Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Vitamin D- Supplements

Being very conscious about what I put in my body, I am a subscriber to Consumer Lab. A review about Vitamin D caught my attention to share with my readers, because receiving vitamin D daily is so vital!  When living in a cold climate, making it impossible to get skin exposure to natural Vitamin D from the sun, supplementation is an option.  But in order to get the benefits we need, we need to know how good the products are. 
Below are some products reviewed by Consumer Lab that did not meet the labeling

Vitamin D Only:

Found only 31.7% of claimed Vitamin D3
Vitafusion Vitamin D3 (2 gummy bears, 2 per day) Ingredients 
Mfd. by Northwest Natural Products, Inc.
1,000 IU (D3)

Found only 83% of claimed Vitamin D2
DEVA Vegan Vitamin D 800 IU (1 tablet, 1 per day) Ingredients
Dist. by DEVA Nutrition, LLC
800 IU (D2)
Vegetarian and Vegan 

Labeling Infraction3
Nature's Life D-2 2,000 IU (1 vegetarian capsule, 1 per day) Ingredients
Mfd. by NutraPure, Inc.
2,000 IU (D2)

Vitamin D, Calcium, and Vitamin K:

Labeling Infraction4
Found lead contamination: 3.9 mcg and 5.2 mcg, in servings of 3 and 4 capsules, respectively
AlgaeCal Plus (2 vegetable capsules, 3 to 4 per day)2 Ingredients 
Dist. by AlgaeCal Inc
1,200 to 1,600 IU (D3)
540 to 720 mg (calcium from algae)
75 to 100 mcg (K2 MK7)

Labeling Infraction4
Pure Essence Labs Ionic-Fizz Super D-K Calcium Plus (1 level scoop powder [7 grams], 1 to 2 per day) Ingredients   
Dist. by Pure Essence Laboratories, Inc.
1,000 to 2,000 IU (D3)
250 to 500 mg (calcium lactate)
45 to 90 mcg (K2 MK7)
Assorted minerals

Vitamin D and Calcium:

Found only 43.9% of claimed Vitamin D3
Kirkman Calcium/Magnesium Liquid (2 teaspoons [10 mL], 1 per day)
Mfd. by Kirkman
41 IU (D3)
311 mg (calcium carbonate)

Vitamin D and Vitamin K: 
Labeling Infraction4
Found only 73.6% of Vitamin K2 
DaVinci Laboratories of Vermont Vitamin K2 Plus (1 capsule, 1 to 2 per day) Ingredients   
Dist. by DaVinci Laboratories of Vermont
200 to 400 IU (D3)
50 to 100 mcg (K2 MK7)

Consumer Tips:

What to Consider When Buying:
Before buying a vitamin D supplement, be aware that vitamin D can be obtained in sufficient amounts from exposure to sunlight, fortified milk (400 IU per quart or 100 IU per cup), and other fortified foods (e.g., many breakfast cereals and nutrition bars, some brands of orange juice, yogurt, margarine, and soy beverages). Fatty fish are also good sources of vitamin D. Small amounts of vitamin D are found in beef liver, cheese, egg yolks, and mushrooms.

Ten to fifteen minutes of sun exposure at least two times per week to the face, arms, hands, or back without sunscreen is usually sufficient to provide adequate vitamin D. It was recently estimated that getting the equivalent of a 1,000 IU dose of vitamin D requires exposing the face, hands and arms to full sunlight at noon for 6 to15 minutes in Miami or 9 to19 minutes during non-winter months in Boston, based on a darker-skinned Caucasian. Times are shorter by about 33% for people with very fair skin and double for those with dark skin.  To get only 400 IU, times would be 40% as long. All of these exposures are significantly less than the amount required to cause sunburn. Nevertheless, the researchers who made these calculations suggest that oral supplements of vitamin D would probably represent the safest way to increase vitamin D status due to the difficulty getting just the right amount of sun exposure and the detrimental side effects of UV exposure.12

Furthermore, inadequate vitamin D intake is common in people who live in northern climates (north of a line from Boston to the northern border of California), especially if they are dark-skinned. Also, increased concern about skin cancer has caused people to avoid the sun or use sunscreen. This creates a potential risk of reduced vitamin D. Americans aged 50 and older are at increased risk of vitamin D insufficiency because, as people age, skin cannot synthesize vitamin D as efficiently and the kidneys are less able to convert vitamin D into its active hormone form. People who are obese also tend to have a low plasma concentration of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, as subcutaneous fat may sequester the vitamin. Consequently, many people may benefit by taking vitamin D as a supplement either alone or in combination with a calcium supplement. Because vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, people with reduced ability to absorb fat in the gut may also require vitamin D supplementation.

When buying vitamin D, be aware that it is measured in International Units
(IU) of vitamin D activity or as micrograms of cholecalciferol (D3) or ergocalciferol (D2). One microgram is equivalent to 40 IU.
A small news article appeared in 2010 regarding research on the content of vitamin D supplements presented at a Multiple Sclerosis conference by a team at Johns Hopkins University. The results showed the mean actual dose in 10 supplements to be only 33.5% of the labeled dose, with a range from 0.24% to 81.7%. ConsumerLab.com contacted the research team to learn more about the findings. We spoke with Dr. Norman Haughey who oversaw the testing. It appears that the report was preliminary: The team had not yet performed extraction efficiency testing, i.e., making sure that they got all of the vitamin D out of the tested samples. Poor extraction recovery will yield low results and is a well-known problem with vitamin D in supplements where other components of the product can interfere with measurements. As noted earlier, we were not able to accurately measure the amount of vitamin D in one product for this reason.

Monday, January 30, 2012


Four reasons to add chlorella to your diet
Chlorella is a green algae that is considered to be one of the most powerful superfoods known to man. Chlorella contains vasts amount of chlorophyll within its cell walls. The cell walls of chlorella are tough and indigestible, so many chlorella producers break the cell walls before selling the product. Broken cell chlorella releases the nutrients inside the cell walls so the human body can use them. Besides being possibly the richest source of chlorophyll on Earth, chlorella is also very high in plant protein. Chlorella contains fifty-eight grams of protein per one hundred grams of weight. By comparison, beef and chicken have twenty-four to twenty-eight grams of protein per one hundred grams of weight. Chlorella is a pain reliever, reduces hypertension, enhances the immune system in some cases, and chelates heavy metals.

Chlorella has been found to reduce pain

In 2000, a pilot study was conducted in which fibromyalgia patients consumed 10g of a commercially available chlorella tablet and 100mL of chlorella in liquid form. Symptoms were measured at the beginning of the trial, and again after one and two months of treatment with chlorella. After two months on chlorella, the fibromyalgia patients reported a significant 22% reduction in pain and tenderness. One-third of the patients believed their health was better after taking chlorella. Scientists involved with this study stated that a full double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was warranted.

Chlorella reduces or stabilizes blood pressure, even when medication is stopped

In another clinical study, patients with hypertension were given 10g chlorella tablets and 100 mL chlorella extract for two months. Patients were taken off all blood pressure medications, then treated with chlorella. One-fourth of the patients saw a decrease in blood pressure after taking chlorella for two months. The other three-fourths did not see a rise in blood pressure, despite being taken off their blood pressure medication.

Chlorella enhances the immune system after flu shots in some adults

In a clinical trial performed in 2003, patients who had received flu shots were given chlorella to see if the algae improved immune system function. The subjects, all over the age of fifty, took either a placebo or chlorella for three weeks before being injected with a flu vaccine. At one week and three weeks after receiving the flu shots, patients between the ages of fifty and fifty-five who had been taking chlorella had two to four times more antibodies than the placebo group. Results were insignificant for older adults in the study.

Chlorella has potential as a heavy metal chelator

A study involving rats showed the potential chlorella has for counteracting heavy metal poisoning in humans. Male rats were given cadmium chloride, a toxic metal compound used in yellow dye and photocopying. Some rats were also fed chlorella powder, while other rats were used as the control group. Cadmium was found in the bloodstream, liver, kidneys, and small intestines of the rats. However, there was a remarkable increase in cadmium in the urine and feces of the chlorella-fed rats. In addition, tissue damage was less in the chlorella group. The research group concluded that chlorella can be considered an appropriate counteragent for heavy metal poisoning.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sweet Raw Yam chips

A Sweet and Salty Raw Food Snack!

  • 3 yams
  • cold-pressed olive oil
  • 1 tsp palm sugar
  • Dash of cinnamonHimalayan salt
Dehydrator with Teflon sheets

Mandoline Slicer

Oil Sprayer


Peal Yams or Sweet Potatoes, then using the Mandoline, slice them as thinly as possible. With a Misto sprayer, spritz olive oil on the yams. You can also massage oil into yams to make sure each is well coated.  I sprayed the teflon sheet and rubbed each side of each slice.

Mix palm sugar, cinnamon and salt together in a small bowl and sprinkle over yams. Dehydrate at 115°F for about 12 hours or until the chips are crispy. 

I made one sheet with just plain Himalayan salt, and one with the cinnamon mixture. They're both delicious!  My slicer wouldn't slice them quite as thin as I wanted them, so some were more like kettle chips while the thinner ones were crispy.
 All ingredients...except the palm sugar
 Tools used

 Slicing up the yams (Sweet potatoes)
 Sliced yams (Sweet potatoes)
 I sprinkled some with just Himalayan salt
 I ground up the salt so it was very fine, for a light dusting
 Ingredients for the salty and sweet seasoning
 Sprinkled the cinnamon/palm sugar/Himalayan salt mix on one tray

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Organic India: Fiber Harmony

Organic, with No artificial sweeteners, colors or flavors

  • Heart Healthy
  • With Psyllium, Aloe Vera & Inulin
  • USDA Organic
  • Sugar Free
  • Dietary Supplement
  • 48 Servings
  • Certified Organic by Ecocert
About Psyllium
India grows 85% of the world's Psyllium crop. Psyllium husk powder is a bulk forming natural dietary fiber which promotes good digestive health and regularity. Doctors recommend Psyllium as a convenient way to increase intake of dietary fiber. Psyllium husk can play an important role in the maintenance of a healthy gastro-intestinal function.

Organic Tri-Active Blend
They combine the benefits of Psyllium, Inulin, Aloe Vera Leaf, and Marshmallow Root to provide us with a daily fiber formula that vitalizes and soothes the digestive tract, keeps our colon healthy and provides us with heart healthy soluble fiber. Inulin, a prebiotic, helps grow beneficial bacteria needed to maintain a healthy colon. Aloe Vera helps promote digestive health by protecting the intestinal tract and aiding protein digestion and assimilation. Marshmallow Root helps soothe the digestive system.

Great tasting, all organic Orange Fiber Harmony is a healthy, effective way to start and end your day!

For heart health soluble fiber from foods such as psyllium in Fiber Harmony, as a part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. A serving of Fiber Harmony provides 2.5 grams of the 7 grams of soluble fiber from psyllium necessary per day to have this effect.

Recommended Intake:
Adults and Children over 12 years: One serving up to 3 times daily. Best taken before or between meals. Mix serving size with at least 8 oz of water, or milk substitute. Stir and drink immediately. If too thick, add more liquid and stir. Drinking an additional glass of water afterwards is advisable to ensure adequate hydration. I find it tastes great just in plain filtered water...but prefer to have it in 2/3 fresh squeezed organic orange juice and 1/3 filtered water.  It added more sweetness, flavor and Vitamin C. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

More OJ warnings

After posting yesterday's blog, I happen to watch an episode of Dr.Oz addressing Orange Juice as well!  But this time not just about the unnatural process of how OJ is made, but about a toxic fungicide found in the OJ in our shelves!  A must watch.  If you Choose to buy orange juice, as opposed to squeezing your own, I highly recommend getting 100% certified organic orange juice. If that is not at option please read the label and make sure it's from the USA.  In Brazil the toxic fungicide is legal...the same one that was banned here in the USA in 2008 for health reasons. The FDA is in the process of testing the imported orange juices, so play it safe. 

Watch the Dr.Oz segment below:

Orange Juice and the Toxic Side of International Trade

Several weeks ago, a fungicide called carbendazim was found in imported orange juice from Brazil. It’s a toxic pesticide that’s not supposed to be in orange juice, but evidently Brazilian growers thought they could secretly use it. A juice maker, Coca-Cola, found the problem and, to their credit, reported it to the FDA. The FDA was caught unawares and has never tested for carbendazim in imported or domestic orange juice, according to the FDA website! This shows holes in the regulatory system that freighters full of OJ fit through on a daily basis.  

Preventing toxic pesticides from entering the US is essential to public health. Our regulatory framework was set up decades ago to control chemical use in domestic crops but is outmanned by the barrage of food imports that enter the US each day. As I discussed with Dr. Oz on this week’s show, the detection of carbendazim in orange juice highlights the problem. This fungicide is closely related to the phased out benomyl, eliminated over concerns that it causes birth defects. Carbendazim also causes birth defects in lab animals and is probably the reason benomyl does so since benomyl breaks down to carbendazim in the body. Both fungicides also damage male fertility and cause liver cancer.

FDA has responded to this information by disallowing carbendazim use on food crops in the US and has no acceptable tolerances for this fungicide on imports such as orange juice. In other words, if any carbendazim is found in imported orange juice, that’s a reason to seize the lot and return it to sender. That system works well if FDA is vigilant and thorough in its testing. However, FDA’s lack of testing encourages pesticide abuse overseas and puts us all in jeopardy.  

There is little point in regulating bad-actor pesticides in consumer countries like the US when you do nothing to stop the manufacture and sale of these chemicals elsewhere. This creates the “circle of poison” in which banned chemicals can circle the globe and end up in our diet anyway since they are readily available in producer countries which have lax regulation.

Most of our orange juice comes from Brazil. Yes, even the “not from concentrate” variety. Carbendazim use on citrus in Brazil becomes a reproductive and cancer question in the US because we don’t have the resources to carefully check imports, and the juice industry can’t be counted on to do the job. Fortunately, the concentrations of carbendazim found in orange juice so far are below what would constitute a frank health risk. But they are not zero and indicate an unregulated source of toxic pesticide whose concentrations may vary over time.  

The US has identified safer ways to limit mold growth on citrus in Florida and California. The US should demand the same from our overseas suppliers. Until FDA gets the situation under control, you can limit your exposure potential by: 

a) drinking domestic instead of imported orange juice (the label must state the country of origin); 
b) drinking certified 100% organic juice; or 
c) skipping the juice and eating fresh oranges instead. They are likely to be grown closer to home and you don’t have to deal with pasteurized, deaerated, concentrated and deflavored (they add back a “flavor pack”) juice product that’s been stored for who knows how long and shipped across the world.  

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Truth about Orange Juice

Popular orange juices flavored with secret "flavor packs" not listed on the label 

Here is why I will Only ever drink Fresh Squeezed orange juice.

Ever wonder how premium "100 percent pure" orange juice brands manage to taste delicious and fresh all year round, as though oranges never go out of season? 
Here's a hint: it's because that may NOT be pure orange juice you're drinking. That incredible flavor comes from a "secret ingredient" that premium orange juice companies are not required to put on their labeling. (http://abcnews.go.com/Health/orange-juice-moms-secret-ingredient-worries/story?id=15154617)  

That's right, there is a dirty secret in your glass of orange juice that has been well-kept until recently. Although the carton says "not from concentrate," that juice probably sat in a large vat for up to year with all of the oxygen removed from it (http://consumerist.com/2011/07/oj-flavor-packs.html). This process allows juice to be preserved and dispensed all year-round, even when oranges aren't in season. Taking out all the oxygen also gets rid of all the flavor, so juice makers add flavor back into their products using pre-formulated "flavor packs" that are full of chemicals.

The dirty truth about commercial OJ

In the book "Squeezed: What You Don't Know About Orange Juice," author Aliissa Hamilton reveals that most orange juice comes from Brazil, not Florida, and that even popular premium "not from concentrate" orange juice is heated, stripped of flavor, stored for up to a year in tanks and then re-flavored before it is packaged and sold to consumers.

According to Hamilton, if one were to taste the juice coming out of these tanks, it would taste like pure sugar water, not orange juice. To spruce up the taste of this nutrient-lacking sugar water, orange juice processors add "flavor packs" to their beverages, which consist of various chemicals that are said to be oils and essences derived from orange byproducts. (http://civileats.com/2009/05/06/freshly-squeezed-the-truth-about-orange-juice-in-boxes/)

In fact, pasteurized OJ that is "not from concentrate" is more costly than "from concentrate" not because it's closer to being fresh squeezed. Its higher price tag is because storing full strength pasteurized orange juice is more time and money-consuming than storing orange juice concentrate.

The current OJ production technology of choice is "aseptic storage," which involves stripping the juice of oxygen (a process called "deaeration") so it doesn't oxidize in these million gallon tanks. It can be kept in these huge tanks for a year or more.

Delicious and fresh-squeezed or is it the chemical ethyl-butyrate?

When the juice is stripped of oxygen it is also stripped of the natural essences and nutrients that give it its flavor. Therefore juice companies hire flavor and fragrance companies, the same ones that formulate perfumes for Dior and Calvin Klein, to create flavor packs to add back into the juice to make it taste like it came straight from an actual fresh-squeezed orange.

The packs are different for each company, made from a combination of mixed and matched chemical flavorings. Most companies, including those within international markets, have their own trademark flavor of choice. For example, have you noticed that the OJ from MinuteMaid has a signature candy-orange flavor? In the US, manufacturers of these chemical packs emphasize high amounts of ethyl butyrate, a chemical in the fragrance of fresh squeezed orange juice that, juice companies have discovered, Americans favor this because it's a flavor they associate with fresh, juicy oranges.

These so-called flavor packs aren't listed as an ingredient on the label because technically they are derived from orange essence and oil. Yet even those in the OJ industry can't deny the fact that these flavor packs, whether made for reconstituted or pasteurized orange juice, resemble nothing found in nature.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


 The human body is a remarkable thing!  It's designed by nature to cure itself, and our responsibility is to give it what it needs to do so, and let the healing take its course.  To do this we need to understand how our body heals itself and what it needs from us to do so. 
One of the biggest misconceptions in health care today is the role of fevers. Through misunderstanding, many parents fear fevers, when they should love and respect them. A fever is one of the most extraordinary and intricate healing processes in the body. It plays out like a symphony, orchestrated only when needed to stimulate an immune response, destroy invading organisms and promote the restoration of health. The American Academy of Pediatrics voiced concerns in a 2011 study, concluding that parents need to understand the fever itself is not endangering to a healthy child. In contrast, it's actually beneficial and the primary goal of treatment should be to improve comfort, rather than lowering body temperature alone.

Traditionally, fevers were respected and understood. People knew that the fever would build and then break, like a wave rolling into shore. Now, without knowing or understanding the process, most try to suppress it immediately using antipyretics, or substances that lower temperature, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Antipyretics may quickly lower temperature, but in doing so they silence the body, hinder immune system development, allow the invader to survive and potentially induce chronic disease development.

Antipyretics are often misused, incorrectly administered or excessively dosed as well. Fifty percent of parents consider a temperature of less than 100.4°F is a fever and 25% of caregivers administer an antipyretic then, before the temperature actually reaches fever status. More disturbingly, 85% of parents report waking a sleeping child to administer antipyretics. 80% of pediatricians disagree with this practice. The physiologic healing that occurs while sleeping far surpasses the desire to simply lower the fever.

Modern medicine has lead us away from our bodies. Through its symptom-targeted treatments, patients have learned to expect immediate results. This is even more true when loving parents are concerned for their children. Treating symptoms without treating the cause is like taking the batteries out of the fire alarm, while the house burns down. It is essential to teach parents and children to listen and interpret these signs from the body, not just focus on removing of them.

Fever as a friend, not a foe

A fever is defined by an oral temperature exceeding 100.4° F. They are usually self-limiting and short in duration. There is no evidence of fevers worsening the course of the illness or causing long- term neurological complications. It is important to understand, that the fever itself is not a disease, but rather a symptom of an underlying disharmony.

As human beings, we want to stay alive. This is true on all levels. Mentally, physically, physiologically, and biologically, we function to promote life. Once this is understood, it's easy to grasp that a fever is a physiologic process the body uses to fight infection, thus promoting survival or life. When an invader (virus, bacteria etc.) enters the body, signals are sent to the brain to increase the hypothalamic "set point". This essentially turns up the thermostat for a few days to kill the intruder. Signals can come from bacterial toxins or the body's response to the intruder, i.e. the production of cytokines, chemical mediators, macrophages, and antibodies. The temperature increase also enhances the immune system by catalyzing enzymes, increasing neutrophil production and T-lymphocyte proliferation. Inflammation is stimulated to protect the area, prevent the spread of infection and initiate the healing process.

Always consult your naturopathic physician or pediatrician when fevers exceed 102°F or last longer than three days. Also consult if the fever causes great discomfort, breathing difficulty, stiff neck, convulsions or any time you are unsure. Proper hydration and electrolyte replenishment are essential to support the body.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Powders from nuts.com

Here are a few powders I purchased from nutsonline.com 
Super healthy smoothie boosts!

Gojo Berry powder
Mix 1-2 tablespoon of this powder with smoothies, teas, drinks, and yogurts for a sweet, healthy snack.
Goji berries are known as a superfood because of their high concentration of nutrients and antioxidants. They are believed to enhance the immune system, eyesight, the liver, and many other organ systems in the body. The antioxidants in goji berries are thought to promote longevity.
Our goji berry powder contains the nutrients of goji berries, concentrated into a powder, including high amounts of fiber and minerals. 

Pumpkin Seed Powder
 A great protein boost for smoothies!
 Certified: Gluten-Free
Pumpkin seed powder is a balanced source of good proteins. In addition to protein, they are an excellent source of iron, B vitamins, vitamin E, fiber, oil, and minerals. Pumpkin seed powder is an excellent supplement to help aid in the health of the prostate.

Organic Wheatgrass Powder
A great nutrition boost for smoothies!
Organic wheatgrass powder is all natural whole leaf organic wheatgrass bound into a perfect powder. Considered one of the most potent leafy green vegetables, wheatgrass powder is packed with beta-carotene, calcium, chlorophyll, fiber, iron and vitamin K and is non-GMO.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Omega-3s & Leukemia

To add to yesterday's blog, here is more wonderful information about Omega-3.

Scientists from the medical sciences division at Penn State University have discovered that a compound in fish oil appears to target leukemia stem cells and could lead to a cure for the disease. The compound is a natural extract from EPA, the Omega-3 fat component found most commonly in fish and fish oil supplements. Known as delta-12-protaglandin J3, or D12-PGJ3, the molecule is shown to target and kill the stem cells of chronic myelogenous leukemia, a common form of the disease. Extensive research from past studies has shown that Omega-3 fats are critical to cardiovascular and brain health. This new evidence supports the regular intake of EPA omega-3 fats to selectively kill leukemia-causing stem cells that could prevent and possibly even provide a cure for this devastating disease.

The research, currently being conducted on mice that exhibit metabolic characteristics similar to humans, shows that some metabolites of Omega-3 have the ability to selectively kill the leukemia-causing stem cells. Scientists determined that D12-PGJ3 kills cancer-causing stem cells in the mice's spleen and bone marrow. Specifically, it activates a gene known as p53 in the leukemia stem cell that programs the cells own death in a process called apoptosis.

Omega-3 Fat Compound Shown to Kill Stem Cells Necessary for Leukemia Development

The p53 gene is a well known "tumor suppressor gene that regulates the response to DNA damage and maintains genomic stability", noted lead study author Dr. Sandeep Prabhu. The D12-PDJ3 compound kills the leukemic stem cells (leukemia is a cancer of the white blood cells); this is an important step to prevent the development and division of white blood cells that can be used to propagate new cancerous tissue.

Current drug therapies are ineffective as they only attempt to keep the number of leukemia cells low, and they carry many dangerous and sometimes fatal side effects. Drug therapy for leukemia patients fails to completely cure the disease because it does not target the source of new leukemia stem cells. Current treatments are unable to kill the leukemia stem cells and fall short of providing an effective cure for the disease.

The Omega-3 EPA fat compound D12-PDJ3 targets regeneration of white blood stem cells, an essential step necessary to cure leukemia. The authors noted there were no side effects from administering the natural fat compound. Researchers from Penn State indicated that the compound would shortly move to human trials, with similar results anticipated. Long chain omega fats have been documented to promote human health and prevent chronic illnesses ranging from heart disease and dementia to metabolic syndrome and stroke. EPA fat compounds (500 mg per day) may help prevent and treat leukemia and other cancer lines dependent on stem cells to replicate and metastasize.

Sources for this article include:

About the author:
John Phillip is a Health Researcher and Author who writes regularly on the cutting edge use of diet, lifestyle modifications and targeted supplementation to enhance and improve the quality and length of life. John is the author of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan', a comprehensive EBook explaining how to use Diet, Exercise, Mind and Targeted Supplementation to achieve your weight loss goal. Visit My Optimal Health Resource to continue reading the latest health news updates, and to download your Free 48 page copy of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan'.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


The Worst Possible Thing to Ignore if You Have Arthritis

I've known this for many years and take Carlson cod liver oil daily. It's very pleasant with a hint of lemon taste! I've also taken krill oil that I did like as well, in pill form.  I prefer the cod liver oil to fishy smelling fish oil capsules.  I keep my bottle stored in the fridge, and each bottle had 100 servings, to last me a good few months. Offering 1,100 mg of Omega-3 per serving (1 tsp).  I buy mine from amazon for $34.95.  The price has gone up over the years!

By Dr. Mercola

About one in five adults, or nearly 50 million Americans, have been diagnosed with arthritis, the most common form of which is osteoarthritis.
If you have osteoarthritis, the cartilage within your joints is progressively being damaged, and the synovial fluid that keeps your joints lubricated and cushioned is typically reduced as well.
The pain and joint stiffness that you feel is a result of your bones starting to come into contact with each other as cartilage and synovial fluid is reduced, and if you don't take action it can become progressively worse until you are unable to carry out your normal daily activities.
More than 21 million Americans have trouble climbing stairs, getting dressed and staying active due to arthritis, a number that has jumped from 19 million just a few years back.
If you are one of the millions struggling with osteoarthritis, or want to avoid becoming one of them, one of the simplest and most powerful steps you can take is adding animal-based omega-3 fats to your diet. The research continues to pour in that these healthy fats have exciting potential to prevent and treat arthritis.

Omega-3 Fats Incredibly Important to Treat Osteoarthritis

According to the latest animal study, a diet enriched with omega-3 fats reduced the majority of disease indicators among guinea pigs prone to developing osteoarthritis. This included both cartilage and subchondral bone changes, and the lead researcher noted that the evidence was strong that omega-3 fats may help prevent the disease and also slow its progression in those already diagnosed.
Omega-3's impact on joint health, arthritis, and inflammation is an active area of research, as they're known to produce compounds called resolvins and protectins, which help quell inflammation before it can do too much damage to your tissues. Several studies have been published on the remarkable effectiveness of the animal-based omega-3 fat krill oil in combating inflammation-related disorders, including arthritis. Three notable examples are:
  • A 2007 study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition investigated krill oil's ability to reduce inflammation. Researchers found that 300 mg krill oil per day significantly reduced inflammation, pain, stiffness and functional impairment after just 7 days, and even more profoundly after 14 days.
  • A study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology in 2005 showed similar findings with respect to reducing inflammation and arthritis symptoms, for both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis sufferers.
  • A study in Advances in Therapy found participants with moderate-to-severe hip or knee osteoarthritis who received 1,500 mg of glucosamine sulfate along with 200 mg of omega-3 had greater pain reduction and fewer osteoarthritis symptoms (morning stiffness, pain in hips and knees) than those who took glucosamine by itself.
Omega-3 is actually anti-inflammatory in a very general way, which seems to be good for most people in general, even if you're interested in preventing a variety of diseases. For more information about the various health benefits of omega-3 fat, please review the following links:

 Are You Deficient in Omega-3 Fats?

Ideally, everyone really needs to aim for a lifetime of high omega-3 levels to reap all the health benefits that it has to offer, including protection from arthritis. However, the average American diet is seriously deficient in the animal-based omega-3 fats, DHA and EPA, as except for certain types of fish, which I don't recommend eating because of pollution concerns, there are very few sources of these crucial fats.
As a result, many are deficient and omega-3 deficiency has actually been called the sixth biggest killer of Americans.
You can now measure the omega-3 level in your blood, thanks to the research of Dr. William Harris, a research professor at the Sanford School of Medicine in South Dakota, and an established authority on omega-3 fats. Dr. Harris' research led to the development of an assay that measures your omega-3 level, which is referred to as the "omega-3 index."

Make Sure You Include a High Quality Animal-Based Source of Omega-3

Most people today are deficient in omega-3 fats and consume far too many damaged omega-6 fats, which are found in vegetable oils and processed foods. The ideal ratio is probably close to 1:1, but the average American's ratio is more like 20:1, or even 50:1 in favor of omega-6. Because of this severe imbalance, I recommend you supplement your diet with a source of high-quality omega-3 fats, while simultaneously reducing your omega-6 intake to bring this ratio into balance.
There are both plant and animal sources for omega-3 fats, and there are differences between them. All have different ratios of three important omega-3 fatty acids—ALA, EPA and DHA. DHA is the most important for your brain. EPA is also required by your brain, but in smaller amounts.
Plant-based omega-3 sources like flax, hemp and chia seeds are high in ALA, but low in EPA and DHA. Although ALA is an essential nutrient, the key point to remember is that the conversion of ALA to the far more essential EPA and DHA is typically inhibited by impaired delta 6 desaturase, an enzyme necessary for you to convert the ALA into the longer chain EPA and DHA. Elevated insulin levels impair this enzyme, and more than 80 percent of the U.S. population has elevated insulin levels. So from that perspective alone, it is important to include animal-based sources of omega-3 fats in your diet.

The Three Types of Animal-Based Omega-3 Fat

When it comes to choosing between the animal-based omega-3 options, the primary sources are fish, fish oil, or krill oil. As I'll explain, I believe krill oil is the far superior choice on this list.
  • Fish: In a perfect world, you would be able to get all the omega-3s you need by eating fish. Unfortunately, the vast majority of our fish supply is now so heavily contaminated with industrial pollutants and toxins like mercury, PCBs, heavy metals and radioactive poisons that I just can't recommend most fish any longer. However, there are suppliers, like Vital Choice, that do harvest the fish from less polluted areas of the world and they clearly are less contaminated.
  • Fish oil: I used to recommend that you take fish oil to enhance your intake of omega-3 fats, and high-quality fish oils are certainly great products with many important health benefits. However, fish oil is weak in antioxidant content.

    This is a major drawback for fish oil, because as you increase your intake of omega-3 fats by consuming fish oil, you actually increase your need for even more antioxidant protection.
  • This happens because fish oil is quite perishable, and oxidation leads to the formation of unhealthy free radicals. Therefore, antioxidants are required to ensure that the fish oil doesn't oxidize and become rancid inside your body. So, you need to consume additional antioxidants both for your health in general, AND for your increased need for antioxidants when using fish oil. Dr. Rudi Moerck expounded on these risks at great length in a previous interview.
  • Krill oil: Last but certainly not least is my preferred choice for animal-based omega-3 fats. I believe krill oil is superior to fish oil because it contains phospholipids that dramatically improve DHA and EPA absorption. It also has a very powerful antioxidant called astaxanthin, and omega-3s bonded together in a way that keeps them protected from oxidation. Many popular fish oil brands are already oxidized before you open the bottle. Krill oil is also 48 times more potent than fish oil and contains vitamin E, vitamin A, and vitamin D.
Additionally, as Dr. Harris confirms, krill oil is also more potent gram for gram, as its absorption rate is much higher than fish oil. According to his research, you get somewhere between 25 to 50 percent more omega-3 per milligram when you take krill oil compared to fish oil.
"You actually get more omega-3 from eating krill," he says.
Krill is also a completely sustainable and environmentally friendly source of omega-3. Not only is krill the largest biomass in the world, but krill harvesting is one of the best regulated on the planet, using strict international precautionary catch limit regulations that are reviewed regularly to assure sustainability. You can read more about why krill oil is completely environmentally friendly here.

If You Have Arthritis, You Need to Know About Astaxanthin

It is likely that astaxanthin may be even more powerful in helping people with arthritis symptoms than omega-3 fats, as this antioxidant is leaps and bounds more powerful than beta-carotene, alpha-tocopherol, lycopene and lutein, other members of its chemical family. It exhibits VERY STRONG free radical scavenging activity and helps protect your cells, organs and body tissues from oxidative damage and inflammation.
Specifically, astaxanthin is a carotenoid antioxidant produced only by the microalgae Haematoccous pluvialis when its water supply dries up, forcing it to protect itself from ultraviolet radiation. It's the algae's survival mechanism -- astaxanthin serves as a "force field" to protect the algae from lack of nutrition and/or intense sunlight.
There are only two known sources of astaxanthin -- the microalgae that produce it, and the sea creatures that consume the algae (such as salmon, shellfish, and krill). One of the reasons why I recommend krill oil is because it naturally contains astaxanthin to protect it from oxidation. Adding the antioxidant astaxanthin to fish oil reduces its susceptibility to oxidation while making its immunomodulatory properties more potent, which is the beauty of krill oil, which has this natural protection built in.
But although I don't recommend many supplements, I believe many could enjoy even MORE benefits by further increasing your astaxanthin, even if you are already taking a krill oil supplement. If you decide to give astaxanthin a try on its own, I recommend a dose of 8-10 mg per day. If you are on a krill oil supplement, take that into consideration, as different krill products have different concentrations of astaxanthin, so check your label.

Arthritis Doesn't Have to be a Debilitating Disease

Osteoarthritis can be extremely painful and debilitating disease. By losing weight, exercising, making changes to your diet and lifestyle, and using natural anti-inflammatory relief measures you can potentially overcome this disease, or at least significantly decrease pain associated with it.
  • Healthy Diet: Arthritis rates are more than twice as high in obese people as those who are normal weight, because the extra weight puts more pressure on your joints. This can not only lead to osteoarthritis, it can also make the condition exponentially worse.

    So if you are suffering from arthritis and are overweight or obese, losing weight is an essential form of treatment. You will want to jumpstart your weight loss by eating a healthier diet based on the principles of my nutrition plan. Limiting your fructose intake to below 15 grams a day will be an essential part of this program.
  • Exercise: Most people have little appreciation for how powerful exercise can be in preserving bone density and joint function, which can help prevent and alleviate osteoarthritis as you age.

    The notion that exercise is detrimental to your joints is a misconception; there is no evidence to support this belief. Instead, the evidence points to exercise having a positive impact on joint tissues -- if you exercise sufficiently to lose weight, or maintain an ideal weight, you can in fact reduce your risk of developing osteoarthritis.
    My most highly recommended form of exercise is Peak Fitness, and this program can be used by virtually everyone. However, if you've already developed osteoarthritis in your knee, you'll want to incorporate exercises that strengthen the quadriceps muscle at the front of your thigh. And, rather than running or other high-impact exercise, you may be better off with non-weight-bearing exercises like swimming and bicycling.
    People with arthritis must be careful to avoid activities that aggravate joint pain. You should avoid any exercise that strains a significantly unstable joint.
  • Vitamin D: Low levels of vitamin D are associated with cartilage loss in your knees, and this is one of the hallmarks of osteoarthritis. The remedy, to make sure your vitamin D levels are optimized, is simple. It involves getting your blood levels tested, then optimizing them using safe sun exposure or indoor tanning on a safe tanning bed (safe tanning beds have electronic ballasts and produce less UVA than sunshine). LINE BREAK As a last resort, you can supplement with vitamin D3; recent research suggests the average adult needs to take 8,000 IU's of vitamin D per day in order to elevate their levels above 40 ng/ml, which is the bare minimum for disease prevention.

    To find out the details, watch my free one-hour vitamin D lecture.
If you need pain relief, which is typically an important component of osteoarthritis treatment, think long and hard before choosing anti-inflammatory drugs like non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) and analgesics, like Tylenol. NSAIDs kill some 30,000 people every year due to bleeding ulcers, and the oral drugs have been linked to a host of problems including heart failure -- Vioxx and Celebrex are prime examples of these very real dangers.
There are safer, natural anti-inflammatory alternatives available, including:
  • Boswellia: Also known as boswellin or "Indian frankincense," this Indian herb is one treatment I've found to be particularly useful against arthritic inflammation and associated pain.
  • Hyaluronic acid (HA): Hyaluronic acid is a key component of your cartilage, responsible for moving nutrients into your cells and moving waste out.
  • Astaxanthin: As mentioned above, astaxanthin is one of the most powerful lipophilic antioxidants yet discovered and is the most abundant carotenoid pigment found in crabs, salmon, trout, shrimp, and krill. Studies have found that it can help support joint health and mobility.
  • Eggshell membrane: Elastin, collagen and glycosaminoglycans are three nutrients found in eggshell membranes, which can help support the stability and flexibility of your joints by providing your joints with the building blocks needed to build cartilage.
  • Ginger: This herb is anti-inflammatory and offers pain relief and stomach-settling properties. Fresh ginger works well steeped in boiling water as a tea or grated into vegetable juice.
  • Bromelain: This enzyme, found in pineapples, is a natural anti-inflammatory. It can be taken in supplement form, but eating fresh pineapple may also be helpful.
  • Cetyl myristoleate (CMO): This oil, found in fish and dairy butter, acts as a "joint lubricant" and an anti-inflammatory.
  • Evening primrose, black currant and borage oils: These contain the essential fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA), which is useful for treating arthritic pain. It is reasonable for many to take these as a supplement, particularly if you struggle with dry skin in the winter, as this is a strong indicator that you are deficient in these fats. I prefer the use of GLA supplements from evening primrose oil but borage oil contains a higher concentration of GLA, which means you need fewer capsules, and it tends to be less expensive.
  • Cayenne Cream: Also called capsaicin cream, this spice comes from dried hot peppers. It alleviates pain by depleting the body's supply of substance P, a chemical component of nerve cells that transmits pain signals to your brain.

Live over 100yrs

After beginning my raw food journey in July 2011, and researching on the topic daily, I came across so many amazing inspirational people!  One of them being Bernando LaPallo. I have videos of him linked to my Raw Living page, and a mention in my Who Inspire Me page. 

Tell someone you're over 100 years old, and they might assume the worst right away, guessing that you have a dozen medication bottles next to the bed and that your health is quickly deteriorating. How could it be that a man who's going on 111 and taking no medication, who simply eats fresh vegetables, olive oil, honey, cinnamon, garlic and chocolate, can bounce around his kitchen like he's half his age?

When Bernando LaPallo of Mesa, Arizona tells his secrets of longevity and vitality, your jaw drops to the ground, wondering how he avoided all of the "ABCD's" of those "senior years" - you know, Alzheimer's, brittle bones, cancer and/or diabetes. Could it be that Western Medicine has it all wrong, and all we ever needed were raw veggies, super-foods, raw nuts and berries, and some barley soup? Maybe Medicare and Medicaid should broker a deal with the makers of power juicers and call it "Universal Healthcare."

This August, 2012, Bernando LaPallo will turn 111 years of age, and he still has no problem walking at least a mile daily and receiving phone calls from people all around the world who want to hear how he's done it, and how to make their own lives better. This author and role model keeps it so simple, you don't need a recipe book or health guide to live to be 110 or better.

Here's the (fountain of youth) breakdown and just a few of the raw food "natural medicines" you can turn into your own daily regimen, so your mind, body, and spirit can thrive well into triple digits:

• High quality, organic, cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil: use on the skin as lotion; use as salad dressing; known to lessen risks of colon cancer and heart disease. The moment I heard him say he uses that I switched over, and it keeps my skin so silky smooth!

• Dark, organic chocolate: reduces stress; helps with depression; lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels. I will never give up chocolate...so this is a vital part of my happy and healthy lifestyle:)

• Organic garlic: helps fight coughs and colds; considered nature's antibiotic; helps with digestion and intestinal problems. Not to mention it adds great flavor to foods!

• Organic cinnamon: antibacterial and antifungal; reduces proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells.  It's great in hot cocoa too...I consume it daily.

• Organic honey: helps you lose weight; nature's energy booster; has antioxidant and antibacterial properties. You want to choose raw honey too...the less processed something is the better.

• Juice organic raw vegetables: A decent juicer costs less than $100. Don't fall for processed juice...you want it Fresh Squeezed.

And if you're not familiar with this style of turning fresh "veggies" into a drink, try these surprisingly tasty combinations: Carrot, cucumber, sweet potato, a quarter size slice of fresh ginger, and freshly squeezed lime.
Celery, kale, Granny Smith apple for sweetness, and of course lemon or lime juice.

Also, you don't have to let the vegetable pulp go to waste. Use it to enhance flavors in dishes or to bulk up your stew, or mix it with quinoa and maybe some diced onions as an accent.

Nature provides the untainted answer to building a strong vascular and immune system - one that can fight off infection, stress, arthritis, and even stave off the aging process. If you have not already, do further research into foods which are rich in antioxidants, enzymes, phyto-nutrients, and be sure to research foods that detoxify your body and destroy free radicals.

Eat right, exercise, don't be fooled by the pharmaceutical and medical myths and scams, and you might just be fortunate enough to live long and prosper, like Bernando LaPallo. You know what they say, "Where there's a will, there's a way."

I plan to live to be over 100 years old...granted I don't have any accidents...but a healthy lifestyle will get me there!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Gluten/Dairy Free chocolate cupcakes

Finally an occasion to bake the gluten free, dairy free dark chocolate cake I purchased from Pure Pantry!  To celebrate my sister's 30th birthday I baked these for her...and they turned out wonderfully!  I decided cupcakes were more fun and portable than a whole cake.    

Chocolate Cupcakes:
1 package wholegrain Dark Chocolate Cake Mix from The Pure Pantry (mix is Free of gluten, refined sugar, dairy, soy , nuts and eggs)
3 large organic eggs
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1 cup filtered hot water

1/3 cup dairy free non-hydrogenated butter flavored shortening (Organic Spectrum)
1/2 cup raw agave nectar
1 cup raw cacao powder
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp almond milk

Chocolate Cupcakes:
Preheat over to 350 degrees.  
Place the cake mix in a bowl.  
In a small bowl blend together the eggs, almond milk and coconut oil. 
Pour mixture into cake mix bowl and blend to combine.
Add hot water to cake mix and blend until combined. 
Pour batter into cupcake cups about 3/4 full, and bake for about 28 minutes. (Check middle cupcake with a toothpick after 20   minutes. My oven needed the extra 8 minutes. When toothpick comes out clean...unless you add chocolate chips...then they are ready! Stab cupcakes in different areas if you do add chocolate chips to make sure the batter is actually done, and the melty stuff you see on the toothpick is indeed a chocolate chip.)

With an electric mixer, blend the Spectrum Shortening until smooth. Add agave nectar and mix until well blended.
Sift in cocoa powder and blend on low speed.
Add vanilla.
Add one teaspoon of almond milk, and another if it's still seems too dry (I added 2 tsp).
I then added the ready icing to a plastic bag and cut off the tip to swirl on the cup cakes. They were Delicious!! 

 All ingredients for Cupcakes and icing.  Not pictured is the Agave Nectar...shown below.
Blended wet ingredients for cupcakes
Mix wet ingredients with cake mix
 Blend...then blend in hot water
Mixed batter is ready and smooth
Pour into cupcake cups...then stick in the over for 20-28 minutes)
 All ingredients for the gluten free dairy free icing
Blend Spectrum shortening until soft
 Add in the Agave Nectar and blend until mixed
Sift in the cocoa powder
Blend...then add in 1-2 tsp of almond milk
 Icing is ready!
Swirl icing on cupcake
Ready to eat! Soo yummy hot!
Had to save the rest for my sister's birthday part.