Monday, December 3, 2012

Using Antioxidant Tooth Powder to Improve Oral Hygiene

The mouth is the body’s primary entrance to our digestive organs and the bloodstream. For this reason – among many others - the mouth should be carefully cared for. Here are a few tips on using Antioxidant Tooth Powder for optimum oral health.

I Brush.  Why Do I Also Need to Use an Antioxidant Tooth Powder? 

Brushing will eliminate debris and stains from the food and liquids people take in. However, there are hard to reach areas on the teeth and gums that a simple tooth brush just won’t be able to clean. 
Antioxidant tooth powder uses a combination of plant-based antioxidants, alkaline clay, and natural enzymes that effectively destroy the bacteria that are often missed with simple brushing. A single sprinkle of this powder is strong enough to combat thousands of bacteria in the mouth that are responsible for tooth decay, plaque build up and chronic bad breath. 

Antioxidant tooth powder can be diluted and used as a gargle or simply sprinkled in the mouth for quick touch ups.  This will thoroughly eliminate bacteria that are resting in those crevices and hard to reach places on the tongue, between the teeth and along the gum line. The powder also helps in preventing food particles from adhering to the teeth and gums which can lead to bacterial buildup, bad breath and gum disease.

Safe and Non-toxic Oral Care
Perhaps most importantly, an antioxidant tooth powder like Dr. Don’s cleans the mouth without the use of harmful chemicals, alcohol or fluoride. These chemicals may clean the mouth, but they have unwanted side effects.
Alcohol kills bad bacteria, but also also destroys the normal protective elements in the mouth. This leaves the mouth unprotected and more susceptible to diseases. It can also dry out the mouth and a lower level of saliva promotes bacterial growth and foul breath. 
Fluoride has also been long used in oral care and has known beneficial factors for the mouth including teeth whitening. However, fluoride also has devastating effects on the mouth and bones if used in certain doses. High fluoride content makes the teeth weaker and prone to cavities and damage. Couple this with the fact that tap water is often treated with fluoride, and it is easy to see why you do not want to add it to your oral care products.

All Natural Oral Care
Dr. Don’s Antioxidant tooth powder only contains organic ingredients such as mint, berry powders and cassava root. Careful research has proven the magnificent positive effects of these products on the mouth. These natural ingredients have cleaning and antioxidant factors without causing any damage to the teeth and gums. The users can even swallow the powder after gargling. It doesn’t have any negative effects on the body as it only contains natural products. Users will only have clean, fresh and chemical-free mouths.

A clean mouth results in healthier teeth and gums and antioxidant tooth powder thoroughly cleans the mouth of any residue from eating and even after brushing. This keeps the mouth free from harmful bacteria that can cause tooth and gum diseases.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Why Choose EM X Sea Salt Over Table Salt?

Effective Microorganisms Technology® has long been used in a number of products including health supplements, soaps and shampoos, oral care products, and to grow foods. This method utilizes naturally occurring organisms like lactic acid bacteria to produce effective products that leverage biology rather than chemicals as a means to better health. Lactic acid bacteria have long been used to add healthy microorganisms to a variety of food, medicine and probiotic supplements. This beneficial bacteria fights the bad bacteria and protects the person’s digestive organs.

The very same technology is used in EM-X Sea Salt. This table salt is the first of its kind. It is an organic sea salt that doesn’t contain any synthetic chemicals. This product is a great alternative to ordinary table salt. There are numerous health advantages that come from EM-X Sea Salt.

Health Benefits
EM-X Sea Salt is only harvested during a full moon because the gravitational force at the time affects the tide and sea water depth. The sea salt harvested at this time contains fewer impurities as the water is denser. The product is only taken from sea water with depths of over 200 meters where it is found to be purer and cleaner. Since it is inherently cleaner, EM-X Sea Salt is not subjected to a lot of processing to remove the impurities. The salt’s original components are retained in a less harsh chemical washing.

Common table salt does not have more than two necessary minerals that the body requires. It is also produced and packed with chemicals to keep it fresh. Additives such as potassium iodide and sugar are combined with typical table salts. This adds to the unwanted elements that most people don’t need from salt. Users have to check the ingredients and nutritional value of every table salt pack before deciding on the right one for them.

Other sea salts go through processes that eliminate some of their natural elements (minerals, etc.). This is because it is harvested at any time of the month without considering the tide and water depth. The salt taken is usually full of impurities and unwanted elements. Factories need to use harsh chemicals to clean the salt and make it ready for use. This leaves people with unnatural and chemical-filled table salt that lacks the natural micro-nutrients a pure sea salt should have. On the other hand, EM-X Sea Salt only goes through a simple process that keeps its natural nutrients and has fewer impurities. The product doesn’t go through the processing that destroys its nutritional state or add unwanted elements from other substances. EM-X Sea Salt only has organic nutrients that are proven beneficial for the body.

Maximum Nutrients
EM-X Sea Salt is made with Effective Microorganisms Technology. This means that the natural living organisms in the sea salt are utilized to produce salt filled with nutrients. This technology was first introduced in the 1980s by Professor Teruo Higa from Okinawa, Japan.

EM-X Sea Salt uses naturally occurring organisms in the sea to help fight harmful bacteria inside the body. It only utilizes organic methods in keeping its nutrients while maintaining its taste. Everyone can now enjoy the product’s good taste and natural health benefits without worrying about any negative effects from harmful chemicals. Besides all these health benefits, it tastes great and can be used as supplement or flavor enhancing ingredients in all of your recipes.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Top 10 Triggers for Chemical Sensitivities

Long-term exposure to numerous chemicals can lead to a number of health issues, but many individuals suffer more immediate and drastic effects from these substances – a reaction that is frequently referred to as chemical sensitivity. Individuals with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, or MCS, experience a wide range of problems including asthma, migraines, severe pain and rashes in response to various everyday chemicals. These symptoms can often worsen with time.

Here’s a look at the top 10 triggers for chemical sensitivities:

10. Perfumes and Colognes
Long ago, people wore fragrant concoctions made from flowers and other natural substances. Nowadays, 95 percent of the ingredients used in perfumes and colognes are chemicals and synthetic petroleum derivatives with known toxic effects. Many migraine sufferers immediately experience severe migraines when they are even nearby others wearing perfumes and colognes. If you suspect you are sensitive to fragrance, use fragrance-free personal products, including chemical free soaps, lotions, shampoos and conditioners.

9. Flame Retardants
Despite their toxicity and questionable efficacy, flame retardants are required by law to be applied to mattresses and upholstered furniture. These chemicals can spread through the air on dust that is ingested, touched and inhaled, causing skin irritation, asthma and a wide range of long-term health problems. If you have been diagnosed with chemical sensitivity, consider buying a special mattress that does not feature harsh fire retardants.

8. Food Preservatives
Many processed foods contain a slew of preservatives used to extend shelf life. When MCS sufferers eat these foods, they may suffer from symptoms including widespread pain, bloating, nausea, low mood, anxiety and problems sleeping. If you suffer from these symptoms, stick to a whole food diet devoid of processed foods and supplement with an effective probiotic to help purge built up toxins.

7. Carpet Treatments
Most carpets fresh from the factory give off poisonous fumes for many months afterwards. PFCs and VOCs are both common in new carpets, and tannic acid and benzyl benzoate may be given off by carpet treatments designed to ward off dust mites. Sufferers often experience irritation of the eyes, skin and respiratory system. For this reason, tile, hardwood and bamboo floors are better alternatives for chemically sensitive individuals.

6. Gasoline Fumes
Gasoline quickly evaporates and gives off strong fumes that have been shown to worsen symptoms in two-thirds of patients diagnosed with immune dysfunction and chronic fatigue syndrome. Gasoline itself is easily absorbed into the skin, where it can cause instant toxic reactions and sensitization. It really goes without saying, but avoid inhaling gasoline fumes.

5. Cigarette Smoke
Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, including many carcinogens. People who are very old, very young or constantly exposed to cigarette smoke can experience aggravation of allergies, asthma symptoms and severe nasal inflammation. Avoid smoking or inhaling second hand smoke whenever possible.

4. Car Exhaust
Car exhaust is loaded with toxic chemicals, including formaldehyde, a potent carcinogen. It’s also a common trigger for MCS sufferers, who become ill in response to the fumes and have to avoid cities and long periods of driving.

3. VOCs
Volatile Organic Compounds are extremely common, and almost all of them are irritants to the body. Solvent evaporation, transportation and manufacturing all expose people to VOCS, and new homes and cars often give off high levels of VOCs for a year after being built. VOCs cannot always be detected by smell, but can be reduced with proper ventilation.

2. Cleaning Products
Personal cleansers and home cleaning products cause problems for many MCS sufferers. Residues from soaps and shampoos can often be detected easily by MCS patients from several feet away. Synthetic fragrances are to blame for many of the problems, which include sinus issues, headaches and asthma. Again, be sure to use fragrance-free personal products. Likewise, use gentle home cleaning products, like EM-1 which rely on natural biology to clean the area rather than harsh chemicals.

1. Laundry Detergent
Analyses of dryer vents have detected more than 25 VOCs from scented detergents. Symptoms of exposure vary, and patients may suffer headache, acne, hives, migraines and general skin irritation after wearing clothes washed with these products. Always use a gentle, fragrance-free detergent.

Strict avoidance of chemical triggers is the best solution to multiple chemical sensitivities, but it isn’t always possible. Fortunately, sufferers can usually treat symptoms with certain products. Taking the right steps to fight MCS triggers can go a long way toward a better quality of life. Several TeraGanix products can be used to help prevent or destroy chemical gasses. Refer to our section on Chemical Sensitivities for some suggestions.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Raw Milk and Organic Milk vs Conventional Milk

Up until 1891 all milk consumed in the United States was raw. It was during this year that the first German-created pasteurizer was imported and used in Wassaic, New York. Initially, many dairy operators refused to pasteurize their milk in order to avoid unnecessary expense, however, by 1917 most major cities had enacted laws that made the pasteurization of milk mandatory.

Today, most milk sold in stores is not only pasteurized, but also homogenized and vitamin-fortified. Although the bulk of milk products are made by use of conventional methods there is also the option of buying organic milk in most grocery stores. Raw milk is also available but it is more difficult to purchase as it is not found in the majority of grocery stores and has actually been made illegal in many states from fear of it causing sickness.

The main difference between organic and non-organic milk is in the treatment of the cows.

Organic milk production:

  • Organic milk is produced by cows that are allowed to graze naturally on grass and clover that is grown without the use of harmful pesticides and fertilizers.
  • Bovine Growth Hormones to increase milk production are not used with cows raised in an organic environment and they also do not use antibiotics on these cows.
  • The cows on organic farms are also provided more space to move about.
  • Organic cows are given a great deal of grazing time.

Non-organic milk production:

  • Non-organic milk is produced by cows that are kept in smaller spaces. The cows are permitted to be shot full of BGH (Bovine Growth Hormone) and antibiotics which can be passed on to the people drinking the milk.
  • The food they are provided with may contain pesticides and fertilizers as well as genetically altered feed.
  • Cows are not required to be given adequate grazing time and are often fed corn and other grains that they have problems digesting.

These differences can have a huge impact on the quality of milk being consumed and the nutritional value of the milk. There are additional detrimental qualities of non-organic pasteurized milk such as:

  • One-third of pasteurized milk is contaminated with dangerous pathogens.
  • This type of milk can contain large amounts of pus, blood and fecal matter.
  • The lactose enzyme is destroyed during the pasteurization process, which can cause allergic reactions and digestion problems in the people that drink it.
  • Some dairy operations involved in pasteurized milk are unsanitary because they rely on the pasteurization process to kill microbes that could potentially kill you.

There are also many differences between organic milk that is raw and non-organic pasteurized milk. Some of these variations in favor of the organic raw milk include:

It would seem that organic and especially raw, organic milk has significant benefits over conventional pasteurized milk. Organic raw milk is produced with stringent care and has many nutritional and digestive health benefits. Organic raw milk is also more digestible. The treatment of organic cows is also more humane and natural which aids in the production of high quality milk.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

How Diabetes Affects the Digestive System

Diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus, occurs in a body that does not produce sufficient insulin or, in some cases, the body does produce it, but the cells do not respond for various reasons. The result is elevated blood sugar which affects the body in a myriad of ways.

One important bodily function that is affected by diabetes is digestion. The digestive process is basic to existence because it is the means by which the body receives nutrition from food and drink and thus creates energy to move and repair cells. Disruption of this process can cause many issues, some of them serious or life-threatening in nature.

The Normal Digestive Process
The process of digestion begins far north of the gastrointestinal tract with which we associate it. With the help of enzymes found in saliva, the mouth begins to break down food as soon as a bite of food enters the lips. At this point, the main ingredient of digestion is to break down the food into smaller pieces that can be swallowed. These smaller pieces are swept to the back of the mouth and enter a thin tube called the esophagus. The person enjoying his dinner need not think about his digestion at all since tiny contractions automatically move his food through the digestive process.

The food next enters the part of the body most people think of when considering digestion, the stomach. Acids within the stomach go to work on the food, breaking it down further. Whereas the mouth broke down the carbohydrates in the food particles, the stomach starts breaking down the proteins of the food. When the food leaves the stomach, it is a fairly liquid substance called chyme. This occurs about four hours after the food enters the stomach. The next destination for the digesting food is the intestines.

The small intestine begins sorting the components of food. Bile from the liver dissolves fat and juices in the intestinal lining continuing the breaking down of the food into macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. These and micronutrients of the food, vitamins and minerals, absorb into the blood stream from the small intestine. What is left moves through the remainder of the intestines and exits the body within approximately 24 hours.

Digestion Compromised By Diabetes
The beauty of the digestive system is its automatic quality. Since no one has to perform voluntary action to digest food, digestion is controlled by the nervous system. Unfortunately, the nerves of a diabetic person are damaged by continual elevation of the blood sugar. This causes digestion to be impaired by such problems as heartburn, diarrhea and constipation. When digestion is not working properly, the nutrients in food are not absorbed as they should be. Ironically, many diabetic people are overweight from excess blood sugar while the cells in their body are literally starving and emaciated. Diabetics also tend to have poor circulation as well. This causes the immune system to slow its response, making diabetes sufferers more susceptible to infection and disease. Energy levels are often at an all-time low as well, which in turn leads to being over weight.

Probiotics May Help Diabetic Digestion
If the body is not breaking down and absorbing nutrients properly, it needs help. While not a solution to diabetes in itself, many diabetics have found success with probiotic bacteria supplementation. These digestive enzymes can aid the digestion process, allowing the body to more effectively break down nutrients, and provide their starving cells with sustenance. Some studies have even tied some forms of obesity to a poor microfloral gut environment, suggesting that supplementation may even help to reduce weight - a major contributor to type 2 diabetes.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The (Not So) Hidden Dangers of Homogenized Milk

Milk is nature’s way of providing substance from a mother to her young. It is a perfect delivery mechanism to supply an infant with lactoferrins, immunoglobulins and protein - necessary nutrition for development. Homogenization takes that perfect process and transforms it into something else. The goal of treating milk is to add consistency to the liquid. Without it, the cream would separate. While the end goal is practical, the means add hidden dangers to what is a naturally healthy drink.

What Homogenization Does to Milk
Milk contains butterfat globules, or lumps, that rise to the top of the liquid. Homogenization is a blending that breaks down the lumpy areas, so it has a more consistent texture - an appealing trait particularly for commercial distribution. Without this mechanical process, you would feel and taste the butterfat...or scrape the cream off the top!

The Danger of Homogenization
Homogenization is an effective way to create a more appealing texture for milk, but it also changes the base structure of the proteins. Raw milk is easier to digest than homogenized products. Once altered through homogenization, milk becomes harder for the body to process.

Each system in the body has a function. Part of the job of the digestive tract is to filter foods. Like most filters, smaller substances can slip through the grid. Through the process of homogenization, the long chains of proteins are broken down into tiny units that do not digest properly. These smaller chains slip through the filter to enter the bloodstream.

The immune system's job is to protect the body from foreign invaders. When it detects a foreign body, the system takes action to contain and destroy it. This is the very same process that occurs when you get an infection. When undigested protein enters the bloodstream, it has the potential to trigger an immune response which can lead to inflammation and a myriad of unpleasant symptoms.

The same mechanism that breaks the protein chains will also reduce the size of the fat globules in the milk. The butterfat does not disappear. The lumps just gets so small you don’t know they are there. This makes them tiny enough to evade the filter in the digestive tract. Once in the blood, that fat can increase the risk of heart disease.

Do Hormones Trigger Cancer?
A secondary problem to homogenization is the introduction of hormones into the body. Digestion removes most potentially harmful elements in cow’s milk, but homogenization allows certain substances to bypass that protection filter. This includes:

  • Fat
  • Proteins
  • Hormones
  • Steroids
Some of the components are natural elements in milk while others are fed to the animal to increase production. When it comes to hormones and steroids, the human body doesn’t know the difference between what is natural and what is man-made. When humans ingest a growth hormone given to the cow, it may trigger the proliferation of cancer cells.

Altering the Process
When homogenization changes the structure of the milk, it alters the natural process. This can put people at risk for serious illnesses. Homogenization can increase the chances of developing:

  • Digestive issues
  • Autoimmune problems
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
A study by Connecticut cardiologists Oster and Ross showed that Bovine Xanthene Oxidase (BXO) was able to survive digestion. The doctors’ paper, published in the Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine (vol. 163:1981), states that milk antibodies were elevated in male patients diagnosed with heart disease.

In addition, there was evidence that the fat globules changed shape during homogenization to become irritants on the walls of arteries. This irritation causes the body to create cholesterol to protect the walls like insulation. This may be one reason for the increase in heart disease among young people.

In an attempt to make milk better, the dairy industry has gone against nature. Raw milk is a natural substance. Homogenized milk is not. Common sense tells you that going against a natural process is going to be a problem. Medical science is burying its head to the fact that there are hidden dangers in the homogenization of cow's milk that can lead to chronic illness and even the possibility of terminal disease.

Monday, September 24, 2012

What is Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS)?

Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) is a collection of symptoms believed to be caused by poor digestive health and affects the brain. The syndrome was first introduced by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. Dr. Campbell-McBride has a degree in medicine and postgraduate degrees in human nutrition and neurology. She believes that poor diet and an unhealthy gut lead to serious conditions, but by making dietary changes patients can see notable improvements in conditions such as hyperactivity and autism.

GAPS Theories
Conditions such as dyslexia, autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, and dyspraxia frequently overlap. These psychiatric and neurological conditions may have a common root cause: GAPS. GAPS may begin in children within the first days of their lives. Parents, particularly mothers, pass on a unique gut microflora to babies. Microflora are bacteria in the intestinal tract. The right balance of bacteria creates a healthy gut. If bad bacteria overgrows, it affects people both physically and mentally. When mothers breastfeed, their babies develop natural microflora in the gut. Babies who are bottle fed have completely different microflora. Even a mother who breastfeeds her babies but was not breastfed herself can pass on a compromised gut microflora to her children, which predisposes babies to future health complications. As children age, they are vaccinated and generally take antibiotics, which destroys healthy gut microflora. Antibiotics kill all bacteria, not just the bacteria that cause infections. Without a healthy balance of microflora in the gut, around 500 pathogenic and opportunistic microbes are free to grow out of control in the intestinal tract. This growth is further fueled by diets comprised of unhealthy processed foods.

Eating a poor diet means that women have signs of abnormal gut flora by the time they are ready to have children. Many mothers-to-be have issues such as digestive abnormalities, chronic fatigue, skin problems, allergies, and auto-immunity. Almost all women who have psychiatric and neurological conditions demonstrate these signs of abnormal gut flora, also called gut dysbiosis.

GAPS Symptoms
People with GAPS and abnormal gut flora are likely to experience problems such as allergies, eczema, digestive issues, and asthma. Over time, their problems can develop into neurological and psychiatric disorders. Each individual will experience unique signs and symptoms due to the differences in microflora and bacteria, viruses and fungi that grow in their body.

Common bacteria groups found in the gut of people with GAPS are yeasts and Clostridia family. These microbes digest food, resulting in large amounts of toxins. The toxins get into the bloodstream and eventually end up in the brain, where they cross the blood-brain barrier.

The specific toxins that reach the brain affect the resulting symptoms and problems people experience. It is this link between the microbes in the gut, the resulting toxins and the toxic effects on the brain that led to the naming of GAPS. People with GAPS may show symptoms associated with disorders such as:

  • Obsessive-Compulsive disorder
  • Autism
  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Allergies
  • Crohn's disease
  • Asthma
  • Dyslexia
  • Schizophrenia
  • Depression
  • Eczema

GAPS Treatment
Dr. Campbell-McBride recommends testing all children and adults with psychiatric or neurological disorders for abnormal gut flora. Using diet and probiotic supplementation to balance the gut microflora may treat GAPS. Following a GAPS diet is a natural treatment for the syndrome. Dr. Campbell-McBride worked with hundreds of neurological and psychiatric patients, both children and adults, before coining the term GAPS in 2004.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

How to Treat MRSA & MRSA Recovery

What is MRSA?
MRSA is short for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Commonly known as Staph, this microbes is a type that causes infection in many parts of the body. Most of the time Staph infection is not serious, but this type of infection can turn deadly if not treated. MRSA is a mutated strain of Staphylococcus aureus that has developed genes that allow it to resist disinfectants and antibiotics, making it a serious health threat. The mutation is the result of excessive use of antibiotics and disinfectants. Microbes replicate quickly. As new generations grow and survive after exposure to antibiotics, they will pass along resistant genes to the next generation and so on. Eventually there is a strain of microbes that is completely resistant to these antibiotics.

What are some common symptoms of MRSA?
The symptoms of MRSA are wide and varied. Symptoms include: nose sores, blisters that may look like insect bites, boils that may look like spider bites, fluid, blood or pus-filled boils, itchy skin or nose, low-grade fever, fatigue, body aches, cuts that become infected easily or often, red spots or various types of rashes, diaper rash, chest cold, jaw pain, ear pain, sinus infection, mastitis (breast infection in nursing mothers), red, warm, swollen or painful area on the skin, and urinary tract infection. As you can clearly see, MRSA symptoms can often be confused with other infections and diseases. If experiencing any of the before-mentioned symptoms on a regular basis, it is a good idea to get a check-up for MRSA.

In addition to these, there are other symptoms that may occur. The following may indicate some serious issues and a lethal level of MRSA: pain or lumps under the skin, red streaks on the skin near an old or new wound, signs of infection on or near a surgical site, low or high fever, low blood pressure, chills, malaise, chest pain, shortness of breath, headache, muscle aches, rash, vomiting, vision change, and dizziness. These may be signals of significant infection and you should immediately seek out medical attention.

Who is at risk for MRSA?
The risk factor of MRSA infection for certain groups of people are higher than others. These groups include the elderly, infant health care workers, law enforcement officers, children the chronically ill Immune compromised lactating mothers, surgical patients, those with high stress lifestyles, drug addicts, prisoners, homeless, athletes, and surfers.

How can MRSA be prevented?
The best way to prevent MRSA is by living a healthy lifestyle along with good hygiene. Maintaining healthy habits will help prevent MRSA, including daily exercise, eating right, and a balanced diet. Washing hands after every meal and bathroom visit will help prevent an infection. Since MRSA is common in hospitals, avoiding elective surgeries will help as well.

Six steps to treating MRSA
Contracting MRSA does not mean life is over. The infection is treatable, and here are some steps to help.

1. Find an infectious disease doctor. These doctors are trained in the treatment of infections like MRSA. A specialist will be able to recommend steps a regular doctor may not even know about.
2. Use natural Antibiotics. These antibiotics will help work with your body to heal the MRSA infection. A person can take these along with pharmaceuticals, but make sure to ask a doctor before hand.
3. A change of diet. Eating healthy may not be enough. Contracting a infection like MRSA means that there are choices a person needs to make. Certain foods and diet plans will help with the infection.
4. Take a strong probitoic. Not recommended until after a person is in recovery, a quality probiotic can replace the good baceteria in the gut that is typically killed off by multiple antibiotic treatments and will help fight off future MRSA infection. A probiotic supplement is a helpful bacterium that can be used to fight off the bad bacteria that are present in the MRCA infection. Probotics are often added to food, though the bacteria can also be a natural part of fruit, vegetables, and other items.
5. Change of lifestyle. This is a step that hits all parts of life. The changes can be small or they can be large. These include washing hands and not taking any type of drug, including antibiotics and over the counter medication.
6. Use Herbal Supplements. Since drugs are not something that can be consumed, herbal supplements will help fill the gap. Most vitamins should come from the change of diet but sometimes a supplement is needed to help a body out.

Friday, September 7, 2012

How Gut Microbes May Affect the Brain

The human gut holds about 100 trillion bacteria, and many of these are beneficial strains that keep the intestines healthy and assist with nutrient absorption. These microbes also produce many substances on their own, including not only vitamins but also serotonin, the neurotransmitter associated with feelings of relaxation and contentment. In fact, the gut actually contains 95 percent of the body’s serotonin, and recent studies have begun to shed some light on the interplay between the microbial make-up in your digestive tract and mental health as well as brain development. Here’s a look at what we know about this connection so far.

Recent Studies
One study, published in Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences, found that animals fed probiotics for a few weeks had lower levels of stress and anxiety and improved mood. Another study, published in Molecular Psychiatry, found that brain development is altered when certain types of beneficial bacteria are lacking in the gut early in life and that these microbes help to regulate the brain’s serotonin levels. While these studies were performed on animals rather than people, they’re groundbreaking because they expose a gut-brain connection that scientists had long suspected, but had yet to prove. Now, researchers are trying to pinpoint which bacterial strains have the greatest effect on the human brain and exactly how this interaction occurs. Already, a study performed at UCLA showed that participants who ate probiotic yogurt were less affected by exposure to negative stimuli. These studies all point to gut health as essential in child development as well as adult mental well-being, strongly supporting the use of a raw, fermented probiotic supplement throughout the course of one’s life.

Scientists in Sweden and Singapore are looking at behavior and gene expression in mice with and without normal gut bacteria. They’ve found that mice without healthy levels of beneficial microbes during early development engage in more risky behavior and are more hyperactive as adults compared to the mice that had normal gut bacteria. When germ-free mice were given normal microbes early in life, they developed normally, but when they were given the probiotics as adults, their behavior remained unchanged, suggesting that probiotic supplementation is critical in the early, formative years. After looking at the genes of these mice, scientists found signaling pathways affected by the presence and absence of these gut microbes; when these bacteria were present early in life, they played a crucial role in brain development. While the scientists say that these bacteria play an important role in the function of serotonin and dopamine in the brain, they also say that it’s too early at this point to draw conclusions about the role of probiotics on the brains of humans.

With the numerous documented benefits of probiotics on many aspects of health in the gut and around the body, it’s definitely not too early to recommend the use of probiotics for anyone concerned about their physical and mental health. The connection between the gut and the brain is already very clear from a practical standpoint. Instead of waiting for years to see the results of a study, probiotics can be taken right away to improve overall health and digestion and, most likely, mood and cognitive function.

To encourage the growth of good gut bacteria, consumers should get plenty of probiotic foods that contain plenty of soluble fiber, such as the pulp of fruits and lots of green leafy vegetables (kale, chard, spinach, etc). Processed sugars and grains, the preferred food of candida, should be avoided as much as possible if not eliminated. Probiotic foods, such as unpasteurized sauerkraut and kimchi, work well for many people who enjoy their unique flavors and have the time to make them, but many consumers do best with a high-quality probiotic supplement. Since scientists don’t know yet which strains of bacteria contribute the most to mental health, a comprehensive mixture of strains is the best bet for people interested in the brain benefits of probiotics.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Your Gut and Your Immune System

Keeping a healthy, strong immune system is crucial to optimal health. Our immune system is our key defense against infection and disease, especially as we age. Our modern diets are seriously lacking the beneficial bacteria and flora that the gut needs in order to stay balanced.

Regular use of quality probiotics improves the intestine’s immunologic barrier, which fortifies the body’s protection against pathogens. It also helps to balance our gut bacteria, which can be sent off balance by stress, inflammation, surgery or injury, illness, age or antibiotics. Notice the prefix in that word: “anti.” Antibiotics kill both bad and good bacteria, so it is vital to rebalance it when taking this medication.

Right now, probiotic use is being clinically shown to improve intestinal conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), colitis and Crohn’s disease (CD). Probiotic bacteria produce metabolites, such as conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), that demonstrate powerful anti-inflammatory effects. This gives great hope to those people suffering from these intestinal diseases, because traditional medical treatments are somewhat disappointing. In these conditions, it is thought that the intestines become inflamed due to the body’s immune reaction against it own intestinal tissue. This inflammatory response can be triggered by a pathogen or an antigen (allergy).

Seventy percent of the body’s natural immune defenses are found in the gut, so it makes sense to supplement with a probiotic featuring beneficial digestive enzymes in order to strengthen our body’s defense systems. In fact, you have ten times more gut bacteria than you do human body cells. CLA has also been demonstrated to have an effect on our T cells, which are necessary for fighting off infections. Why supplement with a probiotic if there are already thousands of species of microorganisms in the gut? Many of these microorganisms are transient, and must be replaced on a regular basis. This is crucial not only for optimal health, but especially for those suffering from intestinal inflammation diseases. For these people, probiotic bacteria can normalize gut mucosal dysfunction, alleviate inflammation and reduce hypersensitivity reactions.

Recent lab studies have shown that when probiotic diversity in the gut was increased, the gut pathology decreased. This shows us that taking probiotics and eating foods that encourage these healthy bacteria does help to improve our digestive health. Additionally, studies have shown promise in using CLA to hinder the growth of tumors in colon tissues.

There are ways that we can help support the bacteria in our gut and achieve optimal health. We should eat plenty of prebiotics, which are foods that actually feed the bacteria in your gut. These are:

  • Fermented dairy, such as kefir and yogurt
  • Fruits, such as cherries, bananas and berries
  • Vegetables, such as kale, chard, garlic, onions, leeks, chicory, asparagus and artichokes
  • Whole grains, such as wheat, barley and oatmeal (they must be whole grains)

Eat plenty of foods that contain probiotics, which will also help support your gut bacteria. These are:

  • Cheeses, cottage cheese and buttermilk
  • Soy products, such as miso and tempeh
  • Sauerkraut and kimchi
  • A quality, raw and fermented probiotic containing the entire lactobacillus family, the saccharomyces and the rhodopseudomonas strains
  • Take a quality blend of vitamins, enzymes and antioxidant

When eating fermented vegetables, make sure that they are unpasteurized, as this process kills the beneficial bacteria. Make sure to drink plenty of water to flush out toxins and eat plenty of fiber to keep things in your gut moving. It is still prudent to take a quality probiotic supplement that provides a diverse and broad spectrum bacterial count.

As you can see, the regular use of probiotics can feed our immune systems as well as greatly alleviate the body’s responses that cause inflammatory intestinal conditions. Supplementing with probiotics can give health and hope. By making changes today, you can start strengthening your immune system and have a healthier gut.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Probiotics for Children

Probiotics support vitality by improving digestive health, assisting nutrient absorption and helping guard against illness and infection. In recent years, particular attention has been paid to the benefits children receive from probiotics, through either supplements or fermented food and drink. Allergies, digestive problems, colic and acne are all often traced to gut dysbiosis and can be improved through probiotic supplementation. The following will discuss what parents should consider when choosing a dependable probiotic for their children.

Specific Uses
Certain disorders and health problems have been the focus of probiotic research. Inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, have been shown to respond best to mixtures of good bacteria rather than single strains. Children’s diarrhea is best treated by either Lactobacillus rhamnosus or a mix of strains. Researchers found Lactobacillus reuteri to be best for reducing colic in babies. For replenishment after a course of antibiotics, Saccharomyces cerevisiae boulardii, Bacillus coagulans GBI-30 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG work best. Certain strains, such as Lacobacillus casei DN-114001, support immunity against colds and respiratory illness.

Single Strains or Mixtures?
Raw, naturally fermented foods and drinks contain numerous species of good bacteria, but many probiotic supplements contain single strains. The most commonly supplemented probiotics are also among the most heavily researched, making supplements containing them a good bet for positive results. Many experts, however, believe that a mixture of strains is likely to produce superior benefits. As a diverse colony, the combined power of similar positive strains provides additional protection against bad gut bacteria and illness. For this reason, seek out a quality probiotic with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria.

Freshness and Shelf-Life
Some probiotic supplements require refrigeration and will become ineffective if left out at room temperature for long periods. To ensure freshness at time of purchase, shoppers should look for storage information on the packaging of probiotic supplements to make sure that storage requirements have been met at the store. Online retailers of probiotics should inform consumers clearly about products’ refrigeration requirements. For ease of use, many consumers prefer probiotics that can be stored at room temperature as these supplements can be bought online without concerns about spoilage during transport.

Ease of Use
When children take supplements, ease of use is essential to consider. Because capsules are unbearable for some kids, liquid supplements are preferable. Liquid probiotics can be mixed with juice or other beverages to mask the taste, making them undetectable to your child.

All-Natural Products
Some products combine diverse colonies of good bacteria with a raw, fermented substrate for dramatic benefits. Pro EM•1 Probiotic is an example of this, supplying individuals with diverse probiotics and a wide range of natural vitamins and enzymes in liquid form. Many children with gut issues suffer from certain food intolerance; this makes it important to choose a supplement free of common food allergens, such as wheat, gluten, dairy, nuts and soy.

With the recent FDA ban on BPA in packaging for children's consumable products, be mindful of finding a probiotic that is packaged in a BPA-free bottle. PET bottles (the same type of bottle as a soda bottle) are BPA-free. Glass is also BPA-free.

Comprehensive Formula
As with any type of supplement, certain products will be more reliable than others for improving children’s health. A wholesome, comprehensive probiotic contributes to optimal health with non-genetically modified beneficial bacteria, toxin-removing phototrophic bacteria and lack of preservatives or animal products. To support the probiotic population in a child’s gut, the child’s diet should include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, as beneficial bacteria thrive on soluble fiber. At the same time, high-sugar foods should be restricted, as simple carbohydrates are preferred by harmful yeasts that will crowd out beneficial microorganisms if allowed to proliferate. In addition, kids should drink plenty of purified water to keep the intestines well-hydrated, and exercise should be performed regularly to support blood flow to the intestines. With the combination of a high-quality, comprehensive probiotic supplement and a wholesome lifestyle, children can enjoy improved immunity, better mood and stronger physical and mental development.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The (Amazing) Influence Gut Flora Has Over Your Health

Recent science publications (Science Daily, Nutrition in Clinical Practice, etc.) have highlighted the importance of certain microorganisms or “gut flora” to an individual’s overall health. These tiny creatures affect everything from the absorption of nutrients, to brain development & function, to our immune system & weight and even to our energy levels. In fact, these studies have linked certain nutrition-related illnesses – both malnutrition and obesity – to the imbalance of gut flora, suggesting that a healthy gut ecosystem not only improves life quality, but can also stave off disease.

What is Gut Flora?
Gut flora refers to the microbes that dwell in the human digestive system. There are both beneficial gut flora and abnormal flora, and it is ideal to keep an 85:15% breakdown between the two. Good health depends on a digestive environment that fosters the good flora and keeps the abnormal flora in check. The beneficial gut flora combat pathogens and toxins, while also aiding in the breakdown of organic materials, allowing the human body to absorb nutrients and produce energy.

There are three major forms of gut flora, Eukarya, Bacteria, and Achaea, but these microbes are surprisingly diverse and complex… and it is nothing less than amazing how the human body interacts with these tiny beneficial gut organisms. From as early as birth, these microbes influence both mental and physical development. In fact, studies have found that vaginal communities of microorganisms shift in order to introduce certain beneficial gut flora to the infant as it passes through the birth canal. For this reason, it is believed that some caesarian births may result in a less balanced, troublesome digestive tract that could lead to larger health issues. Likewise, breast milk is thought to help a child’s stomach control abnormal gut flora by introducing beneficial microorganisms in the milk. Studies are currently underway that test a theory that children with imbalanced gut flora have a higher rate of autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), attention deficit disorder (ADD), dyslexia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. If this is the case, it will be clear that our gut flora directly influence our brain development in a very real and profound way. The continued study of our intestinal gut flora will likely have implications to a wide range of neurological, psychological, and autoimmune disorders, and may be particularly important in regards to childhood health and pregnancy.

How do you foster a good gut flora ecosystem?
There are several simple ways you can promote a balance gut flora environment for good health.

  • Regularly “re-seed” you guts flora by consuming fermented or cultured foods such as yogurts and fermented vegetables (kimchee, pickles, etc.) Consider fermenting your own foods at home in order to eliminate unwanted preservatives.
  • Enhance your gut flora ecosystem with a daily serving of a high quality gluten free probiotic.
  • Consume whole foods and avoid or eliminate the consumption of processed foods.
  • Do not take antibiotics unless strongly urged by your physician.
  • If you are pregnant, place a high rate of importance on your digestive health and incorporate a gentle prenatal probiotic cleanse into your daily regimen.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Dangers Of Processed Sugars

Americans have an addiction to sugar. On average, Americans consume an estimated 156 pounds of sugar per year. It’s not only found in candies, baked goods and other confections but also in the most unlikely of places. Canned vegetables, condiments, salad dressings, pastas, gravies, even chicken stock and other foods that don’t taste distinctly sweet at all are often loaded with the substance to enhance flavor. This is especially true with “low fat” foods, which are loaded with sugar in the place of fat. Given the ubiquity of sugar in the modern industrialized diet, it can be a challenge to get away from. However, the need to do so has become painfully obvious. Refined sugar is incredibly destructive to the human body and contributes to many of the most common diseases of modern times.

Sugar Feeds Cancer Cells
It’s widely known that consumption of refined sugar can promote cancer by causing chronic inflammation and obesity, but did you know that once you have cancer, it actually serves as fuel for the errant cells? Cancerous cells grow much faster than normal cells, approximately eight times faster, and this process requires considerable amounts of sugar for energy. Take away the sugar and the cancer will starve and become weak. Because people typically have cancer long before they are diagnosed, it’s better to simply avoid it at all costs. Those snack cakes might be tasty, but are they really worth your life?

Cold and Flu and Reduced Immunity
Each year, right around cold and flu season, the public is bombarded with advertisements reminding them to get their flu shot and alerting them to great deals on tissues and cough remedies. Have you ever looked at the ingredients on these cough remedies? Most are loaded with sugar. Meanwhile, nobody seems to question why these problems are so common in the first place. It is not a natural thing to get sick every year without fail, and the fact that it does happen means something is very wrong with society’s collective health. Science has revealed in recent years that sugar may be the cause. Sugar has a direct suppressant effect on the immune system that lasts for as long as five hours after consumption. When you consider how much time sugar-eaters spend in public with one another, it’s easy to see why these yearly epidemics happen. Eating sugar is tantamount to laying out the welcome mat for viruses!

Digestive Diseases
Digestive problems have become one of the most common complaints of Americans in the last few decades and nearly all of them can be traced to an unhealthy, sugar-laden diet. The intestines are home to hundreds of different species of yeast and bacteria, some good and some bad. Many of the harmful microorganisms thrive on sugar, so if you consume a diet high in refined sugar, you are helping them crowd out the good yeasts and bacteria. When harmful organisms overwhelm your body, a variety of illnesses can result.

Digestive disorders aren’t the only things that can be caused by dysbiosis, however. Secondary problems like nutritional deficiencies, obesity, chronic fatigue and mood disorders are also common results. Good bacteria consume soluble fiber from fruits and vegetables and turn them into valuable vitamins, especially those of the B group. This particular vitamin group is essential for nervous system health and maintenance, energy production, metabolic support and creating mood-enhancing neurotransmitters like serotonin. Immune insufficiency may also be caused by a poor bacterial balance in the gut. Good bacteria act as guardians of the immune system, protecting it from the bad microorganisms and teaching it to recognize true threats.

Anyone who wishes to avoid detrimental effects on their health and well-being is advised to give up refined sugars and processed carbohydrates in all of their forms. These include corn syrups, evaporated cane juice, pasteurized honey, white flours and anything with ‘sugar’, 'cane' in its name and/or ends is “ose”. Although giving up these things promotes good health, it may not always be enough. If you’ve been eating a lot of sugar, your populations of beneficial gut bacteria need to be brought back into balance. For this, fermented foods or a high-quality probiotic supplement and are recommended. And be sure to choose a wheat and soy free Probiotic that contains several bacteria strains for optimal results.