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Fish Oil is Good for the Heart… and Great for the Mind!

Most of us by now have heard the “heart message” when it comes to Fish Oil, delivering the essential nutrients best known as EPA and DHA. Sure the Omega-3’s in high quality, mercury and PCB free fish oil can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels and can help take the pain out of daily living due to their anti-inflammatory properties, yet there is another important reason to supplement daily with fish oil according to the latest research. Fish oil can protect your brain too!

It is estimated that a mere 1 in 6 people consume anything close to sufficient levels of essential fatty acids such as those found in fish oil. This statistic does not bode well for those wanting to ward off depression and help maintain their brain power. Research has now shown that high blood levels of EPA is associated with lower risk of dementia and depression. (Am J Clin Nutr. Sep. 2008) This should not surprise us, since fish oil can help maintain healthy blood flow to the brain. So it is time to make the commitment one and all, to taking high quality fish oil daily. The researchers of the study say it all with their quotable quote: “because depression and dementia share common vascular risk factors, the vascular properties of EPA could contribute to decrease depression and dementia risk simultaneously.” In short the authors are saying, protect your heart, 60,000 miles of blood vessels, stay happier, and don’t lose your mind unnecessarily, or at the very least nourish your body with this “essential” health promoting fat and increase your odds of staying healthier longer.

Supplement your diet with a high quality fish oil and you’ll also notice another wonderful benefit… it acts as an internal moisturizer, allowing your skin and complexion to appear more youthful, at least this is what my patients report.

Dietary Lectins from Common Foods can Weaken Your Health

What I am going to share with is possibly one of the most important and overlooked dietary considerations for anyone that is serious about their health. I just returned from lecturing in Orlando at the A4M world anti-aging conference, the premier longevity conference for medical health care providers that are sick and tired of seeing patients that prematurely aging and suffering the ravages of being mis-informed and mal-informed.
The topic of my lecture was “lectins”, no not “leptin” involved in weight loss, though as I will share with you if you are eating lectins, you will definitely increase the likelihood that you will become fatter, more inflamed and without question, more miserable in your daily existence.

Put simply, lectins are specific dietary proteins that can trigger inflammation that will in turn bind onto Leptins, that will increase weight gaining and impede weight loss, immune hyper-reactivity and contribute to autoimmunity aggravation. Common lectins include the nightshade family that includes tomato, potato, egg plant, bell peppers and tobacco. Also wheat, oat, rye, barley, nuts, seeds, peanuts, eggs and dairy are all BIG lectins.

So what is the big deal? People eat all these foods all the time and they survive, right? Well there is a HUGE difference between surviving and thriving. Lectins bind to sugar receptors in the body and trigger ill health. The key is to find out what lectins, that is what foods are your enemy, to maintain healthy aging and daily exuberance.

Let me share an interesting and compelling story. In Britain, at a hospital back in 1988, the cafeteria decided to offer a healthy lunch option for its workers. The option was a “kidney bean dish” and within a couple of hours, dozens of people got sick with vomiting and/or diarrhea. The food was tested for pathogens and nothing was found. The BIG DISCOVERY was that this particular bean dish was found to be VERY high in lectins. I think most of us know that when cooking beans, we need to soak the beans overnight and rinse them thoroughly and ideally we would repeat this process. The key is that much of the lectin in beans can be lessened with this process.

Now an even more deadly example of lectins and their potential impact on the human body, is the lectin found in castor beans, called Ricin. Those of you that follow the news and bioterrorism, know ricin can cause a terrible death even when exposure is topical, inhaled or ingested.

So what is a person to do? Well first and foremost, listen to your body and see if eliminating nuts or grains (other than rice) or nightshade foods, for a period of 3 to 4 weeks, allows your body’s level of wellness to rise to a whole new level.

In addition to avoidance of foods that you find serve as hurdles to your true wellness, the conclusions that I shared with the room full of doctors is the use of probiotics, betaine HCl and digestive enzymes can help lessen your susceptibility to the full impact of lectins. Yet the most important thing is avoidance when possible. Remember that a healthy Gastrointestinal tract supports a healthy you. There is no greater investment that you can make when it comes to fortifying your body at a foundational level.

Allergies Season is Underway

As many of you already know, it is officially allergy season. Early spring brings tree pollen allergies raging and as the weather warms, grass allergies will begin to join the “allergic barrage” of your body. Common season allergy symptoms include sneezing, running or itchy nose, stuffy nose, scratchy throat, post nasal drip, itchy ears and foggy thinking. The latest book I authored, called Liberation From Allergies, is dedicated to the millions of people that suffer not just a little, but often terribly from allergies both environmental and food. I am going to focus on environmental allergens, such as trees, grass pollen, cat and countless others in this article.

There are some great natural ways to help fortify your body from what I term the ‘allergic cascade’ that occurs as your body perceives each little pollen or allergic protein molecule as invaders of the body. It is this perception of invasion that triggers the flood of watery eyes, drainage and the effort to wash, flush and expel these invaders out.

Now is the time to make frequent visits the water cooler and hydrate yourself into relief mode. Keeping your body moist improves your resistance and resilience to allergic irritation and possible secondary issues such as sinusitis. The first step towards overall wellness almost across the board, regardless of the health condition, is hydration.

Another key to successful allergy management that I have discovered in clinical practice incorporates 3 key supplements; these are Quercitin, Bromelain and Vitamin C. I use these in combination due to their synergy. Quercitin, a natural bioflavonoid, can help lessen the susceptibility of the full release of histamine when exposed to an “allergic trigger”. I contrast this to the use of an anti-histamine that is like using a mop to clean up a mess. Is it not better to try to prevent the spill? Bromelain, derived from pineapple, can help lessen some of the inflammation that accompanies allergies, such as a stuffy nose, sinus inflammation and a scratchy throat. Quercitin and Bromelain can be found in a combination supplement, making it easier to get the job done as you walk around the house with watery eyes and a runny nose. I am also a BIG fan of vitamin C; it supports health and at the same time, can help mitigate some allergic symptoms from what I have personally observed as well.

The next big thing you must do during allergy season, whenever possible, is avoidance. Minimizing your burden to allergens is critical. Below you will see my ‘Dos and Don’ts’ that can help you feel better and avoid unnecessary suffering. Every additional allergen exposure increases your risk of a full-fledged allergic reaction. It is important to realize that the suffering does not stop at a runny nose; medical research has shown that allergies can lead to significant impairment in verbal learning, decision making and psychomotor speed in those suffering from allergies.

Guide to Minimizing Allergic Burden:

  • Track pollen counts in your area (with local media)
  • Minimize outdoor activities during high allergen times such as early evening when pollen counts peak
  • Keep your home windows closed
  • Drive with your windows closed
  • Protect your eyes with glasses or sunglasses when outside
  • Wash your hair prior to bed (very important to wash away allergens collected throughout the day)
  • Test for and avoid food allergies
  • Minimize mold and mildew in house (particularly common in basements and bathrooms)
  • Minimize pollen and allergens that your indoor/outdoor pets carry on their fur
  • Keep house dust free and regularly use a HEPA vacuum

This simple approach has helped my patients over the nearly twenty years of clinical practice. It is my hope that along with your personal physician’s guidance, these tips may help you and your loved ones as well. I do not recommend that pregnant women take supplements without talking to their doctor.

With Cholesterol-lowering Statin Drugs, for Diabetics, and for Everyone Else Too – Supplement with CoQ10

I have long recommended that all my patients who take Statin drugs should supplement with CoQ10 to help offset possible side effects and improve their cardiac health. Well, now a recent Australian study has confirmed what I have recommended for years.

With a pulse of 72 beats per minute, your heart beats an incredible 103,680 times within 24 hours. This is an absolutely amazing feature considering your heart never gets to take a break, or at least we hope this is the case. CoQ10 is essential for energy production in your 10-ounce dynamic pump, strategically placed within your chest.

It has been shown that 200 mg of CoQ10 can improve blood flow to the heart, as reported in the medical journal called Diabetes Care. For many years we have known that CoQ10 levels can become depleted when Statin drugs are used, so it makes good sense that whenever taking a Statin, you start taking CoQ10. Afterall the goal is to improve your heart health, not create a new problem with less energy producing CoQ10 available for your heart to work (of course also check with your prescribing doctor).

The power of CoQ10 for diabetics taking statin drugs was beautifully stated by Professor Gerald Watts from the University of Western Australia “…CoQ10 supplementation may potentially translate to a 10-25 per cent reduction in residual cardiovascular risk in these patients.”

The bottom line is this; there are 18 million diabetics in the United States alone, and 60 million more pre-diabetics. And millions upon millions of people taking Statin drugs. It is time to take charge of your health, and if you are taking a Statin drug, be proactive and help offset possible side effects, in particular CoQ10 insufficiency.

There is no better time to start giving your heart the fuel it needs, and if you aren’t taking a Statin or diabetic…. your heart still needs CoQ10. I suggest this, as CoQ10 is a cornerstone of my daily supplement routine.

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Health Tips On the Go!

Improve Posture

  • 1.Avoid slouching. Be aware of your posture as you walk, sit, and drive, keep shoulders squared and head pulled back and up.

  • 2.Imagine a thread pulling the top of your head toward the ceiling. Visualization can help improve your sense of position.

  • 3.If your job requires you to sit for long periods, take frequent breaks to stand, stretch and shake it out.

  • 4.Maintain a strong core to help support proper posture. Add core-training exercises to your daily routine.

  • 5.A firm mattress and ergonomic pillow help achieve proper back support while you sleep, so you'll stand straighter in the a.m.

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