Thursday, November 29, 2012

Is your couch a killer?

It's only natural to want to make your house a safe space for you and your guests.

You've probably already cleared out all the harmful household products and made sure sharp edges are smoothed and hard surfaces are softened.

But you've probably never given your couch or carpet a second glance. After all, they're perfectly safe, right?

Unfortunately, these seemingly safe parts of your home may be anything but. The culprit is a class of chemicals called polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). Funny thing is they were supposed to make your home safer: manufacturer's started applying them as flame retardants in the 1970s.

Sadly the scientific community has known for a long time that PBDEs may disrupt the endocrine system. This latest study is simply the largest one to look specifically at the development of the brain and nervous system.

Once researchers started uncovering the dangers of PBDEs, many states did the right thing and banned the chemicals. But if your couch or carpet was made before 2004, it may contain PBDEs.

The truth is, a full 97 percent of us have the chemicals in our blood thanks to decades of exposure. And they're still clearly affecting kids.

If you bought your couch in the 80s or 90s, or if your carpet hasn't been updated in a while, your home could be exposing the children in your life to PBDEs. This is especially true if your sofa is made of foam, which will release more of the chemicals as it disintegrates.

If you don't have the money to replace your furniture and carpeting, the researchers suggest sealing any tears in furniture and cleaning regularly to keep levels of dust down. They also suggest making regular hand-washing a household policy.

If you're on the market for a new couch, choose cotton, wool, or polyester over foam that's been treated with chemicals. You can also look for household products that are free of flame retardants.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Preventing Alzheimer's

It's the most common form of dementia in the United States. And it's the sixth-leading cause of death.

Since we have lost loved ones to demetia, we are always on the lookout for natural ways to prevent Alzheimer's disease.

And this one is really easy!

Research published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease shows that antioxidants could play a major role in fighting Alzheimer's disease.

The study was conducted in Germany, where 74 Alzheimer's patients and 158 people without the disease between the ages of 65 and 90 were studied. Through a series of tests, the researchers found that people with mild dementia had much lower concentrations of the antioxidants vitamin C and beta-carotene in their blood than did the healthy volunteers in the study.

The team says that more research is needed. But they did find the results promising--and for good reason. Oxidative stress contributes to Alzheimer's. This means that antioxidants could, in fact, protect the brain against developing the disease.

Another study, this one on green tea, supports these findings. Inflammation is a culprit in several different diseases--heart disease, cancer, and of course Alzheimer's. The green tea study found that the catechins in green tea combat the free radicals that lead to inflammation and play a role in the development of Alzheimer's.

The best part about this news is that it couldn't be easier to pack your diet with antioxidants.

Of cource there are great antioxidant supplements available as well.
Enriching Gifts Metabolic Complete
Enriching Gifts Red Heart Algae
Enzyme Research Products Vitamin C
FEBICO Natto Complex
Wellgenix Resveratrol

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Indoor living hazardous to your health

Winter is that time of year that we start spending a lot of time indoors.
But indoor air pollution can cause a host of short-term health problems. It can give you headaches, cause dizziness, and lead to nausea. It's a common cause of fatigue. It's well known that poor air quality can trigger allergies and lead to respiratory problems. It can even cause diseases like bronchitis.
Research shows that air pollution levels can have a big impact on your heart health. In fact, if you have heart disease and have already suffered an event like a heart attack or stroke, the level of pollution in the air you breathe could be setting you up for a second dangerous incident.
Subjecting yourself to high levels of air pollution may actually increase your risk of a second heart attack or stroke by a full 43 percent. Researchers on the project say that level of increased risk probably underestimates the true impact of air pollution on heart health.
The quality of air you breathe also affects your mind. It can impair cognitive function, reducing your attention span and impairing memory function.
Fine particulates in the air you breathe may form deposits in your lungs and brain. The higher the levels of fine particulates in the air, the greater the impact on your cognitive function.
High levels of carbon dioxide that build up in indoor spaces – especially in energy-efficient buildings with lots of people, like your average office building – also impair your cognitive abilities. The decision-making abilities of people working in such circumstances tend to suffer under even moderate exposure to carbon dioxide. So, if you ever wonder why so many people at your work make dumb decisions, it might literally be something in the air!
Particularly at this time of year, when we seal our homes up tight against the weather, the quality of the air can drop rapidly and that can have serious consequences for your health, both in the short term and for the long haul.
Your home should be a safe space... somewhere you can breathe easy, knowing that nothing threatens you. But the air quality in your home could be a threat your health.
The Environmental Protection Agency lists indoor air pollution as one of the top give environmental public health concerns. Common sources of indoor air pollution include mold, bacteria, dust mites, pollen, animal dander, cigarette smoke (if anyone in your home smokes), chemicals left behind by cleaning products, and byproducts produced from heating your home and cooking.
The average person spends nearly ninety percent of their time indoors, and many studies estimate that indoor air in the typical home or building is at least 25 times more polluted than the air outside. The American College of Allergists states that half of all diseases are either caused by or aggravated by poor indoor air quality.
Fortunately, cleaning up the air quality in your home isn't difficult or expensive to do.
1. Check your ventilation. Today's energy efficient homes tend to trade high efficiency for poorer air quality. Not enough air from outside enters the home to dilute pollutants and not enough air escapes to allow the pollutants to leave. One of the easiest ways to improve air quality is to simply crack a window or two for a couple of hours each day. The downside is that your furnace will have to work a little harder to heat your home during the day, but your home's air will be much healthier.
2. Keep your floors clean. Most pollutants settle out of the air when left undisturbed. But, then people walking through the home, the furnace kicking on, the front door opening and closing – these can all stir up those pollutants making them easier for you and your family to breath in. Not good.
If you clean your floors regularly, you'll trap many of the particulates and get rid of them. That's good news for the air you breathe. Use a vacuum fitted with a HEPA filter that you clean regularly. Mop at least once a week. And put down welcome mats for people to wipe their feet on before entering your home. These three easy steps can dramatically reduce the indoor pollution in your house.
3. Test for radon. Radon is one of the most dangerous indoor pollutants – it's a leading cause of lung cancer. You can pick up a radon testing kit on Amazon for under $30. The test is easy to do, and can help you identify whether or not this dangerous pollutant is a problem in your home.
4. Switch to natural cleaners. A lot of chemical cleaners leave behind harmful compounds in the air. Something as innocent as a plug-in air freshener, for example, can release more than 20 kinds of volatile organic compounds into the air.
Using cleaners and air fresheners that use mostly natural ingredients can be a big help in terms of air quality. Seventh Generation products are a good choice for natural cleaning supplies. When it comes to freshening the air, try bringing a small pot of water to a simmer. Drop in a couple of cinnamon sticks and apple slices. The scent will beat the socks off of artificial air fresheners and it's better for you, too.
5. Change your HVAC filters often. Many folks procrastinate or forget about this obvious way to reduce allergens in the air. You can even install ultraviolet lighting within the furnace which helps kill bacteria as they circulate through the system.
6. Pay attention to the humidity in your home. If you air is too dry or too moist, it can create conditions that increase the pollution in your home. Try to maintain humidity levels between 30 and 50 percent for the best air quality.
Breathing is important. So, take control of your home's air quality. You and your family will spend less time suffering from colds and allergies, you'll have more energy and better cognitive function, and you'll reduce your risk of heart disease while you're at it.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Olive Oil - Up's and Down's

Olive oil is among the healthiest, most versatile dietary oils in the world.
Here are seven ways that olive oil supports good health.
Olive oil is high in fat, but that does not mean it's bad for you. We still hear from people who think a low-fat diet is the goal. It's not... going too far in the low-fat direction puts you at risk for blood-sugar problems and chemical imbalances that can contribute to heart disease and Alzheimer's. Your body needs fat! It just needs the right kind of fat to thrive. And olive oil falls into that category.
You've heard that eating too much fat can give you high cholesterol. But olive oil actually improves your cholesterol levels because it contains primarily monounsaturated fatty acids. These fats can bring down your total cholesterol levels and lower your LDL cholesterol – that's the "bad" cholesterol associated with heart disease. 
Research also suggests that olive oil helps keep your body's clotting mechanism in balance. It's one more way that olive oil can help you avoid a heart attack.
The healthy fats in olive oil may also help protect you against type 2 diabetes. And if you already have type 2 diabetes, olive oil may help you keep your condition from progressing by regulating both insulin response and blood sugar levels.

Olive oil contains high levels of oleic acid. This level of oleic acid has been associated with lower risks of some cancer.
Olive oil is a great natural source of vitamin E. A tablespoon contains almost 25 percent of the Recommended Daily Allowance. Vitamin E supports healthy cell membranes and healthy skin. It's also a good source of vitamin K, which promotes good bone health and helps to protect the brain from Alzheimer's disease.

Another compound in olive oil helps control blood pressure and improve the health of the arterial lining – both important factors in reducing heart disease risks. Polyphenols actually reduce your risk of heart disease on a genetic level. They affect genes linked to heart disease risk in a positive way.
But with all of it's benefits, olive oil has a dark side.
Don't wreck the health benefits of olive oil. Olive oil is fairly fragile. It can begin to break down because of light exposure. Store your olive oil in a dark bottle in the cupboard or pantry. It may look pretty on your windowsill, but the sun will make it taste funny and weaken the nutritional impact. When stored in a cool, dark place, olive oil will keep for a year, but you'll never have a year-old bottle sitting around if you make this superfood part of your regular diet.
Don't cook at high temperatures with olive oil. Use it for salad dressings and in other cold foods. You can also do a quick sauté with olive oil. When olive oil reaches high temperatures, the fats begin to oxidize, creating free radicals, and they also hydrogenate, creating harmful trans fats. For cooking at higher temperatures or for a prolonged time, choose coconut oil, another oil with big health benefits, because it can stand up to the heat.
Most olive oil sold in the store is a total waste of money. The bulk of it doesn't contain the polyphenols and other compounds in the levels needed to enjoy the full health benefits. What you want is extra-virgin olive oil that has a harvest date on the package. The oil will stay at full potency for two years, but look for the freshest olive oil you can find.
Besides freshness, a number of factors affect the quality of the olive oil you buy. Harvesting methods, the ripeness at which the olives were picked (green olives have more polyphenols than ripe olives, but the oil is easier to extract from ripe olives), and processing methods can all change the nutrition profile of olive oil.
UC Davis tested a variety of extra virgin olive oil brands for quality and found these brands to be consistently the best: Corto Olive, California Olive Ranch, Kirkland Organic, Lucero, and McEvoy Ranch Organic.
Fresh, extra-virgin olive oil packs a powerful punch when it comes to health benefits. But it's easy to get fleeced into thinking you are getting benefits when you're actually wasting your money on standard-issue oil being passed off as something it's not.
You can enjoy high-quality olive oil that tastes great and is known to significantly reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer's. Just know what to buy first!

Friday, November 16, 2012

I can't see!

Recently, many eye care professionals have reached agreement on an important innovation in combating vision loss.

Wait for it ...

This "innovation" is putting "an emphasis on healthy lifestyle, healthy diet, and the addition of dietary and nutritional supplements."

But wait, there's more. They also now agree that essential fatty acids are essential to the health of your vision.

All I can say is "wow"!

The American Academy of Optometry recently had their annual meeting. There, they discussed how essential fatty acids play a role in ocular health. Later, in an interview, the doctor who presented about EFAs at the meeting remarked on the "recent interest" in omega-3 fatty acids.

This is nothing new.

For years we've been making sure to get plenty of omega-3s for ages. We've been loading up on our fatty fish and flaxseed sources of omega-3s...for a long time now. We didn't have to wait around for the final results of more than 20,000 studies--studies that now have confirmed how important they are for our health--to recognize a good thing when we saw it.

But if you are just now hearing about this, start working on your supplentation. A couple of great options are:

Bright Eyes from FEBICO and an herbal supplement called Eyebright from Oregon's Wild Harvest. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Energy trap

As we rush around in our day to day life, it's sometimes hard to find the energy to get through the day.

Don't fall into the trap of reaching for a can of soda in the afternoon for a little energy boost? 
According to a new study out of Japan, this little habit could be downright deadly.

Women who indulged in a sugary soft drinks almost every day were at a much higher risk of ischemic stroke. That's the kind of stroke that involves plaque buildup in the arteries. And we're not talking about a small risk here. If soda is a regular part of your diet, you could be a stunning 83 percent more likely to have an ischemic stroke, according to the study.

While the study doesn't prove that soda itself causes stroke, it goes along with other studies that have drawn links between consuming a lot of sugar and clogged arteries. And with the mounting evidence it seems pretty safe to say that sodas may play a role in having a stroke.

The study involved almost 40,000 people who were split into four groups according to how often they drank soda: rare drinkers, those who indulged in one or two cups a week, those who drank three or four cups a week, and those who downed a soft drink almost every day. "Soft drinks" were defined as sodas and sugar-sweetened juices.

Diet sodas were not included in this study, but we already know those are linked to stroke and other heart problems (in one study people who have a diet soda a day were found to be 44 percent more likely to suffer a stroke

The American Beverage Association down played the study stating that it "does nothing to educate people about the real causes of heart disease or heart health issues." Really. That's the best they could do?

While increased stroke risk is among the more serious potential dangers of drinking soda, it's just one item on a long list. Sugar in sodas has been linked to obesity and general poor health.

The best way to make sure you have boundless energy throughout the day is also the easiest... simply get enough sleep. Combine that rest with a healthy diet, getting some regular movement, and drinking plenty of water and you have a winning combination for feeling great.

And if you need a little variety in the beverage department, try one sweetened with stevia. St
evia has zero calories and tastes great. The stevia drops we carry come in a multitude of flavors.

“Coke says obesity grew as sugary drink consumption fell,” USA Today (
“Coke executive answers questions about sugary drinks,” USA Today (
“What Happens to Your Body If You Drink a Coke Right Now?,” Bliss Tree (
“Correlates of beverage intake in adolescent girls: the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Growth and Health Study,” Pub Med (
“Relation between consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks and childhood obesity: a prospective, observational analysis,” The Lancet (
“Evidence for sugaraddiction: Behavioral and neurochemical effects of intermittent, excessive sugar intake,” Science Direct (
“Implications of an animal model of sugar addiction, withdrawal and relapse for human health,” Ingenta Connect (

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

One simple trick to living longer

People who don't do this one thing nearly double their risk of acute heart attack. And they more than double their risk of dying of any cause!

So what's the trick to living longer?

It's simple: stay fit.

In a recent study presented at the American Heart Association 2012 Scientific Sessions, men who lost more than 15 percent of their cardiorespiratory fitness over the course of 10 years dramatically raised their risk of heart attack as well as death from any cause.

So while many look to drugs to keep our hearts pumping and protect our bodies as we age, one of the most effective things you can do is simply keep moving. 

Some days it seems like it's a lot easier said than done--but making the effort to unstick yourself from the couch and get in some regular gentle movement will greatly benefit you. In fact, even after researchers adjusted their findings for BMI, smoking, diabetes, and other factors, they found there was a definite risk related only to fitness.

As we age, our cardiorespiratory fitness levels go down at a rate of 5 to 15 percent every decade (between the ages of 20 and 80). Many people chalk this up to aging, and call it a simple fact of life. They couldn't be more wrong. But maybe you should be calling it a simple fact of death instead.!

The researchers found that maintaining your cardiorespiratory fitness will prevent premature death from all causes. However unless there's a specific reason, many doctors don't measure cardiorespiratory fitness.

But that doesn't stopy you for asking this be done at your next check up. The tests are inexpensive and many of us think we're more fit than we actually are, and a rude awakening is better than a surprise heart attack.

If you have trouble staying fit, take advantage of Groupon and Living Social deals for a variety of group fitness classes. It's a fun way to get fit and get to know people in my neighborhood.

It's never too late to start exercising, and every little bit counts. Check out an amazing product specifically for life extension called Telezyme.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Easy Ways to Protect Yourself during Cold and Flu Season

Frequent hand washing is your number one defense against the flu. You generally catch the flu one of two ways – by breathing in the same air as someone who is already sick or by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your face. So, wash your hands often: after using the restroom, before you eat, when you get home, and at work after handling things that everyone in the office also touches, like the copy machine.
Give sick people a wide berth. If you come within three feet of someone with the flu, you breathe in the air that they are breathing out and that means you're taking in their flu germs. If you notice people are sick, politely decline to get too close to them.

Stay warm. Being cold can't cause the flu, but if you've been exposed to the flu virus, letting your body get cold may drop your defenses enough for the virus to gain a foothold, causing you to get sick
Run a humidifier indoors. Dry winter air can irritate your airways and impair your body's natural defenses against viruses like the flu. Meanwhile, higher humidity actually reduces the number of germs in the air. So adding moisture into the air in your home can help in multiple ways.
Exercise can help protect you. Getting regular exercise gives your immune system a boost. But don't exercise for hours on end – that can stress your body and actually compromise your immune system. If you're already feeling symptoms from a cold or flu virus, go ahead and exercise if all you have is a stuffy or runny nose, headache, or sore throat. If the symptoms extend below your neck – coughing, achy joints, or a fever – rest is your best medicine.

Use your common sense. Eat well, drink lots of water, get plenty of sleep, and find healthy ways to counter stress. Do these four things and you'll keep your immune system functioning at its peak, which means even if you get exposed to the flu, you may never develop symptoms... your body will sweep it away before you feel any ill effects.
Take your vitamin D. During the winter months, your body is not as able to convert sunlight to vitamin D – the sun's rays are just too weak. Vitamin D plays a crucial role in your immune system, so if you're running low on this critical nutrient, you're running the risk of getting sick. Take at least 400 IU of vitamin D3 every day during the winter. An excellent source is Wellgenix D3 Genix.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Powerful spice useful against many maladies

Researchers in Munich recently presented some very exciting news about a spice that's already known for numerous health benefits.

It may protect your heart after surgery. It can help fight obesity. And it could even help ward off Alzheimer's.

And what is this spice with all these benefits? Turmeric!

Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric that's gives the spice its cheery color, is known for fighting inflammation. But, now we know it fights more than just that--it may also stop cancer tumors from forming. This is crucial because prostate cancer is often diagnosed only after metatastic tumors have formed in other organs. Three percent of the time, the metastases are deadly.

In the current study, researchers wanted to find out how well curcumin could prevent prostate cancer from spreading. In prostate in breast cancer... the tumor cells promote inflammation. The research shows that curcumin decreases the expression of two proteins (cytokines) that are pro-inflammatory.

The researchers found that, in mice, this ability to reduce inflammation went hand-in-hand with fewer tumors. It turns out that because the cytokines promote the spread of the tumors, dampening their effects with curcumin helped to halt the process.

The same researchers previously found in an animal study that curcumin significantly reduced the formation of lung metastases in advanced breast cancer.

One of the best things about curcumin is that it's well tolerated. Unlike chemo and radiation there are no reported side effects. This means that it can safely be used to both prevent cancer as well as to suppress the spread of the disease when it's discovered.

In fact, the researchers believe that curcumin can be used in preventing both breast and prostate cancers as well as to reduce the metastasis or spread of the cancer. And because it's so well tolerated, they say it can be recommended to anyone who has a higher risk of tumors.

You can take up to 8 grams of curcumin daily safely. If you have prostate problems, talk to your doctor about adding curcumin to your daily supplement regimen. And if you're a woman who has a family history of breast cancer you may wish to do the same.

Turmeric from Oregon Wild Harvest.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Lower stomach cancer risk

Looking for an easy way to lower your risk of stomach cancer. You may want to, considering that it's the fourth most common type of cancer and the second most deadly.

All you have to do is eat a moderate amount of a certain kind of food.

In a new study out of Europe, researchers found that women who ate higher amounts of foods with flavonoids were half as likely to develop stomach cancer as were women who ate the smallest amounts. Women who ate more than 580 mg of flavonoids per day had a 51 percent lower risk of developing stomach cancer than women who ate 200 or less mg per day.

So, what foods contain flavonoids?

Look for plant-based foods including fruits, vegetables, whole grain cereals, nuts, and legumes. Tea's also on the list. And this should brighten your day. So is chocolate and wine.

The researchers state that eating more flavonoids and cutting back on red and processed meat can be an effective one-two punch in reducing your risk of stomach cancer. Other risk factors for stomach cancer include smoking, drinking, and obesity.

So there are plenty of reasons to eat flavonoid-packed foods. They can help strengthen veins and have strong antioxidant properties
. They can also dramatically reduce your risk of stroke.

So, enjoy plenty of fruits and vegetables, and go ahead and indulge in a little wine as you unwind at the end of the day. You'll be getting some serious health-boosting nutrients while you do. 

If you find that you may need good antioxidant support, check out Enriching Gifts Red Heart Algae, Enriching Gifts Metabolic Complete, FEBICO Natto Complex or Wellgenix Resveratrol.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Brain food - what not to eat

Amazingly the key to keeping your brain firing on all cylinders as you get older may have been in your kitchen all along. No. Not a superfood. It's a food you should avoid at all costs.

New research from the Mayo Clinic finds that eating a lot of carbohydrates and sugar puts you at higher risk for mild cognitive impairment as you age. That translates to problems with memory, thinking, and judgment. Mild cognitive impairment is also considered an early sign of Alzheimer's.

The study included 940 people between the ages of 70 and 89. At the beginning of the study, all of these folks were clear of cognitive problems. Within four years, though, 200 of them were starting to show signs of mild cognitive impairment. 

Study participants who ate the most carbs were about twice as likely to have mild cognitive impairment compared to those who were relatively carb-free. The highest sugar intake was associated with being 1.5 times more likely to develop mild cognitive impairment.

But, when fat, protein, sugar, and carbs were considered together, the people with the highest carb intake were 3.6 times more likely to develop cognitive impairment.

Scientists believe the raised risk that comes from carbs and sugar could be because carbohydrates affect glucose and insulin metabolism. Too much sugar can actually keep the brain from using fuel properly. It's basically the same effect you see with type 2 diabetes.

When you start cutting those carbs and sugars, replace them with good fats (coconut oil, etc.) and healthy proteins. People with the highest intake of fat were 42 percent less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment than people who ate the least. And those in the group with the highest intake of protein were 21 percent less likely.

Some people may develop mild depression when first making the switch. You can overcome that down feeling by maintaining adequate levels of vitamins B-12 and D.