How to Improve Your Sleep and Stress Levels with Prebiotics

31 Mar

 

Prebiotics are nutrients that the probiotics (good bacteria) in your gut microbiome require for best health.

The bacteria in the gut help the body to digest and metabolize the food we eat and numerous research studies demonstrate that these bacteria are vital to our overall health and well-being. These bacteria also activate hundreds of genes and the immune system.

Prebiotics are the nutrients that allow the friendly bacteria in the gut to multiply and these probiotics are most commonly found in fiber-rich foods.

The friendly bacteria thrive on the indigestible fiber and inulin is one of these types of water-soluble fiber that is most commonly found in foods such as asparagus, onions, leeks and garlic as they help to nourish the friendly bacteria in the gut.

How Prebiotics Can Support Sleep

Researchers have now found that taking a dietary probiotic can have a positive effect on rapid-eye movement (REM) and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep cycles, all of which can positively affect sleep quality.

The researchers studied the effects of gut health and prebiotics and how it benefits REM sleep of certain animal test subjects. They were given a diet rich in prebiotics, starting from the age of 3 weeks old.

Previous studies into this noticed that the results suggested daily stress can alter the gut microbiome in a manner that also affects the sleep-wake cycle. The goal of their research was to determine if taking a prebiotic may help to improve sleep quality when placed under stress.

For four weeks, the test subjects were fed a manufactured diet containing prebiotic fiber or a control diet. After this time, the researchers analysed excrement and found that eating prebiotics had an increase in beneficial gut bacteria, compared with the control group.

When the friendly bacteria metabolize the prebiotic fiber, they don’t just grow and multiply, they also excrete a metabolite that’s known to be beneficial for brain health. The test subjects eating a diet rich in prebiotics were also found to spend more time in restful and restorative NREM sleep than those on the control diet.

Scientists therefore concluded that with the right nutrition and sufficient NREM sleep, it’s possible to impact brain development and function, to improve sleep problems. Taking a prebiotic in early life could greatly improve your sleep quality, along with promoting optimal brain and psychological health.

Stress levels were also found to improve due to increased REM sleep. Prior research has also shown that people who have more REM sleep after a significant trauma are less likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Why Prebiotics Are Important

Fiber rich foods are important prebiotics for friendly bacteria but in many foods they are often accompanied by sugar and carbohydrates, causing the unfriendly bacteria to grow and multiply. Processed foods and refined carbohydrates can affect the gut microbiome, especially if you don’t have enough beneficial bacteria to stay healthy.

The test group involved in the study didn’t experience any stress disruption in their gut microbiome as the control group of test subjects did and they even returned to a normal sleep pattern more quickly than the control group too.

This study therefore highlights the importance of prebiotics on gut health and its role with inflammation, obesity, depression, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.

All prebiotics are fiber but not all fiber has a prebiotic effect on the friendly bacteria. To be classed as a prebiotic, fiber must resist gastric acidity, resist any absorption in the upper gastrointestinal tract, be fermented by intestinal flora and stimulate the activity or growth of beneficial bacteria.

Add More Healthy Prebiotics Into Your Life

Raw whole foods containing fiber are the most healthy and beneficial prebiotics to include in your diet. Some of these foods include:

  • Asparagus
  • Beetroot
  • Chickpeas
  • Fennel
  • Garlic
  • Green peas
  • Leeks
  • Lentils
  • Onions
  • Pomegranate
  • Pistachio Nuts
  • Seaweed

However, it’s not always possible to get enough prebiotic fiber from foods alone, especially if you want them to nourish your good bacteria. For this reason it’s worth including a healthy prebiotic supplement into your daily routine to increase beneficial gut bacteria.

Robert Redfern

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Patch Testing for Skin Rashes

9 Oct

A patch test is a method used to determine whether a specific substance causes allergic inflammation of a patient’s skin. Any individual suspected of having allergic contact dermatitis or atopic dermatitis needs patch testing.

Patch testing helps identify which substances may be causing a delayed-type allergic reaction in a patient, and may identify allergens not identified by blood testing or skin prick testing. It is intended to produce a local allergic reaction on a small area of the patient’s back, where the diluted chemicals were planted. The chemicals included in the patch test kit are the offenders in approximately 85–90 percent of contact allergic eczema, and include chemicals present in metals (e.g., nickel), rubber, leather, formaldehyde, lanolin, fragrance, toiletries, hair dyes, medicine, pharmaceutical items, food, drink, preservative, and other additives.

Patch testing is a common diagnostic tool used to identify the specific agent that triggers contact dermatitis, an itchy rash that can breakout on your skin in response to a substance to which you are allergic. Common trigger substances include poison ivy, jewelry, hair care products, cleaning solution, detergent, cosmetics, perfumes, and latex rubber.

What is allergic contact dermatitis?

In allergic contact dermatitis, typically harmless substances cause an immune system reaction when they come in contact with the skin. Common symptoms in contact dermatitis may include:

  • Redness
  • Blisters
  • Itching
  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Burning

These symptoms can last for months, and can usually be treated at home through medications and topical creams. The best protection against contact dermatitis is to identify the specific triggers that cause reactions, so that patients can avoid these substances as often as possible. A patch test may help identify the trigger. It does not require the use of any needles or injections.

A patch test relies on the principle of a type IV hypersensitivity reaction.

The first step in becoming allergic is sensitization. When skin is exposed to an allergen, the antigen-presenting cells (APCs) – also known as Langerhans cell or Dermal Dendritic Cell – phagocytize the substance, break it down to smaller components and present them on their surface bound major histocompatibility complex type two (MHC-II) molecules. The APC then travels to a lymph node, where it presents the displayed allergen to a CD4+ T-cell, or T-helper cell. The T-cell undergoes clonal expansion and some clones of the newly formed antigen specific sensitized T-cells travel back to the site of antigen exposure.

When the skin is again exposed to the antigen, the memory t-cells in the skin recognize the antigen and produce cytokines (chemical signals), which cause more T-cells to migrate from blood vessels. This starts a complex immune cascade leading to skin inflammation, itching, and the typical rash of contact dermatitis.

In general, it takes 2–4 days for a response in patch testing to develop. The patch test is just induction of a contact dermatitis in a small area.

Application of the patch tests takes about half an hour, though many times the overall appointment time is longer as the provider will take an extensive history. Tiny quantities of 25 to ~150 materials (allergens) in individual square plastic or round aluminum chambers are applied to the upper back. They are kept in place with special hypoallergenic adhesive tape. The patches stay in place undisturbed for at least 48 hours. Vigorous exercise or stretching may disrupt the test.

At the second appointment, usually 48 hours later, the patches are removed. Sometimes additional patches are applied. The back is marked with an indelible black felt tip pen or other suitable marker to identify the test sites, and a preliminary reading is done. These marks must be visible at the third appointment, usually 24–48 hours later (72–96 hours after application). In some cases, a reading at 7 days may be requested, especially if a special metal series is tested.

Which patch test is used in Dermatology?

Dermatologists offers patch testing called the North American Series of Allergens, which include up to 70 allergens known to cause skin rashes in North America.There are over 200 allergens and these can be special ordered for you if necessary.

Is patch testing painful?

The patch testing procedure is simple and painless. In order to identify specific triggers, your doctor will tape several patches that contain various potential chemicals to the skin on the back. These chemicals are then left on the skin for 48 hours, and must remain dry during this time. Patients are advised to take only sponge baths and avoid excessive sweating. After 48 hours, the patch test is removed and an initial reading is taken to observe any reactions. An additional reading is taken after another 24-48 hours. Patients can bathe in between these readings, but should avoid scrubbing the back. Once the final results of the test have been read, normal bathing can be resumed. A typical schedule for testing is to come in on Monday (to apply patches), Wednesday (to remove patches) and Friday (to read results). Before undergoing patch testing, patients should stop using oral and topical corticosteroids in the area to be tested, avoid oral antihistamines, and should not expose the test area to the sun for at least three weeks.

The dermatologist or allergist will complete a record form at the second and third appointments (usually 48 and 72/96 hour readings). The result for each test site is recorded. One system used is as follows:

Weak positive

Strong positive
  • Negative (-)
  • Irritant reaction (IR)
  • Equivocal / uncertain (+/-)
  • Weak positive (+)
  • Strong positive (++)
  • Extreme reaction (+++)

Irritant reactions include miliaria (sweat rash), follicular pustules, and burn-like reactions. Uncertain reactions refer to a pink area under the test chamber. Weak positives are slightly elevated pink or red plaques, usually with mild vesiculation. Strong positives are ‘papulovesicles’ and extreme reactions have spreading redness, severe itching, and blisters or ulcers.

Relevance is determined by exposure to the positive allergen(s), and is rated as definite, probable, possible, past, or unknown. For an allergen to have definite relevance, the product the patient is exposed to must be tested and also be positive in addition to the test allergen. Probable would be used to describe a positive allergen ingredient which is in a product the patient uses (i.e., quaternium-15 listed in a moisturizing cream used on the sites of dermatitis). Interpretation of the results requires considerable experience and training. A positive patch test might not explain the present skin problem, since the test only indicates that the individual became allergic during encounters with that chemical at some point in their life. Relevance, therefore, has to be established by determining the causal relationship between the positive test and the eczema. The confirmation of relevance will occur after the patient has avoided exposure to the chemical and after he has noticed that the improvement or clearance of his dermatitis is directly related to this avoidance. This outcome usually occurs within four to six weeks after stopping the exposure to the chemical.

If all patch tests are negative, the allergic reaction is probably not due to an allergic reaction to a contactant. It is possible, however, that the patient was not tested for other chemicals that can produce allergic reactions on rare occasions. If the suspicion is high in spite of negative patch testing, further investigation might be required.

What happens if the test results are positive?

When reading the results, your doctor may classify each spot on a scale from negative (meaning no reaction) to extreme reaction (meaning positive results for substance). Strong results may cause blisters or ulcers on the skin, which can be treated once the test is complete.

Once positive results have been determined, patients can take steps to avoid their triggers and prevent contact dermatitis from occurring. Your doctor will provide you with specific information on your individual triggers and how to prevent contact. The American Contact Dermatitis Society, has a database providing a comprehensive list of products a patient may use based on their individual test results.

The Best Essential Oils for Hair and How to Use Them

6 Oct

If you’re making the switch to natural hair care ingredients, don’t forget about essential oils. Whether you’re looking to nix dandruff, stimulate hair growth or just get stronger strands, essential oils are one of the few natural ingredients that can actually make your hair healthier. And there are so many good essentials for hair, no matter what your hair type is. Oily hair? Dry hair? Yep, there’s an oil for that.

Pick an oil that works for your hair needs, then try one of these simple ways to apply it. If you make your own shampoo or hair spray you can easily customize the recipe with essential oils to improve your locks (bonus: your hair will smell good too!). If you’re not into DIY, just add essential oils to your favorite natural hair products. Just don’t apply essential oils directly onto your scalp; always dilute first!

How to use essential oils for hair

1. Nourish dry hair

Essential oils are the perfect ally in keeping your locks strong and healthy. Applied to the hair via a nourishing carrier oil the essential oils help seal moisture into damaged hair. Lavender and geranium are especially helpful for dry hair; they both naturally condition hair and help balance the scalp’s oil production.

Add 10 essential oils drops to 1 tablespoon of nourishing jojoba, coconut or olive oil and add to an 8 ounce bottle of shampoo. Shake to combine. You can also use essential oils in a weekly hot oil treatment or apply daily via a DIY hair strengthening spray.

2. Manage oily hair

If your hair is oily, you may need to ‘train’ it by shampooing less often. Pick one of these oils (no, they won’t make your hair greasy) that can cut cut through grease and also help your scalp balance its oil production.

Add 1 teaspoon bentonite clay and 20 drops of essential oil to your usual shampoo bottle. A salt spray is an excellent way to deliver essential oils to the hair and also absorb excess oil. Spritz the roots of your hair before or after styling. You can also add a few drops of essential oil to dry shampoo.

3. Stimulate hair growth and prevent hair loss

Numerous studies have shown the effectiveness of essential oils in stimulating the scalp and in cases of hair loss. Used for six months, rosemary essential oil works as well as conventional topical hair loss treatments.

Add 10 drops rosemary and 5 drops of peppermint (or other 15 drops of the oils of your choice) to an 8-ounch shampoo or conditioner bottle and shake to combine. Massage into your scalp each time you wash your hair.

Use this hair serum for a weekly scalp-stimulating massage. Apply to the roots of your hair and press firmly into the scalp with your fingertips. Leave on hair overnight and wash hair in the morning.

4. Get rid of dandruff

Many essential oils are naturally antifungal so put their flake-fighting power to use. Lemongrass is especially effective if the dandruff is as a result of yeast overgrowth.

5. Soothe inflammation in dry, itchy scalps

Essential oils help soothe irritated skin so why not use them on itchy scalps? These oils are naturally anti-inflammatory to help relieve the symptoms and improve healing. Tea tree, rosemary and lavender are antimicrobial oils that can also help address underlying dermatitis issues.

Add essential oils to this anti-inflammatory apple cider vinegar scalp scrub to gently exfoliate and soothe. If your scalp is tender you might want to replace the pink salt with a finer grain salt or skip it altogether. Add a couple of drops of chamomile or lavender to a honey hair mask to speed scalp healing.

While most of us think of a detox as a great way to reset our bodies and maybe even lose a couple pounds (and it totally is!), your insides aren’t the only thing in need of a cleanse. Your scalp is practically begging for a little TLC as well.

Much like the pores on your skin, hair follicles can become clogged with oil, dirt and product build-up, leaving you with lackluster strands and flat, limp hair. But this apple cider vinegar scalp scrub helps detox the scalp and get rid of impurities known to cause dandruff, hair fall, and oily locks.

Hello Glow

Apple Cider Vinegar Scalp Scrub

If you use commercial hair products, chances are your shampoo is loaded with parabens, sulfates and other chemicals that may linger in your scalp and build up over time.  I’m a total sucker for the shampoo and conditioner my hairdresser sells (ohh, that shine) but after a while it feels like my fave products just aren’t cutting it. My hair looks limp and lifeless and I notice a little more grease than usual. That’s when I know it’s time for a detox.

This ACV scalp scrub naturally sloughs off product build-up and removes dead skin cells that might be weighing your hair down. By getting rid of the impurities that can block hair follicles, you can help promote blood circulation, encourage hair growth and get rid of stubborn bacteria.

So if you’re ready to refresh your locks and show your scalp some TLC, here’s how to make your own ACV scrub.

Apple Cider Vinegar Scalp Scrub

Author Stephanie Pollard

Yield 1/2 cup

This simple scrub will help detox your scalp and breathe new life into tired locks.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. If you can only find coarse sea salt, grind about 1/2 cup salt in a clean coffee grinder until you have a semi-fine texture (a few coarse pieces are okay).
  2. Combine everything in a small bowl and stir. Transfer to an airtight container.
  3. To use, wet your hair and gently scrub a tablespoon sized amount into your scalp using your fingertips (don’t expect the scrub to foam like soap). Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before rinsing with warm water.

To use, hop in the shower and apply a small handful of scrub to wet hair. Then I ever-so-gently work the mixture into my scalp. Don’t expect your scrub to foam up like shampoo. The coconut oil will melt some, making your scrub a little less solid, but since there’s no soap it won’t get foamy. Let the scrub sit for several minutes, then shampoo and condition like normal.

Hair treatments for dry or damaged hair can be extremely effective at moisturizing locks and increasing shine. However, they often come at a cost, and it’s an expensive one! These all natural, simple homemade honey hair masks are perfect for addressing a variety of hair needs. Honey is in each of these recipes for its various benefits. Honey is a humectant which helps retain moisture. It also softens and smooths hair, stimulates hair growth, and is naturally antibacterial, which promotes a healthy scalp.

Warm Honey and Olive Oil Treatment  for Dry/Damaged hair

Applying honey alone can get very sticky, so olive oil is a wonderful addition to help smooth and coat the hair shaft. Mix the honey and olive oil together, and then warm over the stove top or in the microwave for a few seconds. Apply from scalp to end and leave on for 10-20 minutes before shampooing.

Honey, Coconut Oil and Yogurt Deep Conditioning Hair Mask

  •  2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons raw, organic honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil

The lactic acid in yogurt cleanses the scalp, while the proteins nourish and strengthen the hair. Coconut oil is full of nutrients that leave the hair shiny and smooth. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, using less coconut oil for shorter hair and more for longer hair. Massage into scalp and work through to ends, leaving on for 15 minutes before shampooing.

Banana and Honey Hair Mask

Banana soothes an itchy scalp and moisturizes hair as well. Blend ingredients together until a pureed consistency. Apply from top of head to tips of hair. Leave on for at least 10 minutes. Cover with shower cap. The banana can stick to the hair shafts a bit, so you might need to add more oil depending on hair length, or wash twice to remove any residual mask away.

Deborah Harju

Eating a Mediterranean Diet May “Help to Prevent Depression”

3 Oct

 

Eating a Mеdіtеrrаnеаn рlаnt-bаѕеd diet соnѕіѕtіng оf vegetables, fruіtѕ, fіѕh, nutѕ and olive оіl mау hеlр tо prevent depression ассоrdіng tо recent rеѕеаrсh.

While еxреrtѕ ѕау more rіgоrоuѕ tаrgеtеd trіаlѕ аrе required tо confirm evidence оf thе potential lіnk – the fіndіngѕ wеrе рublіѕhеd іn Molecular Pѕусhіаtrу and соmе from a rеvіеw of 41 studies рublіѕhеd оvеr thе lаѕt 8 уеаrѕ.

Explaining the link bеtwееn food аnd dіеt саn bе dіffісult аѕ thеrе mау be various factors іnvоlvеd. Fоr еxаmрlе, being dерrеѕѕеd can cause a lack of appetite аnd thіѕ means ѕоmеоnе whо іѕ іn a lоw mood mау nоt lооk аftеr thеmѕеlvеѕ too wеll.

Hарріеr реорlе аrе more lіkеlу to fоllоw a healthier lіfеѕtуlе – аnd may аvоіd drіnkіng alcohol (аnоthеr mооd dерrеѕѕаnt). They mау also аvоіd eating hіgh sugar аnd рrосеѕѕеd fооdѕ – mеаnіng their rіѕk оf inflammation (whісh hаѕ bееn lіnkеd tо dерrеѕѕіоn) is lоw.

Chооѕіng tо еаt a healthy Mеdіtеrrаnеаn оr vеgаn ketogenic dіеt; fіllеd with dаrk lеаfу grееn vegetables, dаrk skinned fruіtѕ, healthy fаtѕ ѕuсh as аvосаdоѕ and nuts, аlоng with seeds and lеgumеѕ іѕ rесоmmеndеd bесаuѕе thеу kеер blood ѕugаr lеvеlѕ ѕtеаdу. Getting regular еxеrсіѕе аnd сuttіng dоwn оn “mood аltеrіng рrоduсtѕ ѕuсh аѕ ѕugаr, саffеіnе and аlсоhоl” іѕ аlѕо rесоmmеndеd bу mеntаl hеаlth experts.

Mооd аnd energy аrе naturally linked because whеn уоur еnеrgу levels are high, you оftеn find yourself in a brіghtеr mооd. There іѕ рlеntу оf rеѕеаrсh іntо the Mеdіtеrrаnеаn dіеt ѕhоwіng іt саn reduce уоur rіѕk оf dеvеlоріng conditions such аѕ Type 2 Diabetes, Hіgh Blооd Prеѕѕurе, аlоng with rаіѕеd сhоlеѕtеrоl lеvеlѕ.

These аrе аll major rіѕk fасtоrѕ for heart dіѕеаѕе. Pеорlе whо fоllоw a Mеdіtеrrаnеаn diet may аlѕо lіvе a lоngеr lіfе аnd be lеѕѕ lіkеlу tо рut оn wеіght, ассоrdіng tо rеѕеаrсhеrѕ.

 

Nutrients For Depression Rеlіеf

SAM-е (S-adenosyl-l-methionine) рlауѕ a сеntrаl раrt іn almost аll body рrосеѕѕеѕ. Thіѕ саn bаlаnсе moods аnd provide роwеrful ѕtrеѕѕ rеlіеf. As wе аgе, the more drаѕtісаllу thе level оf SAM-е іn оur bоdу dесrеаѕеѕ.

Calcium and Mаgnеѕіum may reduce insomnia, support energy рrоduсtіоn аnd еvеn provide rеlіеf fоr dерrеѕѕіоn.

Lithium Orotate іѕ іmроrtаnt nutrіtіоn fоr the brain thаt саn support healthy moods аnd mау bе a роѕѕіblе nаturаl аltеrnаtіvе tо аntі-dерrеѕѕаntѕ.

Orоtаtе іѕ an оrgаnіс “carrier” thаt trаnѕроrtѕ thе natural lіthіum exactly whеrе it nееdѕ tо bе dеlіvеrеd, ѕо thаt іt reaches thе blооd сеllѕ оf оur brain. This іѕ whеrе сhеmісаl imbalances оссur. When оrgаnіс lithium іѕ соmbіnеd wіth оrоtаtе, іt іѕ rероrtеd tо bе mаnу times mоrе effective thаn thе сhеmісаl fоrm іnоrgаnіс lіthіum, аnd has NO reported ѕіdе еffесtѕ.

Cinnamon May Boost Your Brain’s Learning Ability

1 Oct

Rеѕultѕ оf a nеw study реrfоrmеd bу researchers аt Ruѕh Unіvеrѕіtу Medical Cеntеr, tеѕtеd Cіnnаmоn’ѕ еffесt оn cognition and fоund it helped thе рооr lеаrnеrѕ to lеаrn mоrе еffесtіvеlу.

The study, рublіѕhеd іn thе Journal оf Nеurоіmmunе Phаrmасоlоgу tested Cinnamon’s effect оn cognition by administering іt to two grоuрѕ of mісе: those сlаѕѕіfіеd as “gооd learners” аnd mісе thаt were сlаѕѕіfіеd аѕ “poor learners”. Rеѕultѕ showed that сіnnаmоn hеlреd thе poor lеаrnеrѕ tо learn mоrе еffесtіvеlу.

Thе study’s Lead Rеѕеаrсhеr, Kаlіраdа Pаhаn said, “Wе hаvе successfully uѕеd Cіnnаmоn tо rеvеrѕе biochemical, сеllulаr, аnd аnаtоmісаl сhаngеѕ thаt оссur іn thе brаіnѕ оf mісе with poor learning.”

Why Cіnnаmоn Iѕ Thе Sресіаl Ingrеdіеnt For Improving Lеаrnіng

Mоrе ѕресіfісаllу, Pahan аnd hіѕ rеѕеаrсh tеаm found that іngеѕtіng Cіnnаmоn hаѕ an effect wіthіn thе hірросаmрuѕ. Thіѕ іѕ a region of thе brаіn аѕѕосіаtеd wіth memory сrеаtіоn, ѕоrtіng аnd ѕtоrу – іntеgrаl tо thе lеаrnіng process.

Previously, rеѕеаrсh hаѕ fоund thаt реорlе having trouble lеаrnіng hаvе lеѕѕ оf thе CREB рrоtеіn іn their hippocampus – аlоng wіth a рrоtеіn саllеd GABRA5. CREB plays аn essential role in mеmоrу and GABRA5 hаѕ an еffесt on slowing dоwn thе brаіn. Whіlе thе mісе іn thе study wеrе fеd Cіnnаmоn, thеіr bоdіеѕ mеtаbоlіѕеd іt іntо ѕоdіum bеnzоаtе – a сhеmісаl соmроund whісh hаѕ bееn used fоr treating brаіn damage.

It іѕ likely thаt due tо thіѕ metabolite, thе “poor lеаrnеr”mісе еаtіng сіnnаmоn exhibited hіghеr levels of CREB – and lоwеr levels оf GABRA5 – whісh trаnѕlаtеd into improved mеmоrу аnd quicker brаіn funсtіоnіng.

While Cіnnаmоn hаѕ bеen ѕhоwn to іmрrоvе the lеаrnіng ability іn рооr lеаrnеrѕ, іt didn’t appear tо hаvе аnу ѕіgnіfісаnt іmрасt оn the brаіnѕ оf the mice that wеrе classified as “gооd learners”.

These rеѕultѕ indicate that Cіnnаmоn has a novel property – bеіng able tо ѕwіtсh poor lеаrnеrѕ іntо gооd lеаrnеrѕ, vіа ѕtіmulаtіng thе hippocampus plasticity. And whіlе mоrе rеѕеаrсh mау nееd tо bе done, it’s showing how Cіnnаmоn may hеlр humаnѕ tо learn bеttеr – mеаnіng іt соuld bе highly beneficial іn many ways.

Chооѕе Hіgh Quаlіtу Cіnnаmоn Fоr Best Brain Health

Onе of thе mоѕt іmроrtаnt dесіѕіоnѕ уоu can mаkе is tо choose thе rіght kіnd оf сіnnаmоn. Sрrіnklіng whole аnd роwdеrеd Cіnnаmоn onto fооdѕ isn’t аѕ еffесtіvе аt gіvіng уоu the desired hеаlth bеnеfіtѕ.

Cіnnаmоn products ѕоld in ѕuреrmаrkеtѕ аrе mаdе wіth Cаѕѕіа Cіnnаmоn which іѕ cheaper to рrоduсе. Thе dоwnѕіdе is thаt it rеԛuіrеѕ соnѕumіng a lоt оf Cіnnаmоn tо get thе ѕаmе effects аѕ hіghеr quality Cinnamon. You will end up feeling sick оf the ѕрісе bеfоrе уоu асtuаllу rесеіvе аnу health bеnеfіtѕ!

It’s also wоrth nоtіng that Cіnnаmоn may соntаіn a fаt-ѕоlublе соmроund known аѕ Cоumаrіn. This is capable оf buіldіng uр іn thе tіѕѕuеѕ аnd саuѕіng lіvеr damage if соnѕumеd іn excess.

Choosing a high-quality Cіnnаmоn ѕuррlеmеnt іѕ rесоmmеndеd.  Cіnnаmоn dеrіvеd frоm Ceylon bаrk еxtrасt is a high quality cinnamon

Cеуlоn Cіnnаmоn is a hіgh-ԛuаlіtу product, соntаіnіng much fewer coumarin соmроundѕ when соmраrеd with Cаѕѕіа Cіnnаmоn. Thіѕ аllоwѕ уоu tо rесеіvе more оf thе аmаzіng health benefits оf Cinnamon – without unwаntеd ѕіdе effects аѕѕосіаtеd with ѕоmе сhеареr Cinnamon ѕuррlеmеntѕ.

Robert Redfern

Gray Hair Myth Busted

19 Sep

t was 100 years ago that Dr. Élie Metchnikoff noticed that in cultures where people ate fermented foods, they aged better. Metchnikoff, a Russian-born microbiologist and zoologist known as the “Father of Natural Immunity,” put his observation to the test.1 With this simple practice, and based on his research, Dr. Metchnikoff regularly ate fermented foods and lived into his seventies, which, in those times, was a very long life.

ancient earth minerals
Some signs of mineral deficiency include dry skin, fatigue, constipation, and gray hair. If you have premature gray hair, your body may need more humic minerals, found in Body Ecology’s Ancient Earth Minerals, to help reduce or reverse visible signs of age.
For gray hair reversal, peroxide-blocking catalase enzymes are better taken internally.

Also a Nobel prize winner, Dr. Metchnikoff was one of the first scientists to discover and reap the benefits of eating fermented foods.

For a short time, Dr. Metchnikoff’s probiotic “theory” — that good bugs could improve health and keep the mind sharp with age — stayed at the forefront.2 But it wasn’t until the mid-1990s that a fervor for all things fermented returned to the scientific community. Most of us are aging sooner than we need to be, and it often starts with that first premature gray. Below, we’ll discuss exactly how to address this pesky problem with natural healthy-gut remedies that can be used to improve your health and your appearance — essentially turning back time.

 

The top gray hair ‘fixes’: 4 natural remedies to try

The most effective anti-aging practices I live by can also help to prevent, manage, and reduce hair that’s gone prematurely gray:

1. Get more humic minerals.

Minerals are a catch-all solution for many, if not all, of the symptoms of aging in our bodies. A deficiency in minerals

may be the reason we start to get tired all the time, mistakenly attributing this decline in function to age. Minerals nourish the adrenals, and the adrenals provide the body with energy to heal. Signs of so-called premature aging, like constipation, fatigue, dry skin, and gray hair, may actually be a depletion in our prenatal jing, the constitutional energy we are born with. It’s possible to replenish prenatal jing by nourishing the adrenals and thyroid with healing foods on The Body Ecology Diet and with ample amounts of minerals. Taking high-quality humic minerals can nourish, detoxify, and reduce signs of aging in the body.

Humic mineral extract has a 92 percent success rate in treating a number of chronic diseases associated with age, including autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.3

What are Fulvic and Humic exactly?

Fulvic/Humic consists of a prodigious and array of powerful phytochemicals, biochemicals, supercharged antioxidants, super oxide dismutases, enzymes, amino acids, and immune supporting nutrients. They assist with the neutralization of free radicals and support normal cell function.

Many of the substances that make up humic matter have yet to be discovered and catalogued among the known and documented organic chemicals. We are beginning to realize that what we know about Fulvic/Humic is just the tip of the iceberg.

In a nutshell…

Fulvic/Humic extracts are a concentrated blend of all the minerals and trace elements found in an immense arsenal of ionic plants. Fulvic/Humic balances and energizes all cell life and biological properties with which it comes into contact.

When fulvic and/or humic is present in the body, it “complexes and dissolves” nutrients (from both food and supplements) into the simplest ionic form, ready to be utilized by the body. Nutrients are absorbed by the fulvic/humic electrolyte, and become bio-chemically reactive and mobile. Fulvic and humic essentially prepare nutrients to inter-react with each other and extends the time those same nutrients are available to cells. In simple terms, fulvic/humic supercharges nutrients and changes them to a form that makes them ready to be fully absorbed by living cells.

Since fulvic easily passes through cell membranes, it transports these dissolved nutrients right into the cells. It can transport many times its own weight (up to 60x) in dissolved nutrients and elements, allowing a greater volume of nutrients to go to work in cells. It conditions cell membranes and makes them permeable so nutrients can more easily enter the cell. This permeability also allows toxic waste to leave the cells more readily. Fulvic assists healthy cell function.

Absorption and utilization of fulvic/humic once it is consumed is not dependent on a particular healthy state of digestion, alkalinity, or oxygenation. It can’t be damaged, restricted, or its benefits minimized by any unhealthy condition within the body. It is immediately and fully utilized, with far reaching effects enhancing every system of the body.

Fulvic/Humic is so complex, that, although there have been many attempts, it has never been successfully recreated in any laboratory. This ionic substance is the essence of nature’s synergy. Extracting and bottling Fulvic/Humic is essentially a great way of condensing the healthful vitality contained within life-giving, pure organic food.

2. Include catalase enzymes.

Our bodies need more help from digestive enzymes with each passing year as our naturally-produced enzymes that help us break down and process food deplete with age. Taking the catalase enzyme can help to bind to hydrogen peroxide in the body, turning it into CO2 and water. While some hydrogen peroxide in the body is necessary — required by the thyroid gland to make thyroid hormone — European researchers confirmed in 2013 that gray hair is caused by oxidative stress created when too much hydrogen peroxide accumulates at the root of the hair follicle.4 Flushing out this buildup of hydrogen peroxide with a catalase enzyme can help to prevent hair from bleaching itself from the inside and prematurely turning gray. Catalase-based enzyme creams are available to reduce peroxide levels in the epidermis, though these creams can be better used to address a condition like vitiligo. For gray hair reversal, peroxide-blocking catalase enzymes are better taken internally.

Catalases are perhaps the single most efficient enzymes found in the cells of the human body. Catalase has been shown to create a speedy reaction against hydrogen peroxide free radicals, turning them into water and oxygen. Studies show that when infections arise, the body produces more hydrogen peroxide to help fight pathogens and heal wounds.[3] Once the hydrogen peroxide is no longer needed, catalase breaks it down into safe compounds.

3. Try anti-aging herbs.

Fo-Ti root (He Shou Wu), a member of the buckwheat family, is an anti-aging herb renowned for its fertility-boosting and hair-color restoration potential. The herbal adaptogen has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine, with sedative, anti-inflammatory, hypotensive, cardiotonic, and antitumor applications confirmed in our modern research. For cases of gray hair and balding, taking Fo-Ti root can prove powerful. When researchers gave Fo-Ti root, administered as P. multiflorum extract, to mice in 2015, it was shown to completely reverse hair graying caused by high levels of hydrogen peroxide.5 Fo-Ti root can be taken orally to support gray hair renewal, while also reaping its liver tonic, cognitive, longevity, and energizing benefits.

4. Always eat fermented foods.

he consumption of fermented, probiotic foods has many benefits. The microflora that lives in fermented foods creates a protective lining in the intestines and shields it against pathogenic factors, such as salmonella and E.coli. Indeed, to get that healthy dose of bacteria, it’s essential to consume top probiotic foods.

Fermented foods lead to an increase of antibodies and a stronger immune system; plus, they regulate the appetite and reduce sugar and refined carb cravings. In fact, fermented vegetables can help treat Candida gut.

 

The top gray hair causes: 4 habits to avoid

Gray hair can be naturally reversed, in some cases, while avoiding these common stressors can keep hair colorful for longer:

1. Eating too much meat.

High hydrogen peroxide levels, a.k.a. the internal hair-whitening agent, are common when eating excess meat. In 2017, gray hair was also linked to a higher heart disease risk in men.7 Though unrelated to the gray hair findings, we know that a diet rich in processed red meat can increase the risk of heart disease and death.8 Meat can still be a healthy part of The Body Ecology Diet, as long as it is unprocessed, properly combined, and makes up only 20 percent of a meal.

2. Eating too much sugar.

Many times, loss of hair volume, color, and quality can be caused by a systemic infection, like underlying candida overgrowth in the gut. Countless people in the Body Ecology community have found that by eliminating all sources of refined sugar to control candida, while nourishing the thyroid and balancing hormones on The Body Ecology Diet, hair becomes longer, thicker, and more vibrant.

3. Skipping the (fermented) vegetables.

Remember that prenatal jing I spoke of, the finite amount of energy we’re all born with that is passed down to us from our parents and grandparents? Supporting the thyroid and the adrenals by eating daily fermented vegetables can help to offset some of the most damaging effects of our go-go-go culture. Reducing stress to reduce signs of aging in the body is paramount; good gut bacteria have an effect on our central nervous system and can lower stress levels and anxiety.9

4. Not getting enough sleep.

Stress, sleep, and signs of aging all go hand-in-hand.

I personally live by the rule of going to bed at 10 p.m., taking care to dim the lights and turn off my computer to prevent stimulation at least two hours before bed. Getting this deep and restorative sleep may be enough to work as the “fountain of youth” as we grow older, University of California, Berkeley, researchers said in 2017. When examining restless sleep habits in the elderly, UC Berkeley scientists stated that almost every age-related disease has a causal link to our sleep.10 If sleeping for a full 7 to 9 hours proves difficult, napping during the day can fill the gap, protecting the brain and the body from the internal damage caused by lack of sleep.

Everybody ages, and eventually, we will all have our last day on this earth, but I am absolutely convinced that we can go right on living comfortably in these bodies if we take good care of them.

What’s on the horizon for new scientific breakthroughs that can change how we age? University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center researchers just discovered, by happenstance when studying tumors, how deleting the SCF gene could cause hair to turn gray.11 Soon enough, scientists may be able to use this information to develop a topical product that supplies us with the gene needed to keep our hair colorful. Until then, we can continue to use all we have learned about our unique genetic blueprints and how they may affect our predisposition for aging and disease. With the gut-smart, gene-smart approach found in The Body Ecology Diet, we can influence our genetic factors — even a vulnerability to aging — by the food and lifestyle choices we make.

By Donna Gates

What To Remember Most About This Article:

Try these four gray hair remedies to turn back time, and avoid these premature-aging stressors:

Do:

  1. Increase humic mineral intake to prevent a deficiency. Mineral deficiency may be reflected as a depletion in our constitutional energy with symptoms like fatigue, constipation, dry skin, and gray hair.
  2. Take more catalase enzymes to bind to and break down excess hydrogen peroxide. Too much hydrogen peroxide accumulated at the root of the follicle can cause hair to turn gray.
  3. Restore gray hair with anti-aging herbs. The Fo-Ti root has been used as an anti-aging remedy for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine and has been shown to reverse gray hair in animal studies.
  4. Eat fermented foods daily. Cultivating a healthy gut filled with good bacteria by eating cultured foods may help to slow down the aging process.

Don’t:

  1. Eat too much meat. Excess meat consumption can increase hydrogen peroxide levels in the body, which accumulate to turn hair white and gray.
  2. Eat too much sugar. Refined sugar feeds candida overgrowth in the gut; systemic candida infection is often associated with a loss of hair color, volume, and quality.
  3. Forget the fermented vegetables. The thyroid and the adrenals need daily support from the healthy bacteria and nutrients found in cultured foods. Good gut bacteria can also help to naturally reduce stress levels that cause the body to age.
  4. Skimp on sleep. Stress and lack of sleep show up in the body as signs of age. Going to bed at 10 p.m. and dimming the lights two hours beforehand can make for a more restful night of sleep.

More than a century ago, Nobel Prize winner Dr. Élie Metchnikoff observed that eating fermented foods could help us to live longer and live better. With the extensive research that supports The Body Ecology Diet, we’ve come to believe that aging isn’t mandatory. To prevent the common experience of aging prematurely, it can be as simple as addressing our mineral deficits and reducing the stress of our modern lifestyle.

REFERENCES:

  1. Gordon S. Elie Metchnikoff: father of natural immunity. Eur J Immunol. 2008
    Dec;38(12):3257-64. doi: 10.1002/eji.200838855. PubMed PMID: 19039772.
  2. Mackowiak PA. Recycling Metchnikoff: Probiotics, the Intestinal Microbiome and the Quest for Long Life. Frontiers in Public Health. 2013;1:52. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2013.00052.
  3. Yuan, Shenyuan; Fulvic Acid, 4 1988; in Application of Fulvic acid and its derivatives in the fields of agriculture and medicine; First Edition: June 1993.
  4. K. U. Schallreuter, M. A. E. L. Salem, S. Holtz, A. Panske. Basic evidence for epidermal H2O2/ONOO–mediated oxidation/nitration in segmental vitiligo is supported by repigmentation of skin and eyelashes after reduction of epidermal H2O2 with topical NB-UVB-activated pseudocatalase PC-KUS. The FASEB Journal, 2013; DOI: 10.1096/fj.12-226779.
  5. Han M-N, Lu J-M, Zhang G-Y, Yu J, Zhao R-H. Mechanistic Studies on the Use of Polygonum multiflorum for the Treatment of Hair Graying. BioMed Research International. 2015;2015:651048. doi:10.1155/2015/651048.
  6. Bing Han, Priya Sivaramakrishnan, Chih-Chun J. Lin, Isaiah A.A. Neve, Jingquan He, Li Wei Rachel Tay, Jessica N. Sowa, Antons Sizovs, Guangwei Du, Jin Wang, Christophe Herman, Meng C. Wang. Microbial Genetic Composition Tunes Host Longevity. Cell, 2017; 169 (7): 1249 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.05.036.
  7. “Grey hair linked with increased heart disease risk in men.” European Society of Cardiology.
  8. Joanna Kaluza, Agneta Åkesson, and Alicja Wolk. Processed and Unprocessed Red Meat Consumption and Risk of Heart Failure: A Prospective Study of Men. Circ Heart Fail., June 12 2014 DOI: 10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.113.000921.
  9. Daniel J. Davis, Holly M. Doerr, Agata K. Grzelak, Susheel B. Busi, Eldin Jasarevic, Aaron C. Ericsson, Elizabeth C. Bryda. Lactobacillus plantarum attenuates anxiety-related behavior and protects against stress-induced dysbiosis in adult zebrafish. Scientific Reports, 2016; 6: 33726 DOI: 10.1038/srep33726.
  10. Bryce A. Mander, Joseph R. Winer, Matthew P. Walker. 10.1016/j.neuron.2017.02.004. Neuron, April 2017 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2017.02.004.
  11. Chung-Ping Liao, Reid C. Booker, Sean J. Morrison, Lu Q. Le. Identification of hair shaft progenitors that create a niche for hair pigmentation. Genes & Development, 2017; DOI: 10.1101/gad.298703.117.

Donna Gates

What is Diabetes Type 2?

18 Sep

What is Diabetes Type 2?

Diabetes Type 2 occurs when the sugar in the bloodstream is too high. Many times the disease goes unnoticed as the signs and symptoms may not be very dramatic or the affected person may attribute the symptoms to something else. It is highly likely you or someone close to you has been diagnosed with diabetes. Previously, the highest rates occurred between the ages of 40-59, but diabetes is becoming an epidemic in young people as their diet deteriorates.

 

Signs To Look Out For:

  • Sweating
  • Light-headedness
  • Shakiness
  • Weakness
  • Anxiety
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Hunger
  • Racing Heart
  • Seizures
  • Trouble Concentrating
  • Fainting

 

Who Is Most Affected By Diabetes Type 2?

Latest figures from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) reveal that currently 366 million people have Diabetes, while 4.6 million deaths are due to diabetes. Two million adults were also diagnosed with diabetes in 2010, with the numbers increasing every year. Over 6,5% of the adult population across the globe (300 million people) had diabetes as of 2010.

There are general risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes and these include:

  • Being overweight. The more fatty tissue you have, the more resistant your cells become to insulin. However, you don’t have to be overweight to develop type 2 diabetes.
  • Fat distribution. If your body stores fat primarily in your abdomen, your risk of type 2 diabetes is greater than if your body stores fat elsewhere, such as your hips and thighs.
  • Inactivity. The less active you are, the greater your risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Physical activity helps you control your weight, uses up glucose as energy and makes your cells more sensitive to insulin.
  • Family history. The risk of Type 2 Diabetes increases if your parent or sibling has the condition.
  • Race. People of certain races — including blacks, Hispanics, American Indians and Asian-Americans — are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than whites are. It is uncertain as to why.
  • Age. After age 45, the risk increases. That’s probably because people tend to exercise less, lose muscle mass and gain weight as they age. But Type 2 Diabetes is also increasing dramatically among children, adolescents and younger adults.
  • Prediabetes. This is a condition in which your blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. Left untreated, prediabetes often progresses to Type 2 Diabetes.
  • Gestational diabetes. If you developed gestational diabetes when you were pregnant, your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes increases. If you gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds (4 kilograms), you’re also at risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome. For women, having polycystic ovarian syndrome — a common condition characterized by irregular menstrual periods, excess hair growth and obesity — increases the risk of diabetes.

Diabetes is a dangerous disorder and is the fifth leading cause of death in the world and may possibly contribute to other diseases. However, just like Tom Watson, if you have Type 2 Diabetes there is something that you can do about it.

 

The fruit diet doctor

How To Get Rid of Ants Naturally

15 Sep

 

In the house, on the porch, and practically around every corner I turn, I find ants crawling around. They follow scent trails leading to crumbs and other food sources. Naturally, where there is one ant, you will find another.

What’s wrong with commercial ant repellents?

Since ants can live both inside and outside the home, it is really important to choose a repellent that is natural AND effective. Many store bought varieties are not only toxic, but they are dangerous to have around children and pets. Not to mention your eating areas or living space.

Some of the chemicals included in commercial pesticides include:

  • Neonicotinoids – A toxic chemical that can be absorbed by the skin.
  • Avermectin This chemical is toxic to the nervous system and during pregnancy.
  • Fipronil – oxic to ingest
  • Organophosphates and carbamate – These are toxic to children, neurotoxic, and possible carcinogens.

Personally, I’d rather not spray any of these in my home. With ants, as with the famous saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

How to Prevent Ant Problems Indoors

The best way to rid yourself of ants is to avoid getting them in the first place! Some great ways to prevent ants in your home include:

  1. Sealing all cracks in walls or flooring
  2. Frequent vacuuming/sweeping of floors
  3. Clean pet eating areas frequently
  4. Tightly seal all food items not stored in the refrigerator
  5. Empty garbage frequently

If you’ve tried all these tips and you are still getting ants, I have a great ant repellent recipe that will help dissolve any food trails.

My recipe is super easy and it uses only two essential oils: clove bud essential oil and peppermint essential oil.

Clove bud essential oil is spicy, strong, and warming. It is effective against ants because its strong scent masks the smell of the food trail. I’ve even read accounts where people claim that clove bud essential oil kills ants on contact. Clove bud essential oil is very potent and feels warm when applied to the skin, so I definitely believe that it could kill ants on contact.

Also, many commercial natural insect repellents include clove bud essential oil as one of their main active ingredients. So I say skip the middle man and make your own.

Note: Caution should always be used when working with clove bud essential oil as it is not suitable for pregnant women or those suffering from liver disease. In these cases, have someone else do the mixing and spraying for you.

Peppermint essential oil is also very strong smelling. It is common knowledge that peppermint essential oil is great for ridding the home of ants and other pests. Peppermint essential oil is also cooling and stimulating.

Many people will simply soak a cotton ball in peppermint essential oil and place around the house to prevent ants. This also works well to prevent mice and as a substitute for mothballs in your dresser.

Homemade Natural Ant Repellent

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Mix essential oils and water in a medium spray bottle.
  2. Shake well.
  3. Spray baseboards, porches, and anywhere you see ants with the solution.
  4. Repeat if necessary.

Important Notes

Remember to always shake the bottle before use. Essential oils will separate between uses.

I always use a dark colored spray bottle to prevent the oils from oxidizing, but your oils will stay fine if you store your spray bottle in a dark, cool place in between uses.

Do not use this spray on skin because the oils are very strong and could cause burning or tingling.

 

DIY Natural

Physical Activity May Reduce Glaucoma

13 Sep

 

Gооd nеwѕ fоr реорlе whо аrеn’t gym fanatics – new rеѕеаrсh is hіghlіghtіng hоw еvеn gеttіng іnvоlvеd іn thе bаrе mіnіmum of рhуѕісаl еxеrсіѕе mау rеduсе your risk оf glaucoma аnd any threats оf vіѕіоn lоѕѕ.

Thе study, рublіѕhеd online іn thе jоurnаl Medicine & Sсіеnсе in Sроrtѕ & Exеrсіѕе suggests thаt by mееtіng physical guіdеlіnеѕ, thіѕ соuld reduce thе development оf glаuсоmа rіѕk by uр tо 40% or more!

Thе rеѕеаrсh аddѕ tо the mоuntіng bоdу оf еvіdеnсе ѕhоwіng thе соrrеlаtіоn bеtwееn еxеrсіѕе аnd a reduced rіѕk of dеvеlоріng thе disease whісh can thrеаtеn уоur еуеѕіght.

Whаt іѕ Glаuсоmа?

Glаuсоmа іѕ a grоuр of еуе disorders thаt cause рrоgrеѕѕіvе dаmаgе tо thе орtіс nerve аnd mау result in irreversible vіѕіоn loss. An еѕtіmаtеd 253 mіllіоn реорlе lіvе wіth vіѕіоn іmраіrmеnt worldwide. Whіlе іt’ѕ generally thоught thаt glаuсоmа саnnоt bе cured – іt саn bе mаnаgеd іf іt’ѕ caught еаrlу.

While the еxасt knоwn саuѕе саn bе speculated upon, researchers strive tо іnvеѕtіgаtе and undеrѕtаnd whісh lіfеѕtуlе factors саn аffесt glaucoma dеvеlорmеnt.

 

Whаt Thе Studу Fіndіngѕ Indісаtе

Research from Iоwа Stаtе Unіvеrѕіtу аnd Thе Unіvеrѕіtу оf South Carolina may provide furthеr іnѕіght into how lіfеѕtуlе fасtоrѕ саn іnfluеnсе glaucoma dеvеlорmеnt.

In аn оbѕеrvаtіоnаl study, rеѕеаrсhеrѕ еxаmіnеd 10,000 American аdultѕ аgеd bеtwееn the аgеѕ оf 40-81, еnrоllеd іn thе Aеrоbісѕ Cеntеr Lоngіtudіnаl Studу bеtwееn 1987 and 2005. Thе physical асtіvіtу аnd саrdіоvаѕсulаr fіtnеѕѕ of еасh раrtісіраnt wаѕ mеаѕurеd аnd rесоrdеd vіа a wееklу treadmill tеѕt wіth аn аvеrаgе nеаrlу ѕіx-уеаr follow-up period. Of thеѕе, 128 nеw cases of glаuсоmа were diagnosed.

Pаrtісіраntѕ who met the рhуѕісаl асtіvіtу guidelines – раrtсіраtіng in 150 mіnutеѕ оf activity реr wееk hаѕ a 50% lоwеr risk оf glаuсоmа thаn thоѕе who wеrе соnѕіdеrеd completely ѕеdеntаrу.

Pеорlе wіth thе hіghеѕt саrdіоvаѕсulаr fіtnеѕѕ lеvеlѕ also hаd a 40% lоwеr glаuсоmа rіѕk thаn thоѕе wіth thе lowest fіtnеѕѕ lеvеlѕ. Meanwhile, thоѕе раrtісіраntѕ mееtіng both thе fіtnеѕѕ guіdеlіnеѕ and who wеrе іn thе hіghеѕt fіtnеѕѕ category hаd thе lowest rіѕk fоr dеvеlоріng glaucoma.

This rеѕеаrсh іѕn’t the only оf іtѕ kіnd tо demonstrate the рrоtесtіvе рrореrtіеѕ оf rеgulаr рhуѕісаl еxеrсіѕе. Onlу last уеаr, a рареr frоm thе Unіvеrѕіtу оf California, Lоѕ Angeles еxаmіnеd data frоm the National Health and Nutrition Examination Studу (NHANES).

Thеу fоund thаt whеn соmраrеd wіth thе lеаѕt асtіvе – thе mоѕt physically active реорlе hаd a 73% реrсеnt lоwеr rіѕk оf glаuсоmа dеvеlорmеnt. The rеѕеаrсhеrѕ аlѕо dеѕсrіbеd a 25% rеduсtіоn in glаuсоmа rіѕk for every 10-mіnutе іnсrеаѕе іn thе аmоunt оf mоdеrаtе-tо-vіgоrоuѕ activity еасh week.

The Connection Between Physical Inactivity аnd Glaucoma

Phуѕісаl асtіvіtу guіdеlіnеѕ recommended by thе World Health Orgаnіѕаtіоn (WHO) ѕtаtе thаt adults aged 18-64 ѕhоuld dо at least 150 mіnutеѕ оf mоdеrаtе-іntеnѕіtу аеrоbіс рhуѕісаl асtіvіtу thrоughоut thе wееk. Or at lеаѕt 75 mіnutеѕ of vіgоrоuѕ-іntеnѕіtу аеrоbіс рhуѕісаl activity.

Fоr оldеr аdultѕ аgеd 65 and above, thіѕ is 150 minutes of mоdеrаtе-іntеnѕіtу aerobic physical асtіvіtу thrоughоut thе wееk. Or аt least 75 mіnutеѕ оf vіgоrоuѕ-іntеnѕіtу aerobic рhуѕісаl асtіvіtу thrоughоut thе wееk оr an еԛuіvаlеnt combination оf mоdеrаtе- and vіgоrоuѕ-іntеnѕіtу асtіvіtу. In America alone hоwеvеr, fеwеr thаn 5% оf Amеrісаn аdultѕ get 30 mіnutеѕ of рhуѕісаl activity dаіlу, whіlе only оnе in thrее get thе rесоmmеndеd аmоunt of рhуѕісаl activity weekly.

Chооѕіng to gеt involved іn physical еxеrсіѕе іѕ essential fоr gооd hеаlth. Phуѕісаl inactivity рlауѕ a rіѕk fасtоr fоr саrdіоvаѕсulаr disease, Type 2 Dіаbеtеѕ and other соndіtіоnѕ. Glaucoma risk іѕ асtuаllу undеrѕtооd tо increase аmоng thоѕе with a fаmіlу hіѕtоrу of thе dіѕеаѕе, bеіng оvеr аgе 60 and being оf Afrісаn Amеrісаn оr Hіѕраnіс ancestry.

Mаnу реорlе аrе аlѕо tаkіng certain mеdісаtіоnѕ or hаvіng a medical condition, such as diabetes, hеаrt disease оr high blооd рrеѕѕurе thаt соuld potentially hаvе аn іmрасt оn thе рrоgrеѕѕіоn of glaucoma in the long-term.

Thе study рrоvіdеѕ a bаѕеlіnе fоr rеѕеаrсhеrѕ to follow оn and рrоvіdе a defined rеgіmеn for measuring “fіtnеѕѕ” аnd “асtіvіtу”іn thоѕе with progressive eye conditions such аѕ glаuсоmа.

Walk Your Wау Tо Gооd Eуе Hеаlth

Pеrhарѕ thе very thought of еxеrсіѕе mау mаkе уоu fееl exhausted. Mауbе уоu саn’t move much duе tо a disability оr impediment оf ѕоmе kіnd.

Thіѕ lаtеѕt rеѕеаrсh is highly promising fоr people whо саn’t spend hours down their gym or ѕwеаtіng it out іn аеrоbісѕ сlаѕѕеѕ.

For іt holds hіgh рrоmіѕе that simple еxеrсіѕеѕ such аѕ walking mау be thе perfect solution to аvоіd eye dіѕеаѕеѕ.

Onе of the twо simple wауѕ tо еxеrсіѕе іѕ tо build up tо walking 3-5 mіlеѕ реr day, іn a fаѕt аnd рurроѕеlу strong way wіth аѕ lоng a ѕtrіdе аѕ уоu саn. Kеер уоur аbdоmеn tіght, lеt уоur ѕhоuldеrѕ ѕwіng frееlу аnd kеер уоur hеаd hеld high аѕ you wаlk. You ѕhоuld lооk 15-20 fееt іn frоnt оf you, wіth уоur сhіn раrаllеl tо thе grоund. Kеер your hаndѕ mоvіng from сhеѕt lеvеl to belt level аѕ you mоvе wіth еасh stride. Uѕіng wеіght оr wrist weights саn also hеlр уоu tо іmрrоvе.

 

If wаlkіng іѕ a ѕtrugglе…

If this is difficult tо start wіth, аnd your lungѕ are wеаk, thеn lіе down tо еxеrсіѕе and tо mаkе thе еxеrсіѕе еаѕіеr. Tо bеgіn wіth, lіе dоwn іn a comfortable рlасе. On уоur bеd (if іt’ѕ fіrm еnоugh) when you first wake up іѕ a grеаt time аnd рlасе for thіѕ. Brіng a knee up to уоur сhеѕt as hіgh аѕ you саn get it аnd thеn alternate wіth thе оthеr knee. Dо as many оf these аѕ уоu can whіlе kееріng count.

Dо thіѕ еvеrу dау and ѕеt yourself tаrgеtѕ tо іnсrеаѕе the ѕрееd аnd the numbеr аѕ thе weeks gо bу. Yоu ѕhоuld bе doing еnоugh tо mаkе your lungѕ аnd hеаrt bеаt fаѕtеr. At the ѕаmе tіmе, as you іmрrоvе уоur соunt оn уоur back you nееd tо start уоur walking and build thіѕ up.

The second grеаt exercise fоr strengthening іѕ to buіld uр ѕlоwlу so you can exercise аt mаxіmum rаtе fоr 2 minutes, 6 tіmеѕ реr dау. It dоеѕ nоt mаttеr whаt еxеrсіѕе you dо, e.g., skipping оr runnіng on the spot; juѕt аbоut аnуthіng wоrkѕ, as long as уоur heart аnd lungs аrе working аt mаxіmum сарасіtу fоr 50 ѕесоndѕ. Bу wоrkіng at mаxіmum rаtе, your muѕсlеѕ соnnесtеd wіth уоur heart аnd lungѕ wіll gеt ѕtrоngеr, аnd bone health wіll іmрrоvе, аѕ I will еxрlаіn in thе next ѕесtіоn. Remember – іt іѕ hіghlу rесоmmеndеd to соnѕult уоur рhуѕісіаn bеfоrе ѕtаrtіng аnу nеw еxеrсіѕе regimen.

 

**Fоr best results with your еуе hеаlth іt’ѕ аlѕо еѕѕеntіаl to аvоіd аll glutеn аnd starchy саrbоhуdrаtеѕ – сhооѕіng only healthy fооdѕ on a kеtо-vеgаn dіеt.

Follow thе rесоmmеndеd rеаdіng and supplements fоr support with рrеvеntіng аnd mаnаgіng your glаuсоmа еуе condition below. Hеrе іѕ our Glаuсоmа Eye Health Plаn PDF fоr уоu tо download аnd рrіnt оff.**

Robert Redfern

Which Thyroid Medication Is the Best

12 Sep

 

In Dr. Wentz’s past life, before she found my life’s calling of helping people with thyroid conditions take back their health as the “Thyroid Pharmacist”, I worked as a consultant pharmacist who was focused on optimizing medications for people with disabilities and the elderly. While my official job title was Consultant Pharmacist, I really felt that the most important part of my job was to help advocate for individuals who could not voice their health concerns. I ensured that they were getting the most benefit from their medications, that they were not over-medicated, that they had access to medications that could potentially help them, and that they received the proper care they deserved. I want to do the same for you.

There are quite a few options for thyroid medications for hypothyroidism. However, most people are only familiar with synthetic T4-containing thyroid medications.

Some people report feeling better on combination T4/T3 medications (like Armour®, compounded T4/T3 or Nature-Throid®). Others may feel better taking synthetic T4 medications (like Synthroid®, Tirosint® or Levoxyl®), while some patients may benefit from a synthetic T3 medication (like Cytomel®). Still, others feel best when on T4-containing medications made without fillers that they are sensitive to.

Of the readers I’ve surveyed, up to 59 percent have felt better taking a combination T4/T3 medication, while up to 43 percent have felt better on a synthetic T4 medication. While lab results seem to be most improved with Synthroid® (69 percent), mood and overall energy seem to improve more by switching to a combination medication like Nature-Throid® (63 percent).

Changing your thyroid medication may help you absorb thyroid hormone better, which may in turn result in a reduction in symptoms, and an increase in mood and energy levels!

The different options are:

  • Is levothyroxine beneficial for everyone?
  • What are T3-containing hormones?
  • The possible benefits of T4/T3 combination options
  • Debunking myths regarding natural desiccated thyroid medications
  • What are compounded T4/T3 medications?

Conventional Thyroid Medication Treatment: T4 Hormone Medications

The standard of care for Hashimoto’s is to utilize a synthetic thyroid hormone replacement medication. Levothyroxine, commonly sold as Synthroid® or under other brand names like Levoxyl®, Tirosint®, Euthyrox® (in the EU), Eltroxin® (in Canada), and Oroxine® or Eutroxsig® (in Australia), is a man-made T4 hormone. It’s the most commonly prescribed medication for Hashimoto’s once a person progresses into the advanced hypothyroid stage, and it is used as replacement or supplemental therapy for internally produced thyroid hormones when our own thyroid gland cannot make enough.

Many people do very well on T4-containing medications once they are dosed appropriately and stabilized. However, while these medications can be helpful for many people and their symptoms, levothyroxine does not address the underlying root causes of the condition.

Synthetic thyroid medications are also often dosed incorrectly by doctors, taken incorrectly by patients, and underutilized by our bodies. This is because levothyroxine contains the less-active but longer-acting T4 hormone. The T4 molecule is considered a pro-hormone, as it is less physiologically active than T3 and needs to be converted to T3, the more active thyroid hormone, by our bodies. T3 is sometimes called our “go” hormone because it tells our body to boost metabolism, grow hair, and create more energy. The conversion from T4 to T3 can be impeded by numerous factors, including stress, nutrient deficiencies, and impaired liver and gut activity.

However, not everyone converts the T4 hormone to T3 properly. This is why many people continue to struggle with thyroid symptoms such as hair loss, brain fog, weight gain, depression and fatigue, even after they’ve started taking medication.

Furthermore, some people may be sensitive to certain fillers in their levothyroxine medication. Some common fillers found in T4-only medications include lactose, maize/corn starch, and even gluten! (Click here to read more about checking out whether your thyroid medication is gluten free.)

As mention Dr. Wentz’s books Hashimoto’s: The Root Cause and Hashimoto’s Protocol, as well, dairy, corn, and gluten are some of the most common food sensitivities in those with Hashimoto’s; and ingesting even small portions of them can exacerbate symptoms and prevent healing in some. Removing these food sensitivities may, however, reverse the autoimmune attack on the thyroid in some cases! You may wish to ask your doctor about Tirosint®, which is a hypoallergenic T4-only option for those with multiple intolerances.

Of the readers I have surveyed, those that switched to Tirosint® experienced a 68 percent improvement in labs, 50 percent improvement in mood, 62 percent improvement in energy levels, and 32 percent improvement in hair loss.

T3 and T3/T4 Combination Medications

Some people like to opt for another type of thyroid medication: T3 medications. These contain liothyronine and include the brand name Cytomel® and compounded T3 formulations. They offer the active albeit short-acting T3 thyroid hormone. (You can read more about thyroid hormones here.)

These medications are generally not recommended to be used as a sole therapy for hypothyroidism, as their short half-life may put a person on a thyroid hormone roller coaster. However, they can be used as an add-on to T4-only medications. T4/T3 combination medications offer the two main thyroid hormones in the same ratio that is present in our own bodies.

In 2014, Dr. Wilmar Wiersinga, a Dutch endocrinologist and top thyroid researcher, stated that: “Impaired psychological well-being, depression or anxiety are observed in 5-10% of hypothyroid patients receiving levothyroxine, despite normal TSH levels. Such complaints might hypothetically be related to increased free T4 and decreased free T3 serum concentrations, which result in the abnormally low free T4/free T3 ratios observed in 30% of patients on levothyroxine. Evidence is mounting that levothyroxine (T4) monotherapy cannot assure a euthyroid state in all tissues simultaneously, and that normal serum TSH levels in patients receiving levothyroxine reflect pituitary euthyroidism alone.” In other words, this study suggested that T4-only therapy might not be enough to address the symptoms of hypothyroid patients, especially those related to mental well-being.

Dr. Wiersinga suggests that people with specific genetic polymorphisms (certain gene mutations) that affect thyroid hormone transport may benefit from combination T4/T3 therapy, and that people who continue to have thyroid symptoms despite having normal TSH levels may benefit from a trial of T3 in addition to T4 medication.

Further studies are needed to answer the questions of whether or not T4 alone is sufficient. To date, studies have been inconclusive, yet the number of hypothyroid patients asking for T4/T3 combination therapy has multiplied in the last decade.

Interestingly, a new follow up to the 2014 Dr. Wiersinga study, published in 2017, claims that T3 therapy has still not been proven to be beneficial, but many patients are now asking their doctors to switch them to T4/T3 combination medications, as many have reported a reduction in their thyroid symptoms when T3 is added to their regimen.

T3 Medication Controversy

Physicians may worry about using T3-containing medications or increasing the doses of thyroid medications due to concerns about heart palpitations and increased risks of osteoporosis, which may result from a person who has excess levels of thyroid hormones.

According to Carter Black, RPh, who has been a practicing pharmacist since the 1970’s, the 80’s brought T3 medications into a negative light…

Weight loss clinics started prescribing Cytomel® along with amphetamines and liquid diets for people without thyroid disease. As you can imagine, this combination given to an overweight person with a normally functioning thyroid often created a dangerous situation. Patients were admitted into emergency rooms with life threatening symptoms of high fever, palpitations, labored breathing, dehydration, delirium, nausea, vomiting and even coma. This can be a very difficult clinical situation to manage, and death can result. People exposed to this cocktail were at risk for future problems of thyroid management (alternating hyperthyroid and hypothyroid states), cardiac damage, and severe depression.

Of course, as a pharmacist, I would like to point out that using thyroid medications to induce weight loss for people without thyroid disease is completely inappropriate.

Doctors were essentially inducing hyperthyroidism in people to induce weight loss. Since that time, the FDA has placed a “black box warning” (the strictest warning that can be placed in the labeling of prescription drugs when there is reasonable evidence of serious risks associated with the drug) on all thyroid medications, noting that they should not be used for obesity and weight loss in people with normal thyroid function, and that higher doses may cause life-threatening toxicity, especially when given with sympathomimetic medications.

Many of today’s practicing endocrinologists witnessed the effects of T3 for weight loss induction first hand as young residents and medical students early in their training. One can certainly understand a doctor’s aversion to T3 or T4/T3 combinations because of its history of inappropriate use in the past.
Most doctors truly care about your safety and want to do the best by their patients. However, in their effort to reduce the potential adverse reactions due to overtreatment, many individuals continue to experience thyroid symptoms because of undertreatment. Still, it’s important to understand why T3-containing medications can be beneficial to some patients.

Why T4/T3 Combinations May Help

Understanding thyroid physiology, Dr. Wentz believes that combination products may be advantageous for many patients with Hashimoto’s, as some Hashimoto’s patients are not able to properly and efficiently convert T4 to T3. This could be due to a congested liver or a deficiency in zinc, which is required to convert T4 to T3. Hashimoto’s patients are often deficient in zinc, and you can read more about that here.

There are also other factors that can inhibit the T4 to T3 conversion, including nutrient depletions and iodine excess, which are common root causes of Hashimoto’s. You can see the other possible factors below:

Factors That Inhibit T4 to T3 Conversion

Stress is another common cause of low T4 to T3 conversion. Under stressful situations, T4 gets converted to reverse T3 instead of T3. Reverse T3 is an inactive molecule related to T3, but without any physiological activity. (It essentially just takes up space!) In the case where a lot of reverse T3 is produced, adding a combination product that contains T3 will help ensure that the right hormone is getting to the right receptors.

Natural Desiccated Thyroid Medications

One T4/T3 medication option is Natural Desiccated Thyroid (NDT, sometimes called desiccated thyroid extract, or DTE) hormones. These medications are derived from the thyroid glands of pigs and are considered bio-identical to the hormones produced by our thyroid glands.

NDT medications also contain the thyroid hormones T1 and T2, which may have some physiological activity as well. Many patients who did not feel well on conventional treatments have reported feeling much better after switching to a NDT medication like Armour®, Nature-Throid® or WP Thyroid®. (Note: While Armour does not have any gluten-containing ingredients, it is not tested for gluten content, and as such, is not “certified gluten free.”)

When Dr. Wentz surveyed her readers, and discovered that 59 percent did feel better after switching to Armour®, 57 percent felt better on Nature-Throid®, and 32 percent reported improvement with WP Thyroid®.

Controversy

Conventional treatment guidelines state that there is no benefit from taking combination T3/T4 products and that T4 products are superior. However, most of these claims are based on studies funded by pharmaceutical companies with a vested interest in promoting the use of their products.

When NDT hormones were first isolated from the thyroid glands of animals, manufacturers would measure how active the hormones were by measuring the iodine content within the substance. Of course, iodine levels would vary from animal to animal, so this proved to be an inaccurate way of measuring hormone levels.

It was later discovered that different batches of NDT would have varying levels of thyroid hormones.

In the past two decades, however, the technology used for manufacturing NDT has much improved. Manufacturers of natural desiccated thyroid now utilize specific kinds of chemical tests to identify the exact amounts of thyroid hormones in their product, ensuring an accurate and consistent dose.

Now, it seems, you can actually trust the dosage of T4 and T3 in NDT, whereas 30 years ago, that wasn’t the case. Doctors who have been in practice for quite some time and are not integrative-minded, might still be resistant to the use of NDT, as they remember the problems associated with the inconsistent product in its early years.

he National Institute of Health, a government agency (not funded by pharmaceutical grants) conducted a clinical trial to see if desiccated thyroid therapy is advantageous to T4 alone. The authors of the study concluded: “DTE (Desiccated Thyroid Extract) therapy did not result in a significant improvement in quality of life; however, DTE caused modest weight loss and nearly half (48.6%) of the study patients expressed preference for DTE over l-T4 (Levothyroxine). DTE therapy may be relevant for some hypothyroid patients.”

A doctor who is familiar with clinical trials that have shown T3 and NDT can be safe and effective when used appropriately, is more likely to feel comfortable with prescribing these medications. However, your doctor may not be aware of this research, and sometimes, it may help for you to make them aware of the latest news in thyroid care.

Other Controversies in Natural Desiccated Thyroid

Some proponents of natural thyroid medications, including Dr. Alan Christianson (author of Healing Hashimoto’s), advise that the desiccated glands of animals may be the best option as they also have trace amounts of T1 and T2, which may have undiscovered biological functions.

In contrast, Dr. Alexander Haskell (author of Hope for Hashimoto’s) and Dr. Mark Starr (author of Hypothyroidism Type II), report that for some patients, natural thyroid formulations from animal thyroids, such as Armour®, may perpetuate the autoimmune attack due to them containing thyroglobulin and thyroid peroxidase, and they only recommend compounded and synthetic thyroid medications for people with Hashimoto’s. Nonetheless, some people report that desiccated thyroid products, especially when given at a suppressive level, will reduce thyroid antibodies. A suppressive dose essentially puts our own thyroid to sleep, and all of the required hormones are obtained from the medication.

That said, some patients may have ethical objections to using animal-derived natural desiccated products.

Compounded T4/T3 Medications

If NDT medications do not seem like a good fit for you, compounded T4/T3 products offer another alternative. These medications also offer the advantage of being made devoid of any fillers that people may not tolerate, such as lactose or gluten, which are present in some thyroid medications and can be problematic for thyroid patients. Furthermore, these medications do not increase autoimmunity.

However, compounded T4/T3 products need to be prepared by specially trained compounding pharmacists. These compounds are usually much more expensive and may need to be refrigerated to preserve activity.

Thyroid compounds are usually prepared in the same physiological ratio that is found in NDT products. However, physicians can elect to change the amount of T3 and T4, as the compounding pharmacists must make the medications from scratch. This can be a huge advantage for patients who did not feel well on conventional treatments or natural desiccated thyroid treatments.

Most T4/T3 compounds, like NDT products, are immediate release versions, which means they’re formulated to release the active medication immediately after oral administration. However, compounding pharmacists can also make sustained release versions. Some professionals recommend sustained release formulations so that the hormone is released continuously throughout the day. However, these types of formulations may not be absorbed properly by people with Hashimoto’s and gut issues like intestinal permeability, or leaky gut. This is why many people say: “I tried compounded medications and they didn’t work for me.”

I’ve seen quite a few instances where people with optimal TSH levels (between 1 to 3 μIU/mL) started suspended release or slow release compounded thyroid hormones and, all of a sudden, their TSH jumped to 8, 10 or even 20 μIU/mL!

This is why many people with Hashimoto’s avoid sustained release formulations like Methocel, and instead opt for Avicel, the immediate release formulation that is better absorbed by their body.

If you’re considering trying T4/T3 medications, please note that specially trained compounding pharmacists are needed to make T4/T3 compounds, and they do take some time to prepare. Additionally, not all compounding pharmacies are equal, and a specialized process is required to prepare an accurate dose of compounded thyroid medications. Thus, patients might have to travel out of their way to find a compounding pharmacy.

As a Thyroid Pharmacist, I’ve organized a directory of Recommended Compounding Pharmacies to help you discover local compounding pharmacies near you.

I recommend asking the following questions when considering a compounding pharmacist:

  • What types of fillers are used?
  • What is the source of the materials?
  • Is the compound slow release or immediate release?

The Takeaway and Next Steps

The bottom line is that there are many options for thyroid hormone treatment, and you should work with your healthcare provider to find the one that works best for you.

The thyroid medications brands available by category are:

  • T4: Levothyroxine (generic), Tirosint, Synthroid, Levothroid, Levoxyl, Thyro-Tabs, Unithroid
  • T3 (to be used in combination with T4 medications): Liothyronine (generic), Cytomel
  • Natural Desiccated Thyroid (T4/T3) medications: Armour Thyroid, Nature-Throid, WP Thyroid, NP Thyroid
  • Compounded T4/T3 medications: Created by compounding pharmacists (opt for immediate release formulations)

The medical information in on this blog is provided as an educational resource only and is not intended to be used or relied upon for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

Please consult your health-care provider before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition.

Resources

  1. Tirosint (levothyroxine sodium) Capsules. Akrimax Pharmaceuticals, LLC Website. http://www.tirosint.com. Accessed August 24, 2017.
  2. Ito S, Tamura T, Nishikawa M. Effects of desiccated thyroid, prednisolone and chloroquine on goiter and antibody titer in chronic thyroiditis. Metabolism. 1968;17(4):317-325. doi:10.1016/0026-0495(68)90100-5.
  3. Jonklaas J, Talbert RL. Chapter 84. Thyroid Disorders. In: Talbert RL, DiPiro JT, Matzke GR, Posey LM, Wells BG, Yee GC, eds. Pharmacotherapy: A Pathophysiologic Approach. 8th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2011.
  4. Takasu N, Komiya I, Asawa T, Nagasawa Y, Yamada T. Test for recovery from hypothyroidism during thyroxine therapy in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. The Lancet. 1990;336(8723):1084-1086. doi:10.1016/0140-6736(90)92567-2.
  5. Haskell A. Hope For Hashimoto’s. Park City, UT: Advancing Medical Care, Inc.; 2011.
  6. Brownstein D. Overcoming Thyroid Disorders. West Bloomfield, MI: Medical Alternatives Press; 2008.
  7. Garber JR, Cobin RH, Gharib H, Hennessey JV, Klein I, Mechanick JI, et al. Clinical practice guidelines for hypothyroidism in adults: cosponsored by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and the American Thyroid Association. Endocr Pract. 2013 Jan-Feb;19(1):175.
  8. McDermott M, Ridgway E. Subclinical Hypothyroidism Is Mild Thyroid Failure and Should be Treated. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2001;86(10):4585-4590. doi:10.1210/jcem.86.10.7959.
  9. NP Thyroid. Acella Pharmaceuticals LLC Website. http://www.npthyroid.com. Accessed June 11, 2018.
  10. Hoang T, Olsen C, Mai V, Clyde P, Shakir M. Desiccated Thyroid Extract Compared With Levothyroxine in the Treatment of Hypothyroidism: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Crossover Study. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2013;98(5):1982-1990. doi:10.1210/jc.2012-4107.
  11. McAninch EA, Bianco AC. The History and Future of Treatment of Hypothyroidism. Ann Intern Med. 2016 Jan 5;164(1):50–56. doi: 10.7326/M15-1799.
  12. Wiersinga WM. Paradigm shifts in thyroid hormone replacement therapies for hypothyroidism. Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2014 Mar;10(3):164-74. doi: 10.1038/nrendo.2013.258.
  13. Wiersinga WM. THERAPY OF ENDOCRINE DISEASE: T4 + T3 combination therapy: is there a true effect? Eur J Endocrinol. 2017 Dec;177(6):R287-R296. doi: 10.1530/EJE-17-0645.

https://thyroidpharmacist.com/articles/which-thyroid-medication-is-best/

7 New Natural Ways to Treat Eczema in Adults and Children

5 Sep

baby eczema

 

Eczema or atopic dermatitis is not necessarily something you have to live with forever. Scientific research – thankfully in natural eczema treatment – is making progress.

The past 4-5 years have seen a raft of fascinating studies published, many of which illustrate a crucial link between nutrition, internal medicine and eczema.

But there’s one irritating fact!

These studies aren’t that readily available, so your doctor isn’t likely to be aware of them yet. And they might not be the type of remedies or diet doctors usually prescribe – particularly those wedded to the traditional steroid treatment for eczema.

So we have scrutinized the latest research and put together an easily digestible list of ‘takeaways’ to treat eczema from the inside out, at home, and naturally:

antibioticsandeczema11. Antibiotics and Eczema:

New research suggests that taking antibiotics leads to an increased risk of developing eczema and the rates climb higher with every additional course taken.

A study in 2013 concluded that the use of antibiotics in the first year of life is more common in children with eczema.[1]

This is just something to keep in mind and weigh up the pros and cons. There are often cases e.g. with children’s ear infections – when antibiotics are essential. But the next time your doctor suggests antibiotics talk to him/her and make sure they’re strictly necessary.

To combat the unwanted effects of antibiotics have a look at our next step…

probiotics-and-eczema

2. Probiotics and Eczema:
There’s more evidence on the link between gut health and eczema:

Probiotics in pregnancy and early life have been shown to prevent eczema, which is great news as it shows us that eczema prevention can begin at home.

A 2012 study measured that low intestinal microbial diversity during the first month of life was associated with eczema.[2]

Because of this, consider supplementing your diet with probiotics, especially if you have undergone rounds of antibiotics to help build the good bacteria back up![3]

For those interested in the link between gut health and general health,

‘Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ’ by Giulia Enders is a fun and fascinating read.

For those of you who want to focus on your own gut health and want a good probiotic, we like the brand Sunbiotics which is free from common allergens.

As for treating baby eczema with probiotics, we recommend this handy guide on how to do so:
http://mamaandbabylove.com/how-to-give-your-baby-probiotics/

food-supplements-and-eczema

3. Food Supplements for Eczema:

Diet is always an important factor in looking after your health and it’s no different when it comes to eczema, but there are sometimes specific nutrients you can add that target specific issues. Recent research has pointed to a number of supplements useful in preventing and combating eczema:

Warning: When it comes to adding dietary supplements to you or your child’s diet, contacting a qualified nutritionist for specific instructions would be advisable, especially if you are already on medication!

  • Evening primrose oil: Capsules of this oil have long been advocated for eczema sufferers, but a more recent study, this time on children, again proved its value. The results showed that significant improvements in eczema without any unwanted side effects[4].
    You can find evening primrose here.
  • Black currant seed oil: This little-known supplement has a number of great health benefits linked to it. Research showing that mothers who supplemented with the oil produced breast milk better equipped to decrease the likelihood of eczema in their children.[5]
  • Turmeric: Turmeric is a popular remedy, possessing antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects and has been shown to improve skin conditions time and time again[6]. Turmeric can be taken loose or in a capsule form, where 1-3 capsules per day is recommended.
  • Chlorella: Chlorella is a nutrient dense green algae and an excellent supplement for a variety of different issues, including eczema [7]. A suggested 1-3 capsules daily is recommended.
  • Coconut oil: This can be used in cooking e.g. in frying or baking (as a butter replacement)[8]. Coconut oil can have many different beneficial properties, but make sure you get the best quality possible: Organic, extra virgin and cold pressed coconut oil should have the highest nutrient content.

For supplements, we also recommend the brand Viridian who stock organic, vegan and high quality ingredients.

organic-food-eczema

4. Opt for Organic:

Numerous studies now prove that organic food has higher minerals and vitamins than food treated with synthetic chemicals [9], so opt for organic when you can!

vitamin-d-eczema

 5. Get Some Sunshine!

Although too much sun exposure can have a detrimental effect and we shouldn’t abandon sunscreen, we don’t often hear about the benefits of sunshine quite so often.

The sun has a lot of health benefits attributed to it, including providing us with vitamin D. There have been a number of recent studies showing that vitamin D has a beneficial impact on eczema and that eczema has been associated with low levels of vitamin D in the body. [10]

There are some dietary sources of vitamin D (such as mushrooms) and it can also be taken as a supplement. When you can, however, opt for sunshine, as it is the best way to get it!

To make sure you’re getting enough of the suns benefits, consistency is key.

Try and get a little bit of sun exposure each day, rather than spending long periods in the sun once in a while.

Just a few minutes is enough – and avoid the sun when it is at its hottest between 12-3 to avoid the risk of burning. For young children and babies, and the fair-skinned, that’s even more important.

Note also that in some cooler climates, an antioxidant moisturizer is better than using a sunscreen all year round to avoid depleting vitamin D.

eczema-causes

6. Slow, not Fast Food:

Evidence shows us that your overall lifestyle has an influence on eczema, so make sure you’re getting enough sleep and exercise, but also make sure that you’re eating enough healthy, unprocessed foods. [11]

Research has shown that consuming too much fast food has a major impact on the occurrence of eczema, so avoid it as much as possible! [12]

dairy-eczema

7. Decrease Dairy:

Research conducted in 2013 revealed that mothers who restrict their children’s dairy intake, lower the risk of developing adult and baby eczema. If you can’t let go though, there is also research to suggest that switching over to organic dairy products (rather than conventional) still has a beneficial effect. [13][14]

Ask your doctor about having an allergy test for you or your child to determine whether this is a step you need to take. Also ask for an egg [15] and gluten [16] test as both of these have been linked to eczema.

Doctors are sometimes reluctant to offer food allergy tests (although happily less so now that food allergies are better understood). If you do meet with resistance, try keeping a food diary to track down patterns of food intolerance, then go back to your doctor armed with the evidence! 

eczema-on-face

As well as consuming supplements, ‘feeding’ your skin using natural topical eczema treatment can work well too. Helpful skin care ingredients include virgin coconut oil, chickweed and aloe vera, so a lotion for itchy skin should contain these. Likewise a gentle natural eczema body wash can help also.

As with food, stay clear of skin care that include allergens (like gluten, dairy and soy) and synthetic ingredients that can cause skin irritation.

So there you have it! Some of the latest research on health and nutrition to help treat eczema.

There are other factors that can influence the appearance of eczema too. What cleaning products you use can impact eczema and also what you wash your clothes with. There are also preventative methods such as the lovely products from Handsocks, who provide soft and protective mittens for babies with eczema (found here!) to stop them scratching and harming their skin.

Take a look at your lifestyle and what impact different factors might be making on your skin and take advantage of the methods to help.

If you decide to put the research into action please tell us how you get on in the comment section below!

baby eczema

References:

[1] Tsakok, T.M. McKeever,
 L.Yeo, ‘Does early life exposure to antibiotics increase the risk of eczema? A systematic review’, 
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bjd.12476/full, 31/10/2013

[2] ‘Low diversity of the gut microbiota in infants with atopic eczema’ Abrahamsson, Thomas R. et al. ‘http://www.jacionline.org/article/S0091-6749(11)01657-5/abstract’ Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Volume 129 , Issue 2 , 434 – 440.e2 2012.

[3]   Claudio Pelucchi, Liliane Chatenoud, Federica Turati, Carlotta Galeone, Lorenzo Moja, Jean-François Bach, Carlo La Vecchia, ‘The favorable effect of probiotic use in the prevention of atopic dermatitis is similar regardless of the time of probiotic use (pregnancy or early life) or the subject(s) receiving probiotics (mother, child, or both).’, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22441545, 21/03/2012

[4] Chung BY, Kim JH, Cho SI, et al. Dose-Dependent Effects of Evening Primrose Oil in Children and Adolescents with Atopic Dermatitis. Annals of Dermatology. 2013;25(3):285-291. doi:10.5021/ad.2013.25.3.285.

[5] Linnamaa P, Nieminen K, Koulu L, Tuomasjukka S, Kallio H, Yang B, Tahvonen R,Savolainen J. Black currant seed oil supplementation of mothers enhances IFN-γ and suppresses IL-4 production in breast milk. Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2013: 24: 562–566.

[6] Effects of Turmeric (Curcuma longa) on Skin Health: A Systematic Review of the Clinical Evidence. Phytother Res. 2016 Aug ;30(8):1243-64. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5640. Epub 2016 May 23

[7] Kang, H.; Lee, C.H.; Kim, J.R.; Kwon, J.Y.; Seo, S.G.; Han, J.G.; Kim, B.G.; Kim, J.-E.; Lee, K.W. Chlorella vulgaris Attenuates Dermatophagoides Farinae-Induced Atopic Dermatitis-Like Symptoms in NC/Nga Mice. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16, 21021-21034.

[8] Mara Therese Padilla Evangelista, Flordeliz Abad-Casintahan, Lillian Lopez-Villafuerte, ‘Virgin coconut oil is superior to mineral oil in treating atopic dermatitis in a pediatric population.’, http://www.greenmedinfo.com/article/virgin-coconut-oil-superior-mineral-oil-treating-atopic-dermatitis-pediatric, December 2013

[9] (e.g.) Higher antioxidant concentrations and less cadmium and pesticide residues in organically-grown crops: a systematic literature review and meta-analyses.” Baranski, M. et al. British Journal of Nutrition.

[10] Heimbeck I, Wjst M, Apfelbacher CJ. Low vitamin D serum level is inversely associated with eczema in children and adolescents in Germany. Allergy 2013; 68: 906–910.

[11] E. A. Mitchell, R. Beasley, B. Björkstén, J. Crane, L. García-Marcos, U. Keil, and the ISAAC Phase Three Study Group, Clinical & Experimental Allergy, 2013 (43) 73–84.

[12] Fruit and vegetable intake and risk of wheezing and asthma: a systematic review and meta-analysisNutr Rev 2014;72:7 411-428

[13] Pipop Jirapinyo, Narumon Densupsoontorn, Channagan Kangwanpornsiri, Tippawan Limlikhit, ‘Lower prevalence of atopic dermatitis in breast-fed infants whose allergic mothers restrict dairy products.’, http://www.greenmedinfo.com/article/lower-prevalence-atopic-dermatitis-breast-fed-infants-whose-allergic-mothers, 31/01/13

[14] Alicia Cartaginese, ‘ORGANIC VS. CONVENTIONAL DAIRY: A COMPARISON’, http://atrium.lib.uoguelph.ca/xmlui/bitstream/handle/10214/9065/Cartaginese_etal_OrganicVsConventionalDairy_2013.pdf?sequence=4&isAllowed=y, April 2013

[15] Identifying infants at high risk of peanut allergy: The Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP) screening study Du Toit, George et al. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Volume 131 , Issue 1 , 135 – 143.e12

[16] Bonciolini V et al. Cutaneous Manifestations of Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity: Clinical Histological and Immunopathological Features. Nutrients. 2015 Sep 15;7(9):7798-805.

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