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.

For Information on the Products I recommend, click here, to contact me.

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

For Information on the Products I recommend, click here, to contact me.

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."

For Information on the Products I recommend, click here, to contact me.

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.

For Information on the Products I recommend, click here, to contact me.

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.

For Information on the Products I recommend, click here, to contact me.

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.

For Information on the Products I recommend, click here, to contact me.