Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

The Three Types of Supplements You Should Never Buy

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

The three types of supplements you should never buy

An expert on vitamins tells us what to avoid.

vegetables in a capsule

Catherine Price is the author of Vitamania: How Vitamins Revolutionized the Way We Think About Food. The book is a habit-altering romp through the seemingly banal topic of vitamins.

 

Price got the idea for her book when her husband asked her the question, “What’s a vitamin?” and Price found that she didn’t have an answer. Vitamins, to spare you the suspense, are organic compounds that we tend to come across in food—and without which we would die. There are 13 human vitamins: A, C, D, E, K and seven B vitamins (thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyroxidine (B6), biotin (B7), folate (B9) and cobalamin (B12)). But if that was all Vitamania was about, it would have made for a short book. Instead Price explores how the discovery of vitamins has shaped our diet, and our perspective on health.

 

Although the book was published in 2015, it couldn’t feel more relevant today. From Gwyneth Paltrow to Alex Jones of Info Wars, it seems like everyone is promising that vitamins— and their creepy alter ego, supplements—can soothe what ails us. Supplements are now a multi-billion-dollar industry that many say will continue to grow. But we’re not getting any healthier. Last year, U.S. life expectancy declined for the first time since 1993. How did we become a vitamin and supplement obsessed society, and why isn’t that keeping us from getting sick?

 

Price has a few ideas—and a few warnings to keep in mind the next time you’re staring down an aisle of supplements.

 

The following Q&A has been edited for length and clarity.

 

How did vitamins become a dietary staple?

 

Vitamins have this healthy aura that feels mathematically precise. What do we really know about dosage?

The most definitive thing we know is how much you need not to die. I think some researchers would argue it’s more nuanced than that, but from a consumer perspective that’s really what it boils down to.

 

How does the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) that we see on labels fit into that?

The RDA is like the government trying to create a sweater that would fit 97 out of every 100 Americans. If you try to do that, you’d end up with a very large sweater that 97 out of 100 people could fit into. But that does not mean it’s the correct size for everyone. There’s 96 out of 100 people who could fit into a smaller sweater.

 

And, for the most part, the current recommendations are based on the highest recommendations from 1968. The FDA has not updated the recommendations that the daily values are based on. They’re supposed to be updated, but that’s probably going to get delayed until at least 2020.

 

For the next couple of years, when you look at the percent daily value for vitamins and minerals on the back of a food or a supplement, that is based off of very outdated recommendations. You shouldn’t be aiming for 100 percent.

 

How has the ability to make vitamins changed the American diet?

If it weren’t for synthetic vitamins, we would not be able to eat the way we today without getting horrible vitamin deficiencies. When were first able to synthesize vitamins in the 20s, 30s, and 40s, that really changed the kind of products that we were able to make. You had the processed food industry really start to take off, combined with this ability to put back nutrients that the processing had removed.

 

Breakfast cereal is one of the most egregious examples of this, because you’re essentially eating a multivitamin. They have vitamins incorporated into the dough, or, depending on what the vitamin is, some of them are actually sprayed on. It really is just like dust on top of your otherwise nutritionally vapid corn flake, and they call it a healthy start to your day.

 

What’s for breakfast? Vita-dusted corn flakes, anyone?

 

 

But is this necessarily a bad thing?

When you’ve got a houseplant and you know that it needs water to survive, you may pour a gallon of water on it thinking it will just use what it needs and the rest will just pour out of the bottom of the pot. But the houseplant’s roots can get rotten, or they could grow a fungus, or there could be some other harm that’s caused by the excess water.

 

People say Americans have the most expensive urine in the world, because we take all of these vitamins and it’s no problem—we’re just peeing them out. But a couple of years ago, a woman killed herself by drinking too much water. If you can kill yourself drinking water, that’s a warning that just because you need something in a certain amount doesn’t mean that you can keep taking it ad infinitum, or that it will do something good for you. It’s possible that we’re triggering diseases that take a long time to develop, but that are a result of being saturated with vitamins all of the time.

 

I think the poor feedback loop is also true for dietary supplements, which are not vitamins, because people take all sorts of crazy shit. There are more than 85,000 supplements on the market in America, and one may not do anything bad to you immediately. But it could be that you have a daily dietary supplement habit and over years some kind of side effect develops. And then 15 years later you have a health problem and you don’t know it’s because of this product you were taking.

 

A lot of people think regulations will protect us from dietary supplements. Is that true?

Supplements are regulated, but not in the way that you or I as consumers would ever think that they would be regulated. They’re regulated under The Dietary Supplement and Health Education Act, which the industry helped to get passed. The law forbade the FDA from requiring that supplement manufacturers have to prove that their products are safe or effective before selling them.

If you think about it, it’s totally nuts. You should have some assurance that what’s sold on the shelf as a health product isn’t going to hurt you, and ideally is going to do what it says it’s going to do.

 

Some products that are advertised as dietary supplements are clearly substances that the average consumer would think would be a food. Like, some teas are dietary supplements instead of a food. And the reason is because there was less regulation if it was a dietary supplement then if it was a food.

 

If you bought a loaf of bread and it turned out it was actually a dozen eggs inside the package you’d probably complain. But the equivalent can and does happen pretty frequently with dietary supplements. A consumer went to buy a multivitamin and the bottle had penne pasta in it, which is an extreme version of not being able to predict what you’ll get. But more often, pretty dangerous stuff is snuck into dietary supplements like illegal prescription drugs.

 

“And definitely stay clear of sexual enhancement, body building, and weight loss. Those are the three categories that are adulterated the most with truly dangerous substances.”

 

Is there any way to know what you’re getting?

It’s extremely difficult, if not impossible from a consumer’s perspective to know for sure what’s in their products. If you’re going to buy them, definitely do research on which brands have been tested, and stick with the bigger brands. And definitely stay clear of sexual enhancement, body building, and weight loss. Those are the three categories that are adulterated the most with truly dangerous substances.

 

Even with vitamins, there are issues where they put overages into the vitamins or more of a vitamin than they say is on the label. They want to make sure that by the time you buy it, it has the dose it says. But they’ve had issues where that’s resulted in there being too much vitamin A, which can be toxic.

 

The best I can say is go to one of several websites where they’re actually testing things. The best one, in my mind, is ConsumerLab.com, which requires a subscription. You get a really good breakdown of what the research is and what it does and doesn’t show, and has products pulled off the shelf that are tested—not paid for by industry.

 

But it’s kind of crazy that you have to send somebody to a subscription-based website to get a true answer as to whether or not the product that they just spent 50 dollars on actually is what it says it is.

 

Given that you have Type 1 diabetes, have you ever been tempted by supplements?

I never really did go down that route. But I have, as an experiment for the book, gone into a supplement shop and said, “I have diabetes, what can you give me?”

 

They aren’t supposed to give you advice, because that’s medical advice. But they always have a whole selection of these various herbs and concoctions that are supposed to be helpful for blood sugar, which is dangerous. If a supplement product makes your blood sugar go very low or interferes with any of your medication, you could die.

 

Some of these things probably do have an effect on your blood sugar, so it’s scary to think that there’s no scientific evidence of what dose does what. There’s no guarantee of concentration in what you’re buying. There’s no warning about how it can interact with anything.

 

If you have ever lived abroad for a while, one of the things I noticed is how less vitamin-obsessed people are overseas. Why do you think that is?

Something that we don’t recognize as consumers is how these 13 chemicals—and the way that they were marketed in the early part of the 20th century—completely revolutionized the way we think about food today.

 

They are miraculous because we need them to prevent diseases, but that was really taken advantage of by food marketers and the dietary supplement industry. Thy applied it to a much wider array of products—including not just pills, but also foods. I think you really start to see that in the 60s and the 70s with the natural food movement, and then when you fast forward to today you still see it in every single food trend that we have. It’s the way we think about food.

 

Michael Pollan (the author of Omnivore’s Dilemma) was the first person to really enunciate this in an eloquent way, but the reductionism that we use when we think about food is very remarkable and very, very, American. We don’t think, “is this bread delicious for my sandwich?” We think about how many nuts and seeds it has, and that flax seed has omega 3 fatty acids in it and omega 3 fatty acids are supposed to be healthy because they’re advertised on everything.

 

We basically break food down into components, and then we think about what effects those particular components are supposed to have on our health. We try to turn our meals into these nutritional math problems. And it leaves us so susceptible to things like the GOOP vitamins, or the idea that InfoWars is somehow going to be able to help our health.

 

Notice how this vintage Ovaltine label emphasizes that it’s a “protective” food with vitamins and other “essential” minerals.

 

Something else that blew my mind was the section about sourcing—where vitamins actually come from. Like the fact that Vitamin D often comes from the lanolin, or wool grease of Australian and New Zealand sheep, which is shipped to China, where it’s exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light, mimicking the process our skin uses to create vitamin D.

The main vitamin manufacturers didn’t really want to talk about where their production facilities are, but apart from like, a beta carotene manufacturer in Texas, there’s basically no vitamin manufacturing plants in America. When you say, “vitamin manufacturing” people think of the pills, and obviously, there’s thousands of places making vitamins in the states and hundreds of thousands around the world. But I’m talking about the raw ingredients for the pills and those are coming from other places in the world, particularly China.

 

Going back to what we were talking about before where it would be impossible for Americans to eat the way that we do without the help of synthetic vitamins, it’s interesting as a thought experiment to ask yourself, if someone really wanted to do a particularly clever kind of war against us, they could cut off or somehow adulterate the supply of synthetic vitamins coming in. It would probably take a while for people to figure out those diseases because we don’t see them very often.

 

What do you wish the public knew about vitamins?

The first question people often ask me is, “should I take a multivitamin?”

 

And I have no idea if you should take a multivitamin, I don’t know what your diet is like, I don’t know what medical conditions you have.

 

People want you to say yes or no, like it’s totally always a waste of time or its going to add years to your life. In reality, there’s cases where people probably should take a multivitamin, and there’s situations where someone is eating a lot of cereal and they’re essentially eating a multivitamin every day. They don’t need to take a multivitamin, but they could benefit by eating fewer processed foods. We want black and white answers, and there aren’t any. We have to learn to be more comfortable with nuance.

 

And you really should not be thinking about your food in terms of the numbers, or percent of vitamins and minerals that they have—because that information itself is wrong. When you recognize as a consumer that even the information on the package is not reliable, then you really have to rethink your approach towards eating and come at it at a more holistic way. Just ask, does this food naturally contain a lot of vitamins and minerals? Ok, then that’s probably a good way to get my vitamins and minerals. I’m not going to obsess about the particular number of milligrams that it has. I’m just going to eat the orange, or the red pepper.

 

I think the bottom line is it just points out that nutrition is not a math problem. At least not a math problem that we can solve at this point.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized, Vitamins and Supplements

Who Needs Magnesium?

magnesium

 

Why 99% of Us Are Deficient in Our Most Important Mineral

— And How Major Industries Inflate Chronic-Conditions,

Heart Disease & Cancer Rates…

 

 

This affects us ALL.

 

This may just be the simplest, most elegant solution to our most common issues… low energy, broken focus, reduced memory comprehension, sleep problems, high blood pressure, anxiety, migraines, joint pain and MORE…

 

Magnesium deficiency may be the most common nutritional problem in the industrialized world today, yet it is the single MOST IMPORTANT MINERAL for maintaining electrical balance and metabolism in our cells.

 

It is responsible for over 350 life-providing reactions in our body.

 

…From immune response, metabolizing fats, carbs, amino acids, nervous & muscular support, proper cardiac & brain function, blood sugar, blood pressure, energy & protein synthesis, the formation of strong bones & teeth… cellular health….And the list go’s on and on… and on.

 

…Yet, nearly every one of us is chronically deficient, some of us – severely.

 

So how could this be?

 

Americans In STAGE 4 Deficiency.

 

You’re probably aware that for quite some time — approximately 80% of us are deficient in life’s most critical mineral – Magnesium.

 

You’re probably also aware of some importance of Magnesium and it’s correlated scientific reference as “The Master Mineral”.

 

But what you likely aren’t aware of, is the underlying fact ALL OF US are Magnesium deficient. (*opposed to just 80% of us.)

 

So you’re probably wondering how that may be?

 

Well, most of us, once we reach our 40’s or 50’s, become “symptomatic”… from low energy, to compromised sleep, joint pain, muscle cramps, anxiety, migraines, high blood pressure, diabetes, inability to cope with stress, osteoporosis, cancer and so on…

 

But what many don’t realize, is that once you’ve become symptomatic, your body is likely already in a stage-3, or STAGE 4 deficiency! 80% of us are. The other 20% are walking around with quiet stage 1 or stage 2 deficiencies…

NEVER TAKE MAGNESIUM ALONE!  YOU HAVE TO ASK YOUR HEALTCHARE PROVIDER WHAT OTHER SUPPLEMENTS AND VITAMINS YOU NEED TO TAKE WITH MAGNESIUM.  A ONE A DAY VITAMIN IS NOT THE ANSWER!

So what the heck can cause such an epidemic of deficiency?

 

It Begins With Our Water and Food…

 

Even though magnesium was once abundantly available in our food, produce and water.

 

Today it’s almost completely stripped — due to things like fluoridated water that binds to magnesium, making it unavailable — to large pesticide dumps with synthetic potassium, that massively blocks and depletes magnesium in crops — to refined grains and foods, where magnesium is lost — to “magnesium eliminators” like sugar and caffeine, that cause us to lose excrete magnesium in urine — to the incredible toxic load our bodies juggle on a daily basis…

 

Since Magnesium is a key protection against these poisons, and alternatively is depleted in the presence of their toxicity – found in all of us.

 

…Which is why — a deficiency in Magnesium also leads to things like further deposits of metals in our brains – leading to Alzheimer’s, MS, Parkinson’s, and other neurological diseases — that none of us want to be victim of, or have our loved ones deal with.

NEVER TAKE MAGNESIUM ALONE!  YOU HAVE TO ASK YOUR HEALTCHARE PROVIDER WHAT OTHER SUPPLEMENTS AND VITAMINS YOU NEED TO TAKE WITH MAGNESIUM.  A ONE A DAY VITAMIN IS NOT THE ANSWER!

“Calcification” — The Real Danger:

 

Food and water are preventing us from replenishing our necessary Magnesium — but they aren’t the largest culprit behind our deficiency as an industrialized species…

 

Calcification The real culprit kicking this problem into OVERDRIVE, is “calcification” — which takes place in our bodies from too much CALCIUM.

 

Calcium is in nearly EVERYTHING. The dairy industry alone spends over $300 million per year marketing Calcium. And it won’t matter if you drink milk or not… it’s fortified in synthetic forms in all of our foods and even shows up in “nut, coconut and soy” milks!

 

When you consume too much Calcium, your body becomes “calcified”. Your bones, your muscles, your tissues, your arteries (contributing to heart disease) — even your individual cells.

 

In fact, this is where things get hairy…

 

Every cell in our bodies has a “sodium-potassium pump”.

 

This pump regulates minerals inside and outside of our cells for balance.

 

When too much Calcium is present, the ratios get out of balance, and too much Calcium gets INSIDE our cells.

 

When too little Magnesium is present, this allows EVEN MORE Calcium to get inside our cells — literally turning us to stone.

 

(Ever hear of someone’s bones breaking too easily? …And they’re told they need MORE Calcium?)

 

Magnesium deficiency impairs the sodium-potassium pump from working correctly.

 

Within every cell in the body, a proper balance of mineral content must be maintained.

 

When Magnesium isn’t sufficient enough to counter-act Calcium, “calcification” begins to take place over time…

 

Too much Calcium accumulates in your cells,

leading to cell-dysfunctions and death.

 

A body insufficient in magnesium is a threat of serious magnitude.

 

Here are some specific consequences of Magnesium deficiency:

 

▪    Our Arteries become “calcified” – as plaque hardens your arteries, contributing to heart disease and attacks.

 

  • Alzheimers Disease

 

▪    Calcium gets trapped inside muscles and joints, stiffening your body and causing joint pain and muscle cramps.

 

▪    Calcium accumulates in your cells — leading to cell dysfunction and even cell death.

 

▪    Potassium deficiency – due to malfunction of the “sodium-potassium pump.”

 

▪    Conduction of nerve impulses, muscle contraction, and heart rhythms.

 

▪    Blood clotting — Magnesium helps alleviate calcium promotion of blood clotting. — (*this is why half of heart attack patients receive magnesium chloride injections)

 

  • False Celiac and Gluten Free diagnosis’s

 

  • Heart Attacks, especially at a young age..

 

▪    Low energy — Magnesium is required to produce ATP energy in your cells.

 

▪    Sleep sabotage — Lack of magnesium affects REM sleep, eventually propetuating chronic insomnia.

 

▪    Osteoporosis — Calcium is displaced to tissues, starving bones — due to lack of magnesium.

  • Thyroid problems

 

▪    Cellular toxicity — a dysfunctional sodium-potassium pump cannot properly detox cellular waste.

 

  • High Sodium levels

 

These are just a dozen, of hundreds of potential problems one faces, from one simple deficiency.

 

Remember, magnesium is responsible for over 350 life-providing reactions in your body!

 

You simply won’t ever obtain optimal well-being or homeostasis without maximum magnesium repletion.

NEVER TAKE MAGNESIUM ALONE!  YOU HAVE TO ASK YOUR HEALTCHARE PROVIDER WHAT OTHER SUPPLEMENTS AND VITAMINS YOU NEED TO TAKE WITH MAGNESIUM.  A ONE A DAY VITAMIN IS NOT THE ANSWER!

What About Supplemental Solutions For Magnesium?

 

They aren’t sufficiently restoring your body to complete-repletion, even if you are taking them on a consistent basis. Most run through your kidneys, causing stress, and are quickly purged from the body — due to incompatible and unnatural form.

 

Our diets, prescription medicines, particular medical ailments, and concentration of stomach acid, warp the bioavailability of magnesium in pill or powder form.

 

Also many popular magnesium supplements on the market are watered down with fillers and impurities and contain a very low concentration of actual magnesium — which is usually in a synthetic form, which can be beneficial for emergency use, but not actual repletion of magnesium. Very few brands of supplements and vitamins are certified for correct labeling.  FDA stop checking the contents of what were in those bottles, and pharmacies such as Walgreens have picked up some of the slack and have tested them themselves.  When they find a product incorrectly labeling they are reported and removed.

 

These aren’t real solutions for true health.

 

To get magnesium in substantial repleting quantity, your best option is through your skin, or “transdermally”. Your skin is your largest organ, and allows you to replete at a much greater level — without any of the side effects, since it absorbs directly into your blood and tissues. (This can also be the only option for anyone with impaired kidney function.)

 

While there are transdermal magnesium choices on the market — most of these are subpar quality and form — often containing things like rock-minerals, which also contain an array of other components – other than Magnesium, such as heavy metals and/or other harmful contaminants.

 

Also, most transdermals are standard magnesium chloride. Which can be a decent option, but not all MC’s are the same. Nor are they “naturally pre-digested” so to speak, for optimal absorption and assimilation.

 

The amount of magnesium and the corresponding supplements to help you absorb magnesium correctly need to be determined by a healthcare professional.  This is something we can do for you at Health and Wellness Associates.  If your healthcare professional just tells you to take any of the supplements at the local drug store, then you know have the knowledge to know to go to someone else.

 

NEVER TAKE MAGNESIUM ALONE!  YOU HAVE TO ASK YOUR HEALTCHARE PROVIDER WHAT OTHER SUPPLEMENTS AND VITAMINS YOU NEED TO TAKE WITH MAGNESIUM.  A ONE A DAY VITAMIN IS NOT THE ANSWER!

 

As always share with family and loved ones!  Contact us for an appointment to help you with your personalized health care plan,

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Uncategorized, Vitamins and Supplements

Can Antioxidants Prevent Cataracts?

cataracts

Can Antioxidants Prevent Cataracts?

 

 

Throughout the world, cataracts are the leading cause of blindness and vision loss. In the United States, more than 50 percent of all people aged 80 years and older have had cataract surgery, costing an estimated $6.8 billion a year. Cataract surgery is the only definitive way to treat cataracts.

Because of limited resources, citizens of developing countries often are unable to afford cataract surgery and must suffer through progressive lens opacity that makes it not only harder to see under regular conditions but also especially hard to see at night or when glare is an issue.

In other words, it’s really hard (and dangerous) for people with cataracts to drive at night.

Because of the limited availability of cataract surgery in many countries throughout the world, experts in the field have long been searching for a way to prevent cataracts. It’s estimated that discovery of a preventive measure that delays the onset of cataracts by 10 years could result in a 50 percent decrease in visual and surgical burden. Currently, many eye researchers believe that consumption of antioxidants in some manner may prevent cataracts.

A generally well-accepted hypothesis concerning the development of age-related cataracts pegs oxidative stress and osmotic imbalances as a cause. More specifically, an excess of free radicals damage lens proteins and lipids in the epithelium thus obfuscating the lens and leading to progressive opacity. Antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E stabilize these free radicals, and thus squelch the destruction free radicals cause.

In fact, we know that the lens preferentially stockpiles some antioxidants like suchaslutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin E, and vitamin C.

To be sure, factors other than oxidative stress and free radicals also play a role in the development of cataracts including:

  • UV light
  • alcohol consumption
  • diabetes
  • hormone therapy
  • smoking
  • obesity

Such factors likely further exacerbate oxidative stress and impair your eye’s ability to defend against damage or repair lens damage.

Results from a Swedish study published in JAMA Ophthalmology in 2014 suggest that prevalence of cataracts is reduced among people who regularly consume antioxidant-rich foods like leafy vegetables, whole grains, and coffee. In this large study of middle-aged and elderly women, confounding variables such as smoking, body mass index, physical activity, and educational level were adjusted for, and results were still statistically significant.

Because increased levels of antioxidants in a person’s diet are associated with a lower prevalence of cataract formation, it’s tempting to think that antioxidant supplements may also decrease your risk for cataracts, too. However, research into whether antioxidant supplements work to prevent cataracts has yielded inconsistent results.

One recent randomized-control trial published in the journal Ophthalmology in 2014 suggests that multivitamins rich in antioxidant mixtures reduced the risk of nuclear cataract — a type of cataract — by 9 percent during a period of 11.2 years.

 

Another study suggests that in those research participants already eating a diet rich in antioxidants, high-dose antioxidant supplementation may actually increase risk of cataract formation. This counterintuitive finding is attributed to the hypothesis that in excess amounts, antioxidants can actually convert over to pro-oxidants and cause oxidative stress.

A reason why individual antioxidant supplements or multivitamin preparations do little to prevent cataracts probably has to do with the complexity of human metabolism. To date, no limited and artificial combination can yet reproduce the antioxidant-rich milieu present in healthy foods. Furthermore, there are likely many more antioxidants that we have yet to discover, and these unknown antioxidants probably play a big role in the prevention of cataracts and other types of disease.

Research shows antioxidant supplements do little to prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease. However, a diet rich in leafy vegetable, colorful fruits and other sources of antioxidants has been associated with decreased risk for cancer and heart disease. Similarly, whereas a balanced diet rich in antioxidants may help prevent cataract formation, current antioxidant supplements likely do little to prevent the disease. Ultimately, if you hope to leverage the benefit of antioxidants, your best bet is to consume antioxidants within the context of a nutritious diet and avoid taking antioxidant supplements that likely do little and might even cause harm.

 

Please share with family and loved ones.  If you have any questions about your healthcare please call us for assistance.

Health and Wellness Associates

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Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Seven Supplements to Reverse Aging

aging

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

Let the medical staff at Health and Wellness Associates help you with your vitamin and supplement routine.

Health and Disease

Congestion Relief

clementins

Congestion Reliever

Cold season is here, buy you can minimize sniffling and stuffiness with clementines.

A USDA study found that this easy to peel fruit is packed with synephrine, a natual

Antihistamine that reduces nose and throat inflammation and slows the production of mucus.

Great ideas:  Add Clementine segments into your favorite chicken or beef stir-fry dishes.

Also: Toss peeled and thinly sliced clementines, chopped carrots, and chopped parsnips with coconut oil, then roast in a 425 degree oven for 40 minutes

Health and Wellness Associates

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Foods, Health and Disease

Best Foods for Your Brain

brainfood

What does the food you eat have to do with how your brain functions? Turns out an awful lot. While we’ve always known that what we eat affects our bodies and how we look, scientists are also learning more and more that what we eat takes a toll on our brains. Yes, brain foods matter (especially for our gray matter).

See, our bodies don’t like stress. Who does? When we’re stressed out — whether it’s physical, like someone jumps out at you from a dark alley, or mental, like you have a major project due at work — our bodies release inflammatory cytokines. (1)

These little chemicals prompt the immune system to kick in and fight back against the stress through inflammation, as though stress is an infection. While inflammation helps protect us against illnesses and repairs the body when you do something like cut yourself, chronic inflammation is a different animal. It’s been linked to autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, anxiety, high blood pressure and more. (2)

But what does this all have to do with food? Our gut helps keep our body’s immune responses and inflammation under control. Additionally, gut hormones that enter the brain or are produced in the brain influence cognitive ability, like understanding and processing new information, staying focused on the task at hand and recognizing when we’re full. (3)

Plus, brain foods rich in antioxidants, good fats, vitamins and minerals provide energy and aid in protecting against brain diseases. So when we focus on giving our bodies whole, nutritious foods benefiting both the gut and the brain, we’re actually benefiting our minds and bodies while keeping them both in tip-top shape.

Of course, some foods are better for your brain than others. I’ve rounded up 15 brain foods you should be eating to feed both your mind and body. With a mix of fruits, veggies, oils and even chocolate (yes, chocolate!), there’s something to please everyone!

15 Best Foods For The Brain 

1. Avocados

This fruit is one of the healthiest ones you can consume and one of my all-time favorites. While avocados often get a bad rep because of their high fat content, it’s important to note that these green powerhouses are packed with monosaturated fats or the “good” kind, keeping blood sugar levels steady and your skin glowing.

Containing both vitamin K and folate, avocados help prevent blood clots in the brain (protecting against stroke) as well as help improve cognitive function, especially both memory and concentration.

They’re also rich in vitamin B and vitamin C, which aren’t stored in your body and need to be replenished daily. Plus, they have the highest protein and lowest sugar content of any fruit. Not too shabby! Avocados’ creamy texture makes them a smart addition to smoothies and a replacement for fats in baked goods,

2. Beets

It might be their funny shape or memories of bad recipes eaten during childhood, but beets seem to be an intimidating food for many people, even vegetable lovers. That’s a shame, because these root vegetables are some of the most nutritious plants you can eat — they’ve even earned a spot on my healthy foods shopping list.

They reduce inflammation, are high in cancer-protecting antioxidants and help rid your blood of toxins. The natural nitrates in beets actually boost blood flow to the brain, helping with mental performance. Plus, during tough workouts, beets actually help boost energy and performance levels. I love them roasted or in salads

3. Blueberries

Proving that great things do come in small packages,blueberries are a fruit I try to eat daily. That’s because they’ve got so many great health benefit ­while tasting like an all-natural candy!

For starters, it’s one of the highest antioxidant-rich foods known to man, including vitamin C and vitamin K and fiber. Because of their high levels of gallic acid, blueberries are especially good at protecting our brains from degeneration and stress

4. Bone Broth

Bone broth is the ultimate food for healing your gut and, in turn, healing your brain. This ancient food is full of health benefits, ranging from boosting your immune system, overcoming leaky gut, improving joint health and overcoming food allergies.

Its high levels of collagen help reduce intestinal inflammation, and healing amino acids like proline and glycine keep your immune system functioning properly and help improve memory. Bone broth is what I prescribe most frequently to my patients because it truly helps heal your body from the inside out.

5. Broccoli

Your mom got it right when she told you to eat your broccoli. It’s one of the best brain foods out there. Thanks to its high levels of vitamin K and choline, it will help keep your memory sharp. (4)

It’s also loaded with vitamin C — in fact, just one cup provides you with 150 percent of your recommended daily intake. Its high-fiber levels mean that you’ll feel full quickly, too

6. Celery

For a vegetable with such few calories (just 16 per cup!),celery sure does offer a lot of benefits. Its high levels of antioxidants and polysaccharides act as natural anti-inflammatories and can help alleviate symptoms related to inflammation, like joint pain and irritable bowel syndrome.

Because it’s so nutrient-dense — packing loads of vitamins, minerals and nutrients with very little calories — it’s a great snack option if you’re looking to shed pounds. And while we often eat celery stalks, don’t skip the seeds and leaves; both provide extra health benefits and taste great in things like stir fries and soups.

7. Coconut Oil

Ahh, coconut oil, one of the most versatile — and good for you — foods out there. With more than 77 coconut oil uses and cures, there’s almost nothing that coconut oil can’t help.

And when it comes to your brain, it’s full of benefits, too. Coconut oil works as a natural anti-inflammatory, suppressing cells responsible for inflammation. It can help with memory loss as you age and destroy bad bacteria that hangs out in your gut. (5)

8. Dark Chocolate

Not all chocolate is created equal; in fact, dark chocolate can actually be good for you! Chocolate is chockfull of flavonols, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They can also help lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to both the brain and heart.

But don’t go wild munching on Hershey’s Kisses just yet. Most of the chocolate you see on supermarket shelves is highly processed with few benefits. The rule of thumb is the darker the chocolate, the more health benefits.

Skip milk and white chocolates and opt for a minimally processed dark chocolate with at least 70 percent of cocoa..

9. Egg Yolks

On the nutritional naughty list for years, egg yolks are finally experiencing their well-deserved day in the sun. If you’ve been eating only egg whites, the yolk’s on you. Yolks contain large amounts of choline, which helps in fetal brain development for pregnant women. It also breaks down bethane, a chemical that produces hormones related to happiness. That’s right, eggs can make you happy! (6)

If you’ve kept away from eating eggs whole because of cholesterol concerns, there’s good news. Studies show that eating eggs had no effect on the cholesterol levels of healthy adults and might, in fact, help raise good cholesterol levels.

It’s also one of the most inexpensive sources of protein out there; just be sure you’re buying organic, free-range eggs. Need some egg-spiration?

10. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Real extra virgin olive oil is truly a brain food. Thanks to the powerful antioxidants known as polyphenols that are found in the oil, including EVOO in your diet may not only improve learning and memory, but also reverse the age- and disease-related changes. (7) The oil also helps fight against ADDLs, proteins that are toxic to the brain and induce Alzheimer’s. (8)

As great as extra virgin olive oil is, remember that it’s not a good option for cooking, as it hydrogenizes and begins decomposing at high temperatures. The best way to get your fill is by eating it cold or at room temperature

11. Green, Leafy Vegetables

It turns out that Popeye was onto something with his spinachobsession. Getting regular helpings of leafy green brain foods — like kaleSwiss chard and romaine lettuce — can help keep dementia at bay according to new research. (9)

In the study, which evaluated the eating habits and mental ability of more than 950 older adults for an average of five years, those adults who ate a serving of leafy green veggies once or twice a day experienced slower mental deterioration than those who ate no vegetables, even when factors like age, education and family history of dementia were factored in.

Green, leafy vegetables are also loaded with vitamins A and K (just one cup of kale has more than 684 percent of your recommended daily serving!), which help fight inflammation and keep bones strong.

12. Rosemary

We already knew that rosemary oil has a variety of benefits, but did you know that the herb does, too? Carnosic acid, one of the main ingredients in rosemary, helps protect the brain from neurodegeneration. It does this by protecting the brain against chemical free radicals, which are linked to neurodegeneration, Alzheimer’s, strokes and normal aging in the brain. (10)

It also helps protect eyesight from deteriorating, thanks to its high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. (11)

13. Salmon

If you like seafood, get excited, because salmon is one of the most nutritious, brain food-friendly foods out there! It’s packed with omega-3 fatty acids to help keep your brain running smoothly ­— goodbye, brain fog — and improve memory.

If you have kids, feeding them salmon can help preventADHD by improving their focus. And these same fatty acids can also help prevent cancer and kill tumors — not bad for a four-ounce serving of fish!

Please note that these benefits are for Alaskan wild-caught salmon — farm-raised and regular wild-caught salmon can be filled with mercury and toxins.

14. Turmeric

Isn’t it great when a simple spice has amazing health benefits? That’s the Turmeric also helps boost antioxidant levels and keep your immune system healthy, while also improving your brain’s oxygen intake, keeping you alert and able to process information. Talk about a super spice!

15. Walnuts

It turns out that eating walnuts can keep you from going nuts. Just munching on a few walnuts a day can improve your cognitive health. (12) Their high levels of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals also improve mental alertness. The vitamin E in the nuts can also help ward off Alzheimer’s.

Do you have a diagnosed disease and you need help reversing the effects.  Call us

312-972-WELL

Health and Disease, Lifestyle

What Your Wrinkles Are Telling You

wrinkles

What Your Wrinkles Are Telling You We all get older and signs of aging start by appearing on our faces. Wrinkles are the most visible sign of aging and can be spotted easily. Most of us are bound to get them in the course of our lives.

Many people want to avoid wrinkles especially when they first show up. There are many things people do to avoid wrinkles. Studies show that when we hit our 30′s we avoid the sun, reduce smoking, and cut down alcohol use. While these things are helpful to avoid wrinkles, have you ever thought that the wrinkles and fine lines on your face might be saying something about your health?

Wrinkles and the Brain Experts have linked facial wrinkles with the effects of aging on our brain. Studies show that the more wrinkles we have the more our brain is impacted by aging. Dr. Douglas Fields research found that by looking at the state of our skin we can tell much about the health of our brain. Usually the rate our brains start to age depends on external factors and genetics. Hormones play an important role in keeping our brain and skin healthy, deficiency of certain hormones is linked to various forms of cognitive impairment and dementia. When we don’t use sunscreen it disturbs our immune system and triggers inflammation, this damages the skin and has an aging effect on our brain. Skin and brain cells develop from the same embryonic tissue which is why they age at the same rate. Another factor correlating brain and skin aging is Alzheimer’s disease. Physical and mental exercises can be used to keep our brains and skin healthy. Avoiding toxins, stress, alcoholism, and cardiovascular disease will slow the effect of aging on brains and skin which will also help you reduce wrinkles.

Wrinkles and the Heart The American Heart Association performed a study on 10,000 people over a period of 35 years that showed wrinkles and other signs of aging are related to heart attacks and heart disease. From the total analyzed approximately 50% had both wrinkles and skin disorders. If you are in your 40′s and have wrinkles it’s a good idea to book a doctor’s appointment for a heart check-up.

Wrinkles and Other Organs Wrinkles are linked with many health-related factors. Studies show facial wrinkles are linked to osteoporosis. New research has found a strange connection between wrinkles and bone health, the more wrinkles you have the more likely you are to have less bone density, this is more common in women with early menopause.

One primary cause of wrinkles is smoking tobacco and having longterm alcoholism, these habits are also linked with deterioration of bone health. While wrinkles are common signs of aging they may also be screaming about your overall health and should not be ignored.

If you need help reversing any of these conditions, or you want to prevent wrinkles that may be in your family line; give us a call,

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived Article

P Carrothers

312-972-WELL

Foods

Korean Kimchi Recipe

koreankimchi

Kimchi is a famous fermented vegetable dish from Korea. Usually served as a side dish, there are more than 300 different varieties of kimchi, depending on the main vegetable ingredient used and the region or season in which they’re made.

Nowadays, you’ll see a lot of ready-to-eat kimchi brands in supermarkets, but no matter how convenient they seem to be, many of these products are often loaded with artificial flavorings, toxic fillers, and harmful additives, and have also gone through excessive processing that may have eliminated any living organism in them.

To make sure that you get the quality, the freshness, and all the health perks that you’re after, I encourage you to make your own kimchi at home using this recipe:

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of water
  • 4 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 head cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup daikon radish grated or 1 cup asparagus cut into one-inch pieces
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:

    1. In a large bowl, mix a brine of the water and salt. Mix well to thoroughly dissolve salt. Add the cabbage and daikon radish. Cover with a plate or other weight to keep the vegetables submerged. Soak for 12 hours.
    2. Drain the brine from the vegetables, reserving the brine. Taste the vegetables for saltiness. If they are too salty, you can rinse the vegetables. If they are not salty enough, sprinkle with a little more salt (one quarter teaspoon at a time).
    3. Combine the asparagus, green beans, scallions, garlic, ginger, and cayenne pepper. Add to the cabbage mixture.
    4. Put the whole mix into a jar or crock. Pour the soaking liquid over the vegetables, making sure that they are completely submerged in liquid.
    5. Cover loosely with a clean cloth and set aside for three to seven days. The ideal room temperature to help with the fermentation is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. If it is colder, the fermentation takes longer.
    6. Check the kimchi daily. Make sure the vegetables stay covered in brine. After three to seven days, the kimchi will taste ripe. Once this happens, place in glass jar in the refrigerator. It will keep for months.

(From Healthy Recipes for Your Nutritional Type)

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived Article

312-972-WELL

Rx to Wellness, Vitamins and Supplements

Vitamin C Slashes Stress

VitaminC

Getting enough vitamin C has surprising effect

on mood, reveal investigators in The American

Journal of Clinical Nutrition. When C-deficient hospital

patients were given 500 mg of the vitamin daily for 8 days,

they experience a 71 percent reduction in symptoms

such as irritabillity, fatique and sadness and a 51 percent

decrease in anxiety.  The study authors explain that

vitamin C is critical for maintaining balance in the

brain chemicals that govern our emotional response

to stress.

Health and Wellness Associates

312-972-WELL

Foods, Lifestyle, Vitamins and Supplements

Body Sculpting Supplements, Pregnancy and Death

bodysculpting

Supplements, Pregnancy and Death

If you are taking supplements, or powder, or detox cleansing drinks, or any of the products for weight lost or body sculpting, you are injuring the organs of your body.

You will see them promoted as nutritional supplements for energy, nutrition, weight loss and sports promoting.

As we speak, there is testimony going on in Washington D.C. to regulate or eliminate these products all together. You can get supplements with a potent dose of additives like caffeine over the counter and online is disconcerting, highlighting the need for better regulation of these types of substances.

These products are meant to raise your blood pressure which gives you false energy, and

terribly effects your nervous system. They claim to have amino acids, where they tell you your body can not produce them, vitamins and minerals, and then look closely at the caffeine, and sometime L-tyrosine.

Any medical personnel will tell you that your body produces the right amount of amino acids that your body needs. More than what you need is dangerous! They will usually list the vitamins and minerals, which can be impressive, but again, medical personnel will tell you how dangerous it is to take individual B vitamins. The levels of caffeine are usually 200 times the normal daily intake.

We are seeing infertility rates triple when a woman has taken these products. You need that fat tissue around your abdomen, that men do not have, in order to get pregnant, and to carry a successful baby to term.  We are seeing a large number of deaths being reported in emergency medicine rooms, in people under the age of 30. Women over the age of 50, might have the right intention with their protein shake, but it is killing them.

These are all legal acquired products, over the counter, or through a respectable representative.

However, some are still under the impression that, because they’re “supplements,” they can’t possibly hurt — which underscores the need for more regulation in the U.S. — but in the meantime, we should heed the warnings.

So, beware and be smart: Over-the-counter supplements are not without dangers, and they can be just potent as the drugs prescribed by your doc.

Perhaps more so.