Lifestyle, Vitamins and Supplements

Reverse Aging

antiaging

 Seven Super Supplements to reverse Aging

A brain-healthy, Alzheimer’s-fighting diet has properties that extend far beyond just decreasing your daily carb load. To truly provide your body with brain-boosting nutrients and vitamins that help stave off brain disease and other illnesses, you should consider a regular regimen of supplements. These seven supplements will go a long way towards helping you with prevention:

  1. DHA: An omega-3 fatty acid that represents more than 50% of the omega-3 fatty acids in the brain. Numerous studies link high levels of DHA with a decreased risk for dementia, Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases . Look to take in about 1,000mg/day.
  2. Resveratrol:  you can thank this natural compound which slows down the aging process, boosts blood flow to the brain, and promotes heart health. In addition to the role it plays in stimulating brain function, resveratrol is also a key ally of our body’s immune system. Target 100mg twice daily.
  3. Turmeric:  Turmeric is well known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. We can thank turmeric for protecting our mitochondria (thanks to its role in stimulating antioxidant properties), and it also improves glucose metabolism — both of which are essential for reducing one’s risk for brain disease. Try to get 350 mg twice daily.
  4. Probiotics: Research conducted in just the last few years has started to conclude that eating food rich in probiotics can influence brain behavior, and may modulate the effects of stress, anxiety, and depression.  Ideally, get your probiotics through a supplement that contains at least 10 billion active cultures from at least ten different strains, including lactobaccilus acidophilus and bifidobacterium.
  5. Coconut Oil: If you follow this blog, you know I am a big fan of coconut oil and probably know why it’s an important part of our diet. Go for at least 1-2 tablespoons of an organic variety daily.
  6. Alpha-lipoic Acid: Alpha-lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant that works to protect brain and nerve tissue. Look to get 600 mg/day.
  7. Vitamin D: I can’t say enough about the importance of Vitamin D, and that’s why I devote five pages to it in Grain Brain. It’s ideal to start with 5,000 units of Vitamin D3 daily, get tested after three months, and adjust accordingly.

As with any dietary/health changes, these are suggested guidelines only, and you should consult with your physician before making any changes to, or beginning, a supplement plan.

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived Article:  Dr. Perlmutter

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Health and Disease, Vitamins and Supplements

Foods that help thyroid problems

echinacea

Foods to help Thyroid Problems

Thyroid disorders – whether the gland is hyperactive, hypoactive, or enlarged – are common but often misdiagnosed and it can take a while find out what is causing such problems as weight change, fatigue, depression and problems with skin. Before taking any herbs for the thyroid, therefore, it is best to consult a medical practitioner or herbalist to find out what is the best plan of treatment for the condition. Below, though, are listed ten of the best drugs to treat thyroid disorders that you may want to know about.

Echinacea

While most people think of this herb as an immune system booster, it has also been used successful to help treat those suffering from hypothyroidism or thyroiditis and does not seem to care the side effects of some of the medications traditionally prescribed for this condition.

Licorice

Licorice can help balance and even out the hormones among many different glands and can be useful for those who suffer from the fatigue that thyroid problems can bring. It has also been proven to help inhibit thyroid cancer cells.

Bugle

Bugle can be used in a tablet form or as an essential oil and in one study of those with mild hyperthyroidism, use of this herb resulted in significant improvement of symptoms without any side effects.

Ashwaganda

This herb is a powerful antioxidant and acts on the thyroid to stimulate just the right amount of hormone production. It also has anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties.

Bacopa

Research with the use of bacopa has revealed that this can help stimulate a hypoactive thyroid gland and significantly improve its function without any adverse side effects.

Eleuthero

Also called Siberian gingseng, this herb can help either hyper- or hypoactive thyroid glands by regulating hormones levels in the body and can also help with the function of the thymus and adrenal glands.

Bladderwrack

This algae contains iodine, which helps to stimulate the thyroid as well as other natural compounds which restore its normal function and can also help to reduce the size of thyroid nodules.

Flaxseed

Flaxseed is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which can have a positive impact on thyroid health. One study found that hypothyroid patients who consumed a diet rich in these fatty acids showed an increase in thyroid hormone levels.

Black Walnut

Black walnut, like bladderwrack, is also rich in iodine, a nutrient which plays an important role in overall thyroid function and optimizes the health of the thyroid gland.

Lemon Balm

This member of the mint family has found to be very effective at reducing the levels of hormone production in overactive thyroid and easing the symptoms of hyperthyroid patients by normalizing the function of the gland.

Thyroid problems are more common than many people realize and can be complex to diagnose and treat. However, once the cause of the problem has been determined, discussing a natural treatment plan with an herbalist or other practitioner is a good idea and that plan may well involve one or more of the herbs listed above.

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Rx to Wellness

Risk of Depression increases with use of prescription pain killers.

rxpainkillers

If you take prescription narcotic painkillers known as opioids for 90 days or more, you may significantly raise your risk of developing major depression, according to new research that adds to growing concerns surrounding the use of these common medications.

While those who took the drugs for 90 to 180 days had a 25 percent increased risk of depression, those who took opioids for 180 days or longer were at a 53 percent increased risk of developing depression compared to those who did not.

In other words, the risk seemed to go up the longer the painkillers were used, and also went up as the dosage increased. The researchers concluded:

“…the risk of development of depression increased as the duration of opioid analgesic exposure increased.”

Why Might Prescription Painkillers Lead to Depression?

It’s not entirely clear how the drugs may be involved in depression, although it is widely known that they have a strong impact on your brain. The drugs work by binding to receptors in your brain to decrease the perception of pain.

But they also create a temporary feeling of euphoria followed by dysphoria that can easily lead to physical dependence and addiction. The researchers speculated that there could be numerous factors linking opioid painkillers with depression:

“Some of these include opioid-induced resetting of the brain’s ‘reward pathway’ to a higher level, which means the chronic use of narcotic pain killers can elevate the threshold for a person’s ability to experience pleasure from natural rewards such as a food or sexual activity.

Other factors may include body aches months and years after the use of opioids has stopped, side effects such as adrenal, testosterone and vitamin D deficiencies and glucose dysregulation.”

Use of Prescription Opioid Painkillers Has Quintupled

The study’s lead author shared the startling statistics that “the use of prescription opioid analgesics has quintupled recently and that more than 200 million prescriptions were issued to patients in 2009 in the US.”

Given the magnitude of their use, their link to depression could constitute a “public health problem,” he said.

It wouldn’t be the first time the drugs have been linked to health problems of epidemic proportions. Prescription drug abuse has been called the fastest-growing drug problem in the US by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as the number of deaths from opioid painkillers like hydrocodone and oxycodone rose nearly four-fold between 1999 and 2009.

Men are still more likely to die from prescription painkiller overdose, but women are quickly catching up. Nearly 50,000 such deaths occurred among women between 1999 and 2010, and the statistics revealed by the CDC give a somber view of this growing problem:

  • More than 6,600 women, or 18 women every day, died from a prescription painkiller overdose in 2010
  • There were four times more deaths among women from prescription painkiller overdose than for cocaine and heroin deaths combined in 2010.
  • In 2010, there were more than 200,000 emergency department visits for opioid misuse or abuse among women — about one every three minutes.

The problem, once primarily seen in inner cities, is now even spanning to rural areas, hitting people of all ethnic backgrounds and income levels.

Opioids Are Among the Most Commonly Abused Drugs

Opioids like morphine, codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone and fentanyl are one of the most commonly abused drug classes. These drugs are not only addictive, they can lead to slowed breathing and death if too much is taken, and the risks are compounded if you add alcohol to the equation.

Hydrocodone, a prescription opiate, is synthetic heroin. It’s indistinguishable from any other heroin as far as your brain and body is concerned. So, if you’re hooked on hydrocodone, you are in fact a good-old-fashioned heroin addict.

Worse, pain-killing drugs like fentanyl are actually 100 times more potent than natural opioids like morphine, making the addictive potential and side effects associated with prescription drug use much higher. At the root of the problem, of course, is the fact that so many Americans are struggling with pain.

Chronic pain affects 100 million Americans – that’s more than the number impacted by diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined. Yet, many physicians simply do not know how to help their patients manage, or eliminate, chronic pain without the use of these risky drugs.

The ‘Pain Prescription’ That Won’t Increase Your Risk of Depression (or Any Other Chronic Disease!)

If you suffer from chronic pain, prescription medications should be your last resort. Rarely, if ever, should they be your go-to option. If your physician has not spoken with you about some of these natural methods to address pain at its most foundational level, it may be time to seek out one who will. The four steps I recommend doing first, include:

  • Start taking a high-quality, animal-based omega-3 fat like krill oil. Omega-3 fats are precursors to mediators of inflammation called prostaglandins. (In fact, that is how anti-inflammatory painkillers work, they positively influence prostaglandins.) The omega-3 fats EPA and DHA contained in krill oil have been found in many animal and clinical studies to have anti-inflammatory properties, which are beneficial for pain relief.
  • Reduce your intake of most processed foods as not only do they contain sugar and additives but most are loaded with omega-6 fats that upset your delicate omega-3:omega-6 ratio, which will contribute to inflammation, a key factor in most pain.
  • Eliminate or radically reduce most grains and sugars (especially fructose) from your diet. Avoiding grains and sugars will lower your insulin and leptin levels. Elevated insulin and leptin levels are one of the most profound stimulators of inflammatory prostaglandin production. That is why eliminating sugar and grains is so important to controlling your pain.
  • Optimize your production of vitamin D by getting regular, appropriate sun exposure, which will work through a variety of different mechanisms to reduce your pain.

Try These 5 Natural Options Before Even Considering Painkillers for Chronic Pain

Once you’ve addressed the basics above, try these safe pain-relief techniques to help eliminate your pain without the need for prescription drugs:

  • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT): Few people want to be told that their pain is psychological or emotional in origin, but there’s quite a bit of evidence that backs this up. Underlying emotional issues and unresolved trauma can have a massive influence on your health, particularly as it relates to physical pain. According to Dr. John Sarno, a psychiatrist who uses mind-body techniques to treat patients with severe low back pain, EFT has a greater than 80 percent success rate.
  • Chiropractic adjustments: According to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine6 and funded by the National Institutes of Health, patients with neck pain who used a chiropractor and/or exercise were more than twice as likely to be pain free in 12 weeks compared to those who took medication.
  • Massage: Massage releases endorphins, which help induce relaxation, relieve pain, and reduce levels of stress chemicals such as cortisol and noradrenaline – reversing the damaging effects of stress by slowing heart rate, respiration and metabolism and lowering raised blood pressure. It is a particularly effective therapy for stress-related tension, which experts believe accounts for as much as 80 to 90 percent of disease.
  • Acupuncture: Researchers concluded that acupuncture has a definite effect in reducing chronic pain, such as back pain and headaches – more so than standard pain treatment.7
  • Relearn proper posture: The Gokhale Method addresses the root cause of physical pain, which is typically caused by improper posture. The method teaches you to reclaim your primal posture, which is the way your body was designed to stand, sit and move. You can also try Foundation Training—an innovative method developed by Dr. Eric Goodman to treat his own chronic low back pain. The exercises are designed to help you strengthen your entire core and move the way nature intended.
  • Infrared Lasers therapy like K Laser can be profoundly effective and should be considered as an alternative before any surgical procedure for pain relief.

There Are Alternatives to Prescription Painkillers

If you have chronic pain of any kind, you don’t have to make the hard choice to either suffer from your pain or suffer from the side effects of prescription painkilling drugs. Please understand that there are many safe and effective alternatives that provide excellent pain relief without increasing your risk of depression or any of the other health hazards that pain medications often cause.

  • Astaxanthin: One of the most effective oil-soluble antioxidants known. It has very potent anti-inflammatory properties and in many cases works far more effectively than prescription drugs like NSAIDs. Higher doses are typically required and one may need 8 mg or more per day to achieve this benefit.
  • Ginger: This herb is anti-inflammatory and offers pain relief and stomach-settling properties. Fresh ginger works well steeped in boiling water as a tea or grated into vegetable juice.
  • Curcumin: Curcumin is the primary therapeutic compound identified in the spice turmeric. In a study of osteoarthritis patients, those who added 200 mg of curcumin a day to their treatment plan had reduced pain and increased mobility. In fact, curcumin has been shown in over 50 clinical studies to have potent anti-inflammatory activity, as well as demonstrating the ability in four studies to reduce Tylenol-associated adverse health effects.
  • Boswellia: Also known as boswellin or “Indian frankincense,” this herb contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which have been prized for thousands of years. This is one of my personal favorites as I have seen it work well with many rheumatoid arthritis patients.
  • Bromelain: This protein-digesting enzyme, found in pineapples, is a natural anti-inflammatory. It can be taken in supplement form, but eating fresh pineapple may also be helpful. Keep in mind that most of the bromelain is found within the core of the pineapple, so consider leaving a little of the pulpy core intact when you consume the fruit.
  • Cetyl Myristoleate (CMO): This oil, found in fish and dairy butter, acts as a “joint lubricant” and an anti-inflammatory. I have used a topical preparation for myself to relieve ganglion cysts and a mild annoying carpal tunnel syndrome that pops up when I type too much on non-ergonomic keyboards.
  • Evening Primrose, Black Currant and Borage Oils: These contain the fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA), which is useful for treating arthritic pain.
  • Cayenne Cream: Also called capsaicin cream, this spice comes from dried hot peppers. It alleviates pain by depleting the body’s supply of substance P, a chemical component of nerve cells that transmit pain signals to your brain.

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