February is Heart Disease awareness month which is appropriate since February 14 is also Valentine’s Day, so let’s talk about how we can have happy and healthy hearts.
You have heard me speak about in the past how heart disease has a direct relationship metabolic syndrome. Metabolic Syndrome is a grouping of disease states and conditions which are highly preventable through diet and lifestyle alone. Metabolic Syndrome is a culmination of risk factors and disease states including abdominal obesity, insulin resistance, type II diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia (cholesterol and triglycerides).
The conventional model of treating blood pressure and cholesterol is attention to diet and lifestyle, and if that does not get things in line, than medication therapy. As far as diet and lifestyle, it does not have to be difficult. Fortunately we are seeing a growing and heightened level of food consciousness, with tools to aid us, where people are navigating toward real foods, away from many of the factory produced ingredients.
People are often looking for ways to eat healthier, and one answer is-simplicity. Look for ingredients you can see and pronounce, are low-glycemic, fiber rich, whole foods. Foods which are not refined or processed, foods free of hydrogenated oils, artificial colorings, flavorings, sweeteners, trans-fats, fructose and high fructose corn syrup. You know, getting back to real food.
With heart disease, inflammation plays a very big role. Inflammation is apparent in most major diseases and what many people do not realize is that food can be an aggravating or causative factor. Even perceived healthy foods can have an inflammatory component and this is usually based on food intolerances or allergies. It is important to understand that food intolerance is different than an allergy. Where an allergy is noticed right after someone eats the offending food, a food intolerance can occur up to hours or even days later, making it difficult to pin-point which food is causing the problem.
Where people can have an allergy or intolerance to any food, common food intolerance’s include eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish, shell fish, corn, diary, food additives, refined sugar, yeast, and gluten. One can have food allergy and intolerance’s tested, although one guideline I often go by is that if someone truly loves a food, something that you would have to pry from their hands, almost addicted (I see this with cheese and other forms of dairy as well as wheat and gluten containing foods); it might be worthwhile to begin to reduce or eliminate these foods.
As far as medications there are a plethora of them and as you know one area I like to look at is balance. Where medications may indeed be needed, its imperative to look at the drug induced nutrient depletions. Within the spectrum of cholesterol lowering, blood pressure lowering, diuretics and other medications we see numerous depletions such as CoQ10, magnesium, potassium, B vitamins and more. Remember, the root of disease has never been linked to a deficiency in a medication, although it has been linked to deficiency in nutrition.
For a healthy heart, whether someone is looking to prevent disease or is currently dealing with heart disease, I find it prudent to supplement CoQ10, Magnesium, B Vitamins and of course EPA/DHA as found in fish oils.
Below is a podcast we found over at <a href=”http://www.pharmacyunplugged.com”>www.pharmacyunplugged.com</a> Its an interview between two pharmacists and nutritionists on “What you need to know about probiotics and immune health”. Enjoy
<a href=”http://www.pharmacistintegrative.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DrOhhirasPro.jpg”><img title=”DrOhhirasPro” src=”http://www.pharmacistintegrative.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DrOhhirasPro.jpg” alt=”" width=”199″ height=”150″ /></a>What do probiotics have to do with your immune system? A lot-In this Interview with the Expert, Ross Pelton, RPh CCN PHD shares with us what you need to know about the importance of probiotics, and the uniqueness of Dr Ohira’s probiotics.
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Grab great information including:
<li>The overall role probiotics play in our health and vitality</li>
<li>The role probiotics play in our immune health</li>
<li>A unique formulation of probiotcs which fights MRSA- a bacteria infection resistant to antibiotics</li>
<li>How this unique formulation of probiotics is like dropping a complete healthy intestinal ecosystem into your digestive tract with each capsule- different from other products on the market.</li>
<li>Why you should not travel or go into the hospital without quality probiotic supplementation…</li>
<li>And a whole lot more</li>
To find the Dr Ohira Professional blend, contact a pharmacy in a “Find a Pharmacy” database at www.pharmacistintegrative.com, or go to www.essentialformulas.com to find a practitioner near you.
Remember fish oils? It seems with every new hot supplement that hits the news like curcumin and berberine, certain foundational supplements fall of the radar. And we know of all the benefits of fish oils, from cardiovascular protection, anti-inflammation, and more. Now new research is backing what has already been proven, although important indeed, fish oils can help slow aging decline and with an aging population of the boomers…this could provide tremendous benefit and save untold amounts of money.
Findings of a recent trial show that women aged over 65 who received omega-3 fatty acids gained almost twice as much muscle strength following exercise than those taking olive oil.
A larger trial is planned to confirm these findings and to determine why muscle condition improves.
The findings are being presented at the British Science Festival in Aberdeen.
Some studies have linked diets high in omega-3 – commonly found in oily fish such as mackerel and sardines – to potential health benefits, such as a lower risk of coronary heart disease.
During healthy ageing, muscle size is reduced by 0.5-2% per year.
This process – known as sarcopenia – can result in frailty and immobility in old people.
Little is known about the prevalence of sarcopenia in the UK, but data from the US shows that 25% of people aged 50-70 have sarcopenia and this increases to more than half of those aged over 80 years.
According to Dr Stuart Gray from the University of Aberdeen, the cost of sarcopenia is immense; either in direct nursing and care costs or in hospital admissions through falls.
“Around one-and-a-half percent of the total US healthcare budget is spent on sarcopenia-related issues”, he said.
Tales from the farmyard
The rate of muscle loss is dictated to some extent by lifestyle – consumption of a low protein diet and a sedentary lifestyle are known to exacerbate muscle loss.
Previous studies demonstrated that livestock fed on omega 3-rich diets had increased muscle bulk.
This prompted Dr Gray to investigate whether these fatty acids could help reverse sarcopenia in the elderly.
In his initial studies, he showed by MRI imaging that middle-aged rats taking fish oil supplement had a lower loss of lean mass than counterparts fed a normal diet.
“The fish oil seemed to be having anabolic [muscle-building] protective effects in the rats, but rats aren’t humans, so the next step was to try it in humans,” he said.
So, Dr Gray recruited 14 women aged over 65 years and asked both groups to undergo a 12 week exercise programme consisting of two 30-minute sessions of standard leg muscle exercises.
Half the women were given the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, whist the other half received an olive oil placebo (negative control).
At the start and end of the trial, the women’s leg muscle strength was measured.
The results were compelling. Women receiving olive oil increased their muscle mass by 11% whilst those receiving EPA and DHA showed a 20% increase – a statistically significant improvement.
But as Dr Gray was quick to point out, not all fish oil supplements contain beneficial amounts of these fatty acids. He told BBC News:
“One of the problems with a lot of these supplements is that the amount of EPA varies.
“A capsule containing one gram of fish oil might only contain 100 milligrams (mg) of EPA and some might contain 400″.
His advice for anyone wanting to improve their intake of dietary EPA and DHA was to take a supplement that contained the highest levels of these two fatty acids.
Alternatively, half of the average portion of oily fish contains equivalent amounts of beneficial EPA and DHA as those used in the trial.
We recommend on the highest in quality nutritional supplements, especially fish oil.
Beware of the low integrity products and marketing shysters...Find an integrative pharmacy near you where to by quality fish oils at value…click here.
CoQ10 is not one of the newest and hottest supplements to hit the market, although it is still one of the most beneficial to ones health, especially the role it plays in supporting the heart and energy production, while knowing just how many prescription drugs can deplete it.
Here are 8 Big Reasons Why I Love CoQ10, and take it every day!
1. CoQ10 is a potent antioxidant that protects your cells from free radical damage.
2. Because of your heart’s huge energy requirements, CoQ10 is essential for a healthy cardiovascular system.
3. CoQ10 is made by every cell in your body; however, production naturally diminishes with age.
4. Statins as well as many other drugs for blood pressure and diabetes block the production of CoQ10, thus supplementation is recommended.
5. CoQ10 is naturally found in some foods. Yet the average daily intake (approximately 10 mg) is insufficient to produce substantial clinical effects.
6. CoQ10 is fat soluble, which means it will not dissolve in water and is best absorbed with a fatty meal or when dissolved in an oil in a softgel. Solubilized and microactive forms have shown to offer the best absorption.
7. German researchers found that people with tinnitus who also had low blood levels of CoQ10 had significant improvements after taking CoQ10 for four months.
8. Low CoQ10 levels are an independent predictor of death in patients with chronic heart failure.
As you can see, CoQ10 is critical for many areas of health such as cardiovascular health, antioxidant protection and energy production, and due to factors such as aging, low levels in diet, and medications which can deplete CoQ10, supplementation with a high quality CoQ10 could be just what you need.
People often ask me, “which is the best to take”, and I like to look at cost effectiveness, plasma levels, bio-availability and absorption, and convenience.
I like the “many birds, one stone” effect, thus regularly recommend Pure One daily supplement which contains 50 mg SR Microactive CoQ10, which has shown to provide 24 hour coverage and three times the absorption of other solubilized CoQ10′s, all in one product.
For more on this, we have it at the pharmacy, or you can grab it from Pure Encapsulations Nutritional Pharmacy below,
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or as a substitute for recommendations by your primary care practitioner.
Now this one falls under adding years to your life and LIFE TO YOUR YEARS, because getting a good nights rest is paramount to a healthy and vibrant life. Research has shown that a good nights rest helps people lose weight, reduces ones risk of stroke, and now we are seeing, helps one to live longer.
New research from UnitedHealthcare looks at centenarians and baby boomers, asking the former about the “secrets of aging success” and evaluating whether the latter are taking the necessary steps to celebrate a 100th birthday.
The primary findings: Many boomers are embracing lifestyles that could lead to a long and rewarding life – with two exceptions. More than seven in 10 centenarians – 71% – say they get eight hours or more of sleep each night. By contrast, only 38% of boomers say they get the same amount of rest. And when it comes to eating right, more than eight in 10 centenarians say they regularly consume a balanced meal, compared with just over two-thirds (68%) of baby boomers.
The report – “100@100 Survey” – begins with some startling numbers. As of late 2010, the U.S. had an estimated 72,000 centenarians, according to the Census Bureau. By the year 2050, that number – with the aging of the baby-boom generation – is expected to reach more than 600,000. Meanwhile, an estimated 10,000 boomers each and every day – for the next decade – will turn 65.
How to reach 100? Centenarians point to social connections, exercise and spiritual activity as some of the keys to successful aging. Among surveyed centenarians, almost nine in 10 – fully 89% – say they communicate with a family member or friend every day; about two thirds (67%) pray, meditate or engage in some form of spiritual activity; and just over half (51%) say they exercise almost daily.
In each of these areas, baby boomers, as it turns out, match up fairly well. The same percentage of boomers as centenarians – 89% – say they’re in touch with friends or family members on a regular basis. Sixty percent of surveyed baby-boomers say spiritual activity is an important part of their lives, and almost six in 10 boomers (59%) exercise regularly.
Again, sleep and diet are the two areas where baby boomers come up short. Not surprisingly, the one area where boomers are more active is the workplace. Three-quarters (76%) of surveyed baby boomers say they work at a job or hobby almost every day; that compares with 16% of centenarians.
Boomers and sleep…heck everyone and sleep, that is the major issue which seems to be plaguing our society. And my guess is that the more people stay connected to technology, especially later into the night, the more issues of sleep will continue. Though we have some very powerful facts and research which provides how to add more life to your years and more years to your life.
Metabolic syndrome is a culmination of disease states such as obesity, dyslipedemia, high blood pressure and high blood sugar. Metabolic syndrome is one of the biggest cardiovascular disease risk factors, and this includes stroke. So it should not be surprised that research is showing people who are “pre-diabetic” are at an increased risk for stroke. The problem comes in with what is considered to be pre-diabetic, and without spitting straws, for optimal health I think it is safe to say that a blood sugar reading of 85 to 95 is optimal. Anything above needs to be worked on.
Millions of people suffering from pre-diabetes may be at a higher risk of stroke, a study published on bmj.com today suggests.
Pre-diabetes is characterised by higher than normal blood glucose levels that, if left untreated, develops into type 2 diabetes. The scale of the problem is enormous and growing, with an estimated 79 million people in the US and 7 million people in the UK affected.
People with pre-diabetes also harbour the same vascular risk factors as people with type 2 diabetes, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity, but its effect on future stroke risk has not been established.
So a team of researchers from the University of California looked at the relationship between pre-diabetes and risk of stroke whilst taking into consideration other cardiovascular risk factors such as an unhealthy weight and lifestyle. The authors analysed the results of 15 studies involving 760,925 participants.
They show that the relationship between pre-diabetes and risk of stroke appears to depend on the definition of pre-diabetes.
Pre-diabetes is generally defined as impaired fasting glucose (raised blood glucose levels after a 12-hour fast). A range of 70.2 to 100 mg/dl is normal, while a level of 100 to 126 mg/dl is considered a sign of pre-diabetes.
The researchers found that pre-diabetes based on the 1997 American Diabetes Association (ADA) definition of 110 to 125 mg/dl carried a 21% higher chance of stroke.
However, in 2003 the ADA redefined pre-diabetes as an impaired fasting glucose of 100 to 125mg/dl and no risk was found in studies using this current, less stringent definition.
This suggests that there may be a ‘threshold effect’ with regard to the relationship between impaired fasting glucose and future stroke risk to the extent that the risk of a stroke only begins to rise at or above a fasting glucose level of 110 mg/dL.
The authors stress the possibility that some other unmeasured (confounding) factor may explain these results and it is important to note that the quality of evidence was variable.
The authors conclude that people with pre-diabetes (with a fasting glucose 110 to 125 mg/dl) were at a “modestly higher risk of future stroke”. They do add however that those with the 2003 ADA’s definition (100 to 125 mg/dl) do not have an increased risk of stroke.
The authors suggest that those with pre-diabetes “should be aware that they are at increased risk of future stroke” and that the condition is associated with the presence of one or more other cardiovascular risk factors. They recommend that weight be kept under control and that healthy lifestyle changes should be adopted to decrease this risk.
In an accompanying editorial, Dr Jonathan Treadwell, from the ECRI Institute in Philadelphia, suggests that due to unmeasured factors such as age, obesity and hypertension, it is impossible to know the exact size of the association between pre-diabetes and stroke. He also argues that Lee’s study only takes into consideration two of the overall four categories that define pre-diabetes. He concludes that it is “too simple” to categorise whether someone has diabetes, pre-diabetes and not diabetes but commends Lee’s study for thinking “outside of the box of what meta-analysis can achieve” adding that the “clinical question must drive the research methods”.
I have been writing about such as threshold affect for years, not resting comfortably with blood sugar ranges just below 120, even though medicine says its ok. This area holds unnoticed risk factors as well as presents the possibility of an even bigger challenge of saving the pancreas and metabolic system before its too late.
It was over a year ago we reported on a study which shown that ultra athletes, people who tend to do ultra-marathons and the like, have increased cardiovascular scarring at the age of 60 compared to others their same age, who are not into such intensive training.
Just this week Mercola ran a similar article on how such exercise could be more detrimental than beneficial. Recent news that a Marathon Man dropped dead training for the Leadville 100.
An avid marathon runner has died while training in high-altitude for a 100-mile race he planned to do this summer.
It was to be the 10th time that John Greer, 53, of Arizona, would run the Leadville Trail 100 run in Colorado.
Greer’s body was found close to the summit of Humphrey’s Peak in Flagstaff, a place where he often trained
Greer’s body has been transported to the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office as sheriff’s officials continue to investigate the death.
The science of longevity…who gets to live long and why? After all its also about how well we live, is it not? And whether you have the longevity league or not…it is not a free pass nor is it a sentence to earlier death, it all depends on the environment you provide it. What if I was to tell you that there are 3 big factors that can affect HOW LONG and HOW WELL that you live?
Studies show there are really three factors that make the difference:
- Your “physiologic reserve” — the capacity left in your muscles, brain and organs to accomplish the tasks of daily living.
- Your financial health and attitude toward the future.
- Your social networks.
• Physiologic Reserve: Essentially, our bodies fail because we push them past their warranty period. We use up the reserves of our muscles, brain and organs. But it’s possible to extend the warranty. Small changes in lifestyle such as taking a daily walk, cutting out one doughnut a week, eating a few more vegetables, lifting light weights or doing weight-bearing exercise will preserve the body’s reserves.
A 45-year-old who starts and continues taking a short walk every day to slow down the loss of muscle mass can extend her functional muscle strength 20 years.
• Financial health and attitude: Those who are financially secure live longer. And it’s not just because they have access to better health care and living conditions. Their longevity is associated with behavior traits that go along with being wealthy: enjoying continuing education, being conscientious about important routines, optimism about the future and having the reserves to bounce back from physical, mental and environmental stress.
This is good news for those of us who are not wealthy. Enjoying life fully and having a positive attitude makes a difference. Optimists live 7.5 years longer than pessimists.
• Social networks: Social butterflies live longer. If you have friends to see, places to go, people who are there for you providing support, you’ll live longer. It’s as simple as that. There’s a 20 percent increase in breast cancer survival rates for women who are socially connected. And social support is a predictor of survival for men who suffer a heart attack regardless of how severe the damage.
When you think about it, it is the promise of the three golden rings which keeps Madison avenue working: health, wealth and happiness. In a way the three factors above directly fall into these desires and marketing targets.
It’s all much about setting goals and continue to work towards them, keep striving until attained.
When you think about health, it is multifactorial. Its the thoughts you think, the actions you take, the food you eat, the exercise you do and don’t do. But is there more to that, can we take further from our environments to support our health? Our goal of health is longevity, and being healthy and happy during our stay.
You might have heard of vastu or even feng shui…these are using the energies which are around you. The belief is that energies either give or they take away, so providing a “giving energetic” environment in your home might pay itself back.
Scientific (quantum mechanical) and psychological evidence shows that making changes to your environment causes the synapses in your brain to change their firing pattern, leading to a corresponding change in you. So, when your home is healthy, vibrant and active, those living in that environment may begin to mirror that same energy.Here are some ways your home can help you with your emotional and physical health goals:
• Get a full-length mirror.
Place a quality mirror in a spot that you pass often so that you get a clear and accurate reflection of yourself in the “now” to help you stay present, rather than stuck in the past.
• Lighten up your home.
Put your house on a diet, and every day remove something you no longer need. Diminish the weight of your home and see your own pounds drop as well.
• Put healthy reminders around.
Rather than keep unhealthy junk foods around, get rid of them and place a bowl of fruit on the kitchen counter instead. Keep bottles of water in a convenient spot and adorn the kitchen and dining room area with images of a healthy lifestyle.
• Eat only when seated at the table.
Eat at the dining room or kitchen table to encourage eating consciously rather than unconsciously in front of the television or computer. Respect and honor the process of eating and you will find that you eat less and your digestion improves.
• Choose natural light to eat with.
When it comes to supporting your health, natural light is important because it boosts and balances your energy. Open your curtains, clean your windows and let natural light into your home.
• Avoid too much red.
Red, a “fire” color, reflects an important element, but an overabundance of fire colors (including orange, purple, yellow, bright pink, coral, burgundy) can work against you and increase your appetite. So keep red out of the kitchen (try greens or blues), and avoid wearing it when you eat out. Soft, light pastel colors will calm your energy and appetite.
• “Hide” your kitchen.
If the kitchen is the first thing you see when you walk into your home, you may be triggered to eat without being truly hungry. Until you form new habits, enter your house from a different area, or if that is not possible, place a large piece of artwork or a mirror within sight to draw your eye away from the kitchen so that you are less likely to stray.
• Use square plates with a dull versus shiny finish.
Square plates with a dull finish and darker colors represent grounding earth energy and encourage slow eating and a calm appetite. Eating fast gives the brain little or no chance to signal us when we are full.
• Do an overall health check of your home.
Walk around your home with a garbage bag and throw out anything old, out of date, or that adds clutter, especially old magazines, newspapers and expired foods. “Decluttering” your home can create a wonderful energetic boost for your health.
Use your home for maximum support
Improving the energy flow in your home with feng shui can support and encourage change in your life, and help you manage and maintain your weight and health goals. Make your home your partner in health.
After all, longevity is not just about how long, but how well that you live. Feng shui and vastu promote health, wealth and happiness, and where you goal might be on one, you might find great benefits in all of these areas.