I happen to be writing this newsletter on a Friday however I never say TGIF anymore (Thank Goodness It’s Friday!). This is ever since I received an email which gave me rather a wake-up call. It suggested that next time, before you say TGIF, calculate how many Fridays you may have left! Do this by subtracting your age from 75 (average life expectancy) and multiplying by 52 (weeks). Yip, did you do a double take too!
Anyway this really got me thinking how important it is that we work on making our last years in these “earth suits” as happy and healthy as possible. Wouldn’t you like to live till you die? I certainly would! However, considering the stress which modern day living places on our health, it is apparent we need to put in some serious effort if we wish to achieve this goal. In this 21st century we find people primarily suffering and dying from what are generally called chronic degenerative diseases. And in spite of all our advances in the medical field, for many who are fortunate enough to live past the age of 70, quality of life due to these degenerative diseases has taken a dramatic turn for the worse. Through the repeated symptomatic treatment of disease with drugs and medicines we keep death at bay but deny ourselves life.
Our strongest defense against degenerative diseases is our bodies’ natural antioxidant and immune systems. The way I see it then, is that good health depends on us optimizing our natural defense systems. These are far superior to any prescription drugs or medications on the market. As the saying goes “prevention is better than cure” and if we’re lucky enough to still have the choice, then why not make the right one?
True preventive medicine requires a threefold approach:
exercising consistently and
taking high-quality nutritional supplements.
These three health concepts are the best way to care for and protect our health and maybe we can all liveuntil we die!
Sugar is Sweet Poison
World Diabetes Day, 14th November, has come and gone however not without prompting me to revisit the issue of sugar and its effect on health.
“So what’s wrong with a little bit of sugar?”, you might ask. Well how long have you got? I could rant all day if you like?
Firstly, sugar certainly does NOT “give you go” as the “sugar peddlers” would like us to believe. It is a simple carbohydrate that is released very rapidly into the blood stream as glucose. The initial surge in energy experienced is soon followed by a drop as the body scrambles to balance your blood sugar level, leading to lethargy and exhaustion. The refiners use some fourteen steps in processing the natural product (usually sugar from cane or sugar beets) during which they remove the B-complex, the enzymes, proteins, fibre, minerals and vitamins leaving an unnatural sugar devoid of food value and capable of doing untold harm to the body.
Sugar provides only “empty” or “naked” calories. It is actually worse than nothing because it drains and leeches the body of precious vitamins and minerals through the demand its digestion, detoxification and elimination make upon one’s entire body system. This would obviously deplete the immune system and since sugar also produces an extremely acidic body, diseases can thrive. This sweet evil fosters Candida albicans (yeast), raises insulin levels and LDL cholesterol, is the leading cause of obesity, has been shown to contribute to most degenerative diseases including cancer. Sugar also increases urinary excretion of calcium which, of course, is bad news for bones and teeth.
This ‘great white poison’, is addictive and has been classed in the same category as cocaine! The average person begins his addiction to sugar shortly after birth through a sweetened infants’ formula and commercial baby foods. Then there are the breakfast cereals, many of which contain in excess of 50% sugar. Ice cream is usually about 33% sugar. A can of soft drink contains 8 teaspoons of sugar. Our children don’t stand a chance, do they? They really are robbed of the choice to be healthy.
Sugar is also a huge factor in the ever-growing problem of ADD/ADHD in children. It can send children into a state of hyperactivity and confusion with an inability to concentrate. Much research has been done on scholars showing a vast improvement in their grades when sugar-containing foods were stopped. Others have shown that behavioural problems in ADD/ADHD children are hugely alleviated when sugar is eliminated.
There is so much hype about high cholesterol levels and yet, without a doubt, sugar puts us at greater risk for heart disease than cholesterol. (I’ve told you often before that 50% of heart attack patients have normal cholesterol levels). This is because sugar raises insulin levels, now known as the number one risk factor for heart disease. Surging insulin causes inflammation in the blood vessels which is far more serious than excess cholesterol.
If you have a sweet tooth, use stevia or xylitol as a healthy sugar alternative. If you eat out and no healthy alternatives are available, there are some great products available such as Panaxea’s Bean 1, that help lower the Glyceamic Index of food.
“We are getting sicker as a nation… Heart disease, diabetes and cancer are on the rise. Our children are not going to outlive their parents. This is the first time in human history that this is happening.” Dr. Stephen Sinatra, renowned American cardiologist
Focusing on Bean 1 - Kidney Bean Extract
Amylase, a salivary and pancreatic enzyme, aids in the breakdown and absorption of starch from the diet. BEAN 1, an extract of kidney beans (Phaseolus Vulgaris), inhibits both salivary and pancreatic amylase resulting in decreased absorption of glucose from starch thus having the potential to benefit both blood sugar control and weight management. Studies have shown that when kidney bean extract is given with a starchy meal such as 4 slices of white bread, only one third of the starch in the bread is absorbed. Remember this does not give one licence to go indulging in white bread however, as mentioned above, this supplement can be useful when holidaying or eating out where a healthy alternative is not available. Although it is safe to use, Bean 1 is only available from health care practitioners. (See my product list).
The most important blood tests to check that you’re not en route to pre-diabetes
Next time you go for a medical check-up ask your physician to have the following levels checked:
Triglycerides – measures fat in the blood.
Total, LDL and HDL cholesterol
C- Reactive Protein – measures inflammation in the blood vessels
Hb1ac – measures how controlled your blood sugar levels have been over the past few months.
You are welcome to send your results to me for analysis and advice.
It is very important to fast for 12 hours before blood samples are taken, having only sips of water when necessary.
Fibromyalgia and Restless Legs
It is now well known that if someone is suffering from a tendency to cramping in their muscles, there’s a pretty good chance they’re low on magnesium and upping magnesium levels in the body will really help to alleviate or even stop their symptoms. The same is true of the condition known as restless legs syndrome. This condition is characterised by uncomfortable sensations, most commonly in the legs, and an urge to move. It often comes on when individuals are in bed. Officially, the condition has no known cause but just as with muscle cramping, more magnesium can tame this condition.
Now a recent study has found a link between restless legs syndrome and fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is another ‘muscular’ condition, characterised by pain and tenderness in the muscles. This study discovered that someone with fibromyalgia was more than 10 times as likely as someone without this condition to suffer from restless legs syndrome. While fibromyalgia is a little more complex to treat, it is a condition that can often respond to magnesium. Fibromyalgia sufferers could do well on magnesium-rich foods such as nuts but also supplementing with about 400 mg of magnesium a day. The type of magnesium normally recommended for fibromyalgia is magnesium malate. Alternatively look for magnesium glycinate, magnesium aspartate or magnesium citrate. They all have good absorption. Although all calcium supplements contain magnesium, calcium has been known to exacerbate muscle pain in some fibromyalgia patients, so for this condition stick to magnesium supplementation.
Interestingly enough fibromyalgia sufferers often experience arrhythmia, which can also be due to magnesium deficiency.
In addition to magnesium, there are other approaches worth exploring for those suffering from fibromyalgia. One is to unearth and treat (if appropriate) any low thyroid function (hypothyroidism). Recent research has been demonstrating an association between thyroid conditions and fibromyalgia, which seems more prevalent in women in menopause. While these relationships remain poorly understood, the symptoms we see with hypothyroidism — low body temperature, poor immune function, fatigue and achiness — can certainly contribute to more intense fibromyalgia symptoms. So the good news is that by addressing the hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia symptoms can also improve.
Yeast Overgrowth and Candidiasis
Candida albicans is a fungal organism that is present in virtually everyone’s intestinal tract in small amounts. In a healthy gut, it is kept under control by normal immune system activity and beneficial microbes such as intestinal lactobacilli, bifidobacteria, and others, including competitive yeasts. But yeast overgrowth is very common and each one of us will have different symptoms, reactions and healing times to yeast infections.
As you can see the symptoms are widespread and can appear anywhere in the body and this is why candidiasis is often referred to as systemic yeast.
Women will often associate yeast infections with vaginal yeast, not realizing that it’s all to do with what is going on in the gut. Being opportunistic, Candida albicans will take advantage when conditions permit. As soon as the balance in the intestinal environment is upset, this organism is more likely to change form and proliferate, invading and colonizing our body tissues. The balance of beneficial and bad flora in the gut is easily upset by factors such as a diet high in refined carbs, inadequate dietary fibre, antibiotics, birth control or other hormonal therapies and food sensitivities. Some women taking the Pill report experiencing vaginal thrush each month just before their period commences.
Candida albicans can spread and become a nasty problem affecting multiple systems in the body.
When Candida proliferates it changes form into one that is capable of penetrating the intestinal lining. This increased permeability between the intestinal tract and the circulatory system, known as leaky gut, allows incompletely digested food particles and yeast cells to pass through and enter the blood stream. In part, food sensitivities and allergies are thought to develop as a result of this process and because of this people with candidiasis are advised to avoid foods containing other yeasts and fungi from their diets because of this cross-sensitivity.
Also, if you have symptoms of digestive problems and yeast infections in the intestines, the first thing to avoid is sugar. Yeasts and moulds feed on sugar and fermented foods such as cheese and beer. If you suffer with gas or bloating, it may be wise to avoid these culprit foods.
You can make a yeast infection go away by changing the environment in your gut.
A four-pronged approach is usually required to treat systemic yeast and this is best done under the guidance of a natural health practitioner:
Follow a healthy yeast-free diet.
Replenish essential nutrients includingomega-3’s.
Add a probiotic to repopulate your gut with friendly microbes
Explore the use of natural antifungals on a rotational basis
When beginning dietary and other changes to reduce yeast, you may notice that your symptoms suddenly worsen. This toxic feeling, which generally lasts about 7–10 days, may be caused by the Herxheimer or “die-off” reaction. Be sure to drink ample amounts of water, and slowly introduce plenty of dietary fibre. Add a natural soluble fibre supplement such as Herbal Fibre Blend.
You don’t have to completely eliminate your body of yeast. You just have to contain it so that you feel well and with time you will be feeling better than ever!
Did you know?
Pharmaceutical companies care more about the bottom line than our health. Of course you knew that. What happened to Vioxx is old news but this testimony is worth a read anyway.
I mentioned to a friend the other day that as I get older I see modern technology forever at work bringing in new inventions, supposedly all in the name of progress, but one has to wonder sometimes. I mean what’s with this “shrink-aid” that they seem to be adding to washing powders these days? She replied that she thought it may be a conspiracy of pharmaceutical companies to sell more anti-depressants! HaHa-Don’t you just love that!
Now how about we all conspire to get our Christmas shopping done before the end of November to avoid the Christmas rush? December can be such a stressful month but probably because we allow it to be. Let’s do it differently this year and resolve to enjoy the build up to Christmas! Till we meet again next month, be good, healthy and happy.