Tuesday, November 22, 2011


From our friend, Frank Shallenberger, MD, Finding your Real Cures
As you may know, the FDA isn't here to protect you, the American taxpayer. It's here to protect the pharmaceutical industry and other large corporate interests. It protects anyone with enough money to pad the pockets of the FDA. Recently, the powers at the FDA (Faster Drug Approval) decided that the supplement industry is starting to cut into the bottom line of the pharmaceutical industry. Less money for Big Pharma means less money for the FDA.

As a result, the FDA has come up with a set of guidelines that will make it extremely expensive and difficult for the nutritional industry to keep manufacturing supplements. So expensive and difficult, in fact, that it will put most of them out of business.

Why is the FDA doing this? It must be because nutritional supplements are dangerous, right? Not exactly. Back in 2008, one panel of scientists reviewed the dangers of nutritional supplements. They examined the data in the 174-page annual report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers. They published their report in the journal Clinical Toxicology. It specifically looks at the death rates from drugs, foods, and nutritional supplements.

Guess how many deaths there were from vitamins - zero. Guess how many from herbs - zero. Guess how many from those nasty, dangerous amino acids - zero. OK, how about minerals and all other nutritional supplements - zero. That's right, in 2008 nobody died in the entire country from any nutritional supplement of any kind! But let's put this into perspective.

The panel duly noted that, "Over half of the U.S. population takes daily nutritional supplements. Even if each of those people took only one single tablet daily, that makes 154,000,000 individual doses per day, for a total of over 56 billion doses annually. Since many persons take more than just one vitamin or mineral tablet, actual consumption is considerably higher, and the safety of nutritional supplements is all the more remarkable."
So if nutritional substances are safer than water (yes, water kills people every year), why in the world would the FDA decide to initiate oppressive Big Brother regulations that would essentially make them unavailable to you?

Here's why: Nutritional therapies are eliminating the need for most medications. And as more and more doctors learn how to use them, nutraceuticals are going to cut more and more into Big Pharma profits. Just last week, I was able to discontinue a total of 13 different prescriptions in my patients. That's just one doctor in one week. Imagine what happens when thousands of doctors are doing this routinely. "Something has to be done," says the FDA.

Marcia Angell a reporter for the Boston Globe put it this way. "For too long the FDA has behaved as though its job is to speed brand-name drugs to market, not to ensure that they are safe." According to Ms. Angell's scathing report, the FDA is simply a lap dog for the pharmaceutical industry. "It's time to take the Food and Drug Administration back from the drug companies," she says.

Well, I agree, and I think this might be just the time to start. If we don't do something quickly and effectively, I won't be able to take my patients off their drugs anymore. I won't have the supplements I need. If I can find them, they will cost 100 times more than they do now.

Can you stop this intrusion by Big Brother? Yes, you can. Public pressure works. It worked back in 1994 when the FDA and Congress tried to outlaw supplements. Instead, Congress passed a law that not only protected supplements, but opened the door for incredible innovation in the supplement industry. We can do it again. But only with your help.

Here's what you have to do:
First, go to www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml This web address is case sensitive. So type it exactly as it appears or follow the link. On the website, look up the phone numbers of your U.S. Senators and your Representative in the House. Then call them and tell them how you feel.

Please, do it right now. Don't wait.
The deadline for comments is December 1st. That's not far away.

Second, send this to all of your friends who take supplements and ask them to do the same thing. This is so important it could mean life or death for millions of people. Please, do this right now!

PS. If you would like to read more about this, please follow this link: 

Bronstein AC, Spyker DA, Cantilena LR Jr, Green JL, Rumack BH, Giffin SL. 2008 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers' National Poison Data System (NPDS): 26th Annual Report. Clinical Toxicology (2009). 47, 911-1084. The full text article is available for free download at http://www.aapcc.org/dnn/Portals/0/2008annualreport.pdf

Monday, November 14, 2011

Build a Stronger Immune Defense During the Cold & Flu Season

A healthy immune system provides multiple response layers against seasonal changes. The strength of this barrier can be weakened by lifestyle habits that can deplete the bodies reserves, such as stress, fast foods, and lack of exercise. Replenishing nutrients essential to healthy immune function can help, as well as ensuring adequate rest and relaxation.

Get more powerful immune-supportive nutrition. The following nutrients help you build a healthy "core" defense on a daily basis, or provide more intensive support when you feel you need it most:

*High potency vitamin C Look for a clinically tested vitamin C complex that is buffered (to prevent stomach upset) and shown to have greater absorption to enhance the body s natural defense system.

*Health-enhancing mushrooms shiitake, reishi, fu-ling, turkey tail, oyster, cordyceps, and maitake. Mushrooms all offer a time-tested approach to a healthy defense system.

*Essential zinc- Helps keep your mucosal membrane healthy and supports the production of white blood cells and natural killer cells.

*Oleanolic acid- Shown in preliminary studies to enhance total white blood count for a stronger immune defense.

*Selenium- This antioxidant mineral also plays a role in immune function, including white blood cell activity.

Don't delay. Call to schedule a visit to learn more about how you can bolster your body's ability to stay well during colder months and all year long! 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Winning At Weight Loss

We want to help you discover "a whole new you," by losing weight and feeling great - creating greater health than you have known!

Read on to find out how we can help you!

Martha's LifeStyle Plan is based on a medically designed protocols that results in fat loss while sparing muscle mass. The protocols Holistic Nurse Practitioner, Martha Bray uses, are based on experts who have focused their
careers and research on nutrition with a particular emphasis on the treatment of obesity and obesity related issues such as: 
  • Type II Diabetes
  • High Cholesterol
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Acid Reflux
 Achieve better health through weight loss - NOW!

CALL NOW TO REGISTER: 801-447-8680

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Advanced Health Clinic: Congratulations to Martha Bray!

Advanced Health Clinic: Congratulations to Martha Bray!: "Holistic Family Nurse Practitioner Martha Bray, FNP-BC, APRN, BCIM, of Farmington, UT, has been awarded Diplomat of the College of Whole Med..."

Monday, August 15, 2011

Simple & Natural Tips for Overcoming Urinary Tract Infections

Simple Tips for Overcoming Urinary Tract Infections Safely and Naturally

Up to 60 percent of women will experience a urinary tract infection (UTI) at some point in their lives. UTIs are one of the most common reasons why women visit their healthcare professionals and women are 10 times more likely to get a UTI than men. With an estimated 150 million cases in the world each year, the resulting healthcare cost is around $6 billion, not to mention the lost time from work and other normal activities.

Women are 10 times more likely to suffer from urinary tract infections than men.
UTIs can result in a range of symptoms from mild pain and discomfort to more serious cases that involve your kidneys and renal system and require hospitalization.
Sexual activity is one of the most common risk factors in acquiring a UTI and is part of the reason why so many women will experience a recurrence of the infection -- 30-40 percent of women will get another UTI within six months of the first infection. Over time, the conventional treatment, which is almost always antibiotics, stops working as well, requiring stronger or new antibiotics that can cause potentially harmful side effects and make your body more resistant to antibiotics when you really need them.
Signs and symptoms of a UTI include:
  • Burning or pain when urinating
  • More frequent than normal urination or a sudden, urgent need to urinate
  • Lower abdomen pain or cramping
  • Blood or pus in your urine or a strong smell to your urine
  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Fever, chills, nausea or vomiting
What Causes UTIs?
UTIs are caused by bacteria entering the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of your body. Your body produces lots of natural agents inside the bladder, which keep urine sterile, but if bacteria enters the urethra, the bladder or urinary tract can get infected. The bacteria can come from a number of sources, but in most cases a UTI is caused by bacteria in fecal matter that travels to the area around the urethra. This bacteria, most commonly E. coli (Escherichia coli), is the infecting agent in 70-75% of UTI cases.
However, there are other risk factors that make you more likely to develop a UTI as well. These include:
  • New or multiple sex partners or frequent or intense sexual intercourse
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Irritation from harsh skin cleansers or contraceptives like diaphragms or spermicides
  • Taking birth control pills
  • Having a history of UTIs, especially if you had more than one in six months
Conventional UTI Treatment
If you suspect you have a UTI, your health care provider will feel your abdomen and the area around your kidneys and will also do a urine test to check for infection. The typical medical treatment for a UTI is a 1-10 day round of antibiotics. However, patients with frequent urinary tract infections may also be placed on a low-grade dose of antibiotics that they take every day as a way to prevent new UTIs from occurring.
The most common antibiotic used for UTIs is trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX, brand names Bactrim, Septra). But, unfortunately, new antibiotic-resistant strains of E. coli have begun appearing that don't respond to treatment with TMP-SMX. So health care professionals have begun to try other antibiotics in the penicillin, cephalosporins, or fluoroquinolone families. It is feared that the bacteria may become resistant to these antibiotics as well.
Problems with Conventional Treatment
The first problem with conventional antibiotic treatment of UTIs is that antibiotics often have unpleasant and potentially dangerous side effects. These can include:
  • Stomach upset, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Vaginal itching or discharge
  • Allergic reactions
  • Headache or dizziness
  • Photosensitivity (making it easy to get sunburned)
  • Convulsions
The second problem with antibiotic treatment of UTIs is that bacteria can become resistant to them, making it harder and harder to treat the next infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), antibiotic resistance is a major public health problem because almost every type of bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics with overexposure to the antibiotic. In fact, the CDC says that it is frequent and inappropriate use of antibiotics that causes bacteria to become drug-resistant. Then when a UTI or other infection occurs, the antibiotic won't work as well -- or at all. Once this happens, treating the infection becomes more difficult, requiring stronger antibiotics, which may have harsher side effects, and leaving you vulnerable to the more serious repercussions of an uncontrolled infection.
What Are Probiotics?

In one study of women with nearly constant UTIs, after taking oral probiotics for several days a number of the women had all of their symptoms disappear.
The term probiotic comes from the Greek words meaning "for life," just as antibiotic means "against life." Whereas antibiotics are meant to kill bacteria, probiotics are meant to help other healthy microbes grow. They are live, beneficial bacteria that help keep a healthy balance of microorganisms in your bowel, vagina, and body in general. Keeping the right balance of healthy, bacteria-fighting microorganisms can help reduce the occurrence of infection.
Probiotics occur naturally in fermented foods like yogurt but are also available in supplement form. In some countries, probiotics are considered a normal part of daily nutrition and digestive health.
In the United States, interest in probiotic foods and supplements is on the rise. Some health care professionals have begun recommending probiotics for digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome. Research also indicates that probiotics may help prevent and treat UTIs.
Probiotics for UTIs
In the healthy vagina and urogenital area, there are more than 50 different microorganisms. Depending on your age and your exposure to different factors, the composition of these microorganisms changes. When you take antibiotics or use products like spermicide, the balance can be disturbed. The same can happen when E. coli or other bacteria are introduced.
In premenopausal women, a healthy vaginal environment is dominated by a type of microorganism called lactobacilli. When a UTI occurs, tests show that the lactobacilli are greatly depleted. However, probiotics may help keep the population of lactobacilli healthy and strong, which can help prevent bacteria from gaining hold and turning into a UTI.
In one study, lactobacilli probiotics were administered by vaginal suppository to women who had a history of recurrent UTIs. Results showed that 27% of the placebo group had another UTI within 10 weeks, whereas only 15% of the women taking the probiotic had another UTI in the same time period.
In another study, women who douched with a probiotic solution had a significant increase in the time between infections. A second phase of the study showed that the use of probiotic vaginal suppositories reduced the recurrence of UTIs by 79% over a year. Success has also been seen when taking probiotics following treatment with antibiotics. The antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria, which means they also kill the lactobacilli. Probiotics help restore the lactobacilli before bacteria can re-infect the urinary tract.
Although vaginal application of lactobacilli seems to have the most impact on preventing or reducing UTIs, oral ingestion of probiotics can help as well. A daily dose of probiotics can travel through the gut, exit the rectum and support the lactobacilli in the vagina.
In a study of women who suffered from nearly constant UTIs, after taking oral probiotics for several days a number of the women had all of their symptoms disappear. The researchers estimate that between 50-90% of women would have healthier levels of vaginal lactobacilli within 1-2 weeks of taking daily probiotics.
Probiotics for General Health
Probiotics have also shown promise in treating certain digestive disorders. The most promising treatments have been seen for infants and children who have infectious diarrhea. With probiotic treatment, studies show a reduction rate of up to 60% as compared to a placebo. Several studies show that probiotics can also help prevent recurrences of ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. A healthy digestive tract also promotes a healthier immune system in general.
Some preliminary research shows that probiotics may also:
  • Help prevent the development of allergies in children
  • Help patients deal with negative antibiotic side effects
  • Decrease the risk of certain cancers
  • Help prevent cavity-producing bacteria in your mouth
You may want to ask your health care practitioner about Probiotic Synergy™, one such high-quality product that may help alleviate symptoms associated with diarrhea, constipation, dysbiosis, bacterial infections, and yeast overgrowth.
With probiotics, it's all about survival. Probiotic organisms must survive three critical barriers to be of benefit -- the manufacturing process, time on the shelf, and most importantly, transit through the acidic environment of your stomach. Probiotic Synergy™ is formulated to handle all of the above, presented in moisture-resistant BIO-tract Probiospheres® that enhance stability and the ultimate delivery of probiotic organisms to your intestinal tract.
More Natural Help for UTIs
In addition to taking probiotics, there are other natural ways you can help prevent the recurrence of UTIs. Certain lifestyle changes can help, such as:
  • Drinking plenty of fluids like water and herbal teas and avoiding caffeinated and high- sugar beverages
  • Drinking unsweetened cranberry and blueberry juice
  • Urinating before and after sexual intercourse
  • Avoiding sex while you are under treatment for a UTI
  • Eating antioxidant-rich and high-fiber foods while avoiding refined foods that contain trans fats and sugar
  • Ask your health care practitioner about taking daily multivitamins and supplements such as vitamin C, omega-3 fats and L-glutamine. UT Synergy is another promising option, which features UTIrose™, a patented extract of the hibiscus species designed specifically for urinary tract infections that is high in certain organic acids and polyphenols, especially flavonoids and proanthocyanidins.

    These compounds give UTIrose™ anti-microbial (especially against E. coli and C. albicans) and bacterial anti-adhesive properties. In an in-vivo study, patients receiving 200mg daily of UTIrose™ experienced a 57% reduction in urinary tract infections after 3 months and a 77% reduction in urinary tract infections after six months of use.
Be sure that you tell your health care provider what supplements you are taking. Also consider making an appointment with your health care provider to discuss whether probiotics or another natural option might be the right course for you in treating and preventing UTIs.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2001; 73(suppl):437S-43S
Medscape News Today April 20, 2011
Clinical Infectious Diseases May 15, 2011
Medscape General Medicine. 2001;3(4)
MedGenMed. 2004; 6(1): 49.
European Review of Medical Pharmacological Science 2004 Mar-Apr;8(2):87-95
Postgraduate Medical Journal 2003 August; 79(934): 428–432.
Nutritional Clinical Care 2002 Jan-Feb;5 (1):3-8
FEMS Immunology and Microbiology
University of Maryland Medical Center
The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide
BMJ Volume 322 30 June 2001
Current Opinion in Clinical Nutritional and Metabolic Care 2009 Nov;12(6):583-7.
European Urology Volume 47, issue 3, pages 273-426, March 2005
University of Maryland Medical Center
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work

© 2011 Health Realizations, Inc

Monday, August 8, 2011

Depression Drugs - What Does the latest Research Show?

Depression Drugs: Do They Work As Well As Everyone Says?
New Research Points to "No"

When antidepressant medications first hit the markets in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, flocks of frenzied masses ran out to buy the drugs because they were hailed as a cure for depression and other mood disorders. Pharmaceutical companies, many scientists, and even doctors were quick to prescribe the new medications (most of which were selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs) to patients suffering from depression because they showed promising results in published clinical trials.

Is medication really the best option for treating depression? Get the facts before you decide.
However, these “published” results were only half of the real story behind the popular pills.

The Real Facts about Antidepressants

A recent research study published in the journal PLoS (Public Library of Science) revealed a less flattering view of antidepressants’ abilities because it combined research from several trials instead of just one.

The report argued that "each individual trial provides some information about the new drug's effectiveness but additional information can be gained by combining the results of all the trials in a “meta-analysis,” a statistical method for combining the results of many studies."

What was most intriguing about this meta-analysis was the fact that much of the research had not been released to the public before. Upon retrieving the full set of results about some major medications from the FDA under the Freedom of Information Act, the researchers found information that showed how the effects of many SSRI antidepressant medications were not much more significant than the effects of placebos.

Specifically they said:
"...compared with placebo, the new-generation antidepressants do not produce clinically significant improvements in depression in patients who initially have moderate or even very severe depression, but show significant effects only in the most severely depressed patients. The findings also show that the effect for these patients seems to be due to decreased responsiveness to placebo, rather than increased responsiveness to medication."
The research, done by Professor Irving Kirch and colleagues, was ground-breaking because it opened the floodgates for a wave of backlash against the governing bodies that are in charge of accepting and rejecting new drugs into the mainstream market. About these governing bodies, the report stated:

"Although the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), and other licensing authorities have approved SSRIs for the treatment of depression, some doubts remain about their clinical efficacy."

So Does that Mean All Antidepressant Medication is Dangerous?

As with all medication, careful study and application is required to ensure that it is suited to the people taking it. While some people find positive results from mainstream SSRI medication, it is important to be aware of ALL the research out there. While Prozac’s makers (Eli Lilly & Company) claim that:
"In controlled trials used to support the efficacy of fluoxetine (the clinical name for Prozac), patients were administered morning doses ranging from 20 to 80 mg/day. Studies comparing fluoxetine 20, 40, and 60 mg/day to placebo indicate that 20 mg/day is sufficient to obtain a satisfactory response in Major Depressive Disorder in most cases."
Professor Kirch's study found that:
"Given these results, the researchers conclude that there is little reason to prescribe new-generation antidepressant medications to any but the most severely depressed patients unless alternative treatments have been ineffective."
So who do you believe in the war of words surrounding antidepressants?

The research in the latter study combines results of all trials, as opposed to just one, so it may bode well for all sufferers of depression to take note of it. Also the research comes from a group of doctors not affiliated with major pharmaceutical companies.

In addition to the controversy surrounding the benefits of these drugs in tests, there are other problems that have been linked to modern SSRI antidepressant medications that you should be aware of.

What are the Other Dangers of SSRI Medications?

There are many side effects to most major antidepressants on the market today. Some of them are:
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Anorexia
  • Reduced libido
  • Tremors
Most troubling, however, are the side effects published in the black box warning label of the drug itself. The warning found on the Prozac packages states:
"Antidepressants increased the risk compared to placebo of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults in short-term studies of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders."
The warnings don’t stop there though. In the book Talking Back to Prozac by Peter Breggin, MD and Ginger Ross Breggin, the authors found some more concerning findings about the antidepressant drugs. It says:
"Nine of fifteen recently approved medications developed serious postapproval [by the FDA] risks, including one that had to be withdrawn from the market...after it was found to cause potentially fatal immune system disorders."
In addition, they also found that Xanax, another medication often used to treat depression, was found to cause "paradoxical rage reactions."

All these facts make mainstream antidepressants sound rather scary, don't they?

Are There Alternatives to Antidepressants for Depression?

Exercise is proven to benefit people with depression, and often the improvements rival those experienced by people taking antidepressant drugs.
There are many alternative treatments for depression out there today. Many experts, including The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), recommend that patients try counseling and psychotherapy before they turn to prescription antidepressants.

In addition to psychotherapy, many scientists agree that people suffering from depression must also make efforts to:
  • Eat healthy
  • Exercise regularly
  • Sleep regularly
  • Reduce their stress level
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol
If you are suffering from depression there are also natural herbal remedies, which are proven to improve mood disorders without the heavy side effects often found in common drugs.

Supportive nutrients to ask your health care provider about include:
  • Omega-3 fatty acids, such as OmegAvail™ Lemon Drop Smoothie, which is packed with 1100mg of EPA and 720mg DHA (a total of 1820mg) and is manufactured using a proprietary emulsification technology that significantly reduces the size of fish oil molecules, resulting in enhanced absorption.
  • Vitamin B12 (such as methylcobalamin)
In addition there are many natural supplements that combine specially designed herbs and vitamins for mood stabilization. One such supplement you can ask your health care provider about is NeuroCalm™, which promotes activity of GABA and serotonin, and may help improve mood and support greater feelings of calm and satisfaction.

The controversy surrounding antidepressants (their dangers versus their benefits) will, likely, rage on for years. The real side effects of drugs usually take decades to surface, so in the meantime, it is important for anyone suffering from depression to be aware of ALL the information out there.

There are always major risks that come with taking medication, so make sure you always check with your health care practitioner before starting ANY program. Most importantly though, be proactive about finding out everything – including the good, the bad, and the controversial – about your medication before you decide to take it– it could change your life forever.

Time.com February 26, 2008
Eli Lilly. Prozac prescribing information 2007-06-21. (PDF)
Significance, Volume 5, Number 2, June 2008 , pp. 54-58(5)
U.S. FDA "Clinical Review: Relationship Between Antidepressant Drugs and Suicidality in Adults" (PDF)
Does B12 deficiency lead to lack of treatment response to conventional antidepressants?
Treatment of depression: time to consider folic acid and vitamin B12.
The methylation, neurotransmitter, and antioxidant connections between folate and depression.

© 2011 Health Realizations, Inc

Monday, August 1, 2011

Coumadin - What Are Your Choices

Should You, Can You, Get Off Coumadin?

Millions of Americans take the anti-coagulant (blood-thinning) drug Warfarin, known by the brand name Coumadin. This drug, which decreases the clotting ability of your blood, has been found to reduce the risk of stroke by one-third to one-half, and is widely prescribed to prevent blood clots from forming.

Millions of Americans take Coumadin, a medication initially developed as a rat poison, to help thin their blood.

Among the many conditions for which Coumadin is prescribed are irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), venous thrombosis (blood clot in a vein), pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung), and atrial fibrillation (abnormal heart rhythm). Coumadin is also sometimes prescribed for people who have suffered from a previous heart attack or have a prosthetic heart valve.
Although the drug is effective at thinning blood and helping prevent the formation of blood clots in your arteries, veins and heart, this drug is extremely complicated, and potentially dangerous, to use.
The Dark Side of Coumadin
Coumadin was initially developed for use as a rat poison and it is still used for this purpose, which gives you an idea of just how deadly it can be when taken in excess.
The problem is there is a very narrow margin between a dose that's effective and a dose that's dangerous, so people taking the drug must have a lab test done, typically monthly, called the International Normalized Ratio (INR). The INR helps physicians ensure their patients' dosages of Coumadin stay in just the right range, helping to prevent clots rather than trigger excessive bleeding.
Yet, even then it's extremely difficult to keep the drug within this small window of safety. According to the Chicago Tribune:
"Even in the best clinical trials, only about 70% of patients are able to keep the drug within the desired therapeutic range."
Complicating matters further, about one-third of people taking Coumadin have genes that make them especially sensitive to the drug, increasing the risk of serious bleeding and making it even more difficult to determine proper dosages.
Even under normal circumstances, since the drug thins your blood so efficiently you must seek medical attention even from minor falls, cuts or scrapes when taking the drug, due to the bleeding risk. Patients are also warned to use caution when shaving, brushing and flossing teeth, trimming toenails and performing other normal daily activities. It's even recommended that you not use toothpicks while taking the drug.
And there's more.

If you take Coumadin along with other medications or supplements -- and many do -- you could be at risk for dangerous drug interactions.

Coumadin interacts with a laundry list of medications and herbal supplements, leading to a variety of dangerous effects. Among them (this is only a partial list):
  • Antibiotics
  • Aspirin or aspirin-containing products and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn)
  • Heparin
  • Medications for cancer, cholesterol, colds and allergies, depression, diabetes, digestive problems (including ulcers and heartburn), gout, heart disease, mental illness, pain, seizures, thyroid problems, and tuberculosis
  • Oral contraceptives (birth control pills)
  • Streptokinase
  • Ticlopidine
  • Urokinase
  • Bromelains
  • Coenzyme Q10 (Ubidecarenone)
  • Cranberry products
  • Danshen
  • Dong quai
  • Garlic
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • Ginseng
  • St. John's wort
  • Fish oil and omega-3 supplements
  • Vitamin K
  • Alfalfa
  • Glucosamine
  • Evening primrose oil
Your Diet and Coumadin
Another tricky aspect to taking the drug is its tendency to react with certain foods. Among the most common are vitamin-K-rich foods, as vitamin K can lessen the effectiveness of Coumadin.
Many vitamin-K-rich foods are extremely healthy, including dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, chard, parsley and mustard greens, and patients taking this drug are often warned to stay away from them, thereby missing out on the health benefits of these foods.
Other foods also interact with Coumadin, including cranberry juice and alcohol, which increase the drug's effect and may cause bleeding problems. Quite simply, there are so many foods, drugs, and supplements that interact with Coumadin that taking it can be like playing a game of Russian roulette.
In fact, even under the best circumstances, the drug is riddled with potential side effects, including:
  • Severe bleeding
  • Black stool or bleeding from the rectum
  • Skin conditions such as hives, a rash or itching
  • Swelling of the face, throat, mouth, legs, feet or hands
  • Bruising that comes about without an injury you remember
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fever or flu-like symptoms
  • Joint or muscle aches
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty moving
  • Numbness or tingling in any part of your body
  • Painful erection lasting four hours or longer
  • Skin tissue death (necrosis) and gangrene requiring amputation
  • Gas
  • Feeling cold
  • Fatigue
  • Pale skin
  • Changes in the way foods taste
  • Hair loss
Can You Get Off Coumadin?
It's important to understand that you should not stop taking Coumadin without the guidance of a knowledgeable health care practitioner. However, given this drug's side effects and risks, there is incentive to find a provider who can work with you to eventually get off the drug.
Solve the underlying reason why you're on the drug in the first place. This may mean you need to find out what's causing your arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation, blood clots or other issues, and will likely take the aid of an expert along with the guidance of a holistic practitioner who will help you determine and treat the underlying causes of your specific condition.
The second way to get off Coumadin, according to Dr. Bruce West, is by taking a combination of Nattokinase and omega-3 fats, like fish oil, daily. Nattokinase is an enzyme found in natto, a food made from fermented soybeans. In supplement form, Nattokinase has been found to help prevent and reduce the risk of blood clots, as well as provide heart-protective benefits. Some studies suggest that nattokinase can also reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
You will still need to have your blood closely monitored for clotting times if you take this regimen, and again you should not attempt this treatment without the guidance of your physician. However, it may provide a natural way for you to keep your blood thinner naturally, without all of the dangerous side effects of Coumadin.
You can also ask your health care provider about the following additional supportive supplements from Designs for Health, which may be beneficial in helping resolve some underlying causes of arrhythmia:
  • Q-Avail™: A high potency CoQ10 product, delivering 200mg of Ubiquinone in a single softgel.
  • Natto-Serrazime: Nattozimes® and Serrazimes® in studies, have shown to have the same thrombolytic and fibrinolytic activities as the popular enzyme products Nattokinase and Serrapeptidase therefore, they can be used as a 1:1 substitution for these applications.
  • OmegAvail Hi-Po: OmegAvail™ Hi-Po (formerly Omega Hi Po EE) provides the same high levels of omega-3 oils per serving -- a potent 1400mg of EPA/DHA.
  • Homocysteine Supreme: Synergistic nutrients, found in Homocysteine Supreme, facilitate the efficient metabolism of homocysteine, preventing toxic levels of homocysteine from accumulating.
Again, dealing with blood clots and other conditions that require anti-coagulant drugs is not something you should attempt on your own. However, with the help of a knowledgeable health care practitioner you may be able to address the underlying causes of your health condition so there's no need for a potentially dangerous "cure" like Coumadin.

Cleveland Clinic, Drugs & Supplements, Understanding Coumadin
MayoClinic.com Warfarin Side Effects
ChicagoTribune.com November 16, 2010
ScienceBlogs.com February 19, 2009
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Blood Thinner Pills
U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Warfarin

© 2011 Health Realizations, Inc.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Martha's Minute: Foods For Life

Nutrition 101

Are You Sending Your Body Mixed Signals for Health?

You truly are what you eat…and that starts with how food and other natural substances that complement the diet affect your cells and influence your health.
In the past, the main focus was on the nutrients we might be missing. That's still important. However, now scientists realize that there's a lot more to consider when planning our daily diets than just avoiding a deficiency. Healthy eating, nutrition, and other modifiable lifestyle factors can help you reverse the disease process and improve health.
Armed with the basic nutritional knowledge we've provided here, you and your health care provider can work together to develop the dietary and lifestyle prescription that's exactly right for you.
(Compliment of Metagenics)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Martha's Minute: Food for Life

Nutrition 101


If there were a drug that could turn off all the disease-promoting genes and could turn on all the health-promoting, anti-aging genes, would you take it?

In "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" (May 2007), there was a study done on nutrigenomics. The basic idea is that food is information, not just calories.

In this study, researchers from Finland took two groups people with metabolic syndrome (pre-diabetes) and gave each group a different diet. It was different ONLY in the type of carbohydrates they consumed for 12 weeks. The rest of their diet was identical — the same calories and the same amount of fat, protein, carbohydrate, and fiber.

The first group had wheat, oats, and potatoes as the source of their carbs.  The second group ate rye as their source of carbohydrate.   In Dr. Mark Hymen's book, UltraMetabolism, rye has some very special properties because it is slowly absorbed by the body and has phytonutrients that help you lose weight and improve metabolism.

After the 12 weeks, the researchers took a fat sample or biopsy and analyzed it to find out which genes were turned on or off.

So what happened?

In the wheat, oat, and potato group, 62 genes were activated that increased inflammation, oxidative stress, and the stress response, worsened blood sugar balance, and generally amplified all of the forces in the body that lead to obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease! It was a 100 percent effect — NO good genes were turned on.

In the rye group, 71 genes were turned on that prevent diabetes, lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and improve blood sugar control. This was a 100 percent GOOD gene effect.

So back to our initial  question - If there were a drug that could turn off all the disease-promoting genes and could turn on all the health-promoting, anti-aging genes, would you take it?

You won't see ads on TV telling you to eat more whole-kernel rye bread! The good news is you don't have to see your doctor, get a prescription, nor buy a drug (not to mention all the side effects that come with the drug) to get these benefits. You can simply start adding some rye to your diet!

Here are some findings from a few other key studies that are worth noting:

– Supplementing with conjugated linoleic acid (a special fat from meat and dairy fats) caused a modest loss in body fat. It also may prevent cancer, heart disease, and inflammation.
– Long-term fish consumption protects against arrhythmia or irregular heart beats.
– Eating a diet high in monounsaturated fats from olive oil can help reduce blood pressure while a high refined-carbohydrate diet can increase blood pressure.
– Combining fish oil supplements with regular aerobic exercise helps improve body composition and reduce heart disease risk factors (lower triglycerides, higher HDL).
– Women need more choline (a nutrient that is needed for cell membrane formation and to make the neurotransmitter acetylcholine necessary for brain function) after menopause or are at risk of liver and muscle damage.
– If women with HIV are given a multivitamin, they have less anemia and their children also have less anemia.  Anemia in HIV is associated with a much faster rate of disease progression and death.
– In Bangladesh, where arsenic poisoning is common, giving folate, vitamins B12 and B6, choline, and niacin reduced the toxic effects of arsenic.
– People who eat more meat and saturated fat have a higher risk of skin cancer.

So what are we to learn from all these studies?

If you hear from your doctor that eating better and taking supplements has no “real” scientific evidence to support it, ask them if they have read the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” lately.

It is also interesting to note that the main medical journals publish mostly positive studies on drugs and mostly negative studies on nutrients, foods, and herbs.

So we encourage you all to beware when someone tells you there is no research to back up the use of food or nutrients as the primary mode of treatment of disease and prevention of chronic illness. The evidence is overwhelming — just ignored.

(The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, May 2007, Compliments of Dr. Mark Hymen, Kallio P, Kolehmainen M, Laaksonen DE, Kekalainen J, Salopuro T, Sivenius K, Pulkkinen L, Mykkanen HM, Niskanen L, Uusitupa M, Poutanen KS. Dietary carbohydrate modification induces alterations in gene expression in abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue in persons with the metabolic syndrome: the FUNGENUT Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 May;85(5):1417-27)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Martha's Minute: Foods for Life


Targeted Nutrients—Extra Help for Improving Health

The growing field of research in nutritional genomics—or nutrigenomics—has demonstrated the effects that nutrients and plant substances can have on modifying the expression of genes in favor of good health. This has led to the development of research-based nutraceuticals and medical foods that complement dietary approaches to address today's top health concerns.

"Boosting" Your Healthy Message with Nutritional Supplements

Even if you eat a nutritious diet, you might benefit from nutritional supplementation. Nutritional supplementation not only helps you maintain adequate nutrient levels. It can also help improve your health or manage chronic health conditions.
The following are key areas for targeted support along with some recommended nutrients:
  • Detoxification & liver/kidney function—silymarin, epigallocatechin gallate, watercress, cordyceps, folate, chlorophyllin, andrographis, hops, methionine, artichoke
  • Health maintenance—multivitamin/mineral, essential fatty acids (EPA/DHA), calcium, vitamins B, C, D & E, other antioxidants, phytonutrient complex, fiber, probiotics
  • Body composition—protein, conjugated linoleic acid, chromium, L-carnitine
  • Bone health—MCHC, calcium, vitamin D, boron, magnesium, ipriflavone, berberine, hops, phosphorus
  • Brain function (cognition, memory)—ginkgo biloba, prolie-rich polypeptides, huperzine A, folate, N-acetylcysteine, EPA/DHA
  • Digestion—lipase, proteases, amla fruit, betaine, pepsin, zinc carnosine, chamomile, peppermint, certain raw organ concentrates, probiotics
  • Immune, sinus & lung health—vitamins A, C, D & E, andrographis, hops, zinc, amla fruit, selenium, Chinese botanicals, Ayurvedic botanicals, homeopathic remedies, perilla, garlic, select mushrooms, probiotics, whey protein, echinacea, ginger, licorice,
  • Intestinal health—probiotics, glutamine, plantain fruit, coptis root, oregano, red thyme, sage, ginger, fiber
  • Joints, tendons & muscles—hops, magnesium, glucosamine, MSM, chondroitin, antioxidants, EPA/DHA, calcium
  • Men's health—arginine, tribulus, zinc, saw palmetto, soy, plant sterols, epigallocatechin gallate, ashwaghanda, DHEA
  • Minor pain relief—ginger, turmeric, reduced iso-alpha acids from hops, boswellia
  • Mood—St. John's wort, DHEA, folate, inositol, EPA/DHA
  • Relaxation & sleep—lemon balm, passionflower, valerian, L-theanine, casein tryptic hydrolysate, epigallocatechin gallate, N-acetylcysteine, Chinese botanicals, L-5-hydroxytryptophan, L-theanine
  • Sports nutrition—whey protein, electrolytes, magnesium, long-chain glucose-polymers
  • Stress management—licorice, ashwagandha, rehmannia, ginseng, cordyceps, Chinese botanicals, homeopathic remedies
  • Women's health—indole-3-carbinole, isoflavones (soy, kudzu, red clover), Chinese botanical blends, chasteberry, choline, calcium, ashwaghanda, black cohosh, folate

Martha's Minutes: Foods for Life

Nutrition 101

Fiber and Water: Filling You Up and Cleaning You Out

Good sources of fiber include bran, beans, brown rice and nuts, and green vegetables (broccoli, asparagus, spinach). Your health care provider may also recommend a fiber supplement. Dietary fiber helps:
  • Promote healthy insulin and blood sugar response by slowing digestion, which helps to prevent a surge of blood sugar.
  • Create a feeling of fullness, helping you control the amount of food you eat.
  • Increase bowel motility, helping you empty what your body doesn't need more regularly.
  • Disease alert. Low fiber diets can increase the risk to insulin resistance, digestive discomfort, and more serious intestinal concerns.
Water helps to transport vital nutrients to, and export waste from, our cells. It's also necessary to moisten the lungs and respiratory tract, lubricate joint surfaces and internal organs, and ensure proper digestion. Like fiber, it can increase the feeling of fullness and aid in toxin removal. So it's important to make sure you're getting enough water every day.
(Compliments of Metaginics)

Martha's Minute: Foods for Life

Nutrtition 101

Carbohydrates: the Key to Healthy Eating

Carbohydrates are important sources of energy and can be found in most foods. Not all carbohydrates are beneficial, so choosing the right carbohydrates is essential.
  • Good. Better sources of carbohydrates are whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans. These foods are a good source of energy and provide fiber, vitamins, and minerals—as well as phytonutrients that are essential for good health.
  • Bad. Refined carbohydrates or sugars (white bread, white rice, pastries, sugary sodas) provide little or no nutritional value.
  • Caution. Even the best carbs can be prepared in bad ways. Overcooking can deplete nutrients, or they can be covered in cheese, butter, and fatty/sugary sauces that counteract their benefits.
  • Disease Alert. Over time, a steady intake of refined carbohydrates can lead to insulin resistance, a harmful condition in which the body can't properly convert blood sugar into energy. Insulin resistance, in turn, can result in weight gain, low energy levels, diabetes, heart disease, and other health conditions.
(Compliments of Metagenics)

Martha's Minute: Foods for Life

Nutrition 101

Protein is More Than Just Meat

Protein is a key component of practically every tissue in your body, including muscle, skin, hair, and other tissues. Proteins manufacture the enzymes and hormones that power digestion, metabolism, and tissue growth and repair.
Protein can be found in all meats and vegetables. Some are "complete" proteins (typically from animals) because they contain all the essential amino acids your body needs to build more protein. Others are "incomplete" proteins (vegetables, nuts) because they lack one or more essential amino acids.
  • Good. Lean cuts of meat, white poultry meat, whey protein, soy protein, nuts (in moderation), beans, reduced fat dairy products (or dairy substitutes).
  • Bad. Fatty cuts of meat, dark poultry meat, excess cheese or inorganic dairy product consumption, poultry skins.
  • Caution. Even lean protein sources can be prepared in unhealthy ways—battered, deep fried, or covered in fatty sauces or cheeses.
(Compliments of Metagenics)

Martha's Minute: Foods for Life


Some Fat is Good for You

Fat is a vital nutrient that your body needs for a wide range of biological processes, including growth, healthy skin, and absorption of nutrients. It's also an important fuel source. Eating the right fats, in moderation, will help you feel full faster, and in turn, decrease your appetite. They can even help lower your risk of heart disease by reducing your levels of total and LDL ("bad") cholesterol.
  • Good. Mono- and poly-unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids (from coldwater fish, nuts, flaxseed oil) are healthy.
  • Bad. Trans fast (from hydrogenated oils and processed foods) are harmful.
  • Disease alert. Saturated and trans fats can increase your risk of heart disease by increasing your total and LDL cholesterol.
(Compliments of Metagenics)

Martha's Minute: Foods for Life


Eating to Send a Healthy Message

Are 3 balanced meals a day enough to keep you healthy? Food is the preferred source of nutrients to supply you foundational nutrition needs for basic health maintenance. Knowing how to eat to maximize these nutrients will help you stay on a path of reduced disease risk.
As you probably know, the foods you eat can be broken down into 3 categories: fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. They're all essential to health—but not every food supplies them in a "good" way. And too much of anything—even a good thing—is still too much. As part of my Vibrant LifeStyle Plan, I help you create customized daily calorie intake and serving size suggestions to match your individual needs and activity level.

(Compliements Metagenics)

Martha's Mintue: Foods for Life


What You Eat Affects How You Feel

Processed foods and other unhealthy dietary habits can interfere with the dietary signals sent to cells throughout the body, which can lead to premature aging and disease. Addressing unhealthy eating patterns allows you to manage symptoms and even halt or reverse the progression of illness. Eating plans can also be tailored to specific conditions to maximize healthy signals—to help regulate blood sugar or reduce inflammation, for example.

Martha's Minute: Foods for Life

Nutrition 101

How Lifestyles Affect Your Body's Nutritional Intake

Despite a wide variety of foods, people today generally eat more but actually get fewer nutrients. Many common aspects of daily life can deplete the body of the nutrients it needs to function properly:
  • Drinking—alcohol, coffee/sodas (caffeine)
  • Smoking—nicotine
  • Medications—statin drugs, corticosteroids, diuretics
  • Eating—junk food, refined carbohydrates
  • Stress—work, family
  • State of Health—illness, injury, intestinal issues, pregnancy
These things can rob you of nutrients by:
  • Increasing your need for certain nutrients
  • Causing accelerated nutrient loss
  • Impairing the absorption of nutrients from food
(Compliments of Metagenics)

Martha's Minute: Foods for Life


Are You Sending Your Body Mixed Signals for Health?
You truly are what you eat…and that starts with how food and other natural substances that complement the diet affect your cells and influence your health.
In the past, the main focus was on the nutrients we might be missing. That's still important. However, now scientists realize that there's a lot more to consider when planning our daily diets than just avoiding a deficiency. Healthy eating, nutrition, and other modifiable lifestyle factors can help you reverse the disease process and improve health.
Armed with the basic nutritional knowledge we've provided here, you and your health care provider can work together to develop the dietary and lifestyle prescription that's exactly right for you.
(Compliments of Metagenics)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Not All Cholesterol is Bad!

Shocking Truth: Not All Cholesterol is Bad!
Cholesterol Deficiency vs. Cholesterol Deceptions
(There is "Good" and Bad Cholesterol)

When you think about cholesterol, what's the first thing that comes to mind? If you're like most Americans, it's probably something negative, like heart disease or giving up eggs for breakfast to keep yours low.

Are you worried about your cholesterol unnecessarily? Lowering your cholesterol is NOT always a good thing ...

But there's something important you should know, and that is the fact that cholesterol is not a "bad" word ... nor is it a "bad" substance in your body. Also, eating eggs isn't what's behind your high cholesterol.
In fact, your body produces about 80 percent of the cholesterol it needs naturally; it is that important to your health and survival.
Your body depends on cholesterol to produce cell membranes, hormones like estrogen and testosterone, vitamin D and the bile acids your body needs to digest fat. Your brain needs cholesterol to function properly, as does your immune system, and if a cell becomes damaged, it needs cholesterol in order to be repaired.
Further, making excess cholesterol is actually your body's response to inflammation, which it does to help heal and repair your cells.
Unfortunately, many Americans are under the mistaken impression that all cholesterol is bad, but in reality cholesterol is good for your body and necessary for you to live.
HDL Cholesterol: A Shining Star for Your Health
You've probably heard by now that there are two types of cholesterol: the good "HDL" (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol and the bad "LDL" (low-density lipoprotein) variety.
Most Americans focus on reducing LDL cholesterol as a key part of their treatment regimen, but what you may actually want to focus on is raising your good cholesterol. Research shows that having too little good cholesterol is at least as damaging when it comes to heart disease as having too much of the bad kind, and it may even be more damaging.
In fact, in people with heart disease, the most common cholesterol problem is too little HDL. That's because HDL cholesterol works to remove LDL cholesterol from the arteries. This is true even among people with normal total and LDL cholesterol levels ... if your HDL is too low, it increases your risk of heart disease.
When HDL levels are increased, a little goes a long way. It's estimated that for every 1 mg/dl increase in HDL cholesterol, there is a 2 percent to 4 percent decrease in your risk of coronary heart disease.
The Risks of Low Cholesterol
Given the benefits of raising your HDL cholesterol, it begs the question, what happens when your cholesterol goes too low? Unfortunately, many people and their health care providers are so focused on keeping total cholesterol levels down that they lose sight of this important point -- low cholesterol levels are dangerous.
Among the numerous health conditions that can occur if your cholesterol levels go too low are:
  • Depression
  • Cancer
  • Anxiety
  • Preterm birth or low birth weight if you have low cholesterol during pregnancy
Low cholesterol levels have also been linked to changes in brain chemistry that lead to increased risk of suicide, violent behavior and aggression. And a study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research found that when your cholesterol levels are too low and combined with another health condition like depression, it raises your risk of dying prematurely from unnatural causes (suicide, drug overdose, unintended injury, etc.) by seven times.
Among the elderly, low cholesterol levels are also known to increase death rates rather than decrease them. In one such study, those between the ages of 65 and 98 with the lowest levels of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol were about twice as likely to die as those with the highest levels, leading researchers to conclude that:
"Low cholesterol level is a robust predictor of mortality in the non-demented elderly and may be a surrogate of frailty or subclinical disease."
Cholesterol and Heart Disease: Another Deception?
It's a widely held medical dogma in the United States that eating saturated fats causes high cholesterol, which in turn causes heart disease.But the "lipid hypothesis" (aka the "diet-heart hypothesis"), the one that claims foods high in saturated fats drive up your cholesterol levels, which clog your arteries and lead to heart disease, is actually seriously flawed.
In his book The Cholesterol Myths, Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD explained that Ancel Keys, who performed the study upon which the Lipid Hypothesis is based, used cherry-picked data to prove his point that countries with the highest intake of animal fat have the highest rates of heart disease.
Dr. Ravnskov revealed that the countries used in the study were handpicked, and those that did NOT show that eating a lot of animal fat lead to higher rates of heart disease were left out of the study, leading to entirely skewed, and faulty, data.
One recent study even found that there is no association between eating saturated fat (which is supposed to drive up cholesterol levels) and heart disease. The authors wrote:
"According to the classic ‘diet-heart' hypothesis, high intake of SFAs [saturated fats] and cholesterol and low intake of PUFAs [polyunsaturated fats] increase serum cholesterol levels and risk of CHD [coronary heart disease].
However, few within-population studies have been able to demonstrate consistent associations with any specific dietary lipids, with the exception of trans fats and omega --3 fatty acids.
The available evidence from Cohort and randomized controlled trials is unsatisfactory and unreliable to make judgment about and substantiate the effects of dietary fat on risk of CHD ... There is probably no direct relation between total fat intake and risk of CHD."
The Weston A. Price Foundation also states in their "Myths and Truths About Cholesterol":
"Many studies show no relationship between diet and cholesterol levels; there is no evidence that saturated fat and cholesterol-rich food contribute to heart disease. As Americans have cut back on saturated fat and cholesterol-rich foods, rates of heart disease have gone up."
When is Your Cholesterol Really High?

Cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins are among the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States, but an increasing number of experts believe they may be widely overused.
Also, statins are known to block the production of important nutrients in your body, including CoQ10, which is beneficial to heart health and muscle function. If CoQ10 levels become depleted, which is common in those who take statin drugs, it can actually cause heart failure.

Even if you're taking natural red yeast rice to lower cholesterol, you should be aware that CoQ10 depletion is still a problem. Red yeast rice reduces cholesterol synthesis by suppressing the HMG-CoA reductase enzyme, although more subtly than statin medications. Because CoQ10 is synthesized in the body via this same pathway, those taking red yeast rice long term should consider taking RYR with coenzyme Q10 added, such as RYR Synergy, which is available from your health care practioner.

How do you know when your cholesterol levels may be too high, and when are they actually just fine for your health?
The American Heart Association states, "About half of American adults have levels that are too high (200 mg/dL or higher) and about 1 in 5 has a level in the high-risk zone (240 mg/dL or higher)."
But according to lipid biochemistry expert Mary Enig, PhD in the Weston A. Price Foundation quarterly magazine:
"Blood cholesterol levels between 200 and 240 mg/dl are normal. These levels have always been normal. In older women, serum cholesterol levels greatly above these numbers are also quite normal, and in fact they have been shown to be associated with longevity.
Since 1984, however, in the United States and other parts of the western world, these normal numbers have been treated as if they were an indication of a disease in progress or a potential for disease in the future."
What this means is that many Americans may be taking statin cholesterol-lowering drugs unnecessarily, believing their cholesterol is dangerously high when it is not.
According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, " ... Total cholesterol level is just about worthless in determining your risk for heart disease, unless it is above 330." So rather than looking at total cholesterol to determine your heart disease risks, Dr. Mercola recommends instead using your HDL/Cholesterol ratio and your Triglyceride/HDL ratio.
The Weston A. Price Foundation agrees that total cholesterol is typically a poor predictor of heart disease risk unless it is in the mid-300s, stating:
"Young and middle-aged men with cholesterol levels over 350 are slightly more at risk for heart attacks. Those who have cholesterol levels just below 350 are at no greater risk than those whose cholesterol is very low. For elderly men and for women of all ages, high cholesterol is associated with a longer lifespan."
This is important information to keep in mind before you consider taking statin drugs to lower your cholesterol, as often they may not be necessary (and a review published in the American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs found nearly 900 studies of adverse effects linked to the drugs, so they should be used only when absolutely necessary).
A Healthy Lifestyle Leads to Healthful Cholesterol Levels
A healthy lifestyle is key in order to keep your cholesterol levels in the correct balance to promote health. Remember, this does not necessarily mean lowering them, but rather keeping them in an optimal range for you. Often, this is best done by lowering inflammation levels.
Remember, your body tends to make more cholesterol naturally when it's in a chronically inflamed state. What causes the underlying inflammation?
Inflammation is often due to poor diet and the consumption of processed foods or lack of live healthy raw foods. For instance, if you eat a lot of fast food, you probably have increased inflammation levels, as pro-inflammatory foods include sugar, soda, alcohol, bread, trans fats and red meat.
Inflammation is a problem because when your body is in a chronic state of inflammation, the inflammation can lodge in your muscles, joints and tissues. In fact, chronic inflammation is a leading cause of many diseases, both physical and neurological, including heart disease. High cholesterol, on the other hand, may be just a symptom of high inflammation.
To help reduce inflammation in your body, and thereby influence your cholesterol levels in a positive way:
  • Eat a healthy diet with plenty of raw fruits and vegetables. Avoid processed foods and buy whole foods whenever possible. Fast food should be only a very occasional indulgence, or not on your diet plan at all, and raw foods should make up a regular part of your meals.
  • Exercise regularly
  • Don't smoke
  • Manage stress in your life and take time for relaxation
  • Limit alcohol
  • Detox regularly. There is some evidence that heart disease (and other chronic illnesses) are caused or exacerbated by an accumulation of heavy metals and other toxins in your body.

    Natural detox product can help you to clean your body of toxic metals and other poisons. Ask your health care practitioner about:
    • Detox Antiox: This formula contains multiple ingredients known to raise glutathione levels making it helpful for supporting phase II liver detoxification. It also combats free radicals and helps detoxify harmful chemicals including heavy metals.
    • Amino-D-Tox™: Designed by clinicians to biochemically upregulate phase II detoxification.
    • Detoxification Support Packets: These packets are the starting point for detoxification programs. One packet contains:
          1 Detox Antiox capsule
          1 LV-GB Complex™ capsule
          3 Amino-D-Tox™ capsules
    • Glutathione Power: Glutathione is one of the most powerful antioxidants known for its ability to protect the body against the damages caused by heavy metal toxicity and environmental toxins. It breaks down wastes, toxins, and heavy metals into less harmful compounds.
  • Support your health with specific high-quality supplements. If you need extra help keeping your bad (LDL) cholestel levels in check, try Foresterol, a natural supplement available only from your health care practitioner. Foresterol™ contains Reducol®, a phytosterol mixture from the non-GMO tall oil of the coniferous pine tree. Reducol has such significant LDL cholesterol lowering properties that the FDA allows cholesterol lowering claims with the assertion that it may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

    Lipotrienols RYR™ is another powerful combination of natural substances intended to support normal blood lipid levels and optimize cardiac and vascular health, including:
    • High delta-fraction tocotrienols - shown to have an ability to suppress the activity of HMG-CoA reductase.
    • Certified organic red yeast rice extract - rich in monocolins known for their effect on modulating blood lipids.
    • Lycopene - shown in studies to reduce low density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation
    • Lecithin - enhances absorption of these fat soluble compounds
If you're concerned about your cholesterol levels or other risk factors for heart disease, don't hesitate to make an appointment with your health care practitioner, who can help you develop a lifestyle-based approach to getting, and staying, well.

Journal of Psychiatric Research 2009 Jun;43(9):848-54.
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society February 2005, Volume 53, Issue 2, pages 219 --226
Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism 2009;55:173-201 [PDF]
American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs 2008;8(6):373-418.
About.com November 15, 2010
WestonAPrice.org Myths & Truths About Cholesterol July 8, 2009
WestonAPrice.org Cholesterol and Heart Disease: A Phony Issue
Mercola.com Making Sense of Your Cholesterol Numbers August 10, 2010
MedicineNet.com July 25, 2002

© 2011 Health Realizations, Inc