the disease. However the rates of malignant melanoma and kidney cancer are forecast to rise sharply in men and women.”

The primary reason for the rise in cancer cases is attributed to population growth in the UK and an increased aging population. Interestingly, while paying lip service to the necessity to create stronger initiatives for smoking, drinking, and obesity reduction. England’s Department of Health is planning to invest more than £750 million over the next four years to promote earlier cancer diagnosis and “better access to the latest treatments.”

sf_cancer_2_main

So in essence, they’re going to throw millions of pounds into an already broken system—the Cut, Poison, Burn paradigm—that does nothing to actually prevent cancer…No wonder cancer rates are projected to rise by 45 percent in the UK over the next 20 years!

New Study—Cost of Cancer Rapidly Becoming Unsustainable

Cancer now surpasses heart disease as the number one killer of Americans between the ages of 45 to 74. The odds are quite high that you or someone you know has cancer, is dying or has already died from it.

While life cannot be measured in dollars and cents, the financial burden of cancer is truly staggering. Currently, 12 million people worldwide are diagnosed with cancer each year, costing $286 billion annually in medical costs and lost productivity. By 2030, that number could increase to 22 million people each year, with a similar rise in costs.

According to a new report from a panel of 37 experts, the cost of cancer is rapidly becoming unsustainable in many developed countries. The report was published in the journal Lancet Oncology in September, and was covered in Time Magazine that same month.

According to the authors of the report:

“The burden of cancer is growing rapidly… This is not simply due to an increase in absolute numbers or need for optimized treatments, rather it relates to the unsustainable rate of increase in expenditure on cancer within health-care systems.

What are the drivers and solutions to the so-called cancer-cost curve in developed countries?  How are we going to afford to deliver high-quality and equitable care? In this Commission and the linked Comments, expert opinion from health-care professionals, policy makers, and cancer survivors has been gathered to address the barriers and solutions to delivering affordable cancer-care in high-income countries.”

The report wisely questions the value of expensive new therapies that prolong patients’ lives by mere months. Some cancer drugs, such as Avastin, for example, can cost upwards of $100,000 per year. At that price, even with insurance coverage, your co-payments can easily run as high as $20,000 a year.

This despite the fact that studies show the drug prolongs life by just a few months at best, and more recent studies have suggested the drug might be less effective against cancer than the FDA believed when it was approved. It also has potentially lethal side effects that might speed up your ultimate demise.

When the Treatment is worse than the Disease…

Perhaps more importantly, most conventional cancer treatments tend to add insult to injury by doing more harm than good — a fact that has been largely swept under the rug by the medical industry.

Meanwhile, the real culprits—the underlying causes—are completely ignored, and that is the root of the problem. The cancer industry has become a massive for-profit business that is doing everything in its power to maintain the status quo.

It is, quite simply, not interested in truly reducing cancer rates; it’s interested in treating cancer. From that perspective, the more cancer cases the better…

Getting to the Root of the Problem

Ignoring the fact that cancer is for the most part a disease triggered primarily by exposure to industrial toxins, the now well-trod path of the Cut-Poison-Burn model is taking us ever further AWAY from the solution.

The pharmaceutical researchers would like you to believe they’re doing everything they can to come up with a solution. Yet most of the cancer research is directed towards expensive drugs that target late stages of the disease and greatly enrich the drug companies but simply do not prevent cancer.

Clearly they’re not digging close enough to the root of the problem, because if they did, they’d touch on some of the lifestyle issues I’ll review below.

If ever there was an area in which an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure it is cancer. I firmly believe that if you’re able to work your way up to the advanced health plan, that you will virtually eliminate the risk of most cancers.

From my perspective, you ignore lifestyle factors at your own peril, as environmental- and lifestyle factors are increasingly being pinpointed as the primary culprits fueling our cancer epidemic.

An exhaustive list of contributing factors would be exceedingly long, but some of the more obvious ones are listed below.

  • Pesticide- and other chemical exposures
  • Processed and artificial foods (plus the chemicals in the packaging)
  • Wireless technologies, dirty electricity, and medical diagnostic radiation exposure
  • Pharmaceutical drugs
  • Obesity, stress, and poor sleeping habits
  • Lack of sunshine exposure and use of sunscreens

In the last 30 years the global cancer burden has doubled, and as predicted in the featured study, we’re looking at further dramatic increases—unless people begin to take cancer prevention seriously.

We believe we can turn this trend around, but to do so the medical community must stop overlooking the methods that can actually have a very real and significant impact.

Three cancer advancements in particular merit special mention, and it will be summarize as below. These advancements have not yet been accepted by conventional medicine, and they must be.

Vitamin D Plays a Crucial Role in Cancer Development

There’s overwhelming evidence indicating that vitamin D deficiency plays a crucial role in cancer development. Research has identified a number of vitamin D’s protective mechanisms against cancer, including:

  • Regulating genetic expression
  • Increasing the self-destruction of mutated cells (which, if allowed to replicate, could lead to cancer)
  • Reducing the spread and reproduction of cancer cells
  • Causing cells to become differentiated (cancer cells often lack differentiation)
  • Reducing the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing ones, which is a step in the transition of dormant tumors turning cancerous

Researchers within this field have estimated that about 30 percent of cancer deaths could be prevented annually simply by optimizing the vitamin D levels in the general population.

On a personal level, you can decrease your risk of cancer by MORE THAN HALF simply by optimizing your vitamin D levels with sun exposure. And if you are being treated for cancer it is likely that higher blood levels—probably around 70-100 ng/ml—would be beneficial.

If the notion that sun exposure actually prevents cancer is still new to you, I highly recommend you watch my one-hour vitamin D lecture to clear up any confusion; Dr. Michael Holick is one of the major vitamin D experts out there. In this video, he discusses vitamin D relating to bone and muscle health and the prevention of autoimmune and chronic diseases.

It’s important to understand that the risk of skin cancer from the sun comes only from excessive exposure. Meanwhile, countless people around the world have an increased risk of cancer because their vitamin D levels are too low due to utter lack of sun exposure.

sun exposed

Why We Need to Re-Embrace Sun Exposure

I strongly recommend optimizing your vitamin D levels with appropriate amounts of sun exposure because when your skin is exposed to the sun, in addition to creating vitamin D3 it also synthesizes high amounts of vitamin D sulfate and cholesterol sulfate—both of which are very important for heart- and cardiovascular health.

In fact, research by Dr. Stephanie Seneff suggests that heart disease may be a symptom of cholesterol sulfate deficiency, and healthy cholesterol and sulfur levels are both highly dependent on your vitamin D levels…

Vitamin D sulfate is a water soluble form of sulfur that can travel freely in your blood stream, making it readily available, while oral vitamin D3 is unsulfated, and therefore needs LDL (the so-called “bad” cholesterol) as a vehicle of transport.

Dr. Seneff’s suspicion is that the simple oral non-sulfated form of vitamin D may not provide as much of the same heart-healthy benefits as the vitamin D created in your skin from sun exposure, because it cannot be converted to vitamin D sulfate, and therefore will not improve your sulfur status.

Furthermore, sulfur deficiency also promotes obesity and related health problems like diabetes, so all in all, the importance of getting regular sun exposure simply cannot be overstated.

If you can’t get enough sun exposure during certain parts of the year, I advise using a safe tanning bed to allow your body to produce vitamin D naturally. Safe tanning beds have electronic ballasts and produce less UVA than sunshine.

A third option is taking a high-quality vitamin D supplement. According to the most recent findings by Carole Baggerly, founder of GrassrootsHealth, her research of nearly 10,000 people shows the ideal adult dose appears to be 8,000 IU’s a day to get most into the healthy range. Just remember to get your vitamin D levels tested regularly if you take an oral supplement.

Your Insulin Levels have a Direct Bearing on Your Cancer Risk

The second cancer prevention strategy that everyone needs to be aware of is the importance of normalizing your insulin levels. Aside from optimizing your vitamin D levels, normalizing your insulin levels is one of the most powerful physical actions you can take to lower your risk of cancer.

Unfortunately, very few oncologists appreciate or apply this knowledge today. The Cancer Centers of America is one of the few exceptions, where strict dietary measures are included in their cancer treatment program.

High levels of insulin can cause major damage to your body. The most recognized of these is diabetes, but cancer is another common side effect. The good news is that controlling your insulin levels is relatively straightforward:

  1. First and foremost, limit your intake of processed foods, grains and sugars/fructose as much as possible, and
  2. Exercise regularly especially Peak Fitness exercises

 

people group doing fitness exercise

people group doing fitness exercise

Exercise is Slowly Becoming More Recognized for its Cancer Prevention Potential

While exercise might not be at the top of most people’s lists of cancer prevention or treatment strategies, there is actually compelling evidence suggesting that exercise can indeed slash your cancer risk and improve recovery.

For example, physically active adults experience about half the incidence of colon cancer as their sedentary counterparts, and women who exercise regularly can reduce their breast cancer risk by 20 to 30 percent compared to those who are inactive.

Furthermore, Harvard Medical School researchers found that breast cancer patients who exercise moderately — 3-5 hours a week — reduce their odds of dying by about half as compared to sedentary women. In fact, any amount of weekly exercise increased a patient’s odds of surviving breast cancer.

One of the primary ways exercise lowers your cancer risk is by reducing elevated insulin levels, which creates a low sugar environment that discourages the growth and spread of cancer cells. Additionally, exercise improves the circulation of immune cells in your blood, which is your first line of defense against all disease, including cancer.

The trick though understands how to use exercise as a precise tool. It can be helpful to view exercise like a drug that needs to be carefully prescribed to achieve its maximum benefit.

You’ll want to include a large variety of techniques in your exercise routine, such as:

High-intensity, burst-type exercise, such as Peak 8. (Peak 8 are exercises performed three times a week, in which you raise your heart rate up to your anaerobic threshold for 20 to 30 seconds, and then you recover for 90 seconds)

  • Strength training
  • Aerobics
  • Core-building activities
  • Stretching
  • Other Cancer-Prevention Strategies

Please understand that you can do a lot, right now, to significantly decrease your cancer risk. Even the conservative American Cancer Society states that one-third of cancer deaths are linked to poor diet, physical inactivity, and carrying excess weight.

So, making the following healthy lifestyle changes can go a very long way toward ending the failure-streak and becoming one less statistic in this war against cancer:

Focus on fresh, whole organic foods, forgoing as many processed foods as possible. Aim to consume at least one-third of your food raw. Only 25 percent of people eat enough vegetables, so by all means eat as many vegetables as you are comfortable with. Cruciferous vegetables in particular have been identified as having potent anti-cancer properties.

When eating meat, make sure it’s grass-fed. Avoid CAFO beef and ALL processed meats, which have been clearly linked to increased cancer risk.

  • Get appropriate amounts of animal-based omega-3 fats. 
  • Have a tool to permanently erase the neurological short-circuiting that can activate cancer genes. Even the CDC states that 85 percent of disease is caused by emotions. It is likely that this factor may be more important than all the other physical ones listed here, so make sure this is addressed. My particular favourite tool for this purpose, as you may know, is the Emotional Freedom Technique. 
  • Maintain an ideal body weight. For my top 10 guidelines for normalizing your weight, please see this previous article. 
  • Get enough high-quality sleep. 
  • Reduce your exposure to environmental toxins like pesticides, household chemical cleaners, conventional personal care products, synthetic air fresheners and air pollution. 
  • Reduce your use of cell phones and other wireless technologies, and implement as many safety strategies as possible if/when you cannot avoid their use.
  • Boil, poach or steam your foods, rather than frying or charbroiling them.

What You Need to Know about Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia has been referred to as fibromyalgia syndrome, fibro myositis, and fibrositis. It is a recently named syndrome that affects 3% to 5% of the general population. It occurs in people of all ages and consists of several different and debilitating symptoms that affect a persons’ physical, mental, and social life. Men are affected but more women are diagnosed. Those with severe symptoms find it difficult or impossible to do even the most basic everyday tasks and up to ¼ of those diagnosed are work disabled. The first drug treatment for fibromyalgia was approved in 2007 and more is being learned every day.

 Symptoms for fibromyalgia include deep excruciating pain all over the body especially in the muscles, insomnia, sleeplessness and sleep disorders, fatigue, brain fog, memory and concentration problems, irritable bowel syndrome, abnormal pain processing, headaches and migraines, jaw pain, nerve pain and weakness, depression, and anxiety. People also experience tender spots and muscle knots which radiate pain and can severely restrict movement.

To diagnose fibromyalgia can be a tricky since the patient looks healthy and tests came back normal. Diagnosis has also been controversial because there is no one thing that points to, nor is there one test that can be performed to come to a simple diagnosis of fibromyalgia.

It was once thought that the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia were all in the person’s head and was not fully accepted as a diagnosis until the 1990’s. Some symptoms can be very similar to other syndromes and diseases so doctors will use a process of eliminating other causes and following certain diagnostic criteria established by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) in 1990. This criteria includes a history of widespread pain in all four quadrants of the body, meaning above and below your waist and on both sides of your body, for a minimum of 3 months and pain in 11 out of the 18 specially chosen tender points when a specific amount of pressure is applied.

There is no specific known cause although some theories indicate physical and emotional trauma in childhood, stress, disruption of normal dopamine-related neurotransmission, abnormal serotonin metabolism, abnormal levels of tryptophan and a protein involved in transmitting pain signals from the nerves to the brain called substance P, deficiencies in growth hormone secretion, vitamin deficiencies such as B and D, and genetic predisposition among others.

 Relief from fibromyalgia comes from treating the symptoms individually rather than the syndrome as a whole. Some drugs are helpful in relieving symptoms but lose their effectiveness over time and have uncomfortable or dangerous side effects. The best way to get relief is by combining the many options out there such as dietary changes, pain medications, high-quality nutritional supplements, massage therapy, acupuncture, yoga, exercise, stretching, counseling, support groups, and for a time if necessary the dangerous ones, anti-depressants and sleep drugs.

The best and most fundamental way to find relief is through nutrition. There is documented evidence and scientific proof that nutrition is the way to heal our bodies. The problem is pharmaceutical companies and government make big money off all these drugs that come with a laundry list of side effects worse than the malady they mask.

Fibromyalgia and diet go hand-in-hand. The first thing to do is to stay away from processed foods and food preservatives, caffeine, coffee, caffeinated tea, soda, a lot of red meat (your body needs some), chocolate/cocoa, alcohol, fried foods, white flour, sugar, gluten, wheat, yeast, high fat dairy products, salt, nutra-sweet and saccharine, and smoking.

The next thing to do is add nutrition; take into account the food you eat along with supplements. Eat 5 to 6 smaller meals through the day that include more raw and steamed vegetables, fatty fish and seafood (be careful of contaminants), yogurt, soups, beans, legumes, simple proteins like chicken, fresh garlic, and nuts such as almonds. Drink lots of water and get a juicer to make your own fresh juice. Reduce your fat intake but do not go to the extreme with a diet too low in fat; fat is needed for muscles to work properly and provides energy.

Nutritional supplements are important because they provide your body with specific nutrients too difficult to get through diet alone especially when you are deficient to begin with. Because there are so many parts of the body affected by fibromyalgia, there are many different supplements that your body will benefit form. Here is a list of important supplements that could help control symptoms of fibromyalgia.

A vitamin/mineral supplement is important to start with. For immune support antioxidants are essential; up to 10,000 mg daily of vitamin C, 400 IU to 800 IU daily of vitamin E (if you have high blood pressure, limit E to 400 IU daily or if you are taking a blood thinner consult your doctor before supplementing with E), 200 micrograms selenium, some suggest up to 5,000 IU to 10,000 IU daily of beta-carotene daily (if you are pregnant or have liver disease ask your doctor before taking a lot of beta-carotene which is pre-vitamin A), quercetin, and grape seed extracts such as those in VIVIX, to start with.

For improved muscle and nerve function, as well as relaxation and to control anxiety and pain, just 500 mg of magnesium inhibits nerve receptors linked to the trigger point pain and regulates the release of neuro-hormones, which relieves muscle tension and spasms, as well as restlessness, tics and twitches (if you have heart or kidney problems double check with your doctor what amount of magnesium you should supplement with, if any).

In today’s world, we are almost all of us magnesium deficient because of the way industrial farming has stripped our soil of nutrients including and most importantly magnesium. One of the best ways to alleviate this deficiency without supplements is: 2 Cups Epsom Salts, 1 Cup baking soda in a hot bathtub. The Epsom salts deliver magnesium to the body while the baking soda is used to neutralize the chemicals in the water if you don’t have filtered water throughout the house. You can even put in a few drops of lavender oil for relaxation. This will help get magnesium into the system as well as detoxify the body. Make sure to rinse off in a luke-warn shower while draining the tub. Relax afterward and drink water that is not too cold.

For energy, mood management and nerve function B complex helps bring oxygen to cells, works closely with folic acid to make red blood cells, improve energy, and prevent anemia, memory loss, nerve damage, muscle weakness, and fatigue. Folic acid is usually deficient in fibromyalgia patients, this leads to depression and makes Prozac treatment less effective; which is a common antidepressant given to fibromyalgia patients. Coenzyme Q10 helps deliver oxygen to cells. To help with joint aches, anti-inflammatory, and pain alfalfa, EPA, omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and quercetin. As well as fiber, protein, zinc, pro and pre-biotics, GLA essential fatty acid, calcium, vitamin D, bioflavonoids, and lecithin for cognitive function.

Eat small nutritious meals, take supplements, allow yourself many breaks, stretch often, apply hot and/or cold packs, do relaxation exercises, massage therapy, seek out a group who knows what you’re going through. While there is no single cure or treatment for fibromyalgia, treatment of the symptoms can go a long way in finding relief. Not too long ago fibromyalgia was thought of as something in people’s heads, now there is a path to treatment. More studies are being done and soon maybe a single cause can be found and treated.

Why is beta-carotene so important?

Beta-carotene is a member of over 380 compounds called carotenoids. Carotenoids help give the distinctive deep-colour vegetables their colours. These dark coloured vegetables are the main focus of our antioxidant investigation.

Beta-carotene can be converted to vitamin A (which is retinol) in the body as the body needs it; so beta-carotene is pre-vitamin A. Beta-carotene intake is measured in two ways, by International Units (IU) or milligrams (mg). One milligram is equal to 1,666 IU. While vitamin A can be toxic in large amounts, beta-carotene is not, even at high levels. Because of this, it is the ideal vitamin A supplement. Besides being a safe storage form of vitamin A, beta-carotene has other very powerful protective effects on the body.

As a free radical fighter beta-carotene goes after a couple of free radicals for which no enzyme system exists. It is also unique in that it is not destroyed or made inactive when it quenches a free radical. It is also very effective at interrupting oxidant chain reactions spreading from one molecule to another.

Vitamin A is important for immune systems because it keeps skin and mucous membrane cells healthy and moist. Membranes that are healthy stay moist and resistant to cell damage. The moistness inhibits bacteria and viruses from replicating and starting infectious diseases. Healthy cells are also resistant to cancer. This makes it ideal in treating deficiency syndromes.

Vitamin A acts as an antioxidant by helping to protect our cells by supporting skin-cell turnover; the process that keeps cell growth and development running efficiently. Without enough A, skin becomes dry, tough, and scaly. It also helps the health of our eyes, improves night vision and prevents night blindness, promotes formation of strong bones, guards against bacterial, parasitic and viral infections, keeps skin healthy and smooth, guards against heart disease, stroke and lowers blood pressure.

Many researchers believe most people are so deficient in beta-carotene they recommend increasing the foods that contain a lot of beta-carotene as well as taking a supplement. To show that there is no danger of overdose here are some facts. People with a skin disease call porphyria, sensitivity to light, require up to 500,000 IU a day. Children with this disorder have taken up to 100,000 IU a day for years with no adverse effects. You will know if you are getting too much; your skin, especially the palms of your hands and soles of your feet, will turn orange-brown colour. Once the amount is cut back skin returns to normal.

Finding ways to incorporate beta-carotene into your normal everyday foods can be fun and tasty. Pumpkin is one delicious way to get vitamin A into your diet. Just ½ cup of canned pumpkin has more than 16 milligrams of beta carotene, 160%-260% of the daily amount recommended by experts. Other top sources of beta-carotene include sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, winter squash, broccoli, apricots, spinach, collard greens, red peppers and blueberries. Kale is another green that cannot be ignored, along with spinach, broccoli and collard greens, it is chock full of zeaxanthin and lutein two powerful antioxidants that help protect against cataracts, retinal disease and damage, and macular degeneration do to age.

 

Try an apricot, cantaloupe and blueberry salad. Add red peppers or roasted red peppers to broccoli for a nice kick. Use spinach and collard greens with onions and garlic and cook up with ground meat to use in any number of dishes from tacos to meatballs. Make healthy cooking fun by experimenting with different vegetables, herbs and spices. Make a “greens” salad with the kale, spinach and collard greens and season it lightly with healthy vinegrettes and a few spices instead of a regular iceberg lettuce salad. Above all take a great beta-carotene supplement along with the change in diet.

By changing the way we eat, what we take and how we prioritize nutrition we can give our bodies the fuel to fight all kinds of diseases and sicknesses. Talk with your doctor about where your health stands now and what your problems are. A little research should help you get a picture of what deficiencies certain vitamins and minerals help. Start eating creatively, get some exercise.  Do this now and make the change. Keep a journal of how you feel over the next year or two to see what improvements you experience. Plus, taking CarotoMax now will give you the carotenoids you need to fight whatever comes later.

 

 

 

 

 

How to lower Cholesterol naturally?

Our heart is an amazing muscle. It supplies nutrients and oxygen to all our vital organs and body parts. It beats on average 100,000 times a day and pumps the equivalent of 2,000 gallons of blood each day. With all the work our hearts do it seems only logical we should take care of it as well as it takes care of us. Yet in most of the country, the most common type of heart disease and the leading cause of death is coronary heart disease also known as coronary artery disease (CAD). This occurs when a substance made up of cholesterol deposits called plaque builds up in the arteries that supply blood to the heart, pretty much the same as what happens to our home plumbing pipes. When this happens, your arteries can narrow over time, this is called atherosclerosis. A heart attack occurs when plaque totally blocks an artery carrying blood to the heart.

We eat foods high in saturated fats, like fast food instead of natural home cooked meals. We drink soft drinks or sports drinks instead of water. We pass over the veggies for starchy foods or end up slathering them in high fat dip. We eat until our stomachs feel like they are going to burst or continue to eat 3 or more helpings in the buffet line. We even choose candy bars and other sweets instead of reaching for fruits to satisfy our cravings. In moderation and with limitations these “treats” are not necessarily bad for us; but the amounts we consume on a normal basis are usually larger portions than we need. It is also contributing to one of the unhealthiest societies where teenage obesity is up along with childhood diabetes.

We can change how and what we eat; we can choose the healthier foods and smaller portions sizes. We can cut back on alcohol and get reasonable amounts of exercise. Quitting smoking and eating a diet rich in whole grains, legumes, fish, non-fat or low-fat dairy products and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables can also make a significant difference. Some things we cannot change; such as, older age, male gender, and a family history of CVD (cardiovascular disease) but we may be able to impact these areas in beneficial ways.

Studies have shown the maintaining of normal cholesterol levels, normal blood pressure and including vitamin D, CoQ10, garlic, magnesium, fiber and Omega fatty acids in our diets promote cardiovascular health. Important helpers are magnesium and vitamin D. Why are these supplements important?

  • CoQ10 – Helps produce energy in each cell, particularly those in the heart and other major organs. Since it has powerful antioxidant properties, it helps prevent LDL cholesterol oxidation. Although the human body can synthesize CoQ10, in some situations the body’s capacity to produce CoQ10 isn’t sufficient to meet its needs. CoQ10 levels reach their peak in the human body by age 20 and fall slowly thereafter.

 

  • Garlic – Studies show that garlic promotes cardiovascular health by helping to retain normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels naturally when used as part of a diet low in fat and cholesterol.  Allicin, a compound found in garlic, has been shown to be  responsible for many beneficial actions, including the support for the maintenance of healthy levels of beneficial microorganisms.

Source of fiber

  • Fiber – There are two types of fiber in foods and we need both. Insoluble fiber, found in the outer layer of grains such as wheat bran, promote a healthy digestive system and colon health. Heart health benefits come from soluble fiber, the type of fiber found in oats and apples. Increasing soluble fiber intake helps naturally lower blood cholesterol and blood-sugar levels.

 

  • Omega fatty acids – Supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Research also shows that high levels of omega-3 fatty acids promote cardiovascular health and help retain normal blood pressure and triglyceride levels. Omega-3s also support healthy brain, vision, and joint function.

  

  • Magnesium – A major helper in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body and is necessary for the transmission of nerve impulses, muscular activity, temperature regulation, detoxification reactions, and the formation of healthy bones and teeth. Magnesium also increases oxygenation of the heart muscle by improving how it contracts and moves and is involved in energy production and the synthesis of DNA and RNA.

 

  • Vitamin D – Researchers have linked low vitamin D intakes to osteoporosis or brittle bones, high blood pressure, heart disease, autoimmune diseases and certain cancers. As such, the scientific community is advocating higher intake of vitamin D to address the suboptimal vitamin D blood levels found in many Americans.

 

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends adding 2,000mg of PHYTOSTEROLS to your diet each day to lower cholesterol levels naturally. Plant phytosterols have been clinically proven by more than 80 studies to lower LDL cholesterol.  Phytosterols are structurally similar to cholesterol and compete with cholesterol for absorption in the intestines, leaving cholesterol behind. This means the more Phytosterols you have; the less cholesterol is absorbed by the body and the better your chances for lowering your LDL cholesterol.

Shaklee PHYTOCOL-ST is a proprietary formulation with clinically proven ingredients that help block the absorption of cholesterol and lower LDL cholesterol. It made with a powerful blend of phytosterols, which are found naturally in plants, fruits, vegetables, and grains. It delivers 2,000 mg of plant phytosterols daily or 100% of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommendation for phytosterols.  It has no added preservatives, colors, flavors or sweeteners.

Being healthy isn’t something that just happens; we have to work at it. Finding the right kind of help can make all the difference in how we live and feel. Reducing cholesterol naturally by watching what we put into our bodies will go a long way in our overall level of health.

Why Take a Vitamin E Supplement?

Vitamin E is our number one fat soluble antioxidant and the first defence against lipid peroxidation. Vitamin E protects against the damage and breakdown of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which we will call PUFA for short, that are predominant in our cell membranes. E is also essential in cancer prevention by protecting cell DNA from free radical attack. It is also of note that the type of E is very important; there is a natural form and a synthetic form of E.

The natural form of E is called d-alpha-tocopherol and the synthetic is called dl-alpha-tocopherol. In a study of men taking the natural form of E compared with men taking the synthetic form; the blood level results showed that the level of E was higher in men taking the natural form. Why is this the case? Availability, plain and simple.

The body uses the d or natural form much more efficiently than the dl or synthetic form. The letters d, “dextro” means right and l, “levo” means left and they have to do with the direction a beam of polarized light rotates when it passes through a natural and synthetic solution of vitamin E. Polarized light is light that is reflected or transmitted through certain media so that all vibrations are restricted to a single plane and not at random. The body prefers the natural d form. Using a synthetic form of E is like putting a right handed glove on a left hand. It will work but not as well.

Requirements vary on the amounts of vitamin E needed based on exposure to free radicals and if there are high levels of polyunsaturated fat (PUFA) in your diet. The Daily Value (DV) for E is a mere 30 IU. The minimal amount for optimal disease protection is 400 IU. A study by Dr. Lawrence Machlin and co-workers at the Cornell Medical School showed that healthy people could take up to 3,200 IU a day and not have any problems.

A summary of 15 excellent studies on vitamin E reported reduction in the incidence of cancers of the breast, intestines, stomach, lung, colon, pancreas, liver and oral cavity. Add to that the fact that low blood levels of both the co-factor selenium and E seems to increase breast cancer 10 times that of normal and two times as much if you have a low level of just E in your blood, and you have all kinds of reasons to look further into the benefits of E.

Studies have shown that those with the highest levels of vitamin E have lower rates of heart disease and certain cancers. For instance; two prominent teaching hospitals followed 87,000 women for eight years. Those who took the most antioxidants had the lowest rate of heart disease. In fact those with the highest levels of vitamin E had an astounding 41% protection from heart disease. This was published in the New England Journal of Medicine along with another study indicating that for the most part the results also applied to men.

The problem is the amount needed to prevent these diseases is practically impossible to attain from the diet alone. Food sources for vitamin E include: fortified cereals, sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, cottonseed, sunflower, safflower and other oils, turnip, collard, mustard and other greens, beets, collard, tomatoes, pine nuts, peanut butter, wheat germ, avocado, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, mangoes, broccoli, and asparagus to name a few. Most of these foods are eaten in small quantities at a time. Try to incorporate these foods into other dishes you normally prepare. Explore your grocery store’s seasonings aisle and buy spices and herbs to add flavour and a health boost to your food instead of just salt and pepper.

Supplementation is also a consistent way to add extra doses of this important antioxidant. Buy only the natural form of E noted by a d before the form of E listed.

Other vitamin E actions:

  • May slow aging of the cells
  • Stimulates the immune system
  • Protects against some toxic pollutants in the environment
  • Needed to form red blood cells
  • Supports healthy skin and lung function

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