Do you need to take a vitamin?
Gwyneth Paltrow seems to think the answer is yes. Her new Goop-branded monthly vitamin packs, which cost $90 each and sport names like “Why Am I So Effing Tired” and “High School Genes,” claim to deliver a number of health benefits, from energy-boosting to metabolism-speeding.
But there’s a problem.
Study after scientific study has found that taking vitamins does not result in any such wellness perks, suggesting that most of the nutrients inside either end up in the toilet or are flushed out of your body in other ways.
If taking vitamins improves our health, then we’d expect to see those benefits clearly in large, long-term, well-controlled studies. We haven’t.
A large recent review published in the Annals of Internal Medicine of 27 trials of vitamins (3 focused on multivitamins and 24 on single or paired ones) involving more than 400,000 people concluded that people who took them did not live longer, get fewer cases of heart disease, or get fewer cases of cancer than people who did not take vitamins. Another big, long-term study published last month in the Journal of the American Medical Association which divided nearly 6,000 men into groups and gave them either a placebo or one of 4 supplements touted for their brain-protecting abilities found no decreased prevalence of dementia among any of the supplement-taking groups.
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Are you getting all the nutrients you need for your body to function properly? Guess what? Regardless of what you believe, the answer is … probably not. The caveman diet, the ketogenic diet, dairy-free diet, Atkins, South Beach, Dukan, carb-restricting and fat-free diets can all leave unhealthy holes in a smart nutritional approach to what you eat. This could lead to nutritional and vitamin deficiencies which harm your health, both mentally and physically.
The following 7 nutritional deficiencies and their symptoms are the most common in the United States, and in other modern societies. Accompanying each deficiency is a list of the foods you can target for replacing the missing nutrient, mineral or vitamin. Remember that in most cases a balanced diet including fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meat, fish like salmon or mackerel, and whole grains can deliver a complete nutritional profile.
Deficiency symptoms – pale skin, thin hair, constant fatigue
This is the most common nutritional deficiency. Iron is referred to as a vitamin, although it is not. It is a mineral which helps your body make red blood cells. A low-iron diet means your body can’t deliver oxygen properly. Eat beef, beans, oysters and spinach to improve your iron intake.
Deficiency symptoms – numb feet, legs and hands, balance problems, fatigue, swollen tongue, paranoia and loss of memory
Vitamin B12 is a vital component in the production of DNA. It is also important for manufacturing your brain’s signal sending system. Vegans often have a vitamin B12 deficiency. A B12 supplement or a diet rich in chicken, fish, milk and yogurt is the answer to providing this necessary nutrient.
Deficiency symptoms – weak appetite, fatigue, abnormal heartbeat, drastic personality changes, muscle cramps
Magnesium helps you produce energy. It is also important for bone health. Some medications cause a low level of magnesium. Spinach, almonds, black beans, peanuts and cashews are extremely high in magnesium.
Deficiency symptoms – fatigue, abnormal heartbeat, weak appetite and muscle cramps (symptoms are often vague)
Calcium is linked to bone health. It is also crucial for proper nerve and muscle functioning. Two or three servings of yogurt or milk a day provides all the calcium you need. Cheese and dark leafy greens like kale deliver plenty of calcium as well.
Deficiency symptoms – aching muscles, weak bones, chronic weakness and fatigue (symptoms are often vague)
As with calcium, vitamin D is important for proper bone health. Food sources for vitamin D include yogurt and milk. This important nutrient is also found in salmon and tuna. Just 15 minutes of exposure from sunshine on your skin triggers your body to manufacture all the vitamin D you need each day.
Deficiency symptoms – lack of strength, abnormal heartbeat, weight loss and constipation
Potassium is crucial if your heart, kidneys and major organs are going to work properly. Eating disorders, kidney disease and diarrhea are some known causes of potassium deficiency. Bananas, many vegetables, beans, peas and whole grains are potassium rich.
Deficiency symptoms – prematurely gray hair, fatigue, swollen tongue and mouth ulcers
Folic acid is extremely important for women during their childbearing years. Women are recommended to take a folic acid supplement daily as long as they are able to have children. Fortified cereals, dark leafy greens, oranges and beans are all high in folate.
The above 7 vitamins and minerals make up the most commonly absent items in a modern-day diet. In every case, a one-a-day or multivitamin supplement is available. As always, it is best to receive your necessary nutrients and minerals from nature. You also wants to eat foods that are as close to their natural condition as possible. Obviously, fish has to be cooked. The same applies to eggs.
However, whenever possible, eat raw, fresh foods. Fruits and vegetables with as little packaging and processing possible are packed full of all the vitamins and minerals a human being needs. These foods are extremely versatile and usually inexpensive as well. Eat whole grains and lean meat in addition to fruits and vegetables and it is easy to enjoy a nutritionally perfect diet.
Deficiency symptoms – bleeding gums, bruising easily, dry, brittle hair, nosebleeds, inability to fight infection
We mention vitamin C only because the modern-day diet often doesn’t supply enough. In most cases, this is a deficiency that does not lead to significant health conditions. It is important because it is related to healthy growth and repair of tissues throughout your body. Oranges, kiwi, cantaloupe, grapefruit, watermelon, broccoli, green and red peppers, spinach and tomatoes all deliver high quantities of vitamin C. Severe deficiency in vitamin C is uncommon. You can take a vitamin C supplement to ensure you are getting enough of this important health component. As in all cases, if you can receive your vitamin C through foods, that is the preferred option.
Our kidneys are very important to us. They not only detoxify the body and filter out impure substances from the body but they get rid of metabolic wastes through urination. You can get kidney stones when you don’t process wastes properly or when you are dehydrated.
Kidney stones are extremely painful and have the capability of blocking urinary flow in the kidneys and ureters.
Here are some great natural remedies for getting rid of kidney stones and for helping your urinary tract heal from stones:
1. Olive oil, Lemon Juice, and Apple Cider vinegar. These are great remedies for kidney stones because they dissolve them nicely. All you need to do is mix two ounces of olive oil with two ounces of lemon juice. Drink this down and then drink 12 ounces of water. Wait about a half hour and then squeeze a half of a lemon into another 12 ounces of water and add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Drink it down. Repeat this regimen after about an hour and keep doing it until you have no symptoms.
2. Kidney beans. According to tradition, the pods of kidney beans were the most medicinal part of the bean. You need to remove the beans from their pods and then boil the pods in hot water for six hours. Strain the liquid through a cloth and cool it. Drink it throughout the day for just one day in order to help relieve the pain of kidney stones.
3. Urva Ursi. This is an ancient folk remedy to get rid of kidney stones. It kills off infections so common in kidney stones but helps cleanse the urinary tract, reducing the pain. All you need is to take 500 milligrams of urva ursi three times per day and your kidney stones will be gone.
4. Dandelion root. This is a cheap way of getting rid of kidney stones. Use organic dandelion root and let it do its work cleansing the urinary tract. Just take 500 milligrams twice a day for better kidney health.
5. Horsetail. This is taken as a tea and works well to relieve the pain of kidney stones. You need to drink a lot of tea—about 3-4 cups per day or take about two grams of horsetail in a supplement form for better kidney health.
6. Pomegranate Juice. Pomegranates are good for just about everything. The seeds and the juice of this fruit are especially good for kidney stones. It may be because they are so sour and have astringent properties. Drink pomegranate juice after it has been freshly squeezed or eat the pomegranates with the seeds.
7. Magnesium. This is taken as a supplement. Research tells us that people who get kidney stones all the time and who take magnesium supplements will have nearly 93 percent improvement in the chances of getting kidney stones again. Try taking in about 300 milligrams of magnesium orotate in order to prevent and dissolve kidney stones.
8. Organic celery. Regular celery or celery seeds are great as a urinary tonic. If you regularly take in celery seed as a tea or as a spice, it may help keep kidney stones away.
9. Basil. Basil will tone the kidneys when taken as a tea but you need to sip it all through the day. Take a teaspoon of basil juice and a teaspoon of honey each day for six months. This can help expel the kidney stone from the urinary tract.
10. Change your diet. It is well known that eating unhealthy foods is a big cause of kidney stones. Drink less soda and don’t drink energy drinks. Drink lots of fresh clean water. Stay away from alcohol, processed foods, and instead eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, especially the ones previously listed.
There is some research to indicate that using an inversion table will help pass kidneys stones after having shock wave lithotripsy. This is when a shock wave is sent into the body to break up kidney stones. Inversion tables seem to help push the stones out of the body.
Just in case you missed this story last week, a rather worrisome situation is developing at an alarming pace:
The World Health Organization rang a global alarm over the Zika virus on Thursday, saying that the disease was “spreading explosively” in the Americas and that as many as four million people could be infected by the end of the year.
The global health agency will convene a special meeting on Monday to decide whether to declare a public health emergency. It is moving swiftly to combat this outbreak after widespread criticism that it had allowed the last major global health crisis, Ebola, to fester without a coordinated, effective strategy.
Since last spring, more than 20 countries have reported locally acquired cases of Zika, which is transmitted by mosquitoes and may cause birth defects.
“The level of alarm is extremely high,” said Dr. Margaret Chan, the director general of the W.H.O., in a speech in Geneva.
The focus of concern is the growing number of cases of microcephaly, a rare condition in which infants are born with abnormally small heads and damaged brains. Reports of babies born with microcephaly have been rising sharply in Brazil as Zika spreads
Well this is a real bummer, now a new report by the UK government is saying we should stop believing that drinking red wine is good for our health, for those among us who like a couple of glasses with dinner this is one depressing article but I still recommend you read it:
If you drink it for the health benefits, it may be time to reconsider.
Suddenly, justifying that third glass of wine by telling yourself it’s healthy may prove difficult: A new report just issued by the UK government is turning long-held notions about the health benefits of red wine upside down.
It’s long been accepted that moderate consumption of red wine is heart-healthy, thanks in no small part to a 1991 60 Minutes report on the so-called “French Paradox” in which reporter Morley Safer declared that the French may enjoy lower rates of heart disease due to a diet high in cheese and wine, particularly red.
But now, the UK government is singing a different tune: This morning, the Chief Medical Officer issued new guidelines for alcohol consumption which warn that drinking any amount of alcohol — including that half-drunk bottle of Cab currently languishing on your kitchen counter — increases the risk of a number of types of cancer, including breast cancer. And the widely accepted notion that moderate alcohol consumption benefits heart health? According to the new report, that only applies to women 55 and over.
And that’s not all: “In the greatest overhaul of official medical advice on alcohol in 20 years, men are now being advised to drink the same level of alcohol as women — no more than six or seven pints [of beer], or small glasses of wine, a week,” The Independent points out.
The UK’s advice for pregnant women has also changed: While previously it was said that a drink or two a week was fine, now it’s been declared that “no level of alcohol is safe to drink in pregnancy.” (Meanwhile, U.S. dietary guidelines already say that pregnant women should not drink any alcohol.) Overall, the report concludes, “there is no justification for drinking for health reasons.”..
Do yo trust ” big pharma”? In that case you should read the following story reported by the BBC for another example for why you might want to be a bit more skeptic when it comes to their claims:
The manufacturer of a leading brand of painkiller has been accused of misleading customers in Australia. But how do people choose over-the-counter pain relief?
There’s a whole range of Nurofen products. There are Nurofen capsules, caplets and “meltlets”. Some are marketed to treat specific problems – Nurofen Migraine Pain or Nurofen Tension Headache.
But Nurofen maker Reckitt Benckiser has been ordered to take some of these “specific pain” products off the shelves in Australia. A court decided they were misleading consumers because the packaging made it seem as though they had been formulated to treat different types of pain. In fact, these products contained the same active ingredient – 342mg of ibuprofen lysine.
Reckitt Benckiser says that they are just meeting demand. They argue that 88% of people look for relief for a specific type of pain. Packaging tablets with clear labels saying “back pain” or “period pain” makes it easier for people to decide which one to get to meet their needs, they add.
But take this scenario. A customer has a packet of Nurofen Migraine Pain in their handbag. They suffer a tension headache. They buy Nurofen Tension Headache. By the Australian court’s view they are completely wasting their money – it’s fundamentally the same medicine in different packaging.
All of these specific pain versions cost about double the price of Nurofen’s standard version in Australia. The formulations used in Nurofen’s specific pain range in Australia contain lysine and sodium. The manufacturer says that this allows them to be absorbed faster than the standard version..
Yes that’s one intriguing headline isn’t it, drinking bone broth, well check out this excerpt and see for yourself that you might want to seriously consider doing this on an ongoing basis, your body will thank you for it:
If you’re battling weight creep, fatigue, wrinkles, and other signs of aging, I know it’s tempting to reach for an artificial “fix”—a diet pill, an energy drink, or a shot of Botox. But I have a better prescription for you. It’s one of the world’s most powerful healing and anti-aging foods: bone broth.
Bone broth is trendy right now, with everyone from NBA stars to celebrities like Shailene Woodley and Gwyneth Paltrow raving about it. But that’s not why I tell my patients to drink this slow-simmered broth made from the bones of meat, chicken, turkey, or fish.
In fact, I was a fan of bone broth years before it became the “in thing.” More than a decade ago, I discovered the healing and fat-melting properties of this liquid gold and made it the core of my anti-aging and weight loss transformations. In addition, I drink it myself every day. Here’s why.
Bone broth heals your gut
Bone broth is packed with collagen, which turns into gelatin when you cook it — gelatin is one of the most potent gut healers on the planet. Gelatin is loaded with glycine, a powerful anti-inflammatory amino acid, and it’s rich in other healing nutrients including magnesium, proline, and arginine.
Gelatin’s gut-healing properties are important because in order to stay slim and healthy, you need to have a rock-solid gut. In fact, as a clinician who specializes in transforming sick and overweight patients into healthy, slender people, I can tell you that nothing is more important to your health than a strong gut. Here’s the story.
Your gut is home to the trillions of microbes that scientists call your microbiome. Think of this microbiome as an ecosystem — one that’s either in balance or out of balance. If it’s in balance, you have a wide diversity of good microbes and very few bad ones. If it’s out of balance, two very dangerous things can happen:
The bad microbes can multiply rapidly, churning out toxic chemicals.
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) can occur. In SIBO, microbes overpopulate your gut, overwhelming it…
Many over the counter products, vitamins and supplements claim to help improve your health, but the best strategies for boosting your immune system involve a number of simple strategies anyone can follow through with. Some of the best success strategies to boost your immune system are:
+Eating a healthy diet
+Losing weight if you are carrying extra pounds
+Getting more sleep
+Decreasing your-stress levels
+Making time for yourself
+Being sociable with friends and family
+Avoiding taking too many antibiotics
+Cutting down on your alcohol consumption
Let?s look at each of these success strategies in turn.
We are what we eat, so a healthy diet can go a long way to preserving our health. Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables offers a range of nutrients and antioxidants as well, powerful disease-fighting molecules found in certain foods such a berries, legumes and apples. Eating a rainbow every day will help you achieve a balanced diet, and the fiber and water in these foods will also help you feel fuller for longer, which in turn can help with weight loss.
If you are carrying extra weight, turn to more natural foods to help slim down. Don?t rely on supplements or packaged diet foods, but rather, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and smaller portions.
Regular exercise can also help you achieve your weight loss goals, and boost your immunity too. Exercise improves digestion and helps eliminate toxins from the body. It also stimulates circulation, including not only the blood but the lymphatic system, which helps the body ward off illness.
Getting more sleep can help boost the immune system, especially if it is high-quality, deep, restorative sleep. If you?re feeling stressed, it can be difficult to fall asleep and/or stay asleep. Stress reduction strategies such as meditation can help lower your stress levels and improve your quality of sleep.
You can also decrease your stress by making more time for yourself to do some of the things you enjoy. This can include hobbies, time at the gym getting more exercise, or going for long walks. It should also include making time for the relationships that are important to you by spending quality time with friends and family. Loneliness and feelings of isolation can make you feel run down; surrounding yourself with positive people can help boost your immune system.
By now we all know about the negative effects of smoking on the body, especially the immune system. It scorches away the cilia, the little hairs that line the nostrils and nasal passages, for example, making it far easier for germs to get into your body.
Many people turn to a range of pills in an attempt to boost their health, and when used correctly, they may be beneficial. The flipside is that excessive use can cause harm. In particular, antibiotics can damage your immune system as they kill off both helpful and harmful bacteria. They do not help against colds and flu, so do not ask for a prescription from your doctor in the hope you will get better faster.
If you do have to take an antibiotic, take it EXACTLY as prescribed. Once you have finished the full course of treatment, try to get your system back in balance by consuming probiotics such as yogurt, cheese, miso or sauerkraut.
Finally, if you consume a lot of alcohol, especially in an attempt to reduce stress, try cutting down. Alcohol has many negative effects on the body, suppressing the immune system on the one hand and increasing inflammation on the other.
Adopt these simple success strategies to boost your immune system and see what a difference they can make to your health.
If you are overweight or obese, you are not alone. But what you might not know is just how bad being overweight is for the immune system. The first reason is that the fat we hate on our belly, butt and thighs is not just ugly flab. Scientists believe that excess fat in the body also releases a range of potentially toxic substances which can leave you open to illness, or even trigger it.
The second main reason being overweight is bad is that toxic substances and chemicals we consume can also be stored in fatty tissue, making it doubly dangerous. These toxins might even accumulate over time, causing serious damage to the body.
A third reason is that body fat damages our metabolism, slowing it down, thus making it even harder for you to lose weight. Exercising to build muscle will reduce your overall percentage of body fat, and thus the number of toxins in your body as you increase your metabolism.
Lean muscle burns the calories you consume much more efficiently, leading to weight loss and healthy weight maintenance once you reach your weight loss goal. Yoga, tai chi, light weights, and resistance bands can all help you build lean muscle without looking like a body builder.
Another important reason why being overweight is so dangerous is that it is now being described as a persistent low level of chronic inflammation in the body. Therefore, doing all you can to get down to a normal, healthy weight and reducing the wear and tear on the body from inflammation can do a great deal to improve your overall health.
Watching what you eat can help cut calories, but did you know it can also reduce inflammation and add disease-fighting antioxidants to your diet? Eating a rainbow everyday of fresh fruits and vegetables can help you lose weight even as you eat a more nutritious and balanced diet.
Anti-inflammatory foods include salmon, broccoli, olive oil and peppers. Antioxidants are powerful disease-fighting agents found in red kidney bean, blueberries, apples and more.
Fruits and vegetables should be the cornerstones of any attempt to lose weight healthily. The water content and fiber will help you feel full for longer. They are also so tasty that adding these foods to your eating lifestyle will usually mean you will be more likely to steer clear of foods that are bad for you, such as red meat and highly-processed sugary sweets made with white sugar and white flour.
Exercise is key to reducing blood pressure and inflammation, decreasing stress, and elevating mood. Therefore, when used in combination with a healthy diet, you should soon see the benefits of weight loss for your appearance, mood and immune system.
A new study has just revealed a startling hidden connection between the brain and the immune system. Researchers always assumed that there was no lymph system in the brain. Now they have discovered lymphatic pathways hidden deep inside the brain that can help explain how the brain works with the immune system, which in turn protects the brain,
The lymph system is a network of lymph nodes, ducts, vessels and organs which move lymph from the tissues into the bloodstream. Lymph is a whitish fluid made up of lymphocytes, the cells that attack bacteria in the body, and fluid from the intestines, called chyle (pronounced KYLE), which contains proteins and fats that also help ward off diseases.
The most obvious manifestation of your lymph system is when you get swollen glands in your neck when you become sick with a cold or the flu. They swell up as they gather the resources to fight infection. Lymph nodes also filter harmful cells such as bacteria and cancer cells to stop the spread of disease.
Scientists knew that the brain helped control the immune system, but were not sure how the brain was protected by the immune system until now. The discovery is key because it opens the gateway to a new understanding of inflammation in the brain and body as a whole. It might also reveal the reasons for neurodegenerative disorders such as autism, multiple sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer?s, and other such diseases, offering new hope in the quest to combat illness and the effects of aging on the brain.
Neurological diseases like MS and Alzheimer?s have long been linked to changes in immune system function. Alzheimer?s, for example, is linked with a large build-up of proteins in the brain called amyloid plaques. Mood disorders have also been linked to autoimmune disorders of the digestive tract such as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), including Crohn?s disease and inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS).
It wasn?t always clear how such connections occurred, but now both a gut-brain connection and a pathway from your immune system into your brain have been uncovered. Chyle from the intestines as part of the lymph system therefore has a direct connection to the brain. This means that any imbalance in the intestines has the potential to negatively impact the brain.
Since the lymph system affects every part of the body, including the brain, it is important to do all you can to boost your immune system. The mind-body connection is now better understood and demonstrates that you are what you eat. It also shows how your mood can affect your immune system, and vice versa. Take care of your immune system, and it will take care of you, and your brain, to combat the effects of aging.