As some of you know, Dr. Joseph Mercola, multi-millionaire osteopath entrepreneur of mercola.com, began his practice in the Chicago area. Sometime in the early 1990s, he and I crossed paths at alternative medical meetings and I remember just one exchange. JM: “The future is on the internet.” Me: “What’s that?” JM: “Don’t you know what […]
Vaccines, GMOs, and Big Pharma, All In One Film
Last week I received an email invitation to watch a free screening of Bought, subtitled “The Truth Behind Vaccines, Big Pharma, and Your Food.” Since all three are pretty hot topics, I settled back for what I knew would be one of those feel-bad movies. You know what I mean. Moonstruck is a feel-good movie, […]
Do Vegetarians Live Longer?
A recent article in JAMA Internal Medicine would certainly make it appear that way. Researchers from Loma Linda University recruited more than 73,000 Seventh Day Adventists (the university is an Adventist-affiliated school) and asked detailed questions about dietary and other lifestyle habits, including tobacco and alcohol use, degree of exercise, income, and education level. Enrollees were divided into non-vegetarians and vegetarians. Then the vegetarians were subdivided into vegans (no […]
Q&A: Tanning Beds to Boost Vitamin D and Serotonin?
Click here for the original post. Q: You write a lot about how sunshine increases vitamin D and serotonin. Do you recommend using a tanning bed or booth to accomplish this? A: Short answer: No. Longer answer: You shouldn’t be using ultraviolet tanning salons for anything. A World Health Organization position paper on tanning beds […]
Should I get the Swine Flu Vaccine?
By now, everyone knows there are two flus this season. First, the regular seasonal flu (for which you get an annual flu shot), as always requiring a slight change in vaccine formulation to ensure it targets this year’s flu strain. The second vaccine protects against the well-publicized H1N1 virus, better known as swine flu.
Scientists identified vitamin E about 80 years ago, but only in the past few decades has its power as an antioxidant been revealed and fully appreciated. What this means is that you’ll have to get far more than the government-established RDA for this vitamin to benefit from its ability to stave off disease and enhance overall health. Unfortunately, most foods containing vitamin E–nuts, vegetable oils and margarine, for example–are high in fat. So to get the protective punch of vitamin E without adding fats to your diet, you need to seriously consider taking supplements.
Vitamin D is called the sunlight vitamin because the body produces it when the sun’s ultraviolet B (UVB) rays strike the skin. It is the only vitamin the body manufactures naturally and is technically considered a hormone. Essential for building strong bones and teeth, vitamin D also helps to strengthen the immune system and may prevent some types of cancer.
In the eighteenth century, seasoned sailors found that by sucking on lemons they could avoid scurvy, a debilitating disease that often developed during long voyages when fresh fruits and vegetables were scarce. When the lemon’s key nutrient was formally identified in 1928, it was named ascorbic acid for its anti-scurvy, or antiscorbutic, action. Today ascorbic acid is widely known as vitamin C.
Vitamin C and Flavinoids
Vitamin C, an essential antioxidant, is often sold with plant-based substances called flavonoids in a single product. While each supplement can be purchased individually, there are several reasons to consider a product that combines the two.
For one, flavonoids–the catchall term for some 4,000 antioxidant compounds responsible for the color and numerous health benefits of fruits, vegetables, and herbs–enhance the body’s absorption of vitamin C. Key flavonoids include quercetin, rutin, genistein, grape seed extract, and naringen.
Day by day, there’s probably no nutrient as actively involved in keeping your system running smoothly as vitamin B6. Technically an umbrella term used to describe three B vitamins (pyridoxine, pridoxal, pyridoxamine), vitamin B6 partakes in no fewer than 100 chemical reactions throughout the body. It functions primarily as a coenzyme, working along with other enzymes to speed up chemical reactions in cells.
In l948, scientists were successful in identifying a nutritional substance in calf’s liver that could prevent pernicious anemia, a potentially deadly disorder that mainly affects older adults. The compound—vitamin Bl2 (or cobalamin)—turned out to be the last vitamin to be discovered.
Vitamin B Complex
A high-quality vitamin B complex supplement will provide, in one convenient pill, a full range of B vitamins, including biotin, choline, folic acid, inositol, PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid), and the six “numbered” B vitamins–vitamin B-1 (thiamin), B-2 (riboflavin), B-3 (niacin), B-5 (pantothenic acid), B-6 (pyridoxine), and B-12 (cobalamin). Combination products can simplify the process of taking individual B vitamins for a range of ailments including alcoholism, depression, diabetes, hair problems, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and stress.
This famed vision-enhancing nutrient was isolated in 1930, the first fat-soluble vitamin to be discovered. The body acquires some of its vitamin A through animal fats. The rest it synthesizes in the intestines from the beta-carotene and other carotenoids abundant in many fruits and vegetables.
Vinpocetine is a derivative of an extract taken from the lesser periwinkle plant (Vinca minor), an evergreen undershrub. The shrub is native to Europe, where it has been been under examination since the 1950s for boosting stroke- and age-related decline in brain function. Only recently has vinpocetine become available in the United States, and not as a prescription drug like in Europe, but as an over-the-counter dietary supplement.
For centuries, the tall perennial herb with pinkish flowers known as valerian (Valeriana officinalis) has been enlisted to help restless insomniacs get a sound night’s sleep. Today this mild, nonaddictive sedative is quite popular both as a sleep aid and as an anxiety fighter, particularly in Germany, France, Belgium, and the United Kingdom. And in recent years its popularity has grown enormously in the United States as well.
Pantothenic Acid (B5)
Also known as vitamin B5, pantothenic acid is essential for a number of basic bodily functions–from growth to reproduction. It participates in the continual breakdown of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins from food, converting them into compounds the body can use. This vitamin also produces numerous enzymes and helps maintain precise communication between the central nervous system and the brain.
Yeast Infections (Vaginal)
I really doubt if the women in our grandmother’s time, or before, experienced the same trouble with yeast infections that we do. Truly, we’ve set the stage for yeast to flourish in our vaginas in ways unknown to earlier generations. We overuse broad-spectrum antibiotics, each of us eats 120 pounds of sugar every year (!), we’re on birth control pills, and we all face too many day-in and day-out stresses. The end result? By the time we’re in menopause, 75% of us will have had one or more yeast infections. These are typically episodes in which a yeast known as candida albicans–normally a harmless fellow-traveler in our vaginas–takes over. And the tell-tale symptoms of itching, burning, and a cottage cheese-like discharge make life really unpleasant for a few days.
Undeniably, heredity plays a role in varicose veins, those decidedly unattractive blue ropey knots (or squiggly red lines) you’re certain are distracting everyone from your otherwise perfect legs. Although varicose veins are rarely a serious medical problem, they can be quite uncomfortable and even painful if inflamed. Conventional medicine now offers a variety of minimally invasive outpatient surgical procedures that have virtually eliminated the more extensive surgery required in the past.
All Your Vegetables Soup
Click here for the Health Tip link. The Triple Whammy Food Plan focuses on eating a wide variety of nutrient-packed fruits and veggies. Carbohydrate timing using complex carbs is at the heart of eating the Triple Whammy way, to help your body generate feel-good serotonin all day, keeping energy and mood up. Read more in […]
Flu Shot: Do I Need One?
Posted 09/23/2008 The quick answer is, probably yes. Influenza (Italian: influence, a reference to the fact that the disease has always occurred in recognizable epidemics) makes its appearance virtually every winter and may last as long as spring. The biggest believers in flu immunization are those who’ve been through one bad flu episode. No one […]