March is here and yet the temperatures don't appear to be dropping as they ought to. Usually by this time I'm enjoying sowing veggie seeds for Autumn harvesting but this year I'm still reluctant to venture outside! This is not good because it seems food shortages are definitely on the cards for all of us thanks to the devastating drought and we should all be making every effort to grow our own right now! My heart goes out to those farmers who have been hit so hard by this drought, and we feel very fortunate in our part of the Eastern Cape where we have been blessed. Thankfully the drought has broken in many parts of the country, however it doesn't rain food, so let's get planting!
On the brighter side we have some exciting family news in that our third grandchild is on the way! Nicola, our middle son's wife, is due in May so we're all looking so forward to the arrival of a new little, so far unnamed "Brown girl in the ring". The family is growing fast especially on the girl side, as the genders are equalling out. From yours truly being the only female in our immediate family when our 3 sons were growing up, we're soon to be 5 girls, tying with the boys!
Omega-3 special ends 31 March
Let me start this newsletter by reminding you about the special on the See Yourself Well Omega-3 1000 150 softgels. The current price is R395 but from 1 April we go back to R455. Many of you responded immediately my last newsletter went out but I suspect there will be some who thought they still have plenty of time and put it on the back burner. I would not like you to miss out.
Just to recap so you know what you're missing:
Each softgel contains 300mg EPA and 200mg DHA
Triglyceride form and IFOS 5 star rated of course. Read more here.
Delivery not included. Postage R45, door-to-door courier R80.
Expiry Date on this stock: Feb 2018
But should we be taking fish oil?
Perhaps you have come across some articles in the media lately asking this very question. I take it as a predictable response from those who are not invested in fish oil and have their own agenda. There have been more peer reviewed studies on fish oil benefits published than any other nutrient in the world and the results I have seen in my patients and my own family are enough evidence for me. I still say "If you can only afford one supplement then fish oil has to be it!". For example, how much coldwater fish such as sardines, mackerel and tuna do our South African kiddies get to eat? Very little, and that is why omega-3 fish oil is the most important supplement for children too. It has been shown to:
improve cognitive function in school-aged children
prevent childhood asthma
lower risk of influenza
reduce airborne allergies
It's great for athletes too as it's been shown to reduce delayed onset of muscle soreness and allow for faster recovery from exercise, as was recently confirmed by one of my fish oil fans, who is a ranked competitor in multiday MTB stage racing. Fish oil is a known ant-inflammatory, shown to reduce muscle damage and athletes are less likely to get sick after a hefty workout. And it will never be a banned substance...surely?
I'm not going to bore you with the science now but there are numerous studies to confirm all of the above claims. So next time you see fish oil getting the rap in a newspaper or magazine, all you need to do is check the source.
Coconut Oil and Abdominal Fat
A 2009 study published in the Journal Lipids consisted of testing the effects of either 2 tablespoons of coconut oil or 2 tablespoons of soybean on a group of 40 women over the span of 28 days.
Results showed that the group that ate the coconut oil had a decrease in abdominal fat, while the soybean oil group actually showed a slight increase in belly fat. Additionally, the group that ate the coconut oil showed increased HDL ‘good’ cholesterol levels, while the soybean oil group had decreased HDL cholesterol and increased LDL ‘ bad’ cholesterol.
The Journal of Nutrition published a study where researchers investigated all studies relative to medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) that are abundant in coconut fat and weight management.
The studies showed that diets rich in fats such as those found in coconut oil prompted a boost in metabolism, increase in energy, decrease in food consumption, reduced body weight and lower body fat mass. We should all be cooking with coconut oil as well as taking extra virgin coconut oil medicinally daily. For the latter I recommend the Absolute Organix coconut oil which comes in a glass bottle.
PSA and inflammation
I recently saw first hand how inflammation can affect PSA readings. Gentlemen please be aware of this. If you should have any manner of inflammation or infection in your body, this is not the time to be having blood drawn for a PSA test. The gent in question went to see his GP for a prescription for antibiotics as he had a wound which would not heal. Because of his age, 64, and because he had not had a PSA in the past 10 years his GP persuaded him to take the test. The results came back at 15.7 and he was informed that this was so serious that an appointment with a urologist had already been made for him to have a biopsy 2 weeks hence. Obviously this news sent this gent into a complete spin but fortunately he was open to giving me time to try to bring his PSA down first and so he postponed the biopsy appointment.
After just one month on Vibrant Health's A Man's Zinc (what every man needs for prostate health and repair) and Maximised Curcuminoids (for the inflammation) his PSA was down to 2.1 and after another month on these supplements it was in the very safe range of 1.2. If he had gone ahead and followed the normal procedures of conventional medicine he would likely by now have had surgery, and one wonders what the consequences may have been.
It is a known fact that chronic inflammation can lay the foundation for cells becoming cancerous. In addition chronic inflammation is associated with immune suppression.
The PSA test is probably the most unreliable test for cancer and we need to remember that a high PSA does not mean you have no choice but to have your prostate removed. On the other hand, a low PSA reading also does not guarantee you don't have cancer - yes, that's how uninformative this test actually is. (The man who invented the PSA test, Thomas Stamey MD, declared in 2004: “Our study raises a very serious question of whether a man should ever use a PSA test for prostate cancer screening anymore.” [Stamey TM et al The prostate specific antigen era in the United States is over for prostate cancer: what happened in the last 20 years? J Urol 2004:172(4 Pt1):1297-1301).
It is also commonly recognised now that all men over the age of 50 have some prostatic cancer cells however the immune system has enormous capacity to remove these cancer cells as they form. However, in view of the high incidence of prostatic cancer, all men over the age of 50 should be taking preventive measures. The relative increase in estrogen and decline in free testosterone as men age could be a culprit. Diet also plays a huge role in that processed foods, refined vegetable oils, flours and sugar and dairy can tip the balance towards inflammation. Low vitamin D levels are a factor as this places enormous stress on the body as a whole when optimum nutrition is needed to remove cancer cells as they form. So check Vitamin D levels and try to maintain this level above 70, not the 30 recommended by path labs. 1,25(OH) vit D has anti-tumour effects for prostatic cancer.
Men who are overweight may be at higher risk, perhaps partly due to the fact that fat cells convert precursors of estrogen into estrogen, which is a growth promoter.
If any inflammatory disease is present this needs to be cleared. These include diseases such as diabetes, chronic gingivitis, prostatis etc. Inflammation is an important trigger for converting normal cells to precancerous cells to malignant cells. Recommended anti-inflammatories, selenium, turmeric (curcumin), saw palmetto, omega-3 fish oil, boswellia (frankincense). Lycopene is a phytonutrient found in tomatoes, watermelon, gauvas and pink grapfruit and regular consumption is associated with reduced risk of prostate cancer. But more about this next time.
Now a new and more potent turmeric supplement
I mentioned the use of Maximised Curcuminoids for the gent in the case study above however Vibrant Health have since replaced that excellent supplement with an even more potent curcuminoid extract which has shown to have a 46 times better absorption rate than the 95% curcuminoid extract in Maximised Curcuminoids and the best news is, it is also more affordable. Enter Turmeric 46X, a 125mg capsule and for those who need more, as in chronic candida cases, there is Maximised Turmeric 46x, a 400mg turmeric extract capsule.
What I'm really enjoying is the capsule form of these new supplements as I did find those huge Maximised Curcuminoid tablets difficult to swallow.
Now some help for the ladies
Many of you will know all about those "years from hell" called the menopause and if you're not old enough you're probably very aware of that other female affliction called PMS. The good news is that no one needs to suffer. Both these are in most cases due to estrogen dominance or a shortage of progesterone. In other words an imbalance that needs to be corrected and can easily be achieved. Other health problems associated with estrogen dominance are breast tenderness, fibrocystic breast disease, depression, fatigue, rapid aging, headaches. infertility, irritability, memory loss, osteoporosis, miscarriage, reduced sex drive, water retention, breast and endometrial cancer, thyroid problems.
I'm not at all in favour of synthetic hormone replacement therapy, however supplementing natural progesterone is another story and the simple use of natural progesterone cream (See High Care Body Cream on the product list) has given many a woman much needed relief (and saved many a husband's life...haha). Progesterone plays a pivitol role in the synchrony of other steroid hormones making it critical for hormone balance. It also helps:
the body use fat for energy
lift mood by acting as a natural anti-depressant
with proper thyroid function thus assisting weight control
prevent inappropriate blood clotting
keep the correct zinc /copper balance in the body
protect against fibrocystic breast disease and breast cancer
protect against endometrial cancer
alleviate menopausal symptoms such as vaginal dryness and hot flushes
Synthetic progesterone, or progestogens, are not capable of matching the function of natural progesterone and because they are stronger and more potent they actually block the ability of the natural hormone to perform its function.
Just a warning though: natural progesterone needs to be used under guidance and our BioconceptsHigh Care Body Cream comes with the necessary instructions so if you should purchase from anyone else please make sure you are told how to use it. Dosage and instructions depend on your symptoms.
Epsom Salts- inexpensive and very helpful
This has to be a miracle in a box. Have you ever enjoyed an Epsom Salts bath? Its my favourite remedy for sore muscles, limbs and backache after a day slogging in the garden. Run a fairly deep, hot bath, add one and half cups (250g which is half a box) Epsom Salts and soak your tired sore bod for 30 minutes. The water needs to be hot so you will probably have to top up during the 30 mins. Do this just before bedtime, climb in between the sheets and fall into a blissful deep sleep. Great for kiddies too but only half a cup is needed.
(Do not use soap in your Epsom Salts bath, so you may like to have a quick shower first).
Since Epsom salts are actually magnesium sulphate and magnesium is readily absorbed through the skin into the blood stream, this is a great way of getting magnesium into your body where you will derive all the benefits of magnesium supplementation such as relief of leg cramps, migraines, headaches, improved heart health and circulation. Try it if you're stressed and suffering from insomnia as it is hugely relaxing. It's a great treatment if you have overdone it in the sun and it also makes for a very effective detox.
How does it detox? The skin is a highly porous membrane that both takes in minerals and eliminates toxins every day. Through a process called reverse osmosis salt and harmful toxins are pulled out of the body and the magnesium and sulfates are allowed to enter into the body.
Magnesium helps to improve muscle and nerve function, reduces inflammation and improves blood flow and oxygenation throughout the body. Sulfates are necessary building blocks for healthy joints, skin and nervous tissue. The use of regular Epsom salt baths can improve the symptoms of many health conditions including athlete's foot, gout, toenail fungus, sprains, bruises and even chronic pain. So keep one or two boxes of Epsom Salts on hand at all times and at less than R20 a box this is not a big ask.
For preggy ladies, Epsom Salt baths are marvellous for relieving your aches and pains and get magnesium into you however please do not make the water too hot.
Contraindications to Epsom salt baths would be if you are dehydrated or have open wounds or burns on your skin. Individuals who are suffering with cardiovascular disease should always consult with a natural health physician who is familiar with the health benefits of Epsom salt baths before starting. The magnesium sulphate is not likely to be a problem however a very hot baths for those with cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure may not be a good idea.
Now it really is time for me to sign off. If you're still reading then thank you for staying with me when I always have too much to say! Latest product list attached and thankfully no further price increases this month. It really is interesting, but also tragic, to see how our politics affects prices of supplements and everything else.
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.