The response from readers to my first newsletter of 2015 was truly amazing and I really appreciate it. Seems the topics were of special interest to many of you and moms were especially thrilled to now have a recommended kiddies' range of supplements available. Anyway I hope the topics I touch on this month will also serve to answer some of your burning questions but if they don’t then all you need to do is email me and ask.
Shop online at the Orchards Nutrition online shop!
I haven't been loafing since you last heard from me. I've been very busy setting up and testing an online shop which I'm really excited about. At this stage you may purchase any of the products that I import from Nutratec Life Sciences in Canada, in other words, all the omega-3 products, CoQ10, Krill + CLA and of course Vice-Breaker, online. In time I'll be adding the supplements that I don't personally import so if you don't find your favourite ones there you will need to order in the usual way by email n the meantime. Click here for the online shop. You will also find plenty of links to this shop on www.orchardsnutrition.co.za and www.quitsmokingnaturally.co.za.
This is a very real problem and although more research needs to be done to prove that aluminium may contribute towards breast cancer and Alzheimer’s, it is well established that aluminium can be absorbed through the skin, it is also regularly detected in normal and breast cancer tissue and there is sufficient evidence that aluminium can collect in brain tissue and cause Alzheimer-like symptoms. Aluminium is implicated in autism, infertility and generalized permanent damage to the central nervous system. What more reason do we need to just play it safe and avoid these deodorants altogether?
If you are repeatedly applying these deodorants to a cleanly shaved armpit daily you could be putting yourself at significant risk. There is a case study of a woman who, after using an aluminium-containing anti-perspirant for 4 years, had toxic blood levels of aluminium. This was resolved 8 months after discontinuing use of the anti-perspirant and her severe bone pain and fatigue also ceased.
Many concerned users have changed to the “natural crystal deodorants” but I have my reservations about these. The ones I have seen contain "alum" which is potassium aluminium sulphate, so there you have it, aluminium still lurking in your "aluminium-free" antiperspirant, disguised as alum in the ingredient list. Manufacturers of all these so-called natural anti-perspirants have various reasons why their alum is safe but I’m not sure we can believe them.
There are plenty of natural alternatives, recipes for which abound on the world wide web. If you are up to it you could make a mix of 4T coconut oil, 1T bicarb (baking soda) and 1T cornflower and pour it into your empty roll-on deodorant container. However one that interests me more is simply magnesium oil. Here you get the anti-bacterial effect as well as all the benefits of magnesium supplementation - especially since South Africans are apparently deficient in magnesium due to farming practices depleting it in our soils. Look for magnesium oils containing Zechstein magnesium chloride as not all magnesium oils are created equal. I also use silver solution in a spray bottle as nothing gets past silver and I carry a tube of silver gel in my bag. Note: If you have a really serious body odour problem this a sign of high toxicity which no amount of deodorant is going to disguise. You need a different approach involving detoxification.
Drugs that deplete B vitamins
If you’re eating a diet rich in natural unprocessed foods you’re probably getting enough Vitamin B. However if you’re also doing any of the following you are being mugged of your inherent B Vitamins:
Eating lots of processed foods. Processing of grains robs this food of 90% of its B content.
Drinking coffee and/or alcohol – huge B muggers
Taking any of these drug muggers – most drugs will rob you of Bs especially the following: Aspirin, antibiotics, antacid and stomach acid suppressors, metformin (Glucophage), blood pressure-lowering drugs, any contraceptive, oral or skin patch containing estrogens, any hormone replacement product containing estrogens, anticonvulsant drugs, Anti-Parkinson drugs (eg. Levodopa), NSAIDS such as Ibuprofen, Celebrex, Aleve, Corticosteroids eg Prednisone
Depleted levels of vitamin B can mean raised stress levels, depression, anxiety. B vitamins also offer protection against elevated levels of homocysteine, an amino acid produced in the body, that if raised can result in mood disorders, poor mental performance, arteriosclerosis, increased stroke risk, memory loss or Alzheimer’s disease.
So if you’re consuming any of the above listed vitamin B muggers you would be wise to take supplemental B vitamins daily and insist on having your homocysteine levels checked regularly.
Homocysteine? What's that?
Homocysteine is a sulphur containing amino acid that the body makes, sometimes in excess quantities. High homocysteine levels have been linked to increased risk of coronary, cerebral and peripheral vascular disease and I would place it way above high cholesterol as a marker for these diseases.
For seniors a homocysteine level below 9umol/l is desirable however younger people ought to strive for readings below 7. Those with high levels of homocysteine usually find they have low blood concentrations of folate, Vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. As mentioned above homocysteine may also be raised in those on pharmaceutical drugs that mug B Vitamins and in smokers and alcoholics. Also men tend to have higher levels than women.
Fortunately levels are easily reduced using diet and supplements. Diets rich in fruits, whole grains, chicken, eggs, liver tend to lower homocysteine levels probably because they contain vit B6, B12 and folate however levels will respond better to supplementing these nutrients.
Next time you go for a blood test ask your doctor to add homocysteine to the list. Let me know your result and I’ll be very happy to advise. Doctors tend to prescribe straight folic acid for this which could work however as I explained in my February newsletter, some people are not able to convert folic acid to the needed folate and excesss folic acid may have consequences too.
Free-range and organic watchdog
I’m thrilled to discover we now have our own organisation in South Africa that is holding companies accountable when they make false claims on their labels to do with organic and free-range. You too can participate by nominating a product that you would like them to test. Products that get the most nominations are investigated. See their website http://topic.org.za/home. It’s a very new organisation doing good work and they need our support so do email them to nominate a product that you are curious about. Right now we’re waiting to hear whether Woolworths organic milk is truly organic milk.
Complementary Medicines Watchdog
On the supplement side we have CAMcheck (www.camcheck.co.za) where consumer activist Harris Steinman is keeping an eye out for you. I am most certainly not in favour of most of the popular sports nutrition supplements out there and regarding USN products I need say no more as this article says it all.
Although the statements made about USN products are probably spot on, Steinman has tended to play the man rather than just the ball, and due to defamatory remarks has had to move his website to an offshore hosting company or face shutdown. Read more about this here . Perhaps a case of the truth hurts? However I am just glad that CAMcheck is still available to us as most of Steinman’s complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority concerning complementary medicines have been upheld. Way to go Steinman – just tone down the personal attacks!.
BPA in cash till slips?
We all have been warned about the BPA(bisphenol a) in the lining of cans, our makeup and our Teflon non-stick pans. Furthermore we've learnt to replace plastic with glass wherever possible. But what could be more innocent than the cash receipt you receive in the supermarket when you purchase your groceries? Think again, and next time ask the cashier to pop it straight into the bag for you. This goes for any receipt coming out of thermal cash registers or ATMs if on the kind of paper that turns black when scratched. These have been coated with BPA as a developer. Try not to touch them ESPECIALLY if you have just used hand sanitiser.
Hand sanitisers contain chemicals to help the cleaning agent penetrate the skin. A study was done where after using hand sanitiser 10 volunteers then handled receipt paper for a few seconds before eating a basket of French fries. An hour and a half later their blood levels of BPA tested out to be 10 times more than they had been at the start and their BPA in urine clocked in at a value previously associated with significant increase in risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. How often do we see in a fast food scenario, the till slip popped into the packet with the sandwiches or hamburger or someone coming away from the counter holding the receipt between his lips because his hands are full. We need to rethink the way we handle these materials and remember to wash our hands after handling them and before touching food. Think also of cashiers or fast food workers who touch hundreds of receipts a day and may well use hand sanitisers a few times a day too. Note that this does not apply to all receipts, only those printed using a thermal process and no ink.
Believe it or not - Chocolate is a health food
However we are talking here about dark chocolate with a minimum of 70% cacao (cocoa) content because the benefits come from the flavonols in the cocoa. This kind of dark chocolate with minimal sugar:
Actually increases bifidus bacteria in the gut
Improves vascular function and cardiovascular health in general
Prevents heart attacks 25% more effectively than cholesterol lowering drugs.
Improves insulin sensitivity thereby staving off pre-diabetes or diabetes
Remember that not all chocolate is created equal. The dark chocolate has less sugar and fats than milk chocolate and the latter will do little apart from settle on your hips and thighs. Also if your dark chocolate says “processed with alkali” this means they have used the Dutching method which means a lot less flavonols.
I know you are all going to be thrilled to hear this news and why I know this is because studies have shown that 11 out of 10 people love chocolate.....hehe.
Statins and memory loss
FDA has been investigating reports of cognitive impairment from statin use for several years. The agency has reviewed databases that record reports of bad reactions to drugs and statin clinical trials that included assessments of cognitive function.
The reports about memory loss, forgetfulness and confusion span all statin products and all age groups. Those affected often report feeling “fuzzy” or unfocused in their thinking. In general, the symptoms were not serious and were reversible within a few weeks after the patient stopped using the statin. (We certainly hope so). Some people affected in this way had been taking the medicine for a day; others had been taking it for years.
Finally the truth is out!
The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Committee, a group of health and nutrition experts who advise the USDA and US Department of Health recently proclaimed: “Available evidence shows no appreciable relationship between consumption of dietary cholesterol and serum cholesterol... Cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.”
So have we won the war? Nowhere near, but battle by battle we can.
1. VICE-BREAKER - the natural anti-smoking remedy
Until end April smokers can get 5% off when purchasing 2 bottles of Vice-Breaker. This is a wonderful opportunity for spouses to quit smoking together.
Please tell all the smokers you know and don't forget to tell them they will find this special in the new online shop.
2. See Yourself Well Omega-3 softgels (300mg EPA:200mg DHA)
I only have 18 of these left so it's first come first served. If you remember from last month this special is due to this stock expiring end June 2015 as I need to move it out to make way for my new shipment arriving mid April. If you're quick you can still purchase:
One bottle for R350
Two bottles for R650
This special is not available in the online shop.
Read more about this product here. Remember the label you see on the website is the new one as is the price of R425 which will pertain to the new stock.
Don't forget we are now shipping orders exceeding R2000 free of charge!
Are you getting what you paid for?
On the subject of fish oils, I have attached a very interesting spreadsheet showing the discoveries of researchers at Cape Peninsula University regarding claimed and actual amounts of EPA and DHA in the softgels of locally available fish oil supplements. It's quite an eye-opener. This is why I only recommend fish oil that has been third party tested and preferably by International Fish Oil Standards at the University of Guelph. For every batch I import I can supply the certificate of analysis and I can guarantee that each one will show an omega-3 content greater than claimed on the label.
Why it’s so important to JUST LAUGH
You’re at a restaurant on a special dinner date and the slightly tipsy waiter manages to spill half the red wine into your lap. You know what you should do? Just laugh. Why? Because it’s far better for your long term health and getting upset would just have a negative impact on your health. We are all walking around with above average stress levels as we face multiple demands each day and sometimes it can feel that your body is under permanent assault. Your body’s natural response to stress is for your adrenals to release a surge of cortisol, your primary stress hormone. Once the perceived threat has passed, your cortisol levels return to normal. But sadly, due to the nature of our lifestyles today, stressors are forever present and this fight or flight reaction stays turned on. What few of us re4alise is that raised cortisol means raised cholesterol, raised blood pressure, raised blood sugar levels, increased weight around the middle, a thyroid that doesn’t work as it should, an immune system that is compromised and an impaired memory! Do you see why I say “Just laugh no matter what”. You can do it.
All for now and till we chat again:
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.