Monday, December 26, 2011

Reader Likes Super Greens

I received an e-mail from Kathy about a nutritional supplement called "Super Greens" and she asked me my opinion on it. I put this question on the back burner until I was also asked by a co-worker about this product who told me his wife takes them.

Super Greens advertises that there are 49 organic grasses, grains, and green vegetables in a nutrient-rich, alkaline formula which helps to gently pull the blood and tissue balance from an acid base to an increasingly healthy alkaline state. And that the blend (powder) provides 125 vitamins, amino acids and minerals that all are essential for your body. The powder easily dissolves in water, which you should be drinking as part of a healthy diet anyway.

The daily dose is four level teaspoons a day of the Super Green's powder. Four teaspoons equals 20 grams, so the $73.95 package of 110 grams of Super Greens powder (plus the one ounce of pH drops) would last 5 and one half days according to my 8th grade Math. These seems pretty expensive to me.

Add the fact there is no independent laboratory certifications; no US Pharmacopoeia (USP) certification logo on the website or bottles; and certainly no FDA certified manufacturing facility claims makes the quality of this food grade product suspect.

Additionally, the website lists 7 titles published by the creator of Super Greens, Dr. Robert O. Young, without anyway to order the books. So I did a search for Dr Young and his published works by title name and author name and could not find even one.

I did not create this site to bash products....that's why I am always writing "Let the Buyer Beware". So I'll change up a little and just say "If the Super Green are working for you, then maybe you ought to stick with it."

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

More on Vitamin D - Yahoo article

 This is from an article on Yahoo! by a lady named Weir.  Her article begins: Vitamin D provides a wide range of health benefits. It is effective in preventing rickets and treating other bone diseases such as osteoporosis. According to the Mayo Clinic, getting enough vitamin D may prevent high blood pressure and protect against certain types of cancer. It may also promote weight loss for women. A growing body of research links heart health to sufficient vitamin D.

Most recently, a large-scale study in the American Journal of Cardiology discovered that boosting vitamin D levels in heart patients who were deficient cut their risk of death by 60%, among other significant findings.

Getting enough vitamin D

It's estimated that 30-50% of Americans suffer from vitamin D deficiency. The human body produces vitamin D, which is actually a hormone, when exposed to sunlight. However, during the winter, it is impossible to get enough exposure anywhere north of San Francisco or Philadelphia. People in southern states who slather on sun block or who stay indoors most of the time may not be getting enough either. The same goes for people who are housebound due to illness or whose work keeps them inside all day. In addition to lack of sunshine, other conditions may increase likelihood of vitamin D deficiency:

o Infants who are exclusively breastfed. Mother's milk may not provide sufficient levels. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a supplement of 400 IU per day.

MyAchingKnees comment: 400 IU is the old RDA for Vitamin D. Nutritional experts now recommend many times that. The sources that I trust, recommend a minimum of 2,000 IU daily. And the benefit to Vitamin D, of course from a reputable company manufacturing a potent, bio-available product, is that 2,000 IU can come in a very small tablet form making it easy to take.

o Older adults. The elderly do not synthesize vitamin D as effectively as younger people and tend to spend more time indoors.

o People with dark skin. The pigment melanin can reduce the body's ability to produce vitamin D from sunlight.

o Obese people. Body fat alters the way vitamin D is released into the system.

Choosing a vitamin D supplement

If you are shopping for a supplement, research suggests that vitamin D3 is more effective than vitamin D2. Food sources rich in vitamin D include cod liver oil, fatty fish (such as mackerel), eggs, and fortified milk and orange juice.

MyAchingKnees comment: We agree that the form and source of Vitamin D to take is the D3 form. Most people just do get an adequate amount of good food each day, and have no way of knowing if they are getting the right amount of complete nutrients from their foods - other than repetitive blood tests, hence the need to supplement.

There is some debate over how much vitamin D to take. The National Institutes of Health recommends 600 IU per day for adults but some experts say that taking a supplement that contains between 1000-2000 IU can be beneficial. Its important to stay within the appropriate range--there is a toxicity at over 10,000 IU. The best way to determine how much you might need is to have your physician administer a simple blood test and make a recommendation based on the current level in you system.

MyAchingKnees: I take 3,800 IU of Vitamin D3 (as Cholecalciferol) daily, while my wife and college bound daughter take 4,400 IU each day.

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Why Loading Doses for Joint Supplements?

MyAchingKnees received a question from Karen "Why do joint supplements say to take double doses for two weeks, then revert back to a standard dose from then on?"

Taking a double daily dose of supplements is called a "loading dose". I don't have an answer other than my belief that "loading doses" are intended to put a lot of the product into your system in hopes that you will see or feel a return of investment and continue taking the product.  It is not like your body stores the extra amount of supplements there creates a pool of nutrient reserves to draw from.  A more negative thought would be the manufacturer wants you to have to purchase another box or bottle of the supplement quicker (more profits for them).  

I also believe that if the supplement was a quality product then a loading dose would not be necessary. In other words if the efficacy, bio-availability and dissolution of the supplement is what is should be,.... look for the USP certification,...... then a loading dose would not be an issue.  

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Eight Healthiest Spices & Herbs

One of my friend's swears up and down on the validity of herbs and spices. Everything from the well know Ginseng to Sage to Cardamon. I believe herbs and spices are great optimizers with the other essential nutrients we should be getting in the right quantities each day. But beware of bad sources. The article below is from Eating Well Magazine, by Kerri- Ann Jennings, M.S., R.D., Associate Nutrition Editor.

8 of the World’s Healthiest Spices & Herbs You Should Be Eating
As a registered dietitian and associate nutrition editor at EatingWell Magazine, I know that herbs and spices do more than simply add flavor to food. They let you cut down on some less-healthy ingredients, such as salt, added sugars and saturated fat, and some have inherent health benefits, many of which Joyce Hendley reported on for EatingWell Magazine.

Modern science is beginning to uncover the ultimate power of spices and herbs, as weapons against illnesses from cancer to Alzheimer's disease. "We're now starting to see a scientific basis for why people have been using spices medicinally for thousands of years," says Bharat Aggarwal, Ph.D., professor at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and author of Healing Spices
(Sterling, 2011).

Aggarwal notes that in his native India, where spices tend to be used by the handful, incidence of diet-related diseases like heart disease and cancer have long been low. But when Indians move away and adopt more Westernized eating patterns, their rates of those diseases rise. While researchers usually blame the meatier, fattier nature of Western diets, Aggarwal and other experts believe that herbs and spices-or more precisely, the lack of them-are also an important piece of the dietary puzzle.

"When Indians eat more Westernized foods, they're getting much fewer spices than their traditional diet contains," he explains. "They lose the protection those spices are conveying." While science has yet to show that any spice cures disease, there's compelling evidence that several may help manage some chronic conditions (though it's always smart to talk with your doctor). What's not to love? Here we've gathered eight of the healthiest spices and herbs enjoyed around the world.

MyAchingKnees comment: Keep in mind while although Spices and Herbs may help fight infection and disease, and I believe they do, they will have significant less potency, if any potency at all, based on who manufactures the item and how they do so. The dried herbs and spices, ground up and placed in little shaker bottles found in about any kitchen in America, probably have little or no potency or nutritional content left. Best case if you grow your own, harvest and use immediately or find another alike source, or, find a manufacturer who guarantees the potency, purity, bio-availability and dissolution of any herb or spice based product.

Chile Peppers
May help: Boost metabolism.
Chile peppers add a much-appreciated heat to chilly-weather dishes, and they can also give a boost to your metabolism. Thank capsaicin, the compound that gives fresh chiles, and spices including cayenne and chipotle, their kick. Studies show that capsaicin can increase the body's metabolic rate (causing one to burn more calories) and may stimulate brain chemicals that help us feel less hungry. In fact, one study found that people ate 16 percent fewer calories at a meal if they'd sipped a hot-pepper-spiked tomato juice (vs. plain tomato juice) half an hour earlier. Recent research found that capsinoids, similar but gentler chemicals found in milder chile hybrids, have the same effects-so even tamer sweet paprika packs a healthy punch. Capsaicin may also lower risk of ulcers by boosting the ability of stomach cells to resist infection by ulcer-causing bacteria and help the heart by keeping "bad" LDL cholesterol from turning into a more lethal, artery-clogging form.

May help: Soothe an upset stomach, fight arthritis pain.
Ginger has a well-deserved reputation for relieving an unsettled stomach. Studies show ginger extracts can help reduce nausea caused by morning sickness or following surgery or chemotherapy, though it's less effective for motion sickness. But ginger is also packed with inflammation-fighting compounds, such as gingerols, which some experts believe may hold promise in fighting some cancers and may reduce the aches of osteoarthritis and soothe sore muscles. In a recent study, people who took ginger capsules daily for 11 days reported 25 percent less muscle pain when they performed exercises designed to strain their muscles (compared with a similar group taking placebo capsules). Another study found that ginger-extract injections helped relieve osteoarthritis pain of the knee.

May help: Stabilize blood sugar.
A few studies suggest that adding cinnamon to food-up to a teaspoon a day, usually given in capsule form-might help people with type 2 diabetes better control their blood sugar, by lowering post-meal blood-sugar spikes. Other studies suggest the effects are limited at best.

May help: Quell inflammation, inhibit tumors.
Turmeric, the goldenrod-colored spice, is used in India to help wounds heal (it's applied as a paste); it's also made into a tea to relieve colds and respiratory problems. Modern medicine confirms some solid-gold health benefits as well; most are associated with curcumin, a compound in turmeric that has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin has been shown to help relieve pain of
arthritis, injuries and dental procedures; it's also being studied for its potential in managing heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. Researcher Bharat Aggarwal is bullish on curcumin's potential as a cancer treatment, particularly in colon, prostate and breast cancers; preliminary studies have found that curcumin can inhibit tumor cell growth and suppress enzymes that activate carcinogens.

MyAchingKnees comment: The Glucosamine I take contains and is optimized by a very bio-available form of Curcumin complex.

May help: Lift your mood.
Saffron has long been used in traditional Persian medicine as a mood lifter, usually steeped into a medicinal tea or used to prepare rice. Research from Iran's Roozbeh Psychiatric Hospital at Tehran University of Medical Sciences has found that saffron may help to relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and depression. In one study, 75% of women with PMS who were given saffron capsules daily reported that their PMS symptoms (such as mood swings and depression) declined by at least half, compared with only 8 percent of women who didn't take saffron.

May help: Inhibit breast cancer-cell growth.
University of Missouri scientists found that this herb can actually inhibit breast cancer-cell growth, reported Holly Pevzner in the September/October 2011 issue of EatingWell Magazine. In the study, animals that were given apigenin, a compound abundant in parsley (and in celery), boosted their resistance to developing cancerous tumors. Experts recommend adding a couple pinches of minced fresh parsley to your dishes daily.

May help: Preserve memory, soothe sore throats.
Herbalists recommend sipping sage tea for upset stomachs and sore throats, a remedy supported by one study that found spraying sore throats with a sage solution gave effective pain relief. And preliminary research suggests the herb may improve some symptoms of early Alzheimer's disease by preventing a key enzyme from destroying acetylcholine, a brain chemical involved in memory and learning. In another study, college students who took sage extracts in capsule form performed significantly better on memory tests, and their moods improved.

May help: Enhance mental focus, fight food borne bacteria.
One recent study found that people performed better on memory and alertness tests when mists of aromatic rosemary oil were piped into their study cubicles. Rosemary is often used in marinades for meats and poultry, and there's scientific wisdom behind that tradition: rosmarinic acid and other antioxidant compounds in the herb fight bacteria and prevent meat from spoiling, and may even make cooked meats healthier. In March 2010, Kansas State University researchers reported that adding
rosemary extracts to ground beef helped prevent the formation of heterocyclic amines (HCAs)-cancer-causing compounds produced when meats are grilled, broiled or fried.

MyAchingKnees comment: I would add Garlic to this list. From personal experience and also with others I believe Garlic cloves, crushed and chopped then lightly cooked with food provides the an immune boost at least for the first 24 to 48 hours. I found this out by our practice of taking a handful of garlic tabs while in the woods and swamps in order for our bodies to emit either an odor or sweat that kept insects, like mosquitoes, away. One of the guys I knew used to keep crushed garlic cloves in a zip lock bag and would chew on them throughout the day. He swore up and down that it helped him get over colds quicker.

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

WholeEating Cookbook Just Offered

Elizabeth Rider just today launched her WholeEating Cookbook on and anyone who buys the book today can download some really incredible free bonuses that come along with the book, including two yoga videos, and more. There are also bonus glycemic index charts and shopping lists to download that will come with the book forever.

Ms Rider recommends some solutions for fast paced life styles as well as over 50 low-glycemic gluten-free vegetarian recipes.

The book, priced at It's only $9.95, is a good value as well as a good gift for those people you know who make health a priority. The book will now be available on forever, but get your copy today if you can, to download the launch day bonuses. The book is also available at Elizabeth's blog.

You can visit Elizabeth's Blog here at WholeLivingBlog

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Monday, December 5, 2011

Top Cholesterol Fighting Foods

From the article “Top 10 Foods for Lowering Cholesterol” from RealAge

If you have unhealthy cholesterol levels (or want to prevent them), one of the first things you should examine is your diet. Are you eating foods that help reduce cholesterol? Or avoiding the ones that cause unhealthy cholesterol levels to creep higher? If not, we've got 10 cholesterol-lowering foods you should grab next time you're at the grocery store. Lowering your bad (LDL) cholesterol can make your 3.3 years younger if you're a man, 0.6 years younger if you're a woman!

Almonds are pretty hardworking nuts when it comes to lowering your cholesterol. First, they're rich in unsaturated fats that help raise healthy HDL cholesterol while lowering unhealthy LDL. Second, these fats also help make LDL cholesterol less likely to oxidize. Which is a fabulous thing, because when LDL oxidizes, it's more likely to gunk up your arteries and cut blood flow to the heart. Snack away. But do keep an eye on portion size. Almonds are high in calories, and all you need are a couple of ounces a day to reap benefits.

Orange Juice
OJ manufacturers are doing everything they can to make their health food more appealing -- including fortifying their juice with plant-derived cholesterol-busting compounds known as phytosterols. A review of 84 scientific studies revealed that getting 2 grams of phytosterols a day - the amount in a couple 8-ounce glasses of sterol-fortified OJ -- could help lower harmful LDL levels by more than 8 percent. Check with your doctor first regarding whether citrus will interact with any of your medications. If it does, look for sterol-fortified margarine, milk, soymilk, cheese, or breads instead.

MyAchingKnees comment: I'd lay off the orange juice, unless I drank organic, not from concentrate or freshly squeezed OJ.

Olive Oil
This oil is a nutritional superstar -- rich in antioxidants and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that help lower "bad" LDL cholesterol and increase "good" HDL. In fact, in a study of people with high cholesterol, blood samples showed less potential for harmful clotting just two hours after the study subjects ate a meal with olive oil. That's because olive oil is rich in phenolics, plant substances that makes blood less likely to clot. All you need is about 2 tablespoons a day for benefit (use it in place of other fats).

Steamed Asparagus
There's nothing wrong with a platter of crudités or a salad if you want to improve your diet, but steaming may help improve the cholesterol-lowering capabilities of some produce, including asparagus. Other veggies that get better after a short bout in the steam: beets, okra, carrots, eggplant, green beans, and cauliflower. Researchers think steaming these veggies may help them do a better job of binding bile acids, which means your liver needs to use up more LDL cholesterol into order to make bile. That translates into less circulating LDL in your bloodstream.

Your mama was right. Starting the day with a bowl of warm, toasty oatmeal is a smart move. Of all the whole grains, oats are the best source of soluble fiber -- the kind that forms a gel to prevent cholesterol from being absorbed into your bloodstream. Shoot for five to 10 grams of soluble fiber per day. If you have 1¼ cups of cooked oatmeal for breakfast, you'll start your day with 5 grams of the stuff. Top your oatmeal with a chopped-up apple for an extra 3 grams of fiber, and you're set.

MyAchingKnees comment: Make sure this is not the packaged oatmeal – get the oats, even better steel cut oats, and take the time to cook. These store well in the fridge for a weeks worth of easy breakfasts or snack meals. Add organic honey to sweeten.

Pinto Beans
Next time you make chili, add pinto beans to the pot. They're packed with soluble fiber to help drive down cholesterol. And in a study, people who ate a half-cup of pinto beans a day lowered their total cholesterol by 8 percent in just 12 weeks. Ole! (Tip: If you use canned beans, rinse them to wash away excess sodium.)

MyAchingKnees comment: This is a staple to the Hispanic diet, but many times they are made with lard and other fats or cheese is added. I like to cook pinto beans by themselves and flavor with a little sea salt…..and maybe a little olive oil.

You've heard by now that blueberries are a nutritious superfood. One reason why they're so great? They help keep your arteries clear by reducing blood levels of artery-clogging LDL. Researchers suspect it's because the berries support liver function so well. The end result: cholesterol gets swept out of your system much more easily. Enjoy blueberries fresh, frozen, or freeze-dried. They still have the same benefits.

MyAchingKnees comment: Add to your oatmeal as well. You can also make a fruit salad of blueberries, blackberries and strawberries to replace after support deserts or just to snack on.

Include lycopene-rich tomato products in your diet every day for a few weeks, and you may knock your bad LDL cholesterol levels down by as much as 10 percent, according to a recent study. Researchers think the lycopene in tomatoes inhibits LDL production while at the same time helping break down this artery-clogging fat. You'll need to consume at least 25 milligrams of lycopene a day for cholesterol benefits. That's about a half cup of tomato sauce. Bring on the marinara!

MyAchingKnees comment: Lycopene are a essential nutrient for prostrate health as well. Maybe you ladies can get the men in your lives to eat more tomatoes because of this.

We always keep ripe avocados in the RealAge kitchen. Why? They're chock-full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that help knock down bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides while boosting healthy HDL cholesterol. Even better, we love the fruit's (yep, it's a fruit) mild flavor and creamy texture. Mash avocado into guacamole, add slices to a sandwich, chop it up in a salad, or -- for a tasty snack -- simply spread a little on whole-grain crackers with a tiny pinch of coarse sea salt.

MyAchingKnees comment:Here’s a tip,….add chopped tomatoes and onions to your guacamole…maybe a squeeze of lime. Fresh guacamole doesn’t do well in the fridge, so eat it up all at once.

Dark Chocolate
If you're a chocoholic, here's some good news. Study after study confirms dark chocolate is pretty amazing, healthy stuff. It's full of flavonoids, which are antioxidants that help lower cholesterol. It also has oleic acid, the same type of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil. To improve your cholesterol, just have a little nibble -- up to 1 ounce of dark chocolate a day. And check the label to make sure your chocolate is at least 70 percent cocoa. Cocoa is the stuff with all the heart-healthy ingredients.

MyAchingKnees comment:Obviously, the Real Age article was written for women. Dark Chocolate indeed! For the boys – Milkshakes don’t count.

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Question on Gout

MyAchingKnees received a question from William: I think I have Gout. A lot of pain in my joints, coming and going. Sometimes it is only in one ankle and sometimes in the ankle and knee. What do you know about Gout and what can I do about it?

William, in a nutshell Gout is about too much uric acid in the blood stream leaving uric acid crystals that concentrate in your joints causing the pain. A look at Web MD will provide some base line information, see below:

What is gout?

Gout is a kind of arthritis. It can cause an attack of sudden burning pain, stiffness, and swelling in a joint, usually a big toe. These attacks can happen over and over unless gout is treated. Over time, they can harm your joints, tendons, and other tissues. Gout is most common in men.

What causes gout?

Gout is caused by too much uric acid in the blood. Most of the time, having too much uric acid is not harmful. Many people with high levels in their blood never get gout. But when uric acid levels in the blood are too high, the uric acid may form hard crystals in your joints.

Your chances of getting gout are higher if you are overweight, drink too much alcohol, or eat too much meat and fish that are high in chemicals called purines. Some medicines, such as water pills (diuretics), can also bring on gout.

What are the symptoms?

The most common sign of gout is a nighttime attack of swelling, tenderness, redness, and sharp pain in your big toe camera. You can also get gout attacks in your foot, ankle, or knees. The attacks can last a few days or many weeks before the pain goes away. Another attack may not happen for months or years.

See your doctor even if your pain from gout is gone. The buildup of uric acid that led to your gout attack can still harm your joints.

How is gout diagnosed?

Your doctor will ask questions about your symptoms and do a physical exam. Your doctor may also take a sample of fluid from your joint to look for uric acid crystals. This is the best way to test for gout. Your doctor may also do a blood test to measure the amount of uric acid in your blood.

How is it treated?

To stop a gout attack, your doctor can give you a shot of corticosteroids, or prescribe a large daily dose of one or more medicines. The doses will get smaller as your symptoms go away. Relief from a gout attack often begins within 24 hours if you start treatment right away. To ease the pain during a gout attack, rest the joint that hurts. Taking ibuprofen or another anti-inflammatory medicine can also help you feel better. But don't take aspirin. It can make gout worse by raising the uric acid level in the blood.

MyAchingKnees comment: Ahh, he we go again treating the symptoms. In all seriousness it may be necessary to treat the pain symptoms, however wouldn't a person suffering from Gout symptoms want to minimize the potential bad side effects from pain medication and try, at least initially, to get better through a solid diet of good foods and a healthy lifestyle? I would ensure I received all the nutrients in the most potent and pure form I could to reduce any effects from a poor diet and nutrient deficiency. Good luck William.

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Are Nutritional Supplements Killing You?

I imagine a lot of people read this article on Yahoo! And thought “Should I quit taking supplements? Is he crazy?!” What is not stated is the publishing date of the “study from the Archives of Internal Medicine. Maybe it was published in 1922. There is no doubt that the vitamin and supplement business is in the tens of billions of annual sales. But there is a doubt as to what good supplements do for people. When the vast majority of supplements sold in store fronts and some through direct sales are food grade and do not have any guarantees as to their potency, purity, bio-availability or dissolution there is certainly reason to believe that studies can conclude supplements as a whole either don’t do a person any good or are actually harmful.

Anyway, make up your own mind…here is the article:

Should You Quit Taking Vitamins?
By Bill Phillips and the Editors of Men's Health, 24 Oct 2011

I'm a big fan of vitamins. And judging by the size of the vitamin and supplement industry—$20 billion in annual sales, a quarter of that in multivitamins—so are you. Pop one pill and you get a day’s worth of nutrients. What’s not to love?

Well, there is this: A recent study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that taking multivitamins and other supplements may actually shorten your life. Uh-oh.

Researchers in the study collected information from nearly 40,000 women (but say the findings apply to men too) several times over 22 years. They asked about all sorts of health issues, including vitamin and supplement use. After reconciling this data with health and death records, researchers identified seven supplements that actually seem to hasten death: vitamin B6, folic acid, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, and your innocent-looking multivitamin. The increase in mortality rate ranged from 2.2 percent (multivitamins) to a whopping 18 percent (copper).

All of which begs the question: Should you quit taking your vitamins? Well, I’m not going to quit—and you shouldn’t either. Here’s why:

MyAchingKnees comment: I’m not going to quit taking supplements either. But I know the quality of the nutrients I take. Do you?

1. The Study Was Observational.

This means that researchers followed a group of people over time, but didn’t test the supplement group against a placebo group. Although researchers did carefully control for factors such as age, diabetes, physical activity, high blood pressure, and a few dietary habits, even they say the findings should be interpreted with caution. There may be factors they didn’t account for that skewed the results, admits lead author Jaakko Mursu, Ph.D., of the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Minnesota.

2. The Study Followed a Group of Older Women.

Average age: 62. That’s not quite a representative sample of the population. Plus, it’s been well established that iron supplements increase the risk of heart disease in post-menopausal women (which is why there’s no iron in Centrum Silver and other multi’s formulated for older adults). And copper—which can be toxic in large amounts—is prevalent in many natural foods, such as vegetables and nuts, so few people need large doses of supplementation.

MyAchingKnees comment: Centrum Silver? Does anyone really take that? Iron, at least in several tableted forms, interferes with the absorption of other nutrients. Hence the need to get the majority of what you need via foods.

3. People Who Take Vitamins Generally Make Poorer Health Choices.

A study in Psychological Science earlier this year found that the perceived benefits of multivitamins may cause many people to cheat on their diets and workout routines. “Taking dietary supplements increases perceived invulnerability,” Wen-Bin Chiou, Ph.D., a professor at National Sun Yat-Sen University and author of the study, told Men's Health. In other words: It’s not the vitamins that are harmful; it’s the life choices people make while taking vitamins. So, you know, don’t do that.

MyAchingKnees comment: Well, you are partially right. Supplements are necessary since you cannot get the amount of nutrients you need for optimal health with today’s food supply,…..and you must make lifestyle changes such as avoiding the bad foods and consuming the better foods; avoiding toxins that are so prevalent in today’s environment; and, get some type of physical exercise.

4. Scores of Studies Have Found Benefits to Certain Vitamins and Supplements.

“In my mind, there's no question that low levels of vitamin D are associated with heart disease and many other issues including obesity and type 2 diabetes. I recommend it routinely and have for years,” says Robert Tozzi, M.D., chief of pediatric cardiology at the Hackensack University Medical Center . While your body produces vitamin D from sun exposure—and you consume it in certain foods—roughly one-third of Americans don’t have sufficient levels. (Mursu’s study found that vitamin D supplementation had no effect on total mortality.)

The American Heart Association recommends eating three servings of omega 3–rich fish per week, but how many of us meet that lofty goal? That’s why many experts recommend supplements. Studies show that men with the highest omega-3 levels, whether it's from natural sources or supplements, have the lowest risk of dying of heart disease. In fact, when researchers in Italy gave 2,800 heart-attack survivors 1 g fish oil a day, they found that the supplement reduced their risk of dying of heart disease by 30 percent and of sudden cardiac death by 45 percent, compared with those who didn't supplement their diets. That's pretty compelling evidence.

MyAchingKnees comment: Absolutely Omega 3 Fatty Acids are a hidden secret. The benefits are robust, carrying over not just for cardiac health, as a cholesterol fighter, but for joint health and brain energy and connectivity as well. Just be aware that low quality Omega 3 supplements are reported to have the highest levels of toxins such as PCB's, Dioxins and Mercury.  Before I took any off the shelf, food grade Omega 3 supplement, I would use whole foods high in Omega 3's, such as quality Olive Oil, flax seed and meal, and almonds.  

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Healthy Drinks

I found this article on concerning healthy drinks. Go read the original article here.

The article starts off by stating "Say So Long to Soda", which is great advice as soda pop, diet or otherwise, especially with the artificial sweetener Aspartame, is a terrible product to consume.

Fitness Magazine offer's the tip to drink plain water or sparkling water with lemon instead of soda. However most people want some type of actual flavor rather than drinking something that tastes like you emptied it out of a clothes iron. So Fitness Magazine also offers these recommendations:

Green Tea

The Benefit: Helps reduce risk of osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, and cavities. Green tea contains a rich concentration of flavonoids and polyphenols, natural antioxidants that may protect cells from carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) and inhibit tumor growth by helping to neutralize free radicals in the body. The tea's antioxidants may also guard against heart disease by relaxing blood vessels, inhibiting the formation of blood clots that trigger heart attacks and strokes. Green tea also contains fluoride, which strengthens teeth; the flavonoids may build up bones as well, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and tooth decay. Calories: 0

Mint Tea

The Benefit: Eases cramps and helps ward off indigestion. "Mint is an antispasmodic, so it can relax muscles, which combats stiffness and aches," says Susan Lark, MD, author of The Chemistry of Success (Bay Books, 1999). It also aids in digestion by promoting the movement of food through the digestive tract. Calories: 0

One Percent Reduced-Fat Milk

The Benefit: Curbs cravings and helps protect against osteoporosis. Because it has the components of a healthy meal -- carbohydrates, protein, and a little fat -- you absorb it slowly and stay full longer, says Molly Pelzer, RD, a nutrition educator in Tipton, Iowa. It also stabilizes blood sugar, so you're less susceptible to cravings. Milk is the ideal source of calcium, because it contains vitamin D, which is needed for maximum calcium absorption. It may also help your body stop storing fat. In a recent study, women who consumed three to four servings of low-fat dairy foods (milk being one) lost nearly twice as much weight as those who took in lower amounts. "The calcium causes your body's cells to burn the fat instead of holding on to it," says Pelzer. "This makes it easier to reach and maintain your goal
weight." Calories: 120 for 8 ounces.

MyAchingKnees Comment: I buy whole milk and cut it to a 1:1 ratio with cold tap water. Tastes good and makes my bucks go a greater distance. Also use this same mix for my low-glycemic meal replacement drinks every morning.

Soy Milk

The Benefit: Lowers risk of heart disease. Soy milk contains soluble fiber and soy protein, which lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and triglycerides, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. If you're drinking it instead of cow's milk, buy soy milk fortified with calcium and vitamins A and D. One caveat: Soy contains phytoestrogens, which may be linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. Talk to
your doctor about drinking soy milk if you have a family history of the disease or have had it yourself. Calories: 81 for 8 ounces.

MyAchingKnees Comment: Sure, drink Soy milk if you can stand the taste. I'd rather drink warm ketchup juice.

Hot Chocolate

The Benefit: Improves mood and may help protect against heart disease. Chocolate increases the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is responsible for regulating mood. (Low levels of serotonin have been associated with depression.) Cocoa is also rich in polyphenols, plant-derived antioxidants that may protect cells against oxidative damage that can lower HDL (good) cholesterol levels, possibly putting you at higher risk for a heart attack. Calories: 195 for 8 ounces homemade cocoa; 115 for a powdered mix.

MyAchingKnees Comment: My choice over Hot Chocolate? Black Coffee.

Low-Sodium Tomato Juice

The Benefit: May protect against numerous cancers. Processed tomato products are the richest source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been associated with a reduced risk of lung and stomach cancer, as well as pancreatic, colorectal, esophageal, oral, breast, and cervical cancers. Lycopene also appears to protect the lungs and heart against oxidative damage, helping to ward off cardiovascular disease. Calories: 31 for 6 ounces.

Cranberry Juice

The Benefit: Helps prevent gum disease. Research suggests that the same antibacterial properties present in cranberry juice that fight off urinary tract infections may also protect against periodontal disease. Experts theorize that a component of the juice called nondialysable material (NDM) inhibits bacteria from sticking to the gums. Many nutritionists are wary of fruit juices because of their sugar content, so limit your intake to no more than one glass (6 to 8 ounces) daily. "Make sure the label says 100 percent juice, not 'juice drink' or 'cocktail,'" suggests Heidi Reichenberger, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. You can find this type of juice in health-food stores and some supermarkets. Calories: 140 for 8 ounces.

Orange Juice

The Benefit: May ward off cataracts, cancers, and birth defects and boost immunity. An excellent source of vitamin C, orange juice is also a potent antioxidant that may protect against a variety of diseases including cataracts (a clouding of the eye's lens that can lead to blindness) and lung cancer. Vitamin C may prevent oxidative damage that can cause cells to become cancerous, and it improves immune-cell functioning, enabling your body to fight off infections more efficiently. And it's a good source of folate, which protects against neural-tube defects in fetuses. To get the extra benefit of bone protection, try some calcium-fortified orange juice. Calories: 115 for 8 ounces.

MyAchingKnees Comment: Make sure you buy the "not from concentrate". I drink the brand called "Simply Orange" and in fact I use all their juice products - "not from concentrate". Vitamin C is also a nutrient thought to be significant for joint health, particularly connective tissue health. Vitamin C is one of the ingredients in the Glucosamine based product I take.

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Friday, November 18, 2011

More Nutritional Rating Systems?

From the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, this report was initially printed in several daily newspapers under the heading "Food Labels Need Energy Star Type Ratings" but the whole report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) is available here.

Congress directed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to undertake a study with the Institute of Medicine (IOM), with additional support provided by the Food and Drug Administration and the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, U.S. Department of Agriculture. The task was split into two phases. A first report analyzed the nutrition rating systems and the scientific research that underlies them and was released in 2010. This second report delves into consumer use and understanding of front of package systems.

A variety of nutrition rating systems and symbols are now on the front of food packages—meant to make it easier for consumers to make healthful choices. However, the number and variety of nutrition rating systems in grocery stores today often lead to confusion in the grocery aisle, especially when consumers are pressed for time and may not understand a product rating system.

The report concludes that it is time for a move away from front-of-package (FOP) systems that mostly provide nutrition information on foods or beverages but don’t give clear guidance about their healthfulness, and toward one that encourages healthier choices through simplicity, visual clarity, and the ability to convey meaning without written information.

The report recommends that the Food and Drug Administration develop, test, and implement a single, standard FOP symbol system to appear on all food and beverage products, in place of other systems already in use. The symbol system should show calories in household servings on all products. Foods and beverages should be evaluated using a point system for saturated and trans fats and sodium, and added sugars. The more points a food or beverage has, the healthier it is. This system would encourage food and beverage producers to develop healthier fare and consumers to quickly and easily find healthier products when they shop.

Federal agencies should develop a new nutrition rating system with symbols to display on the front of food and beverage packaging that graphically convey calorie counts by serving size and a "point" value showing whether the saturated and trans fats, sodium, and added sugars in the products are below threshold levels. This new front-of-package system should apply to all foods and beverages and replace any other symbols currently being used on the front of packaging, added the committee that wrote the report.

The report envisions a rating system in which foods and beverages earn points if their amounts of nutrients of concern -- saturated and trans fats, sodium, and added sugars -- are at or below levels considered acceptable based on qualifying criteria. The more points a food or beverage has, the healthier it is. A product could earn up to three points, one each for having sodium and added sugars that do not exceed threshold amounts and one for having saturated and trans fats below designated levels. For example, 100 percent whole wheat bread could qualify for all three points while graham crackers could earn two points for having levels of sodium and saturated and trans fats below the thresholds. Points would be graphically displayed on packaging as check marks, stars, or some other icon to be determined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Question of Food Grade v Pharmaceutical Grade

I received an e-mail from Ray, who asked: "What is the difference between what you call food grade and pharmaceutical grade? Do I have to get a prescription?"

MyAchingKnees response: Short answer - No.  Food Grade products are manufactured where there is no requirement to be accurate on the label. What it says on the label is not necessarily what is in the bottle. There is no guarantee for purity (lack of toxins), potency or dissolution. It is literally crazy what companies can put on the label as opposed to what's in the bottle. pharmaceutical-grade standard would meet FDA standards of pharmaceutical grade products just like the prescriptions that an M.D. would write for you, but fortunately there are nutritional products that are pharmaceutical grade that do not require an expensive Doctor's visit. Heck, most Doctor's couldn't tell what are good nutritional supplements or not,...unless they looked in the Physicians Desk Reference,.....and would probably tell you just to buy Centrum from Walgreen's.

But the lack of enforcement on label claims for food grade products extends past nutritional supplements,....all foods are affected. I found this article on concerning store bought honey.

Shock finding: More than 75 percent of all 'honey' sold in grocery stores contains no honey at all from, November 9, 2011.

Just because those cute little bear-shaped bottles at the grocery store say "honey" on them does not necessarily mean that they actually contain honey. A comprehensive investigation conducted by Food Safety News (FSN) has found that the vast majority of so-called honey products sold at grocery stores, big box stores, drug stores, and restaurants do not contain any pollen, which means they are not real honey.

For the investigation, Vaughn Bryant, one of the nation's leading melissopalynologists, or experts in identifying pollen in honey, and director of the Palynology Research Laboratory at Texas A&M University , evaluated more than 60 products labeled as "honey" that had been purchased by FSN from ten states and the District of Columbia .

Bryant found that 76 percent of "honey" samples purchased from major grocery store chains like Kroger and Safeway, and 77 percent of samples purchased from big box chains like Sam's Club and Wal-Mart, did not contain any pollen. Even worse were "honey" samples taken from drug stores like Walgreens and CVS, and fast food restaurants like McDonald's and KFC, 100 percent of which were found to contain not a trace of pollen.

The full FSN report with a list of all the pollen-less "honey" brands can be accessed here:

So what is all this phony honey made of? It is difficult to say for sure, as pollen is the key to verifying that honey is real. According to FSN, much of this imposter honey is more likely being secretly imported from China , and may even be contaminated with antibiotic drugs and other foreign materials.

Most conventional honey products have been illegally ultra-filtered to hide their true nature. According to FSN, the lack of pollen in most conventional "honey" products is due to these products having been ultra-filtered. This means that they have been intensely heated, forced through extremely tiny filters, and potentially even watered down or adulterated in some way prior to hitting store shelves.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) holds the position that any so-called honey products that have been ultra-filtered are not actually honey. But the agency refuses to do anything to stop this influx of illegitimate "honey" from flooding the North American market. It also continues to stonewall all petitions to establish a national regulatory standard for verifying the integrity of honey.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Omega 3 - Where Art Thou?

I received a question from a reader, Jack in Oregon, asked: "Can you explain why you think Omega 3 oils are beneficial for your joints? I use Flax Seed oil in my food and think it's a good thing and can't find anything that shows to take Omega 3 for joint pain."

MyAchingKnees reply: Omega 3 Fatty Acids are found in Flax Seed Meal and Oil. It's great for a person to use with their foods, if they are getting a whole source. I buy Flax Seed and use a coffee grinder to grind up and use in Steel Cut Oats for Breakfast or Lunch most of the time.

There are many sources that claim not only the joint pain reduction benefits of adding a good source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids to your diet, but link Omega 3 to other degenerative disease fighting benefits and energy transfer between cells especially in cognitive functions.

I don't think Omega 3's are the end all to nutritional supplements, but I think they are an essential optimizers to a balanced daily nutritional supplement. I think there is truck loads of information that you bring a person to believe that there are amazing changes in your health that can be brought about from taking a quality (read pharmaceutical grade) nutritional supplement and optimizers, especially combining that eating good foods and avoiding bad foods, getting physical exercise and avoiding a toxic lifestyle. I am convinced of that and will be taking the supplements I do for the rest of my life, including the Omega 3 Fatty Acids and Glucosamine, which I attribute to not only reducing, but eliminating my knee pain.

Below is a recent article (you have to do your diligence to find these articles) on Omega 3 Fatty Acids and the link to slowing arthritis and osteoarthritis both degenerative diseases and causes of sometimes unrelenting joint pain. The article from Natural News can be found here.

Omega-3 fats from fish oil and supplements prevent and slow arthritis progression

Humans have been consuming omega-3 fats from natural fish, nut and seed sources for countless generations. Our core genetic structure depends on a regular supply of the long chain omega-3 fats EPA and DHA to form cell wall structures and perform millions of metabolic functions that we normally associate with vibrant health. Imbalance of omega-3 to omega-6 fats cause a surge in inflammatory cytokines that can lead to the painful and debilitating condition known as osteoarthritis.

New research published in the journal Osteoarthritis and Cartilage has shown for the first time that omega-3 fats supplied by fish oil could "substantially and significantly" reduce the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis as we age.

Researchers from the University of Bristol in England tested the effect of omega-3 fats on a breed of guinea pigs that are genetically predisposed to develop arthritis. Guinea pigs were chosen for this study as they develop osteoarthritis in a similar manner to humans. Anecdotal reports over the years provide support for the beneficial effect of fish consumption on joint health. Dr. John Tarlton from the Matrix Biology Research Group and his team set out to confirm the impact of omega-3 fatty acids, either sourced from fish oil or flax oil, in preventing or slowing down the progression of osteoarthritis.

Omega-3 Fat Supplementation Slashes Osteoarthritis Disease Progression by Half

The team fed one group of guinea pigs a diet including full-spectrum omega-3 fats (EPA and DHA) and compared the results to a second control group of non-supplemented animals. Typical degradation of collagen in cartilage and the loss of molecules that give it shock-absorbing properties were both reduced in the omega-3 supplemented group. Researchers noted that omega-3 fats reduced disease by
50 per cent compared to the control group.

Upon examination of the results, Dr. Tarlton explained: "there was strong evidence that omega-3 influences the biochemistry of the disease, and therefore not only helps prevent disease, but also slows its progression, potentially controlling established osteoarthritis." This is a critical finding, as most people suffering from arthritis are prescribed a plethora of ineffective pain medications that
dramatically increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease or of suffering a heart attack.

Omega fat imbalance from a poor diet causes excessive joint inflammation and needless suffering. Researchers performing this study concluded "Most diets in the developed world are lacking in omega-3, with modern diets having up to 30 times too much omega-6 and too little omega-3. Taking omega-3 will help redress this imbalance and may positively contribute to a range of other health problems such as heart disease." Many health-minded individuals will want to supplement with a
molecularly distilled form of fish oil (minimum 1200 mg EPA/DHA content) each day to combat inflammation and osteoarthritis.

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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Are Vitamins Killing Women? Really?

From the title of the article below, pulled from Yahoo!, you would conclude that the researchers, who that think taking supplements increase a woman’s chance of death, are just plain morons.

Vitamins May Increase Women's Risk of Dying, Research Finds, by Joseph Brownstein of Live Science, (for the article click here)

Popping vitamins may do more harm than good, according to a new study that adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting some supplements may have health risks. Researchers from the University of Minnesota examined data from more than 38,000 women taking part in the Iowa Women's Health Study, an ongoing study with women who were around age 62 at its start in 1986. The researchers collected data on the women's supplement use in 1986, 1997 and 2004.

Women who took supplements had, on average, a 2.4 percent increased risk of dying over the course of the 19-year study, compared with women who didn't take supplements, after the researchers adjusted for factors including the woman's age and calorie intake.

"Our study, as well as other similar studies, have provided very little evidence that commonly used dietary supplements would help to prevent chronic diseases," said study author Jaakko Mursu, an epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

"We would advise people to reconsider whether they need to use supplements, and put more emphasis on a healthy diet instead," Mursu said.

MyAchingKnees comment: No doubt one should avoid bad foods and consume only healthy foods; get a moderate amount of physical exercise and activity; and, avoid toxins or a toxic environment;...... but, with today’s food supply be as low as quality as it is, taking high quality nutritional supplements is a necessity since we just cannot get all the nutrients our bodies need through foods.

A toxic combination?

The new study linked a number of individual vitamins and minerals to the slight mortality risk, including multivitamins, vitamin B6, folic acid, iron, magnesium, zinc and copper. For example, of the 12,769 women in the study who took a daily multivitamin, 40.8 percent had died by the end of 2008, whereas 39.8 percent of the 10,161 women who hadn't taken a daily multivitamin had died.

MyAchingKnees comment: Yes look at those numbers again,….40.8 percent versus 39.8 percent. The researchers are basing their conclusion on 1%. Really?

Mursu said that the design of the study did not allow the researchers to determine if there was a specific cause for the increased mortality.

"However, we do know that most compounds are toxic in high amounts, and long-term use might predispose [a person] to detrimental outcomes," he told MyHealthNewsDaily. The increased chance of dying" could be related to generally high concentration of compounds that these supplements contain. Most supplements contain higher amounts of nutrients than would be derived from food, and it is known that several compounds can be toxic in higher amounts, especially when consumed for a long time, as some of these accumulate to body," Mursu said.

Taking calcium supplements, on the other hand, actually seemed to lower the woman's death risk slightly, by 3.8 percent, although the researchers noted that there was not a relationship between consuming increasingly higher amounts of calcium and a continuing decrease in mortality rate.

Less is more!

While vitamins and minerals are necessary for proper nutrition, excess intake has not shown further benefit, and recent studies have cast some doubt on the idea that vitamin supplements provide a "safety net" for people not getting enough of a given nutrient. Instead, too much may be a problem. The study, published today (Oct. 10) in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, is part of a series examining interventions in medicine that may be unnecessary. "Until recently, the available data regarding the adverse effects of dietary supplements has been limited and grossly under reported. We think the paradigm "the more, the better" is wrong," wrote Dr. Goran Bjelakovic and Dr. Christian Gluud, of the Center for Clinical Intervention Research at Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark in an accompanying commentary.

"We believe that for all micronutrients, risks are associated with insufficient and too-large intake. Low levels of intake increase the risk of deficiency. High levels of intake increase the risk of toxic effects and disease," they wrote.

MyAchingKnees comment: If “high levels of (supplement) intake increase the risk of toxic effects and disease” then why hasn’t my wife or daughter or a hundred other ladies that I know who are taking high doses of pharmaceutical grade products laying dead right now? Hello? It’s the quality and purity of the products for one thing....

"Therefore, we believe that politicians and regulatory authorities should wake up to their responsibility to allow only safe products on the market," they wrote.

MyAchingKnees comment: Again, I am not in favor of the government controlling anymore things. They have done a bad enough job with what they do control so far. It is up to the consumer to figure out what are good products and what are worthless or even bad for you. There are plenty of resources out there. Make sure you are getting science based products rather than relying on products with fancy advertisements or emotional appeals.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Healthy Fruits and Veggies You May Not Know About

Although the Scientists I have partnered up with will recommend taking the highest quality nutritional supplements you can find, they will be the first to admit that getting your nutrients from fresh and whole foods is best, however that is just near impossible.

If you are one of the rare people who make a tremendous effort in ensuring you get the best and most fresh whole foods possible then consider these five fruits and vegetables you may have not heard about.

This is from an article written by Mara Betsch of Prevention, titled "5 Surprisingly Healthy Fruits and Veggies You Aren't Eating". The original article can be found here:

1. Purple Potatoes
Even though low-carb diets are no longer the rage, potatoes still have a bad reputation for wrecking diets. Brand new research from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania comes to a different conclusion, at least about the purple variety. A study followed 18 overweight and obese people who also had high blood pressure. Participants were asked to either eat six to eight golf ball-sized purple potatoes for lunch and dinner, or stick to a potato-free diet. After a month, participants switched diet routines. Participants who ate potatoes saw a significant drop in their high blood pressure—diastolic pressure fell an average 4.3 percent while systolic blood pressure dropped an average 3.5 percent.

2. Lychees
This sweet white fruit is popular in Asia , but with its big health benefits, it should make its way into your cart, too. According to a 2006 study in the Journal of Nutrition, lychee has the second-highest level of heart-healthy polyphenols of 24 fruits tested. They were beat only by strawberries, and the study found they had nearly 15% more disease-preventing polyphenols than grapes. Lychee's powerful antioxidants may also help to prevent the formation of breast cancer cells, according to a recent test-tube and animal study from Sichuan University in China .

3. Guava
Eat just one cup of this South American fruit, and you're getting 5 times as much vitamin C as a medium orange (377 mg versus 83 mg). Like other red fruits, including tomatoes and watermelon, guava contains lycopene, which may help prevent heart disease. And according to research by microbiologists in Bangladesh , guava can even protect against food borne pathogens such as Listeria and staph. MyAchingKnees comment: Lycopene is also a nutrient for healthy prostrates………I’m just saying,…..

The Center for Science in the Public Interest released a report in June 2011 comparing the nutritional info of 50 popular fruits. They ranked them based on the percentages of certain nutrients—fiber, vitamin C, potassium, folate, iron, calcium, and antioxidant-packed pigments called carotenoids–in each serving. Guava beat out apples, bananas, and grapes to be the number one fruit.

4. Bok Choy
This leafy green cabbage is the number one veggie in China and boasts 10 times the recommended amount of vitamin A in just one cup. Packed with antioxidants, it's no surprise that several studies show that high intake of Brassica vegetables (a family of vegetables including kale, broccoli, and bok choy may reduce the risk of certain cancers, including prostate cancer.

5. Asian Pears
Snack on one large Asian pear, and you'll get 10 g of fiber, nearly half of your daily recommended amount. So what's so great about fiber? Not only does it lower cholesterol, but it also keeps you full longer and helps to control blood sugar levels.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

New Information on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

We ran across this older article from Health Day News, titled “Researchers Say They've Found Common Cause of All Types of ALS”. ALS of course is Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. This is degenerative disease and a terrible one at that. I just find it fatiguing that research into any degenerative disease, be it ALS, Diabetes, Parkinson’s or whatever is largely focused on drug therapy as opposed to using a holistic approach, considering all avenues of treatment including advanced doses of nutritional supplementation as a part of the overall strategy.

From Health Day News August 21, 2011 -- The apparent discovery of a common cause of all forms of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) could give a boost to efforts to find a treatment for the fatal neurodegenerative disease, a new study contends.

Scientists have long struggled to identify the underlying disease process of ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) and weren't even sure that a common disease process was associated with all forms of ALS. ALS afflicts an estimated 350,000 people around the world. About 50 percent of patients die within three years of the first symptoms. They progressively lose muscle strength until they're paralyzed and can't move, speak, swallow and breathe, the researchers said.

In this new study, Northwestern University researchers said they found that the basis of ALS is a malfunctioning protein recycling system in the neurons of the brain and spinal cord. Efficient recycling of the protein building blocks in the neurons are critical for optimal functioning of the neurons. They become severely damaged when they can't repair or maintain themselves.

This problem occurs in all three types of ALS: hereditary, sporadic and ALS that targets the brain, the researchers said.

The discovery, published in the journal Nature, shows that all forms of ALS share an underlying cause and offers a common target for drug therapy, according to the researchers.

"This opens up a whole new field for finding an effective treatment for ALS," study senior author Dr. Teepu Siddique, of the Davee Department of Neurology and Clinical Neurosciences at Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine, said in a university news release. "We can now test for drugs that would regulate this protein pathway or optimize it, so it functions as it should in a normal state."

This finding about the breakdown of protein recycling in ALS may also prove useful in the study of other neurodegenerative diseases, specifically Alzheimer's and other dementias, the Northwestern researchers said.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Protein - How Much is Enough?

There is considerable debate on how the body synthesizes protein. Some say no more than 50 grams at an one time; other say around 20-30 grams is the maximum limit.
And yet others will say it isn't the amount you take at any one time, it the amount of protein you get during the whole day.

Protein, of course, is necessary to repair damaged cells and to build new ones. It is a pretty fair statement to say that it is universally accepted that eating within 3 hours of your workout enhances protein synthesis and therefore recuperation and muscle building.

The average person eats about double the amount of protein that their body requires, consuming an average of almost 70 pounds per year, when the average man needs about 65 grams a day compared to the average woman's needs of around 55 grams.

Too much protein can reflect in less energy and even lethargy. Eating too much protein, especially from red and processed meats is associated with higher rates of heart disease and cancer. Although it is not the greater amount of protein that is causing the cancer, is much more likely that the affected person is not getting a complete diet of nutrients and/or is consuming too many toxins in their whole foods.

It just may not only be safer and more healthy but more and easier to consume smaller amounts of protein each day, shooting for 4 to 5 servings. One serving could be two eggs; or several tablespoons of peanut butter; a hamburger patty, a large glass of milk among other protein sources.

There seems to be an organized effort to get people to discard red meat sources of protein, such as beef which is among some of the most complete single source foods you can eat. Impact on the environment. Claims that meat and dairy production require tremendous amounts of fuel, pesticides, and chemical fertilizers, and generates a large amount of greenhouse gases are all published reasons from environmental groups to stop using these sources of protein. In fact, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently published a Meat Eater’s Guide, pointing out that if you ate once less burger a week it would be the environmentally-positive equivalent of taking your car off the road for 320 miles.

Meat is also expensive. Not all proteins are created equal -- neither at the doctor’s office, nor the cash register.

Anyway, as always the consumer should do their own research and make up their own mind. But watch out for the wacko environmentalists,....anybody seen Al Gore? Come on now, I'm just having some fun.

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Truths About ADD/ADHD

I wanted to address this article for several weeks now. This is from an article entitled "The Top 10 Myths About ADHD" by the Editors at RealAge, on 18 August 2011, which appeared on Shine by Yahoo,...which I sometimes call "shine you on"......just kidding.

Just-released government statistics confirm that ADHD (attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder) is more prevalent than ever before, increasing over the past decade from 6.9% to 9% among children ages 5 to 17. With nearly 1 in 10 kids being diagnosed with ADHD, and more adults learning they have it, too, it's become commonplace to blame it for everything from bad behavior to a messy house.

Everyone, from friends and neighbors to Hollywood celebrities, has something to say about it, much of it with no basis in science. Here to help you get your facts straight, the top 10 misconceptions about ADHD:

Myth #1: Only kids have ADHD.

Although about 10% of kids 5 to 17 years old have been diagnosed with ADHD, at least 4% of adults have it, too -- and probably many more, since adult ADHD is often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. That's partly because people think only kids get it.

Myth #2: All kids "outgrow" ADHD.

Not nearly always. Up to 70% of children with ADHD continue to have trouble with it in adulthood, which can create relationship problems, money troubles, work strife, and a rocky family life.

Myth #3: Medication is the only treatment for ADHD.

Medication can be useful in managing ADHD symptoms, but it's not a cure. And it's not the only treatment. Lifestyle changes, counseling, and behavior modification can significantly improve symptoms as well. Several studies suggest that a combination of ADHD treatments works best.

MyAchingKnees comment: Medication should be the last choice in my book unless you readily accept the risks of many side effects. The hands down best treatment for what may be termed ADD or ADHD is nutrition. We have had several parents who once they reduced high glycemic foods and put their children on high doses of nutritional supplements, they have seen remarkable changes in weeks. Omega 3 Fatty Acids isn't just a joint health supplement. Lack of Omega 3 Fatty Acids and/or a high ratio between Omega 6 Fatty Acids to Omega 3 Fatty Acids are thought by a increasing number of nutritionists and Medical professionals to be a major contributing factor in ADD/ADHD. Why wouldn't any parent, who has a so -called ADD/ADHD child, try a low cost, lower risk experiment of placing their child on high quality nutrients and an Omega 3 supplement to see if it will help?

Myth #4: People who have ADHD are lazy and lack intelligence and willpower.

This is totally not true. In fact, ADHD has nothing to do with intelligence or determination. It's a neurobehavioral disorder caused by changes in brain chemicals and the way the brain works. It presents unique challenges, but they can be overcome -- which many successful people have done.

MyAchingKnees comment: It is outside the realm of belief to think that a lack of nutrients, including Omega 3 Fatty Acids, has something to do with a neurobehavioral disorder? Everything from energy transfer to absorption of micro nutrients by the cells has to be effected by a lack of nutrients provided.

Myth #5: ADHD isn't a real disorder.

Not so. Doctors and mental-health professionals agree that ADHD is a biological disorder that can significantly impair functioning. An imbalance in brain chemicals affects brain areas that regulate behavior and emotion. This is what produces ADHD symptoms.

MyAchingKnees comment: In my opinion, ADD or ADHD is by and large a nutritional disease. However, I am sure that there are some causes of ADD or ADHD that cannot be effectively managed through lifestyle change and a solid nutritional plan. In one particular case a friend of mine put her 11 years old son on a high quality nutritional supplement and an Omega 3 Fatty Acid supplement. I also had her change from white bread and orange juice from concentrate in the mornings before school to a multi-grain bread and fresh or organic juice and within 3 weeks she told me her son's teacher and her noticed a big change in the boy's behavior and attention span. And this is a boy who when I was visiting the family one day, he came crashing out of the ceiling into the living room! He had been up in the attic jumping on the insulation and sheet rock ceiling!

Myth #6: Bad parenting causes ADHD.

Absolutely not! ADHD symptoms are caused by brain-chemical imbalances (see #4 and #5) that make it hard to pay attention and control impulses. Good parenting skills help children deal with their symptoms.

MyAchingKnees comment: Of course bad parenting does not cause ADD or ADHD. But what kind of parent pumps ritalin or whatever into their kids without first trying less risker protocols? Boy, writing that is going to get me some hate mail!!

Myth #7: Kids with ADHD are always hyper.

Not always. ADHD comes in three "flavors": predominantly inattentive; predominantly hyperactive-impulsive; and combined, which is a mix of inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms. Although kids with hyperactive-impulsive or combined ADHD may be fidgety and restless, kids with inattentive ADHD are not hyper.

Myth #8: Too much TV time causes ADHD.

Not really. But spending excessive amounts of time watching TV or playing video games could trigger the condition in susceptible individuals. And in kids and teens who already have ADHD, spending hours staring at electronic screens may make symptoms worse.

Myth #9: If you can focus on certain things, you don't have ADHD.

It's not that simple. Although it's true that people with ADHD have trouble focusing on things that don't interest them, there's a flip side to the disorder. Some people with ADHD get overly absorbed in activities they enjoy. This symptom is called hyperfocus. It can help you be more productive in activities that you like, but you can become so focused that you ignore responsibilities you don't like.

Myth #10: ADHD is overdiagnosed.

Nope. If anything, ADHD is under diagnosed and under treated. Many children with ADHD grow up to be adults with ADHD. The pressures and responsibilities of adulthood often exacerbate ADHD symptoms, leading adults to seek evaluation and help for the first time. Also, parents who have children with ADHD may seek treatment only after recognizing similar symptoms in themselves. For people with severe small intestine inflammation, doctors sometimes prescribe steroids.

MyAchingKnees comment: Over diagnosed? No, I agree probably not. But over medicated? For sure.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Another View - The 5 Most Important Supplements

From an article on Yahoo! News, comes a reasonable accurate recommendation about the 5 most important supplements, with our comments following each recommendation.

1. A high-quality multi-vitamin

Topping the list is an excellent quality multi-vitamin. This is essential because a multi “fills in the blanks” of your diet (no matter how good it is), so you’re not running dangerously low on the essential nutrients your body needs for optimal functioning.

Be sure to avoid the TV-advertised one-a-days you find in your local drugstore. These are nearly worthless because their ingredients are based on the “bare minimum” official Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), now upgraded to the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI). The RDA evolved from the old Minimum Daily Requirement (MDR) set by the government. This means the nutrients in most of the popular multis contain the minimum doses necessary to prevent nutritional -deficiency diseases, such as scurvy (vitamin C), beriberi (vitamin B1), and others. This certainly is not how to guarantee optimal health.

These mainstream multis are notoriously feeble. For example, Consumer Reports recently concluded that Centrum is the worst vitamin for seniors in its class. Consumer Reports also found that The Vitamin Shoppe’s One Daily failed to dissolve in a simulated stomach environment, while containing less vitamin A than its label claims.

You can avoid this pitfall by sticking to high-quality, bioavailable multivitamins that are reasonably priced and lab-tested.

MyAchingKnees comment: There is nothing to regulate what of the shelf food grade supplement manufacturers list on their label. The U.S. Olympic Committee doesn't trust them why should you? Pushing aside the quality issue, yes everyone should take a multi-mineral, mega antioxidant supplement - if you think you are geting his from you foods, then you are fooling yourself.

2. A quality omega-3 supplement

Fish oil is today’s bestselling supplement — and with good reason. The EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) in omega-3 fish oil have profoundly positive effects on human health. DHA slows your liver’s production of undesirable triglycerides, making it extremely protective against heart disease and diabetes.

In addition, fish oil is incredibly effective at reducing inflammation. It accomplishes this by triggering the release of prostaglandins (natural substances that regulate immunity, inflammation, blood clotting, brain function, plus a host of other essential functions).

There’s not enough room here to list all the healing effects of omega-3. The highlights include: Healing blood vessel walls … keeping the blood thin (thus minimizing clotting) flowing smoothly … lowering blood pressure … stabilizing blood sugar … and brightening your mood.

The American Heart Association recommends a daily dose of 500-1,000 mg of DHA and EPA from fish oil to reduce heart disease — but I think this is a paltry dose. I prefer to take 6,000 to 9,000 iu daily in three equal doses — and find this really helps my arthritis.

MyAchingKnees comment: I also think that a Omega 3 Fatty Acid supplement, combined with Glucosamine are what has eliminated by decades old knee pain and greatly reduced my back pain. It has been known to help brain function, hence the appropriate use in ADD/ADHD kids.

3. Co-enzyme Q-10

CoQ-10 (also known as ubiquinol) is a nutrient produced by the “energy factories” in your cells called mitochondria. Taking a CoQ-10 supplement boosts the way your cells produce and use energy. It also helps your body burn fat … improves cholesterol ratios … boosts your physical energy levels … and improves thyroid and pancreas functions.

By the way, statins — the widely — (or is it “wildly”?) prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs — actually deplete your body’s natural CoQ-10. Statins block production of cholesterol in the liver, where CoQ-10 is also manufactured. Without sufficient CoQ-10, statins can cause liver damage … irregular heartbeat … muscle weakness … leg cramps … heart attack and stroke (the two potentially fatal conditions that statins are supposed to prevent).

Other medications also can limit your body’s production of CoQ-10, including: Diabetes drugs....antidepressants.....female hormone replacement therapy … and blood pressure meds. If you take any of these, you definitely need to supplement with CoQ-10.

MyAchingKnees comment: I do not take CoQ-10, although in the limited people I have known that have taken a pharmaceutical grade version of it that is three times as potent dose wise as the common dose, have experience great benefit. Through not changing my real food diet, and only through the daily consumption of pharmaceutical grade supplements, my cholesterol went from 210 to 150. I would not hesitate to add CoQ-10 to my supplements if I had any reason to believe I needed this potent optimizer in my body. And I very well may need some at some point, as our bodies manufacture CoQ-10 but that diminishes with age.

4. Magnesium citrate

You’ve been hearing about calcium and bone health forever — but did you know that magnesium and calcium are like conjoined twins? Calcium can’t even be absorbed unless magnesium is present. Without it, calcium is much less effective in maintaining your bones and regulating your nerve and muscle tone.

In fact, new research shows that Americans need far more magnesium than the current RDI — and that you should really be consuming twice as much magnesium as calcium for optimal health.

Magnesium may be the most important mineral you can take because it’s a key player in 300 essential bodily functions, and is used by all of your organs. It activates enzymes … powers your energy … and helps your body absorb vitamin D, potassium, and zinc.

The majority of Americans are magnesium-deficient due to the low-quality, processed foods in the typical American diet. Produce grown in mineral-depleted soil won’t provide much magnesium, either.

If you have blood sugar issues, you should know that magnesium helps regulate blood sugar and insulin activity. In addition, magnesium’s ability to relax muscles and nerves makes it one of your best allies in the battle against anxiety.....hypertension.....restless leg syndrome......sleep disorders......and
abnormal heart rhythm.

MyAchingKnees comment: I would have named this essential supplement Calcium. You cannot take a high quality calcium supplement without Magnesium in the same tablet. It is believed most women are calcium (and magnesium) deficient as well as an appropriate supplement for teenage girls to ensure they are getting enough. I have had my daughter on it since age 11. Additionally, an absence of Calcium may very well be a factor in joint pain.

5. Sunshine vitamin D

This is rapidly becoming the miracle vitamin of our time. Every week, it seems, there’s a new finding about D’s marvelous benefits. Most Americans are badly deficient in vitamin D because doctors consider the sun our enemy — and your skin converts solar rays into this essential vitamin.

Numerous studies show that this amazing vitamin is protective against all cancers (even skin cancer and melanoma!)......strengthens bones.....prevents and even heals diabetes … protects against heart disease … lowers blood pressure … reverses depression … and elevates mood.

Whenever you can, spend 10-20 minutes sunbathing — without sunscreen. (Your body transforms sunshine into all the vitamin D it needs.) If your access to sunlight is limited by season or geographic location, take 2,000-5,000 IU of a good quality vitamin D supplement daily. (The elderly and African-Americans need higher doses.) Official recommendations call for a scant 600 IU, which is far too low. Just make sure you purchase vitamin D3 (not D2) because the D3 form is 87% more potent than
vitamin D2.

MyAchingKnees comment: Ha Ha, you will not get enough Vitamin D from the Sun. A minimum of 2,000 IU per day will ensure your body and therefore your immune system get the Vitamin D it requires. You may need more. I have several friends taking 4,000 to 8,000 IU a day and swear by that dose.

As always, let the consumer be aware. Do your own research and do not limit it to vitamin ads making claims there is no way to check. Unless of course they use "in-house" labs.

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Friday, October 7, 2011

Reducing Your Blood Pressure

While I was looking on the Real Age site, I found this article on "Reducing Your Blood Pressure with Drinks....

The article states:

Whether you choose soymilk or cow's milk, having a glass now and then may be doing great things for your blood pressure.

So say investigators of a recent clinical trial. Their study found that milk and soy proteins may each have the ability to reduce systolic blood pressure.

Putting the Clamps on Pressure

In the study, researchers randomly assigned people with pre-hypertension and stage-1 high blood pressure to receive either 40 grams per day of protein from soymilk, 40 grams per day of protein from cow's milk, or a carbohydrate-rich drink. After 8 weeks, both the soymilk and cow's milk groups experienced improved blood pressure. Systolic blood pressure dipped 2.0 mm Hg in the soymilk group and 2.3 mm Hg in the cow's milk group, while the carb-supplemented group saw no change.

Less Is More

A 2 or 2.3 mm Hg drop in systolic blood pressure might not sound like much. But health experts believe that even this modest reduction could lead to 6 percent fewer stroke-related deaths, a 4 percent lower rate of heart disease deaths, and a 3 percent reduction in overall deaths among Americans. So even a little bump down translates into major life saving.

Take the Yogurt Challenge

Want to get more blood-pressure-friendly food into your life? Try eating 2 to 3 servings of nonfat or low-fat yogurt each day. Choose sugar-free varieties to keep calorie count down.

I don't know about the milk, though. I have been drinking cow milk for over 45 years now. My blood pressure did not improve until I started taking daily high doses pharmaceutical grade nutritional products six years ago. My blood pressure was always around the 138/98....even when I was in my late 20's and early 30's. It was high enough to get me referred to the Health Clinic for monitoring. In the last six years, having been on these products, my blood pressure is now in the 118/84 range.

So I don't think Cow Milk has a lot of do with reduced blood pressure. I think that the nutrients provided by good quality cow milk (or soy milk) are a partial solution for what your body needs for optimal health and a robust immune system, the body obviously needs a wide range of nutrients in high doses. And you can't get the quality nor amount strictly from foods.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Vitamin D as Brain Food? received a question from P.B. concerning Vitamin D: "What do you think about Viatmin D? I just read something on the internet about Vitamin D being necessary for brain health. The article said that Cod Liver Oil was a good source for Vitamin D."

P.B.....the article you probably read was from Real Age, click here to read the entire article, titled "Clear Brain Plaques with This Nutrient"

It did state that cod liver oil is rich in Vitamin D and if your mother gave it to you, she was ahead of her time.

Whenever I saw my mother reaching for the Cod Liver Oil bottle,....I ran out the back door!

The article when on to state that a new animal study from Japan suggests that vitamin D may help clear the brain of amyloid beta, a toxic protein-like compound that accumulates in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. And that this animal study validates the results of a previous study done in human Alzheimer's patients. In the human study, vitamin D together with curcumin -- a chemical found in turmeric spice -- appeared to stimulate the immune system in a way that helped clear the brain of toxic amyloid beta. But this new animal research suggests that vitamin D alone may be able to do that job nicely. Even more amazing, the lab animals that received vitamin D were able to remove a significant amount of amyloid beta buildup in their brains, literally overnight. It seems the vitamin may somehow regulate production of transporter proteins that ferry amyloid beta across the blood-brain barrier and out of the brain. Pretty exciting stuff.

The RealAge article was correct in that many adults lack vitamin D. But not just in the winter months. You cannot synthesize enough Vitamin D from sunshine to provide the body with the necessary Vitamin D nutrient levels for optimal health.

The article also stated that in order to get Vitamin D, a person should try eating canned salmon that supplies a "whopping" 530 international units (IU) of vitamin D for each 3-ounce serving.....or open the canned tuna for 360 IU of vitamin D from a 3-ounce serving.

The article went on to recommend drinking orange juice that's been fortified with vitamin D and you'll add an additional 100 IU of the Vitamin D to your day with each cup you drink. I won't drink orange juice unless it is NOT from concentrate. Be careful of high glycemic fruit juices.

Vitamin D is absolutely a necessary nutrient and one to take in much higher doses than the FDA recommends in their RDA. They recently upgraded their recommendation from 400 IU to 800 IU. Many well known nutritional scientist recommend much higher doses in the minimum 2,000 IU daily range. That would be almost four cans or 12 ounces of Salmon a day. You would probably grow gills and maybe a dorsal fin or two with that.

I prefer to get my Vitamin D from pharmaceutical grade supplements. I take a minimum of 1,800 IU's a day and sometimes 3,800 IU's a day. This is to support my immune system, combat oxidative stress which impacts across the body. Vitamin D is a known nutrient to help prevent Osteporosis and other related joint pain as well.

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