They say moving house can be as traumatic as a death in the family or going through a divorce. In the past month I have learned that it is more like experiencing both simultaneously! Wow, I always knew it would not be easy but never expected it to be this hard! To those many subscribers who have become friends, thank you for your encouraging and comforting emails that made our load so much lighter. Some of you clearly have had first hand experience and knew what we were going through – you’ve “been there, done that” haven’t you? Fortunately we have survived and so life goes on and when I look at the spectacular view we have from our new verandah I know exactly why we came here. It is too beautiful for words and part of our panorama is the mountain on the farm we have just left and where we spent the last 30 wonderful years. We wish our son, Graeme, his wife, Liesl, and baby girl, Emily, (seen here on her first birthday) nothing less.
I know you will understand that in the mayhem no June newsletter emerged from this here keyboard. I must also apologize to those of you who may have struggled to contact me over the past month. Telkom are yet to install a landline in spite of us putting in an application months ago. But it’s business as usual here and I’m easily contactable on email or on my cell at 084 531 0786.
Correction to bladder infection article in May newsletter:
HaHa, I made a bit of a blunder in my last newsletter when I wrote: “Always wipe from back to front to prevent bacteria from entering your urethra”! You would think I don’t know what lies where but of course I did it on purpose to see if you were paying attention and it turns out only one subscriber does read my newsletters thoroughly! Anyway you know what I meant to say. But on a serious note, although I knew UTIs are a common female problem, I was still amazed at the response I got after the May newsletter. Seems more women than expected have frequent recurring UTIs and I’m convinced this is so because doctors will insist on prescribing antibiotics for UTIs – a temporary solution that in the long run can make matters worse. Thanks to the three amazing Natural Vibrance products, Cran-Max, UT Biotic and UT Vibrance, no one needs to suffer this nasty affliction again.
The Gut-Brain-Skin Theory
Amazing to think that 80 years ago two dermatologists, Stokes and Pillsbury, postulated that alterations to microbial flora, potentially secondary to digestive issues such as hypochlorhydria, could lead to increased intestinal permeability, leading to inflammation, skin manifestations, and an "emotional linkage."
Even more amazing is that only recently modern researchers have come up with studies confirming all of the above. They have confirmed that hypochlorhydria (in plain language- insufficient stomach acid) is a significant risk factor for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). One recent study found that SIBO is detected in half of patients on long-term proton pump inhibitors, a therapy which clearly results in hypochlorhydria. An imbalance in gut microflora can lead to gut permeability which has proven to be a potential issue for a large subset of acne patients. One investigation reported that 54% of acne patients have marked alterations to their intestinal microflora; another small study showed an oral supplement of 250 mg freeze-dried L. acidophilus and B. bifidum improved clinical outcomes in acne.
Regarding the "emotional linkage," two recent studies have found an association between mood and microbes in the gut. The first involved depressed patients in a double-blind study taking either a probiotic containing Lactobacillus casei or placebo. There were significant differences in depression scores at the end of the trial. In the second trial, using a variety of validated anxiety, stress, and depression scales, the French researchers reported significant improvements in day-to-day depression, anger, anxiety, as well as lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol among adults taking the daily probiotic supplement vs. placebo. Modern science has taken eight decades to catch up with these observations that tell us if we want to keep mind and body healthy we need to keep the microbe population in our gut healthy. A healthy outside starts on the inside.
Yoghurt as a probiotic
While on the subject of probiotics let me try to answer a question that I am frequently asked: Is yoghurt a good probiotic?
As we all know, yogurt is a fermented by-product of milk. Lactic acid produced by bacteria reacts with the lactose (sugar found in milk) to give yogurt its signature sour taste. It is naturally high in calcium, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. Calcium is involved with building strong bones and muscle function. Riboflavin and B6 help with metabolism and vitamin B12 deals with neurological function and red blood cell formation. So a few tablespoons of plain unsweetened yoghurt is not a bad way to start your day. Even the lactose-intolerant can usually tolerate yoghurt since the beneficial bacteria have already digested the problematic milk sugar for you.
Regarding yogurt as a probiotic, though, I would not rely on it solely. Firstly the new probiotic fortified yogurts do not supply enough colony-forming units (CFU) to produce a therapeutic effect. Apparently most of them won’t deliver the millions of CFU they claim on the label to the intestinal tract due to stomach acid sensitivity. Harsh stomach acids can kill probiotics, and even if they do survive they may not be the kind of probiotics that recolonize your inner ecosystem. Most probiotics in yoghurt will only stay in your body as long as you keep consuming them. Then there’s pasteurization which basically reduces or wipes out most of the beneficial and other bacteria during the heat processing.
Sweetened yoghurts are loaded with some pretty awful sugars including fructose, corn starch, and modified corn starch and other questionable ingredients added for flavour and consistency which all lower the yoghurt’s nutritional value and all that sugar will definitely feed pathogenic microorganisms, like Candida. And some yogurts (particularly the frozen ones), don't contain any live bacteria at all. As great-tasting as many of them are, don't be taken in by all yogurt products advertising live cultures beneficial to your digestive system. Apparently only half of all probiotic products actually contain the healthy bacteria listed on their labels. Another case of consumer beware.
If you want a high potency beneficial probiotic, consider probiotics in capsules that have bifidobacteria and lactobacillus strains such as Enzyme Process’ Enzadophilus or take a concentrated superfood such as Green Vibrance daily which contains all you could need in pro and prebiotics together with the best supply of vitamins and minerals you could wish for.
Statins- do the risks outweigh the benefits?
I know, I know - I do like to harp on the statin scare but this is simply because I’m seeing far too many patients who are already suffering the nasty side-effects and I feel it’s my responsibility to save others. Here are some of the side-effects and then it’s up to you to decide if the risks are worth it:
Muscle pain and damage
The most common statin side effect is muscle pain which you may feel as a soreness, tiredness or weakness in your muscles, ranging from a mild discomfort, or severe enough to make your daily activities such as climbing stairs or walking difficult. Some people may experience very severe muscle pain, a symptom of rhabdomyolysis, a condition which I wrote about in the April newsletter and a risk that definitely cannot be down-played. It’s important to remember that your heart is also a major muscle and can be affected in the same manner as the other muscles in your body.
Statins work by inhibiting an enzyme in your liver that is needed to manufacture cholesterol. However this could cause your liver to increase its production of enzymes that help you digest food, drinks and medications. Severe increased liver enzymes may lead to permanent liver damage. People who take statins should have their liver function tested about six weeks after they start and then again every three to six months for the first year of treatment.
People who already have compromised digestive systems may develop nausea, gas, diarrhea or constipation after taking a statin.
Rash or flushing
You could develop a rash or flushing after you start taking a statin especially if taken in conjunction with niacin.
One cannot block cholesterol synthesis via the statin mechanism without also blocking ubiquinone (CoQ10) an essential heart health nutrient and the producer of energy in every cell in your body. Chronic fatigue is a common symptom of statin users. Anyone using statins must take a CoQ10 supplement preferably in sublingual form.
Your risk of experiencing statin side-effects increases if you:
are taking multiple medications to lower your cholesterol
are age 65 or older
have kidney or liver disease
have type 1 or 2 diabetes
However statins will cause side effects eventually in most people. Please always check with your doctor if the drugs you are taking are really necessary. All drugs have side-effects and the longer taken, the more chance there is of the drug causing side-effects that are not always reversible.
Is Red Yeast Rice a good natural alternative to statin drugs?
No, it is not, because essentially RYR is a statin drug. Although the research has shown positive results and RYR does lower cholesterol levels, its mechanism is the same as statins and it also depletes the body of Co-Q10. which is beneficial to heart health and muscle function. So what to do? In the first place be sure that your cholesterol levels are really high enough to warrant treatment, otherwise leave well alone. Your body needs cholesterol. If you are sure you need to lower it try something like Cholesterol Blocker wafers by Natural Vibrance. Include three Super Natural E tabs a day which will help clear arterial plaque from the arteries and lower LDL cholesterol.
Omega-3 supplementation – The earlier the better
Although there is no doubt that it is never too late to start with omega-3 supplementation and that symptoms in the elderly such as joint pain, depressions and cardiovascular symptoms can be alleviated and improved, as with all things, prevention is better than cure. A recent study has shown that omega-3 fish oil supplementation is beneficial for brain and heart health and the earlier in life we start the better equipped we are to prevent diseases of these organs. The study was conducted by researchers from Wake Forest University School of Medicine and University of South Dakota and from their observations concluded that “fish oilsupplementation for purposes of cardiac and brain protection may need to occur earlier in the life span”. So moms-to-be can set their children firmly on the path of good cognitive, neurological and cardiovascular health by taking DHA Essentials during pregnancy and lactation, later squeezing a capsule into Baby’s bottle or food a few times a week and then continue supplementation in the school-going years. See our crazy Winter special on this supplement.
The heart health benefits of fish oil, and the omega-3 fatty acids it contains, are well-documented, being first reported in the early 1970s by Dr Jorn Dyerberg and his co-workers in The Lancet and The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. I am convinced omega-3 is the most important essential nutrient that the South African diet lacks due to the fact that the best source, fatty fish from cold water oceans, is not easily available here. I just wish more medical practitioners would realize that simply by prescribing omega-3 fish oil supplements, they now have a safe and effective means of treating almost all types of inflammation and improving the cardiovascular, mental and all-over health of their patients.
Use cell phones responsibly
Last month the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an arm of the World Health Organization (WHO), declared, after a review of all the research, that cell phones are possible cancer-causing agents and may be linked to two types of tumors—brain tumors (gliomas) and acoustic neuromas. The WHO cited a multi-country study that found people who used cell phones most often, an average of 30 minutes per day over 10 years, had a 40 percent higher risk for a glioma. Previous studies have tried and failed to establish any link between cell phones and cancer however if you consider that today we use phones that emit higher levels of radiation, and our usage has increased significantly since these older studies were done, the new evidence of a possible (I’d like to say “probable”) cancer link is not surprising. Folks, we have been warned and now it’s up to us to do everything in our power to limit our exposure to cell phone radiation. Things we could do:
reduce the proximity of your cell phone to your body
do not sleep with a cell phone near you
hold cell phone 1 inch away from your ear when speaking on it
Mom’s do not keep your cell phones in the pram next to your baby or anywhere near your young children for that matter
children under 10 years should not be using cell phones (Researchers at the University of Utah established that the radiation dose is much higher inside the brains of children under 10 than in adults – now who wouldn’t have guessed that?
men do not keep your cell phones in your pockets
pregnant women should try not to use cell phones, period
to reduce exposure use hands-free devices or text
I have a nasty feeling we’re only going to know in 10 years time what cell phones are really doing to us. One scientist declared that “with the rollout of wireless technology we are part of the biggest biological experiment ever done on mankind”. Please don’t be the guinea pig that didn’t make it.
And it’s not only cell phones we need to be wary of: Laptops should not be used on your lap and baby monitors should not be placed anywhere near a baby, never mind what their names may imply. Apparently baby monitors emit higher levels of EMFs than cell phones!
Chantix – definitely not worth the risk
During my promotion of Vice-BreakerTM to smokers looking for a safe smoking-cessation remedy I often get asked about drugs such as Chantix, a Pfizer drug intended to curb smoking habits.
Chantix already carries a warning that it has been associated with agitation, depression and suicidal thoughts, and, in clinical trials, linked with nightmares. That's no fun. Psychiatric symptoms have occurred in people without a history of mental illness and have worsened in people who already had mental illness. Now a recent Johns Hopkins-led study suggests healthy, middle-aged smokers who take Chantix have a 72 percent increased risk of cardiovascular disease compared to those taking a placebo. Do you really want to take a drug that increases the risk for the very problems you're trying to avoid?
The good news is that Vice-BreakerTM is making huge inroads into our smoking population, mainly by word of mouth. I receive testimonials on a weekly basis from ex-smokers who cannot believe how easy it was to quit with the help of these magic herbal capsules. Increased demand has enabled me to import larger volumes and the exchange rate has also worked in my favour lately, so for now I am able to continue retailing at the discounted price of R997 certainly while present stocks last and hopefully for good. Please continue to advise all smokers to check out www.quitsmokingnaturally.co.za.
Winter wouldn’t be Winter without a special on Omega-3 supplements.
I did it last Winter so why not now? Grab your favourite Omega-3 supplement at these discounted prices:
See Yourself Well Omega-3 90 capsules – Normal price: R285. Buy 2 for R520 or 6 for R1380.
See Yourself Well Omega-3 150 capsules – Normal Price: R415. Buy 2 for R760 or 6 for R2120
Life Support Omega-3 150 capsules – Normal price: R330. Buy 2 for R560 or 6 for R1530
SYW DHA Essentials 120 capsules – Normal Price: R255. Buy 2 for R400!!!
To order simply email me telling me what you would like and I'll follow up with an invoice and my bank details.
Gosh I may not have had my say last month but I’ve certainly made up for it this month! I do hope that amongst all of this you have found something of interest to you. Till next month stay warm and fuzzy.