Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Healthiest States

From an article titled Healthiest States in America Named, Reported by Dr. Amish Patel on ABC News. This is from the annual America's Health Rankings list is out, pitting U.S. states against each other in a no-holds-barred contest of health. So, how did your state fare?

For the fourth year in a row, Vermont takes the top spot as healthiest state. Applauding the state's high rate of high school graduation and low rate of uninsured population, the report also finds that Vermont is not without its problems. Vermonters have a relatively high rate of cancer deaths and participate in binge drinking more than most states (Wisconsiners binge drink the most, Tennesseans the least). Vermont is in good company in the northeast with seven states from the region making it into the top 10.

Second place goes to Hawaii, a regular contender for first place. Since the ranking started in 1990, Hawaii has consistently ranked in the top six states. Hawaiians enjoy low rates of obesity and smoking, but have high rates of binge drinking and low birth weight babies.

Louisiana and Mississippi are tied for the least healthy state and have consistently been at the bottom of the list for the past 23 years. Both states have low rates of binge drinking, but suffer from high rates of occupational fatalities and children in poverty. These two states are in the bottom five in about half of the 24 components that make up the overall ranking, including high rates of chronic conditions like sedentary lifestyle, obesity and diabetes.

These chronic conditions are also putting the entire nation's health most at risk. Obesity alone is the leading cause of preventable death and costs our nation about $200 billion each year. More than 66 million adults are obese - that's more than one in four Americans. Colorado is the least obese and least sedentary state, in contrast to Mississippi which is the most obese and most sedentary.

"It is important to note that we are living longer, but not necessarily better," says Jane Pennington, spokesperson from the United Health Foundation, the group responsible for the report. "Despite improvements, we still have unhealthy behavior that threatens our health status. It continues to be disappointing that we are seeing a rise in chronic illness. It doesn't have to be that way. That is the alarm that we want to sound."

Although smoking in the U.S. has been decreasing recently, more than 45 million Americans still smoke, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Utah has the lowest percent of its population smoking and Kentucky has the highest.

"People should care about this report," says Dr. Anthony Shih, executive vice president for Programs at the Commonwealth Fund. "It is clear that where you live matters in terms of overall health and it should motivate action to improve."

States should be looking at their healthier neighbors for ways to improve.

"The relatively high performance of [fourth-ranked] Massachusetts - where a law similar to the Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2006 - may hopefully motivate other states to participate in Medicaid expansion and more aggressively implement the ACA within their own state. Successful implementation will likely raise the performance of most states," according to Shih.

By having programs and policies that support better health, states can expect better rankings. If a state increases the tax on cigarettes or bans smoking in public places, for example, the number of smokers in that state should decrease, cutting deaths from cardiovascular disease and cancer deaths.

The statistics show that states can improve their ranking. Vermont was ranked 20th in 1990, but steadily made improvements over the years to get where it is now.

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Probiotics for Your Health

Surprising Benefits of Probiotics published on Yahoo! Health.  Researchers are starting to promote Probiotics for a health immune system.  I fully support this as I add a Probiotic every other day, sometimes every third day, to my diet.   What I take consists of, in part, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Bifidobacterium. 

The Article: 

You’ve probably heard the virtues of probiotics extolled in health magazines and on cartons of Greek yogurt. Probiotics are live bacteria that naturally occur in certain foods—from fermented vegetables, such as sauerkraut or kimchi, to live-cultured yogurt. They’re also added to some high-end dark chocolates and available as supplements.

Broken down, the word probiotic means “for life” or “promoting life.” While it sounds good, you still may wonder: are probiotics just another New Age gimmick, or is there some science behind the health benefits? Though far from a panacea, probiotics can help cure some ailments that may surprise you.

If poor marks on your last physical have sent you on a personal quest to lower your cholesterol, look no farther than your fridge.

A small study presented at a recent AHA scientific meeting found that a strain of probiotics found in dairy and meats called Lactobacillus reuteri lowered LDL levels in participants by nearly 12 percent more than the group taking a placebo. Overall cholesterol was lowered by 9 percent.

The liver uses cholesterol to make bile. Researchers believe that probiotics break up bile salts and decrease their reabsorption in the gut.

Your eyes may be the windows to your soul, but your smile is your welcome mat to the world. Besides being unsightly, poor oral hygiene is associated with serious health woes, including heart disease, diabetes, and even low birth weight.

Studies have shown that the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri kills the bacteria that causes tooth decay and lessens the harmful effects of gingivitis. A full mouth of teeth and a reduction in bleeding gums are two good reasons to add probiotics to your daily menu.

Whether you experience the occasional bout of traveler’s diarrhea or are among the one-third of people who will experience it as a common side effect of antibiotics, diarrhea is unpleasant and embarrassing.

But don’t worry—there’s good news for your tush; according to the Harvard Medical School, many studies suggest that probiotic consumption can help reduce diarrhea episodes. For example, a 2012 clinical review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that those who took probiotics with antibiotics were 42 percent less likely to develop diarrhea than those who took the placebo.

If you have eczema, you know how annoying and frustrating perpetually dry, itchy skin can be. What if we could prevent future generations from getting it? A study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that babies who are at risk for developing eczema may benefit from their mothers’ consumption of probiotics.

Allergy-prone mothers with eczema were given probiotics two months before giving birth and during the first two months of breastfeeding. The babies, who were assessed at 6, 12, and 24 months, showed a significant reduction in their risk of developing the no-fun skin inflammation.

The vagina is a delicately balanced environment of good and bad bacteria. Unfortunately, sometimes just taking antibiotics or birth control pills, becoming pregnant, or having diabetes is enough to throw your system out of whack. If you’re prone to pesky yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, or UTIs, you might consider protecting your lady parts with probiotics.

According to the Harvard Medical School, probiotics may help balance the bacteria present in your vagina and prevent the overgrowth of harmful microorganisms. While their effectiveness is still being debated, researchers agree that there’s no harm in adding more probiotics to your diet.

Some people seem to get sick every time the weather changes, but that doesn’t have to be you this year. Researchers who conducted a review of studies from the Cochrane Library concluded that overall, probiotics seem to reduce upper respiratory infections when compared to a placebo.

In another study, children from 18 daycares in Helsinki, Finland were given milk with or without probiotics. Can you guess which group remained healthier? You got it—those who drank the probiotic-enriched milk were 17 percent less likely to get a respiratory infection and 16 percent less likely to be absent due to illness.

Any parent or airplane passenger would agree: nothing is worse than a crying baby—especially one that can’t be comforted. Because we don’t know exactly what causes colic in babies, it’s difficult to treat. However, some research suggests that probiotics might provide some relief.

A 2007 study published in Pediatrics found that after 28 days, breastfed babies whose mothers consumed a daily dose of probiotics cried 194 minutes less than the test group that didn’t. A 2010 study published in the same journal found similar results. Gaining just a minute of peace and quiet would give you good reason to pop a probiotic supplement. Now you’ve got 194 good reasons.

If constipation, bloating, and gas are mainstay symptoms of your IBS or Crohn’s, a cup of yogurt a day may keep you regular all day. Johns Hopkins Health Alert reports that those who ate two 4-ounce servings of live-culture yogurt during a study experienced less bloating and more bowel movements after a few weeks.

Another study revealed that women who ate three 4-ounce servings of live-culture yogurt a day experienced a shorter amount of time between eating and bowel movements. That’s less time you’d have to spend doubled over, clutching your stomach in pain.

It’s important to remember that while many studies suggest that probiotics can have a positive impact on your health, other studies report weak findings. Although probiotics may not be the miracle cure you’re looking for, one thing’s for sure: they can’t hurt.

Whether it’s an apple a day or a cup of probiotic-rich kefir, if you feel healthier when you eat it, keep it up. Pay attention to your body and to emerging research on new and natural ways to stay healthy.

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Best and Worst Energy Drinks

Those Energy drinks are all over the news these days, associated with deaths of youths who basically become addicted to the sugar and caffine high that these drinks provide.

The Shine on Yahoo published a report, titled "Best and Worst Energy Drinks", which is a fair report if un-complete.

Recent headlines over the potential health hazards of energy drinks have led the FDA into intense investigation. The stimulus? A Maryland mother who filed a request to see whether the energy drink, Monster, had been tied to any deaths in recent years, after a fatal incident with her own 14-year old daughter. Health and nutrition expert Aimee Raupp joined “The Shine” to advise on which energy drinks should be avoided and which to embrace.

Aimee points out that that FDA and the Federal government have raised real concerns about the health effects of these energy drinks. In fact, energy drinks are not FDA regulated because their sold as nutritional supplements, not food so that’s why they can exceed the FDA-mandated 71 milligrams of caffeine.

Which beverages should we stay away from? Aimee says to avoid the following energy drinks at all costs. These are the most popularly sold energy drinks in the United States:

Red Bull
Full Throttle
Sobe No Fear

One of these energy drinks is the equivalent to 4-7 cups of coffee. Aimee says that is way too much caffeine for one sitting. The reaction is alarming – after consuming one of these, your body will go into overdrive – pupils start to dilate, heart rate increases, and all you want to do is move, move, move (and not in a good way!). These drinks can also cause a lack of mental focus and increased hunger.

On the flipside, there are a number of “good” energy drinks that provide positive health benefits, and Aimee recommends the following:

Scheckter’s Organic Energy

Of this group, Aimee’s top pick is the Cellnique because it’s the lowest in added sugars and the ingredient list here is quite clean and super naturally energizing. Regardless, all of these choices are organic and contain energizing sources like acai, yerba mate and guarana.

MyAchingKnees: These "good" energy drinks are still food grade products with all the usual problems associated with that manufacturing process.

Are you completely weary of energy drinks altogether? If so, here are some great alternatives. Coconut water is one of the best – it’s completely all natural, no preservatives – you can’t get any better than this. Also go for Kombucha ( do be aware though it’s an aquired taste – “effervescent” as Aimee puts it), Yerba Mate, green vegetable juice (with cayenne pepper or ginger or turmeric to really invigorate circulation and boost energy), an energizing smoothie with banana and spirulina, green tea (organic), organic coffee, or dark chocolate.

MyAchingKnees: Slice up a Cucumber and place in pitcher of water in the fridge - you'll be suprised how good it tastes. Better that that, invest in a Vita-Mix type blender and make your own smoothies of vegetables and fruits. You'll get all the nutrients not just the juice from a juicer. The natural sugars you'll get will be released slower and limit the energy drop you get with refined and high fructose corn syrup type drinks. Not to mention minimizing the crazy blood sugar levels and path towards diabetes. One of my favorite smoothies is beets, carrots, bananna, grapes and blue berries.

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Difference Between Men and Women

I must have been in the mood for some internal philosophical discussion with myself,...

After I mowed the lawn today, I sat down and had a couple nice cold beers. The day was really quite beautiful, and the dark beer facilitated some deep thinking on various topics. Finally I thought about an age old question: Is giving birth more painful than getting kicked in the Nuts?

Women always maintain that giving birth is way more painful than a getting kicked in the nuts. Well, after another beer, and some heavy deductive thinking, I have come up with the answer to that question.

Getting kicked in the nuts is more painful than having a baby; and here is the reason for my conclusion: A year or so after giving birth, a woman will often say, "it might be nice to have another child."

On the other hand, you never hear a guy say, "You know, I think I would like another kick in the nuts."

I rest my case.

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Performance Enhancing Drugs

To athletes, Performance Enhancing Drugs or commonly referred to as "PED's" are anabolic steriods, testosterone, steriod percursors and other banned substances by various athletic control organizations. Yet to others, Performance Enhancing Drugs mean "that little blue pill". And to one of my old friends, a 80 year old skinny guy still going strong, that little blue pill is just useful from keeping him from falling out of bed at night.

Recently in the news, if you are a Pro Football fan, is the discussion between a Chicago Bears player named Marshall and the media. Below is the article from Yahoo! Sports about the latest PED to grace professional athletics:

During Wednesday's Bears media availability, Marshall was asked about Adderall, the stimulant now coming under the league's scrutiny. As Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune notes, he took the conversation in a whole new direction:

"I don't know too much about Adderall," he said. "I know guys, it is such a competitive league, guys try anything just to get that edge. I'm fortunate enough to be blessed with size and some smarts to give me my edge. But some guys, they'll do whatever they can to get an edge. I've heard of some crazy stories. I've heard [of] guys using like Viagra, seriously. Because the blood is supposedly thin, some crazy stuff. So, you know, it's kind of scary with some of these chemicals that are in some of these things so you have to be careful." (Emphasis added.)

Yeah, and we have to be careful what we say here as well. To start, though ... Viagra? Seriously? VIAGRA ON THE FIELD? We'll just make two points. In theory, it's possible to see how Viagra could get your blood all fired up, at least for tackling somebody. And in practice, it doesn't seem like it'd be very difficult to see who's using it, if you get our drift.

All joking aside, for a moment, Viagra's benefits aren't just limited to the bedroom; athletes have found that it assists in blood flow, which helps in getting oxygen around the body faster and aids in endurance. It's been used in cycling (at this point, what drug hasn't?) as riders try to gain every possible edge. Even so, expect Marshall, and pretty much every other NFL player who comes in front of a microphone in the next four days, to get asked about this a lot.

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cheapest Healthy Foods You Can Buy

From an article titled: "Cheapest Healthy Foods" from the Yahoo! Health Net. Think your groceries are getting too expensive? Last winter, residents of a remote Canadian village were paying $28 for a head of cabbage and $65 for a pound of chicken. It's unlikely such absurd food prices will trickle south, but they are creeping up--and when food prices rise, diets typically tank. That's ironic, too, because some of the healthiest foods in the world are also among the cheapest. Even eating organic isn't all that much more expensive, when you stick with basics and get creative with your cooking. So put down the 99-cent can of Beefaroni and grab one of these cheaper, healthier alternatives:

Oats Cost: about $3 pound
Benefit: Oats are rich in avenanthramide, an antioxidant that protects the heart. Other oat accolades? The superfood lowers cholesterol and has been shown to possess disease-zapping antimicrobial activity, making organic oatmeal the perfect affordable breakfast item for cold and flu season.

Dry Beans Cost: about $2 per pound, depending on the variety
Benefit: Forget expensive steak and sausage. Dry beans and dry lentils pack a healthy low-fat, plant-based protein punch. Known as a "perfect food," just one cooked cupful can provide as much as 17 grams of fiber. Beans are also loaded with protein and dozens of key nutrients, including a few most people fall short on--calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Studies tie beans to a reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and breast and colon cancers. Soak beans overnight and rinse them well to eliminate most of the flatulence-causing compounds.

Garlic Cost: $1 per bulb
Benefit: This onion relative contains more than 70 active phytochemicals, including allicin, which studies show may decrease high blood pressure by as much as 30 points. High consumption of garlic lowered rates of ovarian, colorectal, and other cancers, according to a research review in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. To boost garlic's health effects, be sure to crush the cloves and let them stand for up to 30 minutes before heating them. Extend the life of your garlic by storing it in a paper bag in the refrigerator.

Cayenne Pepper Cost: about $3 per jar
Benefit: If you can handle the heat, this powerhouse pepper is worth your while. The heat in cayenne peppers come from a phytochemical called capsaicin, which can help clear congestion, fight cholesterol, melt away body fat, and jump-start your metabolism. Sprinkle it over veggies and beans to sneak it into your diet--just a half a teaspoon is all you need.

Celery Cost: $1.99 per bunch
Benefit: Eating four sticks of celery a day can produce modest reductions in blood pressure, thanks to the vegetable's rich supply of phthalides, phytochemicals linked to cardiovascular health. Single? Celery is loaded with androstenone and androstenol, pheromones that help attract women.

Tomatoes Cost: $1.50 per pound
Benefit: Tomatoes are our most common source of lycopene, an antioxidant that may protect against heart disease and breast cancer. Stock up at farmer's markets or from your own garden while you can. Canned tomatoes (a cheaper option when fresh tomatoes are out of season) can expose you to the harmful plastic chemical BPA, which is used in the epoxy coatings that line cans. When fresh tomatoes aren't available, or aren't good, look for jarred or boxed varieties.

Onions Cost: $2.99 per two-pound bag
Benefit: This bulb boasts far-reaching health benefits, including immunity-boosting compounds that can help prevent everything from the common cold to cancer. Onions are also rich in quercetin, a flavonoid shown to keep your blood healthy. It's also a must-have for natural allergy prevention. Tip: Store your onions somewhere cool and dry, such as a dark cabinet or unused closet, and that two-pound bag will last for months.

MyAchingKnees tip:  Try a slice of Tomatoe on a slice of onion,...even better with a slice of Avacodo and a touch of Sea Salt. 

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Miracle Vitamin C Cure?

The Miracle Vitamin C cure, at least that's what it sounded like on a morning talk radio infomerical with a Doctor, who I'll call, Dr. Unicorn. We all should know by now that Supplement Manufacturers are restricted by the FDA on making claims pertaining to how their nutritional supplements cure disaeases and conditions.

Doctor Unicorn apparently did not understand that, or is willing to face being a target of the FDA when he claimed that his Vitamin C supplement will lower your blood pressure, lower your LDL (the bad cholesterol) and do other amazing things. It's one thing to say we believe that any particular nutrient or product helps with this or that condition, but to make a claim that it cures a disease is wholly another.

He did correctly state that the FDA's minimum Required Daily Allowance (RDA) for Vitamin C is 60 mg and that is way too low of a dose. I certainly believe that a person needs a much greater dose of Vitamin C and every other nutrient than the old, antiquated RDA recommends, but I also believe that we can't pick one or two nutrient's and take them in mega doses and expect much good to come from it. I believe we need the whole gamet of nutrients in large doses that will work synergistically to provide nutrients for optimal celluar health.

I believe that not only advanced doseages of all nutrients are important but the quality of that nutrient, from the source through to manufacturing, is very important. Doctor Unicorn continued his infomercial by reading ingredients from other manufactuers' products and likened some of the ingredients with toxic substances,....words to the effect,...."cellulose,...that's really chopped up newspapers",.......... ...."Silicon,..that's a lubricant like Motor Oil".

Oh yeah, Doctor Unicorn also made the claim that since his product is a powder, it activates and it's absorbed better and faster. Really? Well, I hope the people who fall for Doctor Unicorn's Miracle Vitamin C are few in number, but if it works for them then maybe they should stick to it. Doctor Unicorn could use the income because he ain't concerned about his reputation.

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

The 6 Worst Natural Ingredients

The 6 Worst Natural Ingredients, by Emily Main on Yahoo! Health.  I am glad this was brought to the net  especially the Fruit Juice Concentrate and the High Fructose Corn Syrup. 

Carrageenan Behind the label: You may not have any idea what this weird-sounding ingredient is at first glance, but it's derived from seaweed and used in dozens of so-called "natural," and even some organic, foods to keep ingredients from separating. The problem is, it's been pegged to inflammation, which itself can lead to chronic diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and

Your move: Carrageenan is used mostly in dairy products, so read labels carefully or shop from this list of organic dairy products that are free of carrageenan.

Carmel Coloring Behind the label: The caramel candies you ate as a kid got their coloring from caramelized sugar, which turns brown as its heated. The caramel coloring you find in your soda--not so much. It's created when sugar is heated with ammonium compounds, and the process creates a cancer-causing byproduct called 4-MI, which exists as a contaminant in caramel food coloring at varying levels. Coca-Cola recently switched to a lower-MI formulation of its caramel coloring, but tests from the Center for Science in the Public Interest recently found sodas sold across the country with widely varying, and dangerous, levels.

Your move: Do you really need that soda? After all, cancer-causing contaminants are just one of many disturbing side-effects of soda, which include kidney problems and liver fat.

Palm Oil Behind the label: Palm oil became the go-to replacement for partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) instituted trans-fat-labeling rules on processed foods, but that replacement didn't do much for public health. A number of studies suggest that palm oil is as bad for your heart as the trans fats hidden in by partially hydrogenated oils. The most recent, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, found that it raised bad LDL cholesterol levels as much as partially hydrogenated soybean oil. In addition to its heart-damaging health problems, enormous tracts of rainforests and peat bogs have been razed or filled in to make room for palm oil plantations. Peat bogs are ecologically valuable, because they sequester globe-warming carbon dioxide, and rainforest destruction has led to the endangerment of 140 animal species in Indonesia and another 50 in Malaysia, the world's two largest producers of palm oil.

Your move: Palm oil is mostly used in crackers, cookies, and other baked goods, so scrutinize labels. Safflower or sunflower oil are healthier and don't carry the problems associated with other genetically modified vegetable oils made from corn, canola and soy. If your favorite product does contain palm oil, call the manufacturer and ask how it was sourced. Some companies use palm oil produced under an industry group called the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, which is trying to develop standards that would protect vital species habitats.

Evaporated Cane Juice Behind the label: "Evaporated cane juice" may sound benign enough, but it's essentially refined white sugar with a fancier name, according to naturopathic physician Andrew Weil, MD. It's not even really juice, but dried crystals that are left behind after raw sugar cane has been boiled. Those crystals then undergo additional processing, removing any vitamins and minerals that may have existed in the raw sugar cane. Because it isn't juice, the FDA has proposed new rules that would make the term illegal on food packages, opting instead for "sugar" or "dried cane syrup." The agency has even sent warning letters to juice manufacturers who use the term misleadingly, for instance, advertising a product as "100% juice."

Your move: When you do need processed foods, opt for those containing sweeteners with real nutritional value, such as real maple syrup, molasses, raw honey, and others that made our list of the 5 Best Sweeteners.

Fruit Juice Concentrate Behind the label: You probably see the words "fruit juice concentrate" on a jar of jam or in a fruit drink and think it's got to be healthier than sugar, right? Wrong. Apple, pear and white grape fruit juice concentrates are some of the most commonly used sweeteners added to foods, and they're simply empty calories, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. They're used as fat replacements, because their water content provides bulk, yet they still contain high levels of fructose, a form of sugar tied to heart problems and one that can actually lower your ability to remember things.

Your move: Fruit is "nature's candy" so eat it whole. The fructose levels are tempered by the added fiber, vitamins and minerals you get when downing whole fruits. When you do need processed foods, opt for those containing sweeteners with real nutritional value, such as real maple syrup, molasses, raw honey, and others that made our list of the 5 best sweeteners.

High Fructose Corn Syrup Behind the label: There's little redeeming nutritional value to HFCS, the ubiquitous sweetener added to everything from bread to salad dressing. It provides empty calories, which promote obesity, it's been linked to heart disease, and the manufacturing process has the potential to contaminate it with brain-damaging mercury. Yet HFCS still shows up in so-called "natural" foods. Back in 2008, the FDA decided that, due to the highly industrialized process used to create HFCS, using the sweetener in products labeled "natural" was deceptive and misleading. But after backlash from the Corn Refiners Association, the agency reversed that decision two months later.

Your move: Few nutritionists out there would agree with the Corn Refiners Association's assertion that HFCS is "natural," but since they don't make the rules, it's up to you to read labels. HFCS is very common in "low-fat" foods, so read ingredient lists.

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Monday, November 5, 2012

Drink Water, Use Coca-Cola for Cleaning

Water or Coke - incredible! This is very interesting, sent to me by a friend of mine who I was successful in getting to quit drinking Aspartame laced drinks. 


#1. 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. (Likely applies to half the world population)

#2. In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is mistaken for hunger.

#3. Even MILD dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as 3%.

#4. One glass of water will shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University of Washington study.

#5. Lack of water, the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.

#6. Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.

#7. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.

#8. Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%., and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer. Are you drinking the amount of water you should drink every day?


#1. In many states the highway patrol carries two gallons of Coke in the trunk to remove blood from the highway after a car accident.

#2. You can put a T-bone steak in a bowl of Coke and it will be gone in two days.

#3. To clean a toilet: Pour a can of Coca-Cola into the toilet bowl and let the 'real thing' sit for one hour, then flush clean. The citric acid in Coke removes stains from vitreous china.

#4. To remove rust spots from chrome car bumpers: Rub the bumper with a rumpled-up piece of Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil dipped in Coca-Cola.

#5. To clean corrosion from car battery terminals: Pour a can of Coca-Cola over the terminals to bubble away the corrosion.

#6. To loosen a rusted bolt: Apply a cloth soaked in Coca-Cola to the rusted bolt for several minutes.

#7. To bake a moist ham: Empty a can of Coca-Cola into the baking pan, wrap the ham in aluminum foil, and bake. Thirty minutes before ham is finished, remove the foil, allowing the drippings to mix with the Coke for a sumptuous brown gravy.

#8. To remove grease from clothes: Empty a can of Coke into the load of greasy clothes, add detergent, and run through a regular cycle. The Coca-Cola will help loosen grease stains. It will also clean road haze from your windshield.


#1. The active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid. It will dissolve a nail in about four days. Phosphoric acid also leaches calcium from bones and is a major contributor to the rising increase of osteoporosis.

#2. To carry Coca-Cola syrup! (the concentrate) the commercial trucks must use a hazardous Material place cards reserved for highly corrosive materials.

#3. The distributors of Coke have been using it to clean engines of the trucks for about 20 years! Now the question is, would you like a glass of water?

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bad Food Supply

Most of us are aware of the diminishing nutrient value of today's food supply. I read somewhere that it takes 8 Florida oranges to provide the same nutritional value that one Florida orange did 20 years ago. This is a result of several things: 1 - high demand for food making production and not quality a focus; 2 - over use and diminishing quality of the soil to grow foods; 3 - hybrid crops designed to resist diseases and drought, in many cases, bring lower nutritional value. Now we are learning through reports that diseases and toxins are much more prevalent in food production. This story from The Daily Ticker by Nicole Goodkind

106 Years After ‘The Jungle’, Squalid Factories and Foodborne Diseases Are Rising Again

Foodborne illnesses kill 3,000 Americans each year. Nearly 130,000 more are hospitalized. The aggregate cost of foodborne illnesses to the U.S. economy in 2011 was $77.7 billion. These are staggering numbers, and they're on the rise. The FDA had 37 recalls of fruits and vegetables in 2011, up from just two in 2005. Between 2006 and 2010 the rate of foodborne salmonella rose 10%.

Why is food in the United States so riddled with disease that it's killing citizens? Stephanie Armour, Food Safety and Public Health Reporter at Bloomberg, investigated this question for a special report in this month's issue of Bloomberg Markets. What she found was deeply disturbing.

The Food and Drug Administration has an annual budget of $1 billion to fulfill its duties. Annual food sales in the United States equal $1.2 trillion. Because of these budget constraints, the FDA is able to inspect ust 6% of domestic food producers and 0.4% of importers. "The FDA doesn't really have the funding to do the inspections," says Armour in an interview with The Daily Ticker. "I mean it's a negligible amount that they're actually able to get to and look at visually. Instead a lot of private companies have used these third-party auditors. They're basically private inspection firms that go in, do the inspection, make sure the food handling is safe and let the companies know and give them a grade."

Unfortunately, these third-party auditors are far from ideal inspectors. They are not required to follow any federal standards and do not have to make their reports public. Some are financially linked to the companies they are inspecting. "In some cases you have companies that are on the board of the inspecting companies that are writing the rules for food safety," explains Armour.

Third-party auditors only inspect areas that companies ask them to look at. Sometimes they do not see a factory before giving it a passing grade. Food that is imported into the U.S. often goes uninspected altogether.These improper inspections kill people, says Armour. "People have died after these food safety inspection firms have gone in and said 'everything's great.'

They've given them superior scores and weeks later or even at the same time people have started getting sick and dying." What is found to be acceptable by these inspectors is appalling. Plants that receive superior scores are often later found by the FDA to be packed with mold, cockroaches, rats and pigeons.

Abroad, it is not an uncommon practice for workers to defecate in fields where fruit grows. In Vietnam fish are packed in contaminated tap water for their trip to the U.S. Fish in China are fed a diet of pig and goose feces before they are sent for American consumption.

So what can we do to protect ourselves?

On a personal level, meat should always be cooked properly and fruits and vegetables should always be washed thoroughly, Armour says. On a federal level, the FDA is hoping to receive more funding through the recently passed Food Modernization Act. Many food experts say these regulations are long overdue. Armour, however, remains confident that the FDA can boost inspections. "There have been some members of Congress who are trying to put some pressure on, to try to get there regulations out so that changes can start to be made," she says.

The article ends with this question: "What do you make of food regulation in the U.S.? Have you changed the way you eat?"

Food is a hit and miss. How many times do we get "e-coli" warning from manufacturers? As far as supplements, I ensure I only consume pharmaceutical grade nutritional supplements to mitigate the chance of toxins or poor qulktiy from food grade products.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Energy Drinks,....BAD!! for you

Although this report is from Fox News, we have been writing posts on the bad idea to consume Energy Drinks for the past couple years. "FDA says 5 deaths, heart attack reportedly linked to Monster Energy Drink"

The highly caffeinated Monster Energy Drink has been cited in five deaths and one non-fatal heart attack, according to reports that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating.

The reports claim that people had adverse reactions after they consumed Monster Energy Drink, which comes in 24-ounce cans and contains 240 milligrams of caffeine, or seven times the amount of the caffeine in a 12-ounce cola.

Although the FDA is investigating the allegations, which date back to 2004, the agency said the reports don't necessarily prove that the drinks caused the deaths or injuries.

"As with any reports of a death or injury the agency receives, we take them very seriously and investigate diligently," Shelly Burgess said in a statement.

News of the FDA's investigation follows a filing last week of a wrongful death suit in Riverside, Calif., by the parents of a 14-year-old Hagerstown girl who died after drinking two, 24-ounce Monster Energy Drinks in 24 hours.

An autopsy found that Anais Fournier died of cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity that impeded her heart's ability to pump blood. She suffered from an inherited disorder that can weaken blood vessels. But the child's parents claim Monster failed to warn about the risks of drinking its products.

Monster Beverage Corp., which touts on its web site that the Monster Energy Drink is a "killer energy brew" and "the meanest energy supplement on the planet," puts labels on cans that state that the drinks are not recommended for children and people who are sensitive to caffeine. The company, based in Corona, Calif., did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment on Monday, but said last week that it is "unaware of any fatality anywhere that has been caused by its drinks."

Monster is among a growing group of energy drinks on the market. Energy drinks are a tiny part of the carbonated soft drink market, representing about 3 percent of sales volume, according to a recent report by industry tracker Beverage Digest. But at a time when soda consumption is declining, energy drinks are becoming more popular: Last year, sales volume for energy drinks rose by nearly 17 percent.

The dangers of energy drinks

Monster has benefited the most from the rise in popularity. Last year, Monster had a 35 percent share of the energy-drink market based on volume, while Red Bull had 30 percent and Rockstar had 19 percent, according to Beverage Digest. Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are far smaller players in the arena, with about 5 percent each.

Investors have warmed up to the drinks as well. In the past two years, Monster's shares have more than tripled, from about $22 and hit a high of about $79 in June. But on news of the FDA investigation, Monster's shares plunged $7.59, or 14.2 percent, to close at $45.73 in trading on Monday.

The increase in popularity has brought heightened scrutiny. The levels of caffeine in the drinks have raised worries: Although the FDA caps the amount of caffeine in soda to 0.02 percent, there is no such limit for energy drinks.

In August, New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued subpoenas to energy drink makers, including Monster, as part of the state's investigation of the industry. And in September, Senators Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., asked the FDA to take another look at the effect that caffeine and other ingredients in energy drinks have on children and adolescents.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

5 Steps to Joint Pain Relief

The following is from a Real Age article on Joint Pain Management. Chronic pain comes in a variety of forms. Joint pain is a common one. If you suffer from stiff, achy joints, you're not alone. Twenty-seven million Americans have osteoarthritis -- leader of the pack when it comes to joint-pain culprits. You can thank other causes, as well, including ligament and tendon damage, muscle tears, excess body weight, age, bad posture, and poor biomechanics. Whatever the reason, there are special steps that can help ease painful hip, shoulder, spine and knee pain. Here are 5 of them:

1. Eat to relieve joint pain. Food can't prevent or cure joint pain, but certain nutrients not only enhance muscle and bone strength, they also take a bite out of joint pain. Fill your plate with foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, pain-fighting polyphenols, and vitamins C, K, and D. Stock your fridge with these 8 foods for pain.

MyAchingKnees comment: While Omega 3 Fatty Acids and Vitamin C are great nutrients for joint and connective tissue health, it is super hard for most people to obtain the quantity and quality of nutrients in today's nutrient depleted food supply. Hence the need to supplement with high quality nutritional supplements. And while you are at it - add Glucosamine.  

2. Move to improve joint pain. Resist the urge to hit the couch when your joints hurt. Move through the pain instead. Why? Exercise triggers the production of lubricating synovial fluid and feel-good brain chemicals, and improves joint pain, function, and range of motion. It may even boost cartilage growth in the knees. Ask your doctor about exercises that help rather than hurt your joints.

3. Watch your weight. If you're overweight, ask your doctor for a safe weight-loss plan. Every excess pound you shed takes 4 pounds of pressure off your knees, and can reduce hip and back pain, too.

4. Work with your doctor. Ask your primary care physician if a specialist can help you with your joint pain. An orthopedic specialist and/or physical therapist may be better equipped to tailor an effective pain-treatment plan. Use these tips to get better pain relief from your doctor's visits.

MyAchingKnees comment: Just be careful and use your own common sense as physicians sometimes are quick to go to pain medications treating the symptoms as opposed to the cause.   

5. Don't ignore joint pain. Pace yourself and avoid activities that aggravate your joint pain, such as running long distances, lifting heavy objects, or kneeling for hours pulling weeds. Use a daily pain diary to note the activities that worsen or improve your joint symptoms.

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Derick's Question on PSA Levels

I received this from Derick:  "Dear MyAchingKnees, thanks for all the information on joints and supplements. I think I found you searching for 'degenerative diseases'. I may have used PSA since I was looking for articles on high PSA level and what people have been eating or taking for this. Derick".

Derrick, this what one of the on-line medical journals say about Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA).  PSA  is present in small quantities in the serum of men with healthy prostates, but is often elevated in the presence of prostate cancer or other prostate disorders.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the PSA test for annual screening of prostate cancer in men of age 50 and older. PSA levels between 4 and 10 ng/mL (nanograms per milliliter) are a warning sign and further testing is advised .

In 1983 I was involved in a car crash resulting in, among other things, a back injury. Since that day I had urinary tract symptoms replicating a much older man with prostate issues....frequent urge to urinate, getting up in the middle of the night to urinate, and a weak stream of urine, etc.

In 2002 I took a medical exam for an insurance policy. Blood work showed that my PSA level was 3.5 In the next couple years I again had blood work done and on subsequent lab reports my PSA levels were 3.8 and 3.9 respectively.

In 2005 I started taking a pharmaceutical grade multi-mineral and anti-oxidant supplements. In 2006 and 2010 my blood work showed my PSA level at 0.7 and 0.6 respectively. What I believe made the difference in the lowering of my PSA, is that the optimum level of quality nutrients I was providing my body. I took no other supplement but a high quality Glucosamine and a Omega 3 Fatty Acid supplement as well mainly for my knee pain.

It was not until just two years ago that I also started taking a prosate specific product. This product contains ingredients that most prostate supplements have,.... Saw Palmetto Extract - 320 mg; Lycopene - 5 mg: Soy Isolflavones - 25 mg, but is produced in a FDA certified lab with USP specifications for potency, uniformity, and disintegration. Since I started taking this prostate product my symptoms, maily having to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, have gone away. I have no choice to believe it was this product that helped that however the blood work with the reduced PSA levels was accomplished without the prostate supplement.

Derick,..don't know what info you are looking for, but surely if you have a high PSA level, please go back to the doctor and get a more fuller exam.

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

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Does DMSO Help Combat Joint Pain?

Carl W. sent us an e-mail asking if DMSO was worthwhile to use for joint pain. "Have you used or do you have an opinion on using DMSO directly on the joints? I have knee pain on the sides of my knee and sometimes they just ache. I am somewhat leary of using DMSO because my wife says it is bad. If I decide to use it, where would be the best place to buy DMSO?"

Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is basically an industrial solvent with the property of penetrating skin and membranes. While DMSO has it's own anti-inflammatory properties it is also sometimes used as a transport mechanism to bring anti- inflammatories into the joint or muscle.

It is very common for Veterinarians and horse owners to mix DMSO with corto-steriods and gel type anti-inflammatories to treat tendon and liagment injuries, as well as provide relief from stiff or injured joints.

I have used DMSO, by itself without another agent, for my elbows when I had pain in the tendon endings in both elbows.  DMSO seemed to take away some of the pain, but rest was the key to resolving the issue.

DMSO works pretty good but the disadvantages include an immediate garlic type taste in your mouth and you may put off friends or your family with the garlic smell.

I have read someplace that DMSO is also toxic to the liver especially when routinely used. Be careful. If you use DMSO routinely then periodic liver function tests would be a good idea.

DMSO can usually be obtained at pet feed stores, especially ones that cater to horses. That is where I bought DMSO in a roll on type applicator. I would advise using rubber gloves if you handle DMSO. If you decide to use it, make sure the application site is clean and free of soap residue as the DMSO will take anything on the surface straight into the tissues.

Remember that using anti-inflammatories, DMSO or anything else, still is only treating the symptoms.

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Simple Tests for Health Issues

Good short article on the Yahoo Health Net regarding a couple Simple Tests that you can do which may lead to a conversation between you and your Doctor for further testing.

Have you ever wondered why your doctor asks you to do odd things like touch your nose during an office visit, then scribbles notes in your chart? It's because there are many physical tests that can tell whether your body is functioning as it should. While we tend to leave it to doctors and medical tests to figure out if something's wrong, we can actually use many of these checks ourselves to determine whether all systems are go.

Here, five odd medical tests you can do at home.

What it tests for: Cardiovascular, lung, or other diseases

How to do it: Hold up (or down) both index fingers and turn them so the nails are facing each other. Press the nails together and you should be able to see a tiny, narrow, diamond-shaped space between your nails where the nails come flat together but the nail beds don't touch each other.

What it means: If your nails are rounded over and can't press flat together, it's a sign of "clubbing," a thickening of the fingertips that occurs when not enough oxygen is circulating in the bloodstream. Clubbing can be a sign of cardiovascular disease, such as coronary artery disease or heart failure, or of lung disease, like COPD, lung infection, or lung cancer. In some cases, inflammatory bowel disease and cirrhosis of the liver also cause clubbing.

What to do if you fail: Look closely at your fingers for other signs of clubbing. Measure the thickness of your fingertips all the way around; if they're clubbing, you'll notice that they're noticeably thicker above the top knuckle than below it. Clubbing is important to bring to your doctor's attention to monitor your heart and lung health.

What it tests for: Degenerative diseases (or intoxication)

How to do it: Stand with your feet exactly together, arms by your sides. Now close your eyes and stay that way for a full minute.

How do you feel: perfectly balanced, or as if you're swaying or falling forward? It's best to do this test with someone watching you to detect swaying. A variation of this test is to do it standing heel to toe on a straight line.

What it means: This test measures proprioception or positioning, considered the "sixth sense" that tells us where our bodies are in space. Proprioception requires accurate sensory input from our joints and muscles and healthy functioning of the dorsal columns of the spinal cord, which allow us to perceive the position of our limbs both in relation to other parts of our bodies and to the environment. When you can't balance with your eyes closed, it's considered a sign of sensory ataxia, or loss of motor coordination, which can be a sign of diabetic neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, inner ear problems, lumbar spinal stenosis, or another degenerative disease. Romberg's test is also sometimes used as a test of intoxication or drug use.

What to do if you fail: It is possible to fail this test when nothing is wrong with you, but -- because it can also indicate a serious condition -- it's worth discussing with your doctor. If you're also experiencing other symptoms, such as numbness, tingling in your arms or legs, or balance problems, ask your doctor for a referral to a neurologist.

What it tests for: Osteoarthritis, and other things. . . .

How to do it: Hold your hands flat and look closely at the lengths of your fingers in relation to each other. Is your index finger shorter than your ring finger?

What it means: A recent study at the University of Nottingham in England found that if a woman's index finger is shorter than her ring finger, she's more than twice as likely as others to develop osteoarthritis of the knee or hip. There's no scientific explanation yet for the connection between finger size and arthritis risk. Several other studies have found another use for finger measurement: It can be used to guess at penis size. According to studies done in South Korea, if a man's ring finger is significantly longer than his index finger, he's likely to be well endowed, while a short ring finger indicates average to below-average size. Previous studies have shown that a long index finger is an indication of lower testosterone exposure in the womb.

Boy,..I'm sure glad my wife didn't know about this before we got married.

What to do if you fail: Women: In this case, there's no immediate action to take. Just be on the alert for signs of osteoarthritis such as knee, hip, shoulder, or back pain. If you do develop pain and suspect osteoarthritis, you might mention the finger length research to your doctor. Guys: If you notice her looking at your ring finger, distract her by buying her a drink.

What it tests for: Neurodegenerative disease

How to do it: Hold your arm out, finger extended. Close your eyes and try to touch your nose with your finger. Then do it again with the other hand. You should be able to do this smoothly and accurately. Next, lie down and run the heel of one foot up and down the shin of the opposite extended leg.

What it means: These are two components of basic neurological testing, which evaluates coordination and fine motor movement indicative of the health of the cerebellum, the part of the brain that governs motor movement, coordination, balance, and muscle tone. Failure to do the nose and heel tests accurately can be one sign of a neurodegenerative disease such as multiple sclerosis or a brain tumor or lesion.

What to do if you fail: Try these tests several times before you conclude something's wrong, as many factors -- such as having had a glass of wine -- can affect it. If you regularly fail to get your finger anywhere near your nose, alert your doctor.

What it tests for: Rheumatoid arthritis

How to do it: Hold your hands in the position for traditional prayer, with the fingers and palms flat and touching. See if your pinky finger stands straight, as it's supposed to.

What it means: If you aren't able to place your hands flat against each other, it suggests that either your wrists don't bend flexibly or your fingers and knuckles aren't straight. This is a possible indicator of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which makes joints swell and stiffen and fingers become gnarled or bent. The inability to extend the little finger is another indicator of RA, because the little finger tends to be the first thing to lose function.

What to do if you fail: If you suspect you're developing rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease, schedule a visit with your doctor. Before you go, survey your family to determine if there's a family history of RA, which often has a genetic basis.

One additional test you can do is to stick out your tongue and move it up and down, and side to side. Inability to do so may be an indicator of cardiovascular disease. Warning - don't do this in public, especially if you are an older man, otherwise you may be arrested as a pervert.

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Saturday, September 15, 2012

8 Diet Tips

From an article titled 8 Diet Tips from Olympic Nutritionists, from FITNESS Magazine, by Lindsey Emery

If you want to perform like a pro athlete (and who doesn't, really?), news flash: It's not all about the training. You are what you eat, too. "The intensity of women's training has increased, and with that, the need to refuel correctly is more vital than ever before," says sports nutritionist Dawn Scott, a fitness coach for the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team. So we asked the experts to serve up some of their favorite nutrition advice to help you get stronger, faster, and fitter than ever before, no matter what you're trying to master.

#1: Don't Skip Breakfast
"One of the biggest mistakes athletes make is heading out for a run in the morning without eating anything first," says Dan Benardot, PhD, RD, director of the Laboratory for Elite Athlete Performance at Georgia State University in Atlanta, who works with Olympic distance runners (10,000m and up) and oversees the nutrition program for U.S. Figure Skating. Your blood sugar is already low when you wake up, so you should have something carb-laden to eat, like half a bagel or some toast, as soon as you get out of bed. That way, 30 to 45 minutes will have passed before you actually head out the door. If you're not used to eating in the morning, start small, says Benardot. Drink a glass of apple juice before your workouts until your stomach adjusts, and then add in a piece of toast. Mixing in protein (cream cheese, peanut butter, yogurt, etc.) is fine, but it slows down your gastric emptying rate, so you'll need more time between when you eat and when you hit the road.

#2: Stay Hydrated 24/7
Drinking water while you work out is great, but if you start your race on empty, you're never going to finish as strong as you want. Athletes should be consuming .5 to 1 ounce of H2O per pound of body weight every day, says Amanda Carlson-Phillips, vice president of nutrition and research for Athletes' Performance in Phoenix, Arizona, who regularly consults with Olympic contenders and pros. You also shouldn't wait until race day to see how your body responds to whatever beverage they're handing out along the course, says Benardot. Sip on the same beverage during your training runs to stay hydrated and save yourself from any future tummy troubles.

#3: Boost Your Immunity
One of the best things you can do to better your performance is to stay healthy, which means that you need a good amount of antioxidants and superfoods in your diet. Beth Duryea, head soigneur for the Specialized-lululemon women's cycling team, says she encourages all of the riders, including Olympic contenders Evelyn Stevens and Amber Neben, to incorporate whole-grain carbs, lean proteins, and colorful fruits and veggies into their snacks and meals every day. The more color on your plate, the better, she says. Duryea also recommends taking a daily multivitamin, such as First Endurance Multi-V ($49.99,, which is designed specifically for endurance athletes. Carlson-Phillips also suggests stocking up on Greek yogurt, which is high in probiotics, as another stay-healthy tool. Sprinkle some walnuts and fruit or flax seeds on top for a bonus antioxidant boost.

#4: Lift Some Iron
According to experts, it's quite common for female athletes (yup, even the pros) to be deficient in iron, which could slow you down and increase your risk of injury in any sport. So be sure to include plenty of iron-packed products, such as oatmeal, fortified cereals, red meat, and spinach, into your meals, says Scott.

#5: Don't Diet
"The biggest nutrition mistake I see female athletes make is reducing and/or limiting their caloric intake in an attempt to be lean," says Scott. "This causes reduced stores of carbohydrates in your body, which are essential for training and performing, and can then lead to muscle breakdown, as your body eventually starts to use protein as an alternative fuel source."

#6: Crank Up the Carbs
If you wait until the day before your race to carbo-load, you're too late, says Carlson-Phillips. "You need to focus on your nutrition every day, and then the night before is a good time to simply top off your fuel stores," she says. Plus, notes Benardot, when you consume too many carbs at once, your body can't use it all, so it stores any excess as fat, which will do you no good come race day. To ensure you're not eating too much the night before, simply replace one protein or veggie portion of your plate with another serving of carbs. For race morning (if your event lasts more than an hour), have a high-carb, low-protein breakfast, like a bowl of cereal with a little milk or half a bagel, a couple of hours before the start, says sports dietitian Alicia Kendig, athlete performance lab coordinator at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (Note: Now is not the time to try anything new!) Continue to drink fluids, like water and electrolyte drinks, until about 15 minutes before go-time.

#7: Finish Strong
Refuel during your race to finish as fast (or faster) than you started. Depending on your event, you should be taking in about 30 to 60g of carbs per hour to replenish your glycogen stores and continuously consume fluids. "I see a lot of triathletes overdo it on calories and underestimate the value of hydration," says Kendig. "But if you're not hydrating along with those calories, then it will lead to an upset stomach."

#8: Recover Right
Immediately after you finish a high-intensity and/or endurance activity (within 30 minutes), you should consume something made with a mix of protein and carbs, like a glass of chocolate milk or a whey protein shake. "This will help reduce muscle soreness and aid in your muscle recovery," says Benardot. Duryea says that the members of team Specialized-lululemon have a solid, post-race recovery routine to kick start the restoration of their muscle glycogen stores and prep for their next session: Within five minutes of finishing, they will have had water or an electrolyte drink. Within 15 to 20 minutes of finishing, they've consumed a recovery drink that contains 20g of a high-quality protein blend and at least 60g carbs. And within one hour of finishing, they've consumed a whole-grain sandwich with lean meat or egg, cheese, and salad filling. "Even when you're not racing, you should be making choices that will help your body recover faster," says Carlson-Phillips. Avoid processed carbs, which increase inflammation, and opt for anti-inflammatory foods, like cherries, walnuts, and kale, instead.

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Derick's Question on PSA Levels

Derick wrote: "Dear MyAchingKnees, thanks for all the information on joints and supplements. I think I found you searching for 'degenerative diseases'. I may have used PSA since I was looking for articles on high PSA level and calculations (?) what people have been eating or taking for this. Derick".

Derrick, this is what one of the on-line medical journals say about Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA).  PSA is present in small quantities in the serum of men with healthy prostates, but is often elevated in the presence of prostate cancer or other prostate disorders.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the PSA test for annual screening of prostate cancer in men of age 50 and older. PSA levels between 4 and 10 ng/mL (nanograms per milliliter) are a warning sign and further testing is advised .

It also sounds like you are asking what products people (men) take for prostate health.  Here is my story:
In 1993 I was involved in a car crash resulting in, among other things, a back injury. Since that day I have had urinary tract symptoms replicating a much older man with prostate issues....frequent urge to urinate, getting up in the middle of the night to urinate, and a weak stream of urine, etc.

In 2002 I took a medical exam for an insurance policy. Blood work showed that my PSA level was 3.5
In the next couple of years I again had blood work done and on subsequent lab reports my PSA levels were 3.8 and 3.9

In 2005 I started taking a pharmaceutical grade multi-mineral and anti-oxidant supplement. In 2006 and 2009 or 2010 my blood work showed my PSA level at 0.7 and 0.6 respectively. What I believe made the difference, the lowering of my PSA, is that the optimum level of quality nutrients I was providing my body. I took no other supplement but a high quality Glucosamine, and a Omega 3 Fatty Acid supplement as well.  But while my PSA levels went low, my prostate symptoms were not resolved. 

It was not until just a couple years ago that I started taking a prosate specific product. This product contains ingredients that most prostate supplements have,.... Saw Palmetto Extract - 320 mg; Lycopene - 5 mg: Soy Isolflavones - 25 mg, but is produced in a FDA certified lab with USP specifications for potency, uniformity, and disintegration. Since I started taking this prostate product my symptoms have gone away. I have no other reason than to believe it was this product that helped that.

Derick,..don't know what info you are looking for, but surely if you have a high PSA level, please go back to the doctor and get a more fuller exam.  I would advise you to be careful if you are prescribed any medication for problems relating to prostate issues.  Some of those are thought to have significant side effects.  Take charge of your health and be a informed consumer. 

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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Nutrients For Faster Weight Loss

From the article Six Nutrients For Faster Weight Loss, by Alisa Bowman and The Editors Of Women's Health

Vitamin D For years scientists have searched for a magical ingredient that would help people shed fat. In 2008, Dr. Shalamar Sibley of the University of Minnesota put 38 obese people on an 11-week diet where they consumed 750 calories less than their estimated daily need. Study participants whose blood levels of D were higher at the study's start lost more weight than participants whose blood levels of D were lower. They actually lost a lot more--70 percent more, to be exact. Based on the results of this study, by fueling your body with the D-rich nutrients it needs to stay out of a fat-storage state and in a fat-burning state, you can speed weight loss by 70 percent! Thousands of studies on vitamin D have been completed over a span of 40 years, and it's become clear that vitamin D is pretty incredible and effective. Still, it's not the only player on this fat-melting team. Turn up your metabolism and melt body fat adding vitamin D and these five fat-melters from The Vitamin D Diet.  

MyAchingKnees comment: While I believe that we need to take much more Vitamin D that the RDA recommends,...I am currently taking between 3,900 and 5,900 mgs each day, it is hardly definitive that Vitamin D works to burn fat. It is widely thought, and believed by me anyway, that Vitamin D is an essential ingredient for bone health and especially proper immune system function. The question needs to be asked, "what other nutrient deficiencies did the obese people with Vitamin D deficiencies also have?"  

Calcium is a mineral that works in tandem with D to help you shed fat. Calcium is stored in fat cells, and researchers think that the more calcium a fat cell has, the more fat that cell will release to be burned. Calcium also promotes weight loss by binding to fat in your GI tract, preventing some of it from getting absorbed into your bloodstream.  

In addition to keeping hunger in check, regular doses of protein help to keep body composition--the amount of fat relative to muscle--in better proportion. Along with calcium and D, protein helps you to preserve muscle mass as you drop pounds. A recent study out of the University of Illinois found that women who consumed protein twice daily lost 3.9 percent more weight than women who consumed less of it on a diet. They not only lost more weight, they also got stronger as they did so, with their thigh muscles alone ending up with 5.8 percent more protein at the end of the diet than before.  

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3s enable weight loss by switching on enzymes that trigger fat-burning in cells. They also help to boost mood, which may help reduce emotional eating. And omega 3s might improve leptin signaling in the brain, causing the brain to turn up fat burning and turn down appetite. You almost can't consume D without consuming omega-3 fatty acids, and that's a good thing. Fatty fish like salmon (which are also high in D) are one of the richest sources of this fat. Other foods, such as some nuts and seeds, contain a type of fat that can be converted into omega-3s after ingestion.  

MyAchingKnees comment: I think that all the benefits of Omega 3's are relatively unknown to people. If people have experienced what I have experienced with a quality Omega 3 supplement, they would be breaking down the doors to take it.  

Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFAs)
MUFAs are a type of fat found in olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocados, peanut butter, and chocolate, and they have just one chemical bond (which is why they are called "mono" unsaturated). One Danish study of 26 men and women found that a diet that included 20 percent of its calories from MUFAs improved 24-hour calorie burning by 0.1 percent and fat burning by 0.04 percent after 6 months. Other research shows that MUFAs zero in on belly fat. Specific foods that are high in MUFAs--especially peanuts, tree nuts, and olive oil--have been shown to keep blood sugar steady and reduce appetite, too.  

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
CLAs are potent fat burners that are found, along with D and calcium, in dairy products. They are fatty acids that are created when bacteria ferments the food in the first part of the stomach of cows, sheep, and other ruminant animals. The CLA that is created through fermentation then makes its way into the meat and milk of these animals. When we consume these foods, the CLA helps blood glucose enter body cells, so CLA can be burned for energy and not stored as fat. CLA also helps to promote fat burning, especially in muscles, where the bulk of our calorie burning takes place.  

The whole fat-melting picture Now before you start superdosing yourself with all of these fat melters and waiting for the fat to magically melt away, let's be clear: D and other fat melters facilitate weight loss, but they are not magic pills. If you just took a bunch of supplements, you might see some effect--for instance, by swapping some fat for muscle. But to see serious weight loss, you'll need to combine these fat melters with portion control.

MyAchingKnees comment: While I like all the efforts to bring sound nutritional research to people, the danger of articles listing single ingredients as some people will buy and consume these single ingredients while missing others.  I believe that we need a wide range of nutrients in scientifically determined ratios so they can work syngergistically with each other to provide our body's immune system with the complete package.    

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Harold's Knee Pain

I received another e-mail from Harold, a 50 year carpenter-home repair specialist who I have been talking to about his bad knees and his health in general. Harold said ”I wanted to tell you that after two months of adding the Omega 3’s I feel better than ever. No doubt the Glucosamine helped greatly as my pain going downstairs is gone, but somehow I think the Omega 3’s is helping my knees too. I haven't got my cholesterol level yet, but will let you know. Thanks”

When I first started talking to Harold I suggested trying pharmaceutical grade Glucosamine that is optimized with Vitamin C and a highly bioavailable complex from Curcumin, before he gave in and tried a prescription drug or pain killer. He tried it for two months and found significant pain relief. 

Back and forth with Harold uncovered that he was an unabashed red meat eater,...almost every day.  I told Harold that he may want to add a Omega 3 supplement and try to reduce the large amount of Omega 6's he was getting in his diet, which he told me also consisted of alot of eggs and nuts.  He did not try an Omega 3 supplement at first until I mentioned that a quality Omega 3 supplement shows promise in clinical trials in reducing cholesterol levels and Harold had a cholesterol level of 240.     

Red meat, walnuts, cashews, eggs, vegetable oil and almonds are high in Omega 6 Fatty Acids which combined with our low intake of Omega 3 foods (normal in the Western diet) will increase our Omega 6 to 3 ratios well past the recommended 2:1 ratio to sometimes as high as 40:1.

This imbalance of Omega 6 to 3 Fatty Acids is thought to increase oxidative stress and therefore free radical damage and resulting in inflammation which of course can affect the body anywhere and can as joint pain and a host of other symptoms.  

So even though Harold tried the Omega 3 supplement primarily for his cholesterol, he found out that it seems to also be helping with his knee pain which was his primary concern. 

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Nutrient Depletion from Prescription Drugs

MyAchingKnees has been saying for the last couple of years that there are side effects, some severe, some not that affect people differently. One of the ways prescriptions drugs as well as some OTC medications affect our health is to bleach nutrients from our bodies. Not good when you consider that almost everyone does not get the required amount of nutrients they require for optimal health anyway. We were happy to see an article published to express this view. The excellent article below was written by Melissa A. Bartoszewski, DC, on

(NaturalNews) Many people do not realize that the medications they take on a daily basis can negatively affect the amount of nutrients stored in the body. Numerous drugs actually deplete specific vitamins and minerals, causing a whole host of additional problems. Being aware of what is being depleted by the prescription you are taking can help you to choose what to supplement with. Vitamins and minerals are vital for the everyday cellular processes in your body; inadequate amounts may lead to decreased immunity, digestive issues and much more.

What you are losing

Below are a few examples of some commonly prescribed drugs and a list of the nutrients that are automatically depleted.

Anti-inflammatory drugs deplete: Calcium, potassium, zinc, iron, Vitamins B6, C, D, K, folic acid, chromium, glutathione, Vitamins B6, C, D, and K

NSAIDs: Folic acid, melatonin Aspirin/Salicylates: Vitamins C, K, B5, folic acid, calcium, iron and sodium

Corticosteroids: Vitamins A, C, D, B6, B12, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, potassium, selenium and zinc

Cochicine (used for gout): Vitamin B12, calcium, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, Beta-carotene

Statins (Lipitor, Zocor, Crestor,etc.): Coenzyme Q10

ACE Inhibitors for hypertension (Lisinopril, etc.): Zinc

What's the big deal?

Zinc is a master mineral necessary in hundreds of enzymatic reactions throughout the body and plays a vital role in immune function. Zinc is not stored in the body and must be ingested through diet or supplementation. If you are chronically sick, you may be deficient in zinc due to poor dietary intake or from drug induced nutrient depletion. A good way to see if you are zinc deficient is to buy organic zinc lozenges, hold in your mouth, if it tastes sweet, you are deficient, if it tastes bitter, you are not. Once the sweetness wears off and there is no taste/bitter, discard the lozenge.

Coenzyme Q10 is a very powerful vitamin and antioxidant, also known as ubiquinone ("found everywhere"), because it is found in every cell of the body. Energy and ATP production are the main functions of this important vitamin. Research has shown that people with heart failure have lower levels of coenzyme Q10 and the vitamin may help to increase the energy production, pumping action and strength of the heart muscle.

Folic acid, also known as Vitamin B9, helps convert food into energy, assist with proper brain function, DNA/RNA synthesis, red blood cell production and iron functions. This vitamin may also aid in the prevention of heart disease, although further studies are still needed. Folic acid deficiencies may occur due to drug induced nutrient depletion, Celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and alcoholism, just to name a few.

These are only a few examples of very important vitamins and minerals that are automatically depleted when taking certain medications. Zinc, coenzyme Q10, folic acid and the other vitamins and minerals are essential for good health and the processes that go on inside of our bodies on a constant basis.

Take control of your health

What's important to remember is that no drug is 100% percent safe and side effect free. Researching any drug your doctor prescribes is vital to being your own health advocate. Question your health care provider as to why the medication that he/she is prescribing is necessary. A list of side effects is now given with each prescription at the pharmacy; a list of vitamins and minerals that are automatically depleted as a direct result of the medication should also be supplied to every patient, with every prescription. You only have one body and should do everything in your power to protect it and keep it functioning optimally.


About the author: Dr. Melissa Bartoszewski is a chiropractor at Estramonte Chiropractic & Wellness Center. She is a graduate of New York Chiropractic College. Dr. Bartoszewski is also a raw food and natural healthcare advocate.

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

Saturday, August 11, 2012

10 Surprising Dangers of Vitamins and Supplements

I came across this article by the Editors of Consumer Reports,........ More than half of American adults take vitamins, minerals, herbs, or other nutritional supplements. Some of those products aren’t especially helpful, readers told us in a recent survey, but that aside, don’t assume they’re safe because they’re “all natural.” They may be neither. Here are 10 hazards that we’ve distilled from interviews with experts, published research, and our own analysis of reports of serious adverse events submitted to the Food and Drug Administration, which we obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. Read and be warned. MyAchingKnees advises "Read and use some critical thinking".

1. Supplements are not risk-free
More than 6,300 reports of serious adverse events associated with dietary supplements, including vitamins and herbs, streamed into the FDA from supplement companies, consumers, health-care providers, and others between 2007 and mid-April of 2012. The reports by themselves don’t prove the supplements caused the problems, but the raw numbers are cause for some concern. Symptoms included signs of heart, kidney, or liver problems, aches, allergic reactions, fatigue, nausea, pains, and vomiting. The reports described more than 10,300 serious outcomes (some included more than one), including 115 deaths and more than 2,100 hospitalizations, 1,000 serious injuries or illnesses, 900 emergency-room visits, and some 4,000 other important medical events.

The FDA gets far more reports about serious problems with prescription medication than about supplements. But there’s a big difference between the two, notes Pieter Cohen, M.D., an internist at Cambridge Health Alliance in Massachusetts with a special interest in supplements. “These powerful medications with powerful side effects are actually saving lives when used appropriately,” he says of prescription drugs. “But when healthy consumers use supplements, there’s rarely, if ever, a powerful lifesaving effect.”

The FDA suspects most supplement problems never come to its attention, says Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., director of the agency’s Division of Dietary Supplement Programs. But those that do are still useful because they can raise red flags about a developing problem. For instance, last year the agency noted seven reports of serious health problems regarding consumers who took Soladek vitamin solution, marketed by Indo Pharma of the Dominican Republic.

When the FDA learned that tested samples contained vitamins A and D at concentrations many times the recommended daily allowances, it issued a consumer warning. Why not simply order a problem product off the market? Current laws make that so difficult for the FDA that to date it has banned only one ingredient, ephedrine alkaloids. That effort dragged on for a decade, during which ephedra weight-loss products were implicated in thousands of adverse events, including deaths.

Type the name of the supplement you’re interested in into the search box at to see whether it has been subject to warnings, alerts, or voluntary recalls. If you suspect you’re having a bad reaction to a supplement, tell your doctor. You can also report your problem to the FDA at 800-332-1088 or

I have a hard time believing that supplements cause some much problems, but given the fact that the vast majority of supplements are manufactured using food grade manufacturing processes rather than much higher standard of pharmaceutical grade manufacturing process, some of the issues with off the shelf supplements have to stem from toxins or impurities from the manufacturing.

2. Some supplements are really prescription drugs
Fabricant has said that dietary supplements spiked with prescription drugs are “the largest threat” to consumer safety. Since 2008 there have been recalls of more than 400 such products, mostly those marketed for bodybuilding, sexual enhancement, and weight loss, according to the FDA. We’ve seen many recalled products that have contained the same or similar active ingredients as prescription drugs, such as sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), and sibutramine (Meridia, a weight-loss drug that was withdrawn from the market in 2010 because of evidence that it increased the risk of heart attacks and strokes). Others contained synthetic steroids.

Those adulterated products can cause some of the same side effects and interactions that consumers may have been trying to avoid by choosing supplements over drugs. The FDA has received reports of strokes, acute liver injury, kidney failure, pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lung), and death associated with drug-tainted supplements. “A number of the spiked sexual enhancement products claim to work within 20 to 45 minutes,” Fabricant said on the FDA’s website. “When we see a product that makes claims above and beyond what a dietary supplement might do—above supporting health—and within a time frame of a few minutes, it tips us off that we might have a spiked product.” Slim down with diet and exercise.

Build muscles by weight training. And consult a doctor if you need help in the bedroom, since it could indicate an underlying health problem. If you suspect you’ve purchased a product that is tainted with undeclared prescription drugs or steroids, send an e-mail about it to the FDA, at

More than half of American adults take vitamins, minerals, herbs, or other nutritional supplements. Some of those products aren’t especially helpful, readers told us in a recent survey, but that aside, don’t assume they’re safe because they’re “all natural.” They may be neither. Here are 10 hazards that we’ve distilled from interviews with experts, published research, and our own analysis of reports of serious adverse events submitted to the Food and Drug Administration, which we obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. Read and be warned.

There it is again, the low, non regulated food grade manufacturing process. Ask the Olympic Committee why they don't recommend their athletes taking OTC supplements. Ask the Olympic Committee which Pharmaceutical grade supplements sponsors many of their athletes. Plus there are certainly many professional athletes coming up "hot" on banned substances who claim to be taking OTC supplements.

3. You can overdose on vitamins and minerals
Unless your health-care provider tells you that you need more than 100 percent of the recommended daily intake of a particular nutrient, you probably don’t. “It doesn’t make sense to me to take huge doses of vitamins and minerals unless there’s a diagnosed problem, because there is so little evidence that they do good and sometimes a possibility that they might do harm,” says Marion Nestle, M.P.H., Ph.D., a professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University.

I know who I won't be asking nutritional advice from. The proof's in the pudding Marion, that 1- you cannot get all your required nutrients from today's food supply and 2 - there is an undenible link of nutritional deficiencies to the long list of degenerative diseases affecting us. And these degenerative diseases are hitting us when we are younger and younger, that because we are producing weaker humans? It is much more likley to be linked to terrible foods that we commonly consume today.

4. You can’t depend on warning labels
For one thing, the FDA doesn’t require them on supplements. There is an exception: Supplements that contain iron must warn about accidental overdosing and fatal poisoning in children.

Not only does the FDA not require warning labels on supplements, they donlt require food grade supplements to be produced to any guaranteed quality.

5. None are proved to cure major diseases
If you’re surfing the Internet for dietary supplements and find a site that claims its products can diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent a disease, surf right off to another site. Such claims are off-limits to supplements, according to the FDA. “We’d like to see those things go away,” Fabricant says. “Those are a direct threat to public health.” Since 2007, the agency has sent dozens of warning letters to companies telling them to stop making those types of claims about their supplement products.

Earlier this year, for instance, the FDA sent a warning letter to BioAnue Laboratories of Rochelle, Ga., when these statements and others were spotted on websites: “Formula CX will reverse wasting disease,” and “Bovine cartilage stops tumor growth.” (The FDA said it’s still reviewing the company’s response. The president of BioAnue Laboratories told us it “complies with all U.S. laws.”)

We're not going to see any FDA sponsored or approved message concerning supplements and degenerative disease. If they did it would put a whole in the wallets of the drug companies. 

6. Buy with caution from botánicas
???? I'm only buying pharmaceutical grade products. I'm not buying from Botanicas, the local Vitamin Shop, nor from the Voodoo lady on the corner.

7. Heart and cancer protection are not proved
Omega-3 pills and antioxidants are widely thought to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, respectively, and millions of women take calcium to protect their bones. But recent evidence casts doubt on whether those supplements are as safe or effective as assumed. Calcium.

The latest blow against calcium supplements was a report by German and Swiss researchers who followed almost 24,000 adults for an average of 11 years. They found that regular users of calcium supplements had an 86 percent increased heart-attack risk compared with those who didn’t use supplements, as reported in the June 2012 issue of the journal Heart. On the other hand, there was a statistically significant 30 percent reduction of heart-attack risk among adults with a moderately high intake of calcium from food itself.

Omega-3 fish oil. The widely held view that fish-oil pills help prevent cardiovascular disease hit a snag when a study of 12,500 people with diabetes or prediabetes and a high risk of heart attack or stroke found no difference in the death rate from cardiovascular disease or other outcomes between those given a 1-gram fish-oil pill every day and those given a placebo, according to a June 11, 2012, New England Journal of Medicine online report. But the results may be clouded by the fact that participants were already taking other heart medication. Most people can get enough omega-3s by eating fatty fish at least twice a week.

The American Heart Association says that people who have coronary artery disease may want to talk to their doctor about omega-3 supplementation. Antioxidants. Far from reducing cancer risk, as a lot of people believe, high doses of some antioxidant supplements may actually increase it, evidence suggests. The discouraging news appeared in the May 16, 2012, issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Based on current evidence, vitamins C and E haven’t been found to shield people from cancer; vitamin E, beta-carotene, and vitamin C don’t seem to protect against getting or dying from cancer; selenium doesn’t prevent prostate cancer; and there’s no convincing evidence that beta-carotene or vitamin A, C, or E supplements prevent gastrointestinal cancers. Still worse, the researchers wrote, “Some clinical trials show that some of these antioxidant nutrients may increase cancer risk.”

What skews these reports is the facts that people are consuming real crappy supplements. There is no doubt in my mind there would be a vastly different outcome reported if the testing and consuming was with quality supplements.

8. Pills can irritate the esophagus
Really? Then take them with water.

9. Some ‘natural’ products are anything but
Vitamin pills can be synthetically, and legally, produced in a lab. Synthetic ingredients are even allowed in multivitamins that bear the Department of Agriculture’s “Organic” seal. But the FDA has said that synthetic copies of botanicals don’t qualify as dietary-supplement ingredients at all. “Vitamins can be synthetic because, by definition, a vitamin doesn’t have to come from nature,” says Fabricant at the FDA. They just have to perform the biological activity of vitamins, he added, whereas a “botanical” means that it was alive at some point. In other words, botanicals and their extracts must come from actual living plants, not a test tube.

Some nutrients are best in a synthetic form. And there are some, like Melatonin for instance, which the body produces, but the form we take as a sleeping aid is synthetic. This reminds me of a gent I was talking to about his sleeping problems. He said he never gets more than 3 hours at night. He also drank three Monster Energy drinks through the day. He could not see the link between his energy drink consumption and his lack of ability to sleep, so he was seeking a sleeping aid. I told him about a pharmaceutical grade Melatonin that worked for several of my clients. He asked me if it was "natural" because we would not take anything "synthetic" (although he could pump massive amounts of Monster!). I told him "No, this Melatonin was farmed from dead bodies,......just kidding, of course, it is synthetic." He ended up declining to try it. Last thing I heard is that he went to a tarot card reader to see what his sleeping problem was all about.

10. You may not need supplements at all
If you are already getting the recommended amount of nutrients by eating a variety of fruit, vegetables, cereals, dairy, and protein, there’s little if any additional benefit from ingesting nutritional supplements.

Ok, I'll take Consumer Reports word that they may not need supplements, but at 53 years old with no more knee and back pain, 140 cholesterol level, BP at 118/82, fasting blood sugar at 80 or less, I'll stick to taking quality supplements.

Read the original, and long, Consumer Reports article here.

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