25 Amazing and Everyday Uses of Coconut Oil

written by Danica Collins

uses of coconut oil
You already know how good coconut oil is for you. It is naturally anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and is a powerful antioxidant. Coconut oil is affordable, readily available in most markets and is 100% non-toxic. There are literally dozens of uses of coconut oil – and how you really should have it in your house for daily use in more ways than you can imagine! The best type of coconut oil to use is extra-virgin and organic. Get the Skin You’ve Always Wanted…Naturally! 1. Reduce the appearance of age spots, wrinkles and varicose veins by rubbing coconut oil over your problem areas daily. It is similar in composition to the oils in your skin and stimulates new skin cell growth. 2. Say goodbye to razor burn and bumps! Using coconut oil before and after shaving will reduce irritation and redness but keep your pores clog-free! 3. Mixing coconut oil with equal parts sugar or fine sea salt makes an excellent all-over body scrub or facial exfoliator. Add essential oils such as peppermint or rose to personalize the scent. 4. Follow up with coconut oil immediately after your shower – then blot skin dry – for incredible softness from head to toe. Apply heavily to particularly dry areas such as feet and elbows. 5. Remove makeup by using a cotton ball dipped in coconut oil. Your face will feel fresh and clean without drying or irritating your skin. 6. Coconut oil is absorbed into the deepest layers of your skin without clogging your pores. It is the perfect moisturizer that heals damage and protects from the effects of psoriasis, eczema and acne. 7. Used as an eye cream, coconut oil helps reduce the appearance of bags and dark circles under the eyes. Apply gently around the eyes before sleeping. 8. Applying a layer of coconut oil to severely chapped lips will ease dryness and speed healing. Treat with coconut oil daily for supple lips and a natural SPF 4 protection! 9. Bug bites, new tattoos, sunburn and other skin surface injuries heal faster with coconut oil. Even bruises fade in less time! Coconut oil applied to damaged areas of your skin protects it from bacteria while stimulating new skin growth and faster healing. It smells wonderful and is safe for people of all ages and skin types. 10. If you tan, consider using coconut oil instead of over-the-counter tanning products. It will help retain your skin’s moisture and protect from damage. Sunshine is good for you and stimulates vitamin D production – but always spend time in the sun responsibly. Get Salon Hair Without the Cost! 11. Rubbing coconut oil into your hair and scalp before shampooing will protect your hair from drying out from harsh detergents. 12. Use after you shampoo and condition as a leave-in conditioner. Apply a small amount to ends first, lightly distribute the rest throughout your hair then style as usual. Coconut oil helps control frizz, prevents split ends and keeps your hair silky and manageable. 13. If you have damaged, coarse, curly or hard to manage hair, deep condition by liberally applying coconut oil to your scalp and hair, cover with a shower cap and leave on overnight. 14. Coconut oil stimulates cell growth and if rubbed into bald areas of your scalp three times per day may help reverse hair loss. 15. If your family experiences a lice outbreak – so common with children in school, day care or summer camp – use natural treatments to remove them. Deeply saturate hair with coconut oil and cover with a plastic shower cap. Leave for at least one hour then rinse with apple-cider vinegar for a deeply cleansed and conditioned, lice-free head! Coconut oil is cheaper, safer, smells better and actually works – unlike those stinky chemicals sold at the store. Extremely “Personal” Care for Women 16. Though coconut oil is not compatible with latex, it is an excellent natural lubricant. Women who are menopausal or post-menopausal can use coconut oil to ease vaginal dryness without disturbing vaginal flora or feeling “greasy” – a common problem with over-the-counter lubricants. It also makes it excellent for massage oil. 17. If you are pregnant or recently gave birth, consider applying coconut oil to your belly every night to prevent and treat stretch marks. Coconut oil is more compatible with your skin than cocoa butter – the old standby since our grandmothers were having babies. 18. If you are breastfeeding, applying coconut oil in lieu of vitamin D ointment is more effective and safer for your nursing child. It likely tastes better to them as well! Also, consuming three tablespoons of coconut oil daily – such as in your coffee or smoothie – has been shown to enrich your baby’s milk supply. Safe for Newborns 19. If your baby is prone to diaper rash – or you apply rash cream regularly to prevent it – consider trying coconut oil instead. Baby skin is protected without chemicals of any kind. 20. Rub a bit of coconut oil into baby’s scalp to treat and prevent “cradle cap” which is a result of babies going from an all-water to an all-dry environment. Coconut oil is an excellent baby lotion free of any additives. More Cool Uses for Coconut Oil 21. To “season” wood salad bowls, wood cutting boards and various cookware such as cast iron or pottery. 22. Make your own 100% non-toxic insect repellant by mixing coconut oil and peppermint oil extract. Apply to make yourself absolutely unattractive to insects of all varieties. This interesting use of coconut oil is cheaper, safer and smells far better than store-bought repellants. 23. Replace butter and all cooking oils with coconut oil in equal ratio – better for you when cooked at high heat and far more nutritious. 24. Coconut oil is safe for your pets. Add to your pets water daily or apply topically for fresh breath, sleek coat and prevention of joint disorders. Apply directly to irritated skin for natural relief. Pets that take coconut oil internally also have more energy. Talk to your vet about the right dose but a good rule of thumb is ¼ teaspoon for every ten pounds of pet weight. 25. Mix coconut oil with baking soda for whiter teeth, healthier gums and fresh breath. See our article about Oil Pulling with Coconut Oil for more oral health benefits! Coconut oil has been used for thousands of years by cultures all over the world to treat respiratory problems, fight infections, regulate digestion, preserve oral health and prevent malnutrition. There is no end to the uses of coconut oil we have yet to learn. Keep reading to find out how coconut oil can change your life and protect every cell in your body. Read more about the general health benefits and uses of coconut oil. Discover startling information about coconut oil and Alzheimer’s disease today.

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!

Fact or Myth: Can Dental X-Rays Cause Cancer?

written by Danica Collins

X-ray photography
This is a FACT. Whether you visit your dentist once every three months, six months, or a year, chances are high that you’re going to be bullied into getting yet another set of x-rays…that you probably don’t need! The journal Cancer reports that dental x-rays more than double your risk of brain cancer! We’ve got the findings below, and the answer to the pertinent question, “how often should you get dental x-rays?” The Number One Risk Factor for Brain Cancer Meningioma is a type of brain cancer that impacts the membranes that envelop your brain. The number one risk factor for this type of brain cancer is ionising radiation. What’s the main culprit of ionising radiation? Dental x-rays! Radiation infiltrates your cells and injures your DNA. The damage accumulates over time, and impaired DNA strands can lead to gene mutation and the development of cancer. In 2012, scientists determined just how much dental x-rays contribute to your risk of meningioma brain cancer. The results are alarming: Bitewings x-rays that show your upper and lower back teeth taken less than once a year raise brain cancer risk by 110-160% Panorex x-rays that show all your teeth and the surrounding bones taken at least once a year raise your brain cancer risk by 270-300% Dental x-rays taken before age 10 increase your odds of developing brain cancer by almost 500%! Dental x-rays can cause cancer by as much as a 4.9 ratio, according to the last statistic! How Often Should You Get Dental X-Rays? According to the admission of the American Dental Association (ADA), there’s very little evidence to support the use of x-rays in finding or helping to prevent dental disease. ADA guidelines recommend that dentists take bitewing x-rays no more than once every two to three years if the patient is otherwise healthy. The ADA also states that there is little reason to x-ray a patient who isn’t exhibiting any symptoms of dental disease. Despite ADA guidelines, most dentists are x-ray zealous and want to plop you down in the x-ray chair at every cleaning. It is your right to say, “no thank you.” Chances are, the dental hygenist or office manager will give you attitude. Ignore them. Unless you are exhibiting symptoms, stand your ground against the unnecessary radiation. Dental x-rays are a nice source of extra income, which is perhaps why dentists are so insistent when it comes to zapping you with radiation. You might try to remind them of the ADA’s guidelines, asking them if they are aware that once every three years is the standard for healthy teeth and gums.

Fact or Myth: Are Fast Food Buns Safe to Eat?

written by Danica Collins

big hamburger isolated on white
This is a MYTH. When scrutinizing the health risks of menu items at fast food joints, the focus mostly rests on the meats and fries.  But did you know that fast food buns pose just as much of a health risk? In fact, these buns aren’t bread at all, but a mixture of the food industry’s favorite synthetic concoctions—bleached wheat, thiamine mononitrate, and health-compromising conditioners and compounds. For examination purposes, let’s focus on the ingredients of the popular Big Mac bun. Bleached Wheat: The whiter the wheat or flour, the more refined, and the fewer the nutrients. Bleached wheat is virtually devoid of any nutrition and contains a dangerous by-product of the bleaching process—alloxan. Alloxan is a toxin used to stimulate diabetes in healthy laboratory animals in order to then test diabetes treatments. Alloxan causes diabetes by flooding the pancreatic beta cells with free radicals, thereby destroying these insulin-producing cells. Malted Barley Flour: Malted barley flour has been linked to brain damage, migraines, and autoimmune diseases. It contains high concentrations of the amino acid glutamate, which is an excitotoxin that supercharges the hypothalamus to dangerous levels. The hypothalamus regulates the nervous and endocrine systems, and when it is not functioning properly can cause autoimmune issues. Malted barley flour is also loaded with tannins, which, if you are allergic, can trigger migraines. Thiamine Mononitrate: A synthetic (man-made) B-vitamin, thiamine mononitrate is an additive found in enriched flour and fortified cereal. Unfortunately, in synthetic form, it can build up in the liver and other fatty tissues, causing cellular toxicity and liver damage. Avoid not only the Big Mac bun, but also other fortified and enriched breads and grains. Ammonia Compounds: Fast food buns are manufactured with ammonia compounds, like ammonium sulfate and ammonium chloride. These preservatives wreak havoc on the gastrointestinal tract, causing diarrhea and nausea. Azodicarbonamide: This conditioner, which is banned in some countries, is used in nearly 500 food products. It’s also used to make yoga mats! Azodicarbonamide has been linked to respiratory distress such as asthma, as well as cancer and skin irritation. It’s an industrial chemical that disrupts human immune cell formation and function, and hormone function. Did we mention it increases gluten? Not good news for the gluten-intolerant! And, of course, the Big Mac bun, like other fast food buns, is flavored with high fructose corn syrup, soybean and canola oils, and corn syrup, not to mention trans fatty acids that cause a host of health issues, from cancer to heart disease. McDonald’s buns don’t fare any better, as they are preserved with calcium propionate, sorbic acid, and sodium propionate. Add stearoyl lactylate, DATEM and mono and diglycerides to the mix—with more than a dash of salt, sugar, gluten, and soy lecithin—and that’s one unhealthy fast food bun!

Fact or Myth: Is Microwave Popcorn a Health Hazard?

written by Danica Collins

microwave popcorn
This is a FACT. Popcorn is a popular low-calorie, low-fat snack, especially among health enthusiasts looking to lose a few pounds. When kernels are air-popped (even when topped with real butter and a sprinkle of pink Himalayan salt) popcorn is indeed healthy. Microwave popcorn, however, is a different story. Not only does the artificial butter flavoring in microwave popcorn contain the chemical diacetyl, which has been linked to a rare form of lung disease, but microwave popcorn bags are lined with dangerous contaminants. When we eat microwave popcorn, we are ingesting these carcinogenic chemicals, which can cause health problems from reproductive challenges to life-threatening cancers. Popped with PFOA Microwave popcorn bags are made with a chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA),  a chemical the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has labeled a “likely carcinogen.” The EPA has also acknowledged that PFOA—used to make Teflon and other stain- and stick-resistant materials—also “poses developmental and reproductive risks to humans.” When microwave popcorn is heated, PFOA leaks into the popcorn, eventually manifesting as contaminants in our blood. PFOA has been implicated in… Infertility Issues: The journal Human Reproduction published a study that showed PFOA increased the odds of infertility by as much as 154%! Thyroid Trauma: A 2010 study indicated that people with the highest PFOA levels were twice as likely to have current thyroid disease than people with the lowest concentrations of PFOA. If left unchecked, thyroid disease can lead to chronic conditions such as heart disease, infertility, muscle weakness, and osteoporosis. Cancer Cases: Animal studies have linked PFOA to tumors in the liver, pancreas, testicles, and mammary glands. A human study showed that PFOA dramatically increased the likelihood of prostate cancer in PFOA plant workers. Cholesterol Crises: In 2010, the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine reported that children and teens with high concentrations of PFOA in the blood exhibited higher levels of both total cholesterol and LDL “bad” cholesterol. In 2009, the EPA and eight U.S. companies reached an agreement to eliminate PFOA from all products—excluding Teflon—by 2015, a first step in reducing our exposure to PFOA. In the meantime, pop your popcorn the old fashioned way. The health risks of microwave popcorn just aren’t worth the convenience.

Fact or Myth: Is Natural Egg Shell Membrane an Effective Therapy for Joint or Connective Tissue Disorders?

written by Danica Collins

Egg Shells
This is a FACT. An estimated 140 million American adults battle with some type of joint or connective tissue disorder such as arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia, or back and neck pain.  While supplements like glucosomine and chondrotin offer relief to some, many people fail to experience any benefit and instead succumb to side effects like gastrointestinal disturbances. Not to mention, these supplements are made from shellfish so those with allergies must look elsewhere for relief. Turns out there’s a natural and side-effect-free remedy that may just be superior to traditional joint supplements. Natural eggshell membrane (NEM) is naturally stocked with glucosamine, chondrotin, and a host of other nutrients shown to reduce joint pain and stiffness and help repair the cartilage network between bones. What is NEM? Natural eggshell membrane is the thin membrane between the egg shell and the egg white. It’s rich in glycosaminoglycans, specifically the polysaccharides glucosamine, chondrotin, and hyaluronic acid, all three of which are naturally occurring substances in cartilage and play an essential role in the maintenance of healthy joint and connective tissue. NEM is also made up of fibrous proteins like collagen and elastin, which contribute to the strength and flexibility of connective tissues and joints. The amino acids desmosine and isodesmosine increase joint tissue elasticity, and growth factor-B promotes cell regeneration and healthy immune function. Science Says… Two 2009 studies suggest that natural eggshell membrane for joint or connective tissue disorders is a promising therapy. A study published in Clinical Rheumatology showed that a daily dose of 500 mg of NEM lessened joint pain and stiffness in as little as 10 days. Researchers also added that the benefit exceeded that of glucosamine and chondrotin in previous studies. Another study published in Clinical Interventions in Aging also found that 500 mg of natural eggshell membrane a day reduced joint pain in as little as 7 days and for as long as 30 days, with no reported side effects (beyond the obvious egg allergy).

Caffeine Linked to Hot Flashes and Night Sweats

written by Danica Collins

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.

Prolonged Sitting May Cause Heart Disease

written by Danica Collins

negative effects of television
We’ve got one more study from 2014 proving that prolonged sitting is incredibly detrimental to your overall health, regardless of if you are fit and regularly exercise, or are a couch potato that hates lifting a limb. Whether you sit in front of a desk for eight hours a day, in front of a television, or both, you set yourself up for increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, insomnia, arthritis, certain types of cancer, and even premature death. A recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine establishes a link between prolonged sitting and two biological markers of cardiovascular disease.  Don’t Just Sit There! Researchers analyzed the results of the 2004-2005 AusDiab (Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle) study made up of 3086 Australian adults. Results showed that two heart disease risk factors correlated with prolonged sitting: fibrinogen and C reactive protein. Fibrinogen measures clotting tendency and C reactive protein measures inflammation. Clotting + Inflammation = Increased Risk of Heart Disease! Sitting time significantly increased fibrinogen and C reactive protein in the individuals studied. Furthermore, risk was not mitigated by physical activity. Researchers concluded: "In this large sample of Australian adults, overall daily sitting time and TV viewing time were positively associated with plasma fibrinogen and hsCRP [high sensitivity C reactive protein], independent of LTPA [leasure time physical activity]." Get Moving! When we sit, our skeletal muscles don’t use as much fuel. The extra glucose builds up in our bloodstream, instigating obesity and type 2 diabetes. Blood flow to the legs is reduced, and blood pools in our lower extremities, suppressing the production of compounds like nitric oxide which help prevent heart attacks. The harmful effects of sitting extend to our mental health as well. Less movement means less blood flow to the brain, less oxygenation, and less glucose metabolism, which effects mood, memory, and more. We’ve already seen that an hour of exercise after eight hours of sitting doesn’t reverse the negative health effects. Intermittent movement, however, has demonstrated benefit. A study in the Journal of Applied Physiology showed that 2 minutes of light activity every 20 minutes activated genes that help promote insulin sensitivity and heart health. Another study suggests that 10 three-minute walks conducted throughout an eight-hour workday can improve plasma lipids and hypertension indicators. That’s just 30 minutes of walking a day! So by all means keep up your exercise program, but add some intermittent movement into the mix throughout your day to keep your blood flowing, your blood sugar levels regulated, and your limbs supple.

One More Reason to Go Organic

written by Danica Collins

Fruits and vegetables
In 2012, a Stanford University meta-analysis of 240 studies comparing organic to conventionally grown produce, found that organic was far less contaminated with pesticides. Two years later, European scientists have published their own meta-analysis of 343 studies in the British Journal of Nutrition. These most recent findings give us yet another reason to go organic. Not only does organic produce contain far fewer pesticides, but it is also richer in antioxidant content! The Problem with Pesticides This most recent review found that organic produce has on average 48% lower levels of cadmium, a toxic carcinogen according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Cadmium is found in cigarette smoke, and as noted by the EPA causes cancer and kidney disease. What is a non-smoker’s main source of cadmium exposure? Food, where cadmium is found aplenty! The authors of the study noted: “The frequency of occurrence of pesticide residues was found to be four times higher in conventional crops...” It’s imperative to limit pesticide exposure as much as possible, and choosing organic gives you a leg up. Pesticide Action Network North America reports that exposure to chemicals and toxins starts in the womb, and stays with us throughout the course of our lives! We just need to look at the health of the farm workers responsible for spraying fruits and vegetables with agricultural chemicals. According to the nonprofit organization Farmworker Justice, farm workers who work with pesticides contract significantly more chemical-related diseases (including respiratory conditions, migraines, cancer, and reproductive problems) than any other workers in America. Go Organic and Amp Up Your Antioxidant Status Since the 1920s, the nutrient content of our produce has dramatically declined. The reason is that fruits and vegetables depend on nutrient uptake from the soil, but industrial agricultural methods have destroyed the soil microbes that transfer minerals to plants, leaving our soil pretty much devoid of nutrients. Dr. August Dunning, chief science officer and co-owner of Eco Organics notes that in 1988 you’d have to eat 26 apples to match the nutritional content of 1 apple from 1950! More than 20 years later, and the nutritional content of produce has only gotten worse. That’s why the antioxidant boost from organic fruits and vegetables is particularly significant. Findings indicate that organic fruits and vegetables contain 18-69% more antioxidants than conventionally grown produce does. And it’s not just this one study praising higher antioxidants in organic produce. A 2010 study published in PLOS ONE reported that organic strawberries were far more nutrient-dense than non-organic strawberries. Not to mention, strawberries feature high on the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Dirty Dozen list, which notes the most contaminated fruits and vegetables you shouldn’t buy conventionally grown. Researchers explain the health benefits of antioxidants, writing: “Many of these compounds have previously been linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative diseases and certain cancers, in dietary intervention and epidemiological studies.” That’s an infinite number of reasons to go organic!

Acupuncture for Hot Flashes

written by Danica Collins

Coping with the menopause
That sudden flush of heat that overwhelms…blotches of red on your face, neck, arms, back, and chest…heavy sweating followed by cold shivers…all symptoms of hot flashes, courtesy of menopause. Approximately half of all women undergoing menopause treat the change with hormone therapy—a mix of meds with estrogen and progesterone. The health risks of hormone therapy, however, include stroke, heart disease, and even cancer. According to a recent review, half of all women treat their menopausal symptoms with complementary and alternative medicine therapies rather than pharmacological prescriptions. A meta-analysis published this month in the journal Menopause, suggests that acupuncture for hot flashes is indeed a viable treatment. Researchers determined that acupuncture can reduce the severity and frequency of hot flashes for up to three months regardless of the number of doses, sessions, or the duration of treatment. Hot Flash Relief Researchers studied different types of acupuncture for hot flashes: traditional Chinese medicine acupuncture (TCMA), acupressure, electroacupuncture, laser acupuncture, and ear acupuncture. Analyzing 12 studies made up of 869 women ages 40-60 going through natural menopause, they determined that while acupuncture didn’t exhibit a consistent effect on other menopausal symptoms such as sleep, mood, or sexual disturbances, acupuncture did affect the severity and frequency of hot flashes for up to three months after treatment. However, it appears that sham acupuncture treatment seemed to reduce the frequency of hot flashes to the same degree as actual acupuncture, which calls into question acupuncture’s true effect. A 2011 study published in Acupuncture in Medicine showed that of 53 women receiving traditional acupuncture or sham acupuncture, those who were treated with acupuncture demonstrated significantly lower scores on the scale of menopausal symptoms (including hot flashes) than did those being treated with sham needles. Researchers don’t know why acupuncture influences hot flashes, but theorize that it has something to do with acupuncture’s ability to lower the concentration of the neuropeptide beta-endorphin that hangs out in the hypothalamus. Lowering beta-endorphin levels may just trigger the release of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), a peptide that controls body temperature. There are many other natural treatments for hot flashes, including hypnosis. A 2012 study in Menopause reported that hypnosis lowered the frequency of hot flashes by 75%! The wonderful world of alternative medicine is full of surprises!

Health Risks of Air Pollution on the Brain

written by Danica Collins

You’re probably well aware of the health risks of air pollution—stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and chronic and acute respiratory diseases, including asthma. But did you know that the negative effects of air pollution extend far beyond the heart and lungs and into the brain? Air pollution can stunt brain development, causing blood vessels to dangerously narrow as toxins accumulate in the brain. A recent study in the Journal of Gerontology zeroed in on the negative effects of air pollution on cognitive function in adults 55 and older. Air Pollution Pollutes the Brain Air pollution is made up of particulate matter, tiny particles or liquid droplets that contain toxins like organic chemicals, metals, soil, and dust. The smallest particles carry the greatest health risks because they can seep into our lungs and brain. Fine particulate matter of 2.5 micrometers or less poses the most threat to cognitive function and brain health. (The EPA deems particulate matter 10 micrometers or less a potential health concern.) Gases from automobiles, forest fires, power plants, and industrial manufacturing facilities unleash fine particulate matter into the air. Interested in examining the link between air pollution and cognitive impairment, researchers measured the air pollution levels in the participants’ neighborhoods. The EPA air quality standard is set at 12 micrometers per cubic meter, but the average concentrations of particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometers in these neighborhoods was much higher—13.8 micrometers per cubic meter! Results showed that people who lived in the most polluted areas were 1.5 times more likely to exhibit decreased cognitive function than were those living in the least polluted areas (with an air quality score of 5 micrometers per cubic meter). Researchers attribute the health risks of air pollution on the brain to fine particulate matter that impacts the cardiovascular system, traveling up through the blood vessels to the brain. Researchers also noted that air pollution may act directly on the brain. A 2012 study showed that long-term exposure to air pollution between 2.5 and 10 micrometers dramatically accelerated the rate of cognitive decline, affecting memory and attention span in elderly women 70-81 years old. But the health risks of air pollution don’t just impact older brains. A 2002 study published in the journal Toxicology Pathology indicated that the negative effects of air pollution begin early in life, instigating neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. Protect Against Air Pollution Apart from moving to a more pristine, rural environment, you can monitor air pollution by checking in daily with the EPA’s Air Quality Index. Just enter your zip code to find out the air quality of your neighborhood as measured by Particles (2.5 micrometers), Ozone, Nitrogen Dioxide, Particles (10 micrometers), and Carbon Dioxide. Don’t get too cozy inside. Indoor pollution can be 5 to 10 times more toxic than outdoor air pollution. We are susceptible to indoor pollution from mold, tobacco smoke, household cleaners…even the upholstery on our furniture! Investing in an air purifier offers a level of protection against indoor pollution, so you can breathe easier and think clearer!

Bacopa Supercharges Memory

written by Danica Collins

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

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

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.