Healthy Anti-Aging Resources

Live Life to the Full and Stay Younger Longer

  • Aug 14

    On the 5th May 2011 I find out that I have an ‘under-active’ or ‘low’ thyroid (also called hypothroidism).

    Read my post: How to support your thyroid

    August 2012: I have since learned the following from Dr Steven Gundry 

     

     

     

     

    My symptoms (and there are many others): Being overweight and feeling the cold terribly (it is now winter in New Zealand).

    I had no idea that my thyroid was not healthy, but once I found out it explained why I find it difficult to release weight (my metabolism was not working correctly).

    The program I was put on involved taking my usual nutritional supplements (advanced quality multi minerals/vitamins, vitamin D3, CoQ10, vitamin C, Calcium/Magnesium tablet, grape seed extract and omega-3 capsules) and adding in Iodral (iodine). Once the Iodral is finished, I have been advised to eat seaweed (add to food, sprinkle on salads) to keep up my iodine levels.

    I set a goal to walk for one hour every day using wrist and ankle weights (I did not achieve that every day – more like 4 out of 7 days due to the winter weather and other commitments).

    I ensured that I was drinking 1 1/2 litres of water daily.

    I avoided products containing soy.

    Three months later and my thyroid is ‘normal’.

    This means that I now will find it easier to release the 10kgs of fat that has been clinging to my body.

    My goal is to release fat so that I can reach a healthy weight by Christmas Day 2011 and then I can wear a beautiful dress I have hanging in my wardrobe, that at present is too small for me.
    I am looking forward to letting you know when I have reached that goal.

    Update April 2013 – I am slowly getting closer to my goal weight of 64kgs, currently just over 67kgs.  I am finding that it very easy to keep to Dr Steven Gundry’s Diet Evolution program. I have dropped a dress size.  My ‘wheat belly’ has shrunk. I can wear skirts again because my backside has shrunk! I have heaps more energy and I feel very happy.

    DSC00209

    April 2013

    June 2011
    June 2011

     

  • Jun 30

    How do we find out if our thyroid is healthy?  I had given no thought to this question so was surprised to find out that I have an ‘under active’ or ‘low’ thyroid (also called hypothroidism).

    According to Doctor Ray Strand, Hypothyroidism or under active thyroid occurs when the thyroid gland is destroyed or is not producing needed amounts of thyroid hormone. This condition has also been called myxedema due to the potential harm possible to the body when there is no thyroid hormone. Patients can become edematous (filled with fluid), weak and fatigued, intolerant to cold, experience abnormal weight gain, notice changes in their skin and hair, and may suffer from total body pain. They can also develop congestive heart failure as well as significant increase in their cholesterol levels.

    Learn more:  What does the thyroid do and where is it located?

    My main symptom is being overweight (which of course leads to other problems like diabetes, heart disease and cancer), the other symptom is that I  feel the cold terribly (it is now winter in New Zealand). There are other symptoms so the best thing to do is to get screened.  (List of symptoms from the Mayo Clinic here.)

    There are two ways to get the health of our thyroid checked out – the usual way is by a blood test.  But this may not be as accurate as a Thyroflex test  – in this video, Naturopath David Holden explains the Thyroflex test.

    The other test that I had done was the VLA Test and that indicated that I need to exercise more to build up more muscle.  My healthy low-glycemic diet and the supplements that I take have kept me in good health – so the ‘only’ thing I need to work on is exercise.

    The nutritional supplements to support a healthy thyroid are advanced quality multi minerals/vitamins, vitamin D3, CoQ10, vitamin C. Plus “Iodral” with supervision from your doctor or Naturopath.  I also take a Calcium/Magnesium tablet, grape seed extract and omega-3 capsules.  I am ensuring that I am drinking 1 1/2 litres of water daily and avoiding soy products for the time being.

    My blood test results showed that my blood sugar levels are slightly elevated – again exercise is the key here too.

    The exercise I enjoy is walking (so much so, I have a website ‘Short Walks in Auckland‘), however I hate walking in the cold and wet of winter.  But I must get out walking every day for one hour – so I will.

    For sufferers of Hashimotos, Dr Steven Gundry suggests the following: “Most gluten free foods are made from corn, rice, and potatoes, all of which are lectins which contribute to Hashimotos. Please eliminate all grains, all peppers, potatoes, milk and milk products. You can have goat and sheep products. No pseudograins like quinoa! No Advil or Aleve. No stomach acid suppressants like Prilosec or Nexium. You will start to heal.”

    My goal is to release fat so that I can reach a healthy weight by Christmas Day 2011 and then I can wear a beautiful dress I have hanging in my wardrobe, that at present is too small for me.

    I am looking forward to letting you know when I have reached that goal.

    This is a photo of me on holiday in Australia last week:

    Healthy Aging Resources

  • May 2

    Recently I have had a few queries regarding natural therapy for healthy blood pressure.

    My mother suffered from high blood pressure (hypertension) for many years and then died of a massive heart attack at the age of 71. The blood pressure medication she was on did nothing to prevent heart disease, nor did it cure it.

    High blood pressure can result in a heart attack or stroke, and is called the ‘silent killer’ because there are no symptoms.

    According to Bruce H Lipton PhD author of ‘The Biology of Belief”, ‘genes and DNA do not control our biology; that instead DNA is controlled by signals from outside the cell, including the energetic messages emanating from our positive and negative thoughts’ and the environment, that impacts on the health of our body’s cells.

    So what can we do?

    First of all, and I am pretty sure that you would have heard it all before,  there are 3 major things that need attention:

    1. Eat a healthy diet which includes plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Cut out large servings of meat and dairy. Remove processed foods and takeaways from your diet. Reduce salt intake. Drink 8 glasses of water daily. Quit smoking.
    2. Include moderate exercise in your daily life. Find something that you enjoy doing, so that it is not a difficult thing to keep on doing. Read more on what type of exercise is good for Hypertension here.
    3. Relax! Take deep breaths. Meditate. Read. Listen to music. Whatever calms you down and slows you down. Even if you just start with 10 minutes a day.

    Nutritional SupplementsIf you can’t do those 3 things, then it is pointless taking the following nutritional supplements.
    The nutritional supplements that I suggest are:
    1. optimal quality anti-oxidants, vitamins and multi-minerals
    2. a calcium supplement that also contains magnesium, vitamin D3 and Vitamin K.
    3. a good quality omega-3 fish or flaxseed oil supplement

    How effective are these supplements at reducing blood pressure? Government regulations do not allow me to voice an opinion, so allow me to hand over to my learned friends…

    Here is some educational information that may help you to form your own opinion.
    Dr Gerald Lewis is a cardiologist and GP. He is in the Who’s Who book for his work with blood pressure. Here is what he suggests for high blood pressure. Note that Dr Lewis says “Drugs are the treatment usually recommended by doctors. Today these are very effective and have fewer side effects (thiazide diuretics, beta blockers, calcium blockers, ACE inhibitors, A2 inhibitors), and in many cases are given together in lower doses, which further reduces the side effects” along with recommendations for nutritional supplements. Dr Lewis has also made a very informative video on coronary heart disease.

    The Amazing Nutrient that Lowers Your Blood Pressure – Dr Mercola suggests that vitamin-d levels are linked to arterial stiffness

    Personally, I take 4000iu of Vitamin D3 daily and I am about to go get my blood levels checked for Vitamin D.
    I wrote this blog post last year and you will see that hypertension is listed in the section on disease prevention – Vitamin D does more than just prevent the flu.

    (Natural News) Increasing incidence of high blood pressure continues to be the most significant factor in death from a heart attack and advancing cardiovascular disease. Elevated blood pressure readings cause thickening of the coronary arteries as micro…read more Proper potassium balance essential to healthy blood pressure and reduced heart attack risk

    Discover why eating sugar (and high glycemic foods/drinks) endangers your heart and overall health. This is an eye opening one hour presentation by Dr. David Diamond, Ph.D., of the University of South Florida College of Arts and Sciences titled: “How Bad Science and Big Business Created the Obesity Epidemic”  Dr Diamond was diagnosed with heart disease in 2005 – high cholesterol included.  Find out why he is still alive….How Bad Science and Big Business Created the Obesity Epidemic

    Should we make moderate changes or major changes to our diet? Take a moment and watch this 4 minute video: Must Know Tips: Dr. Oz and Dr. Dean Ornish discuss heart attacks and diet.

    For women 40+ who want to live life to the full and stay younger longer

     

     

    If you would like to find out which nutritional supplements are recommended to support optimum heart health, please request my free eBook, by completing the form on your top right.  The nutritional supplements that I promote contain all of the above ingredients at optimal levels.

     

    I trust you found this helpful. If you did, please share it with others by clicking on the Facebook and/or Twitter icons below. And be sure to leave your comments and questions below. Thank you!

  • Feb 24

    Vitamin D deficiency has long been associated with poor bone development and has been identified as the cause of rickets. The latest review indicates that vitamin D insufficiency is still very common globally.

    The vitamin D status depends on the production of vitamin D3 in the skin under the influence of ultraviolet radiation and vitamin D intake through the diet or vitamin D supplements. The serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration is often used to assess vitamin D status. The minimum required serum 25(OH)D for all ages is set at 50 nmol/l. However, current guideline indicates that sufficient serum level should be 75 or 80 nmol/l or even higher.

    Usually, between 50% and 90% of vitamin D in the body is coming from the production in the skin. The production of vitamin D3 in the skin depends on sunshine exposure, latitude, skin-covering clothes, the use of sun block and skin pigmentation. In general, serum 25(OH)D is lower with higher latitudes and with darker skin types.

    Recent studies from different continents and countries recognized general patterns on the vitamin D status worldwide.
    Vitamin D deficiency (serum 25(OH)D < 25 nmol/l) is highly prevalent in India and China while vitamin D status is better in Japan and South-East Asia.
    Vitamin D deficiency is very common in the Middle-East and there is a relationship with skin covering clothes and staying out of the sun.
    A poor to moderate vitamin D status is also common in Africa, probably caused by the dark skin types and cultural habits of staying outside of the sunshine.

    Vitamin D status is much better in North America where vitamin D deficiency is uncommon but vitamin D insufficiency (serum 25(OH)D between 25 and 50 nmol/l) is still common. In the United States and Canada milk is usually supplemented with vitamin D and the use of vitamin supplements is relatively common.

    Vitamin D status in Latin America usually is reasonable but there are exceptions and vitamin D insufficiency still occurs quite often.
    In Australia and New Zealand a poor vitamin D status was seen in the elderly who were often vitamin D deficient and also in immigrants from Asia. Vitamin D deficiency also occurred in children when the mother was vitamin D deficient.

    Within Europe, vitamin D status usually is better in the Nordic countries (Northern Europe) than around the Mediterranean. This may be due to a lighter skin and sun seeking behaviour and a high consumption of cod liver oil in the Northern countries; while in Southern Europe people stay out of the sunshine and have a somewhat darker skin. A very poor vitamin D status was observed in older people and in non-western immigrants, especially in pregnant women.

    Conclusion: Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency are globally still very common especially in risk groups such as young children, pregnant women, elderly and immigrants. Moderate sunshine exposure and food fortification with vitamin D can improve the vitamin D status. In order to rise serum 25(OH)D to 50 nmol/l (20 ng/ml) or higher, a large part of the population will need vitamin D supplementation in winter or all year long.

    Source:
    P. Lips, Worldwide status of vitamin D nutrition. Journal of Steroid Biochemistry & Molecular Biology 121 (2010) 297–300

  • Oct 17

    Nutritional SupplementsRecently a friend was staying with me and was curious about my supplements. I take a basic “wellness” program plus enhancers. I recommend the basic wellness program to people who are happy with their health and wish to maintain the status quo. For others who wish to prevent certain health issues, then a program can be tailored taking into account their nutritional requirements and their budget. As we age, I feel that we need extra nutritional support for our long-term health.

    I would like to stress that taking supplements is no substitute for a healthy diet – we must avoid processed foods and eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Exercise and getting out into the fresh air and sunshine is important for our good health.

    There are many more toxins and chemicals in our environment now compared to pre World War Two and our bodies require high-quality and optimum nutrition to combat these onslaughts.

    The basic wellness program:
    1. Antioxidants and multi-vitamins – whilst it is important to eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, we have no way of knowing how much nutrition is available or how fresh the products are that we purchase. Plus we do not know how much free radical damage is occurring in our bodies. So we need to keep our body’s cells ‘oiled’ to prevent the internal ‘rust’.

    2. Multi-minerals – Vitamins and enzymes cannot function without minerals. Minerals are missing from our soils, and thus our food. Minerals must be in a form that is readily absorbed by the body (i.e. bioavailable).

    3. Calcium/magnesium/vitamin D3 – vital for our bone health. Calcium supports strong bones, tissues and teeth, as well as healthy cartilage, joints and muscular activity – keeps you standing tall. All three nutrients work in synergy and keep our bones strong. Calcium and magnesium are also necessary to support healthy blood pressure.

    4. Omega-3 – from fish oil or flaxseed oil. Much research has been done on this nutrient. All cells in our body require omega-3.

    5. Fiber – An added option to the basic wellness program is a Fiber product. Fiber is necessary for our indigestion, and many people with health issues do not get enough fiber in their diet.

    Enhancers I add to my program:

    Glucosamine sulfate/Vitamin C/Manganese/Turmeric
    Both my parents suffered from arthritis. This product is the building block of healthy cartilage. The body does repair damaged cartilage but if the building blocks are not available then joint pain and osteoarthritis may result.
    Grape Seed Extract
    Before I started taking supplements, I used to get 3-4 colds/flu a year plus I suffered from hay fever and sinusitis. Grape Seed Extract helps in relieving the symptoms of colds plus is an excellent source of health-assisting antioxidants. Grape Seed Extract is naturally high in silicon, a mineral essential for healthy, soft, smooth skin. Grape Seed Extract may keep collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid within the skin in good shape by blocking enzymes that might disrupt their chemical structure. Its flavonoids also inhibit allergic reactions that can generate skin problems.
    Phytoestrogens and soy isoflavones
    These provide a natural approach to maintaining health before and after menopause. Phytoestrogens in the diet are believed to be a stabilizing factor throughout hormonal cycles. This stabilization may help to maintain bone mass into the mature years. Always check the source of soy products because many these days are GMO.
    Vitamin C
    Vitamin C is essential for collagen synthesis. Collagen is essential for strengthening muscles, teeth bones, skin and blood vessels. Human bodies are incapable of manufacturing vitamin C so we must rely on our diet to satisfy our daily requirement.
    Vitamin D3
    Vitamin D3 plays an important role in helping the body absorb calcium and in bone mineralization, supports a robust and healthy immune system, important for the maintenance of muscle strength to prevent body sway and increased risk of falling. Accumulating scientific evidence is proving that Vitamin D provides more health benefits than simply bone health. Deficiency has been associated with increased risk of common cancers, autoimmune diseases, hypertension, and infectious diseases. Evidence is emerging that there is wide spread vitamin D deficiency in the broader population. People are covering up when outside in the sun to prevent skin cancer and many others are their spending days inside, and not getting any sun exposure at all. We need sun exposure for the body to make Vitamin D. Vitamin D is currently heavily researched – for up-to-date information visit the Vitamin D Council. Get your Vitamin D levels tested by your doctor to ensure that you are not deficient (“25 OH Vitamin D” blood test (also known as “25 hydroxy vitamin D”) and you want to be in the 50-80 ng/ml range).

    From time to time, I will take these two extra products to ensure good digestive health:
    Probiotics
    Probiotics help to maintain healthy gut flora. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the most common diagnosis in gastroenterology. Reduced quality of life caused by IBS affects approximately 20% of adult Westerners. Studies suggest certain probiotics to be beneficial, and provide a promising therapeutic alternative.
    Milk Thistle
    To help support healthy liver function and normal detoxification process

    Both my parents suffered from heart disease. My mother died from a heart attack after many years on blood pressure medication. My mother also suffered from diverticulitis for many years. My father had a triple bypass heart operation and eventually died as a result of prostate cancer. My parents never discovered the benefits of nutritional supplementation. My aim is to stay healthy until the day I die, which is why I am being proactive now.

    For women 40+ who want to live life to the full and stay younger longer

    If you would like to find out which nutritional supplements are recommended for healthy aging, please request my free eBook, by completing the form on your top right.

     

    I trust you found this helpful. If you did, please share it with others by clicking on the Facebook and/or Twitter icons below. And be sure to leave your comments and questions below. Thank you!

  • Sep 29

    Healthy skinDo you want a temporary skin fix or healthy skin for life? How much money do people spend on temporary fixes – cosmetics, botox, micro-dermabrasion, fillers and plastic surgery without thinking about providing nutrition for the skin from the inside? There is a now a new word ‘neutracueticals’ to describe taking care of our skin not only from the outside but also from the inside. Neutraceuticals are nutritional supplements that benefit our skin and the longer we take them the healthier and younger-looking our skin becomes.

    You may have noticed that more and more companies are providing skincare products that contain herbs, nutrients and anti-oxidants – such as ‘amino peptide complex’, ‘Q10’, ‘feverfew’, ‘retinol’, ‘oatmeal’, ‘soy’, ‘lavendar’, ‘chamomile’, ‘ylang ylang’ as well as genes! The list goes on and on.

    Our skin, being the largest organ in our body does require care. And using products on the outside that are chemical-free and healthy is just as important as what we eat and drink. It goes without saying that our skin thrives on a healthy diet, proper sleep and good clean water. A good quick test to check if you are hydrated enough is to pinch the skin on the back of your hand – it should bounce back quickly when you let go. If not, drink more water.

    Last week I had a BodyTalk appointment with a lovely young practitioner. She asked my age and told me that I look about 10 years younger! I have been supplementing my healthy diet since the year 2000 and I believe it is really making a difference not only to my energy levels but also to my skin.

    Which supplements nourish our skin from the inside?

    Calcium with balanced levels of magnesium, Vitamin D3 and Vitamin K – helps with cells renewal, lipid barrier protection and antioxidant protection from DNA damage. A deficiency will manifest itself in dryness, itching, premature aging/wrinkling and an increased tendency to develop skin cancers. When there is a calcium deficiency, your body will ‘steal’ calcium from your bones and teeth.

    Antioxidants and grape-seed extract – these have anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy and anti-acne capabilities. They repair aged skin, reduce wrinkles, reduces free-radical damage, have wound healing properties and contribute to a healthy looking, glowing complexion. They stop us from ‘rusting’ inside.

    Omega-3 (from pure fish oils and flaxseed oils) – these block oxidation of skin oil and reduce acne. Without these essential fatty acids, dryness, skin irritation, whiteheads and blackheads will become regular features on the skin. They sooth inflamed skin and help prevent immature aging. They are essential for dry, sensitive skin.

    Minerals – these act as essential co-factors for vitamins and help catalyze many biological processes. Copper together with Vitamin C and the mineral zinc, helps to develop elastin, the fibers that support skin structure from underneath.

    Co-enzyme Q10 – it is better to be taken as supplement than to place it on our skin. It blocks oxidation of the oils in the skin and helps with the health of our skin therefore there is less chance of acne. It fights free radicals and improves the look of wrinkles. A vital nutrient if you are over 50, in so many ways.

    Ginkgo biloba – helps to increase circulation, prevent capillary fragility, improves tissue irrigation and helps to boost collagen formation and create fibroblast.

    Vitamin C – increases collagen production, (including dermal collagen) which is significant for wrinkle reduction, strengthening the skin’s barrier response, enhances the skin’s repair process and reduces inflammation. Lack of Vitamin C can also affect your nail strength and appearance.

    Glucosamine – not only supports healthy joints but a study (American Academy of Dermatology) has shown that glucosamine could prove an effective treatment to reverse the effects of skin cells damaged by UV exposure.

    Lutein – is not only good for our eyes but also contributes to increased skin hydration, elasticity and skin lipid content (according to a recent human clinical study).

    Phytoestrogens – important for preventing skin aging.

    Saw Palmetto – useful in the treatment of acne. Saw palmetto blocks the action of 5-alpha-reductase, reducing the amount of DHT in the skin and thereby reducing the stimulation of excessive sebum. Oral and tropical antibiotics can reduce the bacteria, which oxidizes skin oil. Antioxidants block the oxidation of skin oil and can reduce acne.

    By looking after your skin from the inside, you may never have to pay for expensive skin treatments. Plus you will have the added bonus of more energy, better sleep and better health.

    Further reading
    Bea Kinnear, has written a very comprehensive book on skin care covering skin types to preservatives, hair types to natural ingredients. It will open your eyes to the sometimes ludicrous claims made by many popular beauty products.
    Your Skin & You, 5th EditionYour Skin and You by Bea Kinnear

    If you would like to find out which nutritional supplements are recommended for healthy aging plus more information about self-preserving skincare, please request my free eBook, by completing the form on your top right.

    I trust you found this helpful. If you did, please share it with others by clicking on the Facebook and/or Twitter icons below. And be sure to leave your comments and questions below. Thank you!

    For women 40+ who want to live life to the full and stay younger longer

  • Aug 28

    Lizards lie in it, cats nap in it, plants need it to grow. But over 60% of North Americans are not getting enough of it. Vitamin D from the sun is critical to our health. The “cover-up and slap on the sunscreen” messages have worked too well along with young people spending time indoors instead of being outside in the sunshine.

    We are near the end of our 2010 winter season here in New Zealand. My husband is a dentist and we both do not believe in flu vaccines. At the start of  winter I began taking an extra 1000iu Vitamin D3 – total 3000iu daily. My husband just took his normal dose that is contained in the nutritional supplements we both take. My husband got the flu – possibly the H1N1 because I have never seen him so unwell. He is a man who normally shrugs off colds and flus, but not this one. He had to take time off work, pulled a muscle from his violent coughing and even stayed in bed. Meanwhile, as soon as he came down with the flu, I increased my D3 dose from 3000iu to 4000iu daily and I have stayed well.

    Anyone keeping up-to-date with health news over the last few years will be aware that more and more research is uncovering the significance of Vitamin D and its effect on our health. The “cover-up and slap on the sunblock” campaign has helped to reduce skin cancer risk but in doing so, Vitamin D deficiency has affected the health of millions of people worldwide (you will not be surprised to find out that more than 1 billion people worldwide and 30-40% of the U.S. population between the ages of 15-49 are vitamin D deficient). Vitamin D affects over 200 genes in our bodies and about 6% of the human genome.

    There is a variety of factors that limit the amount of vitamin D we are exposed to: where we live (geographic latitude), season, age, melanin content of skin, the use of sunscreen or sun-obscuring clothing, and a lack of outdoor activity. It is healthy to have bright sun exposure to our bodies for 15-20 minutes per day. People who live in temperate zones (latitude 37 degrees north and south of the equator) will not get the sun exposure required for our bodies to make the 15,000 to 20,000iu of Vitamin D it needs each day. However, overexposure to sunlight does cause skin cancer and wrinkles.

    Can we overdose on Vitamin D? It’s not possible to overdose from the sun source because the body can inactivate excess Vitamin D. The body can also store excess Vitamin D in our tissues and use it as required.

    So what about food? Vitamin D is unique because very little can be obtained through a normal diet.The Vitamin D that is available in food is insignificant compared to what the synthesis of the sun can provide. The principal source of Vitamin D is through sun exposure on our skin.

    For instance, the following is a list of foods that we would have to consume on a daily basis to get the equivalent of 15,000 to 20,000iu Vitamin D from the sun:
    Sardines – 30 cans per day or
    Milk – 100-200 glasses per day or
    Fortified cereal – 100-200 bowls per day or
    Egg yolks – 500-1000 per day or
    Wild salmon – 2 kilos or 4.5 lbs per day
    I would not recommend any of the above to be consumed in such quantities on a daily basis.

    Vitamin D has been shown to prevent the following diseases:
    Heart Disease
    Cancer – Breast, Ovarian, Colon, Prostate, Bladder, Uterus, Esophagus, Rectum, Stomach
    Diabetes
    Obesity
    Dementia
    Influenza – upper respiratory infections have shown to be reduced by 90% by supplementing with 2000iu of Vitamin D3. By boosting our Vitamin D3 to 5000iu in the flu season, we do not need to have the flu vaccine.
    Bacterial Infection
    Depression
    Insomnia
    Muscle Weakness
    Fibromyalgia
    Osteomalacia –soft and weak bones, makes you more prone to fractures.
    Osteoarthritus
    Rheumatoid Arthritus
    Osteoporosis
    Psoriasis
    Hypertension
    Multiple Sclerosis – if we do not have enough exposure to sunlight in the first 10 years of our life, we are more pre-disposed to getting MS. So if you grow up in a temperate zone you have a 100% increase in the risk of getting MS.

    From Doctor Ray Strand’s desk:
    a) “A recent study reported in the Archives of Neurology showed a correlation of a low vitamin D level and the increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. This study included over 3,000 pariticipants. They followed these subjects for a period of nearly 30 years. Those subjects whose vitamin D levels were in the top 25% had over a 30% decreased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, when compared to those who had the lowest levels of vitamin D. This is just another study that shows the importance of maintaining adequate vitamin D levels. I have shared in past Health Nuggest, I like to see vitamin D levels above 60 ng/ml.”

    b) “A four year clinical was done that involved nearly 1200 women. This is the kind of study physicians love and always talk about when it comes to pharmaceutical trials. However, very few of them realize that there are these kinds of studies regarding the health benefits of taking supplements. Subjects were assigned to take 1400 mg of calcium alone, or 1400 mg of calcium plus 1100 IU of vitamin D, or a placebo. After only 4 years, the risk of developing any type of cancer was 60% lower in the vitamin D group. If you excluded the cancers diagnosed in the first year because these cancers were most likely already present before the study, there was a 77% reduction in all types of cancer in the vitamin D group.

    The researchers pointed out that vitamin D has an effect on at least 200 human genes and is critical in the normal functioning of our immune system and cell division. When there is less than an optimal level of vitamin D, the regulatory process involving cell proliferation and differentiation becomes defective. This can lead to abnormal cell division and thus cancer growth. However, if individuals simply supplement their diet with 1100 IU of vitamin D, they can significantly decrease their risk of all cancers.”

    In summary: The research shows that nearly 70% of adults taking 600 IU or less of supplemental vitamin D have circulating levels below the minimum recommended threshold of 30 ng/mL. In fact, some people require up to 12 times that amount to maintain optimal levels of vitamin D. A suggested recommended daily intake of vitamin D3 is at least 4,000 IU per day. Of course every person’s individual needs are different, so it is best to work with your physician to determine what is right for you. If you live in temperate zones it is advisable to take a Vitamin D3 supplement every day and boost it to 5000iu in the flu season.

    Expose yourself to bright sun 15 to 30 minutes daily as much as possible, before applying sunblock to your body. I recommend that you do not expose your face and neck though. Avoid over-exposure to sunlight. If possible, get your Vitamin D levels tested by your doctor to ensure that you are not deficient (“25 OH Vitamin D” blood test (also known as “25 hydroxy vitamin D”) and you want to be in the 50-80 ng/ml range).

    Further Reading
    The Vitamin D Council is a respected source of up-to-date information about Vitamin D.

    (NaturalNews) Mike Adams recently interviewed the Executive Director of the Vitamin D Council, Dr. John Cannell, MD, in order to obtain more information about the nutrient which has been gaining ground as a proven necessity for cancer protection, good…listen to this hour long audio   Interview with Dr. John Cannell on benefits of vitamin D

    Dr. Michael Holick is the world’s foremost authority on vitamin D and the healing power of natural sunlight. He’s the author of The UV Advantage, and in this interview, Dr. Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. This is one of the most eye-opening interviews you’ll ever read on health.

    For women 40+ who want to live life to the full and stay younger longer

    If you would like to find out which nutritional supplements are recommended for healthy aging, please request my free eBook, by completing the form on your top right.

    I trust you found this helpful. If you did, please share it with others by clicking on the Facebook and/or Twitter icons below. And be sure to leave your comments and questions below. Thank you!

  • Jul 31

    The headlines screamed on the 29th July 2010. Results from a study by researchers were published in the British Medical Journal and reported by (Reuters) – Calcium supplements, which many people consume hoping to ward off osteoporosis, may increase the risk of heart attack by as much as 30 percent, researchers reported Friday. What the study found was that there was a 30 per cent increase in heart attacks in the people who were randomized to take calcium. The researchers conducted an analysis of results from 11 studies.

    I am left with a few questions but no answers:
    1) Why were these studies done?
    2) Who paid for the studies?
    3) What type of calcium was used? (Chelated calcium is bioavailable to our cells)
    4) What was the dosage?
    5) Did the calcium supplements also contain magnesium and Vitamin D3? (Magnesium and Vitamin D3 are required to be present for the body to utilize calcium)
    6) Have there been more than 11 studies done? If so, why were they all not included?
    7) What was the initial state of health of the participants?

    It is no wonder that we, the general public get confused when we read these headlines. One minute we are told that calcium is good for us and we need to have more of it…
    (Reuters Health) – Getting a bit more calcium in your diet could help you live longer, new research suggests.

    Another piece of research shows the benefits of calcium:
    High magnesium and calcium intake linked to lower diabetes risk

    It is well known that diet plays an important role in the development of type 2 diabetes, but less is known about the influence of specific nutrients on non-Western populations. A report published in the March 2009 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed a protective effect of calcium and magnesium against diabetes in a large group of Chinese women.

    The study involved 64,191 women participated in the Shanghai Women’s Health Study, living in Shanghai, China. Analysis of dietary questionnaire responses determined calcium and magnesium intake.

    Women whose intake was in the highest group at an average of 649.6 milligrams per day had a 27 percent lower risk of diabetes than those whose intake was in the lowest group at 277.5 milligrams. Women whose intake of magnesium was highest at an average of 318.1 milligrams per day experienced a 20 percent lower risk compared with those in the lowest category of intake. Dairy intake was also related to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

    The researchers did not have information on vitamin D intake, but the protective effect of dairy products could be partly due to their vitamin D content as well as calcium. The combination of vitamin D and calcium has been associated with a reduction in the risk of type 2 diabetes in previous research.

    Source: Am J Clin Nutr 89: 1059-1067, 2009.

    And the latest report implies that we have to stop taking calcium.
    Who do we trust?
    My suggestion is to learn more about supplements. Learn from the experts.

    What do we know about calcium?

    • It builds healthy bones
    • It helps our muscles to relax/contract
    • It is critical for normal nerve conduction
    • It helps with cell division
    • It helps with electrical conduction in the heart
    • It is essential for producing and activating enzymes and hormones that regulate digestion, energy and fat metabolism

    And because Calcium is a natural muscle relaxant it also helps you to handle stress and it’s one of the best used sleep aids around!

    What about Vitamin D?

    • It enhances calcium absorption in the small intestine
    • It enhances calcium utilisation in bone formation
    • It influences the utilisation of phosphorous – another mineral that is important for strong bones

    And magnesium?

    • It is an important component of strong healthy bones
    • It is involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and amino acids
    • It plays an important role in neuromuscular contractions
    • It helps regulate the acid-alkaline balance in the body

    The synergy of calcium, vitamin D and magnesium form a trio that plays an important part in our health. I have been taking this combination for almost ten years, and I don’t plan on stopping. Become armed with knowledge and don’t let scary headlines frighten you!

    Further Reading
    Here is a rebuttal to the study from Natural News

    Is Calcium supplementation really bad Doctor Gerald Lewis gives his view on the recent paper with authors coming from Auckland New Zealand published in the British Medical Journal (29 July 2010)

    For women 40+ who want to live life to the full and stay younger longer

    If you would like to find out which nutritional supplements are recommended for healthy aging, please request my free eBook, by completing the form on your top right.

    I trust you found this helpful. If you did, please share it with others by clicking on the Facebook and/or Twitter icons below. And be sure to leave your comments and questions below. Thank you!

  • Jul 14

    Advanced Doses of Vitamin D Are Required To Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Status

    It is currently estimated that more than 1 billion people worldwide have vitamin D deficiency. Relatively small amounts of vitamin D are obtained through the diet and many lifestyle factors reduce endogenous vitamin D synthesis, therefore supplementation offers an important avenue for achieving and maintaining optimal vitamin D status.

    Scientists at USANA Health Sciences and Linus Pauling Institute recently conducted a clinical study to evaluate the effectiveness of moderately high daily doses of vitamin D3 on increasing circulating levels of vitamin D during winter, spring, and summer seasons.

    19 healthy volunteers, most using USANA’s HealthPakTM daily dietary supplement packs, BiOmegaTM and/or Active CalciumTM supplements, were randomly divided into the treatment or control (placebo) groups. The treatment group was given a daily supplement providing 4000 IU of vitamin D3 for three months from December 2008 to March 2009. The control group received a matching placebo tablet. Both the Vitamin D3 and matching placebo tablets were manufactured at USANA Health Sciences, Inc. (Salt Lake City, USA). Blood samples were drawn at baseline and after 4, 8, and 12 weeks of supplementation, to analyze circulating vitamin D levels (25-hydroxy vitamin D3).

    The study found that:

    * Treatment with 4000 IU/day significantly increased circulating vitamin D levels during the winter and maintained them in the optimal range above 50 mg/mL.
    * Circulating vitamin D levels reached maximal levels after 4 weeks of supplementation and plateaued thereafter.
    * Upon cessation of supplementation between weeks 12-16, vitamin D levels declined appreciably underscoring the need for continuous supplementation to maintain optimal levels throughout the winter and early spring.
    * Supplementation of 2000 IU/day through the late spring and summer maintained vitamin D levels in the optimal range.
    * At the conclusion of the study, vitamin D levels in all subjects that did NOT continue supplementation through the summer returned to the baseline values originally measured in December.

    This study shows that continuous intakes of vitamin D are needed to obtain optimal circulating levels of vitamin D above 50 mg/mL throughout the entire year.

    Source: Dixon B et al; 2009; USANA Clinical Research Poster; Accessed 21 Jun 2010.

    http://www.usana.com/media/File/dotCom/company/science/crb/CR_Vitamin_D_Poster.pdf

  • Jul 8

    News.com.au has reported that Gwyneth Paltrow : “has been diagnosed with osteopenia, an illness that can lead to the serious bone disease osteoporosis”. Osteoporosis is ”brittle bone disease” – where the bones begin to look like Swiss cheese. Gwyneth Paltrow is reportedly Vitamin D deficient. What happens is that the bones become so weak, that they break easily and then people fall, many times resulting with a broken hip.

    Doctor Ray Strand says “Osteoporosis is an epidemic nutritional deficiency in the United States. More than 25 million Americans suffer with this disease at the cost to the economy of the U.S. of approximately 14 billion dollars each year. At least 1.2 million fractures occur each year in the United States as a direct result of osteoporosis. Spontaneous compression fractures of the vertebrae of the back cause tremendous pain and suffering for those with osteoporosis.
    The American diet, with its high intake of white breads, white flour, refined sugars, and fat, has been shown to be deficient in many of the essential nutrients needed for healthy bones”.

    I remember as a young child, being fascinated by hunched-over old people “looking for coins on the ground” – I later understood that their spines had deteriorated due to osteoporosis.

    We can prevent osteoporosis, but we need to start in our teenage years by getting optimal amounts of calcium, magnesium and Vitamin D. Our bones are growing fast at that time and need the nutritional support to grow strong.

    At post-menopause we need to continue with adequate calcium in our diet, bearing in mind that we need sufficient magnesium and Vitamin D for the calcium to be utilised by our bodies, along with advanced-quality broad spectrum supplements (nutriceuticals) – antioxidants, multi-vitamins and multi-minerals. We also need to have adequate amounts of fresh fruit and vegetables. Exercise is crucial to the health of our bones – weight bearing exercises such as walking helps the lower legs but does little for the back and hips; upper body weight resistance exercises such as lifting weights over your head are critical. By taking care of ourselves we can prevent osteoporosis.

    Can osteoporosis be reversed without medications? Listen to this 74-year old woman’s experience.

    What can you do to reverse osteoporosis?

    Click here for a List of Alkaline Foods – The pH Balanced Diet.

    For comprehensive advice visit Better Bones.

    My nutritional doctor’s advice is:
    LIFESTYLE Walking, Vibration training, working with weights, and sunlight
    SUPPLEMENTS good multivitamin/mineral, calcium/magnesium combined with boron, silicon and manganese, Vitamin D3, Omega-3 fish oils

    I would suggest that if you have a blender/juicer that you make the Green Smoothie’s in the recipes you can download here, and drink one daily.

    Doing all that would provide you with the building blocks to getting healthy strong bones (and the other side-effects of a healthy body!!!)

    For women 40+ who want to live life to the full and stay younger longer

    If you would like to find out which nutritional supplements are recommended for bone health, please request my free eBook, by completing the form on your top right.

    I trust you found this helpful. If you did, please share it with others by clicking on the Facebook and/or Twitter icons below. And be sure to leave your comments and questions below. Thank you!

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