As March marches on my heart goes out to all of those living in the Western Cape where your Winter rains just cannot come soon enough. Having made a few trips down your way in the past few months it saddened me more each time as I saw your gardens go to dust and so many vineyards and orchards looking like they can never recover. However Mother Nature is resilient and I know we will soon again be marvelling at the beauty of the Cape in Winter. We're not all that comfortable ourselves in the Eastern Cape, especially as we emerge from our traditionally rainy months into a Winter that could be very tough. And still there are those who claim global warming is a myth. With temperatures of over 40 still being experienced in March in various parts of the country? I think not.
Choosing the right turmeric supplement
Turmeric is the most widely researched natural substance with over 15000 studies completed to date. Lately it's hit the media in a big way so you will no doubt have read about the antioxidant, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumoral properties of this amazing spice. Curcumin is the bioactive ingredient in turmeric, offering health benefits in joint, heart, cognitive and immune function. Sadly curcumin is notorious for poor bioavailability even when consumed in large amounts. But that is in the past. Now we have CurcuwinTM turmeric extract powder, produced using a patented technology that gives us a highly bioavailable curcumin. So look for this name on the ingredients list when selecting your turmeric supplement.
Also always remember that since turmeric is fat-soluble you need to take your turmeric supplement with some form of fat whether it be yoghurt, milk, a swig of olive oil or your omega-3 fish oil softgel. This way curcumin can be absorbed into the bloodstream through the lymphatic system thereby, in part, bypassing the liver.
Although supplements containing concentrated extract of turmeric (curcumin) are your best way to consume high doses, using turmeric powder in food is also very beneficial. You can enhance the bioavailability by always adding black pepper and turmeric is also better absorbed when heated (especially in oil), so use it in cooking at every opportunity, lavishly and extensively!
I have written about homocysteine often enough in previous newsletters because it is a heart and brain health indicator which I believe should not be taken lightly. Here is an article which I wrote for my website a number of years ago: Homocysteine.
In a recent webinar that I was watching the other day I was horrified to hear one of the speakers mention that in one study 100% of the participants who had a homocysteine level over 14, developed dementia! Since homocysteine levels are the easiest to lower using the simplest of inexpensive supplements I want to urge you once again to have your levels checked! Ideal levels are 6-7 however levels between 5.4 and 9 are also OK. Apart from deficiencies in certain B vitamins, folate and zinc, homocysteine levels can also be elevated in those with cancer, smokers, and in those on medications such as Predizone, Methotrexate, PPIs, beta blockers, HRT and other medications that are vitamin antagonists.
I urge you to get those Homocysteine levels checked and if your result is not what it should be, it would give me great pleasure to show you how easily we can fix it.
Vitamin D and respiratory issues
Due to contradictory information about the actual amount of vitamin D that we need and warnings by health authorities in the past not to take more than 800IU a day, we are looking at consequential health problems, and not only in the elderly or people who already have compromised health, who tend not to venture outside much.
Now we are also breeding a generation of vitamin D deficient children as a result of parents keeping them out of the sun or lathering the little bod from top to toe with sunscreens that block out the health-giving rays. It has been well established through numerous studies that asthma and other respiratory problems in children can be due to a vitamin D deficiency. Many studies have shown that:
Acute respiratory tract infections can be prevented by vitamin D
Asthma exacerbations in children decrease by 60 percent with vitamin D supplementation
Asthma not helped by less than 2,000 IU of vitamin D
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease severity is associated with Vitamin D deficiency
Acute Lower Respiratory Infections in Children associated with low vitamin D
This is just a tiny sampling of the numerous studies done in just the past 3 years. How much more proof do we need to understand the importance of letting kiddies get a few minutes of sun on their bodies every day (under responsible supervision of course).
Watch out for OTC drugs!
All to often we assume that if a medicine is sold over the counter without need for a prescription then it must be safe, right? Well nothing could be further from the truth. It is scary how harmful some of these OTC drugs can be if used indiscriminately without professional advice.
The most popular OTC medications are those taken to relieve symptoms of excessive stomach acid or gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), such as indigestion, burning, belching and chest pain. Few realize that the impact of acid blocking drugs and antacids on one's health and future well-being can be devastating, both physically and mentally. By causing an imbalance in your microbiome or probiotic status they can, over time, lead to a reduction in the neurotransmitters needed for sleep, mood stability, self esteem, appetite and happiness. We are talking here about easily available antacids such as Maalox, Tums, Zantax, Gaviscon, etc and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) such as Nexium and others with active ingredient ending in -prazole. They come with genuine warnings of side-effects including hypomagnesiumia (low magnesium) which could precipitate a heart attack, and now the newest warning is stroke! According to recent research the overall risk of stroke increases by 21% in those taking a PPI.
The risks come with long term use. The label will clearly say they are intended for a 2 week course and not more than 3 times a year. Heed these warnings and dangerous side-effects such as magnesium depletion should not occur. However the ease with which one can obtain these over the counter drugs, either in stores or online, makes it so easy for people to self medicate while ignoring all the warnings.
The most abused OTC drug in South Africa is Codeine. It is used in Broncleer cough syrup which people, especially youngsters, are taking to achieve a cheap high. It's also found in Myprodol, Mybulin, Benylin C, Syndol, Sinutab C and many other medications. Part of codeine is converted to morphine by a complicated enzyme process that happens mainly in the liver. Addiction is common. Although patients are required to supply their personal details when purchasing a range of popular OTC medications containing codeine, there is no national database, thus making regulating impossible.
If you must use these medications, and I do understand that sometimes it is unavoidable, then please do read the very important user guidelines. Don't put your life at risk.
Our favourite kids' supplement in disguise
We were all sad to see the last of the Green Vibrance Junior however Vibrant Health has surprised us with the launching of an equally excellent supplement called Super Kids Vibrance. I've compared the ingredients and to my mind this is simply the same animal with a different name. That is why I believe this You Tube video focussing on Green Vibrance Junior applies to Super Kids Vibrance too. Take a look: Green Vibrance Junior.
This supplement truly plugs the gaps in a child's diet. You cannot be with your children all day and it is never easy to pack nutritious lunch boxes for school that are also delicious. At least a daily dose of this supplement gives moms the confidence that they have provided their super kid with super nutrition.
The plot thickens
USDA Drops Plan to Test for Monsanto Weed Killer - After a year of preparation to start testing corn syrup for glyphosate residues, the USDA has inexplicably dropped the program and said no testing for glyphosate residues will happen this year. Why am I not surprised?
Well let me conclude this newsletter and get it off to you before the month is a goner. I really have left it to the 11th hour. Perhaps I'll be better in the winter months when my garden won't lure me outside so often. Till we chat again, take good care of yourself, and let's see if we can turn a few lives around. According to this quote below we all have the power:
"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." - Leo Buscaglia
Nutritional Therapist (BSc (Hons) HDE, Dip Clin Nutr) The Orchards Nutrition Centre - Somerset East Tel: 042 243 0339 Cell: 084 531 0786 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The information in this newsletter is for educational purposes only and not to be construed as medical advice. It is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, or in any way replace qualified medical supervision. For any medical conditions, consult with your healthcare provider before using any products. Abundant health to you all.