Thursday, December 30, 2010

Eat Right - Eat These Cancer Fighting Foods

MyAchingKnees has talked about the Chair of Health with the four legs being: Eating Soundly; Taking High Quality Nutritional Supplements; Getting Physical Exercise; and, Avoiding Toxins. When it comes to Eating Soundly or eating healthy foods, it is not only enough to eat good foods, you must avoid the bad foods,...and if I have to say it, Big Macs are not good food.

The problem with eating healthy foods is that most foods by the time they make it to the grocery store have lost much of their nutritional value. Frozen foods come close to maintaining what value they have if frozen shortly after harvest. Much of the best foods for you are plant based (read vegetables). We believe that a person's basic nutritional needs must be met in order to be as successful as you can in minimizing aching joints.

From an article on Yahoo! by Leslie Barnes, entitled "6 cancer-fighting superfoods"

To reduce your risk of cancer, look no further than your fridge. "All the studies on cancer and

nutrition point to eating plant-based foods for their phyto-nutrients and other special compounds," says Richard Béliveau, PhD, chair in the prevention and treatment of cancer at the University of Québec at Montreal and author of Foods to Fight Cancer.

Aim for five to nine daily servings of all kinds of fruits and vegetables—especially these six superstars.

All cruciferous veggies (think cauliflower, cabbage, kale) contain cancer-fighting properties, but broccoli is the only one with a sizable amount of sulforaphane, a particularly potent compound that boosts the body's protective enzymes and flushes out cancer-causing chemicals, says Jed Fahey, ScD. A recent University of Michigan study on mice found that sulforaphane also targets cancer stem cells—those that aid in tumor growth.

Helps fight: breast, liver, lung, prostate, skin, stomach, and bladder cancers

Your Rx: The more broccoli, the better, research suggests—so add it wherever you can, from salads to omelets to the top of your pizza.

All berries are packed with cancer-fighting phytonutrients. But black raspberries, in particular, contain very high concentrations of phytochemicals called anthocyanins, which slow down the growth of pre-malignant cells and keep new blood vessels from forming (and potentially feeding a cancerous tumor), according to Gary D. Stoner, PhD, a professor of internal medicine at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

Helps fight: colon, esophageal, oral, and skin cancers

Your Rx: Stoner uses a concentrated berry powder in his studies but says a half-cup serving of berries a day may help your health, too.

This juicy fruit is the best dietary source of lycopene, a carotenoid that gives tomatoes their red hue, Béliveau says. And that's good news, because lycopene was found to stop endometrial cancer cell growth in a study in Nutrition and Cancer. Endometrial cancer causes nearly 8,000 deaths a year.

Helps fight: endometrial, lung, prostate, and stomach cancers

Your Rx: The biggest benefits come from cooked tomatoes (think pasta sauce!), since the heating process increases the amount of lycopene your body is able to absorb.

Their phytosterols (cholesterol-like molecules found in plants) have been shown to block estrogen receptors in breast cancer cells, possibly slowing the cells' growth, says Elaine Hardman, PhD, associate professor at Marshall University School of Medicine in Huntington, West Virginia.

Helps fight: breast and prostate cancers

Your Rx: Munching on an ounce of walnuts a day may yield the best benefits, Hardman's research found.

Phytochemicals in garlic have been found to halt the formation of nitrosamines, carcinogens formed in the stomach (and in the intestines, in certain conditions) when you consume nitrates, a common food preservative, Béliveau says. In fact, the Iowa Women's Health Study found that women with the highest amounts of garlic in their diets had a 50 percent lower risk of certain colon cancers than women who ate the least.

Helps fight: breast, colon, esophageal, and stomach cancers

Your Rx: Chop a clove of fresh, crushed garlic (crushing helps release beneficial enzymes), and sprinkle it into that lycopene-rich tomato sauce while it simmers.

MyAchingKnees comment: Garlic is also thought to provide an immune system boost if consume as soon as you know you have an infection or cold.

A study out of Michigan State University found that black and navy beans significantly reduced colon cancer incidence in rats, in part because a diet rich in the legumes increased levels of the fatty acid butyrate, which in high concentrations has protective effects against cancer growth. Another study, in the journal Crop Science, found dried beans particularly effective in preventing breast cancer in rats.

Helps fight: breast and colon cancers

Your Rx: Add a serving—a half-cup—of legumes a few times a week (either from a can or dry beans that've been soaked and cooked) to your usual rotation of greens or other veggies.

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Heiko's Lack of Energy and Aching Knees

Meet Heiko, an 84 years old Grandma of Japanese descent. Of reasonable good health, Heiko used to enjoy walking in a park along a river with her friends. She said she would routinely walk 3 to 4 miles at a brisk pace. In the past year, several of her walking friends have passed away, most of them a little bit younger than her.

Starting about 6 months ago, Heiko started feeling really tired and her knees ached very bad when she tried to walk. She went to the Doctor and received Vitamin B12 injections and the Doctor asked her to take a daily multi-vitamin and he recommended Centrum, which of course is a food grade product and very low rated in the Comparative Guide for Nutritional Supplements.

For the past five months or so this course of action has not been effective for Heiko. Although Heiko said she felt better for 2 to 3 days after each Vitamin B12 injection, she still could not get a walk in due to getting tired easily and the pain in her knees.

Because Heiko only weighs 85 lbs, I suggested a pharmaceutical grade multi-mineral and antioxidant designed for teenagers and suggested she also add our Glucosamine and Omega 3 Fatty Acid.

Heiko called me a few days ago, which was a week after starting her second month on the products. She said she started walking again, even though it was cold, but she had walked 3 miles the day before with no problem, other than being a little sore the next day. She said he hardly felt any pain in her knees and did not feel short of breath or energy.

Heiko's example is obviously one of a degenerative condition that high quality supplements could help. Heiko's diet consists of traditional Japanese foods (rice and fish), which is pretty good. She doesn't drink or smoke and stays largely to herself and other elderly people in a retirement complex; has started back getting some exercise, and is now fulfilling the fourth leg of health, taking quality nutritional supplements to ensure she provides her body with the nutrients it needs and the like quality optimizers for her specific problem of aching knees.

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Reader Question on Degenerative Disease received an e-mail from Gloria who asked "You mentioned a person should take nutritional supplements to provide protection for degenerative diseases. What exactly do you mean by degenerative disease? A disease that you already have but gets worse? Or a genetic disease?

When I write about Degenerative Disease I am thinking the diseases that the body can't suppress due to a less than optimum immune system, which may be limited or restricted by a lack of nutrients in sufficient amounts in order to be sound, and a immune system degraded by age.

Certainly genetics can play a part. I am trying to find the genetic disease article I read a year back which stated, if my memory serves, that about 20-30% of degenerative disease are a result of genetic programming of the cellular DNA. So I guess if only, say 30%, of disease are a result of your genes, then it stands to reason that the majority of denegrative disease are a result of a lack of nutrients, an aging body and perhaps exposure to toxins in sufficient amounts to do damage. In any event, your body can't function as well as it can without the proper nutrients in the right amounts.

My Father never took a nutritional supplement in his life, yet he lived to be over 80 years old, working all the time right up to his death. He was roofing houses, doing electrical and plumbing work well into his 80's. I am convinced he was healthy because he was a non-drinker and non-smoker and grew alot of his own food. He was a unapologetic beef eater, but his lunches would often be cucumbers, tomatoes and onions picked minuted before from his garden.

Today's food from the grocery stores lose much of their value in the time after they are picked, packaged, shipped and consumed. It is impossible or near impossible to eat enough good foods to ensure you provide your body with the nutrients it needs to maintain a healthy immune system.

The list of degenerative diseases greatly affected by nutrition, or a lack of it, include, but are certainly not limited to: Osteo-Arthritis, Osteo-Porosis, Dementia, Type II Diabetes, Arterio-sclerosis, and Glaucoma. Also toxins build up in the intestinal tract and cause digestive problems; joint cartilage becomes brittle and thin; external wounds and cuts take longer to heal; Arteries harden and blood pressure rises; Peripheral nerve cells die or impart impulses more slowly - affecting eyesight, hearing and reaction times.

So I guess I would summarize that degenerative disease are disease you either develop or have a genetic disposition for, which degenerate further with age and greatly influenced by the nutrients that you provide your body or don't provide your body, as well as from toxins and poisons that you build up through exposure - mostly repeated doses of very small amounts.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Fighting Colds and Flus

Ever have racking knee or other joint pain from the flu? It seems like all your joint pain is magnified ten fold when the flu hits. In fact, that's often when you realize you have the flu or are about to get it, when your joints start aching more.

I have not been sick for almost 6 years now, but I still remember that joint pain and the chronic, less intense joint pain but "normal" pain.

I ran across this article on how to fight colds and flu. I think the best protection is to ensure you provide your body with quality nutrients to build and maintain a healthy immune system. I attribute my health in the past 5+ years to taking a high dose of pharmaceutical grade nutritional supplements that provide a wide range of nutrients that work synergistically. I don't believe you can buy single nutrient ingredients and "piece meal" your supplements plan. Not do I believe that the herbal remedies and even whole foods are the solution. They certainly may help optimize your health and flu-cold fighting abilities, but beware of placing your hopes on health or sickness fighting ability solely on these.

How to fight colds and flu: What works and what doesn’t.
From Healthy Living, Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The much-dreaded cold and flu season is upon us. And if you’re like me, there isn’t any spare time built into the schedule to be sick. So how can you bolster my defenses against the germs lurking in the common areas in my office, the mall where you do my holiday shopping and the rest stops you encounter in my holiday travels?

Taking a at the research Emily Sohn and Rachel Johnson, Ph.D., M.P.H., and their publications: EatingWell and these are selected lists of what's worth trying and what's not.

Try It: Vitamin D

In a study published recently in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, children who took daily vitamin D supplements (1,200 IU) were 40 percent less likely to get a common flu virus than kids who took a placebo. Laboratory studies indicate that the nutrient may help immune cells identify and destroy bacteria and viruses that make us sick, says Adit Ginde, M.D., M.P.H., a public health researcher at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver .

Although the Institute of Medicine released in a report November 30 new recommendations for vitamin D (600 International Units per day for everyone, except men aged 71+ who should get 800 IU), they “only focused on bone health,” says Ginde. “There is not yet enough evidence to definitely prove that vitamin D reduces infections, but the amount recommended for bone health is lower than what we think is needed for improved immunity and reduced infections. Most people need at least 1,000 IU a day and some need 2,000 IU daily or higher to reach levels that appear necessary for optimal immune responses.” While many experts recommend a vitamin D supplement, you can also get it (in small doses) from fatty fish, such as salmon, and fortified milk—and your body makes vitamin D from the sun. comment: I take 6,000 to 8,000 IU of pharmaceutical grade Vitamin D each day. I work outside in the wind, rain, cold as does my wife and daughter who are also on enhanced doses of Vitamin D combined with our daily supplement. We have not been sick in almost 6 years. Vitamin D is necessary and in high doses. I would think 4,000 IU is minimal, but again it is an optimizer to the daily mineral and anti-oxidant nutritional supplement that we take.

Try It: Green tea

Polyphenols, potent plant antioxidants, are what’s believed to give green tea its immune-boosting effects. One laboratory study suggested that a particular type of polyphenols called catechins may kill influenza viruses. To maximize benefits and minimize bitterness, use just-below-boiling water and steep green tea no more than a minute or two. A little lemon and honey can also help blunt the bitterness. But don’t add milk, because the proteins will bind to the polyphenols, making them ineffective.

Try It: Probiotics

Some research suggests that when these so-called “good” bacteria—found in yogurt, sauerkraut and other foods—reach the lower intestine, they not only suppress the growth of “bad” bacteria but also might activate the immune system to fight off diseases in other ways. But studies showing a clear boost to the immune system are few. In one study of 33 healthy young women, both “regular” yogurt and so-called “probiotic-fortified” yogurt (which contained added beneficial bacteria cultures) were found to boost T-cells, key players in the body’s defenses against viruses and other pathogens. But it’s a long way from findings like those to “assuming that by loading up on yogurt—or sauerkraut or kimchi—you can boost your immune system enough to fight off something like the H1N1 flu,” says Barry Goldin, Ph.D., professor in the department of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. Fortifying yourself with a daily dose of fermented foods can’t hurt, says Goldin, “but if you want to beat the flu, get vaccinated.”

Quick tip: Look for fermented dairy products, such as yogurt or kefir (a yogurt-like beverage), that are labeled with a “Live & Active Cultures” seal from the National Yogurt Association. The seal signifies that the yogurt contains a set minimum amount of two particular types of beneficial bacteria. comment: I absolutely believe in probiotics. I add a probiotic powder to my low glycemic meal replacement powder and milk in the mornings. Actually, I only add the probiotic every third day or so, but they are essential in providing quality enzymes to your gut.

Try It: Soluble Fiber

Mice that ate a diet rich in soluble fiber for six weeks recovered from a bacterial infection in half the time it took mice that chowed on meals containing mixed fiber, according to a recent study in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity. Soluble fiber—abundant in citrus fruits, apples, carrots, beans and oats—helps fight inflammation, says lead author Christina Sherry, Ph.D., R.D., of the University of Michigan , Ann Arbor . Insoluble fiber—found in wheat, whole grains, nuts and green leafy vegetables—is still important for overall health, but it doesn’t seem to have the same impact on immunity. Strive for 25 to 38 grams of total fiber a day, Sherry says, paying extra attention to getting the soluble kind. comment: I add fiber to my morning low glycemic meal replacement drinks. If I have a meal out, like dinner, that doesn't provide much fiber I'll usually take six capsules of pysllium fiber which provides maybe 11% of my daily fiber needs just to ensure I am getting fiber. But remember the RDA for fiber is very low.

Skip It: Airborne

As with many label claims, Airborne’s current one begins with a kernel of truth: vitamins A, C, E, zinc and selenium—nutrients in the supplement—are among the vitamins and minerals that our immune systems need to function efficiently. According to a 2002 report in the British Journal of Nutrition, deficiencies of any of these nutrients (or of vitamins B6, B12, folic acid, copper or iron) can depress immunity. But the key word is deficiency; most of us—save for smokers, pregnant women, breastfeeding women and the elderly—meet our needs for these nutrients with the foods we eat. (If you fall into any of those higher-risk categories, talk with your doctor before taking a supplement.) And more isn’t better. Excess amounts of many nutrients are potentially harmful, and it’s all too easy to go overboard. Just one tablet of Airborne contains 1,667 percent of the daily recommended value (DRV) for vitamin C. comment: Again I take a pharmacuetical grade complete nutritional supplement, in fact the highest rated product according to the Comparative Guide for Nutritional Supplements, so I don't have to "shop" for single or combination supplements in order to meet the Vitamin B and C deficiencies discussed above, which are not the only deficiencies most people have.

Skip It: Glacéau’s Vitaminwater “Defense”

This drink, with a label that claims it is “specially formulated with nutrients required for optimal functioning of the immune system,” doesn’t deliver the mega-high doses of nutrients that Airborne does. (A 20-ounce bottle of the water contains 150 percent of the DRV of vitamin C and 25 percent for four B vitamins and zinc.) Plus it delivers 125 calories per bottle. comment: I don't believe in the claims from the over the counter, food grade supplement sources including the flavored waters. But they just may be better to drink than soda pop.

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Physical Exercise - One of the Four Legs of the Chair of Health

I have previously written of the four legged chair of health. Obviously if any of the legs are shorter than the others, this chair becomes unbalanced. It can be come unbalanced to the point where the chair falls over.

I advocate taking a high quality nutritional supplements to give your body the required nutrients it needs in order to have a healthy immune system and I further advocate taking optimizers for any problem areas, such as Glucosamine and Omega 3 Fatty Acids for chronic joint pain.

I also advocate doing your best to stay away from toxins – cigarettes are probably high on the list. Excessive drinking, unhealthy fast foods and exposure to chemicals are also important to avoid.

Several people have contacted me and asked what they should do for physical exercise. First thing would be to consult with a medical professional to ensure you are in decent enough health to begin an exercise program. But don’t let the word “exercise program” scare you away. You can easily build physical exercise into the nooks and crannies of your life and reap those benefits.

The main areas of physical exercise you should consider are:

Aerobic exercise. Participate in moderate intensity aerobic activity for 20-30 minutes several times a week. This type of exercise could be simply walking at a fast pace, say 3.5 to 5 mph. An excellent route would be one that includes a couple sets of stairs of an uphill incline but does not have a downhill incline – downhill adds stress to knees.

Resistance (Strength) training. Perform weight lifting or body weight resistance exercises to increase muscular tone, strength and endurance twice a week. Body weight exercises such as pushups, situps, crunchs, and dips on a chair are a great start. A light weight set of dumbbells can be used to for shoulder presses, biceps curls, arm raises, triceps extensions are also a very good addition. Shoot for a minimum of 12 reps per set. Build to a three or four sets per sessions. You can certainly get great benefit from two 20 minute sessions a week.

Flexibility. Top reduce risk from injury, warm up before any exercise. You should include stretching before and after the exercise. The time to build on your flexibility – meaning pushing yourself for increased flexibility – is after the workout when your muscles are completely warmed up.

Flexibility also aids in balance and can help elderly people avoid those falls that sometimes result in debilitating injuries.

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Nurse Melanie's Knee Pain and Her Son's ADD/ADHD reduction

We received an e-mail from Melanie of Cleveland, OH" "I have now been on Supplements you recommended and although I was hesitant at first about the Chelated Mineral - Mega Anti-Oxidant supplement and believing I only needed the Glucosamine, I think I had a bigger result from the Mineral and Anti-Oxidant (Essentials). I started feeling really good after the second week of trying the Essentials. I think I noticed a reduction in my knee pain in about week three and after almost two months of taking the Glucosamine my knee pain is diminshed quite a bit. Like I wrote you previously, I had participated in High School sports and had suffered several knee injuries with a torn cartlidge being the most major injury."

"As a LPN, I am on my feet much of my shift so the reduction in knee pain is a tremendous benefit. However, why am I writing you is that I looked at the children's supplement and when you told me that children with ADD and ADHD often benefit from a high quality daily nutritional and the addition of an Omega 3 Fatty Acid, I decided to take the chance and put my six year old son on it for a couple months. Wow! What a world of difference! Ryan is much calmer and even looks me in the eye when I talk to him. His previous incessant movement is reduced as well. I think I'll soon be able to put him back in school! Thank you, very much. P.S. I also liked the health videos you sent. I have sent them to several people as well."

Melanie is one of several people who report much better behavior from their previously diagnosed ADD/ADHD children when putting them on a high quality, high dose daily nutritional supplement and add Omega 3.

Melanie's reduction in knee pain is probably not only from the Glucosamine but from the pharmaceutical grade daily supplement she takes which provides the body with the esential nutrients to combat oxidative stress which, left unchecked, can manifest itself into degenerative disease and symptoms like chronic knee pain.

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

After Exercise Knee Treatment

I received an e-mail from a gentleman telling me his 'after workout' therapy routine for his aching knee joints and asking me what I thought about this natural type of treatment.

This gentleman stated he runs around 20 miles a week in 3-5 mile increments and sometimes runs the stadium stairs at the local high school football field. When we returns home, he ices his knees for 10-20 minutes, then applies heating pads, and uses both both towels and a electric heating pad.

The ice packs helps reduce inflammation and control pain, while the heat promotes blood flow and therefore healing. You can run the danger of killing skin (like frost bite) with the ice, especially if you fall asleep with an ice pack on your knees. Followed by the heat - be careful not to place too hot of a heating pad on numb knees as you can also damage the skin or get a burn. Plus, where the heck does he get the time to do this?!?!?

My reply back to him was "if it works for you, then you may want to consider keep doing it", but I think he is missing the point from this site that a solid nutritional based foundation, both with watching the foods you eat and taking high quality nutritional supplements, is also a natural "therapy" and treats the cause of inflammation and degenerative disease while the cold and heat therapy predominantly treats the symptoms.

And a word of caution of running stairs is in order especially if you are my age :) Downward running of stairs, or the fast decline even on smooth roads is hell on your knees. Be careful. If I was you, I would run up and walk slowly down.

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Truth? About Milk - I drink It!

Milk has been long thought of as a necessary component for healthy bones. Calcium, found in milk, is not only associated with bone strength but necessary for cardio-vascular and heart function as well. I have drank milk, usually 2% or Whole, both pasteurized and organic (and I highly recommend organic) for over 40 years now. I consider Milk, again especially organic milk, an excellent addition to the diet. I mix a low glycemic meal replacement powder and a fiber powder with my milk and have that for breakfast around 6:00 am. I usually don’t get hungry until well past noon.

The 12% or so of people who are lactose intolerant should consider Soy milk as a replacement. Some people who are lactose intolerant may want to try a high quality Pro-biotic and Digestive Enzyme which can often make the different in nutrient breakdown and absorption. I routinely use a very high quality pro-biotic and digestive enzyme and consider it a essential part of my nutritional program and overall health.

Read this article from Yahoo! Health about milk facts.

The Truth About Milk

By David Zinczenko, Dec, 2010

Milk: Healthy and nutritious drink, or fattening, contaminant-filled menace?

You might expect an organization called the Dairy Education Board to promote milk as a good thing. But instead, this advocacy group claims that “Milk is a deadly poison.” Oops. And as Americans have grown more wary of saturated fat, and more concerned about hormones and other substances fed to—and injected into—dairy cows, milk consumption has fallen dramatically. In the post-war days of 1945, the average American was consuming 45 gallons of milk a year. By 2001, per capita consumption was down to just 23 gallons.

But here’s the thing: Plenty of new research says that we should be drinking more milk, not less. In fact, swapping soda, juice, sweetened iced teas, and other beverages for milk might be one major reason why Americans are gaining weight at such a rapid pace. Milk not only helps boost protein intake and cut down on sugar, but consuming calcium through dairy foods such as milk may actually reduce the fat absorption from other foods. Who wouldn’t want that? Hungry for more hard-hitting nutrition facts and findings every day? Read the book series – “Eat This, Not That!” and “Cook This, Not That!” series.

Here are four milk myths you might have heard, and why you should consider answering the cowbell more often.

Claim #1: “Milk is a fat-burning food.”

The Truth: Maybe. In a 6-month study, University of Tennessee researchers found that overweight people who downed three servings a day of calcium-rich dairy lost more belly fat than those who followed a similar diet minus two or more of the dairy servings. In addition, the researchers discovered that calcium supplements didn’t work as well as milk. Why? They believe that while calcium may increase the rate at which your body burns fat, other active compounds in dairy (such as milk proteins) provide an additional fat-burning effect.

Claim #2: “Drinking milk builds muscle.”

The Truth: Absolutely. In fact, milk is one of the best muscle foods on the planet. Milk is full of high-quality protein: about 80 percent casein and 20 percent whey. Whey is known as a “fast protein” because it’s quickly broken down into amino acids and absorbed into the bloodstream—perfect for post-workout consumption. Casein, on the other hand, is digested more slowly—ideal for providing your body with a steady supply of smaller amounts of protein for a longer period of time, such as between meals or while you sleep.

Claim #3: “Cows are given antibiotics. Doesn’t that make their milk unhealthy?”

The Truth: No one really knows. Some scientists argue that milk from cows given antibiotics leads to antibiotic resistance in humans, making these types of drugs less effective when you take them for an infection. But this has never been proven. It is true that hormones and antibiotics have never been part of a cow’s natural diet, and they have been shown to have adverse effects on the animals. Canadian researchers, for example, discovered that cows given hormones are more likely to contract an udder infection called mastitis. If you’re uneasy, you can purchase antibiotic-free (and typically hormone-free, as well) milk from producers like Horizon and Organic Valley at most major supermarkets. The cows will certainly thank you.

Claim #4: “Fat-free milk is much healthier than whole.”

The Truth: Nope. While you’ve probably always been told to drink reduced-fat milk, the majority of scientific studies show that drinking whole milk actually improves cholesterol levels—just not as much as drinking fat-free does. One recent exception: Danish researchers found that men who consumed a diet rich in whole milk experienced a slight increase in LDL cholesterol (six points). However, it’s worth noting that these men drank six 8-ounce glasses a day, an unusually high amount. Even so, their triglycerides—another marker of heart-disease risk—decreased by 22 percent. The bottom line: Drinking two to three glasses of milk a day, whether it’s fat-free, 2%, or whole, lowers the likelihood of both heart attack and stroke—a finding confirmed by British scientists.

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Adverse Rx Drug Interactions - Check Out has written several posts about the potential dangers of side effects caused by Rx medications, specifically medications for relief from chronic joint pain. What is posted on this site is a drop in the bucket compared to potential and actual adverse interactions of Rx drugs listed on

Our belief is that a prudent person, which you could also call an informed consumer, simply tries less invasive or less riskier solutions to chronic joint pain before they push the button on the nuclear options such as taking powerful Rx pain medications or having surgery. These less riskier possible solutions are, of course, highlighted by natural or nutritional solutions (or partial solutions) to joint pain. I am a very big proponent of high doses of pharmaceutical grade nutritional supplements and the inclusion of optimizers such as the same quality Glucosamine and Omega 3 Fatty Acids. This is what I attribute the elimination of my joint pain (knees and back) and current exceptional mobility.

We have been informed on a web site, called Drug Watch, which is a very comprehensive site featuring extensive information about thousands of different medications and drugs currently on the market or previously available worldwide. includes up-to-date information about prescription and over-the-counter medications and includes details about associated side effects to aid in the protection of patients and consumers. aims to educate the public about prescription, over-the-counter medications, medical devices, drug recalls and the side effects associated with thousands of different drugs, including pain relief medications. According to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical College, more than 30 million Americans take pain relievers daily. provides extensive information about these medications, including those prescribed to treat conditions such as headaches, arthritis and sore muscles, as well as those prescribed to help a patient handle the severe pain associated with certain medical procedures and diseases.

The resources available on are provided to offer visitors free and accurate information to aid in the understanding of various medications and conditions. The content on the site may help consumers formulate questions for medical professionals and alert the public about important information regarding potentially dangerous side effects associated with certain medications. By providing FDA alerts, drug interactions, and potential side effects on the site, patients have access to valuable knowledge that could enhance their ability to voice concerns with their doctor and improve their quality of care.

It boils down to the individual being responsible for their own health and well being.

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Reader Question on What I am Recommending

We received this Anonymous comment, really a question...."I have been reading many of the articles on your site. It seems you advocate vitamins and minerals primarily for chronic joint pain and I am wondering why that would be first rather than using any number of the wonderful joint complex formulations on the market? Unless I am reading you wrong, you suggest first to take multi-supplements, then to take Glucosamine and Chrondroitin?"

Lack of nutrients, either from whole foods or from supplementation, can directly affect your immune systme and therefore you ability to react against degenerative disease such as osteo-arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and non-specific chronic joint pain because the cells will simply not be healthy enough to fight off free radicals from oxidative stress.

So yes, I am advocating that one first addresses their basic nutrient needs for optimum celluar health, and since it is almost impossible to get your daily requirements from whole foods, one must supplement with high doses of a quality supplement. The Required Daily Allowance was developed, when?,...1940 or close to it and hasn't changed since. Plus this was a minimum requirement based on giving minimal protection to the disease of that era, scurrvy and ricketts.

I also take a pharmaceutical grade Glucosamine which is optimized with Vitamin C, Manganese, Silicon and the all important Turmeric Extract which is a formulation intended to maintain and even build healthy cartilidge.

I have tried a wide range of Off The Shelf joint products many with other ingredients besides Glusocsamine, such as Chondriotin, HA, MSM and Yucca Root Extract. None of them gave me any relief. I almost did not try the Glucosamine product I am now taking since I thought I had a knee problem other than my cartlidge.

I advise people who take our Glucosamine product that they will be much better off taking it with a quality nutritional supplement. I always suggest that two months would be an adequate timeline to see if you get results. This combination is less than $70 for a month supply, so I think that for a $140 investment one would know for sure if supplementation is going to give them an acceptable measure of relief.

In fact I have a client (Rick) going on this combination next week and am going to keep close track of his results and post them.

Let the Buyer beware. Be a smart consumer and do your own research. Look for a quality guarantee and a USP and NSF certification on any products.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Blood Test by LabCorp

Received my lab results from LabCorp, which was conducted by HealthCheckUSA a firm that take provides a low cost diagnostic way of looking at many health issues.

I always have several tests, the technical test terms are: CMP14+LP+5AC+CBC/D/Plt; Iron and TIBC; Hgb Aic with eAG estimation; Prostate-Specific Ag, Serum; Testosterone, Serum.

I highly advise everyone to, even if they have to pay out of the pocket, to get routine blood tests. They can literally be a life saver and in fact a large factor in being concerned enough to try pharmaceutical grade supplements over 5 years ago. I had to pay $145 for the test, which I think is a good deal as I received a three page read out of my blood levels, and what they meant.

The good news is that CHD risk (mainly Hypertension and Diabetes) is way below even 1/2 the average risk level. Should be as I take the highest rated supplement on the market. However, not all was good. My Vitamin D level was low. And this is after taking 2,000 IU per day. The RDA level is 400 IU which Scientist now are saying is way too low to be effective. I have added another 2,000 IU per day and we'll see how that goes.

The value of Vitamin D to cellular health and a healthy immune system is getting more and more press. A healthy immune system can fight off oxidative stress caused by free radicals which can manifest problems in many ways: in common degenerative diseases such a diabetes and the inflammation from oxidative stress can be a factor in joint pain.

Pharmaceutical quality, high doses of vitamins, anti-oxidants and minerals are my front line defense not only against the onset of age related health issues but combined with optimizers such as Glucosamine and Omega 3 fatty acids provide me with an elimination of the chronic joint pain in my knees and back that I had lived with for almost 20 years.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Vitamin C - So Important

If you have read this site once or twice you have probably seen an article on the disconnect between the 60 year old RDA levels and what is called higher doses of nutrients for optimal cellular health. You have probably seen Doctor Ray Strand's name mentioned as well. Dr Strand spells it out in his book, "What Doctors Don't Know About Nutritional Medicine May Be Killing You", and his Bionutrition Newsletters and Health Nugget e-mails, that the RDA’s have nothing to do with chronic degenerative diseases. They are simply way too low.

The RDA's were developed as the minimal amount required to avoid acute deficiency diseases like scurvy, rickets, and pellagra. Vitamin C is a perfect example. The body can’t manufacture vitamin C and it has to get it from our diet and through supplementation. Vitamin C is critical for proper immune function, prevention of oxidative stress, and prevention of DNA damage. Researchers who have looked at the RDA of vitamin C, which is 60 mg daily, have concluded that we need at least 10 times more or over 1,000 mg to receive a health benefit. The best way to achieve this goal is to eat a healthy diet that contains at least 6 to 8 servings of fruits and vegetables and also to use supplementation.

I ensure I get a high does of quality Vitamin C each and every day, especially throughout the late fall and winter months. Although it has been years I remember the racking joint pain in my knees and back brought on by the seasonal flu, I do not take any chances with my health and take a pharmaceutical grade supplement of multi-minerals and anti-oxidants to ensure I am giving my body the necessary nutrients for cellular health and my immune system.

One cannot just pick and choose their supplements and expect to be effective. All required nutrients need to be taken in the right doses in order to provide a synergistic effect.

Deruelle F, Baron B. Vitamin C: is supplementation necessary for optimal health? J Altern Complement Med. 2008 Dec;14(10):1291-8

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Enbrel for Chronic Joint Pain - Potential Adverse Side Effects

One of my clients, a women in her late 30's who is taking the pharmaceutical grade supplements we recommend asked me about her Mother who is taking Enbrel (Etanercept) for arthritis and which is also to relieve the symptoms of certain autoimmune disorders (conditions in which the immune system attacks healthy parts of the body and causes pain, swelling, and damage), including rheumatoid arthritis and various other forms of arthritis.

Enbrel (Etanercept) is in a class of medications called tumor-necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors. It works by blocking the activity of TNF, a substance in the body that causes inflammation. Inflammation, of course, can be a result of oxidative stress due to the body's lack of nutrients to fuel the immune system and resultant inability to fight the free radical's producing inflammation.

Anyway, this women's mother is old school and trusts no one by the medical doctors. She will not take nutritiomal supplements and relies on "modern" medicine and their bucket full of prescriptions medications to treat her problems. The women (the daughter) was concerned about her mothers propensity to be sick all the time,...cold, flu like sysmtpoms, tiredness and a hacking cough.

I told her that another trip to the Doctor (or another Doctor) seemed warranted as sickness in older people obviously has a high level of risk. But what I do know is that Enbrel, like viritually all prescirptions medications has potential adverse side effects. Among Enbrel's side effects are:

Risk of infection. This medication can decrease the immune system's ability to fight infections.

Risk of cancer. Internet research on Enbrel reveals that there have been cases of unusual cancers in teenagers and children, as well as patients with rheumatoid arthritis may be more likely to get lymphoma.

Hepatitis B infection in people who carry the virus in their blood. If you are a carrier of the hepatitis B virus (a virus that affects the liver), the virus has been known to become active when using Enbrel.

Blood problems. Low blood counts have been noticed with TNF blocker medicines. The body may not manufacture enough of the blood cells that help fight infections or help stop bleeding.

Heart failure. Heart failure or worsening of heart failure the patient may already have.

Autoimmune reactions Lupus-like syndrome and Autoimmune hepatitis can be some of the autoimmune adverse responses.

I finished my conversation with the daughter with words to the effect "that if you cannot convince your Mother on the importance of good nutrition and high doses of quality nutritional supplements and optimizers, then have your mother read Doctor Ray Strand's book, "What Doctors Don't Know About Nutritional Medicine May be Killing You". Maybe if she gets the information from a Doctor she'll see the light. And of course the idea behind taking high doses of pharmaceutical grade supplements is to increase your body's immune system and ability to fight oxidative stress and inflammation, and possibly decrease the dependence or need for Rx medications."

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Let the Buyer Beware

Because of some people knowing my interest in, and study of nutritional supplements, I am asked fom time to time to sign petitions or write politicans in support of no more FDA regulations concerning supplements.

This I just cannot do. In fact, I am leaning towards just a little more regulatory effect on the nutritional supplement market only because the majority of Americans believe a lot what they read or are told via commercials without the requisite individual research to be a informed consumer. Let the buyer beware...but lets not make it too easy on manufacturers to pull the wool over the people's eyes.

The joint pain relief market is one such area where people with honest chronic joint pain will reach for about anything that promises a reduction of pain and an increase in mobility.

I know the difference between quality supplements, not just based on Science, independant test laboratories, third party comparisons, but on personal experience and results. Same with buying a car, I would not invest my health or my hopes of pain reduction on a product that does not have a certification and guarantee. Not just a money back guarantee either. Some companies make their money because most people will not seek a monetary refund,...and, the cost of shipping and "handling" often pays for the cost of manufacturing inferior products so there is no loss to the company.

So when people with an interest in food grade manufacturers of Nutritional Supplements ask me to write a congressman or sign some on-line petition to reduce FDA regulations or fight proposed stricter rules, I just can't do it. It fact, the company I have partnered with for my Science based, pharmaceutical grade supplements would probably profit from stricter regulations on the food grade products as it would help clean up the market and showcase our products. Anyway, until then let the buyer beware.

There is a new proposed FDA regulation or maybe best described as simply a "tightening up" of food labels because most people are not very well educated on nutrients. I thought this article on food label ingredients would help some people better understand some common labeling of ingredients.

Beware: Misleading ingredient names explained

by The Editors of Eating Well Magazine, Sep 17, 2010

My general rule is to buy foods that list ingredients I can pronounce, but there are at least two things I additionally watch out for: ingredients that sound healthy but aren’t (I try to avoid those) and obscure ingredients that sound scary but are basically harmless.

The latest ingredient to request a “healthier-sounding” name change? High-fructose corn syrup. This week, the Corn Refiners Association, which represents firms who make the product, petitioned the FDA to change the ingredient’s name to “corn sugar.” The group has many reasons for wanting the change, including changing public perception of this controversial ingredient. But two respected nutrition watchdogs, EatingWell advisory board member Marion Nestle, a nutrition professor at New York University, and Michael Jacobsen, director of a Washington, D.C.-based nutrition and health advocacy group, Center for the Science in the Public Interest, told the New York Times that the new term “corn sugar” is a more accurate description for high-fructose corn syrup, which is a mixture of glucose and fructose.

I talked to EatingWell’s nutrition editor, Brierley Wright, M.S., R.D., about HFCS and 4 more ingredients that sound healthier than they are, plus 4 obscure-sounding ingredients that are basically harmless. (Note: This is not a complete list, just some highlights to pay attention to.) Here’s her advice on how to decode them:


1. Fruit Juice Concentrates

* What it is: An alias for added sugars, which supply calories but little to no nutritional value. This also applies to: corn sweetener or syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, agave, invert sugar, malt sugar, molasses, syrup and sugar molecules ending in “ose” (dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose).
* Why you should watch out: Because high intakes of added sugars are linked with increased risks for high blood pressure and high triglyceride levels, risk factors for heart disease, The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugars, advising that women eat no more than 100 calories per day from added sugars, or about 6 teaspoons, and men should stick to less than 150 calories, approximately 9 teaspoons. (A 12-ounce can of cola has about 8 teaspoons.) Added sugars in processed foods are difficult to track. "Sugars" on Nutrition Facts panels include added sugars and natural sugars found in healthful foods (fructose in fruits, lactose in dairy). In general, the closer added sugars are to the top of the list, the more the food contains.

2. Soybean Oil

* What it is: A plant-derived oil
* Why you should watch out: Soybean oil, along with corn oil, cottonseed oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil, is high in omega-6 fats, which compete in your body with healthy omega-3 fats (the kind that benefit your heart and brain). Many nutrition experts say that Americans get too many omega-6 fats in their diets, mostly from processed foods. Joe Hibbeln, M.D., a captain in the United States Public Health Service takes it a step further and blames alcoholism, depression and a host of other illnesses on the excess of omega-6 fats in our diet. In fact, it’s quite difficult to find commercial salad dressings, mayonnaise, even crackers, breads, pasta sauces and granola bars, among other products, that don’t include oils with high levels of omega-6 fats.

3. Palm Oil

* What it is: Oils derived from the fruits of palm trees.
* Why you should watch out: Now that the heart-damaging effects of trans fats (hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils) are widely known, many food manufacturers are replacing them with palm oil. EatingWell’s Dietitian and Nutrition Advisor Sylvia Geiger, M.S., R.D. reports that while palm oil is trans-fat-free, about half of its fat is saturated, adding about 1.5 grams sat fat to each 2-tablespoon serving. Have we traded one “bad fat” for another? Could be. While you may have heard that palm oil has less of a cholesterol-raising effect than other tropical oils, the research isn’t conclusive. Your best bet is to choose natural products that contain neither added palm oil nor trans fats. (Note: Products labeled “0 trans fats” can still contain up to half a gram of trans fat per serving. You can assume that “trans-free” products still contain a small amount of trans fat if partially hydrogenated oil is listed as an ingredient.) In addition, recent research shows that palmitic acid, a saturated fat found in palm oil (and beef, butter and cheese) caused mice to become resistant to the appetite-suppressing hormones leptin and insulin, which in theory could make them eat more.

4. Wheat Flour

* What it is: Refined wheat flour, also a synonym for white or all-purpose flour.
* Why you should watch out: Wheat flour is different from “whole-wheat flour.” Wheat/white flour contains barely any fiber, vitamins or minerals, the building blocks of healthy food. So you’re missing out on all the benefits of whole grains. One slice of white bread has 65 percent less fiber, magnesium and potassium than whole-wheat bread. The bran alone in whole-wheat bread gives it 20 times more antioxidant power. A diet high in whole grains, on the other hand, is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, less weight gain, fewer cases of type 2 diabetes and reduced risk of colon cancer and metabolic syndrome. People who eat more whole grains also tend to have lower bad (LDL) cholesterol and higher good (HDL) cholesterol, all good reasons to opt for a chewier loaf and more foods made with whole grains.


1. Inulin

* What it is: Not to be confused with insulin, a hormone that regulates energy and glucose metabolism in the body, inulin is a soluble fiber found naturally in bananas, onions and some plants.
* What it does: It is added to processed foods to replace sugar, fat and flour. Bonus: It can help increase calcium absorption and can help promote the growth of beneficial bacteria added to yogurt.

2. Ascorbic Acid

* What it is: This is a pseudonym for vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin perhaps best known for its role in boosting our immune system, it also helps the body absorb iron from plants we eat, acts as a protective antioxidant and has been linked with younger-looking skin.
* What it does: It is added to products to prevent discoloration; in bread-machine yeast it acts as a dough conditioner to promote volume.

3. Xanthan Gum

* What it is: You’ll see this powdery substance, fermented from glucose, in a lot of products— from salad dressings to ice creams.
* What it does: It thickens salad dressings and maintains the smooth consistency of ice creams. Bonus: Increasing the viscosity of lower-fat dressings gives them the richer “mouthfeel” associated with full-fat versions—making it a little easier to reach for the healthier choices.

4. Maltodextrin

* What it is: This ingredient, along with vegetable gum and methylcellulose, is one of the starches or fibers derived from natural plants (including bushes, trees, seaweed) and bacteria.
* What it does: You’ll find maltodextrin, or its pals, in nearly every processed food, including veggie burgers, in which they act as a binder and stabilizer to hold everything together in a neat, firm patty.

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Do Herbs and Spices Help Your Health? Chronic Joint Pain?

A reader sent me link to an article written by Dr. Maoshing Ni on Yahoo! Health, entitled "9 Spices for Health, Energy and Longevity!" and asked me to comment on what Dr. Mao has written and the use of herbs and spices for health.

I am re-posting the article here (in italics) and my comments will be evident.

The colder weather is beckoning us back to our kitchens. Break out the spices to bring warmth, robust flavor, and a bounty of health benefits, including higher energy, increased immunity, and other life-enhancing surprises.

Considered to be dried seeds, fruit, roots or bark, spices have been valued for centuries by ancient cultures for their culinary and medicinal properties. For instance, a traditional Indian beauty trick was to spread turmeric paste on the skin to beautify it and prevent pimples. And Chinese doctors have used ginger since ancient times to cure aches and pains.

Here are some spices that you can start cooking with right away to elevate your longevity and health!

1. Garlic wards off heart disease

In addition to warding off Count Dracula, garlic, the spicy favorite in Italian fare, has been shown to improve cholesterol and lower blood pressure. According to the National Health and Medical Research Council, consuming half to one clove of garlic daily may reduce cholesterol by nearly ten percent. Your breath might suffer, but your heart will thank you. As an antibacterial, garlic is often used to treat minor infections.

I absolutely believe in garlic, not only for your health but for counter-vampire measures. The trick is to get raw and unprocessed garlic. Garlic like any other plant starts to lose potency once picked and removed from it's nutrient process. Whole garlic cloves, crushed or chopped and added to foods, without alot of cooking (heat) will certainly give your immune system a boost. But is not intended to replace either Rx medicines like antibiotics or high quality supplements. It is simply an additional tool for your tool box of health.

2. Spotlight on cinnamon

Another ancient spice to recently come under scientific investigation is cinnamon. In the United States, cinnamon is usually thought of as the delicious spice in apple pie filling, but in other parts of the world, especially India and Asia, cinnamon has been used as a healing herb for centuries. Research is finally catching up to the wisdom of the East; many clinical studies have linked cinnamon consumption to lowered blood sugar. Both in vitro and human studies show improvement in insulin sensitivity with cinnamon polyphenols, as well as improvement in total and LDL cholesterol. Cinnamon is also thought to detoxify the system and stimulate brain function. Its antiseptic properties give it the ability to fight bladder infection, and if taken in the first 48 hours, a cup of strong cinnamon tea might just nip a bladder infection in the bud. Keep in mind that mixed study results make it difficult to prove these benefits on paper -- but it doesn't hurt to sprinkle a teaspoon into your next bowl of oatmeal.

I think the best use of cinnamon is to replace other flavorings such as butter and sugar or (worse yet) the sugar surrogates. When added to oatmeal or steel cut oats, you are even doing better for your health, especially your cholesterol.

3. Curry for joint health

Are your aching joints not jumping for joy in these autumn days? Try sprinkling some curry on your veggie omelet. Curry, a staple spice combo in Southeast Asian cuisine, contains turmeric, the yellow spice that gives curry its distinctive color. The active component in turmeric is called curcumin. If you are a fan of curry, you will be happy to know that this substance is associated with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-tumor, and anti-amyloid properties; amyloids are plaque-like proteins that build up in brain tissue, and are responsible for diseases like Alzheimer's and rheumatoid arthritis. In one randomized control study 107 patients with knee osteoarthritis received either 800 mg per day ibuprofen or 2 grams per day Curcuma domestica extract. Both groups showed improvement in pain on level walking and climbing stairs.

Joint Health - my favorite topic! I can't stand curry in foods, but my pharmaceutical grade joint supplement, called Procosa II, has turmeric extract which enhances the Glucosamine. This product is what I attribute my renewed joint health. Previously I had knee pain so bad, walking up stairs hurt. Runnning not so much, but stairs and kneeling caused a good deal of joint pain,...and it was chronic pain in nature. So I believe in Turmeric,....but I think my supplement is greatly enhanced by taking a high doses of pharmaceutical grade supplement of multi-minerals and anti-oxidants as well.

4. Star Anise aids digestion

As the name suggests, star anise is indeed star-shaped. Though it is not actually related to anise, star anise shares a similar licorice flavor, due to its content of anethole. Used to bring out flavor in slow-cooked meat dishes and long-simmered soups, this spice frequently makes an appearance in Indian cuisine and is an ingredient of the traditional five-spice powder of Chinese cooking. Star anise has been used in a tea to remedy rheumatism, and the seeds are sometimes chewed after meals to aid digestion.

I have do idea what Star Anise is! But I sometimes take a digestive aid (especially after big meals), but it does not include Star Anise. My product is called Digestive Enzyme and contains pharmaceutical grade alpha-amylase bromelain, protease, lipase, lactose, papin and cellulase as well as spirulina.

5. Cardamom improves energy

Found in curries, rice dishes, herbal teas, and breads, cardamom is the spice that gives chai tea its main flavor. In Asia, cardamom has long been valued medicinally for its ability to increase circulation and improve energy. Considered an aphrodisiac in the Middle East, cardamom may also improve digestion, asthma, bronchitis, halitosis, and even help improve a bad mood.

I have spent alot of time in the Middle East and Coffee (Gawa) made over there most often has Cardamon to flavor it up. I liked it, and you should try it, however I don't know about it's health related benefits.

6. Clove curbs cramping

A delicious addition to cooked fruit, roasts, sweet vegetable dishes, and teas, clove has been used since ancient times in India to improve digestive function. You may chew on some to alleviate toothaches, sore throats, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.

7. Cumin boosts immunity

An excellent addition to meat curries, stews, vegetables, seafood, and sauces, cumin is thought to boost the immune system and also to improve liver function, reduce flatulence, and aid in digestion.

Don't know about Cumin either. But anything that will reduce flatulence in my dogs, I'll sure try.

8. Fennel Seed soothes your intestines

Often used to spice up recipes with meat, beans, or legumes, fennel helps digestion in two ways: It stimulates the production of gastric juices and also soothes the nervous system, regulating the action of the muscles that line the intestine.

I have often heard of fennel seed being good for you. So I routinely use it when I cook meats. I have had no adverse reaction.

9. Ginger: Remedies aches and nausea

A perfect compliment to vegetables, marinades, and sweets, ginger is also delicious in tea. Ginger may help relieve nausea, arthritis, headaches, menstrual cramps, and muscle soreness.

Ginger is another flavoring that can help one reduce sugars in drinks or other food based products. Give it a try,...start small as a little packs a hefty taste.

A word of warning: always discuss with your physician before treating conditions with spices to avoid any adverse interactions; for example, because garlic and ginger possess natural blood-thinning properties, individuals about to undergo surgery and those taking blood thinners should take extra precaution.

To maintain peak flavor, use spices within six months -- but the spice police won’t come knocking at your door if you keep them longer. They like to hang out in a cool, dark place in your pantry to preserve their oils and prevent loss of pungent flavors.

I hope you can use spices to make the most of your meals and your health! I invite you to visit often and share your own personal health and longevity tips with me.

I think the missing point in this article is the overall fact that the consumer must understand that dried and processed foods, including spices and herbs, lose much of their potency after harvesting and through the processing procedures. If you could get a pharmaceutical grade source of herbs and spices, or grow them and pick them right before use, would most certainly greatly aid in the potency and purity in which you consume them.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Leg of Health: Avoiding Toxins has posted several articles about our concept of health focusing on the four "legs" of health like a chair. One of these legs is Avoiding Toxins. Poisons and toxins cause oxidative stress, wreck havoc at the celluar health level and further degrading the body's own immune system's ability to combat degenerative disease, such as arthritis among others.

One of the hardest toxins and pollutnts to avoid is the air. Vehicle exhaust fumes, household cleaners, second hand smoke and a host of others are present health risks. We found this article from Women's Health magazine that is one of the rare articles dealing with toxins and pollutants.

Beat Bad Air Days
By Katherine Bowers, Women's Health
14 Oct 2010

All the major air pollutants (car exhaust, factory fumes, sidewalk smokers) are outside, right? Not so much. Indoor air may be the grimiest stuff our lungs filter each day. Studies show that things like candles, printers, and even shoes can fill your rooms with harmful contaminants, says Ted Myatt, Sc.D., an environmental scientist in Boston. But there's no need to live in a tent in your backyard—just follow these easy steps to lighten the load on your respiratory system.

The Pollutant: Candles

Sure, they make for a cozy ambience, but when you light one made from paraffin—as most candles are—you're potentially harming your health. Researchers at South Carolina State University found that paraffin candles emit chemicals that are linked to liver damage, neurological problems, and leukemia. They can also release a black soot that, over time, may damage your lung and heart tissue, says Jeffrey May, an expert on indoor air quality and author of My House Is Killing Me: The Home Guide for Families with Allergies and Asthma.

The Solution: Choose cleaner mood lighting in the form of electric votives, or buy 100 percent soy candles, which can burn at a slower rate and emit less soot. If you can't avoid burning paraffin, do so only occasionally and in a draft-free area. And cut out the heavily fragranced jar-style versions, says May; they produce more soot.

Boost your immune system and improve your health with these superfoods.

The Pollutant: Printers

Printers spit out more than just expense reports and flight confirmations—they also spray around lots of microparticles of ink, toner, and ozone, a lung irritant. A recent Australian study found that about one-third of printers are "high emitters," which means they churn out as many harmful airborne particles as you'd find on a traffic-clogged street.

The Solution: Set up your printer in a well-ventilated area and try to stand at least 10 feet away from it during a lengthy job (good advice for when you're at the office too). And remember to print in black-and-white whenever you can, because color ink produces more noxious debris. To see if your printer is on the high-emitter list, visit the International Laboratory for Air Quality and Health online at

The Pollutant: Dust

Those gray tumbleweeds rolling around along your baseboards and under your bed are packed with pollen and zillions of your dead skin cells. They're also the first step in the food chain for dust mites and other insects (gross!) and a breeding ground for mold (grosser!). All that can spell a big headache, quite literally, for women prone to allergies, says May.

The Solution: Sweep a vacuum with a high-energy particulate airborne (HEPA) filter over your floors once a week, and wipe all other surfaces with a clean, damp cloth (make sure you dampen it with water—many spray cleaners, especially those with added fragrance, contain lung-irritating chemicals). And once a month, run your bedding—pillows, comforters, quilts—through a hot dryer cycle; the high temperature will kill any dust mites.

How to beat back dust in your home.

The Pollutant: Shoe Debris

When you stroll through your front door in your sneaks or stilettos, you're likely dragging in some gnarly muck. Sidewalks and lawns can be littered with lead dust, paint flecks, fertilizers, and animal waste—all of which sticks to your shoes. In fact, 80 percent of our exposure to pesticides happens indoors, thanks to tracked-in contaminants, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Solution: Dislodge clods of dirt or grass by rubbing your shoes over a durable outdoor mat (bristly coconut-husk types work best). Once inside, leave your kicks on a cloth mat by the front door.

More ways to fight seasonal allergies.

The Pollutant: Furniture

Pressed wood—also called particleboard or fiberboard—is actually little bits of wood held together by glues and resins. It's cheap (think: affordable bookcases and tables), but it may also emit formaldehyde, a preservative and suspected carcinogen that can trigger rashes, nausea, or asthma attacks, according to the EPA.

The Solution: Ventilate, ventilate, ventilate. "A cheap window-facing fan can clear a room's air in minutes," says May. Or consider opting for solid wood, especially for kitchen and bathroom items, since humidity amps up emissions. If you must go the pressed route, stick with plywood, which releases the fewest fumes.

The Pollutant: Mold

Believe it or not, a little bit of mold can be beneficial: Outdoors, it helps organic stuff decompose, says indoor-air scientist Connie Morbach. "But when those mold spores are activated by indoor moisture, they can grow out of control," she explains. Excess fungus can induce unpleasant symptoms like itchy eyes and breathing problems. And a few harmful strains can attack your immune system.

The Solution: Indoor air that's 30 to 50 percent humidity is comfortable for you but discouraging to mold (buy a $30 digital hygrometer at a hardware store to check your room levels). Spores love dark, damp corners, so once a week mop around your fridge, sinks, and toilets with a mild dish detergent or diluted hydrogen peroxide. Just be sure to dry everything thoroughly; mold can sprout in just 48 hours.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Diabetes Can Lead to Obesity and Impact on Knee and Joint Pain

Diabetes is rapidly becoming of epidemic proportions in the United States . We believe there are several causes among the obvious: increasing sedentary population dependent upon technology; increasing lack of nutrient content of foods; increasing reliance on processed foods; and, lack of nutritional education especially for children.

In fact some experts are now calling this trend the diabesity epidemic, combining the fattening of the population with the diabetes increase. Not only does this trend foretell major health issues occurring at earlier ages, but predicts chronic joint, especially knee and back problems, to be also of epidemic proportions. To complicate the issue, we’ll see an increase of treatment (Rx Pain Meds and surgeries) to address the symptoms rather than the cause which is nutritional deficiencies.

Dr Ray Strand is on the leading forefront of Nutritional Medicine and he addresses the concept of cellular nutrition where high doses of quality anti-oxidants and vitamins/minerals give the body the nutrients it needs to combat oxidative stress which is the root cause of degenerative disease such as arthritis, non-specific knee and joint pain, and diabetes to name a few.

The latest Health Nugget from Doctor Strand.

Antioxidant Supplementation May Reduce Risk of Diabetes:

In a new clinical trial, 48 overweight young adults that had signs of pre-diabetes were given a cocktail of antioxidants for 8 weeks. This cocktail included Vitamin E (800 IU), vitamin C (500 mg), and beta-carotene (10 mg). After eight weeks the patients had a significant increase in insulin sensitivity along with decreased oxidative stress. Their arteries also functioned much better with less inflammation.

Whenever I see studies that combine several different antioxidants rather than just looking at one particular one, I see much better results. This is why I always recommend the concept of cellular nutrition. Cellular nutrition is defined by taking a wide variety of antioxidants along with their supporting nutrients at these optimal levels that have been shown to provide a health benefit in our medical literature.

Vincent HK, et al. Effects of antioxidant supplementation on insulin sensitivity, endothelial function, and oxidative stress in overweight young adults. Metabolism, 2009 Feb;58(2):254-62

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Knee Pain - Can't Sleep received another question on sleeping with chronic knee pain. Joyce from Eugene, Oregon asked: "I have knee pain, and at night it is at it's most severe when I try to go to sleep. Do you have any recommendations on sleeping with knee pain?"

I e-mailed Joyce back basically telling her this, which I am posting here because there have got to be more people with this chronic knee pain - not sleeping problem.

You have got to treat the causes of knee pain and not the effects,...insomnia or trouble sleeping. Although Rx Pain Meds may be a viable solution to some, I would suggest starting with high doses of pharmaceutical quality nutritional supplements (multi-minerals and anti-oxidants) and add an alike quality optimizer such as Glucosamine and Omega 3 Fatty Acids - this is what I do.

I also have used on our products called "Pure Rest" which is a pharmaceutical grade Melatonin at 2 mg per tablet. Pharmaceutical grade means, of course, that the product receives a U.S. Pharmacopoeia (USP) label for meeting USP laboratory standards for potency, uniformity and disintegration.

I very rarely use Melatonin, but when I do I just let a 2 mg tablet dissolve under my tongue and 15-20 minutes later I drift off to sleep. I have tried 4 mg (2 tablets) and boy do I rack out hard! Nothing wakes me, but if you do not get seven to eight hours of sleep (at least for me) you'll wake drowsy.

Anyway Joyce, to give you an idea of the cost. A bottle of 56 tablets cots $17.94 retail, $16.61 wholesale and 10% off of that for scheduled orders.

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Comment on Hydrocodone and Vicodin received a comment from Tom on the post concerning the "Reader Question on Nuraflex for Joint Pain Relief":

Tom's comment: "This product should not be taken as it lacks the resquisitos needed to be taken as it has no certificate. Would recommend taking medicines known as hydrocodone and vicodin."

MyAchingKnees response: While Rx Pain Meds such as hydrocodone and vicodin may be the only way for some with chronic joint pain to receive relief, these medications onlt treat the symptom of pain and may/will have some adverse side effects.

As I have written several times in the past year, I would just think a prudent person suffering from chronic joint pain would first try a regime of high quality nutritional and optimzers such as Glucosamine and Omega 3 Fatty Acids. If they do not find substantial relief then maybe more risker solutions such as RxPain Meds and even surgery may be the only way to diminish the pain enough to add quality to their life.

I know that I will never, ever again take Rx Pain meds even NSAIDS. I have found a solution that not only treats the cause of my joint pain (knee and back pain), which is now non-existent, but has positively impacted my overall health and quality of life, but does not do so by putting me at risk with side effects. Again, I don't know for you, but it works for me.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Reader Question on Nuraflex for Joint Pain Relief received this question: "My friend was telling me she heard about an all natural product for chronic joint pain and osteo-arthritis called Nura-Flex. Have you heard about it and what do you think?"

No, I have not heard of Nuraflex, but did some research. This is one of many Off the Shelf (meaning non prescription) products that advertise to stop arthritis and joint pain. This particular product advertises 7 "Amazing Ingredients",.. ....Hyaluronic Acid, Nanomeds Collagen II, Devil's Craw Root Extract, Bromelain, Bosweilla Serrata Extract, Glucosamine and the last "Amazing Ingredient" is Chondroitin. "Amazing" is their terminology - not mine....and yes, I'm being sarcastic. I just have no faith in food grade, off the shelf products.

Nowhere on the website do I see a U.S. Pharmacopoeia certification or a guarantee for potency, purity and dissolution. The website advertises clinical trials, but does not elaborate.

I say let the buyer beware. If you are taking Joint Pain or Arthritis prescription drugs like Celebrex, Prednisone, Lyrica, Mobic or Prednisone then I would think this Nuraflex would have less side effects, but beware the products that 1- have no guarantee or are not manufactured to Pharmaceutical Good Manufacturing Practices.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Lady Doesn't Believe Joint Supplements Work

I recently had a conversation with a woman in her early 50's who had just finished getting micro surgery on her knees. She told me she was still in alot of pain, four weeks after the surgery and still have very limited range of motion.

I asked her if she had tried nutritional supplements and optimizers to see if she can get some relief from the chronic joint pain. Now, considering this women is a teacher so she is educated and presumably well read to a large degree, her reply practically stunned me:......"Oh, I don't believe in those things. If the Doctor doesn't prescribe it for me, then it won't work."

Usually, I just disengage myself from such ignorance, but I continued on with her telling her that the pharmaceutical grade supplements that I take for my health and knees/joints wasn't prescribed to me, but they are every bit as pure and potent as any pain reliever or anti-biotic that a Doctor can prescribe and without the side effects. And have given me great results,....knee pain gone and I haven't been sick at all in over 5 years.

I told her, probably wasting my time, but told her nonetheless that she ought to read "What Doctor's Don't Know About Nutritional Medicine May Be Killing You", and, "Death by Prescription", both by Doctor Ray Strand of the leading Nutritional Medicine experts in the United States. Available from Dr Strand's website, or through the link at the right side of this site.

Anyway, this woman, who is much too young to be crippled up as she was, is an example of what I call "self handicapping community". These are people who don't don't take their health into their own hands and do many things to alleviate their own disabilities and suffering. For a start she could begin to educate herself and take steps to protect her health and minimize chronic joint pain through high quality pharmaceutical nutritional supplements. Some of these same people will think nothing of spending $50 a week on eating out but think $50 a month is much too much to spend on optimizing their health. Unbelievable!

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Chair of Health

Alot of people ask me why I am so healthy and what do I do to remain that way. It is really a combination of things and I equate a person's health to a four legged chair,.....shorten too much of one leg and you'll be off balance, or remove one of the legs all together you'll tip over.

I do not advocate being a "Health Nazi". I eat garbage sometimes, .......because it taste good. I drink a very small amount of alcohol these days,.....maybe just a sip or whiskey or an occasional beer,.....although I would be much better off switching to red wine with ti's very high levels of the anti-oxidants resveratol.

I expose myself to some toxins and can to a better job of avoiding them, but compared to where I was years ago, my toxin exposure is fairly minimal. And, I do not work out like I used to. 50+ years of age have gave me other priorities rather than a svelt body and biceps,...but I am physically active and do two short weight training circuits a week.

But you have to do something to protect your health. A little bit of good is a whole lot better than nothing at all. You'll not only feel much better, but BE much better if you can incorporate what you can of the four legs of healths:

Eating As Well As You Can. The best foods for you are Low Glycemic and foods low in saturated fats. Fast food is not only not good for you, is actually bad for you. Get it? Not good, but Bad!

Take High Quality Nutritional Supplements. You just cannot eat well enough and in the necessary quantities in order to get all the required nutrients in the necessary high doses your body needs. You need to take a high dose of quality, and I don't mean off the shelf products, but actually products that are guaranteed for purity, potency, dissolution and efficacy. You can piecemeal your supplements either. You need them in ratios to each other and with supporting compounds or other nutrients so they can work synergistically to provide you with the required nutrients for optimal health.

Stay Physically Active. You don't need to work out like a Mad Man or Woman. In fact too much exercise creates it's own unique stressors to the body and depletes your store of nutrients more rapidly. Some type of moderate exercise to increase your heart rate and provide moderate stress to your major muscle groups. Time is the most common excuse to lack of an exercise program. But really that's just an excuse. You can get alot of exercise done, and good accomplished, in three to four 30 minutes sessions a week. Fast walking, stationary bicycling, stepping, weight circuit training are all quick types of exercise. When you get used to your routine change it up or do it at a quicker pace.

Keep Exposure to Toxins at a Minimum.It's crazy the amount of toxins that we are exposed to on a daily basis. Most people aren't concerned about them since they are in such very small amounts,....but you add those amounts, day by day, week by week, and year by year and you see some problems associated the exposure. Paint fumes, gas engine exhaust, airborne pollutants, plastic by products from microwave cooking in plastic containers, daily household cleaners, your car's heater and air conditioning unit,....too many to account for.

Don't try to sit your life on a three legged stool, your four legged chair of health.

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Monday, October 4, 2010

More Research on Vitamins B1, Vitamin C and Vitamin D

More Health Nuggets from one of America ’s leading experts on Nutrition Medicine. Doctor Ray Strand, author of several books, including

What Your Doctor Doesn’t Know About Nutritional Medicine May Be Killing You” and Death By Prescription publishes weekly Health Nuggets passing the latest in research on how nutrients (vitamins, mineral and anti-oxidants) not only is essential for optimal health, but helps protects against degenerative disease. Dr Strand web site is wealth of information concerning Nutritional Medicine, click here to go to his site. stands by the view that Chronic Joint Pain is a degenerative disease and caused or facilitated, in many cases, by a lack of nutrients provided to the body to combat oxidative stress which is the root cause of degenerative disease. We have made the decision to publish Dr Strands Health Nuggets even though there is a risk that people will try to “piece meal” their nutritional needs rather than take a supplement that is complete and has the nutrients in sufficient doses and in a pure and potent formulation so that the supplement can work synergistically to provide the body with the essential nutrients for optimal health.

Vitamin B1 Helps Reverse Early Kidney Disease in Diabetics

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) has been shown to reverse early signs of kidney disease in diabetics in a recent study reported in the journal of Diabetologia. Diabetes significantly increases the risk of kidney disease. Forty diabetic patients that had signs of protein in their urine, which is an indication of early kidney disease received vitamin B1 in supplementation. The researchers observed a 41% decrease in protein being excreted by the kidney and 35% of the participants saw their kidney function return to normal. Dr. Rabbani stated, “This study once again highlights the importance of vitamin B1 supplementation in our diabetic patients.

Vitamin C Supplementation Lowers C-Reactive Protein

Gladys Block, PhD, and her associates looked at nearly 400 participants who received vitamin C, vitamin E, or placebo for 2 months. They measured the amount of inflammation in the arteries by looking a blood test called C-Reactive Protein (CRP). Inflammation or elevated CRP is known to be a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. There was no effect for vitamin C in patients who had normal CRP levels; however, in those who had an elevated CRP, vitamin C users lowered CRP by .25 mg/L. This is the same level of reduction seen with statin drug treatment. Much of the clinical effectiveness of statin drugs is the fact that it lowers inflammation (CRP). Now simply supplementing with vitamin C accomplishes the same thing.

Block G, et al. Vitamin C treatment reduces elevated C-reactive protein. Free Radical Biol Med. 2008 Oct 10.

Vitamin D Deficiency is a Risk Factor for Heart Disease

A recent study review published in the American College of Cardiology details the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (heart attacks and strokes) in patients who have vitamin D deficiencies. They point out that vitamin D deficiency can lead to high blood pressure and thickening of the heart and blood vessels.

Vitamin D deficiency is an unrecognized, emerging cardiovascular risk factor, which should be screened for and treated,” stated study co-author Dr. James O’Keefe. You want to have your physician run a 25-hydroxy vitamin D level on your blood and you want that level to be at least greater than 50 and ideally greater than 60.

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Supplements for Joint Pain or as I say,...for Joint Health

I routinely get questions from people, both face to face and over the internet asking me what I recommend they take for their aching joints to help diminish or even eliminate their chronic knee pain.

First of all supplements in the form of optimizers are for the health of the joint or affected area. Sometimes they work and work well, sometimes they doon't because the chronic pain is coming from a structural damage such as bone spurs or torn tendons and such.

Beware the maker that claims to get rid of chronic joint pain from all causes,...cause it just ain't so. Even Rx pain medications with their sometimes terrible side effects do not address pain from certain causes.

But to answer the first question I always receive about what I recommend taking, I tell my questioners all I can do is recommend what I am taking and that is a pharmaceutical grade supplement to provide all the nutrients in the form of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants that my body needs to have a strong immune system and optimal health, then I take two optimizers specifically for my chronic knee pain (which I have no more) that those two optimzers are a pharmaceutical grade Glucsosamine and an alike quality Omega 3 Fatty Acid supplement.

Even though my knee (and back) pain is gone, I still take these supplements to provide additional health benefits for these joints. And the Omega 3 Fatty Acid is almost a hiden secret,....everyone shoukd be taking these. It has been said that there is a National epidemic on Omega 3 Fatty Acid deficiency. Here's to our joints,...without mobility some of us are just ugly statutes....I'm speaking for myself of course.

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Jeffrey and the Vicodin Solution for Joint Ache received a reader comment: Jeffrey has left a new comment on your post "Basic Health Diagnostic Numbers and What they Mean..."..."He trusted that the best is that the patients feel happy and that during the treatment the chronic pains do not persist because he takes care by himself of taking medicines as vicodin to control the ache, as he indicates findrxonline is a double-edged weapon because he can derive in additions if bad sound used."

Well Jeffrey,...really can't admit that I understand what you are saying, but if you are saying that Rx Pain Meds, such as Vicodin, are the first line answer to chronic joint pain, then I think you are needlessly placing yourself at risk.

I admit that Rx Pain medications may end up being necessary, but I since these prescription medications have side effects, some small some large that a prudent person would try less intrusive remedies to reduce chronic joint pain such a what I recommend trying, and that is pharmaceutical grade nutritional supplements.

Advanced doses of high quality nutritional supplements can combat chronic joint pain as well as other degenerative diseases through providing your body with the nutrients it needs to fight off oxidative stress which is the root cause of degeneration. Plus there are virtually no side effects to nutrients, especially if they are pharmaceutical grade.

Taking pharmaceutical grade nutritional supplements is a win -win option. You build your body's ability to fight many diseases. If you take optimizers such as Glucosamine and Omega 3 Fatty Acids, which also specifically target the joints, you'll see results in two months or so, which allows to you to quit taking them if you are not experiencing the results you need.

I am thankful for the supplements I take since the results not only eliminated the pain in my knees but my back as well, and has given me over 5 years of sickness free life at a time in my life where people my age are slowing down and losing mobility and vitality.

Anyway, rock on Jeffrey!

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Basic Health Diagnostic Numbers and What they Mean

Numbers to Live By from Real Simple Magazine, September 13th, 2010.

This magazine recently published this article on health numbers and it came at an opportune time as I just received two questions pertaining to how often one should get their blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked. The simple answer is "as often as you need to", which I guess is another way of saying if you have problems then you need to stay on top of these diagnostic tests and understand what the numbers mean. We have to be our own first provider for our health care.

For those of you are primarily reading this site solely for news on and treatment of chronic joint pain, you have to understand that the same root causes of a deteriorating health is also the primary cause for the degenerative condition of our joints. To take care of your overall health IS the first step to treating chronic joint conditions and pain.

Blood Pressure

Healthy number: Less than 120/80 mmHg.

Blood pressure refers to the force of blood against the walls of your arteries when your heart beats (systolic pressure, the top number) and during rests between beats (diastolic pressure, the bottom) and is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). “The lower yours is, the better,” says Holly Thacker, M.D., director of the Center for Specialized Women’s Health at the Cleveland Clinic. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is 140/90 mmHg or higher. Hypertension is called “the silent killer”
because it often has no symptoms and, left untreated, can lead to stroke, heart disease, kidney damage, and vision and memory problems. (If your top number is between 120 and 139 and the lower is between 80 and 89, you have prehypertension, which also carries risks.)

Have yours checked: Every time you see a doctor, including an ob-gyn. To lower your numbers, consume a low-fat, low-sodium diet; exercise often; maintain a healthy weight; limit alcohol intake; don’t smoke; and manage stress. Your doctor may prescribe a diuretic to flush out excess sodium. If that and lifestyle changes don’t work, other medicines, like an angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, may be prescribed.

Blood Sugar

Healthy number: A fasting blood-sugar level of 99 mg/dL or less.

A fasting blood-sugar test measures glucose (sugar) in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) of blood after you haven’t eaten for at least eight hours. A level of 126 mg/dL or higher indicates diabetes, a condition in which your body doesn’t produce enough insulin (which converts blood sugar into energy) or use insulin properly. Diabetes more than doubles your risk of heart disease and increases your chances of kidney disease, vision loss, and other health issues.

Have yours checked: At age 45, then every three years after that. (Your doctor may test you earlier if you are overweight or have a family history of diabetes.) Some doctors also do a hemoglobin A1C test, which measures glycated hemoglobin (HbA1C), a substance in red blood cells that forms when glucose attaches to hemoglobin. This “gives a better picture of average blood sugar over the previous three months,” says Wendy S. Klein, an internist in Richmond, Virginia. An optimal A1C reading is
less than 5.7 percent. To improve your blood-sugar numbers, shed any excess pounds.


Healthy number: Total cholesterol under 200 mg/dL; LDL cholesterol under 100 mg/dL.

“The higher your cholesterol levels, the greater your risk of heart disease,” says Nieca Goldberg, M.D., director of the Langone Women’s Heart Center at New York University, in New York City. To minimize health risks, your total cholesterol should stay under 200 mg/dL (cholesterol is measured by milligrams of cholesterol per deciliter of blood). But it’s actually low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol — the “bad,” artery-clogging kind—that causes the damage. “Elevated LDL levels cause the formation of plaque in the artery walls,” explains Goldberg, which leads to atherosclerosis and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. For most people, the optimal level of LDL is under 100 mg/dL (and under 70 mg/dL if you have diabetes or heart disease).

Have yours checked: Starting at age 20 and older. “You should have a fasting blood test to measure total cholesterol and LDL, plus the other lipids, triglycerides, and HDL [high-density lipoprotein]”, says Goldberg. “If the numbers are normal, you don’t have to recheck them for five years.” If the numbers are not where they should be, the best way to improve your cholesterol levels is to lose excess weight; exercise more often; stick with a diet that is low in cholesterol, saturated fat, and fats; and get your levels rechecked yearly. Even if you do all this, you may still need to take a cholesterol-lowering medication.

HDL Cholesterol

Healthy number: 50 mg/dL or higher.

High-density lipoprotein, or HDL, is the “good” cholesterol. The higher your number, the better your health. “HDL cholesterol helps remove harmful LDL
cholesterol from arteries,” says Goldberg. An HDL level lower than 50 mg/dL is a heart-disease risk factor for women, while a level of 60 mg/dL or higher helps protect you from heart disease. The best ways to raise your HDL are to quit smoking; exercise; eat monounsaturated fats (olive oil is one source) instead of saturated and trans fats; and avoid having more than one alcoholic drink a day.
When HDL is low and LDL is seriously high, cholesterol-lowering drugs, like statins, as well as niacin supplements can help.


Healthy number: Less than 150 mg/dL.

Triglycerides are a type of fat in the blood, and elevated levels increase your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Your triglyceride level (measured by
milligrams of triglycerides per deciliter of blood, or mg /dL) is borderline high if it is between 150 and 199 mg /dL and high if it’s 200 mg /dL or higher. Have yours checked: Annually. It’s usually part of the same test used to gauge your cholesterol. People with a high level are often low in HDL cholesterol and vice versa. Research suggests elevated triglycerides may be a greater risk factor for heart disease in women than in men, though no one knows exactly why this is. Just consider it another good reason to get your level into the target zone. To do that, lose weight, quit smoking, consume no more than one alcoholic drink a day, and exercise regularly.


Healthy number: A thyroid-stimulating hormone level under 4.0 mIU/L. Produced by the pituitary gland, the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) directs the thyroid gland in your neck to secrete the hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Besides helping regulate your metabolism, body temperature, and heart rate, these hormones affect skin, hair, muscle strength, mood, and mental functioning. If your TSH level is high, above 4.5 mIU/L (or milli–international units of TSH per liter of blood), your thyroid isn’t producing enough hormones to help your body function efficiently. Have yours checked: Starting at age 35. Hypothyroidism is a condition that is fairly common among women and can raise cholesterol and triglyceride levels and lead to heart problems and depression. If your TSH level is high, your doctor may prescribe a thyroid replacement medication. If it is normal,
recheck it every five years.

Body Mass Index

Healthy number: Between 18.5 and 24.9.

Your body mass index (BMI) is a measure of your weight in relation to your height (calculate yours at A BMI of less than 18.5 means you’re underweight and at risk for irregular periods, fertility problems, anemia, and the bone loss that can lead to osteoporosis. Many Americans, however, have the opposite problem: a BMI that is too high. If a person’s BMI is between 25 and 29.9, she is considered overweight. A BMI of 30 or higher is defined as obese—and that’s a problem that lasts long after bathing-suit season is over. “Obesity increases your risk for just about every disease,” says Klein. But BMI alone doesn’t tell the whole story; bear in mind that if you carry extra weight around your middle (say, your waist circumference is 35 inches or greater), you’re at risk for type 2
diabetes, heart disease, and all their attendant health issues, even if your BMI is in the normal range, notes Stephanie Faubion, an internist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Calculate yours: Annually, or after a weight gain or loss. If it’s too high, make an effort to eat less and exercise more. Keep a tape measure handy to track any waist changes as well.

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