Coconut oil has been touted as a miracle for a variety of conditions, but does the science back up the claims being made? Researchers from around the globe are putting coconut oil to the test and finding that coconut oils really is living up to its favorable reputation.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a crippling autoimmune disease affecting all joints in the body. It is found more in women than men. The cause of the disease is unknown and there is no cure. Researchers are looking at patient’s diets to see if a relationship exists between food and the risk of developing this chronic disease.
Studies of Manuka honey and its potential to down-regulate methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (MRSA), a gram-negative strain, have proven this honey’s ability to kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Most of us can relate to feeling anxious before speaking in front of a group or being depressed due to a stressful situation in our lives, but did you know that the food we eat can help decrease or increase anxiety and depression?
A study in Toxicology & Environmental Chemistry submitted by Syaheeda et al demonstrated that high antioxidant content in Tualang honey benefited smokers with severe oxidative stress.
Based on findings from a previous study with Chlorella and herbs, both high in antioxidants, proved that natural products have effect on oxidative stress in male smokers, Tualang honey was used to study rats affected by smoke. Positive results from the rat test led to the experiment on men with a chronic smoking habit.
Tualang honey is collected by bees from the nectar of flowers in the Malaysian Rainforest. Aware of healing potential of honey throughout history, this honey too is filled with healing components, such as antioxidant activity, phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, organic acids and proteins.
The researchers tested the effect of the honey for 12 weeks on smokers in a group of 32 chronic smokers against two equal-sized control groups; one group was not supplemented, the other was a group of non-smokers. Blood was tested before and after the study from all groups. Blood tests pre-intervention showed antioxidant status in smokers to be significantly less than in the non-smoking group. After 12 weeks of supplementation with Tualang honey, antioxidant status in smokers increased considerably with higher values of total antioxidants status, catalase, superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activities. These systemic enzymes are important free radical destroyers.
The conclusion of the intervention is that Tualang honey can be used as a supplement for chronic smokers exposed to free radicals in cigarette smoke and those who are exposed to second-hand smoke to protect or reduce the risks of diseases from smoking especially cardiovascular disease.
Dangers of Smoking
One does not see people smoke in public places because it is prohibited by law. This does not mean there are no smokers.
Smoking increases free radical activities in the body with resulting oxidative stress. This causes serious diseases of the heart, arteries and lungs.
Free radicals are very harmful, despite their being the product of natural oxidation processes from the body’s metabolic functions.
A healthy body can neutralize free radicals with antioxidants such as vitamins A, E and C or from other antioxidants found in plant foods and in a healthy diet. http://bodyiqonline.com/real-food/
Age increases free radical production, but reduces the amount of antioxidants in the body. In smokers, this imbalance carries risk of serious illnesses especially if they are older.
According to the CDC, more than 16 million Americans are living with diseases caused by smoking. Based on trends, it will have reached 8 million by 2030 because many young people, younger than 18, take up the habit. Commercials with warnings to stop smoking or not to start appear again on television. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death. Smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers.
These are harsh statistics caused by smoking and billions of dollars spent for it in medical costs.
Smoking is an addiction as difficult to stop as heroin. There are patches, gimmicks of various kinds, classes and group support, and prescription drugs to help the afflicted.
Will studies like these, promising natural products with high antioxidant status such as Tualang honey achieve better health, prevent stroke, myocardial infarction or cancer while the chronic smoker lights up another cigarette? Probably not, only the smoker himself can stop smoking and an impending disease.
ADHD continues to rise. The latest number from the CDC indicate that 9.5% of children under the age of 17 have been diagnosed with the disorder. Just like other ailments and disorders, there are a variety of environmental and genetic links to ADHD – the most recent being flame retardants.
Flame retardants (Polybrominated diphenyl ethers – PBDEs) are widely used in the United States in products such as baby strollers, carpeting, furniture and electronics. These items release PBDEs and the dust settles in the lungs of men, women and children alike.
Effect of Flame Retardants (PBDEs) on Children
A recent study out of Columbia University found that prenatal exposure to PBDEs is strongly correlated with ADHD. In fact children with higher levels of PBDE exposure were twice as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD then those with lower levels.
Environmental Health Perspectives also studied prenatal exposure of PBDEs on children and observed that the higher the exposure to PBDEs in mothers and children, the lower the children scored on the reasoning, verbal and IQ tests. In addition, these children were more likely to have problems with attention and a higher probability of ADHD
Another study published in Neurotoxicology and Teratology found that California children’s exposure to PBDEs are among the highest measured worldwide. Researchers discovered that this exposure is associated with deficits in attention, processing speed, fine motor coordination and cognition in children ages 5-12 years old. The researchers state “Our results suggest that the prefrontal cortex may be a potential target for PBDE exposure and add to a growing literature showing that these ubiquitous toxicants may adversely affect neurodevelopment.”
Why are levels higher in California’s Children?
California has strict fire safety codes and most manufacturers strive to meet California’s Technical Bulletin 117 (TB117) standard that requires raw foam to withstand a candle-like flame for 12 seconds. This means higher levels of PBDE dust exposure for California kids. In fact, research indicates that the only levels in literature seen higher than California children blood levels are children living on a hazardous waste site in Nicaragua.
However, since manufacturers do not like to have different products for different states, they are moving to having all products meet California’s standards, having health implications for children and adults in other states.
Reducing Exposure to Flame Retardants
- If you live outside of California, avoid buying items labeled California TB117 as these will have higher amounts of flame retardants than those required in your state. If you live in California, ask about the foam inside the furniture and how it is wrapped to reduce dust exposure.
- Use a HEPA filter vacuum and a mop to reduce dust.
- Reduce the use of rugs and carpets if possible.
- Cell phones and remote controls contain flame retardants, so avoid giving them to children to play with.
- Wash your hands frequently.
Detoxifying from Flame Retardants
The good news is there are things you can to reduce your body’s burden of flame retardants.
- Eating organic, nutritious food will help reduce the exposure to other toxins contained in pesticides.
- Infrared sauna helps the body to sweat the flame retardants out of fat where it is stored. It is important to do this with a professional who is familiar with the protocol.
- There are homeopathics (flame retardant detox) and supplements (liver and kidney support) that can help children and adults reduce their body burden.
If your child has recently been diagnosed with ADHD, it is important to look at all exposure including lead and PBDEs. As a mother and a grandmother, children’s health is a priority. Please phone me at 310-577-0852 for a free 15 minute free nutrition consultation. By adopting clean eating and appropriate detoxification support, children can and do make progress!
Compiled and written by Debbie Lindgren
The Standard American Diet does not contain many nutrients. Foods are usually processed, genetically modified, grown in poor soil and sprayed with pesticides. Many people, due to time constraints, resort to fast foods from restaurants. Fast food meals are meat-based and high in simple carbohydrates.
In the United States, there is a lot of discussion and procedures centered around anti-aging. However, regardless of what steps we take, the date on the calendar assures us that we continue to get older each day. This is why in my practice, I focus on how nutrition and health as the basic tenets of thriving at any age.
- Start the day with a glass of water and the juice of half a lemon. This is an excellent liver cleanse.
- A teaspoon of barley grass powder, spirulina or chlorella adds nutrition to an otherwise quick breakfast.
- Use butter, milk, cheese, eggs and other animal products from grass fed or pastured animals.
- Buy bread in an open paper bag. Bread packaged in plastic is usually moldy, even if you don’t see mold.
- Get extra virgin, cold-pressed olive oil in dark glass bottles since dark glass prevents rancidity from light passing through. When you cook with extra virgin olive, use medium heat only because the oil is heat sensitive. Nutrients are destroyed with high heat. Coconut oil has a higher burning point and is better for frying or stir-frying.
- Use herbs like parsley, cilantro, onions and garlic every day and other herbs whenever available. These add more nutrients, chlorophyll and flavor. Cilantro and parsley are cleansing as well. Garlic is antifungal and antibacterial besides its many other uses.
- Keep your recipes simple. Use only the best ingredients and meals will be delicious. Add variety and use produce that in season.
- Don’t forget to eat light-colored vegetables like potatoes, mushrooms, taro root and rutabaga. These are nutritious too and easily forgotten while concentrating on leafy greens such as kale, chard, mustard and collard greens.
- Buy at your local farmers’ market whenever possible. Some farmers sell meats as well. These farmers keep animals humanely and grass fed without antibiotics and hormones. There are also farm delivery services should there not be time to visit a market.
- Don’t leave the house without eating breakfast. Your brain and adrenals will thank you for it. You have no appetite? Eat anyway and you will get used to it.
- What shall I eat? A slice of bread with almond butter or cheese from grass fed cows will give you plenty of energy and nutrition. Boiled eggs, or an omelet if you have time, are good choices. Don’t use quick-cooking oats since these are too processed. Always add seeds or nuts for more sustainable energy.
- When you eat breakfast, a feeling of well-being will be with you all morning and you won’t forget where you left your keys. Eating breakfast is necessary for good brain function.
- Adhering to some of these points will guarantee better and sustained health. Make all of them your own and you are creating well-being, a joy of life and lots of energy.
Recently I became a grandmother. The event made me reflect on my first pregnancy, which is now the reason for giving birth to this post.
I was with an obstetrician who only wanted me to gain twenty pounds during the entire pregnancy. When I arrived at this number after only three months, she ordered me on a strict diet.