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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