Zinc, the multitasking mineral

07 Jan 2016 no comments HAB Extract

Do you suffer from eczema, acne, or dandruff? Most probably you do not have a dandruff shampoo deficiency, but you may be low in zinc. Zinc deficiency is very common mainly because it is lacking in the soil, which makes it deficient in the foods we eat. When it comes to trace elements, zinc is one of the most multifunctional minerals there is.  According to Pharmacist Ben Fuchs, zinc is used in over 200 different chemical processes in the body, and while we will not go into detail about all of them, we will explain the most important ones.

Dr. Bernard Jensen in his book “Come alive!” called zinc the ‘growth element’ because of how essential it is for adequate growth. According to him, deficiency may cause birth defects, retarded growth, delayed sexual maturity and a slowdown of tissue repair and healing. In older people, he said, lack of zinc may cause loss of taste and smell, leading to a lowered interest in eating, which in turn can lead to multiple vitamin, mineral and other deficiencies. He emphasized how studies have shown, “beyond the shadow of a doubt, that zinc deficiency retards growth at any period of life from birth to adulthood”. In the first six months of life, he said, “babies who lack zinc average a pound less in weight and an inch less in height than babies with adequate zinc intake”.

According to Dr. Joel Dr. Wallach in his book “Epigenetics” congenital birth defects associated to zinc deficiency are Down’s syndrome, cleft palate, brain defects like cerebral palsy, spina bifida, clubbed limbs, heart defects, lung defects, etc. Zinc deficiency diseases and symptoms are pica, loss of sense of smell or taste, infertility, miscarriage, failure of wounds to heal, immune system status failure, poor growth, high rate of infant mortality, anemia, alopecia, gluten intolerance, depression, paranoia, dermatitis, benign prostate hypertrophy, etc. He explains heavy losses of zinc occur in sweat so athletes and individuals performing heavy labor are particularly prone to zinc deficiency. The liver, pancreas, kidneys, bone and skeletal muscle have the greatest needs and reserves of zinc, lesser amounts are found in the eyes, prostate gland, semen, skin, hair, finger and toe nails. About 20% of the body’s zinc is found in the skin, prostrate and bones. The retina of the eye and all the white blood cells contain zinc, and, over 70 enzymes in the body require zinc to do their work.

Dr. Bernard Jensen listed the benefits of zinc as follows:

  1. Possibly the most important role of zinc in the body he said is its requirement in the synthesis of nucleic acids, the basic substance of life.
  2. Next in importance is its role in processing protein, carbohydrates and fats. The combination of these two roles together with mobilizing food for use in the body makes zinc a key element in the growth of children and in the healing of tissue.
  3. The pancreas uses a good deal of zinc to secrete insulin. “Diabetics, he said, have about half of the amount of zinc in their pancreas as non-diabetics. Zinc may be a necessary part of the storage form of insulin, which is important in getting blood sugar into the cells”. Since zinc is part of the insulin molecule, the more sugar we eat the more insulin our body has to make, which also means the body will use up more zinc. Diabetics and anybody with sugar problems like prediabetes, disglycemia, hypoglycemia, should supplement with zinc.
  4. Zinc helps maintain vitamin A in the bloodstream.
  5. Zinc is protective against all cancers. Zinc is a major player in genetics, genes have what is called ‘zinc fingers’ which are little extensions that contain zinc and they are involved in how cells divide and reproduce. Zinc is very important for the prostate and is protective against prostate cancer (BPH, benign prostatic hypertrophy). Since zinc is involved in growth it can be very important for degenerative diseases like prostate cancer which has to do with a growth deficiency according to Ben Fuchs. Also, the prostate, being a fatty organ, depends heavily on healthy fats for health: EFAs, Vitamin E, vitamin D, Zinc and selenium. This implies the unhealthy fats like trans fats, hydrogenated oils, fried foods damage this organ greatly.
  6. Zinc is found in the white blood cells of the immune system. According to an article published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition zinc is a potent stimulator of all immune functions and has cold fighting abilities.
  7. Zinc may play a part in the destruction of bacteria. Zinc is a powerful antimicrobial mineral, so it is very important in boosting the body’s immune system.
  8. Zinc is needed for bone mineralization. Zinc is as important as calcium to build strong bones. This makes it beneficial for osteoporosis.
  9. Both skin ulcers and stomach ulcers have healed faster in patients taking zinc. It can also be beneficial for leaky gut syndrome.
  10. Zinc is very important for skin health. All skin conditions can improve when supplementing with zinc: acne, eczema, etc. Zinc is partly stored in the skin, so when we have a wound or a burn, zinc is mobilized to the area to build collagen and heal the skin. It is also used to heal acne, it is a fact, explains Ben Fuchs that people with acne are deficient in zinc. It is also anti-itching, calamine lotions are made with a form of zinc called zinc silicate. Zinc oxide is known for being very efficient in treating skin rashes. It is also used for sunburns, it will not only heal sunburn but will protect the skin from it if applied before exposing ourselves to the sun.
  11. Zinc is an essential part of important enzymes which detoxify alcohol, split phosphate molecules, break proteins down into amino acids and destroy free radicals. In this sense, zinc protects the liver against liver poisoning like fatty liver disease.

Dr. Bernard Jensen explained that zinc works together with copper, which is also essential for growth and to build red blood cells. He considered these two to be the most important trace elements needed by man. Zinc and copper, he said, work together in several body substances to protect and enhance health. Shortages of both trace elements can cause hypothyroidism.

In the blood, copper is equally found inside red blood cells and outside of them in the plasma. Copper is necessary for the formation of red blood cells, for the absorption of iron from the bowel and for bringing iron out of storage in the liver or muscle tissue. Copper is found in about a dozen enzymes in the body, zinc is found in 70 enzymes.

An important aspect when it comes to the zinc-copper ratio is that, unless these two are balanced, too much zinc will cause the body to excrete copper and vice versa. Blood cholesterol levels increase when blood copper levels are lowered due to too much zinc intake, so a proper balance between zinc and copper is important in normalizing cholesterol levels. What is more, signs of zinc deficiency can be duplicated by taking too much zinc (100mg a day or more). The ideal dose of zinc is 50 mg a day according to pharmacist Ben Fuchs, in the picolinate form. Other versions of zinc like zinc sulfate or gluconate can cause digestive distress and are not absorbed by the body as efficiently. Zinc monomethianine is a deluxe form of zinc that is highly absorbed by the body as well.

You can tell if you’re deficient in zinc by doing the “Zinc Taste Test”. A solution of zinc sulfate and water (available online) can be placed on the tongue, if you are not instantly repelled by a strong metallic taste chances are pretty good that you’re suffering from a zinc deficiency.

Zinc and the soil

Zinc, as well as selenium and sulfur, are water soluble which makes them very easily leached out of the soil. The soil is a living organism that can convert minerals and matter from the soil into nutrients our body can assimilate. However, the soil has been depleted of minerals for decades. The heavy use of pesticides and other farming techniques has corrupted the soil and turned it into dead soil. This makes supplementation necessary.

Zinc absorption

It is important to note that it is a little hard to obtain zinc from foods specially plants so it is best taken with digestive enzymes, the stomach has to be making enough acid so if you are deficient in stomach acid you can take apple cider vinegar after all your meals to be able to absorb zinc.

Zinc and PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)

PCOS is a condition in which the ovaries make a lot of estrogen and this results in cysts in the ovaries growing out of control. Estrogen can cause an excretion of zinc in the body. If you have digestive problems then the problem is compounded because your body is not being able to break down excess estrogen (please read the blog titled “Heart Disease in Women”). Women on the birth control pill or hormone replacement therapy are taking huge amounts of estrogen that needs to be broken down and disposed of.  For all these cases, zinc can help greatly. Someone with PCOS also makes a lot of testosterone. According to Ben Fuchs, PCOS is primarily a blood sugar problem combined with problems processing hormones (estrogen and testosterone). Signs of excess estrogen are: bloating and problematic periods, cysts and fibroids, sluggishness, headaches, problems sleeping, zinc deficiency and excess testosterone. Signs of excess testosterone are excess body hair, thinning hair on the head, acne, oily skin and weight gain. The best way to address this condition is to address blood sugar by reducing sugar in the diet and taking zinc (please read the blog titled “Understanding blood sugar control”). PCOS is induced by zinc deficiency but it also causes zinc to be lost in the body. Zinc can help stabilize testosterone in women, it can also help stabilize testosterone in men by helping the body metabolize DHT, its breakdown product.

Growth and repair, blood sugar metabolism, anticancer, immune boosting, skin health, bone health and when in doubt, think zinc!

Understanding Blood Sugar Control (pt. 2)

02 Dec 2015 no comments HAB Extract

Poor sugar control does not only cause heart disease and stroke but also brain problems and depression, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, hypoglycemia and metabolic syndrome. All of these conditions are becoming health issues of epidemic proportions. What can we learn about sugar as a trigger in each of these conditions? Please read on to find out.

Your brain 101

Weighing only 3 pounds, our brain comprises 2% of our body weight, and uses 30% of the calories we ingest. It needs glucose to function, but not from highly processed sources like table sugar, pasta, bread, cakes, etc. which are released quickly into the blood stream. It needs a steady source of complex carbohydrates that are released slowly such as glucose from vegetables, but also healthy fats, protein, nuts, and at least 30 grams of fiber each day. Fast carbohydrates cause a stress reaction in the body, says Dr. Khalsa, author of the book “Brain Longevity”. Sugar is a stress for the body in individuals without problems metabolizing sugar in the body, even more for diabetics whose body cannot clear the sugar from the blood stream so the sugar stays longer after a meal than it should. He observed how these people performed worse in memory tasks than those with normal blood sugar control, had a smaller hippocampus, causing poor memory. Nowadays, kids with diabetes are also experiencing cognitive difficulties.

Experts believe we overeat sugar to experience a rush of dopamine. Dopamine is released in the brain when we experience pleasure. Eating sugar is like the brain’s way to get a reward, so eating becomes a source of pleasure. People who feel compelled to eat more are actually trying to compensate for the low dopamine state by stimulating it with food. This is the same for drug addicts. Sugar, drugs and alcohol all activate similar reward-related parts of the brain, the opioid system, and trigger the release of opioids such as beta-endorphins and dopamine.

New research is finding how insulin resistance might be linked to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia by causing some of the early biochemical changes found in Alzheimer’s disease. What is more, ingesting sugary foods not only is believed to increase free radicals but lower levels of vitamin E (a free radical scavenger) thus causing inflammation of the arteries that could increase one’s risk for stroke and Alzheimer’s. Free radicals can cause inflammation of the blood vessels and ultimately block flow to the brain, contributing to serious health problems including stroke, heart disease and cancer. Dr. Dandona explains free radicals accelerate hardening of the arteries everywhere in the body, including the brain. Inflammation damages the lining of blood vessels which can inhibit a healthy flow of blood to the brain, robbing oxygen, which can increase chances of Alzheimer’s, heart disease and stroke.

Julia Ross, M.A., in her book “The Mood Cure”, explains that because people are not eating as healthy, they are suffering from nutritional deprivation and depression is skyrocketing. Adult rates of depression have tripled and over 80% of those who consult a doctor complain of excessive stress, she explains. Scientists point to the fact that people self-medicate with sugar when they are under stress, anxious, depressed, tired or moody.

Addicted to sugar

The authors of “Sugar Shock” describe how sugar can be as addictive as heroin. Experiments performed with mice show how feeding them sugar caused some neurochemical changes in their part of brain where acetylcholine (neurotransmitter associated with aversion) was increased and the release of the brain chemical dopamine (neurotransmitter involved with motivation and reward) decreased. Further observation revealed that the more sucrose they ate, the more food they craved (about 33% more). When the sugar was taken away from them they became irritable, aggressive even toward the lab technicians. They also showed more addictive behaviors, like drinking more sucrose in stressful situations, their sleep cycle was disrupted, etc.

Sugar can depress you

Compelling research shows that sweets can cause feelings of despair, desolation, and hopelessness and this is only the beginning of a downward spiral because these feelings only make subjects turn to sweets again and again to quench these feelings of depression and unhappiness.

Scientists have been questioning whether people actually self-medicate when they are depressed. To learn whether this was the case or not, Larry Christensen, Ph.D. at the psychology department of the University of South Alabama, studied 113 male and 138 females. 67% reported they craved sugary foods when feeling anxious, depressed, tired or moody. After eating the sugary stuff 7% reported feeling happy, relaxed or energetic. As their cravings increased so did their emotional stress, the higher the craving the more distress they reported. After eating the sugar they felt better but not for long. Those that craved something sweet reported stronger cravings than those that craved protein. Welsh psychology professor Paul Willner, Ph. D. in one study he conducted he observed that depression increased the intensity of the cravings.

Judith Wurtman, Ph. D., developed a serotonin theory when she observed that people seek carbohydrates when their depressed brains need the amino acid tryptophan which is serotonin building block and which has been diminishing from our food supply over the last century. Like we mentioned before, sugary foods will keep tryptophan from reaching our brain.

Psychologist David Benton believes that stress or low mood induce eating sugary foods. Apart from serotonin, another group of neurotransmitters called opioids which the body produces when eating, can also influence our moods, enhancing feelings of euphoria, self-esteem and confidence. They are chemically similar to morphine and act like opiates (drugs) dulling the pain of both physical and emotional wounds. Just by tasting sugar in your tongue you can make your brain release endorphins. In experiments they administered sugar directly into the digestive tract, bypassing the tongue, and there was no release of endorphins. Stress can induce eating to achieve this endorphin release; What happens when we are under stress is neurotransmitters and blood sugar rise in tandem, creating a temporary euphoria but then drop us into depression, especially sugar sensitive people. These feelings might send you after the sweet high to drop you again and again. People who don’t manage their blood sugar properly are more likely to be depressed.

In his book ‘Diet, Crime and Delinquency’ Dr. Schauss conducted studies on sugar dependency and criminal behavior and to his astonishment there was a dramatic decline in this behavior when sugar and junk foods were removed. He found significant declines in anti-social behaviors. Changing their diets from white breads, pasta, candy, chemical additives to fresh vegetables, water, healthy fats, lean meats and fish got astounding results, with 80% of them becoming productive members of society. Moreover, research by the American Journal of Psychiatry showed that children with certain nutritional deficiencies were more aggressive as they grew older. They were not getting crucial minerals like zinc, iron, B vitamins and protein needed to develop a healthy nervous system and mental and emotional health and stability.

Sugar will deplete your body of important nutrients

Nancy Appleton Ph.D., asserts sugar will rob your body of important minerals like chromium, copper, and other minerals and interfere with the absorption of calcium, magnesium and protein. According to Dr. Rockwell, not enough chromium in the body will keep your body from getting enough sugar into the cells and diverting it into fat cells. This translates into wanting more food even if you are full: you will eat more sugar, your insulin will spike, then it will get low and you will feel terrible again. Supplementing with chromium picolinate can have a dramatic effect in normalizing appetite.

Also, if you are eating a lot of carbohydrates you are most probably not getting enough omega 3 fatty acids, so important for the heart, which also have anti-depressant effects in the body.

Hypoglycemia

‘Hypo’ meaning ‘low’ and ‘glycemia’ meaning ‘blood sugar’, it means your blood sugar gets too low for you to carry on normal daily activities. It will cause you to become confused, irritable, spacey, lightheaded and more. Remember that insulin is the hormone that removes sugar from the blood stream, this sugar deprivation triggers an outpouring of counter-regulatory hormones mostly from the adrenals, says Ronald Hoffman M.D. These hormones oppose the action of insulin and push blood sugar back up. Unfortunately, these same hormones initiate the fight or flight or stress response causing heart palpitations, sweaty palms, nervousness, tremor and sometimes panic attack Dr. Hoffman explains. As serious as it can be this condition has mostly been mis-diagnosed or not even considered a disease. Many times it has been wrongly treated as hysteria, brain tumor, coronary thrombosis, epilepsy, gallbladder disease, asthma, allergies, etc.

Hypoglycemia is characterized by an extreme stress reaction in the body that include: sweating, shakiness, trembling, anxiety, fast heart action, headache, hunger sensations, brief feelings of weakness, fatigue, crying spells, heart palpitations, depression, cold hand and feet, and sometimes, seizures and coma all caused by a sudden drop in blood sugar after eating sweets.  This condition is not measurable because even when the blood sugar is low, it will show normal in a test. This drop of blood sugar is so deadly that in order to avoid seizures and death the body always responds with an emergency stress hormone release. Many things can trigger hypoglycemia: skipping meals, eating too much sugar, over-exercising, and too much stress.  The most tragic of situations is when hypoglycemia sufferers are dismissed as hypochondriacs or mentally unstable.

Low blood is not caused by a lack of sugar in the diet says Dr.Harvey Ross, but by failure of the body’s sugar-regulating mechanism, which results in a lowered sugar level in the blood after the person has eaten sugar. The worst thing someone with low blood sugar can do is to eat more sugar. This condition won’t go away until you completely lay off the sugar. The organ affected by too much sugar consumption is the pancreas. It is the most susceptible to damage by excess sweeteners. Dr. Nancy Appleton Ph. D. says.

There are over 70 different symptoms related to hypoglycemia that are a manifestation of an excessive stress response none of which are recognized as serious, but are misdiagnosed and neglected. Despite this, hypoglycemia is rampant according to Dr. Ronald Hoffman, “many people have it, but they don’t even know it “. He adds, hypoglycemia is triggering the obesity epidemic in this country because people are overeating after their blood sugar drops and they can’t stop”.  The authors believe that diabetes is becoming an epidemic as well as hypoglycemia.

Hypoglycemia is a prelude to diabetes, since both conditions have to do with underlying blood sugar imbalances, hypoglycemia can be seen as a prediabetic form of glucose intolerance which can develop eventually as full blown diabetes, according to James Chow MD and Cheryl Chow.

Dr. DeOrio describes how hypoglycemia could lead to type 2 diabetes: when the brain craves for glucose, you eat more simple carbs to get it up, then you get into the cycle low sugar, high sugar, low sugar, high sugar, on and on, which taxes your pancreas and leads to either insulin deficiency or to greater insulin resistance and then type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is actually chronic hypoglycemia.

Cancer feeds on sugar

If what we have learned so far was not enough stress for the body, we can add one more stress: cancer. The well- known research done on cancer free Eskimos is a proof that a sugar free diet is the best anti-cancer therapy there is, this is further evidenced by the fact that once they adopted the ‘civilized’ diet, they started dying of degenerative diseases.  Dr. Keith I. Block, M.D. points out “A major ingredient in the recipe for getting cancer is a diet high in refined sugar, high in unhealthy fats particularly omega 6 fatty acids and saturated fats” “Tumors are glucose guzzlers. If you strangulate the supply of sugar to a tumor, it may actually trigger a form of biological suicide among the malignant cells. All this applies to breast cancer in women and cancers of all types like colon cancer, endometrial cancer (uterus).

Diabetes

The most obvious condition caused by high sugar diets, diabetes, is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. alone. Around 7% of the population has diabetes and around 6.2 million have prediabetes which means they have not been diagnosed as diabetic but still have glucose levels higher than normal. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90-95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes and is the one that can be easily reversed by cutting down simple carbs and exercising. The dangers of untreated blood sugar problems are heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, kidney disease, nervous systems disorders and impaired circulation which can lead to blindness and loss of limbs.

Metabolic Syndrome

Previously known as Syndrome X and insulin resistance syndrome, metabolic syndrome can be defined as a cluster of symptoms which could significantly increase a person’s risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Many experts are now realizing that identifying this condition is an effective way to catch diseases while they are still in the developmental stage. Metabolic syndrome doesn’t show up in blood tests normally given in a routine check- up. A doctor would have to order a set of specific tests to identify its six classic symptoms, which according to the American Heart Association include:

  1. Excess abdominal fat.
  2. Insulin resistance or glucose intolerance: elevated levels of glucose. The body cannot properly use insulin or blood sugar.
  3. Hyperlipidemia: high level of fats circulating in the blood.
  4. Hypertension.
  5. Pro-thrombotic state: tendency of blood to clot.
  6. Pro-inflammatory state: the lining of the arteries is inflamed which is one of the first steps to forming plaque in your arteries.

Causes of metabolic syndrome are sugar according to Dr. Victor Zammit. He explains the process that leads to diabetes as follows: ‘Tissues are exposed to high insulin and glucose levels which causes them to be damaged. Excess insulin causes the liver to pump out even more dangerous triglycerides, which can cause insulin resistance in the muscle cells and stops them from removing glucose from the blood. As time goes by more insulin is secreted. The blood becomes flooded with fatty acids, which start destroying the pancreatic cells that produce insulin causing insulin levels to plummet. The result is type 2 diabetes. The development of insulin resistance in the various tissues lead to metabolic syndrome”

Some misconceptions

When it comes to marketing products there are so many misconceptions and misleading labels it is easy to be fooled. If you are ready to kick your sugar habit there are some things you need to know:

  1. ‘Reduced sugar’, sugar free’, ‘no added sugar’, Low fat’ and ‘fat free’ don’t mean the product has no sugar.
  2. Raw sugar, brown rice syrup, barley malt and maple syrup are not better than refined white sugar. They are all metabolized in our bodies like sucrose, raising our blood sugar levels rapidly, upsetting mineral relations and suppressing the immune system, according to Dr.  Nancy Appleton.
  3. Fruit juice concentrates are not better for you than refined sugars. All of these are metabolized in the same way as refined sugars according to dietician Grieger, they are also stripped of most vitamins, minerals and fiber she explains.
  4. Honey is not better for you than sugar. Honey is 1/3 fructose, 1/3 glucose a little of maltose and 20% water. Honey is even more concentrated than table sugar, it has 5 grams of sugar per teaspoon vs. 4 grams of sugar per teaspoon for sucrose or table sugar according to Dr. Appleton.
  5. Sucrose is only natural if you can get it directly from a cane stalk or beet still planted in the ground. However, the white commercial sugar is highly refined and chemically altered from its origins as cane stalks or sugar beets, explains experienced food and beverage formulator Russ Bianchi “To make sugar, you first have to take the stalks or beets an do physical processing or crushing, followed by filtering. Then some refiners use an industrial acid and/or chemical enzymatic treatment which means you are adding hydrochloric acid or sulfuric acid to assist in ridding the product of impurities or foreign matter.” Other processes include bleaching, boiling, some harmful agents are added like sodium nitrate, silicon dioxide, chlorine, titanium dioxide (a whitening agent that contains arsenic).
  6. ‘All natural’ is a misleading name that reflects an ample leeway in food labeling and it certainly does not mean it does not contain sugar.
  7. Fructose is not better because it comes from fruits. Fruits contain many other sugars apart from fructose (technically known as levulose), sucrose (which is half fructose), glucose, dextrose, maltose, galactose and other saccharides. While they are better than the chemically refined fructose from corn, they still are high in sugars and therefore should be avoided.
  8. Evaporated cane juice, cane syrup solids, cane nectar, beet nectar, cane juice, beet juice and naturally milled cane are all misleading terms because they imply there is no sugar in the product. They are all metabolized by the body exactly the same way that white refined sugar is. They cause the same stimulating effect on insulin as refined sugars asserts nutritionist Nan Kathryn Fuchs, Ph. D.

If you still want to have sweets, stevia or xylitol are great alternatives without the side effects.

Lastly, sweeteners can have over 100 different names. It can become very impractical to read every single food label. The best ways to kick the sugar and food habits are:

  1. Good nutrition: A diet high in healthy fats, protein and fiber with all the digestive support we have discussed in previous articles as well as plenty of fresh vegetables.
  2. Herbs can help your body manage blood sugar. The “Heart and Body Extract” is a wonderful combination of herbs that will help your body to naturally balance blood sugar levels: Ginseng can help boost endorphin release by the brain, cayenne can release feel-good chemicals and naturally reduce the pain response. Other herbs like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, licorice root, gymnena sylvestre can help too.
  3. Moderate exercise can shut down the part of the brain that signals hunger and reduce stress.
  4. Cutting down sweets will force your body to use up its glycogen stores which will help you maintain healthy blood sugar balance. When this happens you will naturally crave less sweets.
  5. Supplements like chromium and vanadium or glutamine powder. According to Ben Fuchs the amino acid glutamine can “allow brain cells to convert the amino acid into glucose and this may make it useful for beating cravings. 500-2000 mg every few hours, especially when hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) hits in the middle of the day.” Also, 5HTP (up to 300mg/day), the B vitamins (you can’t overdose on these), tryptophan (1,000 mg/day or as needed).
  6. Drinking plenty of good quality water will dilute excess blood sugar, especially when drank first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
  7. Simple dietary changes and exercise can reverse this condition by 58%. Just 10-15 pound weight loss improved health dramatically according to Mary Hoskin, R.D., M.S., without being reliant on insulin or oral agents. Also, reducing fast burning carbohydrates and replacing them with protein and good fats like coconut oil, avocados, flax seed, EFA’s, etc. get better results than administering oral insulin. You might want to know how to recognize high carbs foods: starches are 100% glucose, fruit sugar and milk sugar are only 50% glucose.

Summing up, blood sugar disorders can create havoc in our health. Both high blood sugar and low blood sugar when they become chronic can cause the same stress reaction in the body as running from a tiger that wants to eat us. Not only this, sugar and sweeteners can clog and damage our arteries, rob our body of important minerals, among other things. The good news is that we can wean ourselves from sugar with good nutrition and products like the “Heart and Body Extract”.

 Understanding Blood Sugar Control (pt. 1)

02 Dec 2015 no comments HAB Extract

Blood sugar could be said to be the most important marker of health there is. However, all along, cholesterol has received all the bad reputation for causing heart disease. Ironically, sugar and foods that turn quickly into sugar in the body are the main cause of elevated cholesterol. What is more, fructose, sucrose, high fructose corn syrup and carbohydrates are among the deadliest of poisons, they all cause a stress reaction in the body. They can be even more deadly than unhealthy fats.  In what follows we will see how sugar can create havoc in our health.  What is behind the sweet poison that nobody seems to be scared about? It seems a lot more than we have been told.

For most people the addiction starts in the early years. It looks like it is a good thing to give kids sweets just because of the fact that they are kids. What is more, everybody celebrates with food and sweets, it is the thing to do, and if you don’t partake of the sweet poison, you will be left out of many social gatherings. How many sugar-free social gatherings can you think of?

With today’s technology it has become possible to extract sugar from plants so efficiently that we are all eating much more sugar than our liver can handle. According to pharmacist Ben Fuchs, “The average American is ingesting around 60 pounds of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and 140 pounds of sucrose every year. When you do the math, we’re looking over two pounds of fructose a week, per person, per year. And that doesn’t include the amount people are getting from fruit and honey and other sources. That’s a lot of fructose for a body that is equipped to handle the sweet stuff in only the smallest of quantities”.

Fructose vs. Sucrose

Both High Fructose Corn Syrup and sucrose have been the target of a marketing war which has brought a lot of confusion. On the one hand we have HFCS which is argued to not raise blood glucose and has a low glycemic response of 20. On the other hand we have sucrose which is converted into blood glucose quickly in the body and has a glycemic response in the GI tract of 100. According to the authors of the book “Sugar Shock” Dr. Stephen Sinatra and Connie Bennett, the reason behind this purposeful confusion is money: sugar costs 30 cents a pound while HFCS is 10 cents a pound, therefore is cheaper to put in many products. The truth of the matter is that fructose can raise cholesterol and lead to heart disease. Fructose can also increase the risk of metabolic syndrome due to its ability to increase uric acid, which decreases the levels of nitric acid.

The term fructose in High Fructose Corn Syrup can be misleading. Despite the fact that HFCS is extracted from corn, ‘fructose’ implies it comes from fruits. HFCS is a man- made fructose that is not the same as fructose from fruits, it doesn’t exist in nature but it’s chemically refined to form an artificial hydrocarbon. It is refined in such a way that the body does not recognize it. Sugar (sucrose or ordinary table sugar) on the other hand is extracted from sugar cane or beets.   Furthermore, HFCS is 55% fructose and 45% glucose, sucrose is 50% fructose and 50% glucose. This implies they are both metabolized the same by the body,  however, this is not the case: fructose goes directly to the liver where it is more prone than sugar (sucrose) to being metabolized and converted into fat and raise triglyceride levels for many hours after. Sugar (sucrose) on the contrary is recognized by the body and converted into blood glucose.

So, what’s the problem with fructose?

According to pharmacist Ben Fuchs, High Fructose Corn Syrup affects every system of the body. HFCS he explains is ‘especially problematic for the digestive system in general and specifically for the liver. Proof of this is the alarming incidences of fatty liver disease (now considered a normal part of aging) and pervasive intestinal illnesses”. Do you experience symptoms like gas, bloating and loose stools, or any other digestive problems after eating and drinking fruits, fruit juices and HFCS containing foods?  The problems associated with HFCS are worse with liquid or powdered fructose because they are more quickly absorbed into the blood. Even more alarming is how this substance affects children. ‘Little kids are major victims because of the vast variety of fructose-containing processed foods that target them’.  He explains how mothers like to give apple juice in a bottle or pacifier to put their babies to sleep without realizing they might be harming them greatly. According to him “when a baby cries for his apple juice he’s going through withdrawal symptoms that are just as severe as those associated with opium” He further explains “There is a well-researched link between the sweet taste and so-called “opioid” receptors in the brain. These receptors are called “opioids” because they respond to opium. In other words, sugar and opium (think heroin) both “turn on” the same chemical systems in the brain. Which means, sugar is essentially brain heroin and when a baby (or adult) goes without it he screams because he’s withdrawing! That’s one of the main reasons it’s so hard to get off of sugar. It’s a withdrawal stress on an already stressed out body system. In a way, ingestion of fructose and the associated problems are better than adding another stress in the form of withdrawal.”

Another side effect of HFCS consumption, according to Ben Fuchs, is that it blocks the very important mood enhancing amino-acid tryptophan. “What happens is that HFCS makes tryptophan unavailable to the brain and this is bad news. Tryptophan is really important for mood and wellbeing and gets turned into melatonin and serotonin, the two most important chemicals in the brain. You can think of tryptophan as natural Prozac and for many people fructose will be blocking it from access to the brain. What is more, the brain has an appetite area, that initiates hunger sensations and a satisfaction area that shuts these sensations down. It uses tryptophan to determine which center will be activated. All day long it is scanning the blood for this important amino acid. When tryptophan levels rise, activity in the satisfaction center is turned on and hunger ceases. Low tryptophan levels on the other hand stimulate brain activity in the appetite or hunger center. If fructose is complexing with tryptophan, preventing it from getting into the brain it will take ingestion of a lot of tryptophan for the brain to activate satisfaction centers vs. the ‘go get us a Coke or some other kind of sugar’ center.”

Sugar and heart disease

Dr. Stephen Sinatra, a board-certified cardiologist, certified nutrition specialist and antiaging specialist claims there are ‘far more significant and devastating causes of coronary artery disease than cholesterol and too much sugar and high blood sugar are at the top of the list’. Consuming too many sweets and refined carbohydrates, he says, can clog your arteries even more than cholesterol and give you heart disease faster than cholesterol.

Dr. Sinatra has observed that people on a high sugar diet age faster. He recalls one instance during his training years at medical school when they were asked to identify a disease shown on a X-ray showing a calcified femoral artery that looked like that of a 60-year old person. It turned out to be the X-ray of a 40-year old diabetic woman.

Dr. Sinatra is very familiar with diabetes, he watched his mother die from it while suffering from cardiac arrhythmias, severe osteoporosis and bone fractures and blindness. For years he would watch doctors being unable to help her while advising a diet high in refined carbohydrates was ‘ok’. That was what inspired him to become a doctor later in life. He himself suffered from diabetes until he became a young cardiologist and he started seeing the evil side of sugar. He mentions how heartbreaking was to work with the elderly diabetics’ hearts, it was then that he realized that it was sugar that was the evil one, not cholesterol. He explains sugar shortens our cells’ life force. What causes silent inflammation? Insulin he says, what releases insulin? Sugar.

This is how it happens: when you eat sugar or refined carbohydrates, your body converts them into glucose, when this enters the blood stream, your pancreas releases the hormone insulin also called ‘master hormone’ or ‘fat storage hormone’. Insulin’s role is pivotal. Insulin helps convert the excess glucose into glycogen for energy storage in liver and muscles, while the un-metabolized calories are stored as fat. This regulates your body’s blood sugar levels by moving the excess glucose out of your bloodstream into your cells, thus lowering your blood sugar and making glucose available to fuel your body’s functions and activities of daily life. Both the insulin and glucose then travel directly into your liver where insulin tells the liver’s cells to open up their doors and let the sugar in. Once inside the liver’s cells, glucose can be processed through four different pathways:

  1. Some sugar is used for immediate energy.
  2. Other is stored in the form of glycogen in the liver and muscle for later use.

Excess sugar is turned into two forms of fats:

  1. Triglycerides
  2. Cholesterol

Both of which lead to diabetes and heart disease. This means the more sugar, the more insulin the body has to produce which means more inflammation. Excess insulin is the number one cause of hardening of the arteries Dr. Sinatra explains.

Furthermore, when blood sugar is cleared from the circulating blood by the action of insulin this triggers signals of hunger. Since sugar is cleared out pretty quickly in the body, this means you are going to be hungry over and over after eating sugar! This also leaves you with lower than normal blood sugar levels, a very stressing condition known as hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia will make you hungry, anxious, depressed, bad tempered, etc. making you so unstable that you will be more vulnerable to stressful situations, it will lower your immune system and health overall making you crave carbs over and over again.

Glucagon

Insulin is not the only hormone released after eating sugar, glucagon is another hormone released by your hardworking pancreas. Glucagon starts working when your blood sugar drops below normal, it stimulates the breakdown of glycogen (the storage form of glucose) so glucose can be ready for the body to use. This protects you from the dangerous effects of hypoglycemia. Glucagon also promotes the mobilization of previously stored fat. Both insulin and glucagon work together in an intricate and precise way known as ‘homeostasis’: insulin puts your sugar into storage as fat, glucagon takes it out by signaling the cells to get sugar and fat out so it can be used as energy. However, if insulin is out of balance because you eat too many carbs, glucagon will not be released. In other words, when you eat high sugary meals glucagon will be shut down. For glucagon to work fully it needs regular intake of protein. A diet high in vegetables, nuts, berries, etc. is also important. These foods are high in carbs but because they are complex carbs they are gradually broken down into the blood stream so they don’t cause a sudden sugar spike.   They have all the fiber, vitamins and minerals so the body has to digest them layer by layer and this slows down its release into the blood stream. On the contrary, heavily processed foods have been stripped of fiber, vitamins and minerals in order to extend shelf life. White flour, white rice, white sugar, etc. all raise our blood sugar very quickly.

Glucose metabolism disorders are: hypoglycemia, prediabetes (impaired glucose tolerance or glucose intolerance and impaired fasting glucose), hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Once this has become chronic then you will need more and more insulin to do the same load of work resulting in the pancreas not being able to keep up with the demands for insulin. This is what is called insulin resistance/impaired glucose tolerance/prediabetes. When this condition develops what happens is your cells stop listening to insulin. (Picture your insulin knocking on the cells’ doors asking them to open the door to carbs but the cells ignore the knock, carbs are then shuttled to fat cells). The more we become insulin resistant, the more insulin the body has to produce, eventually the pancreas cannot keep up and diabetes is the result.

Sugar is more of a killer than stress itself

According to Dr. Perricone, sugar and foods that convert rapidly to sugar in the blood stream (high-glycemic carbohydrates like fast burning carbs) are toxic, they are pro-inflammatory. His many years of research have shown to him that chronic, subclinical inflammation is the single greatest precipitator of aging and age-related diseases. These include heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, cancer, obesity, unwanted weight gain, loss of muscle, and wrinkled, sagging skin. This inflammation takes place at the cellular level so it is invisible to the naked eye and we can’t see it or feel it until it’s too late. He believes that diet is more of a killer than stress itself.

A pro-inflammatory diet is one that provokes an inflammatory reaction in the body and the body has to defend itself from the offending agent. Chief inflammatory foods are sugars and foods that turn quickly into sugar in the body, also called high-glycemic carbohydrates: cakes, cookies, potatoes, most packed cereals, juice, soda, chips, etc.

Understanding the inflammatory mechanism

Pro-inflammatory foods cause a sudden spike in blood sugar, triggering an insulin response from the pancreas in an effort to control the rising level of blood sugar. Diabetics do not have a properly functioning pancreas, so they suffer from high blood sugar. Constant high sugar causes kidney failure, blindness, heart attacks and strokes. Studies have shown that when diabetics keep their blood sugar stable, their death rate is cut down by 70%. The bad news is that you don’t have to be a diabetic to suffer from sugar problems, healthy bodies are harmed by sugar as well by the process known as glycation: eating sugar causes an immediate browning (glycation) of the protein in the tissues. You can think of it like what happens when you heat sugar and it turns brown. Your organs are ‘caramelized’ when sugar molecules attach themselves to collagen in your body permanently. This process becomes a source of inflammation which in turn produces enzymes that break down collagen, resulting in wrinkles on the skin and deterioration of blood vessels. (Remember your blood vessels are mainly collagen). This causes loss of elasticity on the skin and blood vessels. According to Dr. Perricone, healthy skin or blood vessels have collagen strands overlapping making them elastic, so skin can snap back  and stay elastic after a smile or a frown and an artery can stay flexible to take the pressure needed to deliver blood to our organs. This does not happen when years of sugar consumption make our arteries stiff and inflexible because the sugar molecules have attached themselves to collagen.

Glycation turns soft baby skin and strong blood vessels into a leather-like hardened tissue. This happens throughout the body: arteries, veins, bones, ligaments, brains, resulting in breakdown of all organ systems.

 What leads to Heart Disease: Bad Fat, Sugar or Both?

Dr. Sinatra points out how people worry too much about their cholesterol levels and not eating fats, not realizing that their sugar intake might be even more dangerous. Dr. Block points out how many people have traded a high fat diet for a high sugar one, low fat cookies are loaded with sugar! So to the question above, the answer is BOTH. Both unhealthy fats and sugar are pro-inflammatory.  Dr. Zammit explains a diet high in sugars makes your liver secrete more triglycerides so you end up at the same endpoint as if you ate fat.  Nutrition expert John Yudkin, M.D., Ph.D. noticed the tremendous rise in heart disease coinciding with the increased intake of refined carbohydrates.

Similarly, Dr. Willett explains refined starches and sugars are one of the most powerful predictors of heart disease, and adds, ‘replacing those foods with whole grain, high fiber forms of carbs will actually reduce the risk of heart disease”. What is more, a team of scientists at UCLA in Los Angeles found that men with cardiovascular disease may be at considerably higher risk of death even when their blood sugar is in the ‘normal’ range. “Our findings suggest that for men with cardiovascular disease, there is apparently no ‘normal’ blood sugar level…for these men across the normal range, the lower their blood sugar, the better”.

 

Stress (pt. 2)

12 Nov 2015 no comments HAB Extract

Aldosterone, the mineral hormone

Aldosterone is a mineral corticoid that is made in the part of the adrenal glands called the cortex. It is the major hormone controlling mineral and salt levels, especially sodium and potassium, and consequently, fluid balance within our bloodstream. It goes up when we are under stress. When it is high, aldosterone releases minerals from cells and moves them into the blood. As minerals are pulled into the blood they attract water, water and minerals are then excreted through the kidneys which causes the volume of the blood to increase causing high blood pressure. This can cause loss of minerals (electrolytes) and loss of electrolytes can cause salt cravings. This loss of precious electrolytes is one of the side effects stress has in the body which affect the heart directly. If you are on a low salt diet, the problem is exacerbated even more. James Wilson N.D., D.C., Ph. D. recommends to take kelp to replenish the sodium and potassium levels in the body. Kelp, he says, contains both potassium and sodium in the right proportions in an easily assimilated form. The ‘Heart and Body Extract’ has kelp as one of its active ingredients which makes it a great way to replenish these two electrolytes when you are under stress.
Aldosterone is a very powerful hormone and it only takes a little bit of this hormone to raise blood pressure significantly. A common medical strategy for lowering blood pressure is blocking the body’s aldosterone with ACE inhibitors. But Ben Fuchs believes there are toxic side effects with these kinds of drugs, and he believes we can control our blood pressure ourselves (we will discuss later on how).
When you are under chronic fatigue the body releases a lot of this hormone aldosterone so you can become deficient in it. This is what is called adrenal fatigue, which causes the opposite effect, low blood pressure or hypotension and dizziness. Aldosterone is not only made in the adrenal glands but also on the skin, so stress can show on our skin in the form of puffiness (because the body retains more water), oiliness, dark spots (hyperpigmentation), skin will age faster and wrinkle more.

The youth, beauty and fertility hormones

When we are under too much stress, our adrenals are working overtime to make the stress hormones cortisol and aldosterone and therefore they are not making these youth and repair hormones. This means the body can survive under stress but it will not repair itself, we will age faster and lose our youthful appearance.
The youth and fertility hormones are testosterone, progesterone, estrogen and DHEA. All of them drop as we age but also with stress. They have the important job of helping to balance cortisol by limiting its possible detrimental effects on cells and act as hormonal antioxidants. A drop in these sex hormones accounts for many degenerative processes of aging more than anything else. With age, cortisol levels remain steady while testosterone and DHEA diminish.

DHEA is a steroid hormone that is a precursor to eighteen different other hormones in the body. It is critical for health as evidenced by its effects in the body: increased life span, reduced body fat, increased immunity, energy and well being, improved sleep patterns, ability to relax and therefore ability to improve hypertension and degenerative diseases. Its levels naturally drop with age but stress makes it drop even more. Studies have shown, Stephen Sinatra explains, that low levels of DHEA cause a higher risk of heart attacks for men under 50. Both men and women therefore can benefit from supplementation. However, a low dose of 10 mg for women and 20 or 25 mg for men 4-5 days a week is recommended and not higher as DHEA can have a testosterone increasing effect and cause facial hair, deepening of the voice, oily skin, etc. As with any hormone, caution is the key because hormones are very potent substances in the body. Dr Sinatra recommends it for those patients that complain of exhaustion which can be of itself a risk for heart disease. He even recommends it for those people with allergies as these can burden and depress the immune system.

Low blood sugar as a stress factor

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and adrenal fatigue go together. A low level of glucose can cause sugar cravings which can be explained from a physiological point of view as follows: when the adrenals are fatigued the levels of cortisol are low, this prevents the body from getting glucose for energy. This is further complicated because when we are under stress cells need more energy so there is more insulin. Insulin opens up the cells’ wall membranes to take in more glucose so more energy is available to cells. Without enough cortisol though, fats, protein and carbohydrates cannot be converted into glucose for energy. The increased demand for energy cannot be met and low blood sugar is the end result.
Stress and adrenal fatigue are a real bad combination, even the smallest of stresses increase the demand for energy but the overtaxed adrenals cannot provide enough cortisol to produce this energy. Adrenal fatigue causes thinking to be confused and muscles to be weak, so the body could not ‘fight or flee’ in a real danger situation. In times of increased stress this can lead to death. In today’s society people tackle this low blood sugar situation by eating something sweet, which helps temporarily but then plunges the body back into low blood sugar, not realizing that low blood sugar is a major stress to the body that further drains the adrenals, throws cortisol and insulin levels into turmoil as well as the nervous system and the entire homeostasis of the body. Low blood sugar usually occurs around 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 3-4 p.m., not accidentally work breaks are scheduled at these times. The author James Wilson asserts “we have a nation of hypoglycemics. 60% of people suffering from hypoglycemia go on to become diabetics” Hypoglycemia without the proper diet high in fats and protein, encourages overeating when food is available. If you are hypoglycemic and are under stress it would be a great idea to increase your intake of good fats and protein to keep energy levels steady.
I don’t recommend anything unless I have tried it myself. Being hypothyroid and having some episodes of hypoglycemia, I wanted to see how the cayenne in the Heart and Body Extract would help me with low blood sugar. I found out it has a sustained energy effect and keeps the blood sugar from dropping too low.

Stress cells in the digestive system

According to Ben Fuchs, stress cells are located in our digestive system. Because the digestive system is the port of entry of foreign invaders (food) it carefully watches for potential poisons. Eating in itself, even if it’s healthy food, is treated by the body as a suspicious invader and is a cause of stress. Food will obviously be more a cause of stress when is the wrong food, and a stress response always follows: sweating, cramping, headache, nausea, etc.
This is why it is so important to watch what we eat. We need to both remove the offenders from our diet and increase the number of high quality foods we consume. Being undernourished is a stress by itself. A good nutritional supplement program is one of the best ways to reduce the body’s sympathetic stress response. High calorie, processed foods are particularly burdensome. A balanced diet can help you fight stress, specially the B vitamins. The ‘Female Balance Extract’ and the ‘Male Virility Extract’ from Healthy Hearts Club have a high dose of the B vitamins. Similarly, the ‘Detoxifier Extract’ is a great combination of herbs that can be used to purify the blood by eliminating toxins and therefore eliminating stressors for the body.
Avoid foods that aggravate stress like sugar, fried foods, refined and processed foods, eat fresh and unprocessed foods, eat sprouts and fermented foods, keep your colon clean by drinking enough water and eating enough fiber rich foods. Coffee, soda pops and junk foods of all kinds, white rice, flour they all increase body acids and deplete the body of minerals so they should be avoided. Similarly alcohol and smoking should be avoided.
What I think is important to understand about stress is that when we are under stress our bodies run through nutrients a lot faster, specially the B vitamins, but also iodine. Under stress we need to support our body even more than in regular circumstances. Poor diet is a stress in itself and reduces the adrenals’ ability to respond to stress. Poor diet can continually drain the adrenals or prevent them from recuperating properly after a trauma. High doses of vitamin C in divided doses and 50 mg a day of zinc picolinate are great for the adrenals too.
The ‘Stress Extract’ from The Healthy Hearts Club is a wonderful combination of herbs that have been proven for centuries to help you relax. It contains mistletoe which, as we have seen, is not only relaxing but anti-cancer. It also contains valerian which soothes the nerves, quiets heart palpitations, relaxes muscles, relieves anxiety, eases hypertension, calms hyperactivity, insomnia, depression, diabetes and cools inflammation. Valerian root targets the higher brain centers, suppressing and regulating the autonomic nervous system. It slows the heart rate while increasing the power of each beat, making the action of the heart more efficient and less strained. It regulates the heart beat so it can be used for heart palpitations.

Relax, you are in control

Since we might not always be able to change our circumstances, changing how we perceive our stressors and learning to relax can be critical to our health. Herbert Benson, MD, coined the term the ‘relaxation response’, referring to a set of specific internal changes that occur when your mind and body are calm. The body, he said, can shift from the sympathetic to the parasympathetic nervous system just by choosing an activity that you enjoy: breathing, heart rate and oxygen consumption slow down, muscles relax, the brain generates slower alpha waves and blood pressure drops. The adrenals stop being stimulated so they can rest and the tissues of our body become less sensitive to stress hormones secreted by your adrenal glands. Every part of your body has a chance to return to normal and recuperate instead of being constantly on red alert.
Spending 60 seconds a day practicing deep breathing can be particularly helpful in turning on the “rest and digest” nervous system. Deep breathing is also great for relaxing and slowing down the heart. When we are stressed we tend to breath shallow and fast, and this increases the heart rate and blood pressure. Moderate exercise is a great stress reliever too.
The ‘Heart and Body Extract’ will help you by relaxing you and keeping the blood moving, it will also strengthen your immune system.
James A Wilson recommends reframing, which is changing how you see something so you can change how your body responds to it. This is one of the most effective ways to lessen the stressful effects of an unavoidable difficult situation he says, this allows you to adapt yourself to the situation for the better.
To sum up, stress if left untreated can become a dangerous downward spiral, stresses can accumulate even if they are different in nature. Learning how to manage stress can add years to your life and save your life.

Stress (pt. 1)

12 Nov 2015 no comments HAB Extract

Stress is part of our everyday life, none of us can escape it. A newborn learns quickly how stressing hunger can be and adapts to it by crying. We are no different than that baby, we also need to hear our body’s cries and nurture it like we would a small baby. The only difference is that the baby cannot help himself, but we can. In the case of stress, it might be a question of knowing ourselves first to be able to know our body. According to the observations made by reknown cardiologist Stephen Sinatra many times stress is linked to certain personality traits. He explains how most of his cardiac patients had certain personality traits like thinking everything needs to be done instantly, striving to reach unrealistic goals, strong emotions like anger, sadness, emotional pain, etc. What is important to understand about stress is that is the root cause of every degenerative disease there is, and many of us don’t do anything to change until the disease is present.
But what is stress and how does it manifest itself in the body? Bernard Jensen in his book “Developing a New Heart” defines stress as pressure caused by our reaction to disturbing situations. He explains the health of our heart is intimately related to how well we handle our emotional responses to the events we encounter in life. He says stress is dangerous because it is invisible so it can creep on us without warning. Stress can reach the point of heart attack that is not caused by the gradual progression of heart disease but by the shock of bad news. Stress can also build up slowly and become a small but constant drip till it becomes chronic. A good example are workaholics, who have three times higher the risk of a heart attack.

The nervous system

According to pharmacist Ben Fuchs we have two nervous systems:

  1. The “fight or flight” nervous system, also technically known as the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). It directs energy into the activities that keep us alive in emergency and life-threatening situations”. Almost any degenerative disease can follow long-term activation of the sympathetic nervous system. An example of this is cardiovascular diseases like high blood pressure and blood clotting. Most of us spend a large amount of time in fight or flight mode.
  2. The second, called the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) is involved with more long-term activities. The PNS is sometimes called the “ rest and digest” system and the more time we spend in this parasympathetic state, the longer we will be alive and healthy. This is especially true if we’re dealing with a major crisis like cancer or heart disease.

Stress related diseases include stomach ulcers, high blood pressure, colitis, atherosclerosis, asthma, arthritis, skin problems, irritable bowel syndrome, heart attack and stroke. The feelings we have toward the stressful event trigger responses in the brain, nervous system and endocrine system. Chronic stress overstimulates glands and organs in the body, especially the heart. This state invites disease and lowers immunity, so we are more vulnerable to other stresses. According to Dr. R. C Rocine, worry is even linked to heart problems, worry he said can ‘eat up the heart and depress circulation’. Despite this, stress is important, it helps us stay alive and stimulates us to higher levels of performance. The problem with stress is that it is destructive inside of us if we don’t handle it properly. A constant ‘internalized or bottled up fight or flight response is very destructive’. Some signs that stress is reaching dangerous levels can be nervousness, rapid heartbeat, sleeplessness, etc.
We could say there are different types of stress like emotional or spiritual stress, then there is physical stress, but in all cases stress is a preprogrammed and unconscious physical response that includes physical and chemical changes. What happens when we are under stress is our nervous system goes into overdrive, flooding our body with stress chemicals such as adrenaline and cortisol. These chemicals produce a sharp rise in blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen consumption and blood flow to muscles, all aimed to allow us to fight or flee the situation, whichever is best. These physical changes include:
Blood shunted away from certain areas like:

  1. Extremities, then directed to the core of the body.
  2. Gastrointestinal system: in a stressful situation our body thinks it is more important to get ready to fight or run and it shuts down digestion, which is not perceived to the body as immediately life saving.
  3. Capillaries of the skin: By constricting the blood vessels the possibility of bleeding is reduced in the case of injury. The blood tends to clot also to keep us from bleeding to death in a dangerous situation.

The body also shuts down urine production which in turn increases blood volume, increasing blood pressure.
Blood is then moved to other parts of the body:

  1. Eyes for visual acuity.
  2. Brain for mental clarity and decision making.
  3. The heart to increase the volume of blood ejected with each heartbeat, therefore increasing blood pressure and heart rate.
  4. The liver, to mobilize glucose for energy
  5. The bronchials, to dilate and get more oxygen into the lungs.
    It is important to notice that all these physical reactions happen in the body regardless of the cause of the stress: running from a tiger that wants to eat us, bills piling up, a demanding job, etc, etc. While it would be wise to get motivated in such a way to run from a fierce tiger that wants to eat us, it is not wise to keep our nervous system in fight or flight mode 24/7 and yet most of us live this way.

Not everyone responds to stress the same way, it all depends on how our mind and our emotions interpret the stress. Some doctors will approach this by saying, ‘it is all in your head’, and can we blame them? after all stress is our choice, there is nothing a doctor can do about our choices.

The adrenal glands and stress

According to pharmacist Ben Fuchs, hormones and enzymes are among the most important chemicals the body makes. Hormones turn on and off the stress response, they are in this sense like a switch that starts activity in the cells of the adrenal glands (our stress glands).
Since the adrenal glands are our stress glands and help us handle stress they are very important for heart health. The adrenal hormones according to James L Wilson, N.D., D.C., Ph. D., in his book “Adrenal fatigue” “influence all of the major physiological processes in the body, they closely affect the utilization of carbohydrates and fats, the conversion of fats and proteins into energy, the distribution of stored fat (especially around your waist), normal blood sugar regulation and proper cardiovascular and gastrointestinal function. The protective activity of anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant hormones secreted by the adrenals helps to minimize negative and allergic reaction to alcohol, drugs, foods and environmental allergen. Even your propensity to develop certain kinds of diseases and your ability to respond to chronic illness is influenced significantly by the adrenal glands. The more chronic the illness, the more critical the adrenal response becomes. You cannot live without your adrenal hormones and how well you live depends a great deal on how well your adrenal glands function”.
He explains healthy adrenals secrete minute yet precise and balanced amounts of steroid hormones. But because they are designed to be so very responsive to changes in your inner physical emotional and psychological environment any number of factors can interfere with this finely tuned balance. All of the different types of stress: physical, emotional, psychological, environmental, infections, environmental toxins, poor diet, an abscessed tooth, or a combination of these can occur simultaneously, accumulate or become chronic. The adrenals then have no opportunity to fully recover, adrenal fatigue is usually the result. This also means that too much physical, emotional, environmental and or psychological stress can deplete your adrenals causing a decrease in the output of adrenal hormones particularly cortisol.
The demands of everyday life are putting a great load in our adrenals, many people live with adrenal fatigue without knowing they have it. The heart is affected greatly by this. We need to understand how to help our heart by giving our adrenals the opportunity to recover.
This leads us to the next point, the adrenal glands release several stress hormones, namely cortisol, adrenaline, youth and fertility, serotonin and aldosterone among others. We will focus on the ones that affect heart health directly.

Cortisol, our energy hormone

Cortisol controls the metabolism of fats, proteins and carbohydrates to maintain blood glucose within a narrow optimal range and keep it there even under stressful situations. Although secreted by the adrenals, cortisol is regulated from the brain. Cortisol is responsible for many of the life sustaining functions attributed to the adrenal glands. Cortisol levels raise up during the day, with its highest around 8 a.m. and lowest at 4 p.m. This rising cortisol is what helps us wake up in the morning. The rise and decrease of cortisol is not uniform but has little peaks, for example a little snack will increase cortisol levels. Exercise has a similar effect as that snack in raising the cortisol levels. For people with adrenal fatigue the cortisol levels can be more irregular than usual even unpredictable.

Cortisol will raise in times of stress to protect the body against stress in many different ways:

  • Cortisol keeps blood sugar in balance. It does this by converting fats into fatty acids and proteins into peptides, both of which are converted into energy in the form of blood glucose. The body uses this glucose as its preferred form of energy and needs constant glucose levels through the day. Cortisol and insulin work together, cortisol ensures there is glucose available for energy, insulin unlocks the cell membranes to let glucose into the cells. When we are under stress there is more demand on the different tissues of the body so more glucose is needed for energy. When the person has adrenal fatigue, the cortisol levels are going to be lower than in healthy people, thereby the importance of having a balanced diet high in fats and protein.
  • Cortisol is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Anytime we have redness or swelling in the body or auto-immunity, whether from a mosquito bite or an allergen, cortisol is dispatched to the area. The medical approach to any auto-immune disease or inflammation is to administer a corticosteroid, which imitates the work of cortisol but they come with many side effects.
  • Cortisol affects the cells that participate in immune reactions and inflammatory reactions, especially white blood cells: lymphocytes, natural killer cells, macrophages, etc. These white blood cells gather in defense of the body at places of injury or invasion and flood the area with some very powerful chemicals to attack the invaders. These chemicals are so powerful they can create redness and swelling. Cortisol keeps the white blood cells from attaching themselves to the area and releasing their chemicals and also controls the number of lymphocytes and other white blood cells so there are not too many circulating in the area. This prevents an overstimulation of the immune response, controls irritation and tissue destruction where white blood cells gather. Cortisol also prevents lymphocytes from multiplying. This is so important because when our cortisol is low, like when our immune system is suppressed because we are under stress or taking corticosteroids, the lymphocytes can multiply out of control and this means, more redness and swelling making the inflamed area need more time to return to normal. In other words, more stress means more inflammation!
  • Cortisol has complex and opposing effects in the cardiovascular system. It contracts the walls of the arteries thus regulating blood pressure. People with low cortisol have low blood pressure. Cortisol also regulates sodium and potassium in the heart cells and increases the strength of contraction of the heart muscle. Cortisol also tends to raise blood pressure but this hypertensive effect is moderated by calcium and magnesium. These two minerals are needed to keep the heart muscles from cramping when they contract thus keeping the heart beating smoothly, they also relax the walls of the arteries, counteracting the increase in smooth muscle contraction produced by cortisol.
  • Cortisol influences behavior, mood, excitability even electrical activity of neurons. In the case of excessive or deficient cortisol there can be behavioral changes and sleep disorders. Adrenal fatigue involves moodiness, decreased tolerance, clarity of thought and memory because of either too much or too little cortisol. The right amount is needed for proper function during stress.
  • In times of stress the need for cortisol increases. If enough is not made as is the case of adrenal fatigue, the person cannot properly adapt to stress.
    Under normal circumstances cortisol has the important role of helping the different organs so they can respond when called to action. When stress is present cortisol must at the same time provide more blood glucose, mobilize fats and proteins for a back up source of glucose and modify immune reactions, heartbeat, blood pressure, brain alertness and nervous systems responsiveness. Without cortisol maintaining your body under stress this is nearly impossible.

Angina

16 Oct 2015 no comments HAB Extract

Blockage in the coronary arteries can keep the heart muscle from getting enough oxygen rich blood causing the chest pain known as angina. The pain may also occur in the shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, or back and it can feel like a burning sensation, squeezing or even indigestion. Angina is not a disease but a symptom of an underlying heart condition which if not taken care of can lead to heart attack.

According to Dr. James Pantano in his book “Living with Angina” the word ‘angina’ was first used in 1768 by Dr. William Heberden to mean ‘strangling’ rather than ‘pain’. Back then, angina was not a common condition and it was not even linked to heart disease until the 19th century. It was then that doctors noticed the condition caused a prolonged illness and permanent weakening of the patient. Today angina affects more than 3 million people in the USA alone. Angina was once thought to be an old man’s disease, however, the autopsy of some Korean War soldiers proved it can start in the late teenage years.

What causes angina?

The main cause of angina according to Dr. Pantano is atherosclerosis, which as we saw in previous discussions, causes a thickening of the artery leading to blockage of the normal flow of blood to the heart. This decrease in blood flow is a problem in the beginning stages of angina only while exercising, but in more advanced cases it becomes a problem even while at rest. This process of blockage is not uniform so it is sometimes hard to locate. It can happen on the arteries that travel up the neck to the brain, or on one side of two matched arteries, causing cramping on one leg or even death of the tissue downstream the side of the blockage.

Dr. Pantano explains that it is possible to use the law of physics called ‘fluid dynamics’ to calculate the flow of liquid through a pipe and compare it to the flow of blood in the arteries. According to fluid dynamics, the flow of a liquid will not be impeded until the pipe is 70% blocked. Similarly for an artery, and only under times of stress like exercise, a 75% blockage is the starting point for the typical symptoms of angina to appear.

Dr. Pantano has observed that in most cases coronary plaque is located in the upstream part of the vessel, not the downstream and also the on the major branching points.

Udo Erasmus explains there can be another aspect to angina aside from plaque: consuming “saturated or denaturated fatty acids make our platelets sticky, increasing the risk of clot forming” This is why angina is sometimes linked to indigestion.

Your Heart 101

The heart is an amazing biological system. As the electrical organ that it is, it generates an electrical field 50 times stronger than the brain. According to Dr. Bernard Jensen in his book “Developing a new heart” the heart is built like a 2-story house with four rooms, two upstairs (Left and Right auricles) and 2 downstairs (Left and right ventricles). The heart’s work starts on the right auricle, where old blood enters depleted of oxygen and loaded with carbon dioxide waste. From there, this old blood is forced into the right ventricle below from where it is pumped into the lungs through the pulmonary artery. In the lungs, carbon dioxide is released and the blood is freshly oxygenated. This clean, oxygen rich blood passes into the pulmonary veins and enters the left auricle, then is forced down into the left ventricle below. From there it is pumped into the aorta (the main artery that feeds the whole body). From the aorta, the front and back coronary arteries deliver blood to the heart muscle itself. It is these coronary arteries that develop atherosclerosis that can lead to heart attack.

The normal heart beats 65/75 beats per minute and pumps through 60,000 miles of blood vessels one gallon of blood per minute. No man-made pump could match this efficient machine!

* How the heart beats.

Heartbeats are triggered by an electrical discharge from the sinoatrial node in the upper right heart chamber’s muscle. Around a thousandth of a volt is discharged causing the muscle heart to contract forcing the blood from the ventricle. Heart rate is regulated by the nerves in the brain. Muscular activity, emotional reactions, stress, sleep, etc can raise or lower heartbeat. The sinoatrial node initiates the heart cycle so it is called the heart’s pacemaker. It triggers an electrical impulse that travels over nerve fibers and interacts with a second node, the atrioventricular node located between the upper right and lower right chambers of the heart.

The heart does not depend on the brain or nervous system to get a heart beat because it has its own electrical power plant and starts its own electrically stimulated contractions. It even has its own brain cells.

* The names of the three coronary arteries

  1. The LAD (left anterior descending) coronary artery serves the front wall of the heart and the septum (the dividing wall) between the two ventricles. It is a large and important artery.
  2. The RCA (right coronary artery) goes down the right side of the heart, serves the right ventricle and supplies the bottom wall of the left ventricle.
  3. The Cx (circumflex coronary artery) runs down the left side of the left ventricle serving that area and the back wall as well.

All coronary arteries give blood to the left ventricle, the right ventricle muscle gets its blood from early branches of the RCA.

The right and left ventricles are quite different. The right ventricle receives blood from veins returning from all parts of the body and pumps it to the lungs. The right side ventricle is a low pressure system so it does not require to increase the pressure much to make it through the lungs. Therefore the right ventricle requires only a few small branches from the RCA to supply it with enough nourishment to pump. Angina almost never happens from a blocked artery to the right ventricle.

The left side of the heart is a powerhouse. It must raise the pressure of outgoing blood higher than the blood pressure in the body so it needs to generate pressure that is five to ten times higher than that of the right ventricle. For this to be possible the muscle on the left side is four times thicker than the right ventricle and needs the entire blood supply of the three coronary arteries to supply its demands for fuel. All angina happens in the left ventricle.

The bad news

The slow progressive decrease in blood flow through an artery with buildup produces ischemia, which is what happens when the heart is deprived of oxygen long enough that extra branches grow from close arteries. These new arteries are known as collaterals and can keep tissue alive, but are unsufficient to do the job, especially under times of increased demand. All the arteries in the body are subject to this process.

Angina is usually not painful. It sometimes happens in the chest, jaw, arms, elbow or wrist with no muscular or bone basis. Angina can radiate into the left arm in some cases, upward and outwards. Around 50% of patients feel it in the left arm, 40% in both arms and 10% only have right arm discomfort. It can happen in both chest and arms. It sometimes radiates from the central chest up to the base of the throat and may continue into the jaw, or it can only be on the jaw making the diagnosis very tricky. The trickiest of all occurs in the upper back which can be mistaken for arthritis pain and can make it even harder to diagnose.

Angina is more likely to occur with exertion as the demand for blood increases. Some light exercise might be tolerated as long as it is not done after eating, when digestion is also requiring a draw of blood from the heart to the intestines. According to Udo Erasmus in his book “Fats that heal, Fats that kill” a meal high in fats makes blood thicker and less capable of supplying oxygen.

The amount of blood needed by the heart muscle is determined by how much that side must contract, the greater the contraction, the more blood is required to provide the energy needed for the next heartbeat.

The traditional medical approach for patients with angina is nitroglycerin. It is known to relax the muscles of the arteries causing them to dilate. This is thought to ease the work the heart must do and enable it to get more blood, relieving the symptoms of angina. However, with some people the effectiveness wears off as their condition worsens. Nitroglycerin is quickly absorbed through the skin into the body. This can be a convenience but it can also be a disadvantage since the active ingredients that enable it to pass so easily into the body also degrade or evaporate easily, reducing the effectiveness of the drug. It must also be stored in a small, glass, airtight container and kept cool to stay effective.

Also, people who are on high blood pressure medications should be specially careful, especially with beta-blockers because they can lower the blood pressure to an unsafe level. If the patient is also taking nitroglycerin, his/her blood pressure can drop so quickly that the brain does not get enough blood for a few moments, causing them to collapse. This can be extremely dangerous, especially for someone who is elderly or driving a car.

Another disadvantage of taking this drug, although not so dangerous is headaches.

More than 2 million Americans either have had a heart attack or have angina. Two-thirds of all patients die of the complications and over 200,000 Americans go into coronary artery bypass surgery each year.

The good news

In his book “Left for dead” Mr. Quinn tells the story of how he took control of his own health even after the doctors had given up on him. In his remarkable testimony he details how he had a heart attack with a near death experience, an angiogram, a double coronary by pass, heart failure and an incredible recovery thanks to an herb he discovered by chance which kept him alive despite all the odds. He considers himself an expert on heart disease not because he has a degree in medicine but because he has heart disease. He had severely blocked arteries which doctors said required surgery, after which, his energy, vitality and general health declined rapidly. He would faint often, get dizzy and suddenly lose his energy until one day he had a frightening blind spell that convinced him that despite the doctor’s reassurances, he was dying. That is when he decided to use cayenne to save his heart… and his health took an incredible turn. He wants to share his knowledge with us so that anybody out there who might be going through the same ‘heartache’ can have confidence in their recovery, even after being left for dead.

It all started during his six month check up, and his doctor’s words “What do you expect?…they took your heart out of your chest, stopped it, cut it and sewed on it, you cannot expect it to run right” after which he dropped Mr. Quinn. This caused a firm determination in Mr. Quinn: “I’ll do it myself…I’ll figure it out and take charge because I have to”. He did not know what to do but he remembered one of his dad’s friends who had told him about how cayenne would help him. So he went to the General Store and bought some Cayenne Red Pepper, he filled some capsules himself and took three. The following day he woke up with incredible energy, which he thought was very unusual for him but then he remembered the cayenne he had taken the day before, he ran to his kitchen and took three more capsules. He continued to get better and decided to use this new life to study herbs so he could help other people like him. He learned what thousands of years of human experience already knew: “there are safe ways to clean arteries, strengthen your heart and prevent heart attack”. He studied the work of Dr. John Christopher who on many occasions stopped a heart attack in progress by giving the patient cayenne in warm water.

What follows is a brief summary of his research on many of the herbs he used himself everyday to get his heart healthy again.

Cayenne, the miracle worker

Cayenne has been used medicinally for over 5,000 years. Columbus discovered cayenne along the Cayenne River off the North Coast of South America. The ship’s doctor found it had remarkable healing and desinfecting properties and stopped bleeding instantly. It was also effective against scurvy because of its vitamin C content. Modern researchers have confirmed this medicinal power of cayenne when they found it to be faster than antibiotics in healing surgical wounds. Dr. Christopher tells of a village in Mexico where they eat great amounts of cayenne and villagers were known for their long healthy lives.

Mr. Quinn studied herbs for many years and found out they work best when combined. Herbs synergize when blended, he said, each herb becoming up to 10 times more powerful, complementing one another and making each stronger and more effective. Cayenne is the universal companion herb so it makes every other herb work better. It works best with its facilitator, ginger. Cayenne and garlic also synergize to regulate blood pressure and clean out the arteries. Cayenne and hawthorn synergize to strengthen the heart and give you stamina. Cayenne intensifies the beneficial effects of other herbs by ensuring speedy and thorough distribution of the herbs’ active components to the important functional centers of the body such as those responsible for metabolism, data transmission, cellular respiration and neural hormonal activity.

The key to heart attack prevention is healthy, clean arteries and other circulatory channels. Cayenne and garlic work together cleaning your arteries, lowering blood pressure and preventing heart attack. The arteries have 3 layers, the middle layer is a muscle, it opens and closes depending on stress, and other factors. If there is an obstruction in a coronary artery, a blood clot can shut off the flow causing a heart attack. Cayenne, garlic and ginger can lower the blood protein known as fibrin that causes clotting. This is done by stimulating the fibrinolytic system (which lasts up to 30 minutes after ingestion of the herbs), which prevents blood clots from forming and dissolves the clots that had already formed. Dissolving the clot opens the artery and stimulates the heart, stopping a heart attack. It does this without raising heart beat or blood pressure. By doing this cayenne allows the body to get the circulation it needs without straining the heart. Improved circulation is the key to better health in many ways: digestion, elimination, energy, sex, attitude, complexion, respiration, sleep, ambition, stamina, eyesight, ulcers and headaches. Cayenne improves circulation all over the body.

Hardening of the arteries is caused by deposits that build up in the inside wall of the artery and prevent it from opening and closing. Garlic can penetrate these hardened deposits softening them so they can be washed away by the soapy vitamin A in cayenne.

Cayenne also heals the sores on your artery walls. Since there are thousands of miles of arteries, veins, capillaries and arterials, all of which must be kept clean, this makes cayenne of key important for the health of our arteries. Surgery, on the contrary, only targets a tiny part of this system.

When we eat cayenne, nerve endings secrete Substance P, which alerts the brain to pain. In response to this, other nerve cells secrete endorphins, the body’s pain killers, which act like morphine to stop the pain and convey a sense of well being.

Cayenne detoxifies the liver and other organs. This can cause some reaction for up to three days which is a sign that your organs are detoxifying poisons.

Cayenne is one of the most effective stimulants for every system and cell of the body, digestive system and the circulatory system. It regulates blood pressure, strengthens the pulse, feeds the heart, lowers cholesterol, thins the blood, cleanses the circulatory system, heals ulcers, stops hemorrhaging, speeds healing of wounds, rebuilds damaged tissue, eases congestion, aids digestion, regulates elimination, relieves arthritis and rheumatism, prevents the spread of infection and numbs pain. It has been evaluated around the world for its uses as a stimulant, astringent, antispasmodic, circulatory tonic, antidepressant and antibacterial. Also, it acts as a diaphoretic to induce sweating, a rubefacient to increase circulation at the skin’s surface. It aids digestion and soothes intestinal ailments by stimulating the stomach to produce mucous.

In the circulatory system, cayenne helps the arteries, veins and capillaries regain the elasticity of youth by feeding the cell structure. Cayenne helps equalize circulation by regulating the flow of blood from the head to the feet. Cayenne strengthens the pulse by increasing the power, not the frequency. Generally, cayenne boosts overall health of the entire cardiovascular system. Cayenne gets the blood moving, boots energy and eases stress, helps concentration and is anti-fatigue. By increasing the circulation of the blood to peripheral tissues through the body, cayenne helps deliver needed nutrients to inflamed and infected areas. Studies show that nutrients in food ingested with cayenne are assimilated faster and more easily.

Vitamins, minerals and other compounds in herbs work together. Cayenne helps circulation by opening the arteries and cleansing the circulatory system. It accomplishes this with five different types of capsaicin and vitamin A, that washes away plaque and cholesterol, heals lesions and ulcers and restores arterial flexibility. Cayenne contains many other nutrients essential for health of the circulatory system including alpha-tocopherols, vitamin C and minerals. Cayenne is also high in minerals including sulphur, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus. Thus, it is good for diabetes, arthritis, pancreatic and throat disorders.

Cayenne together with a high protein intake can lower cholesterol by excreting it from the body and preventing its absorption in the body.

Added to garlic, cayenne speeds its antibiotic action, so much that is like taking liquin penicillin. Together they can lower blood pressure. Added to ginger, cayenne helps clean out the bronchial tubes.

Garlic

Garlic was first recognized for its antibacterial properties in a study by Louis Pasteur in 1858. Since that time, the antibacterial action of garlic has proven effective against forms of staph, strep, salmonella, etc. Garlic is so effective as an antibiotic that one milligram of allicin (its major component) is about equal to 15 standard units of penicillin. Garlic was able to exterminate 72 separate infectious agents. It is also antifungal, antiviral and antiparasitic. It works both internally and externally on infections. It benefits the immune, digestive, respiratory, urinary and circulatory systems. Traditionally garlic has been used for the treatment of colds, bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia, typhoid, tuberculosis, earache, sore throat, headache, stomach ache, cramps, diarrhea, dysentery, cholera worms, ulcers, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, hypertension, snakebite, gout, skin diseases and rheumatism. Modern medicine and science have validated all of these properties.

By the end of the 19th century doctors in Europe and America used garlic to treat tuberculosis and during WWI garlic was used to fight typhus and dysentery and disinfect battle wounds. It has been used successfully to treat cryptococcal meningitis, and influenza viruses. Garlic can target infections anywhere in the body because its oils are readily and transported through the body, it is absorbed so easily that garlic oil or juice applied to the soles of the feet will pass through the body to the lungs so fast it can be detected on the breath within seconds of exposure. Garlic is very effective against problems in the urinary tract, digestive system and the circulatory system. It stimulates the cleansing and purging action of the kidneys. It aids digestion by inciting the production of bile.

Respiratory ailments such as asthma respond to garlic because it is both a decongestant and an expectorant, keeping mucus moving normally through the lungs. It can be used for colds, flu and fevers. An oil can be made with garlic and dropped into the ear to treat an earache and rubbed directly on sprains and minor skin disorders.

Garlic lowers cholesterol, blood lipids and blood pressure by expanding vessel walls increasing blood flow, and helps prevent blockage by inhibiting the tendency of the blood cells to stick together and form clots. It also kills cancer cells.

Garlic contains high levels of protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, thiamine and trace minerals such as iron, zinc, copper, calcium, tin, potassium, selenium, aluminum, sulfur and germanium.

Ginger

Ginger has been used for over 2,000 years in Chinese medicine for digestive disorders, nausea, fever, coughing, diarrhea, rheumatism, and lumbago. Studies show it can prevent motion sickness, it thins the blood, lowers cholesterol and forestalls the flu. It is effective in the treatment of digestive and circulatory disorders. The volatile oils in ginger also stimulate the circulatory and respiratory systems, lower cholesterol, deter blood clots and purify the blood. Ginger boots metabolism by increasing the function of the circulatory and respiratory system aiding the body’s recovery from the negative effects of stress and fatigue. Ginger relieves pain, lowers blood pressure and stimulates the heart.

Hawthorn

Hawthorn is another remarkable herb. The benefits of hawthorn came to the attention of the American medical establishment by the end of the 1800’s. Doctors lauded the plant’s effectiveness and lack of side effects. Hawthorn they said was more effective than digitalis and strophanthin for handling chronic cardiac illness.

Mr. Quinn would take hawthorn everyday to prevent angina, which he said worked better than nitroglycerine. Hawthorn improves coronary circulation by dilating the coronary arteries to bring more oxygen directly to the heart muscle and reducing the chances of heart attack or angina. Simply put, Hawthorn helps keep the heart healthy enough to head off a heart attack. For patients who have already suffered a heart attack studies show Hawthorn speeds recovery, lowers blood pressure strengthens the heart and forestalls any onset of coronary disease. After a heart attack the capillaries are broken and the heart muscle is deprived of blood and atrophies or dies. Hawthorn studies show it re-opens damaged capillaries and restores circulation to resuscitate damaged muscle, so the heart can recover. No other herb in the plant kingdom provides the nourishing and regeneration of hawthorn both before or after a heart attack.

Used in conjunction with a healthy diet and stress management, hawthorn is the perfect preventive prescription for people who have a family history of heart disease. Considered a safe and effective long term treatment for the gradual loss of heart function that comes with age. It increases the ability of the heart to function smoothly, hawthorn imparts a gentle but persistent toning action.

Hawthorn is used by European doctors to treat and prevent angina, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, correct cardiac insufficiency and restore lost heart function.

Hawthorn prevents the hardening of the arteries, treats atherosclerosis and cools inflammation of the heart muscle. Used regularly, hawthorn strengthens the heart muscle and the nerves to the heart. Hawthorne is not habit forming, accumulative or toxic.

Last but not least, hawthorn is lauded as a gentle sedative to calm the nerves and ease insomnia.

To sum up, we have seen how angina can be a debilitating and progressive condition that can lead to more serious problems. The good news is that there are wonderful herbs that can actually took care of the progression of this condition. The Heart and Body Extract contains all the herbs we have mentioned before plus many others that work together to reverse many heart conditions.

Heart disease in women

16 Oct 2015 no comments HAB Extract

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the no. 1 killer of women, “kills more women than all forms of cancer combined, and more women than men”. Similarly, on an article published in the Journal of Women’s Health, it is stated that female cardiovascular disease mortality rate remains ‘disproportionately high and the root causes underlying this inequity remain speculative”. What can women do to turn this around? Fortunately, there are many things that women can do, please keep reading to find out.

To start our discussion, I would like to mention the work of Dr. Stephen Sinatra, M.D. who has specialized in preventive cardiology for more that 30 years. In his book “Reverse Heart Disease Now” he talks about a pattern he has observed through his career: “women have always received less treatment, and are more likely to be written off by physicians as having anxiety or psychological issues… because her symptoms are often less definite or dramatic than those of men, her doctor may underestimate them or fail to order follow-up tests… While in men symptoms might be arm or chest pain, for a woman the symptoms might include discomfort in the chest that mimics indigestion, or it might be pain in the neck that radiates into the jaw or profound fatigue. Many women even will write off their symptoms as the flu” He explains that even after many years as cardiologist and being aware of the unusual symptoms displayed by many women, he still finds that heart disease in women can be confusing and women may more often experience non classic symptoms of a stroke than men. So what can women do to prevent this? I think the answer is to stay informed and know their body. We need to remember that our health is our responsibility, it is not our doctor’s responsibility, even though there might be wonderful doctors out there who really care for us.

In what follows, we will discuss what I believe could be the contributing factors that make heart disease in women more prevalent than in men. Some of them might be so obvious that they can be easily overlooked. These contributing factors are: pregnancy, excess estrogen and menopause.

Pregnancy as a risk factor

Pregnancy is a very stressful time in a woman’s life. Aside from all the changes the body has to go through, the mother has to provide all the nutrition the baby needs to develop correctly. That means that if the mother is not healthy enough and the baby is going to take everything it needs from her body, this can leave her vulnerable and nutritionally deficient. To explain what I mean, I would like to quote Dr. Joel Wallach in his book “Epigenetics” where he states: “Life does not begin at conception, it begins in the 23 chromosomes of the father and the 23 chromosomes of the mother … it is imperative for the DNA to constantly have access to all 90 essential nutrients (60 minerals, 16 vitamins, 12 amino acids and 3 fatty acids) and each one must be available in optimal amounts and in the proper ratios to each other” Under ideal circumstances, the mother will be healthy enough to provide for herself and her baby the nutrition needed, but in today’s world that is almost impossible.

I believe most of us do not get the essential nutrients our body needs in normal circumstances, much less under extraordinary circumstances like is the case of pregnancy. Unless the mother supplements before, during and after pregnancy, she can run into high risks of nutritional deficiencies that could affect her heart health later in life. This is topic that I believe does not get enough attention, one proof of this is that cravings during pregnancy are still considered ‘normal’ but are a clear sign of nutritional deficiencies. Something else that is alarming is the fact that the mother’s brain shrinks during pregnancy if she does not eat enough essential fatty acids.

Another risk factor that I think is significant in women in their child bearing years is that they lose important minerals during their monthly cycle. An example is magnesium, which is essential for heart health and if not replenished can compromise her health. If you find yourself craving chocolate or have restless leg syndrome, it might be a sign that you are deficient in magnesium. 1000-2000 mg of magnesium glycinate, with calcium and vitamin K2, before going to sleep will not only take care of this but will also relax you.

The heart of the matter

The second risk factor in heart disease in women is one that might not seem to be related and can be easily overlooked. What I am referring to is estrogen. Estrogen is a stress hormone both men and women make from cholesterol, but women have more of this inflammatory hormone than men do. Estrogen is obviously important and has functions in the body, it regulates many chemical reactions and supports the body in times of stress. But there is a negative side to it that needs to be addressed. According to pharmacist Ben Fuchs, estrogen is a very potent hormone that is active in very small amounts, this is significant because it means that estrogen has to be broken down, processed correctly and eliminated from the body through the gallbladder, liver, digestive system and via the activity of probiotics. According to him, a toxic overload of estrogen is the reason why women have more heart disease than men. This means that if we have any digestive disorder, liver or gallbladder health issues, or the wrong kind of bacteria in the gut, this toxic estrogen will build up in the body and create havoc.
Let us see how excess estrogen can become a health issue:

  1. Estrogen reduces the tone and strength of blood vessels, thickens and clots the blood. Women on HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) have higher rates of blood clots. A study published in Medical Care (May 2009) examined the relationship between HRT use and heart failures in the entire US population.The results established that “Decreased HRT use was associated with a decrease in the incidence of acute myocardial infarction [heart attack]”
  2. Estrogen increases the risk for cancer, specially endiomitrial cancer, ovarian and breast cancer.
  3. Estrogen turns on the growth of breast tissue (this means cysts, fibroids and even tumors).
  4. Estrogen increases the chance of auto-immune diseases and adds an additional burden to the stress response. (Estrogen is pro-anxiety).
  5. Estrogen stimulates contractions and spasms.
  6. Estrogen opposes the action of insulin, making it harder to control blood sugar levels. This means that the higher the estrogen levels, the higher the insulin levels will be. This translates into a higher risk for diabetes, insulin resistance, elevations of blood insulin all of which can precede other health problems like cancer and heart disease.
  7. Excess estrogen excretes zinc from the body and causes accumulation of copper. Zinc is needed for many chemical reactions in the body including sugar metabolism, growth and repair, hormonal balance, immune system, slowing down the aging process (wrinkles, dark spots, osteoporosis, etc.)
  8. Estrogen will “restrain the breakdown of bone tissue” according to Dr. John Lee in his book “What your doctor may not tell you about menopause”. This looks like something beneficial because there is less bone tissue breaking in the short term, but in the long term it will prevent new bone tissue from forming resulting in weaker bones.
  9. Estrogen reduces cell respiration.
  10. Estrogen encourages water and salt retention and weight gain.
  11. Estrogen is anti-libido, slowing the sex drive and it is the hormone of birth control (women with high estrogen will find it more difficult to get pregnant)

With so many side effects, I am sure you would like to know how to get rid of estrogen toxicity in the body. There are many ways we can do this, but since excess estrogen is broken down and eliminated first via the gallbladder, liver, digestive system and with the activity of probiotics the first and most important way to accomplish this would be to improve the health of these organs:

  1. The gallbladder is essential for health, it is responsible for helping the body digest necessary fats, minerals and fat soluble vitamins our heart needs so much. Since estrogen is stored in the fatty part of cells you need a working gallbladder to get rid of excess estrogen. Nowadays, who doesn’t have a digestive disorder? What is more, gallbladder surgeries are big business. According to womanshealth.com “Gallstones affect approximately one in ten Americans, and are associated with approximately 3,000 deaths annually, 800,000 hospitalizations and over 500,000 people undergo surgery for gallstones annually”. If this is your case, you are going to want to keep reading, because without a gallbladder, you will need to take extra care of your body. If you are lucky to still have your gallbladder but have gallstones, you might want to do a cleanse to get rid of them before they become painful. You can read all about it in Andreas Moritz’ book “The Liver and Gallbladder Miracle Cleanse: An All-Natural, At-Home Flush to Purify and Rejuvenate Your Body”
  2. You can also support your liver‘s detoxifying properties by using a well formulated wild crafted blend of herbs that work synergistically to assist your hard working liver. The “Liver Support Compound” from Healthy Hearts Club is an excellent combination of herbs to detoxify your liver.
  3. Then you can improve your digestion with bile salts, digestive enzymes, lecithin and apple cider vinegar after all your meals.
  4. Since excess estrogen is cleared up by the good bacteria in our gut, probiotics are a must. Having the wrong kind of bacteria in the gut, can create havoc and sabotage our efforts to get our liver and digestive system in pristine condition. You can further support your digestive system with fermented foods like kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, etc. You can visit this web site www.culturesforhealth.com for a free e-books on how to prepare them at home.

This 4-step approach will not only help you remove excess estrogen, it will also improve your overall health which will support your heart health. I believe it is essential because without a healthy digestive system we will not be able to digest, absorb and assimilate the nutrients our heart needs.

To further assist your body in the elimination of excess estrogen you can use:

  1. Vitamin E, 400 mg of mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols a day, taken together with selenium (around 400 mcg/day).
  2. Cayenne is a great cleanser for the body. You can find it as an active ingredient in high concentrations in many of the Heart and Body products, namely the “Heart and Body Extract”, the “Bone and Joint Extract“, the “Kidney/Bladder Extract”. The “Blood Purifier” is great for purifying the blood.

The thyroid connection

Iodine is a great way to support excess estrogen detoxification apart from being an essential mineral. According to the W.H.O., iodine deficiency is one of the most marked mineral deficiencies all over the world. Breast cancer, endomitrial cancer, prostate and thyroid disease are all signs of iodine deficiency. The “Heart and Body Extract” is a wonderful source of kelp, rich in iodine. According to Ben Fuchs, when it comes to protection from excess estrogen, there is no mineral that is more important than iodine. Apart from this, iodine is critical for mental functioning and according to the “American Journal of Clinical nutrition” iodine deficiency can prevent children from attaining their full intellectual potential. Signs of iodine deficiency in children are cretinism, brain issues, disorder in walking and growth. Expecting and lactating mothers should supplement with this essential mineral so the babies can get it through her, either in the womb or breast milk. According to the W.H.O., 1/3 of children in the whole world are deficient in iodine and iodine is the most preventable cause of brain damage in children and lower IQs in adults.

Iodine will not only protect you from excess estrogen, it will also protect you from bromine, that is toxic to our body. Bromine is found in fire retardant materials like mattresses, carpets, clothing, it is also used to bleach flour, cereals, pastries, bread, pasta, and in soda drinks it is called B.V.O. (brominated vegetable oil) which is used as an emulsifier. What happens when you are deficient in iodine is the body will absorb bromine instead because it looks a lot like iodine. However, when iodine is present in our diet, the body will displace bromine and eliminate it from our glands. If you start breaking out after beginning your supplementation of iodine, it just means your body is getting rid of the toxic bromine and replacing it with iodine, it is not that iodine is bad!

Iodine is essential and without it, we would die. Iodine can also help you get rid of fluoride, the substance that is supposed to take care of cavities. In turns out that fluoride is toxic. Fluoride can calcify both the pineal gland and the thyroid gland. The pineal gland is the master gland in the body, it produces two very important hormones, serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin is a hormone of alertness the body releases with light, melatonin is a hormone that helps you sleep and it is released with darkness. If you are deficient in iodine, your body will absorb the fluoride if that is all it has. And if you are drinking tap water or using fluoridated toothpaste, you are probably getting a lot of fluoride too. If you cannot use a water filter to remove the fluoride from your drinking water, make sure you saturate your thyroid with iodine.

Two thirds of the iodine in our body is stored in the thyroid and it is an essential component of thyroid hormone. Since the thyroid regulates EVERYTHING else in the body, if it is not working properly this will be the beginning of every degenerative disease there is, including heart disease, muscle and nerve problems, osteoporosis, etc.

If this was not enough, iodine keeps all the glands healthy: adrenal glands, pituitary glands and the thymus gland (our immune system gland). For diabetics, iodine plays an important role in the health of the pancreatic health and it is very important for the health of the liver, like in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease which is so prevalent nowadays, even in young children.

Iodine prevents breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men and can help against fibromyalgia. All this is despite the fact that health authorities claim we get enough iodine from iodized salt.

When it comes to iodine absorption, as with any other minerals, you need to have a healthy gallbladder, liver and digestive system all of which like we said before are necessary for absorbing fats too. So, you see, the gallbladder is necessary for the health of your heart and your entire body. Without being able to absorb fats (essential fatty acids) and minerals (iodine, calcium, zinc, strontium, magnesium, selenium) and fatty vitamins (D, E, A, K), your heart will suffer.

Know your hormones, save your heart

Another strategy to balance excess estrogen involves what is called “homeostasis”, which simply means “balance”. In this sense, health could be explained as a balance of two opposites, and disease as a lack of balance in the body. You can think of it as a thermostat that keeps the temperature in your house the same, without up or downs. In the body this balance is accomplished by the work of hormones: they regulate everything and they must co-exist in balance in the body or disease will be the result. Some examples of this balance are: Serotonin-melatonin, insulin-glucagon, estrogen-progesterone, testosterone-cortisol. For the purpose of our discussion we will focus on estrogen and progesterone.

All the negative effects of estrogen we discussed before can be balanced with estrogen’s partner: progesterone. While estrogen is a stress hormone, progesterone is a relaxation hormone and balances everything estrogen does in the body. Let us see how:

  1. Progesterone is the hormone of pregnancy (progesterone means ‘pro-gestation’), Progesterone keeps tissue from growing too fast, protects against fibroids, cysts and tumors. In an article of the European Journal of Cancer, progesterone is said to prohibit the proliferation of breast cancer tumor cells.
  2. Progesterone restores blood vessels tone by strengthening them and keeps the blood moving smoothly.
  3. Progesterone helps the body process sugar, supports the activity of insulin so the pancreas does not have to pump out so much and progesterone can help also reduce the toxicity of too much insulin.
  4. Progesterone helps the body store zinc.
  5. Progesterone can actually help the body form new bone tissue.
  6. Progesterone relaxes the body and strengthens the immune system. It can also be very helpful for auto-immune diseases of the nerves, specially multiple sclerosis. Women are more likely to develop these kind of diseases than men.
  7. Progesterone is one of the most important fat loss hormones the body makes, it is a diuretic and helps your body process salt.
  8. Progesterone is known to be one of the most thermogenic hormones there is because it increases metabolism. By increasing body heat and metabolism, progesterone will help you lose weight, also improve the circulatory system by preventing blood clotting.
  9. Progesterone stimulates the sex drive.
  10. Progesterone has a relaxing effect in the body.
  11. Progesterone improves cell respiration and oxygen utilization.

What are the best sources of progesterone? This might surprise you, but mistletoe, known since ancient times, is a powerful stimulator and activator of progesterone. In an article published by the University of Adelaide Australia in November 2012, a study conducted on mistletoe found it to be a very powerful anticancer compound, because of its progesterone stimulating properties. In this article, mistletoe was recommended as an alternative to chemotherapy in colon cancer because of its efficiency in destroying colon cancer cells and being gentler on the intestinal cells than chemotherapy. While mistletoe has already been recognized as an alternative treatment for chemotherapy in Europe, in the U.S. is not very well known, but if you are reading this you can now take advantage of the “Heart and Body Extract” for its progesterone up-regulating properties, anti cancer as well as many other health benefits like improved circulation, relaxation, etc.

Menopause and heart disease

Apart from pregnancy and estrogen, there is another stress factor women have to deal with that can increases their risks of heart disease: menopause. Menopause can be a very stressing time in a women’s life if it is not understood. The changes that occur in the woman’s body during peri-menopause and menopause can be explained as follows: the reproductive system stops producing the sex hormones we discussed earlier in detail, estrogen and progesterone and the adrenals then pick up the slack by becoming the body’s only producers of estrogen and progesterone, thus replacing the ovaries. This is very important to understand and can be the difference between a miserable menopause and one without symptoms.

The adrenals are two small organs sitting on top of the kidneys (ad-renal means close to the kidneys) known as our stress glands, which means they help our body handle stress. During menopause your already hard working adrenals have a new job to do: make estrogen and progesterone, and that can burden them even more. Symptoms like insomnia, hot flashes, anxiety, aging skin, dark spots, wrinkles etc are not a ‘normal’ part of your new life, but a manifestation of an excessive stress response. You could say the adrenals are screaming for help!. This excessive stress response I believe is another reason women have a higher risk for heart disease than men.

However, you can support your adrenals and spare yourself from having all the unpleasant symptoms of menopause. So many doctors put menopausal women on HRT claiming it is bio-identical or natural, but according to pharmacist Ben Fuchs there is not such a thing. What is more, HRT can be another big stress for women going through menopause because of the estrogen overload, proof of this is the many side effects HRT has, including blood clots. Instead, he recommends supporting your adrenals so you can take a load off these hard working organs.
What is important to understand about the adrenals is that they are connected to the thyroid, so by helping the adrenals you are helping your thyroid too because they work together. When the adrenals are overloaded, they can slow down or even shut down the thyroid, which we have already explained, is the regulator of EVERYTHING else in the body. We can support our thyroid like we explained before, but because now the adrenals become a huge player, we also need to support the adrenals. This is so very important in my opinion, because if these two organs, the thyroid and the adrenals are left un cared, it can put a tremendous burden in the heart, causing high blood pressure and other problems. How can you help your adrenals then?

  1. First of all sea salt can be very beneficial, the adrenals love minerals.
  2. The B vitamins, all of them work as a team, but vitamin B 5 and B 12 are specially important for the adrenals. The “Female Balance Extract” from Healthy Hearts Club is an excellent source of biotin, B 5 and B 3, take it together with some B-100 capsules for extra support.
  3. Vitamin C is very important for adrenals too, take several grams a day in divided doses.
  4. Magnesium glycinate, 1000 mg to 2000 mg. This one will relax you too so take it before going to sleep, together with the “Calcium Extract” from Healthy Hearts Club and some vitamin K 2 (1-5 grams).
  5. Very important too for adrenal health is cholesterol, which is the raw material the body uses to make many important hormones like: estrogen, progesterone, pregnenolone, DHEA, cortisol and Vitamin D. If you are under a lot of stress, cholesterol will be used primarily to make a stress hormone called cortisol, so your body will not be able to make enough of the estrogen and progesterone it needs to get you through menopause without symptoms (insomnia, hot flashes, anxiety, loss of libido, accelerated aging, dark spots on the skin, wrinkles, dryness…, all of the things that are considered ‘normal’ part of aging). Cortisol is a stress hormone that opposes several other hormones like estrogen and progesterone. Lowering cortisol means reducing stress, relaxing, deep breathing, eliminating problem foods, keeping blood sugar stable by eliminating sugar from the diet and fast burning carbohydrates like pasta, bread, cereals, cakes, candies and avoiding hypoglycemia by eating more protein. Something very important to understand about the nervous system is that it is highly electrical, which means that it depends on electrical energy flowing smoothly. Stress acts like an electrical glitch. Since the heart and the brain are electrical organs, stress can affect both. Thereby the importance of relaxing for heart and brain health. There is nothing more stressing to the body than sugar, sugar is a toxin and it interrupts the flow of electricity in the body, it also makes tiny capillaries ‘explode’ which is the reason diabetics go blind!

If you follow these easy steps you will take a load off the adrenal glands, support the thyroid and in turn help your heart. The “Stress Extract” from the Healthy Hearts Club is an excellent combination of herbs (including mistletoe) that will also help you with your stress levels and help you get a restful sleep.

To sum up, women run a higher risk for heart disease than men. Pregnancy and lack of nutrition, excess estrogen, HRT, peri-menopause and menopause without proper nutrition can all become the contributing factors for heart disease. There are many things women can do to take care of themselves…Love your body and your heart will take care of you.

Electrolytes and your heart

17 Sep 2015 no comments HAB Extract

We have seen how lowering cholesterol is not a good idea and how the supposedly “bad” cholesterol is not bad at all, but it is used by the body to transport cholesterol, fats and fat soluble vitamins that are essential for health. One of these fat soluble vitamins is vitamin K. Without LDL carrying it our heart will suffer. But what is vitamin K?, how are electrolytes and vitamin K related? How is it that such an important mineral like calcium can cause dangerous calcification of our blood vessels? Let’s start our discussion talking about what electrolytes are and what they do in the body.

Electrolytes, the spark of life.

Electrolytes, according to Dr. Bernard Jensen in his book “Come Alive!”, make up 70-80% of all minerals in the body and are so vital to health that life couldn’t be possible without them. The electrolytes are: sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, bicarbonate, phosphate and sulfate.

If we look up the definition in the dictionary, electricity is defined as ‘a fundamental form of energy observable in positive and negative forms that occurs naturally (as in lightning) or is produced (as in a generator) that is expressed in terms of the movement and interaction of electrons’ This is exactly how electrolytes work in the body and in the heart. More specifically, an electrolyte can split into two electrically-charged particles (ions) when dissolved in a fluid like water or blood plasma where they can conduct electricity. It is this ability to conduct electricity that makes electrolytes essential for heart health. When electricity doesn’t flow correctly we can experience a ‘shortcircuit’, a problem with heart rhythm.

Electrolytes are always active and changing, they enter the body in a specific combination, like calcium aspartate, but as soon as they are dissolved in the blood or lymph, they split up into two charged ions. In the case of calcium aspartate, we get calcium + aspartate. Then they can move from one electrical level to another, recombining with other ions as they continue changing, working and influencing one another and the cells around them.

The body is an electrical generator

Dr. Bernard Jensen explained that the electricity carried by charged particles in our body is the same we find in lightning, although smaller. “Life is movement and movement is caused by electrical impulses…as well as by changes in blood pressure, fluid volume and the physical pumping of the heart”. When electrolytes split into two oppositely charged minerals, these minerals come alive. In their electrically charged form, minerals can attach themselves to proteins to become parts of enzymes, coenzymes, hormones, vitamins, nucleic factors and other very important substances in the body. Sodium and potassium even play an active part in the transmission of electrical impulses from one nerve cell to another.

In addition, there is an energy field around every internal organ that changes depending on the health of the organ. If you ever heard of ‘auras’ you know auras are the electric energy around our body that can be photographed with Kirlian photography. A sick person will emanate a ‘dimmer’ aura than a healthy person. Each organ, he said, has its own electrical charge. Calcium for example has a positive charge and is found in the hard tissues like bones, teeth, cartilage, while the soft tissues are negatively charged.

Functions of electrolytes in the body.

Electrolytes provide the electrically charged ions that take part in:

  1. Helping sustain balance in the body and helping the body use nutrients. Dr. Bernard Jensen quotes Dr. Quigley saying ” people with a sufficient intake of calcium, iron and iodine plus vitamins will have a resistance against ordinary disease…fatigue, will be able to retain all physical faculties to a greater age and will have a better mind than the person who suffers from some single or multiple vitamin or mineral deficiency. The various vitamins and minerals are all necessary”. When all the systems are in balance the body’s internal chemistry can work properly. This is why a balanced nutrition is so important because all and each of the nutrients work together and they must all be present in adequate amounts.
  2. Keeping the acid-alkaline balance in the body. The normal state of the blood is slightly alkaline, limited to a range between 7.3 pH to 7.45. Neutral is 7, acidic is below 7, and above 7 is alkaline. This is important to mention because most of the mineral processes in the body can only happen in the narrow pH between 7.35 and 7.45 and a temperature close to 98.6 F. This is the temperature at which the body’s enzymes are designed to trigger mineral processes. Certain electrolytes constantly neutralize acids to keep the pH of the blood at the right range. The acid-alkaline balance is kept in check by the electrolytes. This makes them very important for health. What is more, calcium is alkaline, when our blood is too acidic our body will make calcium leak from our bones to try to alkalinize the blood again. This is not a desirable situation. The major cause of acidity in the blood is a diet high in refined sugars , which can cause calcium loss from our bones , and many other problems. Another major cause of calcium loss is drinking carbonated drinks. It is more prevalent nowadays to find young teens, specially girls, having bone fractures.
  3. Nerve transmission. Nerves are like living wires that conduct electricity. As nerve cells are next to each other, the ‘head’ of one touches the ‘foot’ of the next one. Potassium is found inside the cells, sodium outside. As nerve impulses pass from cell to cell, the sodium ions move inside the cell and potassium leaves the cell. The nerve impulse jumps the space found between cells (called synapse) and enters the head of the next nerve cell till it reaches its destination. As it passes, the potassium ions re-enter the cell and sodium leaves the cell. The key for this transport of electricity is electrolytes.
  4. Muscle contraction. What makes muscle contraction possible is electrically charged calcium ions, which are released when a nerve signal reaches a muscle cell. The energy for the contraction is provided by two phosphate-containing substances, which are transformed into energy with magnesium and enzymes working together. Muscle contraction then depends on the electrically charged ions of calcium, magnesium and phosphate, initiated by a nerve impulse that requires potassium and sodium at every nerve synapse that travels through the nerve impulse from the brain to the muscle. From this we can infer how all these electrolytes help the heart muscle contract, making them essential for heart health.
  5. Osmotic pressure. This refers to the movement of water through the cell’s membrane into a more concentrated solution in order to equalize the concentrations of both on the two sides of the membrane. This is facilitated by electrolytes.
  6. Maintaining the proper mineral and water balance of the body. Body fluid volume depends on sodium. While sodium and potassium are found together in the body, potassium is usually conserved in the body, while sodium is usually excreted through urine or sweat . Up to 8 grams can be lost in one day of hard work. Salt depletion is marked by fatigue, dizziness, cramps, nausea and vomiting and it goes together with water loss. The best way to turn this is to drink water and/or eat fresh vegetables. This is specially important for the elderly and children in very hot summer days, and people on a low salt diet. Not replenishing the electrolytes can be deadly!

Sodium protects the gastrointestinal walls, the joints and synovial membranes. It also helps keep calcium in solution. Potassium protects the heart and muscles. Potassium is twice as abundant in the body as sodium.

A note about salt.

Table salt (sodium and chloride) overdoses the body with sodium the body cannot use. Table salt sodium is not food sodium, it behaves more like a drug than a food. It causes water to be held in the tissues. Food sodium , however, disperses little by little in the blood as the food is broken down, digested and assimilated. Food sodium is assimilated and stored in the walls of the stomach and the bowel, where it neutralizes excess acids and protects the stomach and the bowel from acids. Sodium is also stored in the joints where it keeps them flexible and prevents calcium from coming out of solution to deposit in the joints as spurs.

A good move for your heart health is to replace table salt with sea salt. Sea salt is evaporated sea water electrically charged with solar energy. It contains all the minerals in a balanced way so it is a great way to replenish your electrolytes. Dissolving 1/2 to 1 tsp of sea salt in water is a better option to replenish lost electrolytes than many ‘energy’ drinks which are loaded with sugar and other things the body doesn’t need. This is a must in very hot days or when you are exercising and sweating a lot.

To learn more about the importance of electrolytes in the diet , please tune in next week. Thanks for reading.

Dangers of electrolyte deficiency

Electrolyte deficiency can cause the following health problems: Aging, chronic fatigue, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, skin problems, clogged arteries, digestive problems, allergies, arthritis, eye problems, hyperactivity, ADD, infertility, heart disease, cancer, constipation and sinus infections.

Electrolytes can be lost by vomiting, diarrhea, high fevers, sweating or overexercising in hot weather, even drinking too much water can flush them out of the body and cause an imbalance. Babies are specially vulnerable to electrolyte loss. If electrolytes are not replenished fast enough it can cause death. Physical and mental stress deplete them. In a study it was shown how five days of intense stress can deplete from 9 to 44% of the body’s electrolytes. Another study showed how the mortality rate in a group of 35-74 year old white males was higher in a geographical area where certain minerals were depleted from the soil and water.

The most common cause of mineral deficiency is soil depletion, which makes it depleted in the foods we eat. Unless soil depletion is something we can change, supplementation is the best alternative.

Calcium and magnesium

Calcium is found in the body in:

  1. Teeth enamel, which is almost 100% calcium phosphate. 99% of the body’s calcium is in the bones and teeth. The enamel of teeth has more mineral content than any other tissue, gland or organ in the body including bones.
  2. Bone. Bones are made up of calcium, a protein framework (35% of the total skeleton weight) and the other electrolytes.

Calcium is one of the minerals that is unsufficient in large amounts of the population. Specially premenopausal women don’t have enough calcium in their diets to serve as a reserve for the calcium needed for the postmenopausal loss when hormone levels change. Because of this, osteoporosis, (a calcium deficiency disease), is almost an epidemic in postmenopausal women. When there is not enough calcium in the diet, the body will ‘borrow’ it from bones to compensate for the deficiency.

Calcium is used in the clotting of blood. Also, it works with magnesium to prevent the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Both calcium and magnesium combine with certain enzymes that break down food, produce energy, form proteins and help make DNA. Together with sodium and potassium, calcium and magnesium are among the most important of electrolytes. Phosphates work together with calcium in major energy production cycles.

A very important factor regarding calcium is assimilation, people with low stomach acid cannot absorb it. If calcium is not dissolved when it reaches the small intestine it is excreted. According to pharmacist Ben Fuchs, calcium also needs vitamin K to be absorbed. This is a very important aspect in calcium metabolism and it’s one that often gets overlooked, accounting for the dangerous calcification of soft tissue: arteries, heart, brain and kidneys. According to him, “In the absence of Vitamin K,… calcium can begin to accumulate in the blood and in various tissues. This accumulation is referred to as “calcification”… It means a hardening of soft tissues and fluids. Vessels are especially prone to calcification. This can result in poor blood flow and further impaired health”.

He explains vitamin K helps some proteins in the body make ‘hooks’ that ‘catch’ calcium and thereby do their work of clotting and clearing the blood, contract muscles, keep your heart healthy, and help nerve cells fire. Almost everything a cell does is somehow related to these proteins, their chemical hooks and their ability to “catch” calcium. Without these hooks no matter what else you’re doing for your health, e.g. supplementing, working out, eating correctly you will still be at higher risk for all kinds of degenerative, breakdown diseases. One of the most important roles for these hooked proteins is to help regulate calcium levels. Essentially, these hooked proteins can help mop up excess calcium. Without hooks these proteins can’t do their calcium mopping work and calcium can begin to accumulate in the blood.”

How can we take vitamin K? one way is through food: fermented soy product called natto, organ meats (especially liver), cottage cheese, hard cheese and butter. Another way is supplements, vitamin K is available in two main forms K1 and K2. Vitamin K2 which is more potent and has better anti-calcification properties than Vitamin K1. 1000-5000 mcg a day is a good dose. Since vitamin K is a fatty vitamin, it depends on cholesterol to be transported through the blood.

Sources of calcium in the diet are leafy green vegetables, raw goat milk, nuts, seeds, ripe olives, dried fruits, white beans, lima beans, lentils , broccoli, hard cheeses, green snap beans , etc. Best sources of magnesium are leafy green vegetables, dulse, poultry, fish etc. However, because of soil depletion and farming techniques it is hard to know how much we are getting from the diet. The best way to get them is supplementing. The products I highly recommend are:

  1. Sea salt which has all the minerals, instead of table salt which only has two. If you use sea salt regularly in your cooking, it will allow your body to be flooded with minerals so when you take your other nutrients, they will be absorbed better.
  2. Calcium Extract from Healthy Hearts Club which will give you calcium in liquid form so it’s easier for the body to absorb.
  3. High doses of vitamin K2, Carlson Labs has a product with 5 grams per pill, you can find it online.
  4. Then, it would be a good idea to use some ocean ‘mineral’ like seaweed. Dr. Bernard Jensen has a product called ” Nova Scotia Dulse” that is very high in minerals, which he personally recommended for his patients.
  5. Vitamin A+D. They both work together so it’s best to take them together. Carlson Labs has a vitamin good quality A+D product without soy. Around 20,000 IU per day is a good dose.
  6. Taurine. This amazing amino acid will not only help you assimilate your electrolytes, it will also help you absorb fats. According to Ben Fuchs, it “Helps lower blood pressure and improves the excretion of excess fluid which takes pressure off of blood vessels. Strengthens heart muscle and helps maintain calcium balance in heart cells. Critical in maintaining heart muscle contraction.” It is very unexpensive, you can buy 8 oz. for $4 , and it goes to work right away. The best form is in powder rather than pills. If you feel your heart is racing and you need to slow your heartbeat, taurine has a calming effect on the heart’s electrical energy. It is a must for heart health! We will be talking more extensively about taurine in our next blogs. Please stay tuned!

In conclusion, the body needs a balance of all the nutrients. Since calcium needs other nutrients to be absorbed, it is a good idea to have them all present in the diet.

Atherosclerosis is reversible

17 Sep 2015 no comments HAB Extract

What if you could learn to reverse one of the most dreaded degenerative diseases we face today? Atherosclerosis (arteriosclerosis), the buildup of plaque in the arteries leading to heart disease is, according to Dr. Levy, easy to prevent when we understand how it starts: “deficiency of vitamin C in the innermost lining of the arteries… Once this intima is damaged by lack of vitamin C, he explains, a plaque-building process starts that, independent of individual different cardiac risk factors, always results in arterial blockage”. How would you like to have the tools in your own hands that can help you not only prevent this disease but reverse it? Please read on to find out.

Coronary Heart Disease is Arterial Scurvy.

In his book “Stop America’s # 1 killer!” Dr Levy explains that vitamin C deficiency can manifest in specific areas of the body while the rest of the body is in the normal level. This is the case of arterial scurvy, periodontal disease and cataracts. But what causes vitamin C to be deficient only in a specific area of the body and not in the rest of the body? His answer is “Significant daily toxin exposure causes toxins to keep oxidizing vitamin C stores making it unavailable to tissues”. Let us look in detail at how atherosclerosis starts and how it develops through the different stages of degeneration.

The Genesis of Arterial Narrowings and Blockages.

Arteries are blood vessels that deliver blood away from the heart. The blood pressure needed to bring blood to the farthest organs in the body puts great stress in the big arteries close to the heart. It is in these arteries under the highest pressure where atherosclerosis mostly happens (it’s very uncommon to find atherosclerosis in the small capillaries). High blood pressure and atherosclerosis then go hand in hand , with the first probably being the main factor for the second.

To understand arterial narrowings, it would be good to understand the anatomy of the artery. The artery wall is composed of 3 layers:

  1. Intima: Innermost layer, it’s composed of a thin layer of connective tissue high in collagen.
  2. Media: Consisting of an inner layer of elastic fibers, a thick layer of smooth muscle cells contained by another outer layer of elastic fibers and collagen fibers intertwined through the muscle layer.
  3. Adventitia: A very dense structure of collagen, elastic fibers, smooth muscle cells and fibroblasts. Fibroblasts are cells that multiply to produce different types of connective tissue like cartilage, collagen, bone, tendon, etc. Vitamin C deficiency will keep fibroblasts from making collagen and proteins and cause mature fibroblasts to become weak.

Furthermore, our blood vessel cells are surrounded by a ‘glue’ called ‘ground substance’ which literally holds many of our tissues together. It is a gel-like framework with connective tissue cells and fibers intertwined. Ground substance has a lot of very large molecules known as glycoproteins, which are composed of protein, carbohydrates and in the presence of vitamin C interconnect to form a thick gel that binds our cells together. Vitamin C is essential for this glue to stay strong.

When vitamin C is low, the process of atherosclerosis progresses in this order:

One, when vitamin C is deficient the ‘glue’ becomes loose, runny and watery, breaking down the vessel wall. This is the first step in atherosclerosis. Glycoprotein is then found leaking into the blood.

Two, the loss of stiffness causes the ground substance to change from water-insoluble to water-soluble, which allows unwanted substances (Calcium, fats and cholesterol) to accumulate there by crossing inside the inner wall and causing thickening as a result. This protective thickening acts as a compensation mechanism for the loss of ‘glue’ but it also begins narrowing the arterial diameter. What is more, this thickening can keep vitamin C and other nutrients from reaching deep into the tissues where they are needed.

Three, the body further tries to fortify this weak area with fibroblasts (collagen and fiber), while macrophages (a type of white blood cell) enter the intima to eat up the invading cholesterol, fats and calcium. All of this translates into more thickening of the wall.

Four, all this leads to the second stage of atherosclerosis: the accumulation of cells in the intima area of the blood vessel, specially macrophages that eat up the unwanted substances. As more lipids get deposited, more macrophages show up clearly thickening the area where the artery was first deficient in vitamin C. Furthermore, the lack of vitamin C in the area promote the invasion of inflammatory agents like toxins from a root-canal treated teeth or periodontal disease, making the development of atherosclerosis much more pronounced. This will become a downward spiral as infection and toxicity deplete the area of much needed vitamin C. Until vitamin C levels in the arteries normalize, the degenerative process of atherosclerosis will continue mercilessly. A constant supply of vitamin C is needed.

This constant supply is even more important because collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, accounting for 30% of the body’s total protein content, and it is collagen’s characteristic stiffness that makes our organs resistant to rupture. Tissues high in collagen are: tendons, ligaments, cornea, lens, skin, bone, teeth, cartilage, heart valves, blood vessels, smooth muscles, gut and some organs, also the tissue surrounding cells.

Five, in advanced stages of atherosclerosis, capillaries develop inside blockages to provide some blood supply. Capillaries are thin compared to the arteries close to the heart, consisting only of the intima layer and they are so tiny they only allow one single row of red blood cells to pass through. This exposes these frail capillaries to blood pressures that can rupture them and cause bleeding in the plaque itself resulting in total blockage of the artery. The end result can be a heart attack when blood flow is dramatically reduced.

High BP and Vitamin C deficiency.

High blood pressure can start atherosclerosis by overtaxing collagen deprived blood vessel walls. For the artery to keep its strength in the presence of high blood pressure, the collagen in the 3 layers of the artery has to be optimal in quantity and quality. For this, vitamin C has to be taken on a regular basis. Scarred tissue is more sensitive than normal connective tissue to vitamin C deficiency and needs more vitamin C than healthy tissue. When the levels of vitamin C remain low for a long time, adequate amounts of collagen and proteins cannot be synthesized and the body has to compensate with something called ‘proliferative reaction‘ in order to strengthen the vessel wall. It does this by stimulating intense cellular multiplication with fibroblasts in the intima and media over areas deficient in collagen. Ironically, these plaques are high in collagen. Since they are in direct contact with the blood, this allows them to pick vitamin C better. But while collagen production is increasing in the plaque it can still deficient in the artery if vitamin C is deficient in the body. What is more, the deeper areas (the media) of the atherosclerosis blood vessel remain weak even when the layer on top (the intima) is being thickened by new fibers. These advanced lesions known as fibrous plaques can become sites of hemorrhage, complete blood vessel blockage and/or calcification. The slightest hemorrhage will provoke more plaque growth proving that advanced atherosclerosis plaques are more difficult to reverse than early lesions.

All this process we have just described affects the epicardial arteries, which are those outside the heart, specially those arteries concentrated in areas of highest physical stress such as points of branching. These arteries are exposed with only the resistance offered by the blood vessel itself. However, advanced atherosclerosis does not happen in arteries within the heart: the intramyocardial coronary arteries. These have a dense strong heart muscle surrounding them and even when they are depleted of collagen there is no need for compensating their weakness. Thus, high blood pressure is only a risk factor for atherosclerosis when the deficiency of vitamin C is been long term, the arterial walls are depleted and have no additional support around them.

Vitamin C deficiency then acts in two ways: increasing blood pressure and the high blood pressure damages the artery wall in return. On the contrary, sufficient vitamin C lowers blood pressure and this reduces the development of atherosclerosis.

Inflammation and Vitamin C deficiency.

Inflammation is a “protective response to the injury or destruction of tissue, aiming to lessen the injuring agent and wall off the injured area” It is this walling off that becomes the problem, because when an injured area in the body is walled off in an attempt to protect it, it cannot receive the nutrition (vitamin C, etc) and oxygen it needs and it cannot be detoxified either. This leads to more inflammation, which leads to more starvation and toxification, turning it into a dangerous downward spiral. Inflammation then can cause low vitamin C and severe cardiovascular disease.

Many if not all causes of arterial inflammation deplete Vitamin C.

Chronic dental disease that goes unchecked, like root canal-treated teeth has been associated with chronic inflammation in atherosclerosis with increased risk of heart attack from the total blockage of a heart artery according to Dr. Levy. The way this happens is the diseased teeth release toxins into the blood, these toxins then target the arterial wall. When this happens vitamin C depletion can start. Since vitamin C is a powerful anti microbial, the lack of vitamin C in areas with progressing atherosclerosis can allow the microbes to colonize there. These microbes attack the blood vessels first even if the rest of the body is also vitamin C deficient. Lack of vitamin C can encourage the presence of these microbes therefore promoting more inflammation. Toxins released in the blood stream will deplete the circulating vitamin C, keeping it low in the arteries and facilitating the further invasion of these toxins. Any kind of infection like diphtheria, measles, pneumonia, viral infections like HIV etc then act as a form of atherosclerosis-inducing-disease and cause death of the arterial tissue . The rate of development of atherosclerosis can be fast in the case of infection but also the reversal.

What is more, infections can contribute to atherosclerosis by generating autoimmune reactions against the blood vessel. In this case, the immune system attacks places that are altered. An infected organ looks like something foreign to the body, so it starts mobilizing immune cells and antibodies to attack this altered tissue just as if it was a foreign invader. Vitamin C has also been proven to work very efficiently in these cases of auto-immunity.

To learn how you can reverse this process please tune in next week. Thanks for reading.

Practical suggestions for reversing atherosclerosis.

Is there a way to stop your heart artery narrowings from continuing to progress? Is there a way to open up existing narrowings without surgery? Dr Levy believes the answer is yes. He recommends a protocol whose effectivity is backed by scientific evidence. It consists of a total dental revision requiring proper removal of root canal treated teeth, abscessed teeth, dental implants, proper treatment of chronic periodontal disease, cleaning of all cavitations and replacement of mercury amalgam fillings, crowns etc with biocompatible materials. Doing this in the first place will eliminate the toxicity and infections which are constantly depleting the body of antioxidant stores in the body. As it has been discussed so far, these high levels of toxicity are related to high incidence of atherosclerosis, but also cancer and other chronic degenerative diseases like diabetes, osteoporosis, etc, all of which have been linked to the same lack of antioxidant defenses needed to reverse such conditions.

Dr Levy asserts “the only way to begin the proper restoration of health in a heart patient is the proper extraction of all root canal-treated teeth which involves more than mere extraction … the bony sockets must be properly cleaned after the extraction, or chronically infected holes (cavitations) will form and remain after superficial healing has closed over the holes”. Toxic pockets of infection in the jawbone are pathologically identical to gangrene. Dr Levy found that when these patients’ jawbones are explored closely even years after the extractions long channels of toxic cavitation are found as pockets expand and merge forming literal tunnels of gangrene.

Other sources of extreme toxicity include:
  1. Chronic periodontal disease: It involves toxins and bacteria trapped in an oxygen-deprived environment. To treat it the patient must give up smoking. Secondly, the regular use of high intensity warm water mixed with 3% hydrogen peroxide irrigation will resolve periodontal disease even when advanced. Bleeding is normal and it should resume after a week of using this method. This should be done 2-3 times a day. Growth of new gum will occur in the first week of this therapy.
  2. Abscessed teeth. They need prompt extraction followed by proper cleaning of the socket. Previous sites of extractions should be cleaned. Dr Levy found it common for extracted teeth explored decades afterwards to still contain the cavitation in 90% of the cases, it’s for this reason that it is necessary to revise them several times before new bone can regrow and eliminate the cavitation as a continuous source of toxicity.
  3. Toxic dental fillings like mercury, stainless steel crowns, braces and plates are all sources of great toxicity. Nickel is carcinogenic and has been shown to deplete vitamin C. They all need to be properly replaced with non-toxic materials.
  4. Dental implants are another source of dental toxicity and chronic infection. The routine method consists of a piece of nickel screwed into the bone in the recent extraction which is already infected. The placement of toxic metal into the bone initiates an autoimmune reaction in the body that will not stop until the implant is removed.

For any of these conditions he recommends finding a dentist familiar with these procedures. Check his website to find one: http://www.peakenergy.com/

Minimization of dietary toxicity.

If you absolutely cannot follow the dental protocol, Dr. Levy recommends to focus on the rest of the protocol which he outlines as follows:

  1. Minimize high glycemic foods and refined sugars. They both promote heart disease by releasing sugar rapidly into the blood stream, which competes with vitamin C for access into the cells.
  2. Chew all foods extremely well: food that is not broken down properly will create a toxic gut. Saliva gets digestion started, chewing food right makes sure it is all bathed in it.
  3. Eliminate milk: milk combines poorly with a long list of foods causing bloating and digestive discomfort.
  4. Eat plenty of vegetables.
  5. Choose proper food combinations: this minimizes toxicity of the gut, which can be caused by poorly digested protein. A constipated gut with rotting food will produce toxins similar to those of diseased mouth. Less than a bowel movement a day is a sign of toxicity.
  6. Supplement with high antioxidant nutrients: Ascorbic acid (3-6 grams/day) , magnesium glycinate (up to 2 grams), vitamin k2, vitamin E (400 IU-1,000), B vitamins, CoQ10, Glutathione, N-acetyl-cysteine, MSM, etc.

To sum up, atherosclerosis does not have to be the deadly disease it is. There are things we can do to stop it an reverse it. First, minimize toxicity in your body , then follow a high anti-oxidant diet.

Thank for reading. Stay healthy. Till next time.

What is health?

31 Aug 2015 no comments HAB Extract

It looks like health is becoming more of an issue nowadays. While we are the most medicalized culture in the history of humanity, we are also the sickest. We are constantly being bombarded about health and about what being healthy is or is not. But do we really know what health is? Do we even know our own body? Whether you answered yes or no to those questions, you might want to know that health can be simple… if we understand some basics about how our body works.

First of all, the body needs some essential nutrients, without which it cannot do the work of growing and repairing itself. Without these basic nutrients, we will  be headed down the road of degenerative disease, which is simply the body falling apart for lack of raw materials. Just like a car that doesn’t have the right maintenance would stop working . Ironically, most of us know more about how our car works than how our own body works.

Fortunately , we can reverse the process of degeneration with a little bit of diligence on our part. In simple terms, the body needs protein, fats, vitamins and minerals , which all work together as a team. Deficiency in one of them can cause the rest to not work properly. So let’s break it down.

First, protein is so essential to the body that our need for it is hard wired in our brain, meaning, if we don’t get enough, or good quality or our body cannot digest it, our brain is going to send us on an unstoppable quest for food which will manifest in the form of uncontrollable cravings. Now, if our purpose is to take control our body so we can control our health , this situation doesn’t look very appropiate, does it?.  Specifically, our bodies need around 1/2 a gram to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. You do the math, but above all , observe your body as you give it the protein it needs, because once the body gets what it needs the brain will signal satiety to the body. Only when this happens you will be able to avoid the millions of food tempations in the tv comercials, the food smelling malls and new pizza flavors and combinations that will not only wreck your appetite but your health.

Second , but not less important is fat. Like with protein, our need for fats are hard wired in our brain. High quality fat is essential, we will go into details in the next blogs,  but for now you need to know that EFAs (essential fatty acids) are like the name says, ‘essential” Your brain is fat and each of the 100 trillion cells in your body has an outer membrane that is made of fat. What is more, deficiencies in EFAs are associated with a long list of health problems including skin issues, degenerative disease, impaired mental health and heart pathology to name just a few. There are many products in the market , so it can be confusing, but the  ones I recommend are Udo’s blend, which you can find here http://udoerasmus.com/products/oil_blend_en.htm, Youngevity’s EFA Plus  http://pharmacistben.com/youngevity/ or BiOptimizer’s Protein Breakthrough product which will give you also 17 grams of protein in every serving, more than 8 grams of fiber, and 3.7 grams of essential fatty acids. You can find it here: https://www.proteinbreakthrough.com/ordering/orderpage.php?a_aid=lifeforce&a_bid=7ec1292a or https://bioptimizers.com/?a_aid=lifeforce

Any of these three products are the ones I know are the best quality. Make sure you keep the oils in the refrigerator and away from sunlight to keep them fresh, and never consume an oil that smells rancid. Also, make sure your body is being able to digest the oils. Nowadays is not uncommon to have digestive disorders, and since fats can be tricky to absorb, you need to make sure your body is able to digest them and assimilate them. You will know you have problems digesting fats if they give you digestive discomfort like nausea, or even headaches, or you ‘burp’ the oil. This is a sign of malabsorption, which can create more problems than benefits. If this is the case, get some digestive enzymes, lecithin and/or bile salts, take the fats with food instead of an empty stomach. Also, drinking some apple cider vinegar at the end of meals will help with absorption.

Third, vitamins and minerals.  Both of them work together and deficiencies can create havoc in our health. We will go into more detail in the weeks ahead, but for now you need to know the body needs a constant flow of both, specially the water soluble vitamins (B and C) which are excreted from the body when we urinate. So it is a good idea to replenish them afterwards, this will ensure you are not running low on a daily basis. The ones I recommend are Youngevity’s Beyond Tangy Tangerine , you can find it here: http://pharmacistben.com/youngevity/ or BiOptimizers Primergen V and Primergen M which you can find here : https://bioptimizers.com/?a_aid=lifeforce  Either of them are high quality supplements in liquid form which makes them highly absorvable by the body as opposed to pills.

Last but not least, water. Water is essential to health mainly because our body is mostly water. This is why good quality water, without chemicals and pollutants is essential. You might want to check your city’s/town’s water report to know about toxic overload, but mostly all tap water is high in contaminants. A good water filter is a good idea and although it might require a small monetary investment, it is well worth it. Either this , or you may want to move to the Hunza Valley in Pakistan whose mineral-rich clean glacier water irrigates the crops allowing their food to be so high in nutritional value that their inhabitants live to be more 100 years old, they have no sickness, no jails, no hospitals and even the trees live to be over 100 years old! How do you like that ?!

To sum up, we can take our health in our own hands. Knowing how our bodies work is an essential first step , then knowing what we put in our bodies. If this is overwhelming at the beginning, start step by step. Incorporate one thing at a time and see how your body responds. Remember, our bodies are very wise and they talk to us constantly. Let’s learn to listen to our body.

Thanks for reading. Till next time.