Category Archives: Supplements

Alternatives to drugs for stress and anxiety.

headacheAccording to the American Psychological Assn., the number of people who suffer from stress and anxiety has increased by 44% over the last five years. General anxiety disorders affect over 6 million people with women complaining of stress twice as much as men. Stress can be brought on by so many reasons, from rushed deadlines, social fears, childhood trauma, traumatic events to illness.

Natural approaches to stress may be tried before drugs. Starting with supporting the brain, good nutrition is essential including foods such as fish, hemp, avocados, coconut and nuts. Since the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline are responsible for creating equilibrium we need to realize that chronic stress can negatively affect the thyroid, blood sugar, bone density, belly fat production and cognitive performance.

In addition to relaxation techniques that include meditation, yoga, exercise, guided imagery and self hypnosis, you may consider taking holy basil which will have a calming effect which acts as a mild nervine due to it’s action that reduces histamine responses in the blood . Ashwaganda is another herb that helps in reducing cortisol levels.  Rhodiola rosea is especially effective at curbing depression, decreasing fatigue and enhancing mental sharpness by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is considered the happy hormone. You have to be careful with rhodiola as it needs to be harvested at its peak and not past peak growing. Many cheaper supplements don’t care about that and you won’t get the effectiveness.

Astragalus is an adaptogenic herb that helps protect the body from prolonged stress. When processed correctly, it helps inhibit chromosomal instability by creating a healthy telomere microenvironment. This impacts telomere length (caps at the end of the DNA strand that prevents the DNA from unraveling or breaking) reducing cellular death and slows the aging process. L-Theanine is an amino acid (a building block for proteins) found in green tea. Evidence from human electroencephalograph (EEG) studies show that it has a direct effect on the brain. L-theanine significantly increases activity in the alpha frequency band which indicates that it relaxes the mind without inducing drowsiness. It increases serotonin and  stimulates the brain’s alpha waves which induces relaxation. These two are a good combination and when I take a supplement that has them in it, I feel happy and my stress levels reduce. I call this MY HAPPY PILL.  If you want to read more about it go to the website www.LongLifeNews.com and click on Cell Metrix. I’ve tried lots of supplements for stress and this one seems to get me smiling and let me cope much better with daily stresses, road rage and the computer !

PS>If you want my new free e-book Think and Feel Younger click here.

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Hydrogenated oils going bye bye!

Based on a review of scientific evidence the FDA has finalized its determination that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) the primary dietary source of artificial trans fat in processed foods, do not fit the GRAS specifications for use in human foods. Manufactures will now have 3 years to remove them from their products.

“This action is expected to reduce coronary heart disease and prevent thousands of fatal heart attacks every year,” says FDAs Acting Commissioner Stephen Ostroff, MD.

-Neutraceuticals World, July/Aug. 2015

L-carnosine for brain health

fishAs we age we need to protect the brain against neurodegeneration, as well as loss of cognitive function and memory. Carnosine has also been shown to rejuvenate connective tissue cells which can assist wound healing and the effects of aging of the skin. Carnosine is a naturally occurring molecule composed of two amino acids, histidine and alanine. Do not confuse it with carnitine.

Carnosine is found in higher concentrations of meat and fish so vegans may become deficient. The body can manufacture sufficient quantities but as we age this ability diminishes. By the time we are 70, carnosine levels have been decreased in the body by 63%. Carnosine has been shown to improve muscle function and recovery from muscle fatigue. It also protects against degeneration of the brain and loss of cognitive function associated with aging. Carnosine can improve mental function and behavior in children with autism and ADD and it can also heal peptic ulcers when combined with zinc.

Magnesium needed if you are stressed!

Magnesium is responsible for converting light energy from the sun into biochemical energy for life process on earth (center of the chlorophyll molecule). It is a direct cofactor in over 300 enzymatic reactions involving DNA and RNA synthesis, protein synthesis, glucose uptake and metabolism and has a major role in releasing energy from ATP in the body.

 

It is implicated in hormone synthesis, nerve cell function, digestion and muscle contraction/relaxation, responses of heart and blood vessels and our emotional state. But, only about half of the population gets enough magnesium from the foods they eat. RDAs run from 300-420 mg/day with older folks needing more and for those of us who are under stress.

 

Magnesium deficiency can induce anxiety and can also cause depression according to Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, Nutritional Magnesium Assn. medical advisory board. “A deficiency of magnesium magnifies anxiety, depression and stress. Serotonin, the feel-good brain chemical that is boosted artificially by some medications, depends on magnesium for its production and function. If the deficit is not corrected anxiety, depression and further health problems can linger.”

 

Under stress your body pumps magnesium out of the cells and into the blood making normal lab test show you have enough when in fact, you have body-wide depletion. A Magnesium RBC (red blood cell) test can give you better results. If you continue to be stressed out the stress hormones begin to mobilize magnesium from vital tissues such as the heart putting the body in jeopardy. It is a cofactor for potassium and calcium channels so they should be taken in combination to keep a proper balance of these minerals.

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The need for extra magnesium and potassium

You may not know if you are deficient in magnesium or potassium, but if so, it will have a substantial effect on your health. Magnesium is a co-factor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate biochemical reactions in the body including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control and blood pressure regulation and it is essential to heart health. Studies have shown people have less heart attacks and strokes when they have sufficient levels of magnesium. Diets with good magnesium levels are associated with a significantly lower risk of diabetes as low blood magnesium levels may worsen insulin resistance.

 

Potassium is needed for proper function of cells, tissues and organs. It is also a required electrolyte that conducts electricity and is essential for nerve transmissions. But, potassium must be balanced with other electrolytes including magnesium. It is also crucial to heart health as well as playing a key role in skeletal and smooth muscle contraction which effects not only muscles but digestion as well. Potassium also plays a role in regulating blood pressure in relationship with sodium. Insufficient potassium is associated with poor bone health and muscular weakness including heart failure and cramping.

 

According to the NHANES Dietary Survey done from 2007-2010, none of the 17000 participants met their average requirement for potassium and it was estimated that 52% of Americans do not get their required magnesium each day.

 

Foods high in magnesium are beans and nuts, whole grain bread and green leafy vegetables. Foods high in potassium are squash, yogurt, fish, avocados, beans, green leafy veggies. But if you are concerned that although you eat this you may not get enough, run to the health foods store and get a supplement.

Quercetin helps allergies and belly fat!

orangeMy vet clued me into Quercetin years ago as she was taking it for her allergies and suggested I give it to my cat for his season problems. It worked! Quercetin is the backbone structure for flavonoids, “nature’s biologic response modifiers”. It is the most active of the flavonoids and in clinical trials has demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory and antiallergic activity by inhibiting the manufacture and the release of histamine and other allergic/inflammatory mediators.

However, there is a more bioavailable form of this flavonoid: enzymatically modified isoquercitrin (EMIQ). EMIQ greatly increases quercetin levels in the blood compared to the ingestion of quercetin or rutin (another flavonoid). Most clinical studies have used a dosage of 200mg daily of EMIQ which would equal 8000 mg of quercetin. So if you don’t like to take a lot of pills, EMIQ is for you.

EMIQ also is great for belly fat reduction. It promotes enzymes that encourage the breakdown of fat within fat cells. Studies have shown subcutaneous fat and waist circumference to be reduced significantly (20%).  Quercetin is better absorbed if you take bromelain with it, but EMIQ doesn’t need any “co-factors”. Neither have shown any side-effects even when large quantities have been consumed for up to two years. EMIQ is recognized as safe (GRAS). Both forms may enhance uptake of certain drugs from the intestines so if you take it you may be able to reduce the dosages. Check with your ND about this.

source: Quercetin by Michael T. Murray, ND, Vitamin Retailer, Nov. 2014

To buy: Click Here

PS. Don’t forget to get a FREE e-copy of my new book “Think and Feel Younger” Click Here

Velvet Antler for Joints, Anti-Aging and Athletes.

deerDeer velvet (humanely harvested fuzz on the antlers) traditionally was used in China over a thousand years ago.  Even today, many oriental countries rely on it for its rejuvenation properties, alleviating of menopause symptoms and as an aphrodisiac. In addition users have discovered its good for promoting growth in children, increasing blood in the body, helping cardiovascular disorders, preventing aging and loss of memory, treating menstrual disorders, addressing impotence and infertility and strengthening stamina.

 

Since 1991 New Zealand scientists have been carrying out a unique investigation into the composition and medical properties of velvet at AgResearch Invermay on the South Island. Their studies verified ancient claims to the efficacy of velvet’s properties. A Russian study revealed that velvet antler has hypotensive, erythopoietic, anti-stress stimulating, anti-inflammatory, gonadotrophic, growth and metabolic effects. Athletes have found velvet antler beneficial for repair of stressed joints and for the added stamina and endurance it seems to provide.

 

I personally had meniscus damage in my knees from skiing. Not want to face surgery I tried the New Zealand velvet antler (NZVEL) along with a topical cream that contained CMO (Joint Medic). I hate to say the word “cure”, but I no longer have trick knees, no pain and no clicking in my knee. The combination seems to have restored my synovial fluid and somehow reduced the bone on bone trauma whenever I would run or bike. I used to wear a brace to protect the lateral movement on my knee… no more! I can bike without becoming crippled afterwards and hiking and skiing are no problem anymore.

 

Velvet Antler warrants further investigation if you have a specific condition you think it may help. There is a copy of the book  “Velvet Antler, Powerful tonic for joints, infertility, blood pressure, athletic performance and more” available at http://bit.ly/1ncFoid for $1 as a PDF or you can buy the paperback at Amazon http://amzn.to/1oTH0SI. More info on the actual NZVEL product I used is available at http://bit.ly/1kdt55v.

What’s wrong with ascorbic acid form of “vitamin C”?

sneeze

When we get a cold what is the first thing we grab – some vitamin C? You might have a bottle of ascorbic acid on your shelf thinking that is vitamin C and will help your cold, but you are misled…

 

Vitamin C is legally defined as ascorbic acid and folic acid as pterolyglutamic acid. As found in foods, vitamin C is more than just one molecule and to function properly in the body it needs more than just ascorbic acid. Tyrosinase is a co-factor that is essential for the production of the oxidative burst in white blood cells that destroys engulfed pathogens. surrounding the core of tyrosinase are the bioflavoinoids and P factors. These support production and maintenance of collagen and elastin and another component, vitamin K and hemoglobin production co-factors (J factors) were also needed to function properly.

 

When plants product vitamin C complex they enclose the active constituents with a shell of ascorbic acid being a functional component of the vitamin complex. But, ascorbic acid only comprises five to eight percent of the actual vitamin complex. It is actually a marker molecule used to identify vitamin C activity and it’s presence in a food source. By legal definition isolated ascorbic acid is not vitamin C. 

 

Ascorbic acid is the protective shell that also can function as an antioxidant but must be paired with its co-factors and other synergistic components to maximize the utilization in the body. Ascorbic acid is a single, naked molecule synthesized by processing glucose (corn syrup mostly from GMO corn) with sulfuric acid to produce the hexuronic acid form. It is not a natural whole food vitamin. It is a synthetic.

 

Synthetic vitamins can help initially because our cells can take a naked molecule and draw the necessary co-factors from other areas of the body. But once the co-factors are depleted the synthetic vitamin can no longer work reducing the efficacy of the substance.The return or worsening of the symptom the ascorbic acid was taken for is viewed as a reoccurrence of the original condition whereas it is actually the body’s depletion of the co-factors so the synthetic vitamin can no longer be processed. Because it is now deficient in that vitamin, even more serious conditions can arise. Another reason why synthetic vitamins cannot produce as good results as natural whole food vitamins is that the cells vibrate at a specific frequency and they don’t recognize the frequency of the synthetic vitamin so won’t process them efficiently.

 

So – next time you get a cold, don’t reach for ascorbic acid. Look for a whole foods vitamin C complex with all the co-factors still in tact.

-excerpted from “Whole Food Vitamins” by Jody Kincaid, DVM, ND, CVA, IVC Journal, Summer 2013

Magnesium Needed. Please apply.

magnesium-rich-foodsBalanced diets can give us enough magnesium, but as we age we become more susceptible to conditions of the body that create deficiencies and/or are a result of deficiencies.

Magnesium deficiency leads to pathological changes int he immune system that are related to the initiating of an inflammatory response. There is evidence linking low magnesium to aging and age-related diseases due to the lack of sufficient magnesium in Western diets. Diseases of the bowel like Crohn’s and celiac are triggered by low magnesium. Also long-term use of diuretics and other medications can leech magnesium from the body.

The DV for magnesium is 400 mg although specific conditions would warrant increased dosage. Conditions helped by adequate levels of magnesium include, constipation, diabetes, hearing loss, kidney stones, migraines, mitral valve prolapse, osteoporosis, PMS, Hypertension, leg cramps, restless legs, cholesterol levels,  and C-reactive protein levels (inflammation). As for supplementation, magnesium citrate seems to have the best absorption, but magnesium oxide is a close second and action gets more of the magnesium into the body per percent absorbed than the citrate. It is also important to note that is is prudent to take calcium with magnesium to facilitate proper utilization. At least 1:1 or 2:1 (mag/cal) ratio.

For a good Cal/Mag supplement see http://bit.ly/13pPgMQ 

Need sleep?

In this era of news reporting, sleeping pills have been getting a bad rap lately. We never favored drugs to get sleep but desperate folk need something. Here are our suggestions:

L-Tryptophan which is an amino acid (actually the thing in turkey and warm milk that makes you drowsy) that is safe and effective. Great to use unless you are taking antidepressants (warning).

Melatonin, a hormone naturally produced by the body that normally helps you sleep, but we recommend a hormone test (saliva or blood) that can tell you if you are deficient. We never advise taking any hormones unless you know you need them. The one we use is in a cream. There is an easy saliva hormone test kit at http://www.foreveryoungcooperative.com/testing-kits.html

Magnesium. An Australian study found that a combination of magnesium and zinc was effective especially when used with melatonin.

Gaba (gamma aminobutyric acid) is a relaxant especially for folk with anxiety or panic attacks. This neurotransmitter is made in the brain from the amino acid glutamate with the aid of vitamin B6. Best used in a supplement with 4-amino-3-phenylbutyric acid because its better able to cross the blood-brain barrier. We recommend getting a neurotransmitter test (saliva) to determine if your brain chemicals are out of balance and if that is the reason for your insomnia and anxiety. We have a test kit that can do this that in most cases is covered by insurance. Call Kristine at 617-360-1929 for more info.