Deep Breathing Techniques and Exercise for your Health & Well-Being

written by Danica Collins

deep breathing
Deep breathing is the single most powerful daily practice for advancing your health and well-being. It might seem unusual, especially to people in America and the western world to regard the simple act of breathing as being an activity that enhances health. That's because most of us think breathing is nothing more than an automatic, involuntary mechanism that our body does in order to stay alive. Special deep breathing techniques, such as those practiced in ancient cultures and certain Eastern disciplines (such as yoga), have remained largely a mystery to Western civilization. What Westerners often don't realize is that when we turn our attention to our breath -- and increase the volume of our breath -- beneficial physiological mechanisms are triggered that have a significant effect on health. For example, when volume, rate and attention level are altered in the practice of breathing, dramatic physiological, and even emotional, changes can and do occur. According to Roger Jahnke, O.M.D., author of The Healer Within, "The breath is a link to the most profound medicine that we carry within us. Within this nearly unconscious gesture, a breath, that we enact 1,261,440,000 (1 and 1/4 billion) times in our life span there is a simple yet profound healing capability." Various advocates of breathwork offer different breathing techniques and practices, such as full chest and abdominal breathing or alternate nostril breathing. The one I have been using since 1997 is one called Vital Breathing. This deep breathing technique involves inhaling, holding the breath, and exhaling in the following sequence: • Inhale for 1 count • Hold the breath for 4 counts • Exhale for 2 counts What's important is the ratio (1:4:2), not the actual number of counts that you inhale, hold the breath or exhale. For example: If you inhale for 4 seconds, then you would hold your breath for 16 seconds and then exhale for 8 seconds. If you do 10 repetitions of this breathing exercise 3 times a day (morning, evening and just before bedtime), 5 to 10 minutes a day, you will experience a noticeable shift in your energy level, your mental clarity and your body's ability to prevent and heal diseases. One of the main reasons why this breathing exercise delivers many health benefits is because the combined action of the lungs, diaphragm and thorax serve as a 'pump' for the lymph fluid. The lymphatic system is often referred to as the sewage system of the body. It cleans up the waste created by virtually all the other systems of the body. The human body has twice as much lymph fluid than it has blood. But unlike the circulatory system, which has the heart to keep the blood flowing, the lymphatic system does not have a 'pump' to push the lymph fluids around the body. It relies on our breathing and movement in order to perform its function of surrounding every cell in the body; protecting each one by removing dead cells, blood proteins and any other toxins; and excreting them from the body. If the movement of the lymph were to stop entirely for 24 hours, one would die as a result of the trapped toxins and proteins surrounding our cells. The practice of Vital Deep Breathing creates the muscular movement required by the lymphatic system to circulate the lymph fluid efficiently. A lymphatic system that is functioning properly supports every other system in the body, including the immune, digestive, detoxification and nervous systems. A sluggish lymphatic system and stagnant lymph fluid, on the other hand, makes the body susceptible to infections, diseases and health conditions ranging from cancer, AIDS, tumor growth, cysts, impaired immune system ... all the way down to cellulite. "Improper breathing is a common cause of ill health. If I had to limit my advice on healthier living to just one tip, it would be simply to learn how to breathe correctly. There is no single more powerful -- or more simple -- daily practice to further your health and well being than breath work." -- Andrew Weil, M.D.

Fact or Myth: Chicken Soup Cures a Cold

written by Danica Collins

chicken soup
This is a FACT. Whether canned or homemade, a bowl of steaming hot chicken soup cures a cold! The chicken soup cure has been healing sore throats and stuffy noses since ancient times, and modern research confirms it’s more than just an old wives’ tale. The Low-Down on Colds Health experts have determined that colds are caused by viral infections in the upper respiratory tract. Your immune system responds to a cold by activating the inflammatory response. White blood cells rush to the scene to clear away the infection. Unfortunately, the inflammatory response gives rise to all sorts of annoying cold symptoms: sore throats, stuffy noses, coughs…the works! Chicken soup cures a cold by alleviating these symptoms and providing relief. Science Says… Researchers from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha found evidence of chicken soup’s anti-inflammatory properties. Dr. Stephen Rennard analyzed the ability of white blood cells to migrate across a filter from one side of a chamber to the other. Then, he added chicken soup to the mix. Turns out, fewer white blood cells migrated across the filter when in the presence of chicken soup. Although the exact biological mechanism is undetermined, it seems the chemical makeup of chicken soup either suppresses or slows the accumulation of white blood cells in the lung area, thereby relieving cold symptoms. Although scientists don’t know if it’s a particular ingredient or a more holistic component that makes chicken soup such an effective cold cure, there’s no denying it’s more than just comfort food. Don’t have access to your grandma’s homemade chicken soup? Not to worry; the study tested 13 store-bought brands of canned soup that worked just as effectively. Other Benefits According to Dr. Mehmet Oz, chicken soup also helps you stay hydrated, so that you can flush your system of the virus and heal quicker. Chicken soup is naturally full of electrolytes that help you retain more fluids than water alone does. The salt, steam, and heat in chicken soup works to thin out mucous and relieve congestion. If you’re a vegetarian and don’t eat chicken soup, then try hot teas and other  broths to clear your sinuses and soothe sore throats.

Fact or Myth: Starve a Fever Feed a Cold

written by Danica Collins

Young blonde female blowing her nose
This is a MYTH. Old wives’ tales have remarkable staying power, as attested by the longstanding myth: starve a fever feed a cold. The myth dates back to 1574 in a dictionary entry by John Withals that reads, “fasting is a great remedy for fever,” advice that doesn’t hold up in lieu of what we know of colds and flus today. Staying well hydrated and eating a balanced amount of nutrient-dense food is the best prescription for wellness. The Origins of the Myth In the 1500s, medicine was ruled by a theory of humours. Optimal health was determined by the appropriate balance of bodily fluids (aka humours): yellow bile, black bile, blood, and phlegm. A fever indicated too much blood and heat, and the patient was either bled, fasted, or both (we now know neither is an effective treatment for reducing fever and treating illness). A cold that generated a prevalence of phlegm in the form of mucous was fed an abundance of food as a way to stoke heat in the body. Modern medicine, however, confirms that while the body needs energy to fight cold viruses, it doesn’t require extra energy—just antioxidants and nutrients from a well-balanced diet to help fight infection. The Facts for Treating Fevers and Colds Your body fights flu and cold bugs by raising its temperature and firing up a fever. When your body temperature rises, more calories are burned, so it’s important to feed, not starve a fever in order to sustain energy in the body. Fever likewise dehydrates the body, so drinking fluids is imperative. Dehydration causes mucous to dry up, which can lead to clogged sinuses and respiratory tubes. While runny noses are no fun, mucous is part of the body’s natural defense mechanisms. Treat colds and flus by eating foods replete with nutrients that help activate your immune system, like beta-carotene and vitamins C and E. Bioflavonoids have been shown to boost the immune system as well. The pulp and white core in the center of citrus fruits, green peppers, cherries, lemons, oranges, and grapes, deliver a substantial helping of bioflavonoids. Broccoli and red and yellow onions are high in quercetin, a richly concentrated source of bioflavonoids. Feed a cold and fever with glutathione, abundant in broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and spinach (three vegetables loaded with phytochemicals and other antioxidants!). Add some eggs, seafood, wheat germ, and grains to your diet when you are fighting off a cold or flu. These foods are packed with zinc, shown to lessen the severity and duration of illness.

Fact or Myth: Can Potato Chips Cause Cancer?

written by Danica Collins

potato chips and cancer
This is a FACT. Those crispy chips you love to crave are loaded with a known carcinogen—acrylamide. Heating foods at temperatures above 250° F produces toxic chemicals proven to damage the human genome and cause cancer. Acrylamide is the byproduct of heating industrialized foods like potato chips, French fries, roasted cereals, grains, processed snacks, roasted coffee and coffee substitutes such as chicory. And research keeps confirming that these acrylamide-containing processed snack foods and beverages aren’t worth the health risks. The Acrylamide/Cancer Link The HEATOX Project, funded by the European Union to investigate heat generated food toxicants, reached some formidable conclusions regarding potato chips and acrylamide. Research shows that acrylamide is classified by WHO (World Health Organization) as a probable human carcinogen. Acrylamide levels were associated with a higher breast cancer risk, and even at low doses acrylamide brings about neurotoxicity in the fetus. Researchers also concluded that acrylamide can cause tumors to develop in the intestines. How much acrylamide is too much? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the limits at 0.2 micrograms of acrylamide per day. Sounds minuscule, but according to the Prob 65 cancer requirement, a food set at this limit should be labeled with a cancer warning. According to a report by the Environmental Law Foundation, potato chips have acrylamide levels over 900 times higher than the limit set by the EPA! So can potato chips cause cancer? You betcha! Some potato chips fare better than others. According to the report, Cape Cod Robust Russet potato chips contain acrylamide levels 910 times higher than the limit set by the EPA, while Pringles Stacks, Lay’s Baked, and Cape Cod Classic chips boasted the lowest acrylamide levels. Keep in mind that it’s not just potato chips that contain acrylamide. Within any industrialized food heated at high temps—including processed snacks like muffins and scones—lurk carcinogens like acrylamide.

Fact or Myth: Can Echinacea Strengthen Your Immune System?

written by Danica Collins

echinacea
This is a FACT. Echinacea has been the topic of much debate. Is it or isn’t it an immune-boosting miracle herb? Scientific reviews have been mixed, so to be on the conservative side it’s safe to say that while it might not be a “miracle” it certainly possesses immune-boosting faculties. A Native American medicinal remedy, echinacea has been shown to help accelerate the healing of… Colds Flus Sore throats Sinus infections Hay fever Bronchitis Canker sores Ear infections Enlarged lymph glands Gingivitis Enlarged prostate Urinary tract infections Yeast infections It’s antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties cannot be refuted. Echinacea’s Effect on the Immune System Echinacea is highly concentrated with phenols and alkylamides which have been proven to exert a highly beneficial impact on the immune system. The compound echinacein defends healthy cells against bacteria and viruses, and studies have revealed that echinacea increases the number of white blood cells and enhances macrophage activity. (Macrophages rush to the scene to fight off invaders and infection.) One study made up of 95 people fighting the early stages of cold or flu showed that drinking several cups of echinacea tea for five days helped cold sufferers feel better sooner than those who did not treat their colds with echinacea. A University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy review of over a dozen echinacea studies found that the risk of catching a cold could be lowered by as much as 58% with echinacea supplementation…and the duration of a cold shortened by as much as 1.4 days. Other studies, however, seem to refute such findings. A Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health study suggested that echinacea has no significant influence on the common cold and could only shorten the duration of symptoms by half a day at most. What’s with the contradictory findings? Echinacea studies vary according to the type, strength, and part of the echinacea used, and some formulations work better than others. The roots of the echinacea plant are concentrated mostly with volatile oils, whereas the stems and flowers are packed with polysaccharides, touted for their immune-enhancing effects. Research indicates that the above the ground parts of echinacea demonstrate the most impact on the immune system. In Germany, where herbs are regulated by the government, echinacea roots are used to treat flu infections, and the above ground parts are used to heal colds, upper respiratory infections, UTIs, and wounds. Treating a Cold with Echinacea ConsumerLab.com examined 11 echinacea brands and found that only 4 of them contained the ingredients on the label! Ten percent had no echinacea whatsoever…half were wrongly labeled in terms of the type of echinacea used…and more than half didn’t contain the correct amount of active ingredients specified on the label. It’s imperative to purchase echinacea from a high quality supplement provider. Health experts recommend using echinacea for no more than eight weeks at a time. Use at the first sign of illness, or during cold season to keep your immune system strong and healthy.

Fact or Myth: Can DHA Protect Your Brain from Binge Drinking?

written by Danica Collins

alcohol benefits
This is a FACT. Alcohol isn’t all bad. It’s been linked to health benefits like heart health and type 2 diabetes control. But beyond one drink a day and into binge territory—five or more drinks in two hours for males and four or more drinks in two hours for females—puts you at risk for liver failure, certain types of cancer, and dementia. Approximately 88,000 Americans die from binge drinking every year, suggesting that a moderate one drink a day isn’t the norm for many. As well as increasing your risk for heart attack, stroke and death, alcohol activates pro-inflammatory pathways in the brain associated with dementia, greatly decreasing your quality of life as you age. Studies have shown, however, that supplementing with the omega-3 fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) can help keep alcohol’s pro-inflammatory state in check. Slipping into Dementia DHA is one of the major building blocks of the brain, and maintaining adequate DHA levels is important throughout life. This fatty acid enhances brain function and reduces inflammation, protects against life-threatening cardiovascular events, improves vision, and helps to manage the various symptoms of autoimmune diseases. Binge drinking drains DHA levels in the brain, but supplementation can help protect your DHA stores. Scientists at Loyola School of Medicine found that when the brain cells of rats were exposed to excessive levels of alcohol along with DHA they exhibited significantly less inflammation and cell death than brain cells not protected by DHA. The DHA appeared to inhibit the oxidative damage normally set into motion by binge drinking. Numerous studies have likewise demonstrated that high levels of DHA in the brain lower the incidence of age-related dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. So whether you drink or not, DHA supplementation is a must! Supplementing with DHA Look for an omega-3 supplement with a rich concentration of DHA—at least 1000 mg. Many omega-3 supplements contain more EPA (eico-sapentaenoic acid). EPA is cheaper to produce and carries less of a fishy odor. The neurological benefits of omega-3, however, come from DHA, not EPA, so check those labels!

Coffee vs Tea

written by Danica Collins

coffee vs tea
Trying to decide between tea and coffee? A recent study presented at the ESC Congress weighs in favor of tea in the coffee vs tea debate. French scientists determined that tea consumption can cut your risk of non-cardiovascular mortality by as much as 24%! The Antidote Is in the Tea Researchers analyzed data procured from 131,401 people between 18 and 95 years old who underwent a physical exam at Paris IPC Preventive Medicine Center over January 2001-December 2008. Using an average of a 3.5 years followup, they determined that overall tea drinkers fared better, especially in terms of non-cardiovascular mortality, than did coffee drinkers. Over the span of the seven-year study there were 95 cardiovascular-related deaths and 632 non-cardiovascular deaths. Coffee and tea consumption was examined based on a self-administered questionnaire. Results showed that people who drank coffee were much more likely to smoke than were people who drank tea. The more cups of coffee you drink, the more likely you are to light up. Non-coffee drinkers: 17% smoked 1-4 cups of coffee/day drinkers: 31% smoked 4+ cups of coffee/day drinkers: 57% smoked The relationship between drinking and smoking was reversed in tea drinkers. The more cups of tea you drink, the less likely you are to light up. Non-tea drinkers: 34% smoked 1-4 cups of tea/day drinkers: 24% smoked 4+ cups of tea/day drinkers: 29% smoked This inverse relationship also extended to activity levels: the more tea you drink, the more physically active you tend to be. Lead researcher Professor Nicolas Danchi summarized these results, stating: "Overall we tend to have a higher risk profile for coffee drinkers and a lower risk profile for tea drinkers. We also found big differences with gender. Men tend to drink coffee much more than women, while women tend to drink more tea than men." In terms of the ability of coffee and tea to slash cardiovascular mortality risk, once results were modified to account for smoking, researchers conceded that the higher risk was likely due to the smoking than to the consumption of coffee. Drinking coffee puts you at risk because it increases the likelihood that you are a smoker. When results were adjusted for age, gender, and smoking, tea drinking didn’t significantly trend toward a reduced risk for cardiovascular mortality, but did show an influential effect on lowering your risk for non-cardiovascular death. Danchin explains, "Tea drinking lowered the risk of non-CV death by 24% and the trend towards lowering CV mortality was nearly significant. When we extended our analysis to 2011 we found that tea continued to reduce overall mortality during the six-year period. Interestingly, most of the effect of tea on non-CV mortality was found in current or ex-smokers, while tea had a neutral effect in non-smokers." Why is tea the winner in the coffee vs tea debate? Researchers theorize tea is more effective in lowering risk due to its high antioxidant profile and the tendency of tea drinkers to lead more active, healthy lifestyles.

The Low-Carb High-Fat Diet Is In

written by Danica Collins

diet
A recent diet study profiled in the New York Times has got everybody talking. It supports the new dietary trend of “out with the carbs, in with the fat” that’s made diets like Atkins and Paleo so popular. Turns out that people who followed a low-carb high-fat diet lost more weight and body fat than people who ate a low-fat diet. A low-carb high-fat diet also dramatically decreased cardiovascular disease risk! But…how trustworthy are the results? The Study Researchers from Tulane University divided 148 racially diverse obese men and women into two groups. The low-carb, high-fat group was advised to eat only 40 grams of carbs a day (approximately two slices of bread!). The low-fat group was encouraged to consume less than 30% of calories from fat and 55% of calories from carbohydrates. Researchers tracked results at three different times during the year. The Results On average the low-carb, high-fat group lost 8 more pounds and 1.5% more fat mass than the low-fat eaters did. They also experienced a 1.7% greater gain in lean muscle mass—and that’s without changing their physical activity levels! The low-carb dieters also exhibited better metabolic health, showing a decrease in the markers of coronary artery disease, such as lower triglycerides and inflammation. Low-carb eaters also enjoyed a boost in healthful HDL cholesterol. The low-fat group experienced no such gains. The Accuracy Without a doubt, this study confirms that a low-carb high-fat diet can be advantageous to health and weight loss, but is it necessary to go as low as 40 grams of carbohydrates? The low-carb group of dieters couldn’t seem to cut out that degree of carbs. They reported eating double, and sometimes triple, the 40-gram recommendation…but still kept carb intake half that of the low-fat group. The low-carb eaters also raised their protein intake by 18% on average, whereas the low-fat eaters replaced fat not with protein, but with even more carbohydrates! While the study has received praise from health experts, some believe that perhaps it was less the low-carb high-fat diet and more the dietary and nutritional support the participants received that made it so effective. All dieters from both groups had access to nutritionists, community support, and “accountability measures,” which made it easier to stick with the program. What we do know is that the days of following the federal government guidelines of a whopping 45-65% of your calories from carbs…and only 20-35% from fat, and an even more minuscule 10-35% from protein…are over! Lead researcher Lydia Bazzano, M.D., Ph.D  sums up the implications of the study the best: “The public perception is that a diet high in fat could not possibly be healthy, but in fact it is healthy and is doing an even better job of lowering cardiovascular risk, according to my study.” So while you may not want to go as low as 40 grams a day, watching those carbs could be the key to shedding some pounds, melting away stubborn fat, and fine-tuning your health.

Culinary Herbs for Glucose Control

written by Danica Collins

herbs as medicine
Type 2 diabetes affects more than 8% of Americans and costs the United States approximately $175 billion a year. Food scientists from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been researching the viability of popular culinary herbs in diabetes treatment. Their findings, published in the July edition of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, suggest that culinary herbs may be able to manage type 2 diabetes in the same manner as prescription diabetes drugs. The Dangers of Diabetes Type 2 diabetes is the non-insulin form of diabetes that develops gradually when too much sugar hangs out in the bloodstream. Obesity and high sugar diets contribute to the prognosis of the disease. Symptoms manifest as extreme thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision, fatigue, slow healing skin infections, and dark patches on the skin. If not regulated, type 2 diabetes can lead to eye and kidney damage, heart attack, stroke, or a diabetic coma. Herb Magic According to this most recent study, rosemary, oregano, and marjoram may offer a natural way to keep blood glucose levels stable. Researchers tested both greenhouse-grown and commercially purchased dried forms of the herbs. They were looking to measure their effect on two enzymes involved in type 2 diabetes. The enzyme DPP-IV (or DPP-4) helps to control insulin secretion, and the enzyme PTP1B plays a role in insulin signaling. Results showed that the greenhouse-grown herbs were the most nutrient dense, with the highest concentration of antioxidant polyphenols and flavonoids, and had the most effect on the DPP-IV enzyme. The commercially purchased dried herbs had the most inhibitory impact on the PTP1B enzyme, an enzyme notoriously difficult to suppress with prescription drugs. More studies need to be determined for a definitive assessment, but it looks like adding some culinary herbs to your diet could be a great recipe for glucose control!

Got Stress? Try Sophrology!

written by Danica Collins

guided imagery
There’s a new mind/body practice about to hit the mainstream. The perfect blend of East and West, Sophrology borrows from the disciplines of Yoga, Tibetan Buddhism, and Japanese Zen, and sprinkles in the more scientific practices of psychology and hypnotherapy. It combines relaxation, visualization, and movement exercises to achieve a state of balance in body and mind. Sophrology can help you manage both daily and circumstantial life stressors, enjoy deeper and more restorative sleep, quell anxiety and depression, and prepare for events such as childbirth. Let’s look further into this eclectic discipline. The Origin Of Sophrology Professor Alfonso Caycedo, a specialist in psychiatry and neurology, developed Sophrology in the 1960s as a way to treat patients suffering from depression or trauma without having to rely so heavily on prescription drugs. Sophrology spread to Switzerland in the 1970s, when Dr. Raymond Abrezol applied the techniques with sports teams, and to much success! Over the last 30 years, Sophrology has been widely used in France and Switzerland in schools, businesses, hospitals, and sports. While there are only a scattering of practitioners in America and other parts of the globe, Sophrology is steadily growing in popularity. What It Entails There’s no set protocol for the Sophrology practitioner, as she bases her prescription on her client’s individual needs. Sophrology typically combines a set of breathing and relaxation exercises with a simple movement in the form of a guided meditation. During the meditation you reach a state of deep relaxation while remaining alert and aware. Should you opt for a one-on-one session versus a group class, the practitioner will tailor the program to your specific needs, whether you need to work through a physical or emotional block, or prepare for a future event. For instance, Sophrology can help you focus and allay your fears before a big exam or presentation, and can help women more easily adjust to the changes brought on by pregnancy, as well as manage their pain and energy levels during labor. Sophrology is also used to treat… Stress Anxiety and depression Insomnia Self-image issues Sophrology isn’t a one-and-done deal. Rather, the session will arm you with the tools you need to tackle life from a balanced state of mind and body. You will learn how to listen and attune with your body’s needs, and fight off illness and disease. Sophrology helps root you in the present, so that you are no longer playing out your past and can look forward to the future with positivity. If you are interested in exploring Sophrology but cannot find a practitioner in your area, the Internet offers a wealth of resources, from YouTube videos to downloadable PDFs that can walk you through a particular set of exercises.

Caffeine Linked to Hot Flashes and Night Sweats

written by Danica Collins

caffeine
Studies haven’t seemed to agree when it comes to the link between caffeine and the vasomotor symptoms of menopause (hot flashes and night sweats). Some evidence suggests caffeine may help such symptoms, while other studies indicate caffeine does more harm than good. A new Mayo Clinic study, however, tilts the balance in favor of negative, showing that caffeine can make hot flashes and night sweats significantly more unbearable.  Turn up the Air Condition—It’s Hot in Here! Did you know that 85% of Americans drink some type of caffeinated beverage daily? And an estimated 79% of perimenopausal women and 65% of postmenopausal women suffer from hot flashes and night sweats. The Mayo Clinic study, published in the journal Menopause, suggests that these percentages may be somewhat correlated. Researchers surveyed 2,507 women who presented with menopausal symptoms at the Women’s Health Clinic at Mayo Clinic in Rochester from 2005-2011. Of those surveyed, 1,806 met all inclusion criteria. Data, collected from the Menopause Health Questionnaire which included information as to personal habits and menopausal symptoms and severity, was compared between those who drank caffeine and those who did not. Results showed an irrefutable link between caffeine intake and more prevalent and severe hot flashes and night sweats. Stephanie Faubion, M.D., director of the Women's Health Clinic, says, "While these findings are preliminary, our study suggests that limiting caffeine intake may be useful for those postmenopausal women who have bothersome hot flashes and night sweats." In addition to cutting out the caffeine, you may want to try the following suggestions to help you with hot flashes and night sweats: Notice what exacerbates your symptoms, like spicy foods and hot beverages. Cut back on alcohol consumption. Implement a stress-relieving program made up of meditation, yoga, or tai chi. Exercise regularly. Talk to your doctor or alternative health care practitioner about hormone therapy and balancing herbs.

Bacopa Supercharges Memory

written by Danica Collins

istock-9885423-head-amp-sticky-notes
Can This Ancient Herb Really Supercharge Your Memory? Experts Say It Can   Recently, a world-renowned medical expert claimed that an herb called Bacopa Monnieri can enhance your memory and help you focus better.  If that sounds too good to be true, read on, because reams of scientific research back up this expert's claims.   Memory Loss FACT Americans are now more concerned about losing their cognitive abilities than they are about cancer, heart disease, or stroke. Source: MetLife/Harris survey   Bacopa: A Memory Miracle Herb Proven by Modern Science  Bacopa is a leafy, creeping herb native to India.  It also grows in wetland areas throughout Asia, Hawaii, and southern parts of the United States. This herb has been used as a brain-booster in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years.  Historical texts as far back as the 6th century claim that Bacopa works wonders to enhance memory, learning and concentration. Researchers have confirmed these claims: New information retained better: In a study published in the esteemed journal Neuropsychopharmacology, researchers gave Bacopa or a placebo to 76 adults ages 40 to 65.  Bacopa had a significant effect on their retention of new information. Memory and learning abilities improved: In an Australian study at the University of Wollongong, Bacopa boosted memory and recall.  Prior to the study, researchers tested participants on their verbal learning abilities, memory and speed of information processing.  After giving them either Bacopa or a placebo, those tests were repeated at week 5 and 12 of the study.  Participants taking Bacopa scored considerably higher than those on placebo. Information learned twice as fast: A study presented at the 1996 International Brain Research Conference showed that Bacopa reduced the time needed to learn new tasks by almost 50%.  Participants taking Bacopa mastered the task in just 6 days, compared to 10 days for the control group. Better attention and information processing: A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicineshowed that elderly participants who took Bacopa daily demonstrated greater improvement in attention and verbal information processing than those taking a placebo.  These results led scientists to conclude that Bacopa strongly supports normal brain function. Bacopa's Powers Enhanced By Companion Plants  Bacopa works wonders to shield and restore your brain... boost your memory... and sharpen your focus.  But even better, this herb's effects are drastically enhanced by other plant-based nutrients. Modern science has revealed 5 other plant-based brain boosters with effects that surpass all others:      The unusual mushroom that protects and rejuvenates your brain: In ancient China, only the emperor was allowed to eat a certain medicinal mushroom that was said to give him "nerves of steel and the memory of a lion."  It was used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine to stimulate the mind and soothe the stomach.  This powerful herb protects your brain in two primary ways.  First, it optimizes neuron health and connectivity.  Second, it protects your brain cells from damage from amyloid beta peptide, the production and deposition of which is considered by some researchers to be associated with the development of Alzheimer's disease.      The "graceful aging" mushroom from China:This nearly translucent jelly fungus grows in warmer climates and has been used as a tonic and beauty enhancer by the Chinese and Japanese for more than 2,000 years.  It has proven effective in supporting a healthy immune system... supporting normal response to infection... and maintaining healthy cholesterol.  It has also been shown to boost your capacity to learn and remember things.      The "miracle-worker" mushroom that restores balance: According to traditional Chinese medicine, this adaptogenic herb is a miracle worker because it helps your body maintain a healthy balance—and restores balance when you are sick.  For centuries, this mushroom has been used to boost the immune system... even when fighting chronic diseases... support a healthy cardiovascular system... ease respiratory problems... and relieve allergies.  This mushroom contains triterpenes and polysaccharides that help put the brakes on destructive proteins that cause memory-stealing plaque to form in your brain.  Plus, they protect your brain cells from irritation—which helps with neurodegenerative issues.      Power-packed leaves that even help with severe memory loss: Studies have found that the leaves from one of the oldest living species of this tree can help people suffering with severe memory loss by improving thinking, learning, and memory... social behavior... depression... and the ability to handle daily activities—like eating, walking and dressing.  Plus, it appears to work well in delaying brain aging.  It has been shown to improve blood flow to the nervous system and brain and has been used in China to boost cognitive abilities for thousands of years.  It even helps protect your brain from neuronal damage.      An amazing "cure all" that dates back to 33 BC:This herb has been used to treat everything from memory loss to regulating blood sugar for thousands of years.  Several studies show that it helps boost mental performance by lengthening attention span and improving focus.  In a German study, elderly participants who took this herb saw improvements in memory, concentration, attention and ability to cope. Best Science-Backed Brain Boosters Ever Identified... All-in-One Supplement Imagine what could happen if you were to combine the neuron-restoring, memory-improving powers of Bacopa with all 5 of the above-mentioned, researched and proven botanical memory boosters? You could... Normalize damaged nerve cells and help improve their ability to transmit signals in your brain... Stimulate your levels of nerve growth factor so your brain's neurons can stay healthy, growing and communicating... Protect against dangerous brain plaque and free radicals, before they can damage your nerve cells and wreak havoc with your brain function... Help enhance the circulation of nutrient-rich blood and oxygen to your brain... And protect your brain from memory-stealing irritation.    And as a result, you can remember things better... learn new skills and information faster... focus more easily... and even enjoy better moods! Discover for yourself how to supercharge your memory, boost your brain health, think more clearly, learn faster, and focus better—with the only all-natural supplement that contains optimal amounts of both Bacopa and all 5 synergistic plants to enhance its brain-protecting capacities.  Regain the ability to learn new things and remember even the tiniest of details with the ease of a much younger person, CLICK HERE to start now.

Fish Oil Review

written by Joe Barton

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A hundred years ago, it was said that a good mother always sends her children to bed at night with a spoonful of cod liver oil. Below, a late 19th century ad touts the benefits of Scott’s Emulsion of Pure Norwegian Cod Liver Oil: “It restores the flagging energies, increases the resisting powers against disease; cures Consumption, Scrofula, General Debility, and all Anemic and Wasting Diseases (especially in Children), keeps coughs and colds out, and so enables the constitution to hold the fort of health.”[i] While we don’t hear much about cod liver oil today (though it’s still available), we have been bombarded with advertising about our need for omega-3 fatty acids—those particularly found in fish oil. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients for health and a variety of body functions including: controlling blood clotting, building cell membranes in the brain, and a variety of other potential benefits.[ii] Of the omega-3’s, the two we’re most concerned with are: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).[iii] DHA and EPA are two primary fatty acids found in the “fatty” fishes, krill, calamari, green-lipped mussel, and marine algae. Other non-marine sources of DHA and EPA include: flaxseed oil, canola oil, soy oil, and walnut oil. But the body can only convert a limited amount of those oils to DHA and EPA.[iv] Health Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids Prevention against heart attack and stroke: Although once thought to aid in the prevention of heart disease and stroke, numerous studies have produced little evidence of this. However, DHA and EPA do offer some results that can improve the health of our heart. Reducing blood pressure, thinning the blood and lowering triglycerides are three of those benefits.[v] But to date, there is no evidence that taking fish oil supplements will reduce the chance of heart attack or stroke. In fact, there may be more benefit from eating two or more portions of fish per week than taking a fish oil supplement when it comes to living heart-healthy.[vi] Prevention and relief of arthritis and other inflammatory diseases: Increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids is known to reduce some forms of inflammation.[vii] Prevention and treatment for cancer: Some evidence links DHA and EPA with reducing the risk of colon, rectum and breast cancers. However, greater amounts of these omega-3 fatty acids have possibly been associated with an increase in prostate cancer. But the jury is still out on this one. The good news is that fish oil may help prevent weight loss during chemotherapy treatments of cancer patients.[viii] Prevention of eye disease: Higher intake of DHA and EPA has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of age-related eye disease and age-related macular degeneration.[ix] Relief of psychiatric, mental disorders and depression: For reasons yet to be discovered, fish oil appears to offer some relief to people with depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and anxiety.[x] Prenatal care: Due to the need for DHA for normal development of the brain and retina in babies, pregnant mothers and infants may benefit from fish oil.[xi] Prevention of Alzheimer’s disease: Studies of the diets of populations tend to indicate that DHA may prevent Alzheimer’s disease. However, once the disease has onset, increased levels of DHA do not appear to curb its progression.[xii] Reduce acne: One study has demonstrated that daily consumption of a fish oil supplement significantly reduced the severity of acne among men and women from 18 to 33 years old.[xiii] Sources and Dosages of Fish Oil Fish oil is available in three basic forms: softgel capsule, liquid, or “on the fin.” Additionally, enteric-coated softgels are designed to pass through the stomach undigested to alleviate the burping of fish flavor. Primary concerns when choosing a good omega-3 supplement are: the concentrations of DHA and EPA, the quality of the product, cost, and possibly the size of the softgel.[xiv] The concentrations of DHA and EPA vary greatly among the various brands available. There is no official FDA recommended dosage, but generally between 300 and 500 mg of combined DHA and EPA taken daily should suffice.[xv] As for the quality of the produce, Consumer Labs has done this work for us, so I would recommend that you check out their review of 30 different brands. Whether in softgel form or liquid from a bottle, cost can also vary from one cent to 24 cents per serving depending on the source and other factors. Softgels come in a variety of sizes from ½ inch long to over an inch, so if you have trouble swallowing large pills this may be an important factor for you.[xvi] If you prefer consuming your DHA and EPA “on the fin,” you can do so eating just two servings of 3 oz. of “fatty” fish per week. Those “fatty” fish include: Anchovies Bluefish Carp Catfish Halibut Herring Lake trout Mackerel Pompano Salmon Striped sea bass White tuna (albacore) Whitefish Be aware of where your fish is coming from.  For instance, farmed salmon may contain greater amounts of PCBs than wild salmon. Also, albacore tuna and fresh water fish may contain enough mercury that you shouldn’t eat more than six ounces per week.[xvii] Finally, what 19th century mothers did not know is that cod liver oil and other fish liver oils contain high amounts of vitamins A and D. Those vitamins can be toxic, so you’ll want to know how much of those vitamins you are getting. Ad for Scott’s Emulsion around 1884[i] By: Joe Barton Joe is the founder of Barton Publishing, Inc., a leading natural health company specializing in publishing cutting edge reports that show people how to cure and treat themselves using safe, natural, and proven remedies. He is also a contributing writer, helping thousands of people who suffer from acid reflux, diabetes, high blood pressure, gout, and 20+ other disease and ailments enjoy healthier lives.     [i] Diane Wendt, Chemical Heritage Foundation, “The Man with a Fish on His Back: Science, Romance, and Repugnance in the Selling of Cod-Liver Oil,” http://www.chemheritage.org/discover/media/magazine/articles/28-1-the-man-with-a-fish-on-his-back.aspx?page=2.   [i] Nutrivize, “Synthetic VS. Natural Vitamins: We Have No Idea What’s Better,” 2012, http://nutrivize.com/blog/general-health/synthetic-vs-natural-vitamins-we-have-no-idea-whats-better/. [ii]Dr. Frank Sacks, Harvard School of Public Health, “Ask the Expert: Omega-3 Fatty Acids,” http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/omega-3/. [iii] Consumer Lab.Com, “Product Review: Fish Oil and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements Review (Including Krill, Algae, Calamari, and Green-lipped Mussel Oil), 2014, https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/fish_oil_supplements_review/omega3/. [iv] Consumer Lab.Com. [v] Consumer Lab.Com. [vi] Consumer Lab.Com. [vii] Consumer Lab.Com. [viii] Consumer Lab.Com. [ix] Consumer Lab.Com. [x] Consumer Lab.Com. [xi] Consumer Lab.Com. [xii] Consumer Lab.Com. [xiii] Consumer Lab.Com. [xiv] Consumer Lab.Com. [xv] Consumer Lab.Com. [xvi] Consumer Lab.Com. [xvii] Consumer Lab.Com. [xviii] Diane Wendt, Chemical Heritage Foundation, “The Man with a Fish on His Back: Science, Romance, and Repugnance in the Selling of Cod-Liver Oil,” http://www.chemheritage.org/discover/media/magazine/articles/28-1-the-man-with-a-fish-on-his-back.aspx?page=2.

How to Reprogram Your DNA for Optimum Health

written by Underground Health Reporter

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Spontaneous Healing and Other Health Miracles Through Epigenetics How many times have you heard someone say… “Cancer runs in my family. My grandmother had it… my aunt had it… and I may as well accept that I’m going to get it too.” “Almost everyone in my family is overweight, including me. It’s in our genes. I’ll never be able to lose weight – no matter how hard I try.” “My dad died of heart disease when he was just 50. I have his genes, so I’ll probably die young, too.” Or maybe it was YOU saying those things, because you’ve been led to believe that your genes are fixed and can never be changed. Well, what if everything you’ve been told about your genes is WRONG? What if you could change your genes – and take control of your health – in as little as 2 minutes? In the exciting field of epigenetics, scientists have discovered that your DNA – which is shaped like a double helix – is not a fixed structure after all. You can, in fact, alter your DNA with such things as magnetic fields, heart coherence, positive mental states and intention. In a recent study conducted at the Institute of HeartMath, human DNA was placed inside a sealed test tube. Test subjects were then trained to generate focused feelings. When they produced negative emotions, the two strands that make up the human DNA would wind together more tightly. However, when they focused on feelings of love and appreciation, the DNA strands relaxed and exhibited positive changes – in just two minutes! Just think about what this means… You have the power to reprogram your genes – and radically transform your health destiny! Using your emotions is just one way to change your DNA. There are many other ways that are easy for you to do in the privacy and comfort of your own home – without any medical intervention whatsoever. By tapping into the science of epigenetics, you can rewrite the way your genes express themselves and… Experience spontaneous remission from diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes… Conquer your biggest health challenge – whether it’s losing weight… boosting your immunity… or just getting healthier… Sleep like a baby at night, knowing you’re able to change the abnormal genes you inherited into healthy DNA that you can pass down to the next generation… And enjoy better health than you ever dreamed possible. This revolutionary discovery can change your life – and the lives of your future children and grandchildren. Click here to get the full story on epigenetics – and discover how easy it is for you to switch off your “bad” genes… jump start your “good” genes… and rewrite your health destiny.

Using Wheatgrass Health Benefits To Reverse Gray Hair

written by Danica Collins

wheatgrass health benefits
Gray hair: The ultimate telltale sign of aging. Approximately half of all 50-year-olds are at least 50% gray. Try as you may to postpone the inevitable with expensive, foul-smelling and messy dyes, the battle against gray is predictable...gray is pretty much the undefeated champion. Or is it? Regular consumption of the young grass of a common wheat plant can recolor those grays so that you can enjoy your lush, natural color well into your senior years. And it doesn't just stop at the gray. This young cereal grass slows down the entire aging process by rejuvenating your cells, detoxifying your body, fighting tumors and tightening loose and sagging skin. Gray Isn't Just a Sign of Age The age-old healing system of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) links hair pigmentation to the quality of your blood and the strength of your kidneys. According to TCM, gray doesn't mean old as much as it points to weak kidneys and blood. Made up of 70% chlorophyll, wheatgrass, from the wheat plant triticum aestivum, restores the health of your kidneys and blood. Chlorophyll helps to strengthen, build and oxygenate the blood. It is remarkably similar to hemoglobin, a compound that carries oxygen to the blood. Once consumed, chlorophyll is transformed into blood. It then transports nutrients, such as oxygen, to your cells, tissues and organs, rejuvenating, protecting and strengthening. Renowned nutritionist, Dr. Bernard Jenson, discovered that wheatgrass health benefits and other green juices high in chlorophyll are nature's best blood builders. In his book Health Magic Through Chlorophyll From Living Plant Life, he cites several cases in which he was able to boost red blood cell count in a matter of days simply by having patients soak in a chlorophyll-water bath. Consuming wheatgrass health benefits and other green juices regularly has been proven to boost red blood cell count even more rapidly. Beyond Beautification and into Total Body Health Wheatgrass health benefits is made up of an impressive array of nutrients that reinforce and rejuvenate everything from our cells and tissues to our organs and bodily systems. In addition to its 70% chlorophyll makeup, wheatgrass contains 17 essential amino acids, 90 minerals, 13 vitamins and 80 enzymes. Prominent research scientist Dr. Earp-Thomas says that,"15 pounds of wheatgrass is the equivalent of 350 pounds of carrots, lettuce, celery and so forth." Wheatgrass delivers an impenetrable line of defense against disease. An all-natural and powerful detoxifier, wheatgrass protects the liver and purifies the blood by neutralizing toxic substances such as cadmium, nicotine, strontium, mercury and polyvinyl chloride. Detoxifying is the first step. From there, wheatgrass takes the offensive as a proven anti-cancer agent that stops tumors in their tracks. Fact: Cancer cells cannot develop in oxygen rich environments! Wheatgrass health benefits are an abundant source of liquid oxygen. Boosting the production of red blood cells and increasing oxygen in the blood helps fight cancer cells because cancer cannot survive in such alkaline rich environments. A recent study published in the journal Mutation Research pitted chlorophyll against beta-carotene and vitamins A, C and E. Chlorophyll had a greater anti-cancer effect than all the other nutrients. Wheatgrass health benefits is truly a total body nutrition in one gulp! Why Has This Proven Anti-Aging Cure Been Hushed Up? Practically every week, new alternative health breakthroughs are discovered. Most of these anti-aging and longevity cures are already scientifically proven to heal a wide variety of diseases...eliminate pain...slow down or reverse the aging process...and enhance total body wellness. Yet, these powerful health alternatives—most of which are inexpensive or free—are unknown to most people because mainstream media rarely reports them. To the contrary, these powerful health solutions are systematically suppressed and even banned. The reason for this is simple: these inexpensive natural treatments threaten the profits of mainstream medicine and the pharmaceutical industry. Imagine what would happen to the earnings of Big Pharma and the medical industry if people had the information they needed to heal themselves of virtually any disease or health problem? Everyone would be able to optimize his or her own health and well-being... and no one would ever need medical treatment again—except for emergencies and natural disasters. Discover the cutting age, unconventional, top-secret cures for health problems ranging from A to Z—virtually every ailment in existence! You'll discover the No. 1 anti-aging food, and the North American fruit tree extract proven in a National Cancer Institute-funded experiment to be a million times more powerful than chemotherapy, with no harmful side effects. Gain access to hundreds of other scientifically validated natural cures for life-threatening diseases, including the diabetes remedy with a 100% success rate...the non-drug arthritis cure that reverses the breakdown of cartilage...the mind technology that causes spontaneous remission from disease...and more. Discover the single best source of "underground" health breakthroughs that most people will never know.