Yearly Archives: 2010

Natural Hemorrhoids Treatment

By Bonnie Jenkins, Advanced Natural Medicine

Got hemorrhoids? While it’s not something most of us talk about, it’s a painful problem for millions of Americans. In fact, the itching and burning caused by hemorrhoids can make it difficult to sit still.

If you’ve got hemorrhoids, the veins around the anus swell and can form lumps of tissue. These lumps can become irritated and sore, and might even bleed. But you don’t have to put up with these painful protrusions. There are some simple ways to prevent and treat hemorrhoids naturally.

Cause and Effect

So what causes hemorrhoids? Pressure … pure and simple. That’s why pregnant women and obese people are more prone to the condition. An increase in abdominal pressure can trigger hemorrhoids. But the most common cause is constipation. Straining to have a bowel movement puts pressure on blood vessels in the rectum.

There are two kinds of hemorrhoids – internal and external. Frequently, the only sign that internal hemorrhoids exist is bright red blood that appears on the surface of the stool, in the toilet bowl or on toilet paper. But, if the pressure and swelling continue, the hemorrhoid may stretch and bulge through the anus to the outside of the body.

The veins around the anus can then become swollen, causing external hemorrhoids. These swollen veins bleed easily, either from straining or rubbing. Irritation from draining mucus may also cause itching in the anal area. If blood clots form in these hemorrhoids, the pain can be severe.

Get Your Fill of Fiber

The best way to prevent hemorrhoids is to keep stools soft so they pass easily. Increased dietary fiber helps reduce constipation and straining by adding bulk and softening stool. It’s also important to prevent pressure by emptying bowels as soon as possible after the urge occurs.

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Insoluble fiber – the kind found primarily in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables – increases the bulk of stool. And it’s easier than you think to include this super fiber into your diet. Instead of white bread or pasta, opt for whole grain varieties that contain at least 3 grams of fiber per serving. Adding at least one serving of fresh fruit or vegetables to each meal can also significantly boost your fiber intake. Foods with the most fiber include barley, beans and legumes, tomatoes, raspberries, and pears.

Many doctors also recommend fiber supplements for people with hemorrhoids. A review of seven placebo-controlled trials concluded that taking fiber supplements reduced painful symptoms and cut the risk of bleeding by 50 percent in people with hemorrhoids.

Choose a fiber supplement made from psyllium husks. This natural fiber supplement forms a gel in the colon that adds bulk to the stool and softens it. As a result, stool is easier to pass. But if you use a fiber supplement, make sure to take it with plenty of water. If you don’t, it can actually make you constipated.

Fabulous Flavonoids

Flavonoids – plant pigments rich in antioxidants – can reduce inflammation and strengthen blood vessels. These effects can benefit people with hemorrhoids.

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A number of clinical trials show that flavonoids improve itching, bleeding, and other hemorrhoid symptoms in people taking 600 to 4,000 mg. of supplemental flavonoids per day. One of the most important flavonoids for people with hemorrhoids is diosmin, found in the rind of many citrus fruits.

A double-blind study of 120 patients with hemorrhoids found that diosmin improved pain, itching, swelling, discharge, and bleeding. The participants who got relief took 500 mg. of a diosmin supplement twice a day for two months. Diosmin is extremely safe and it shouldn’t interact with any prescription drugs you may be taking. But, since it can thin the blood, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor before combining diosmin with aspirin or other blood-thinning medications.

One Last Thing …

If external hemorrhoids are making life uncomfortable, try applying witch hazel directly onto the affected area several times a day. Witch hazel is a strong astringent and anti-inflammatory. There is also some evidence that this herb strengthens veins. That’s why it is a primary ingredient in most over-the-counter hemorrhoid preparations.

Horse chestnut extract is another herb that can reduce the symptoms of hemorrhoids. Studies done in Europe found that horse chestnut helped increase blood flow, strengthen connective tissue, tighten up veins, decrease redness, and reduce swelling. One of horse chestnut’s compounds, Aescin, has been found to close the small pores in the walls of the veins, making them less permeable. This strengthens the vein walls and reduces leakage of fluid into the surrounding tissues.

Take 300 mg. of horse chestnut supplements containing 50 to 300 mg. of Aescin two to three times a day. But don’t expect instant results. Since horse chestnut can take up to six weeks to show improvement, horse chestnut is best for people with chronic hemorrhoids.

Research Brief …

There’s a new study out that anyone taking Plavix needs to be aware of. According to researchers at Duke University and the Veteran’s Administration, people who suffer a heart attack are twice as likely to have another one if they take Plavix together with a heartburn drug like Prilosec.

During the study of more than 8,200 patients who had suffered a heart attack or chest pain (known as unstable angina), those who took both medications doubled the chance of a second heart attack. Since some “proton pump inhibitors” like Prilosec can be bought in any drugstore, it’s important to check with your doctor before taking an over-the-counter heartburn drugs if you also take Plavix.

For a safer solution, opt for DGL (de-glycyrrhizinated licorice) tablets to relieve frequent heartburn. DGL is a highly effective alternative to antacids and acid-blocking drugs. But instead of inhibiting acid production, it supports and stimulates the stomach’s natural protective mechanisms. Take two chewable DGL tablets whenever heartburn strikes. If you are taking Plavix, it could just save your life!

References:

Alonso-Coello P, Mills E, Heels-Ansdell D, et al. “Fiber for the treatment of hemorrhoids complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2006;101:181–188.

Godeberge P. “Daflon 500 mg in the treatment of hemorrhoidal disease: a demonstrated efficacy in comparison with placebo.” Angiology. 1994;45:574-578.

Ho PM, Maddox TM, Wang L, et al. “Risk of Adverse Outcomes Associated With Concomitant Use of Clopidogrel and Proton Pump Inhibitors Following Acute Coronary Syndrome.” Journal of the American Medical Association. 2009;301: 937-944.

Moesgaard F, Nielsen ML, Hansen JB, Knudsen JT. “High-fiber diet reduces bleeding and pain in patients with hemorrhoids.” Diseases of the Colon and Rectum 1982;25:454–456.

van Marle J, Aarsen PN, Lind A, et al. “Deglycyrrhizinised liquorice (DGL) and the renewal of rat stomach epithelium.” European Journal of Pharmacology. 1981;72:219-25.

Epileptic Seizures

By Bonnie Jenkins, Advanced Natural Medicine

Epileptic Seizures can be very scary.

My mom developed grand mal epilepsy when she was just 17. It was a side effect of a nasty bout with scarlet fever in the 1930s that would stay with her for life. Back then, epilepsy was unfairly – and inaccurately – lumped in with all sorts of psychological and mental disorders, leading those with the disorder to be stigmatized. Today, however, we know better. Epilepsy is actually a neurological condition that causes seizures – sudden surges of electrical activity in the brain. Seizures can be mild and hardly noticeable, or they can render the person unconscious, causing them to fall to the floor and shake uncontrollably for anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes.

Most of the time, Mom has been able to manage her epilepsy with anti-seizure medication. But these drugs come with side effects, including fatigue, abdominal discomfort, dizziness, blurred vision, and rashes. But the most serious side effect is bone loss, which my mother now suffers from.

While these drugs do work for my mother, not everyone is so lucky. Some people never find an anti-seizure cocktail that eliminates their epileptic episodes. Luckily, there are natural strategies – including dietary and lifestyle changes – that hold promise for both those on drug therapy and for those who don’t respond to conventional medication.

Starve Away Seizures

Back in the 1920s, doctors learned that fasting improved the frequency of seizures. This discovery led to the ketogenic diet, the most popular of all epilepsy nutritional therapies. The diet was exclusively developed for epileptics to mimic starvation. While it was very effective, it fell out of favor when drugs took over in the 1930s. But now, the ketogenic diet is back, and it’s gaining popularity around the world.

Here’s how it works: The diet begins with a 24-hour fasting period to cleanse the system. After that, you restrict carbohydrates and instead get most of your calories from fats. People on the diet usually eat three to four grams of fat for every one gram of carbohydrate and protein. Nutritionists and neurologists tweak meals to induce ketosis, a state in which the body burns stored fat for fuel.

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Doctors don’t know why ketosis reduces seizures, but it produces positive results for a lot of patients. Up to two-thirds of those who try the ketogenic diet get some degree of relief – and about 55 percent of those who respond positively experience a greater than 50 percent reduction in their seizures.

This type of high-fat diet may seem like an easy fix, but many people have a tough time sticking to the ketogenic diet. That’s problematic since there’s no cheating allowed on this diet – most medical experts believe strict compliance is mandatory. That’s probably why success rates are better for young children, whose parents can exercise complete control over what goes into their mouths.

Adopting a ketogenic diet also shouldn’t be done without the supervision of your doctor. And it’s best used for those who don’t respond to anti-seizure drugs.

Get Moving

In addition to nutrition, stress-busting physical activity can reduce seizures, too. And, while all types of exercise can help, many epilepsy experts advocate yoga. The type of yoga can also make a difference, especially if you haven’t exercised in a while. Try Hatha yoga – which focuses on gentle postures and slow deep breathing – at least three times a week.

Aerobic exercise can also reduce stress, plus it gets your heart pumping. Opt for a minimum of three times a week, and work your way up to at least 30 minutes per session. Try walking with a buddy or riding a stationary bike. Just don’t try to do too much too soon.

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Many neurologists mistakenly discourage exercise, because they’re afraid patients will have seizures. Yet, just 10 percent of patients actually have exercise-induced seizures. If you’re in that minority, take it slow and exercise with supervision in case you have a seizure. Also, check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program. If you don’t have control of your seizures, proceed with caution when choosing a piece of equipment or activity. For example, avoid a treadmill or the swimming pool, which can cause serious harm if you become unconscious.

Soothe Away Stress

Stress – either long-term or a sudden shock – can trigger a seizure. That’s why keeping stress under control is critical for preventing episodes. Supplementing with calming herbs and minerals can complement conventional epilepsy care. A 2001 study found that kava, valerian, chamomile, and passionflower may improve the effects of anti-epileptic medications, increasing their sedative and cognitive effects. The study also discouraged the use of stimulants like ephedra, caffeine, ginkgo, and ginseng, because they may exacerbate seizures.

But herbs aren’t the only calming supplements. Magnesium can also calm the mind and the nervous system. Foods high in magnesium include mushrooms, whole grains and nuts. But to make sure you’re getting enough to benefit your epilepsy, it’s best to take 250-350 mg. of this mineral per day.

One Last Thing …

Regardless of whether you’re on drug therapy or not, biofeedback may help control stress – and your seizures. In an attempt to diminish abnormal brain-wave activity and elevate the seizure threshold, biofeedback (sometimes referred to as neurofeedback) uses conditioning to help epilepsy patients. Although the practice has been around for many years, recent research indicates it’s still a viable treatment to reduce seizures.

Biofeedback uses EEG technology to look for abnormal brain waves and then teaches patients various techniques – using a game or puzzle perhaps – that will help them morph back into a normal pattern. Over time, these exercises may reduce the number of seizures. Before starting, however, find a practitioner who has experience working with epileptics. The Biofeedback Certification Institute of America (www.bcia.org) certifies practitioners and offers advice on how to find a credentialed one in your area.

Research Brief …

Even life’s little pleasures, like eating and kissing, lose their appeal when you’ve got a canker sore. But new research reports that licorice-root extract can heal these sores naturally.

Unlike cold sores that appear on your lips (contagious, fluid-filled blisters caused by the herpes-simplex virus), canker sores (which aren’t contagious) show up on the inside of your cheeks, lips, gums, or even under your tongue. They have a white or yellow center and a red border, and they’re usually brought on by stress, hormonal changes, or certain food sensitivities, such as wheat and dairy. Licorice-root extract stimulates the mucus-secreting cells necessary for mending the lining of your mouth.

Look for powdered licorice root labeled deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL). Crush the tablet and dissolve 200 mg. of it in three-quarters of a cup of warm water. Swish the mixture around in your mouth every morning and evening for one week or until the canker sore improves.

References:

Arida RM, et al. “Physical activity and epilepsy: proven and predicted benefits.” Sports Medicine. 2008;38:607-615.

Kossoff EH, et al. “Ketogenic Diets: Evidence for Short- and Long-term Efficacy.” Neurotherapeutics. 2009;6:406-414.

Martin MD, et al. “A controlled trial of a dissolving oral patch concerning glycyrrhiza (licorice) herbal extract for the treatment of aphthous ulcers.” General Dentistry. 2008;56:206-210.

Nagai Y, et al. “Changes in cortical potential associated with modulation of peripheral sympathetic activity in patients with epilepsy.” Psychosomatic Medicine. 2009;71:84-92.

Spinella M. “Herbal Medicines and Epilepsy: The Potential for Benefit and Adverse Effects.” Epilepsy & Behavior. 2001;2:524-532.

Heartburn, GERD

By Bonnie Jenkins, Advanced Natural Medicine

The other night, I went out for a nice Italian dinner with my friend Lauren. As we ordered our pasta, she reached into her purse for her bottle of Nexium. Now Lauren is a great believer in modern medicine. And she raves about how well her little purple pill quenches the fire in her chest, allowing her to continue eating like she was a teenager.

Lauren had suffered form chronic heartburn for years. She thought her only options were to either put up with the pain or pop a handful of antacids daily. By the time she had it checked by her doctor, she had trouble swallowing and had actually damaged her esophagus. But instead of talking to Lauren about what and how she ate, the good doctor just whipped out his little pad and wrote a prescription for Nexium..

Lauren’s been happy with the results. And why not? After all, taking one little purple pill is a lot easier than changing your diet. But not treating the underlying cause of her heartburn opens up a whole host of potential problems – not the least of which is esophageal cancer.

Hurdy Gerdy

If you’ve seen any of the myriad of ads for heartburn medication (how could you miss them?), you know that ignoring chronic heartburn or acid reflux is a bad move. Acid reflux may be a sign that you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a chronic condition that can eventually damage your esophagus.

When you eat, food travels down the esophagus until it reaches the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a muscle that opens to permit food to enter the stomach and then closes back up to protect the esophagus from stomach acids. Heartburn occurs when the LES is weakened or doesn’t close properly. As a result, the stomach contents can squirt back up into the esophagus. And while the stomach is built to handle acid, the esophagus is not.

If your esophagus is irritated repeatedly, it may begin to erode and form ulcers in the lining of the esophagus. Chronic acid reflux can also cause a pre-cancerous condition called Barrett’s esophagus. Fortunately, only about 10 out of 100 people with GERD develop this cancer. But your risk depends on how long you’ve had symptoms and how frequently they appear.

Certain foods, including chocolate, peppermint, onions, garlic and alcohol, can weaken or relax the LES. Others may irritate or even dissolve the esophagus’ protective mucous lining, including acidic foods, caffeinated beverages and hot peppers. If you suffer frequent heartburn, your digestive system might not tolerate even small amounts of these common culprits.

But it’s not just what you eat, but how much. Overeating can trigger GERD by causing the stomach to produce a glut of stomach acid. Overeating on a regular basis can also cause weight gain and excess body weight puts undue stress on the stomach. Some drugs, especially blood pressure and arthritis medications, can also exacerbate heartburn.

Soothe the Burn

Fortunately, Mother Nature has provided several natural ways to quickly ease the pain and discomfort of GERD. Popping a couple of deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) tablets before meals not only helps to prevent heartburn, it’s reputed to soothe and heal the esophageal tissue by decreasing inflammation and ulceration. And unlike other forms of licorice, DGL is safe for people with high blood pressure. Most herbalists recommend taking 350 to 1,000 mg. three times a day with meals.

Adding other herbs like slippery elm, marshmallow root and plantain can boost the anti-inflammatory action of DGL, neutralize stomach acid and aid in healing the esophagus. An extra dose can also be used at the onset of symptoms or before bed, if needed.

Long-term Protection

If you suffer from chronic heartburn or have been diagnosed with GERD, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re getting enough zinc. According to a recent study by the National Institutes of Health, low levels of this critical mineral just might contribute to the development of esophagel cancer.

In their study, the NIH researchers looked at specimens from esophageal tissue biopsies collected from more than 130 Chinese participants. The specimens were assessed using a technique called X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy that can detect levels of specific nutrients. What they were looking for were the levels of key minerals that may play a role in the development of esophageal cancer, including copper, iron, sulfur and zinc.

Over the course of the 16 year study, 60 of the participants developed esophageal cancer. When the researchers analyzed their mineral status they found that these folks also had lower than average zinc levels. On the flip side, the subjects with the highest levels of zinc were nearly 80 percent less likely to develop esophageal cancer.

Earlier animal studies by the NIH show that replenishing zinc through diet lowers the risk of esophageal cancer by triggering cell death in esophageal epithelial cells. Foods natually high in zinc include beef, pork, lamb, seafood an dairy products. What if you don’t eat meat? Vegetarian sources include beans, lentils, tofu, nuts, seeds and wholegrain cereals. And one classic Fall food, pumpkin seeds, provides one of the most concentrated vegetarian sources of zinc.

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You can also increase your zinc intake by taking a multivitamin that includes at least 15 mg. of zinc. If you do suffer from a deficiency, higher levels (up to 50 mg. taken three times per day) may be called for. But before you take it upon yourself to megadose on zinc, talk with your doctor since high doses may cause a zinc-induced copper deficiency.

One Last Thing …

Because every person is unique, it’s important to track your body’s reactions to particular foods. If you suffer from chronic heartburn, try writing down everything you eat for a week or two, then circle the things that cause pain or discomfort. Be sure to include food quantities since you may find that 8 ounces of orange juice causes no symptoms, but 10 ounces induces pain.

Certain foods contain compounds that help reduce reflux risk. For example, low-acid papaya boasts papain, an enzyme that aids digestion. Other low-acid foods include ripe bananas, peaches, figs, cherries and cantaloupe. Salmon, avocado and yogurt contain pantothenic acid, a helpful B vitamin. And ginger, chamomile or lemon balm tea can often ease the symptoms of GERD.

This Just In …

If lung-cancer runs in your family, a new study from the International Agency for Cancer Research just might help you hedge your bets against this killer disease. According to their findings, cabbage, broccoli and other cruciferous veggies can offer protection in people with a specific genetic makeup that makes them vulnerable to lung cancer.

In the study, the researchers recruited 2,141 patients with lung cancer and 2,168 healthy controls from six countries in eastern and central Europe. Each of the participants filled out a food and had their genetic status assessed from a blood sample. The IACR researchers were especially interested in two genes known as GSTM1 and GSTT1. When these two genes are inactive or don’t “turn-on” properly, the risk of developing lung cancer increases.

After analyzing the data, they found that the patients with an inactive form of the GSTM1 gene who ate cruciferous vegetables at least once a week had 33 percent more protection against lung cancer. The people who had an inactive GSTT1 gene had a 37 percent increase in protection. And those who had both genes inactivated experienced a 72 percent protective effect just by eating these healthy vegetables on a regular basis.

Even if you aren’t predisposed to lung cancer, cruciferous vegetables can help to ward off other types of cancer. Clinical trials show that regularly eating these tasty veggies can thwart tumors implicated in the development of breast, endometrial, colon and liver cancer. And, since these foods are in season and widely available, there’s no excuse not to include them in your meals. So, whether you steam them, sauté them or eat them raw, make sure you are getting at least two to three servings of the healthy cruciferous crew every week.

References:

Abnet CC, Lai B, Qiao YL, et al. “Zinc concentration in esophageal biopsy specimens measured by x-ray fluorescence and esophageal cancer risk.” Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 2005;97:301-306.

“Cabbage fans less likely to develop lung cancer, suggests study.” NutraIngredients.com. 28 Oct 2005.

Fong LY, Nguyen VT, Farber JL. “Esophageal cancer prevention in zinc-deficient rats: rapid induction of apoptosis by replenishing zinc.” Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 2001; 93:1525-1533.

“Glycyrrhiza glabra – monograph.” Alternative Medicine Review. 2005;10:230-237.

Nutritional Supplements for Better Health

By Bonnie Jenkins, Advanced Natural Medicine

Times are tough. Even the government acknowledges that we’re in a recession. So we scrimp where we can and keep a sharp eye out for new ways to save. But there’s one area where spending a little now can actually save a lot later on. I’m talking about your health.

According to the Milken Institute, an independent economic think tank in California, more than half of all Americans suffer from one or more chronic diseases – and, as a result, it’s costing all of us more than $1 trillion each year. That’s the big picture.

On a more personal level, fighting cancer, heart disease, diabetes, COPD, or mental illness can cost you thousands of dollars yearly in medication, doctor visits, and treatment. Wouldn’t it be more cost-effective to prevent these health problems in the first place? Adding supplements to a healthy lifestyle can help you do just that.

The Basics

When money is tight, it’s important to prioritize. Which supplements are most essential? While everyone is different, there are a few nutrients that can benefit everyone. In my opinion, there are four supplements that are absolutely essential for good health – a multivitamin, an omega-3 fish oil supplement, alpha lipoic acid and vitamin D.

Your multivitamin may be the most expensive product you buy, but it is definitely the most important since, tablet for tablet, no other supplement covers as many nutritional bases. There are many multivitamins on the market – basic one-per-day multis and more comprehensive formulas that require 3 or more tablets per day. There is a trade-off between the nutritional potency of a multi and the number of tablets in a suggested dose. Lower potency one- or two-per-day formulas cover the basic vitamin and mineral needs, but only the basics. Because you can’t put beneficial amounts into one or two pills, most multivitamins leave gaps. Higher-potency formulas require that you take 3 or more tablets per day, but they provide higher amounts of key nutrients and fewer nutritional gaps. This is definitely a case where you get what you pay for.

Omega-3’s have gotten a lot of press over the past decade – and with good reason. Studies show that omega-3’s from fish oil promote heart health, discourage runaway inflammation, keep our brain in top form, protect against Alzheimer’s disease, guard against cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, help ensure healthy bones, and boost immunity. To get the most out of your fish-oil supplement, it’s important that you take 3,000 to 4,000 mg. every day.

Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is another must-have. This vitamin-like antioxidant is soluble in both fat and water. One of ALA’s most valuable qualities is that it can re-activate other heart-healthy antioxidants, including vitamin C, vitamin E, and coenzyme-Q10. Research out of Canada shows that ALA can modulate blood lipids, protect against LDL oxidation, and help lower blood pressure. For general antioxidant protection, I recommend supplementing your diet with 50 mg. of ALA twice a day.

Vitamin D is another superstar. These are very inexpensive softgels and very easy to take. There is abundant research underscoring the importance of vitamin D – from boosting bone and heart health to protecting against a variety of cancers. Most experts are recommending 1,000 IU per day of vitamin D, an amount far above what most multis provide.

Consider Adding On

Co-Q10 plays an important role in providing energy to the cells, especially those in the heart, and low levels are implicated in virtually all cardiovascular diseases, including angina, hypertension, cardiomyopathy, and congestive heart failure. Unfortunately, Co-Q10 levels decrease as we get older. And statin drugs deplete stores of this critical nutrient, making it an indispensable supplement for anyone taking these medications. Take at least 60 mg. daily.

Green tea extract offers protection against everything from heart disease to cancer. The key to green tea’s therapeutic benefits comes from water-soluble antioxidants called polyphenols and catechins. These natural disease-fighters neutralize a broad range of free radicals that can damage cells and lead to premature aging and disease. You can get the goodness in green tea by either drinking several cups a day or by taking a green tea supplement. Opt for the equivalent of 1,000 to 1,500 mg. daily.

Vitamin C is important for cardiovascular and immune health. But it also guards against gingivitis, cataracts and glaucoma, seasonal allergies and premature skin aging. If that weren’t enough, this free-radical fighter accelerates muscle recovery in athletes. For optimal antioxidant protection, take 2,000 mg. of vitamin C daily.

Pinpoint Your Health Needs

As I pointed out recently, adopting a healthy diet, exercising at least 30 minutes a day, taking a multivitamin, and keeping a lid on stress can go a long way toward preventing chronic disease. But, if you are at an increased risk for certain health problems, you can target these conditions with specific supplements.

If you suffer from arthritis, you probably already know that taking glucosamine and chondroitin can help slow down the deterioration of your joints. Despite attempts by conventional medicine to discount the efficacy of these two nutrients, hundreds of studies confirm that glucosamine and chondroitin can ease pain and may even help boost the integrity of your joints.

If heart disease runs in your family, consider taking resveratrol to protect against atherosclerosis. According to a new review, Chinese researchers have confirmed that resveratrol regulates how well your arteries expand and contract, fights against free radical damage, quells inflammation, prevents the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol and keeps blood platelets from sticking together.

It’s also smart to minimize your cardiovascular risk factors like high cholesterol and high blood pressure. If your cholesterol levels are slightly to moderately high, consider taking red yeast rice. In one recent trial, 74 patients with high cholesterol were given either red yeast rice and fish oil or a statin drug. At the end of the study, the researchers noted that both therapies worked equally well to lower cholesterol levels. The one difference they did note? Those taking the red yeast rice and fish oil combo also lowered their triglyceride levels. The participants in the statin group didn’t see any difference in their triglycerides.

Borderline high blood pressure responds well to supplemental garlic. According to one review, garlic reduced systolic blood pressure by 16.3 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 9.3 mm Hg compared to a placebo. Clinical trials have successfully used 600 to 900 mg. per day in two or three divided doses.

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Cancer is another potentially catastrophic disease where prevention can be key. If you or a close relative has a history of cancer, consider taking a supplement designed to protect against the specific type of cancer risk you may have. For instance, if the men in your family tend to develop prostate cancer, taking selenium can lower your risk. A double-blind trial of 1,312 men given 200 mcg. of selenium per day or placebo found that those taking the nutrient had 63 percent less risk of developing prostate cancer. Men over 50 should also take beta-sitosterol to protect against benign prosthetic hyperplasia (BPH).

Women at risk of breast cancer should take supplemental broccoli extract along with their other supplements. Broccoli is rich in indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane – both proven cancer fighters that target breast tissue. And don’t forget your bones! Older women (and some men too) are at risk of osteoporosis. Taking 600 to 750 mg. of calcium twice a day with meals can help keep bones strong – especially if you take it along with the vitamin D you should already be taking.

One Last Thing …

No matter what supplements you take, you may be able to save some money with shrewd shopping. First and foremost, keep an eye out for sales and specials. Sign up for newsletters and promotional emails from your online supplement supplier. If your online retailer lets you sign up to receive re-ordering reminders or announcements about special offers, definitely do that.

Signing up for an auto-ship program can also save money – and it prevents you from running out of important nutrients. If you don’t want your supplements shipped to you automatically at set intervals (for example, once a month or once every two months), make sure that you order well-enough in advance so that you can use the least expensive shipping method without running out of your supplements.

Once you get your supplements, it’s important to store them properly so they stay as potent as possible. That means taking them out of your medicine cabinet and keeping them in a cool, dark place like your linen closet.

Research Brief …

t’s no secret that obesity is quickly becoming an epidemic in America. But here is a startling prediction: According to researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 86 percent of Americans could be overweight or obese by the year 2030! But, if you are among the millions who want to lose weight, forget crash diets.

Taking calorie restriction too far actually works against you, not only by slowing your metabolism, but also by weakening your bones. A study conducted at the University of Missouri found that after putting middle-aged women on a very low-calorie diet for three months, followed by a weight-maintenance diet for nine months, the dieters’ bone-turnover rate was significantly higher when they were losing weight too quickly.

If you are planning to lose more than five percent of your total body weight, keep your calorie count to at least 1,200 calories a day and incorporate some high-impact, weight-bearing activities into your exercise routine to keep bones strong.

References:

Becker DJ, Gordon RY, Morris PB, et al. “Simvastatin vs therapeutic lifestyle changes and supplements: randomized primary prevention trial.” Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2008;83:758-764.

Clark LC, Combs GF Jr, Turnbull BW, et al. Effects of selenium supplementation for cancer prevention in patients with carcinoma of the skin. Journal of the American Medical Association. 1996;276:1957-63.

Fan E, Zhang L, Jiang S, et al. “Beneficial effects of resveratrol on atherosclerosis.” Journal of Medicinal Food. 2008;11:610-614.

Jackson K. “Accelerated Bone Turnover Remains after Weight Loss.” MU News. July 28, 2008.

Jackson SJ, Singletary KW, Venema RC. “Sulforaphane suppresses angiogenesis and disrupts endothelial mitotic progression and microtubule polymerization.” Vascular Pharmacology. 2007; 46:77-84.

Wollin SD, Jones PJ. “Alpha-lipoic acid and cardiovascular disease.” Journal of Nutrition. 2003; 133:3327-3330.

Free Radicals and Antioxidant Supplementation

By Bonnie Jenkins, Advanced Natural Medicine

In 1954, a scientist named Denham Harmon proposed a theory – that aging was the result of errant molecules called free radicals. Even though tens of thousands of scientific studies now support Dr. Harmon’s work, it was a pretty wild hypothesis in its day. Here’s how it works:

Free radicals are molecules that are missing one electron (normal molecules have two electrons). To complete themselves, these unbalanced molecules steal a replacement electron from another nearby molecule – which creates another free radical, which steals an electron from one of its neighbors and so on and so on. The result is a chain reaction –similar to a row of falling dominoes.

Problem is, these misbehaving molecules randomly take electrons from the molecules that make up our DNA, proteins and other cellular building blocks. The resulting damage (known as oxidative damage) is similar to the buildup of rust on iron and can take years to occur – until one day we see the clear signs of aging. This age-related damage leads to wrinkled skin and boosts the risk of nearly all degenerative diseases, including cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

While we can reduce our exposure to some free radicals (like those found in air pollution and cigarette smoke), it’s impossible to avoid them all since our own bodies create them while burning food for energy, fighting infections and breaking down toxins and drugs. In fact, simply breathing creates free radicals!

The good news is that we can counteract much of this damage – as well as our risk of premature aging and disease – with antioxidants.

The More, The Merrier

For years, scientists have known that antioxidants can tame these unruly molecules and prevent oxidative damage. And for years, they’ve been studying them – one at a time. But by studying each individual antioxidant in the hope of finding a magic bullet, they’ve missed the bigger picture – that antioxidants never occur by themselves in nature. A strawberry, for instance, doesn’t contain just one antioxidant. It’s packed full of vitamin C, carotenoids and flavonoids. And, as science is finally discovering, they all work together.

A growing number of important studies have concluded that antioxidants work in synergy. In other words, consuming a combination of many different antioxidants is far more potent than taking just one or two. Here’s a good example: as vitamin E is used up fighting free radicals, vitamin C helps restore it back to its full strength. Similarly, alpha-lipoic acid helps recycle and renew vitamin C.

One study, recently published in the journal Atherosclerosis, found that a combination of vitamin E and C significantly reduce the formation of plaque after an angioplasty. Another study found that these two antioxidant vitamins, even at low dosages, slowed the development of cardiovascular disease over a six-year period. Similar studies have found that combinations of antioxidants reduce the risk of eye disease, Alzheimer’s and many other conditions.

A team of researchers at Germany’s Humboldt University have also found that beta-carotene displays more potent free radical fighting power when vitamins C and E are present. This synergistic protection effectively guards against oxidation by repairing the beta-carotene once its been damaged during the electron transfer.

Researchers are now speculating that, when taken in the right combination, antioxidant supplements may mimic the multiple antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables. Of course, nature’s antioxidants can never be replaced by simply popping a few pills. So you should always strive to include a wide variety of fruits and vegetables every day. These foods contain a more diverse selection of antioxidants than you’ll find in any supplement. And that’s one reason why a diet rich in these foods lowers your risk of just about every degenerative disease.

But research also shows that antioxidant supplements can boost your immune system while reducing the risk of heart disease and some cancers. One good way to make sure you’re getting a variety of antioxidants is to look for a supplement that contains at least vitamins E and C, selenium and a variety of carotenoids, including lutein, lycopene and beta-carotene.

One Last Thing …

Herbs are another rich source of antioxidants. For instance, researchers from the University of California-Berkeley have found that while pycnogenol has strong free radical fighting properties of its own, it also helps regenerate vitamin C and protects the body’s vitamin E and glutathione supply from oxidative stress.

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And one-third of green tea consists of potent antioxidant polyphenols, including epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Just how much power does green tea possess? Research continues to show that the antioxidants in green tea are among the most potent free radical fighters in nature. In a presentation last year to the American Association for Cancer Research, a group of Shanghai researchers reported that green tea’s antioxidants are “as powerful as the well-established antioxidants vitamins C and E at protecting proteins and DNA from oxidative damage.” No wonder we keep seeing studies on green tea’s ability to fight cancer, protect the heart and boost the immune system.

Of course, you still need to eat your fruits and veggies. These foods offer a wide range of other beneficial phytochemicals, plus vitamins, minerals and fiber that are essential to good health. But adding herbs into the equation just might give you the antioxidant edge you need.

This Just In …

If you’re one of the two million people who suffer from inflammatory bowel disease, I certainly don’t have to tell you how debilitating it can be. But hope may be as close as your spice rack.

Researchers have known for years that curcumin, the key component in the curry spice tumeric, was a powerful inflammation fighter and an effective weapon against colon cancer. But a new study in the American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology shows that curcumin not only reduced inflammation, it improved intestinal cell function and reduced weight loss. As an added bonus, earlier researcher has found that curcumin also possesses strong antioxidant properties. But what was really astounding about the current study was the amount that proved effective – a concentration as low as 0.25 percent.

If you read the e-bulletin “Out of Sight,” you might remember that I told you how turmeric has been used for thousands of years in Asia and India, both as a culinary spice and for its medicinal properties. And while tumeric is available in supplement form, the spice works just as well – and is considerably cheaper! Try to consume one-quarter teaspoon a day, either as a tea (just add boiling water) or by adding it to whatever you’re having for lunch or dinner.

References:

American Association for Cancer Research, 93rd Annual Meeting: Abstract #2354, www.aacr.org

Bohm F, et al. “Beta-carotene with vitamins E and C offers synergistic cell protection against NOx.” FEBS Letters. 1998;436:387-389.

“Curcumin may be an inexpensive, well-tolerated and effective therapy for inflammatory bowel disease.” EurekAlert! 14 August 2003.

Orbe J, et al. “Antioxidant vitamins increase the collagen content and reduce MMP-1 in a porcine model of atherosclerosis: implications for plaque stabilization.” Atherosclerosis. 2003;167:45-53.

Packer L, et al. “Antioxidant activity and biologic properties of a procyanidin-rich extract from pine (Pinus maritima) bark, pycnogenol.” Free Radical Biology & Medicine. 1999;27:704-724.

Cancer Prevention and the Benefits of Physical Activity

By Bonnie Jenkins, Advanced Natural Medicine

‘Tis the season – for resolutions, that is. And, whether it’s to quit smoking, get organized or become debt-free, most of us will have abandoned our worthy goals before the end of January. But if you are among the one in four Americans vowing to lose weight in 2008, here’s some news that may provide extra incentive:

It seems that diet is second only to smoking as a major cause of avoidable cancer!

According to an international report by the American Institute for Cancer Research, about one-third of the world’s cancers could be avoided if everyone ate better, exercised more and weighed less. This new report is based on a five-year study involving nine teams of scientists from around the world and 21 international experts who analyzed more than 7,000 large-scale studies. It’s the most comprehensive look ever at the evidence linking cancer to diet, physical activity and weight.

Shed Those Pounds

The report puts special emphasis on weight – particularly around the waist – and its impact on several kinds of cancer. In fact, being overweight or obese significantly increases the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer, and cancers of the colon, pancreas, kidney, endometrium and esophagus.

There are several likely reasons why excess weight increases risk, but the report highlights cancer-promoting hormones (estrogen, androgen and progesterone), growth factors (insulin, insulin-like growth factors and leptin) and inflammatory markers (C-reactive protein, tumor necrosis factor and interleukin-6), which are all elevated in people who are obese. Being overweight also increases insulin resistance, which itself a risk factor for endometrial and colon cancer, and possibly cancers of the pancreas and kidney. The good news is that the risk for all of these cancers decreases as you shed the pounds.

Get Moving

One major reason we pack on the pounds is because we’ve become a nation of couch potatoes. Yet all kinds of physical activity protect against colon cancer – and quite possibly postmenopausal breast cancer and endometrial cancer, too. Why? According to the report, active people have healthier levels of circulating hormones and are less likely to gain weight.

Humans aren’t genetically wired to be as sedentary as we are today. Until the dawn of the 20th century, people have generally worked hard to scratch out a living – and most of that work came in the form of physical labor. But between our desk jobs, drive thrus and remote controls, we have to make the time and effort to exercise.

That doesn’t mean you have to train for a marathon. Physical activity equivalent to brisk walking for at least 30 minutes every day will do the trick. As fitness improves, aim for 60 minutes or more of moderate, or 30 minutes or more of vigorous, physical activity every day. And try to limit sedentary habits like watching T.V., which is often accompanied by high-calorie snacking.

Get Specific

Along with our sedentary lifestyle, the report places the blame for our burgeoning waistlines squarely on the excessive consumption of sugary beverages and calorie-dense foods high in fat and sugar. Add to that the sad truth that we don’t eat nearly enough fruits and non-starchy vegetables.

To prevent becoming overweight, the experts advocate a mostly plant-based diet. Plant foods seem to protect against cancers of the digestive tract, lung and prostate by boosting antioxidant levels along with dietary fiber. Plant-based diets have also long been linked to less risk of becoming overweight, which offers further cancer protection. Aim for at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Getting two servings in by lunchtime will increase your odds of hitting this goal by day’s end.

The report also throws up a caution flag on meat since a high intake of red and processed meats – hot dogs, lunch meat and meats preserved by smoking – increases the risk of colorectal cancer. These foods are often high in fat, but other factors likely contribute to the link, specifically iron, nitrates, ammonia and heterocyclic amines formed by cooking meat at high temperatures. And while the report recommends no more than 18 ounces of red and processed meat per week (approximately 4.5 four ounce servings), it’s even better if you can limit your intake to just two or three servings per week.

Salt is another culprit because of its link to stomach cancer – not to mention its role in hypertension. Try to limit your sodium intake to a total of 2,400 mg. a day at most (the average American gets 4,000 to 5,000 mg. per day). Avoiding soft drinks, limiting the intake of high-calorie foods and processed fast foods not only save you calories, they are notoriously high in sodium. Other hidden sources of sodium include canned soups, salad dressing, commercial bread, canned fish and vegetables, and cheeses.

As you clean up your diet, make weight loss a priority. If you’re overweight, start making small changes to lose weight: exercise, avoid sugary drinks and significantly limit calorie-rich foods like fast foods and other foods high in fat and sugar. You’ll not only guard against cancer, you’ll look and feel better too!

One Last Thing …

Bad habits also contribute to increasing your risk of avoidable cancers. If you drink alcohol, do so cautiously since alcohol has been linked to cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, colon/rectum (in men) and breast. But given that other evidence links moderate alcohol consumption to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, the experts recommend limiting alcohol to no more than two drinks a day for men and one for women. (One “drink” is a 12-ounce beer, five ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of spirits.) Cheers!

Are You Suffering From...

  • Love handles and a pot belly
  • Romance that isn't what it used to
  • Forgetfulness and inattention
  • Low (or no) strength and endurance
  • A sex drive that's shifted into neutral...or worse

If so...you may have Mature Male Burnout.  Click here to discover more about this unique condition and what you can do about it.

This Just In …

Lately I’ve been getting e-mails from subscribers taking cholesterol-lowering medications. Their concern? Recent reports that consuming grapefruit and grapefruit juice can adversely interact with statin drugs.

Some statins, like Mevacor (lovastatin), Zocor (simvastatin) and Lipitor (atorvastatin), do indeed interact with this tart citrus fruit. As a result, grapefruit can potentially increase the risk of side effects. That’s why the drugs usually come with warnings not to eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice.

The problem occurs because grapefruit contains a chemical that inactivates a liver enzyme involved in drug metabolism. As a result, regular consumption of grapefruit juice can lead to excessively high levels of statins in the blood and boost the risk of liver damage and severe muscle weakness.

That said, researchers at Hebrew University in Jerusalem are investigating whether taking a statin along with grapefruit juice could allow for lower doses of these potentially harmful drugs. The scientists divided 57 men and women who had recently undergone coronary bypass surgery and whose blood cholesterol remained high despite treatment with statin drugs into three groups. One group ate a single serving of red grapefruit every day; another ate a serving of white grapefruit and the third group had none. At the end of 30 days, the researchers found that the grapefruit eaters – especially those eating red grapefruit – had significant decreases in cholesterol, while the abstainers did not.

This combo might also have the potential to treat stubbornly high cholesterol levels. But don’t try this at home! Combining grapefruit and statins to lower cholesterol levels is an experimental remedy that should be only done under close medical supervision.

Of course, statin drugs shouldn’t be taken lightly. In fact, it should only be used as a last resort. If your cholesterol is just slightly on the high side, opt for natural ways to reduce your total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels like fish oil supplements or non-flushing niacin. You might also talk to your doctor about red yeast rice – a compound that acts like a natural statin. An added benefit – a study at UCLA recently discovered that red yeast rice also inhibits colon cancer growth.

Plus, following the dietary advice outlined above won’t just cut your cancer risk and help to keep you lean and mean – a plant-based diet combined with exercise can also slash your cholesterol levels!

So what are you waiting for? Using these tips as a starting point, begin making small changes that can add up to a healthier lifestyle. It’s not as hard as you think – and you might even make 2008 your best year yet!

References:

Dahan A, Altman H. “Food-drug interaction: grapefruit juice augments drug bioavailability–mechanism, extent and relevance.” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2004;58:1-9.

De Castro WV, Mertens-Talcott S, Rubner A. et al. “Variation of Flavonoids and Furanocoumarins in Grapefruit Juices: A Potential Source of Variability in Grapefruit Juice-Drug Interaction Studies.” Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. 2006; 54: 249-255.

Hong MY, Seeram NP, Zhang Y, et al. “Anticancer effects of Chinese red yeast rice versus monacolin K alone on colon cancer cells.” The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. Available online 14 September 2007.

World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research. Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective. Washington D.C. AICR 2007.

Exercise Prevents Chronic Disease

By Bonnie Jenkins, Advanced Natural Medicine

The older I get, the less I like those infomercial exercise zealots with their bulging biceps and skin-tight leotards. Not that I have anything against them personally. But workout programs that emphasize six-pack abs and buns of steel miss the main point of adopting an exercise routine.

In my perfect world, the fitness industry would focus less on looks and more on the health benefits of exercise. Regular physical activity supports virtually every system in your body, from your bones and muscles to your heart and cardiovascular system. Exercise improves immune function, aids digestion and elimination, increases endurance and energy, and enhances mood. And exercise is your best weapon against chronic disease. In fact, some anti-aging specialists say that, for every hour of exercise, there is a two-hour increase in longevity.

Recent findings by researchers at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, found that people who routinely exercise catch 25 percent fewer colds. Another study found that middle-aged men who get more than three hours of exercise a week can cut their risk of developing insulin resistance, the metabolic syndrome that often precedes type 2 diabetes and heart disease, by half. When it comes to protecting your heart, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have discovered that exercise helps reduce inflammation inside the blood vessels. Of the nearly 14,000 adults participating in the study, those who exercised the most had the lowest blood concentrations of C-reactive protein (CRP). CRP, a compound used to measure inflammation in the body, has recently been identified as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Exercise, it seems, can also make you smarter, according to Arthur F. Kramer, Ph.D., a psychology professor and researcher at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Now, the idea that fitness improves cognition isn’t new. Animal studies have found that aerobic exercise boosts cellular and molecular components of the brain, and exercise has improved problem-solving and other cognitive abilities in older people. But Kramer’s study is the first to show anatomical differences in gray and white matter between physically fit and less fit aging humans. Kramer and his team discovered, after evaluating the brain scans from 55 volunteers over the age of 55, that exercise actually produces differences in three areas of the brain: the frontal, temporal and parietal cortexes.

But perhaps the most immediate benefit you’ll notice is a feeling of well-being. Individuals who engage in regular exercise report better concentration and significant reductions in anxiety and depression, says Elizabeth Doyne, Ph.D., clinical professor at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Most experts believe that exercise releases endorphins – the body’s own “feel good” chemical – which boosts the brain’s seratonin level. More importantly, numerous studies show that regular exercise is necessary to independent living, especially as we age.

The Three Faces of Exercise

But taking an occasional walk around the block won’t produce these kinds of results. The key is to incorporate 30 to 60 minutes of exercise into your routine at least five days a week. And vary your activity. Achieving optimal physical fitness involves three fundamentals, according to the American Council on Exercise: cardiovascular workouts, flexibility training and strength training.

Since, cardiovascular workouts, better known as aerobics, improve cardiovascular fitness and stamina, I’ve always included them in my workout. But now there’s even more good news on the aerobics front. It seems that that aerobics can act like a drug on your blood vessels by reducing inflammation. According to a study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute for Medicine and Engineering, when you exercise you force blood through your blood vessels. This elevated blood flow stresses the walls of the vessels as it passes over them, reducing inflammation in a way similar to high doses of steroids. But wait, there’s more. In another study, researchers have found that regular aerobic exercise not only helps you lose visible body fat, it also reduces the fat you can’t see – fat buried deep in your gut that contributes to heart disease, diabetes and cancer. In the study, conducted by doctors at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 173 overweight women either participated in 45 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week or practiced gentle stretching just once a week. Those who exercised dropped up to 6.9 percent of their intra-abdominal fat, while the women who only limbered up actually gained a small amount of visceral fat.

Aerobic exercise can also protect your colon. A recent study of 75,000 Norwegians showed that those who walked or cycled at least four hours a week had a significantly decreased risk of colon cancer. And a recent Harvard study indicated that people with the highest level of physical activity had half the incidence of colon cancer than those who exercised the least. The nice thing about aerobics is that many of the activities you already do can be counted as a workout including walking, gardening, raking or mowing the yard, hiking, bicycling, lap swimming, jogging and singles tennis.

Weight-bearing, or strength exercises have taken center stage lately because they are an excellent way to prevent osteoporosis. But researchers are now confirming that postmenopausal women who start strength training can halt – and even reverse – the breakdown of their bones. Here’s another reason to pump iron: according to researchers from Melbourne’s International Diabetes Institute, people suffering from type-2 diabetes can lower their blood glucose levels by embarking on a routine weightlifting program. The study found that, after just three months, participants had improved their blood glucose control by 7 percent. Better yet, this effect was doubled in six months.

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The final element of a healthy workout is often an afterthought. But stretching offers a number of benefits, particularly as we age. Studies have shown that stretching increases flexibility and range of motion. In one study of 24 volunteers, researchers found that stretching was significantly more effective at increasing range of motion than running. Stretching also reduces lower back pain and improves circulation, balance, posture and mood. In a pilot study of 11 elderly women participating in a tai chi class, the scientists discovered that the slow, stretching exercises not only increased flexibility and balance, they improved the women’s mood and overall quality of life. And, unlike aerobics and weight training, stretching doesn’t require any special equipment or clothing. But it’s a good idea to learn the proper way to stretch. Yoga, Pilates or tai chi classes can teach you the basics and help you avoid over-extending your muscles.

One Last Thing …

When it comes to finding the time for fitness, give yourself some latitude. Instead of spending hours at the gym, work in 10 minutes of exercise at least three times a day. According to fitness experts, breaking up your workout is just as good as a 30-minute session. So spend a few minutes on a stationary bike, dance to a favorite song on the radio or mow the lawn. If you’ve been leading a mostly sedentary life, start slowly and check with your physician if you have a health condition that might be aggravated by exercise.

References:

Bonaiuti D, et al. “Exercise for preventing and treating osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.” Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2002;(3):CD000333.

Church TS, et al. “Associations between cardiorespiratory fitness and C-reactive protein in men.” Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology. 2002; 22:1869-1876.

Kahara T, et al. “PPARgamma gene polymorphism is associated with exercise-mediated changes of insulin resistance in healthy men.” Metabolism. 2003; 52:209-212.

Kramer AF, et al. “Effects of aerobic fitness training on human cortical function: a proposal.” Journal of Molecular Neuroscience. 2002;19: 227-231.

McNair PJ, et al. “Effect of passive stretching and jobbing on the series elastic muscle stiffness and range of motion of the ankle joint.” British Journal of Sports Medicine. 1996; 30: 313-317.

Adrenal Problems

By Bonnie Jenkins, Advanced Natural Medicine

Do you have adrenal problems? Lately, I’ve noticed that a lot of my friends have been complaining that they just don’t have the stamina to keep up with the pace of life. They feel overwhelmed and just plain worn out.

One of my friends, Judith, jokes that her new best friend is the snooze alarm. She says that she’s tired all the time, but a recent visit to the doctor didn’t find any medical cause for her fatigue. Since Judith doesn’t want to rely on artificial stimulants to get her through the day, she asked me what might be wrong and if there were any supplements that might help with adrenal problems.

Fortunately, there are a number of natural remedies for that pooped out feeling. But, as I explained to Judith, before you can start boosting your stamina, it’s important to understand the two most common reasons why it’s lacking in the first place: poor blood sugar metabolism and stressed out adrenal glands. Adrenal problems can be serious energy drainers.

The Sugar Rollercoaster

In order for your body to maintain optimum energy, it has to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. These levels are controlled by two hormones: glucagons, which releases sugar, fat and proteins from your cells for readily available fuel; and insulin, which takes sugar out of your bloodstream and stores it as fat to be burned for fuel if it’s needed later. Glucagon is released when you eat protein. Insulin is released when you eat carbohydrates. Eating too much or too little of either will throw your blood sugar off balance and make you feel tired.

Carbs come in two varieties – simple and complex. Simple carbs, like cane sugar, white flour and all the refined carbs you find in junk food, are metabolized very quickly and flood your bloodstream with large amounts of glucose all at once. When this happens, your body panics, secreting enough insulin to store it all as fat – while causing your blood sugar to plummet. Sure, you get a quick high – followed by a severe low, and plenty of extra rolls around the middle. Complex carbs, on the other hand, metabolize more slowly and enter bloodstream without causing such a severe reaction. Maybe you’ve noticed that when you eat whole grains, nuts, seeds or legumes, your energy levels are sustained for a longer period of time. It’s that slow fuel burn that keeps you going.

Skipping meals, eating junk food or severly limiting portions will starve your body of nutrients and cause low energy levels and adrenal problems. The most recent research supports a diet made up of 30 percent protein, 30 percent fats (healthy fats like omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, not saturated or trans fats) and 40 percent complex carbohydrates. This will keep your blood sugar balanced and ensure proper nutrition.

Adrenal Burnout

The health of your adrenal glands is closely related to your blood sugar levels. The adrenals are two tiny, triangular-shaped glands located just north of your kidneys. In response to physical or emotional stress, your adrenal glands secrete adrenaline and other stress hormones.

Adrenal glands are tough – they have to be in today’s world. But they aren’t invincible! Many people do develop adrenal problems. If you live with constant stress, your adrenal glands can become fatigued and eventually cease to function properly, leaving you feeling tired all of the time. And if you skip meals or chow down on junk food, don’t exercise or exercise too much, deprive yourself of sleep or use stimulants like caffeine, nicotine or sugar, you’re putting your adrenal glands in a state of constant alert, making burnout inevitable.

Now here’s the good news: weary adrenals can be nursed back to health and you kiss your adrenal problems goodbye quickly !

Unfortunately, most conventional doctors don’t recognize adrenal problems until the adrenal glands are 80 to 90 percent dysfunctional (a condition known as Addison’s Disease). But our body can feel adrenal fatigue long before then.

Mild adrenal problems can be counteracted by regulating your blood sugar. And one of the best ways to do this is through your diet. Ditch refined foods, particularly processed foods, artificial sweeteners, carbonated soft drinks, chocolate, fried food, red meat, sugar, white flour products, preservatives and additives, in favor of a nutrient dense diet composed of whole foods (whole grains, fruits and veggies). To maintain blood sugar levels, it’s also a good idea to eat five or six small meals during the day, instead of the standard three squares.

Energizing Supplements

Nutritional supplements are critical to reviving tired adrenal glands. If your adrenals are just plain tuckered out, most nutritionists recommend taking adrenal glandulars. Available in pill form, these nutrient-rich supplements (derived from animal adrenal glands) enhance adrenal health by boosting hormone production. Because adrenal glandulars simply stimulate your body’s natural hormone production, they avoid the risks of steroid and adrenaline products.

The B vitamins are also essential for adrenal health and solving adrenal problems, as is vitamin C. Pantothenic acid (B5) is particularly important since it can kick-start sluggish adrenal glands. According to one animal study, Russian researchers found that rats who were deficient in pantothenic acid had decreased adrenal function. But after just one dose of this B vitamin, the researchers noted a dramatic improvement in adrenal health.

Another animal study, conducted at the State University of New York-Brooklyn, found that L-Tyrosine can also help fatigued adrenals. The SUNY team administered the amino acid before subjecting a group of rats to stress and found that, compared to controls, the L-Tyrosine helped to modulate the adrenal glands synthesis and secretion of stress hormones.

Natural sources of tyrosine include almonds, avocados, bananas, dairy products, pumpkin and sesame seeds, and lima beans. But to ensure you’re getting a steady supply of this amino acid, it’s a good idea to take L-Tyrosine in supplemental form. To ensure absorption, take this amino acid either at bedtime or with a high-carbohydrate meal.

Just one word of warning: If you are taking an MAO-inhibitor, watch your tyrosine intake and don’t take this amino acid in supplemental form under any circumstances. The combination of MAOs and L-Tyrosine can cause a sudden and dangerous rise in blood pressure.

Are You Suffering From...

  • Love handles and a pot belly
  • Romance that isn't what it used to
  • Forgetfulness and inattention
  • Low (or no) strength and endurance
  • A sex drive that's shifted into neutral...or worse

If so...you may have Mature Male Burnout.  Click here to discover more about this unique condition and what you can do about it.

One Last Thing …

Revitalizing your adrenal glands and getting rid of adrenal problems is an important first step. But while your adrenals are rebuilding themselves, you can try these natural energy boosters to help beat back fatigue:

L-Carnitine: Carnitine helps transfer fatty acids to the mitochondria for energy production. A study of 110 top atheletes taking L-carnitine daily found that their endurance, strength and energy increased by 6 percent after only three weeks.

Rhodiola: A double-blind trial of 161 men indicates that rhodiola reduces stress and fatigue, improves memory, enhances concentration and physical fitness, and increases overall well-being. Better yet, rhodiola stimulates the immune system, enabling the body’s own defenses to ward off the effects of stress.

Siberian Ginseng: This adaptogenic herb helps stave off adrenal problems and supports adrenal and thyroid function, hormone production and sugar metabolism. Numerous studies support Asian ginseng’s ability to improve work performance, enhance mental function and generally increase your body’s capacity for stress.

Spirulina: This microalgae is a food resource that produces twenty times as much energy-enhancing protein as soybeans. It’s a quick and healthy fix for occasional energy slumps.

This Just In …

A few months ago, I told you about a “revolutionary” new idea cooked up by a couple of British scientists (“Is sugar really bad for you?” 10/23/03). Their brainstorm was a single pill, dubbed the Polypill, that could prevent heart disease. The pill would contain a statin drug to lower cholesterol, three different drugs to control blood pressure and a low dose of aspirin. But what really made this news so outrageous is that the two researchers said that everyone over the age of 55 could and should take it, whether they were at risk for heart disease or not!

But now a researcher from the University of Arizona has come up with a different, natural solution — Pycnogenol. According to Ronald Watson, professor of public health, Pycnogenol helps lower blood pressure, reduces LDL cholesterol, boosts HDL cholesterol, improves circulation and prevents platelet aggregation. And, unlike the polypill, Pycnogenol has a high flavonoid content that makes it an exceptional antioxidant.

But the best news is that, while the components in the poly pill come with a host of side effects, Pycnogenol has none! In fact, earlier research on over 2,000 patients taking Pycnogenol found that only 1.5 percent experienced unwanted effects (primarily mild gastrointestinal upset).

If you are at risk of heart disease, this is good news indeed!

References:

Dragan IG, et al. “Studies concerning chronic and acute effects of L-carnitina in elite athletes.” Physiologie. 1989;26):111-129.

“Pycnogenol could act as ‘polypill.’” NutraIngredients. 8 Dec 2003.

Shevtsov VA, et al. “A randomized trial of two different doses of a SHR-5 Rhodiola rosea extract versus placebo and control of capacity for mental work.” Phytomedicine. 2003;10:95-105.

Tarasov Iu A, et al. “Adrenal cortex functional activity in pantothenate deficiency and the administration of the vitamin or its derivatives.” Voprosy pitaniia. 1985;4:51-54.

Wakade AR, et al. “Restoration of catecholamine content of previously depleted adrenal medulla in vitro: importance of synthesis in maintaining the catecholamine stores.” Journal of Neurochemistry. 1988;51:820-829.

Healthy Thanksgiving Meal

By Bonnie Jenkins, Advanced Natural Medicine

As we gear up for Thanksgiving, you may be wondering if it’s possible to serve up a healthy, yet festive, feast this year. Absolutely! The traditional foods of the season also happen to be ultra healthy – if you make them the right way.

Most of the foods typically served are packed with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. They can also offer up a cornucopia of antioxidants to keep disease at bay. And what better way to show your family and friends just how much they mean to you than by helping them stay healthy during the holidays?

So, let’s get cooking!

Let’s Talk Turkey

A perfectly roasted turkey is the centerpiece of a memorable Thanksgiving feast. It can also be a wonderfully healthy source of lean protein and tryptophan. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that plays an important role in the synthesis of serotonin – the brain chemical that helps to regulate sleep and appetite, mediates moods, and inhibits pain. Tryptophan is also a precursor in the creation of niacin.

Turkey is a terrific source of iron, selenium, zinc, phosphorus, potassium and vitamin B6. Best of all, a three-and-a-half ounce serving of white meat (about the size of a deck of cards) is less than 200 calories! No wonder Ben Franklin wanted the turkey to be our national bird!

Unless you’re feeding an army, forget roasting a whole turkey. Instead, look for a nice meaty breast – preferably grown without hormones or antibiotics. And don’t even think about deep frying your bird! Instead, set it on a rack in a roasting pan so the fat drains away. Brush the turkey with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Add some white wine or chicken stock to the pan for basting.

To add even more flavor, gently slip your fingers under the skin, creating a pocket. You can then rub crushed garlic or dried thyme or tarragon underneath the skin, directly on the meat. If you do cook a whole turkey, add cut oranges, onions and sprigs of fresh herbs inside instead of the same old stuffing. Not only will you boost the flavor, you’ll add important nutrients to the meal.

Stuff It!

If you want to boost the nutritional value of stuffing, toss out the bread! Instead, create a savory stuffing using a mixture of barley and dried fruits – especially apricots – for a real taste treat. Barley is one of the oldest cultivated grains and provides lots of soluble fiber. This earthy grain also boasts antioxidants, vitamin E and selenium.

Eaten regularly, barley – like other whole grains – can help reduce blood pressure. In one study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 25 people experienced lower blood pressure after eating barley for five weeks. Barley can also help you manage blood sugar levels and reduce LDL and total cholesterol levels.

Not thrilled with barley? Try quinoa. Although not a common item in most kitchens, quinoa is an amino acid-rich seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a lovely nutty flavor when cooked. Most commonly considered a grain, quinoa is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. It’s also an ancient “grain” once considered “the gold of the Incas.”

Not only is quinoa high in protein, but the protein it supplies is complete, which means that it includes all nine essential amino acids. In addition to protein, quinoa features a host of other health-building nutrients. Because quinoa is a very good source of manganese, as well as a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus, this “grain” may be especially valuable if you suffer from migraine headaches, diabetes or atherosclerosis.

And All the Trimmings

At our house, Thanksgiving dinner isn’t complete without a variety of side dishes. And what better place to sneak in some good nutrition?

Broccoli: Like other cruciferous vegetables, broccoli contains sulforaphane and indoles – phytonutrients that have significant anti-cancer effects. It’s also packed with vitamins A, C and K, as well as folate and fiber. Steam with some crushed garlic and sprinkle with a bit of parmesan cheese before serving.

Brussels Sprouts: Another member of the cabbage family, Brussels sprouts also boast sulforaphane, as well as a hefty amount of vitamins C and K. In one trial, researchers in the Netherlands investigated the effect of a diet high in Brussels sprouts on DNA damage. They compared two groups of healthy male volunteers. Five men ate a diet that included about 10 ounces of cooked Brussels sprouts daily, while the other five men ate a diet free of cruciferous vegetables. After three weeks, the group that ate Brussels sprouts had 28 percent less DNA damage. Reduced DNA damage may translate to a reduced risk of cancer, since mutations in DNA allow cancer cells to develop.

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In fact, UCLA and Veterans Administration research have now proved this to be true.

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Cranberries: For hundreds of years, cranberries have been valued for their ability to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections. In a placebo-controlled study of 153 elderly women, drinking cranberry juice cut the chances of developing a UTI by 50 percent. Cranberries prevent UTIs by acidifying the urine and by preventing bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract. But forget sweetened cranberry juice or the jellied stuff in the can. To get the true benefits from this festive fruit, make your own cranberry relish with fresh, whole cranberries.

Sweet Potatoes: A standby during the holidays, sweet potatoes are one of the more nutritious vegetables around. Fiber-rich sweet potatoes contain unique root storage proteins that offer significant antioxidant capacities. In one study, these proteins had about one-third the antioxidant activity of glutathione – one of the body’s most impressive internally produced antioxidants. They are also one of the richest sources of beta-carotene, as well as vitamin C, manganese, copper, vitamin B6, potassium and iron.

One Last Thing …

There’s an easy way to help your guests practice portion control during Thanksgiving dinner. While you’re busy in the kitchen, serve up a raw vegetable platter with a low-fat dip. Not only will you prevent having a bunch of ravenous guests around your dinner table, you’ll also sneak in some extra nutrition.

If you happen to be the guest instead of the cook, you can dampen your appetite with a wholesome snack an hour or two before you leave for the festivities. Opt for a snack containing both protein and complex carbs – cheese and whole-grain crackers or an apple with peanut butter.

Whether you’re the host or the guest, take a few minutes to remind yourself of everything you have to be thankful for – family, friends and especially your health.

This Just In …

During the holidays, my aunt used to dig out the nut cracker and get busy. Cookies and breads were studded with almonds, pecans and walnuts. And, of course, a bowl filled with unshelled nuts always graced the coffee table. I’m sure my aunt didn’t know how healthy nuts were, but she was definitely on to something.

Nuts are still a good idea, and a new study is shining the light on one nut in particular – pistachios. According to research from Penn State University, pistachios are a heart-healthy superstar – significantly reducing inflammation at a cellular level. These tasty nuts also lower blood pressure and reduce total cholesterol by 8.4 percent and LDL cholesterol by 11.2 percent. If that weren’t enough, pistachios also provide more lutein than any other nut, making them an eye-friendly addition to your festivities.

So grab a handful of pistachios for a satisfying and healthy snack. In the meantime, I wish you all a safe and bountiful Thanksgiving.

References:

Behall KM, Scholfield DJ, Hallfrisch J. “Whole-grain diets reduce blood pressure in mildly hypercholesterolemic men and women.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2006;106:1445-1449.

Fleet JC. “New support for a folk remedy: cranberry juice reduces bacteriuria and pyuria in elderly women.” Nutrition Reviews. 1994;52:168-170.

Scott-Thomas Caroline. “Could heart-healthy pistachios be the new pomegranate?” NutraIngredients.com Oct 2008 29.

Verhagen H, Poulsen HE, Loft S, et al. Reduction of oxidative DNA-damage in humans by Brussels sprouts. Carcinogenesis. 1995;16:969-970.

A Natural Antacid, Licorice

By Bonnie Jenkins, Advanced Natural Medicine

I’m so excited about a new natural antacid I recently discovered.

For years, I’ve had what my mother called “a touchy stomach.” And for years I’ve seen doctor after doctor – to no avail. None of them could find anything wrong, even though there were days when I was doubled up in pain. But a few months ago, I finally found a gastroenterologist who was able to pinpoint the problem –irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

IBS (also known as a spastic colon) is a common chronic health disorder affecting more people than asthma, diabetes, and depression combined. Even though about 20 percent of the world’s population suffers from IBS, it’s a condition that doesn’t have a clear-cut cause, which is why it’s so difficult to diagnose. Medical tests don’t find any physical abnormalities, so for years doctors thought the condition was solely psychological. But the symptoms are real enough – intermittent abdominal cramps with either constipation or diarrhea. Stress makes it worse, as does a low-fiber diet. And it often goes hand-in-hand with lactose intolerance.

Unfortunately, there’s no magic bullet to cure IBS. Since stress seems to be the major trigger involved in IBS symptoms, many doctors prescribe antidepressants like Zoloft or Paxil – drugs which are riddled with adverse and often frightening side effects. The new medications specifically designed to treat IBS haven’t proven much better. Last year, Lotronex (used to treat diarrhea-predominant IBS) was pulled from the market by its maker Glaxco Wellcome after the FDA voiced concerns about side effects, including three deaths related to the drug. And Zelnorm, the new medication used to treat constipation-related IBS, can cause diarrhea, headaches, abdominal pain, nausea, dizziness and flu-like symptoms. But, what really worries me is that preliminary evidence links the drug to an increase in abdominal surgery.

My doctor’s drug of choice was Levsin, an antispasmodic drug used to treat various stomach and intestinal problems. But it can also cause bloating, blurred vision, confusion, insomnia, heart palpitations and a rapid heartbeat, headaches, lack of coordination and vomiting.

On the Right Tract

Needless to say, the prescription never got filled – and I set out to find a safe, natural solution. I tried everything – peppermint, ginger, licorice, even charcoal. They all helped to some degree, but except for the dietary changes I made (a natural foods diet with lots more fiber), everything else was just a temporary stopgap. Then a friend told me about probiotics, live bacteria that help modulate gut microflora and improve the intestinal microbial balance.

The gastrointestinal tract is by far the richest environment for bacteria in our bodies. At least 400 species of bacteria typically live there and help normalize and maintain healthy gastrointestinal flora, which can minimize diarrhea, bloating, gas and painful abdominal cramps. Without these beneficial bacteria, we would have far more trouble with digestion, food poisoning and infectious diseases.

But sometimes the balance between good and bad bacteria is thrown out of whack – and if the imbalance is chronic, IBS can develop. In fact, a recent study by researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center found that 78 percent of IBS patients have a bacterial overgrowth in the small intestines, which may account for earlier research showing that probiotics can dramatically improve symptoms. . Probiotics favorably alter the intestinal microflora balance, inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, promote good digestion, boost immune function and increase resistance to infection. While probiotics are effective when your gut is under assault from antibiotics, they are particularly helpful for those of us with IBS.

In one clinical trial, Polish researchers found that probiotics relieved IBS symptoms in 95 percent of patients. Forty patients with IBS participated in the study, which lasted four weeks. Half received a probiotic supplement and half were given a placebo. By the end of the trial, all of the subjects in the probiotic group experienced complete relief from abdominal cramping compared to only 11 in the placebo group. The folks taking the probiotics also reported relief from constipation.

Another trial by the Mayo Clinic randomly assigned 25 IBS sufferers to receive either a probiotic or a placebo twice a day for eight weeks. By the end of the study, those taking the probiotics had a significant reduction in abdominal bloating – another primary (and uncomfortable) symptom of the condition. Lab tests have also found that probiotic supplementation improves colonic motility and enhances the barrier function of the cells that line the intestines.

Better Bugs

Two specific types of bacteria, lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, maintain a healthy balance of intestinal flora by producing organic compounds — such as lactic acid, hydrogen peroxide and acetic acid —that increase the acidity of the intestine and inhibit the reproduction of many harmful bacteria. Acidophilus and bifidobacteria are also necessary for your body to manufacture B vitamins, including niacin, folic acid, biotin, and vitamin B6.

Research shows that other Lactobacillus species may be beneficial as well. For example, L. rhamnosus and L. plantarum are involved in the production of several “gut nutrients,” such as short-chain fatty acids, and the amino acids, arginine, cysteine and glutamine. Another probiotic, Saccharomyces boulardii, has prevented diarrhea in several human trials. And some forms of probiotic bacteria produce substances called bacteriocins, which act as natural antibiotics to kill undesirable microorganisms.

But, since probiotics aren’t normally able to establish a permanent home in the human gut, you need to replenish them daily in order to see a consistent health benefit. The problem is that many supplements that boast live cultures don’t actually contain the levels of live bacteria touted on their labels. A good rule of thumb is to look for a refrigerated probiotic supplement that contains the live cells of both Lactobacillus acidopholis and Bifidobacterium bifidus. And if you can find a supplement that contains additional types of bacteria, it’s even better.

One Last Thing …

If you suffer from IBS, you also might want to consider taking some of these natural antacids as well: L-glutamine, the major fuel of the intestines. While conventional science hasn’t really investigated L-Glutamine’s beneficial role in IBS, there are numerous anecdotal reports of its effectiveness – which makes sense since L-glutamine heals intestinal cells and maintains the villi (the absorption surfaces of the gut).

The World's Quickest Solution for Ending Prostate and Urinary Misery

This has recently been revealed to be one of the only real breakthroughs in prostate health.

The seeds of a strange fruit (sometimes called "Chinese Apples") hold powerful phytonutrients that are a revolution in prostate health.

In fact, UCLA and Veterans Administration research have now proved this to be true.

Not only that, but it may be the worlds quickest solution for ending prostate misery.

Simply stated, these phytonutrients represent a huge step beyond beta sitosterol, saw palmetto, and other phytosterols alone.

Simply click HERE if you want to have fast prostate relief...restful, uninterrupted sleep...no more constant "urges to go"...enhanced virility...and optimal prostate support for life.

According to James and Phyllis Balch, authors of Prescription for Nutritional Healing, if you have IBS, you should take 500 mg. of L-Glutamine twice a day on an empty stomach. For better absorption, take it with 50 mg. of vitamin B-6 and 100 mg. of vitamin C.

This Just In …

Want to lower your cancer risk? Get a good night’s sleep! A new study shows that how well you sleep may determine how well your body fights cancer – and may help explain how mental well-being plays into cancer recovery and progression.

Two Stanford psychiatrists have found that sleep problems alter the balance of at least two hormones that influence cancer cells. The first, cortisol, helps regulate immune system activity, including the release of certain “natural killer” cells that help the body battle cancer. The second is melatonin, which may have antioxidant properties that help prevent damage to cells that can lead to cancer. But if you don’t get enough sleep or wake up often during the night, it’s likely you don’t have sufficient levels of these hormones to guard against cancer. And if you have cancer, low cortisol and melatonin levels may speed its progression.

But getting a good night’s sleep is often easier said than done. A few months ago, I told you how melatonin supplements can help you get the sleep you need (Catching the zzzz’s, 6/23). Well, now it seems that taking melatonin supplements may also help prevent cancer. According to a study published in Cancer Letters, supplementing with 50 mg. of melatonin reduced the number of cancer cells in mice. The researchers speculated that the hormone effectively caused the cells to commit suicide without harming healthy cells.

Here’s the bottom line: when it comes to balancing these two cancer-fighting hormones, if you snooze, you definitely won’t lose.

References:

Bazzocchi G, et al. “Intestinal microflora and oral bacteriotherapy in irritable bowel syndrome.” Dig Liver Dis 2002;34:S48-S53.

El-Missiry MA, et al. “Influence of melatonin on proliferation and antioxidant system in Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells.” Cancer Letters. 2000;151:119-125.

Kim HJ, et al. “A randomized controlled trial of a probiotic, VSL#3, on gut transit and symptoms in diarrhoea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome.” Aliment Pharmacology and Therapy. 2003;17:895-904.

Niedzielin K, et al. “A controlled, double-blind, randomized study on the efficacy of Lactobacillus plantarum 299V in patients with irritable bowel syndrome.” European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 2001;13:1143-1147.

Resta-Lenert S, et al. “Live probiotics protect intestinal epithelial cells from the effects of infection with enteroinvasive Escherichia coli (EIEC).” Gut. 2003;52:988-997.

Sephton, S, et al. “Circadian disruption in cancer: a neuroendocrine-immune pathway from stress to disease?” Brain, Behavior and Immunity. 2003;17:321-328.