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health expert Dr John

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  • Natural remedies that relieve constipation

    Having less than one to three bowel movements in a day is a sign of constipation. Such symptoms should not be ignored, as they might cause a number of other bowel related ailments. In this article we will discuss four natural treatments for constipation that are safe and very effective. These are:

    • Oats
    • Opening of the Ileocecal Valve
    • Flax
    • Senna

      Taking oats and oatmeal regularly works wonders for people suffering from constipation. Oats are rich in both soluble as well as insoluble fiber; you get as much as 8 grams of fiber from one cup of uncooked oatmeal. Oats contain nearly 55 percent soluble and 45 percent insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber, the part of the plant that cannot be broken down by our digestive system, absorbs water and swells. This makes the stool bulky, soft and easy to pass, thus relieving constipation. So, it is advisable to increase your water intake when you are on a fiber rich diet.

      While buying oats, you should go for the “old-fashioned oats” rather than the instant oatmeal, which is often partially cooked and contains sugar and other ingredients. Though the traditional oats take a bit longer to cook, they give better results. Also, you should avoid buying oats in large quantities, as their essential fats go rancid when stored for a long duration. If stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry area they can last for about two months.

      Opening of the Ileocecal Valve

      One of the common reasons for constipation is the malfunction of the ileocecal valve, which is located between the small and large intestine.   The ileocecal valve acts as a block that prevents the toxic contents of the large intestine from entering the small intestine. It does not allow the food products in the small intestine to pass into the large intestine until the digestive process is complete. At times this valve sticks shut and as a result, the feces cannot move from small intestine to the large intestine. This condition causes constipation.

      The ileocecal valve may not function properly due to several reasons. Spicy and roughage-type foods may irritate the valve resulting into its malfunction. Mental stress and emotional trauma also hamper the functioning of ileocecal valve. People who have got their appendix removed often have problems with the valve. However, the good news is that you can easily open up the ileocecal valve by following some simple routines.

      Massaging the ileocecal reflex points:

      Simply rub the points illustrated in the picture, to unstick your ileocecal valve. Massage the illustrated areas with firm pressure of about 10 to 20 seconds to get the desired effect. Make it a point not to massage the points any longer than that, as it may negate the effect.

      Detoxify: Some toxic food products get stuck in your intestines and cause constipation symptoms. To detoxify these products you can use chlorophyll, which is easily available at any health food store. Take either two capsules or tablets or half teaspoon of chlorophyll every two hours for about six to eight hours. Take the same amount with each meal for the next three to four days. This routine will detoxify your intestines to a large extent.

      Change your eating habits: To get rid of constipation, abstain from spicy foods, alcohol, cocoa, chocolate and caffeinated products for at least a week. Taking additional calcium and vitamin D also helps in relieving constipation.

      Flax

      Flaxseed is one of the best remedies for constipation. It has been used for centuries to treat bowel related problems. About six to 12 percent of the whole seed is mucilage, which is a slimy, gum-like compound that provides a soothing and protective coating inside our digestive tract. It adds bulk and softness to stool and thus relieves constipation. These properties of Flaxseed also make it a potent healer of stomach and intestinal inflammation.

      Flaxseed is easily available at your nearest health food store and the good thing is that it is not very costly. Before using the seeds make sure to crush, grind or break them; otherwise they pass through your digestive tract intact without giving you any benefit. You can use small coffee grinders or blenders to crush these seeds. Grind the seeds as and when you use them. If you store the ground seeds, their precious oils oxidize and go rancid.

      Drink plenty of water when you consume ground flaxseed as the fiber in them soaks up a lot. Drinking lots of water with flaxseed will definitely relieve your constipation, but be careful because if you don’t drink enough water when you take flax seed your constipation may worsen.

      Senna

      Senna (Cassia angustifolia and Cassia acutifolia) is an effective remedy for constipation; however, it can have some minimal self-limiting side effects. In some cases it causes diarrhea, abdominal pain or nausea. These side effects can easily be neutralized by adding certain herbs to the senna preparation. To prepare one such combination, boil one litre of water and turn off the heat. Then add half teaspoon each of caraway seeds, fennel seeds, peppermint leaves and senna leaves.   Allow the mixture to settle for 15 minutes and then filter the residue using cheesecloth. Take one cup of this liquid in the morning and another at night and you will definitely get relief from constipation.

  • Dodge dementia with red grapes

    It's the second leading cause of dementia in older folks... trailing right behind Alzheimer's... yet chances are you've never even heard of vascular dementia before.

    It's caused when parts of your brain don't get enough blood flow because of blocked and narrowed arteries. As a result, those areas of the brain don't get enough of the oxygen and nutrients they need, and when the supply of blood to the brain is suddenly cut off, "silent" strokes can occur.

    Symptoms of vascular dementia can include forgetfulness, short term memory loss, concentration problems, getting lost, money management issues, and even a loss of your control over your bladder or bowels. And sadly, there isn't much that can be done for the condition once you have it except try to prevent further damage.

    But now some breakthrough research out of China is providing new hope, and it comes to us in the form of an old friend. For years now, in Health Breakthroughs, I've been telling you about the power of superstar antioxidant resveratrol.

    Resveratrol is often referred to as the "red wine antioxidant," and this nutrient's powers lie in its ability to drive down inflammation. And it's this ability that's likely at the heart of its potential to fight hearing loss, Parkinson's, pancreatic cancer, Alzheimer's, and even the slippery slope of aging.

    According to Chinese researchers, resveratrol might turn out to be our best hope for beating the devastating symptoms of this disease. The powerful antioxidant improved both learning and memory abilities in rats with vascular dementia.

    But the super nutrient didn't stop there. It also decreased the levels of an important marker for oxidative stress while at the same time increasing levels of a powerful antioxidant enzyme as well as the "master antioxidant" glutathione.

    According to the study, published in the journal Neural Regeneration Research, these findings are enough to clear resveratrol for experimental clinical use in treating vascular dementia sufferers. But there's really no reason to wait around for more experiments to be completed to start reaping the many rewards of resveratrol.

    You can easily raise the levels of this nutrient in your own diet by eating more red grapes, blueberries, and lingonberries, as well as by sipping on an occasional glass of red wine. Resveratrol can also be found in many comprehensive anti-aging formulas, as well as in stand-alone supplements.

  • Why you'd be NUTS to not eat nuts

    In my book, few things beat a fistful of nuts for a filling and delicious snack. And since they're packed with protein, good fats, and healthy fibre, nuts aren't just tasty, they're good for you, too.

    Now Harvard researchers say they're not just good for you, they could literally add years to your life.

    More on that exciting new finding in a moment, but first let's look at what we already know about nuts.

    Over three years ago, I told you about the humble walnut's apparent ability to reduce stress levels and lower blood pressuure. Volunteers who ate the nuts had improved blood pressure numbers during two different types of stress tests.

    In 2011, Tuft's University researchers revealed that nuts could help us control both blood sugar and cholesterol. When a group of type-2 diabetics was given a half-cup of mixed nuts daily for three months, it lowered both their blood sugar and bad cholesterol.

    And a more recent study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, found that snacking on walnuts could drive down a woman's diabetes risk by as much as 24 percent.

    Live longer and healthier with nuts

    In fact, at least 57 clinical trials have found that nuts may help protect you against heart disease, and a stack of others have linked nut eating with a reduced risk of cancer and diabetes. And with that kind of track record, it's really no surprise that yet another study has confirmed that one of my favorite snack foods is good for you.

    But what did surprise everyone--including those Harvard researchers, no doubt--was just how impressive the numbers that came out of this massive study were.

    The carefully designed study, which tracked 119,000 men and women over 30 years, found that those who ate nuts almost daily were an astounding 20 percent less likely to die from any cause during the three-decade long study.

    And the impressive nut news didn't stop there... not by a long shot.

    Regular nut eaters (seven or more times a week) had their risk of dying from heart disease plunge by an incredible 29 percent. They were 20 percent less likely to die from diabetes or lung disease. And their risk of dying from cancer dropped a healthy 11 percent.

    Eats nuts and weigh less

    Oh, and if you've been afraid to indulge in nuts because they're high in fat, I've got great news for you. The nut eaters stayed slimmer than the non-nut eaters!

    That's right, eating nuts will NOT make you fat, my friend.

    As I've explained before, nuts are rich in the good-for-you monounsaturated fats. Heck, even the very mainstream American Heart Association admits the kind of fats found in nuts are heart healthy and can help you reduce your cholesterol while lowering your risk for heart disease and stroke.

    And...you might want to sit down for this one... the usually clueless folks over at the FDA even stood up for nuts way back in 2003, when they recommended them as part of a diet to help reduce heart disease.

    Honestly, with results like these, unless you happen to be allergic to them, you'd have to be nuts to not include nuts in your diet.

    Solid research adds to the nut resume

    I do, however, need to mention two things about the Harvard study that you should keep in mind.

    First of all, while it was well-designed and solid, this was an observational study. And as I've explained many times before, observational studies can only show an association or connection between two things. They're not designed to prove cause and effect. (For instance, those nut eaters also ate more healthy fruits and veggies.)

    That doesn't erase any of the positives about nuts, but it's good to know.

    Second, the Harvard researchers made one HUGE misstep with their study. Unfortunately, they accepted some funding from the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research and Education Foundation.

    Now don't get me wrong, I don't have anything against the Tree Nut Council folks. They run a fine non-profit organization. But once they forked over some money to Harvard it became much easier for naysayers to try to question the findings.

    Luckily, nuts already have a ton of solid research backing up their health value, so it's pretty clear that these latest findings--published in The New England Journal of Medicine--only add to that growing stack.

  • Natural solutions to keep blood sugar spikes in check

    It hits you out of the blue.

    You feel weary and somewhat jittery.

    Your vision begins to blur.

    You feel thirsty.

    And your capacity to concentrate declines sharply.

    What’s happened?

    You’ve been knocked out by an after-meal, or “postprandial” spike.

    You blood glucose levels have temporarily shot up after eating.

    Yes, even if you don’t have diabetes.

    As you would imagine by the sounds of it, blood sugar spikes aren’t good news.

    When they hit you, you feel completely out of sorts.

    In the long term blood sugar spikes can lead to heart and kidney disease, and increase your risk of stroke.

    All because you’ve given in to a few extra carbs.

    But there’s good news.

    There’s plenty of things you can do to avoid blood sugar spikes naturally and stay healthy and in control for years to come.

    Avoid blood sugar spikes by applying these behavioural patterns to your routine

    Nothing too complex or demanding – simple changes that when applied to your daily routine will help you keep that mischievous blood sugar under control.

    1. Plan your meals.

    Planning your meals for the day is key to maintaining healthy sugar levels.

    Try to plan a daily menu to keep your blood sugar low by focusing on low-GI foods and a small sample of higher-GI foods as treats and garnishes.

    For instance, a sample breakfast might include eggs and spinach as the base with a glass of milk and small orange to complete the meal. The eggs and spinach are below 20 GI each, so larger portions are fine. The milk is above 20 and the orange is above 40, thus requiring limited servings of each.

    For lunch? Tomato, lettuce and turkey salad in a whole-wheat tortilla with a serving of kidney beans on the side.

    And for dinner: zucchini, eggplant and minced beef, a side of pearled barley and fresh pineapple for dessert.

    If you feel like you need to snack, how about a handful of peanuts or 1 cup of baby carrots?

    1. Stick to your plan - Don’t skip your meals

    Once you’ve got your plan, you’ve got to stick to it.

    Yes, life gets busy and you forget to eat your carefully planned meal but try not to.

    The best way to keep your blood sugar levels under control is to give your body fuel several times during the day.

    Three meals and two snacks is a healthy goal.

    A certain level of fluctuation is to be expected but if your blood sugar level is healthy when you start a meal, even if it does go up, it won’t go as high.

    Just imagine what happens when your levels are already high…

    1. Don’t Drink Alcohol on an Empty Stomach.

    It’s common knowledge that alcohol should not be drunk on an empty stomach. That’s particularly important when you are trying to maintain blood sugar levels.  Drinking as little as 2 ounces of alcohol on an empty stomach can lead to very low blood sugar levels.

    Remember - you can make a drink last longer and lower the impact that it will have on your blood sugars by having a wine spritzer.

    Foods that will keep your blood sugar levels under control

    Besides the famed leafy green and nonstarchy vegetables, there are other foods available to you to keep your blood sugar in check and help avoid blood sugar spikes.

    For instance:

    Vinegar. A tablespoon of vinegar with every meal – as unappealing as it may seem – has been shown to improve fasting blood sugar levels. So, how about dressing your salad with a dash of olive oil and your favorite type of vinegar? You’ll love the Mediterranean feel it will bring to those leaves!

    Cinnamon. An increasing number of studies seem to indicate that cinnamon’s qualities help maintain blood sugar levels, even for people who aren’t overweight. The quantity needed is still unclear, but it would appear that anywhere from a teaspoon to six grams per day might do the trick. So don’t be shy when it comes to this fragrant spice - sprinkle it over your cereals, your tea, and your home-baked treats.

    Oatmeal. This type of high-quality carbohydrates takes a lot longer to be digested in your system. This helps keep blood sugar levels steady over time.

    You see?

    Avoiding blood sugar spikes doesn’t have to involve nasty needles or unnecessary medications.

    Take the right steps, eat the right foods, and enjoy a more balanced outlook on life!

  • Can this herb keep peripheral artery disease at bay

    PAD or Peripheral Artery Disease is a painful condition and one you want to avoid at all costs.

    At first, it feels just like a little numbness in an isolated area of the legs, a prickly feeling or leg pain while walking…

    But in reality, this nasty disorder affects the blood vessels outside the brain and heart, causing them to narrow, restricting the blood flow to the arms, legs, kidneys or stomach.

    In advanced cases of the disease, ulcers and gangrene may also develop.

    As you can imagine, PAD is a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke.

    PAD affects about 10 million people in the United States, approximately 5% of people older than 50.

    Diabetics and smokers are at highest risk of developing PAD.

    PAD is also more common in African-Americans than any other ethnic or racial group. And men are slightly more likely than women to develop PAD.

    PAD is a very nasty disease that very often goes undetected and untreated.

    Available medications are few and not without side effects.

    And so on and so forth.

    Have I painted a grim enough picture?

    Apologies.

    But that’s precisely the message that I want to convey.

    I want you to be very vigilant with your health.

    I want you to quit smoking if you are still stuck to the old habit.

    I want you to go out there and start walking, cycling or swimming.

    I want you to follow a healthy diet.

    Ultimately, I want you to stay away from this and many other chronic diseases.

    A little help along the way – Gingko Biloba

    Physicians in Europe have been using a highly standardized purified extract of Ginkgo Biloba leaves for treatment of PAD for a long time now.

    They call it EGb761.

    It has been estimated that 2,000 tons of EGb761 are consumed yearly in Germany and France, and this amount is increasing.

    If you are not familiar with Gingko Biloba, let me tell you a little bit about it.

    Native of China, Gingko Biloba is a very unique and persistent species of tree.

    A true survivor.

    In fact, the ginkgo is actually a living fossil, with fossils recognisably related to modern ginkgo from the Permian, dating back 270 million years.

    Its fan-shaped leafs have been therapeutically used for centuries in Asian traditional medicines.

    And while an extract from the Ginkgo Biloba tree has been thought to provide a "cheaper and safer" alternative to mainstream PAD treatments, a recent study hints that it does not reduce risk of heart attack or stroke in people over the age of 75.

    Really?

    How is that possible when twice as many subjects in the placebo group developed PAD compared to the ginkgo group in the six year study?

    No, I know that’s not proof that ginkgo prevents PAD, but isn’t it worth looking into it further?

    Because even if there is just a slight insinuation that ginkgo is a safe alternative for the prevention and treatment of PAD, it needs to be followed up.

    After all, Ginkgo has a long history of being used in traditional medicine to treat blood disorders and improve memory.

    Some studies have also shown that ginkgo improves blood circulation by opening up blood vessels and making blood less sticky.

    Ginkgo leaves also contain flavonoids and terpenoids, which are both antioxidants. What does that mean?

    It means that Gingko assists in your fight against free radicals which, as you very well know, contribute to heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease.

    Antioxidants like those found in ginkgo fight off free radicals, and stop them from damaging DNA and mitochondria (your cells’ mini-powerstations)

    So, don’t you think that there are enough reasons to give GB a try in the fight against PAD?

    I certainly think so but (and I’d like to capitalize this BUT): if you do take a ginkgo supplement, or if you’re considering one, please bear in mind the following:

    • If you take drugs such as aspiring and warfarin, slight gastrointestinal bleeding is a potential side effect.
    • Ginkgo contains a compound called ginkgolic acid. A safe maximum level is 5 ppm. Higher levels may prompt side effects such as headaches and skin irritations.

    The moral of the story?

    Prevention is key.

    Make sure you keep healthy.

    Stop smoking and exercise – move your legs and you will be warding off this very nasty condition and all the pain associated with it.

     

  • How probiotics can boost your digestive health

    We are surrounded by bacteria – good and bad. Let’s find out how the good bacteria boost our health and quality of life.

    Contrary to popular belief bacteria are not always the bad guys that cause disease and infection, they also support our health in many ways. Bacteria are all around us.  While some cause health problems, there are many others without which we couldn’t survive. Our gastrointestinal tract for example, carries around 500 different types of bacteria that not only help in digestion of food but also strengthen our immune system.

    Our body is a constant battleground for good and bad bacteria. While the malignant strains cause health problems, the benign strains keep bad bacteria in check. A disease or infection is a result of bad bacteria overwhelming the good. The health problems created by this disproportionate growth may be as simple as diarrhea or as intricate as a systemic infection.

    Eliminating pathogenic bacteria from our environment is neither possible nor advisable because a healthy human body needs a balance of good and bad bacteria, both externally as well as internally.

    Colon: A haven for bacterial growth

    The human bowel is a nutrient-rich environment with little oxygen. Additionally it’s warm and moist. All these attributes make our bowel a haven for bacterial growth. The problem is our poor eating habits encourage the growth of too much bad bacteria because we hardly eat any fiber and rely too much on sugar, salt and processed food. Not eating enough fruits, vegetables and essential fatty acids only makes the situation worse.

    Such an environment in our colon leads to the growth of bad bacteria which release too many toxins into our system, which weakens our immunity and good health.

    Maintaining Bacterial Balance is easy

    Homemade fermented foods like sauerkraut and yoghurt are the ultimate source of good bacteria. So, it makes a lot of sense to include a small amount of naturally fermented food in our daily diet. But that isn’t always easy, which is why a good probiotic supplement can come in handy.

    In addition to our eating habits, factors like stress, contaminated food, medicines and environmental pollution also affect the bacterial flora in our intestinal tract. So, to be on the safe side it makes sense to take probiotic supplements every day, whether you manage to fit in yoghurt and sauerkraut or not.

  • Over 50? Protect your prostate and keep the lust alive…

    What can you do?

    With every year that goes by it becomes a little harder to stay on top of the game, right? (and I mean that literally!)

    But it doesn’t mean you have to give up altogether!

    Quite the opposite.

    You have to be your best and your strongest to tackle the effects of time head-on.

    So it’s important for you to ensure you consume enough of certain nutrients to make up for common shortages in vitamins and minerals that come with age.

    Particularly – but not exclusively – in a very important department (you know what I mean…).

    So, how do you protect your prostate and keep your lust alive after crossing the fifties barrier?

    Here’s how:

    Prime® - Protect your prostate, boost your libido

    It is estimated that half of the male population aged fifty and above will experience some type of prostate health problems. And by the time they get to eighty, an enlarged prostate is as common as dirt.

    But that’s not really cause for alarm.

    Because trust me when I say you are more likely to die with an enlarged prostate than from it.

    So, how about letting Mother Nature lend you a hand at heading your prostrate issues off at the pass?

    Or giving her a chance to deal with the infuriating symptoms that come with an unhealthy prostate?

    How?

    Prime® - Your Prostate’s best friend

    The star of Prime’s® arsenal is a standardized extract of Saw Palmetto berry, a traditional remedy used for centuries by Native American men in the southern United States to help with symptoms related to aging urinary tract and declining libido.

    Saw Palmetto’s active ingredient, Beta Sisterol, significantly reduces the harmful effects of DHT (the chemical that causes prostate enlargement).

    For real?

    Indeed.

    Studies have proven Beta Sisterol:

    • To be more effective than prescription prostate drugsat shrinking enlarged prostate tissue,
    • To significantly reduce frequency of urination and to improve urine flow rate,
    • To prevent urinary tract infections.

    More than two million American men use Saw Palmetto for enlarged prostate, and it is often recommended as an alternative therapy by the FDA.

    How does it work?

    1. It prevents the conversion of testosterone to its potent metabolite dihydrotestosterone (DHT),
    2. It modulates hormonal balance,
    3. It helps patients improve their quality-of-life.

    To get the best possible protection for your prostate, the Saw Palmetto in Prime®’s formula has been combined with a number of other key natural ingredients to create a safe and highly effective prostate remedy. Prostate Formula also includes a careful selection of the most powerful and widely recognised herbs that work together to support your prostate health – Damiana Leaf, Sarsaparilla, Siberian Ginseng, Gotu Kola, Capsicum, Licorice Root, and Kelp.

    Not only that.

    Prime® is composed of 72 microscopically small minerals and elements harvested from the Great Salt Lake of Utah – the richest source of naturally occurring trace minerals on earth – which are incredibly easy for the human body to absorb and utilize.

    All the minerals in Prime® act in unison to maintain the pH balance of your blood ensuring it remains slightly alkaline. This is important because don’t forget that all diseases tend to flourish in acidic blood conditions.

    What are some of the 72 minerals in Prime®’s formula?

    Prime® contains an abundance of zinc(10mg/67% RDA).

    And zinc is nothing but good news for your prostate because as several controlled studies have shown it actually reverses prostate enlargement (BPH).

    Other minerals in Prime® include Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Copper, Chloride, Sodium, Potassium, Sulphate, Lithium, and Boron - all known for their prostrate protecting capacities.

    Magnesium, in particular, has been long used to treat urinary problems of prostatic origin.

    So, it goes without saying that an improved prostate equals an improved sexual life.

    You see, your urethra is also part of your reproductive system – it produces the fluid that carries sperm during ejaculation. An enlarged prostate pressing on your urethra can also give rise to erectile dysfunction, loss of libido, and reduction in sexual function.

    Prime® has been reported to boost sex drive in many men who take it, allowing them and their partners to enjoy an unexpectedly renewed and invigorated love life!

    Tongkat Max - Natural Male Enhancement

    And staying on the topic of sexual potency...

    You might have noticed – and not been thrilled about – a decline in your sexual potency as you have aged.

    Unfortunately, it’s just your body producing less and less testosterone – the male hormone responsible for sex drive, potency, and sperm production.

    Now, if you confide this change with your doctor, he or she may recommend synthetic testosterone replacement therapy.

    That’s not a good idea and I’ll tell you why.

    Not only does it come with many unpleasant side effects.

    What happens as well is that once your body senses excess testosterone in your blood stream, it shuts down its own testosterone production, causing further problems.

    Tongkat Max™ is a much better choice for you.

    The Tongkat Ali tree root extract in Tongkat Max™ will boost your potency and sex drive with no side effects.

    No hocus pocus.

    The effects on male sex drive of the Tongkat Ali tree root have been clinically proven in numerous studies, including a report in the prestigious British Journal of Sports Medicine.

    And Tongkat Max™ uses only the most potent Tongkat Ali tree root extract available (1:200) - that’s why we’ve called it Tongkat MAX.

    Don’t expect Viagra-like instant erections, though.

    However, most users report feeling its benefits within 5 to 10 days.

    So if you’re intent on protecting your prostate and keeping your manly confidence for a long while, then go ahead and try one of the best supplements available for men. Your body, your family, and your wife will thank you.

  • Could this vitamin keep you out of the nursing home

    Getting older happens to everyone, including you. It starts to seem like you have more candles than cake every year. You move around more slowly. Routine tasks like cleaning, gardening and DIY become more and more challenging.

    The pundits will tell you there is nothing that can be done about aging. But is that really true? Do we really have to just “learn to live with” aging. The second we resign ourselves to getting old is the second closer to complete inactivity, and given we are encouraged to remain active throughout our lives, if you suddenly find yourself getting exhausted from routine tasks like going upstairs or taking a short walk, it could be that you are running low on a particularly critical vitamin, according to an in depth six-year study from the Netherlands.

    You could be running low on Vitamin D

    The study followed 1,300 people aged 55 to 88 and had their vitamin D levels checked at various times throughout the study. Participants were questioned about their ability to do a range of activities. The tasks were simple in nature, such as sitting down or getting up from a chair, or taking a five minute stroll without resting.

    Participants in the 65 to 88 age group who had the lowest vitamin D levels were 1.7 times as likely to have at least one physical limitation when compared to those with high levels. Shockingly, a staggering 70 percent of those with the lowest D levels in the older group had at least one mobility issue.

    If you are in the 55 to 65 age range, don’t think you somehow dodged the bullet. You may find that your prognosis is worse than for older age groups. If you’re between those ages and have low vitamin D levels you’re twice as likely to have at least one limitation.

    And the news doesn’t get any better as you age. Your physical functionality is likely to worsen over time. Older study participants with low vitamin D levels declined much more more rapidly than their cohorts who had high levels.

    Seniors tend to be deficient in vitamin D

    That is corroborated by the Guide to Good Health. Vitamin D levels, in fact, are declining across all age groups, and seniors are particularly vulnerable. In fact, there is some evidence to indicate that vitamin D levels are dangerously low for several age groups. Up to 90 percent of the senior citizens walking around have extremely low vitamin D levels.

    Regardless of age, it is important to ensure you maintain high vitamin D levels. It is a critical part of staying healthy, as it plays an important role in countless bodily functions. It also is a key player in the maintenance of muscle and bone health. The study from the Netherlands, published in the Journal of Clincial Endocrinology and Metabolism, clearly indicates just how critical it is to prevent your vitamin D levels from falling.

    So unless you want to spend the last few years of your life in a nursing home make sure you’re getting plenty of vitamin D. I cannot stress this enough. It could make the difference of continuing to enjoy your freedom and independence instead of depending on others for your daily needs.

    And vitamin D can help prevent you from falling. A review of nine clinical trials found that vitamin D supplements help reduce the risk of falling by a whopping 17 percent. The New England Journal of Medicine also found that high doses of vitamin D reduces the risk of hip fractures by up to 30 percent and other types of fractures were lowered by 14 percent.

    Your vitamin D levels can naturally increase with sunlight exposure. If your arms and legs are exposed in the sun, you improve your sun exposure by a fair margin. Supplements are also a viable option, and if your vitamin D levels are at critical levels, I think you would benefit from a vitamin D supplement of anywhere from 2,000 to 4,000 IU's of vitamin D3 daily. Talk with your doctor about what's best for your specific situation.

    In addition, I recommend that vitamin D be combined with a healthy fat, such as olive or fish oil, which are high in Omega 3 and 6 – vitamins which are also of great benefit to you. These fats will help your body absorb the vitamin more effectively.

  • Golden Spice Better than Big Name Drug for Fighting Depression

    This is the tale of the David and Goliath of anti-depression treatments.

    This is the tale of a humble millennia-old natural medication proving to be a lot more effective than a multimillion dollar-backed pharmaceutical medication prescribed worldwide.

    Fortunately, this is a tale which, like many other stories in life, has a happy ending with lots of depression sufferers now starting to benefit from a natural treatment that is gentle on the system and free of nasty side-effects.

    That Mother Nature knows what she is doing is unquestionable. Unlike synthetic drugs, natural vitamins, spices, herbs and other organic foods are not only kind to us, they are also incredibly effective at multi-tasking.

    Take blueberries, for instance. These little indigo warriors are not only capable of warding off the toxins linked to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, they also work to protect us against diabetes.

    What about garlic? If you ingest this unassuming plant found in everyone’s kitchen you will not only be looking after your heart and immune system but you will unwittingly be shielding yourself against the never pleasant effects of food poisoning.

    Turmeric - a natural wonder with more than a few tricks up its sleeve

    Mother Nature could not have done a better job in producing a natural anti-inflammatory.  I’m talking about the very talented and supreme multi-tasker curcumin, a natural compound that has been used in Indian and Chinese homes for thousands of years. It's not just responsible for the vibrant, yellow colour of turmeric, but for its many medicinal properties.

    This polyphenol-rich spice isn’t just good at protecting us from inflammatory conditions like arthritis. Curcumin also helps us ward off cancer too. And that’s certainly worth a minute or two of your time.

    You see, several studies have shown that curcumin is responsible for reawakening the genes that help protect us against cancer and for triggering apoptosis (cell death.)

    And those are pretty impressive achievements for a humble spice.

    But there’s more:

    • Those very same inflammation-fighting skills found in curcumin have now been shown to come in very handy to soothe swollen and painful joints and tendons.
    • A study conducted in 2013 also established a link between curcumin and better blood vessel function and consequent heart health boost.
    • It is widely known to support our body’s insulin production.
    • Its inflammation-fighting ability makes it very promising as a brain-friendly Alzheimer's fighter.

    Is that it? No.

    Curcumin - the type of friend we need to help us fight severe depression

    A ground-breaking study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research has recently shown that curcumin is both safe and effective for treating Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).  Designed to compare the effectiveness of a popular depression drug against the spice extract, the study randomly assigned sixty volunteers who had been pre-diagnosed with MDD to take either fluoxetine (Prozac) 20mg daily, curcumin 1000mg daily or a combination of both, for six weeks.

    These volunteers were carefully observed during that period of time and evaluated using the standard 'Hamilton Depression Rating Scale.'

    The results? I bet you can guess them.

    Curcumin was found to be an anti-depression fighting agent every bit as effective as the big pharma favourite, Prozac.

    With just a minuscule non-statistical difference of 2.2% between the two, curcumin proved to work just as well as the heavy duty drug so freely prescribed worldwide.

    No, hang on. That’s not quite fair.

    If we consider that curcumin takers in the study were effectively treated against depression without suffering  any of the nasty side-effects associated with Prozac, then the golden yellow spice wins hands down. Why? Because it didn’t produce any of the suicidal thoughts, nausea, anxiety, libido loss, headaches, tremors, diarrhoea or any other nasty side effects associated with taking Prozac.

    Why are we all not adding this miracle worker to our diet regularly?

    Perhaps we are being misinformed. However, now that you know, it’s time you did.

    If you're currently suffering from depression, talk to your healthcare practitioner about introducing this healing spice extract to your diet. And for a little extra help SAMe and St. John's Wort are both proven blues beaters. Forget those nasty anti-depressants and their even nastier side-effects.

    Add a little yellow to your life and stop feeling blue once and for all. (You may be interested to know that the recommended daily dose of Cell Defence -- our premium anti-oxidant formula contains 100mg of curcumin.)

  • The two most commonly overlooked causes of back pain

    All of us, at some point, have suffered from back pain. Back pain is a common clinical condition that may be caused by a variety of factors. While aging is considered to be the main reason of back pain, other contributory causes include strain, overuse, injury and chronic conditions like osteoporosis or arthritis. In addition to these, the two most overlooked causes of back pain are:

    • Over-Acidity in the Body
    • Poor Sleeping Position

    Over-Acidity in the Body

    A study conducted in Germany suggests that excess acid in the body is responsible for a majority of chronic back pain cases. The research was conducted on 82 patients who complained of having back pain for three months or more and yet had nothing wrong with their spines. They were given a lactose-based alkaline mineral supplement for four weeks. Following the treatment, the pain rating in 76 of the 82 patients dropped by an average of 50 percent. The alkalinity of their body tissues and blood also increased significantly.

    If you are plagued by chronic back pain, then chances are that you are too acidic. To treat this condition effectively, increase your consumption of high-alkaline foods like vegetables, beans, peas, nuts, sprouted alfalfa and garlic. Supplement your diet with plain yogurt, herbal teas and vegetable juices as they also prove beneficial in relieving back pain. Alternatively you may care to try our flagship liquid mineral supplement MicroMins. A few drops a day in water, juice or tea is all you need to start re-alkalizing your blood.

    Poor Sleeping Position

    Stomach sleeping is the second culprit that causes a number of back problems, so it is best to sleep either on your back or on your side.

    A simple matter of correcting your sleeping posture is all that might be needed to get rid of a nagging back problem. The ideal side-sleeping position is with your legs slightly bent with a pillow or small cushion between them. You’ll be surprised how wonderfully comfortable this is. When sleeping on your side, avoid keeping your legs overly bent or drawn up to your chest as this can cause circulation problems. And if you like to sleep with one arm under your pillow, make sure it’s stretched out not bent at the elbow and lodged under your head, as this can also block circulation. Similarly, if you tend to sleep on your back, keep your arms by your sides or folded on your chest rather than over your head.

    Keeping your body acid level in check and sleeping in the right position can make a big difference to the majority of back problems.

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