Thinning Hair in Women Warning Sign of Underlying

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Hair is probably a woman’s most important feature. Signs of thinning hair can take the sail out of almost any woman’s day. It may seem vain to pay so much attention to hair, but signs of thinning hair are really the first signals of such conditions as hormonal imbalance, vitamin deficiency, excessive stress or poor nutrition, all symptoms of declining health status. Paying attention to hair can reveal developing conditions before they get out of control. When you have restored your hair to a full head of vibrant healthy strands, chances are the rest of your body will also exhibit vibrant health.

Nutritional deficiencies may be signaled by thinning hair

Your hair loss may be caused by vitamin D deficiency. Studies show that a large segment of the American population is deficient in this essential nutrient, with hair loss being one of the primary symptoms of this deficiency.

The vitamin D receptor (VDR) is expressed in numerous cells and tissues of the body, including the skin. Studies of mice and humans lacking these functional receptors have demonstrated that absence of the VDR leads to the development of alopecia, a fancy word for hair loss. Hair loss may be an early warning that you are at risk of other maladies linked to a deficiency of vitamin D. The list includes diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, depression, multiple sclerosis, gum disease, seasonal influenza and tuberculosis.

Lack of exposure to the sun almost guarantees vitamin D deficiency. Researchers have mapped the U.S. and found that the farther north a person lives, the more likely she is to have vitamin D deficiency. If access to the sun is not an option, supplementing vitamin D with cod liver oil, or capsules of D3 will help. It is now suggested that women receive a minimum of 2,000 units of vitamin D per day. Many cutting edge practioners advocate 10,000 units per day, the amount obtained from a day wearing a bathing suit in the summer sun.

Omega 3 fatty acids affect the biological process of vitamin D. They are responsible for producing cholesterol and at the same time for removing its excess, as well as for most other bodily functions. In order to manufacture vitamin D, the body needs cholesterol. If the diet does not contain enough essential fatty acids, the body can’t produce its own vitamin D. In addition to containing usable vitamin D, cod liver oil also provides omega 3 fatty acids.

Hair loss may also be the result of deficiencies of the amino acid lysine, copper, and zinc. However, if your diet is comprised of a wide selection of whole foods including daily servings of fresh vegetables and fruits, this may not be the cause of your hair loss, especially if you are getting enough protein. Hair stands are composed of protein, but if the diet is short on it, the wisdom of the body will divert its use from making hair to sustaining more necessary bodily functions. Taking a whole food supplement such as bee pollen, spirulina or chlorella will help with getting and assimilating needed amounts of the full spectrum of nutrients.

Thinning hair may reflect hormonal imbalance

A woman’s hormones can begin to decline and lose balance as early as the 30’s. One of the most shocking examples of this imbalance is hair growth appearing on the upper lip or chin, or a coarsening of hair on the rest of the body while the hair on the head thins. This is most likely the result of excessive dihydrotestosterone (DHT) conversion. Although estrogen is the primary hormone of women, they also produce testosterone and other androgens such as DHEA. As the body ages women may begin to convert these androgens to DHT just as men do. Women with a history of polycystic ovarian syndrome tend to have higher levels of testosterone and DHT than other women, and may be more susceptible to this excessive conversion.

To find out if hormonal imbalance is causing hair loss, full range hormone testing can be done. Physicians who administer bio-identical hormones can provide this testing, as well as physicians who specialize in anti-aging medicine. If this is not an option, there are reliable laboratories available online that receive specimens of saliva by mail and provide complete hormone testing results.

Supplements of saw palmetto prevent the excessive conversion of androgens to DHT. It is an herb that comes from the flowers of a beautiful palm tree known as saw palmetto or sabal palm. A dosage of one 160 mg. capsule daily should effectively block this conversion and get the hair back on head and off the face. Saw palmetto has been demonstrated to be safe for prolonged use. If hormone testing is not an option, another way to find out if excessive DHT conversion is causing hair loss is to take a saw palmetto supplement for a period of three months. If hair loss stops where you don’t want it and starts where you do want it, your question will be answered.

Excessive levels of hormonal conversion to DHT are highly associated with prostate abnormalities in men and may be a cause of prostate cancer. Saw palmetto has been documented to increase prostate health. The health effects of this conversion in women are not yet fully documented, yet common sense suggests that reducing excessive levels of DHT in women may be helpful in assuring breast and ovarian health.

Declining levels of thyroid hormone can also spark hair loss. It’s estimated that forty percent of American women are suffering from significant hair loss related to low thyroid hormones, with redheads particularly at risk. The hormones produced by the thyroid are responsible for metabolism, the sum of all the physical and chemical processes. The thyroid hormones control the efficiency and speed at which cells work. Every cell in the body including the hair depends on proper thyroid function for development. If thyroid production is insufficient, hair growth will slow and hair will eventually thin.

Other symptoms of declining thyroid function are dry skin, sensitivity to hot and cold, unexplained weight gain, missing outer third of eyebrows, constipation, brittle nails, high or low blood pressure, susceptibility to infections, muscle weakness, osteoporosis, joint or muscle pain, cystic breasts or ovaries, chronic sinusitis, slow heart rate, TMJ syndrome, dental problems, headache, and increased cholesterol levels. This list reveals how critical proper thyroid function is to well being.

The good new is that low thyroid can easily be corrected by supplementing the body with bio-identical thyroid hormones. Armour thyroid is the natural form of thyroid hormone. For more information about the thyroid and hair see http://www.naturalnews.com/024388.html

Too much stress can cause hair to thin

Hair loss may be the first indication that your stress level is taking a toll on your body. Stress is nothing less than epidemic today, and this high level can actually cause hair loss along with many more serious health problems. Excessive physical or emotional stress associated with illness, injury, and trauma may cause the hair to stop growing and enter a period of dormancy which is followed two or three months later by the hair falling out. When physical or emotional equilibrium is regained, hair will again begin to grow, usually about 6 to 9 months later.

A more serious situation develops when stress is constant and almost unrelenting as it is for many people in this society. Hair thinning will continue unless effective means of dealing with the stress are put in place and calmness can be restored. Prolonged hair loss caused by chronic stress is a warning that other bodily systems are in jeopardy.

Cortisol is the stress hormone that gives the body its fight or flight response to stressful situations. It is an important hormone secreted by the adrenal glands and involved in maintaining proper glucose metabolism, regulation of blood pressure, insulin release for blood sugar maintenance, immune function, and inflammatory response. When stress is constant and prolonged, cortisol levels stay elevated and the body enters a state of chronic stress.

Higher and prolonged levels of corisol in the bloodstream have been shown to have negative effects, such as impaired cognitive performance, suppressed thyroid function, blood sugar imbalances, decreased bone density, decreased muscle tissue, higher blood pressure, lowered immunity, heightened inflammatory response, and increased abdominal fat. If no steps are taken to reduce the stress level, heart attack or stroke may follow.

To keep corisol levels healthy, the body’s relaxation response should be activated. Learn to relax the body with various stress management techniques and make changes in your lifestyle to minimize the stress. Eat a diet of whole food that emphasizes vegetables and fruits. Take supplements like bee pollen, spirulina and chlorella to make sure nutrition is complete. Add alfalfa to keep your body fully mineralized, as stress raises the need for minerals. The B complex vitamins as well as vitamin C are needed to support the adrenal gland while dealing with chronic stress.

Hair products containing toxic chemicals promote hair loss

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is the dominant ingredient in almost all shampoos sold in traditional outlets such as supermarkets, drugstores and discount centers. In addition to having toxic effects on your immune system, SLS has been shown to corrode hair follicles and impede hair growth. It has been blamed for many cases of hair loss. The Material Safety Data Sheet provided by the U.S. government says exposure to SLS can lead to burning, coughing, wheezing, laryngitis, shortness of breath, headache, nausea and vomiting. The American College of Toxicology says SLS stays in the body for up to five days and maintains residual levels in the heart, liver, brain, and lungs.

Over-treated hair is another cause of hair loss in women. Hair dyes, permanents, and relaxers do serious damage to the hair and scalp whether they contain lye or not. They are made with toxic chemicals that must be detoxified by the liver, and are identified by the immune system as foreign invaders. Thus health of the liver and the immune system are compromised by use of these products. When the liver is busy trying to detoxify an onslaught of foreign chemicals, estrogen metabolism may not be properly completed and breast cancer may be promoted. An immune system busy fighting off an invasion of foreign chemicals may not be able to prevent infection or identify and destroy abberant cells. Damage from dyes and relaxers can only heal when those potions are no longer used on the hair.

Top Five Tips for Handling Cravings and Emotional

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The connection between food and mood for humans is generally immense. We eat to celebrate; we eat if we feel sad; we eat to `reward` ourselves; we eat because someone gives us something and we feel `obliged`. Ironically, we rarely seem to eat simply to fuel the physical body. Yet we tend to so rarely discuss our strong emotional connections to food. Some people may never even have given it a thought.
At the same time, many people feel that they struggle with cravings for foods they don`t truly want to eat, or they hanker for excessive amounts of food. Why do cravings happen? Well, a big reason of course is that until you remove the `foods` that are highly physiologically addictive (such as processed starches and refined sugars) from the intake completely, they remain in your system and you stay addicted. Beyond the physiological addiction, however, there is much more to consider: the psychological aspects.
Most of us form emotional associations with food at a very young age. Children are routinely given food to pacify them, cheer them up, reward them and so on. This creates strong psychological bonds between our feelings and our food. Children are often coerced into eating when they`re not hungry, finishing meals `to make Mummy happy` and so on. Eating thus becomes a way of getting approval and finding comfort and happiness. It is mostly a false kind of happiness though, when examined more closely. Far from bringing genuine joy, the child gets hooked into life-long patterns of `using` foods that are potentially damaging. There is a genuine joy in life far sweeter than any candy bar, which we can all access at any moment simply by choosing to pay attention to our true feelings and coming into alignment with what is `natural`, i.e., nature.
When one adopts a lifestyle rich in fresh raw foods, the common addicted relationship with food can change dramatically, as we`re no longer taking in toxic, processed foods that are physiologically addictive and cause the most damage – thus, half the `battle` is already won. Changing what you eat can make a great deal of difference. However, the eating patterns we have established with food over many years – for comfort, excitement, reward and so on – do not simply vanish overnight, just by going raw.
It is common to find people still acting out self-destructive patterns around food decades into life. For example, you might see a fifty-year-old woman still diving for the ice cream tub every time she feels hurt. Once embedded, these patterns can be tough to shift.
We tend to crave familiarity and the sense of comfort that eating those `binge` foods brings. The cravings are a reflection of the associations in our heads between food and comfort. However, those associations have as much validity as we choose to give them. They can be restructured at any time, with new thought patterns, beliefs, choices and actions. The more you keep moving into new patterns, the less the old cravings will affect you. They fade with time and consistency.
Let`s take a look at five top tips to help you re-structure your emotional relationship with food:

1. `Head Hunger` vs. `True Hunger`
When we get the impulse to eat something, we often assume it`s the stomach talking rather than the mind. However, try asking yourself this: do you really `need` this food that you desire, to be physically nourished and well? Or is it just your mind asking for something to distract itself with, for emotional satisfaction?
Try reflecting on what it is that you want to eat. When we are truly hungry, we usually feel like we could eat anything (of course, usually within any pre-defined dietary boundary, such as `any raw vegan food` for a raw vegan, for example). If, on the other hand, your hunger is directed specifically at `that` piece of raw carrot cake (for example) and you`re not really interested in anything else, this suggests that the hunger is coming more from the mind. The mind wants to have the experience of eating that cake, even if your physical body isn`t really ready for it. Remember: what the mind wants isn`t necessarily beneficial for the body.
You can gently ask yourself: when did I last eat? Has that food digested yet? Do I genuinely feel a sense of `pulling` and emptiness in my stomach? Would I eat something else right now, other than what I`m thinking of eating? Remember that cravings come and go; this too shall pass. Instead of jumping in with a knee-jerk response to a craving, we can step back and ask ourselves a few quick questions like this, to gain a clearer perspective on what`s happening.

2. Drink Water & Teas
Often, what we`ve learned to interpret as hunger is, in fact, thirst. Most people are chronically dehydrated. Whenever you feel hunger or cravings, make it a habit to drink at least a full glass of pure water. You may find that the hunger/craving vanishes… Other `phantom` hungers can result from eating lots of fatty/salty foods or foods that have not digested well; we might get odd sensations in our physical body that we interpret as hunger. Again, if we wait for a while or drink some water, we`ll commonly find that these sensations dissipate.
Drinking warm teas can also be very useful for pacifying emotional hunger/cravings. Reaching for a cup of warm, caffeine-free, herbal tea as an alternative to any `Trigger` foods, can help you to feel that sense of warmth, comfort and satisfaction, without the burden of a food binge. This is especially useful if you are in a cold climate, plus it`s extra hydration for the body and can bring the bonus of some great nutrients. Teas such as ginger to warm, rooibus or peppermint to soothe, pau d`arco for anti-candida properties and so on are recommended. Some raw foodists don`t drink warm teas, for the same reason they don`t eat warmed foods; it can be a useful tool for certain times though; perhaps just don`t use boiling hot water.

3. Reach Out to Others
If you`re on the brink of a binge, try reaching your hand towards the phone, rather than the fridge door. Speaking with someone else about what is happening for us can make all the difference, helping us to step outside the circles in our heads. A phone may not even be necessary; maybe at the end of a meal with a loved one, you feel compelled to keep eating. Expressing your feelings about this may help you to end the meal then, rather than `acting out` and eating more than you`d intended.
When we are isolated in our own thoughts, patterns and perspective, it`s easy to go in negative circles in our heads focusing on `problems`. Extrovert: reach out to others, get active, get involved, get out of your head and into your heart.
It`s highly recommended to seek out connection with others who resonate with the experiences you`re having, especially sharing together in a group circle setting. An issue pondered in isolation can seem immense, whereas sharing that same issue with others who understand, may help make it seem not only manageable, but also easier to transform. There are many local support groups where you can find loving encouragement and also plenty of online resources for connecting to like-minded others.

4. End of Meal Activities
Having activities planned for immediately after eating can be a great incentive for ending a meal. This doesn`t necessarily need to involve physical activity, just something to help draw you away from thoughts of eating more – perhaps a phone call to a friend, tidying up a drawer or writing a letter. Planning activities that are far away from the kitchen/location of food in your home is a good idea.
Reinforce good feelings about your choices by thinking to yourself with gratitude at the end of a meal something such as, `Wow, what a feast that was`, rather than the common `Well…that`s it, I guess…` that many food addicts dread. This helps in situations when you`ve finished what you intended to eat and your mind seems to be asking for more.
Here`s another simple tip if you find it hard to stop eating after a meal: brush your teeth and you`re less likely to want to keep eating, with a mouth full of minty-fresh whites…
Keeping our fingers and/or teeth `busy` with something other than eating can help us to not binge too. You might employ your fingers, for example, in some knitting, puzzle-work or plant-tending. Chewing on raw licorice sticks or sugar cane stalks might keep your teeth entertained. You can also purchase `jaw exercisers` that help keep your mouth engaged, while simultaneously strengthening your jaw and teeth. If our fingers and teeth are already involved in activity, we might find we`re less likely to reach out for food.

5. Journalling
Use the power of the written word to help keep you on track. If you`re feeling low about your eating habits, get pen to paper and write down exactly what you`re feeling and thinking, right then. Similarly, at points when you`re feeling very clear and focused about your eating (often first thing in the morning), make notes – what are you feeling at this point? What are you thinking? What are you eating these days? What are you not eating? How much water do you drink? These written notes can be invaluable if you find yourself in a sticky place with your food choices again. In challenging moments, you can refer to these notes for a bigger perspective on your patterns and hopefully find the inspiration to stay on track.
Another useful exercise to try when you are in a clear, steady space, is to do some writing about overeating. How does overeating seem when you are in this balanced state? Making such notes might help you to start feeling more like an `observer` of the often impulsive and irrational action of overeating. It can even seem absurd to contemplate overeating when we are in that space of stillness and calmness. The more we can separate ourselves from that impulsiveness, the less likely we are to act out, when we next feel the pull to overeat.
You may also find it useful to use visual cues in your journal, such as old photos of yourself, a picture that captures your optimal vision for your life, grocery receipts or anything else that helps inspire you to stay on track.

Hopefully these tips have given you some `food for thought`; remember, we have a choice in every moment. Just because we may have consistently used food as our `safety net` in the past does not mean we must continue to do so now. We are always free to restructure our relationship with food…and whatever issue you may be dealing with in life, unless it is true physical hunger, the answer is not in the fridge 😉



Retired Couples Urged to Set Aside $225,000 to Cov

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The average couple retiring in 2008 will need $225,000 just to cover its health care costs, according to a report published by Fidelity Investments.

“Health-care costs have the potential to significantly erode an individual’s retirement savings,” said Brad Kimler, senior vice president of Fidelity Employer Services. “Knowing that these costs are only going to continue to increase, all Americans, even those as far as 20 years away from retirement, should be calculating and factoring lifelong health-care expenses into their overall financial planning.”

The report assumes that a couple retires at 65, with the woman living to 85 and the man to 82. The calculated costs include 32 percent for Medicare part B and D premiums, 35 percent for Medicare co-payments, co-insurance, deductibles and excluded benefits, and 33 percent for out-of-pocket prescription drug costs.

The current estimate is 4.7 percent higher than the 2007 estimate of $215,000, making health care one of the fastest rising costs for retired people in the United States. The average yearly increase has been 5.8 percent since 2002.

The $225,000 figure does not include most dental expenses, over-the-counter drugs or long-term medical care.

Another study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College calculated the average retirement health-care costs of an individual as $102,000, a very similar figure.

These estimates assume that retirees do not have an employer-provided health plan. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, two-thirds of retirees now find themselves in this situation in comparison to only one third in 1998.

Some savings accounts are designed to help people save for retirement health expenses. One of these, the health savings account (HSA), allows tax-exempt health-related withdrawals after retirement, but only for those who also buy a qualified health insurance policy with a high deductible. Due to their limited coverage, HSA-compatible health plans tend to be cheaper than plans with lower deductibles.

Thiamine Found Important for Diabetics

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Although most cases of Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by eliminating sugar and refined carbohydrates, the number of people with this disease, including children, just keeps exploding as does the number of dialysis centers. Type 2 diabetes used to be called “adult-onset diabetes” and was unheard of in children, but that is unfortunately no longer true. Complications of diabetes are devastating to the patient, affecting every aspect of their life. As complications progress, quality of life deteriorates. Ongoing research is showing that a simple vitamin, thiamine (B1) is the key to preventing, treating and even reversing many of these complications.

Complications of diabetes include nerve damage, eye problems, cardiovascular disease and kidney damage. Kidney failure usually occurs 15 to 20 years after the onset of diabetes, so patients with kidney failure were typically 50 to 70 years old. Now however, patients in their late twenties and early thirties are developing kidney failure due to Type 2 diabetes. Most people, even doctors, believe those complications can be avoided simply by keeping blood sugar tightly controlled with diet, oral medication or insulin. But current research indicates that although very good control may delay complications, it often does not prevent their onset. Dr. Paul J. Thornalley from the University of Essex in England states that a significant proportion of patients with tight blood glucose control still develop kidney damage and other complications.

Diabetic nephropathy occurs when blood vessels inside the glomerulus (part of the filtering mechanism in the kidney) are destroyed, leading to thickening and scarring of the glomerulus. The end result is inability of the kidneys to adequately filter the blood, excrete waste and balance fluid and electrolytes. The only treatment at this point is life long dialysis or a kidney transplant. Diabetic nephropathy is the number one cause of end-stage kidney disease and the diagnosis of about 60% of patients on dialysis is diabetic nephropathy. Researchers at the University of Warwick have discovered high doses of thiamine, vitamin B1, can reverse early diabetic kidney disease in type 2 diabetes.

One of the first signs of diabetic nephropathy is increased excretion of albumin (protein) in the urine. This is known as microalbuminuria. This symptom may present 5 to 10 years before the kidneys overtly fail. The research, led by led by Dr Naila Rabbani and Professor Paul J Thornalley at Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Punjab and Sheik Zaid Hospital, Lahore, Pakistan, discovered that high oral doses of thiamine can significantly decrease the excretion of albumin and actually reverse early kidney disease in type 2 diabetics.

Forty patients with type 2 diabetes aged between 35 and 65 years old took part in the study. The patients were randomly assigned either a placebo or given 100mg of thiamine three times a day for three months. Albumin excretion was lowered by 41% in those patients taking the thiamine and 35% of those patients actually returned to normal values after the treatment with thiamine. Although more research is pending, these results are so dramatic that all diabetics should probably start supplementing with thiamine.

In an earlier study led by Professor Paul Thornalley, researches showed that thiamine deficiency could be key to a range of vascular problems for diabetes patients including retinal disease and cardiovascular disease. Thiamine has also been shown to be helpful in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy. Studies have shown that beneficial action of thiamine was independent of blood sugar control. In other words, even if blood sugar is not ideally controlled, thiamine supplementation still works.

Dr. Thornalley and his team have already proven that patients with diabetes have a thiamine deficiency. Usually, thiamine levels are determined indirectly by measuring the activity of an enzyme, transketolase, in red blood cells. Increased activity usually indicates high thiamine levels, but they discovered activity of this enzyme is also high in deficiency states. By directly measuring thiamine levels in the blood, it was found that thiamine levels in type 1 diabetics were 76% lower and in type 2 diabetics 75% lower than in a control population. Thiamine deficiency in diabetics is not due to low intake but to greatly increased urinary output. For diabetics, supplementing with adequate amounts of thiamine is essential. They are unable to maintain adequate blood levels with diet alone.

There is a form of thiamine, although “synthetic” that is likely even better for diabetics than regular thiamine. Benfotiamine is similar to allithiamines naturally present in garlic. Although technically it’s not fat soluble, most supplement companies call it fat soluble because of its ability to cross lipid barriers. Thiamine, in the form of benfotiamine can reach high levels in the tissues and is not excreted rapidly. Benfotiamine has been shown to block 3 of the 4 metabolic pathways known to lead to vascular disease in diabetics. Besides blocking the metabolic pathways, benfotiamine has been shown to reduce Advanced Glycation Endproducts or AGEs. These are reactive particles that cause destruction of cells leading to aging and disease. These are the same products responsible for caramelizing onions or peanut brittle, so you could look at AGEs as being at work caramelizing your body, inside and out. AGEs form in the presence of sugar therefore more sugar equals more AGEd proteins. This is why diabetics experience the effects of AGEs much sooner than the rest of the population.

The body’s ability to absorb and metabolize conventional thiamine supplements is very limited. No matter how much thiamine you take plasma levels don’t increase beyond about the first 12 milligrams of the dose. Very little thiamine actually makes it into the cells where it is needed. Multiple studies in rats and humans are showing great promise using benfotiamine in the treatment/prevention of the complications of diabetes and this appears to be the better thiamine supplement for diabetics. There have been no reports of toxicity with benfotiamine in any of the neither studies nor has there been reports from the public. It is actually LESS toxic than thiamine hydrochloride, the most commonly used thiamine supplement. Benfotiamine has been studied since the 1960s so there is little doubt about its lack of toxicity.

Integrative Medicine on Capitol Hill 7544

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The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, or DSHEA, is a decent law. It says supplements are to be treated as food, not drugs, which only makes sense. Supplements are safe and natural food substances. As such, they can’t be patented.

This, of course, really irritates the pharmaceutical industry. If they can’t get patent protection on a vitamin or mineral, how in the world can they make money off of them? How can they keep smaller supplement manufacturers off their playground?

The answer is simple. Big Pharma already has the US Food and Drug Administration in its pocket. Its money pays many FDA salaries. It helps FDA write opinions on the safety of various drugs (the very drugs that are being assessed by the supposedly independent Agency). All the drug makers need to do now is to chip away at DSHEA, bit by bit.

In January, FDA responded to a Citizen Petition filed by the drug manufacturer Biostratum by banning the sale of pyridoxamine – one of the three natural forms of vitamin B6 found in nature – and declared pyridoxamine a “new drug.” Why? Because Biostratum manufactures a drug based on pyridoxamine. By receiving a favorable ruling from FDA, Biostratum now has a solid monopoly on the sale of pyridoxamine.

Up next: a petition filed by another pharmaceutical company, requesting a ban on dietary supplements containing pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (P5P), another natural form of vitamin B6. The petitioner, Medicure Pharma, actually admits that P5P is a naturally occurring molecule and that it qualifies as a dietary supplement. Medicure’s point of contention is that P5P in dietary supplements will infringe on their profits from a drug they are currently developing, which includes P5P as an active ingredient!

With surprising candor, Medicure states in their petition, “Pharmaceutical companies developing new drugs must be protected from companies that may seek to market the ingredients in those drugs as dietary supplements. The marketing of such products has the potential to undermine the incentive for the development of new drugs, because many people may choose to purchase the supplements rather than the drugs” [italics ours]. They might have added that the supplements are much cheaper, too.

Chip, chip, chip. If you can’t defeat the DSHEA, then get FDA to say that substances which have been in food, in the body, or in nature since the world began are now “new drugs,” and thus patentable. How, you ask, can a natural substance be patented? It’s easy. Just add a little of something that is patentable to it and you are all set to create a monopoly on the natural substance. What supplement manufacturer can afford the massively expensive patent protection and FDA approval process? Well, Big Pharma can. They have very, very deep pockets.

They’re so deep that they can participate – quite legally – in price-gouging of US citizens. American drug manufacturers sell medicines to foreign countries for much lower prices than they charge Americans, often setting up manufacturing facilities in those countries. Re-importing the same drugs that American manufacturers have produced for other countries is still less expensive than buying them at current US prices.

Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) has just introduced the Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act. It would allow for the re-importation of cheaper prescription drugs from Canada and other countries. And President Obama’s healthcare reform team says the administration has a “strong interest in implementing this [re-importation] policy.”

Big Pharma’s not happy. They, and their deep pockets, will do whatever they can to derail this train.

In general, healthcare is a hot topic in President Obama’s Washington. There will be a big bill. How will integrative medicine fit into it?

One of the big problems is that integrative medicine is low on the White House and Congressional radar screen. But that can change. When DSHEA came up, it produced more messages to Congress than any legislation in history. We need to get ready to repeat that. In the meantime, there is news on other Washington fronts.

GAO Report on Dietary Supplements

On March 2, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on dietary supplements calling for FDA to require “increased adverse event reporting,” and to request additional authority to oversee dietary supplements. The GAO report also asks FDA to complete its own long-awaited guidance on new dietary ingredient submissions, and to educate consumers about the safety of supplements. We can imagine what an FDA education about supplements would look like.

The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), a supplement trade group, said, “We disagree with the logic behind the recommendation of submitting all adverse event reports, versus the important need to submit serious adverse event reports. . . . The adverse event reporting law was carefully considered and supported by numerous stakeholders, including consumer groups, and there is no need to revise a law that only recently went into effect and appears to be working.”

Despite the fact that the GAO report never recommended overturning DSHEA, two very powerful members of Congress – House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA), and Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL)- were quick to comment that they would “work to strengthen FDA’s regulation of supplement products”! In fact, rumors have been circulating for months that Waxman and Durbin are working together on a bill that would over-regulate the dietary supplement industry at best, and would gut DSHEA at worst.

IOM Summit on Integrative Medicine

On a happier note, last month, the government’s Institute of Medicine (IOM) held a Summit on Integrative Medicine and the Health of the Public at the National Academy of Sciences to discuss “integrative medicine, its potential to improve the outcomes and efficiency of healthcare for Americans, and the priorities to be addressed to take advantage of that potential.” Six hundred key leaders and stakeholders in healthcare – including educators, scientists, community leaders, practitioners, lawmakers, policymakers, and insurance leaders – were in attendance.

In a keynote address, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) discussed including coverage of integrative healthcare treatments in Medicare and, citing Dr. Mark Hyman, announced that “we need to rethink not just the way we do medicine, but the medicine that we choose to do.”

The Institute of Medicine’s stated mission is to serve as advisor to the nation to improve health. The very fact that IOM hosted a Summit on Integrative Health is significant, because it shows a willingness to have controversial conversations about real change, and reminds us that the integrative health movement is picking up momentum.

Senate Hearings on Integrative Healthcare

Also last month, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee held a series of hearings on integrative healthcare. They wanted to examine opportunities to include integrative healthcare in President Obama’s healthcare reform proposals.

Offering testimony were Dr. Mehmet C. Oz, Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Mark Hyman, and others who share a common vision of true prevention – one that addresses the health and lifestyle choices that lead to chronic disease. “Even if we get everything else right,” said Dr. Hyman, “it won’t matter if we don’t address the causes of our current healthcare crisis.”

Heading one of the three healthcare reform working groups, Sen. Harkin has promised to step outside the traditional model and to examine additional opportunities to create health and well-being. A hero to the health freedom community, he has promised to stop the discrimination against integrative medicine.

Comparative Effectiveness Research

The Stimulus Bill allotted $1.1 billion for a Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) program to determine which healthcare treatment options are the most effective – and the most cost-effective. Treatments that don’t make the cut would probably not be reimbursed in government health programs. It is also thought likely that private insurers would follow suit.

An IOM committee is being set up to study the needs of various communities and determine how to spend about $400 million of the initial $1.1 billion appropriated.

The $1.1 billion is intended to be used in the short term, over the next eighteen months or so, while lawmakers work to pass a more detailed, comprehensive, and long-term plan. The long-term plan will be introduced as part of the healthcare reform bill President Obama has promised to pass before the end of the year.

Critics of CER within the integrative medicine community fear that it will be a prelude to a completely government controlled medical system which will be dominated and manipulated by the big drug companies with their lobbyists and campaign contributions and their control over the FDA. On the other hand, CER can provide a place for integrative medicine to make its case outside the FDA, to prove its potential for successful treatment and huge cost savings based on the thousands of scientific studies that have been done. It is also an opportunity to educate the general public. For all these reasons, the integrative medicine community has to be sure that it is heard and is part of the process, and Senator Harkin and other friends on the Hill will help to ensure that it is.

We need to explain that while the government and insurance companies pay $10,000 to amputate a diabetic patient’s foot, they currently won’t pay the small fraction of that amount needed to treat with nutraceuticals or to educate a patient about the benefits of a healthy diet and lifestyle changes that in many cases will prevent or even reverse diabetes.

No matter how uncomfortable we may be at the thought of government controlled medicine, it is a fact that CER has enormous potential to define what medicine is. Integrative medicine needs to speak up now, early in the process, and get a seat at this table. In future articles, we will tell you how you can help.


Dr. Gabriel Cousens, Raw Food Expert and Author, S

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This interview is an excerpt from Kevin Gianni’s Fountain of Youth Summit, which can be found at http://fountainofyouthworldsummit.com. In this excerpt, Dr. Gabriel Cousens shares what detoxification can do for you.

The Fountain of Youth World Summit with Dr. Gabriel Cousens Beijing Escorts, the founder of Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center and author of “Conscious Eating” and “Spiritual Nutrition.”

KEVIN: I am extremely excited about this. So, why don’t we start talking about detoxification? What’s your story? How did you get involved in this?

GABRIEL: Well, initially I was exploring it from a spiritual point of view. In 1982, on my own did a 40-day fast.

KEVIN: A-ha.

GABRIEL: It’s not the…probably the best way to start – it was a great way for me to start but I don’t really recommend it for most people.

KEVIN: [Laughs]

GABRIEL: In 1988, I really began to do fasting retreats for people.

KEVIN: A-ha.
GABRIEL: And did a lot of different researches. We’ve got along, and in fact right now, we are in the middle of a spiritual yoga juice fast.

KEVIN: OK.

GABRIEL: So, it’s really, fun to share that at the same time. At the Tree we do, we’ve evolved really 2 different fasts. One is where people who come every once a week, and what we’d just called a detox-fast.

KEVIN: OK.

GABRIEL: Then we had a spiritual fast, which is like a week-long seminar. It’s really a 9-day fast. So, that’s kind of what we do. It’s one of the main things we focus on. So we’ve developed a lot of research in technology along the way with that. I think the most important thing to understand is that fasting is the most natural and most powerful way to detox. Paracelsus, the great Renaissance physician in the 16th century and so forth, talked about that the most powerful healer is fasting.

KEVIN: A-ha.

GABRIEL: And Hippocrates, one of the great Greek physicians, said again, that fasting is the inner doctor. So, why does fasting work? It’s because it activates a vital life force, and it’s the vital life force which energizes the body that gives it enough energy to detox.

KEVIN: OK.

GABRIEL: So, the model we can hold is that the cells are filled with toxins but they’re also overloaded.

KEVIN: OK.

GABRIEL: And so they’re not as able to get the toxins out. So when we fast, we stimulate a process of energizing the cells, and also I’m going to use it to call it a process of diffusion. What we mean by that is, as you’re pulling toxins out by the act of fasting by doing what we do, eliminating in several areas, we do skin brushing which we’ll talk about�we do enemas and colonics.

KEVIN: A-ha.

GABRIEL: We do kidney and liver cleanses. We do breathing to clear the toxins out of the lung. We help people out gas, so they, they – here in Arizona you can be in nude outside in certain areas so you are getting a whole body air cleansing. So, all those things start to pull toxins out naturally. And in that way, it starts with …of the cells. But the key truly is the vital life force, and that’s strongly activated by the power of fasting.

KEVIN: OK. And you talked about detoxification, I mean, what are some of the things that we need to detoxify from?

GABRIEL: Life!

KEVIN: [laughs]

GABRIEL: Really, we have physical toxins, emotional, mental, and spiritual toxins.

KEVIN: OK.

GABRIEL: And when people come here to Patagonia, Arizona they were getting a very, very clean air and clean water. People are able then to rest and relax because in most people in the modern day world have lost touch with their rhythm.

KEVIN: OK.

GABRIEL: What life is about, they’ve lost touch with the meaning about what life is about, and in essence their mission, their sacred mission in life. And so fasting is a time to reestablish so we get in touch with your sacred rhythm, your sacred design, and also get in touch with the rhythm of the planet. We live in cities, what rhythm in the planet, you know?

KEVIN: Yeah.

GABRIEL: You can’t see the sunset because the skyscraper is in the way, and it’s like that kind of thing. So fasting, in a deeper way, helps you PG.4 Visit http://www.liveawesome.com for more expert interviews on health, weight loss tips, longevity, self motivation, nutrition and optimum health! reconnect with your essential self. Now that being said, we are going to focus a little bit more on the physical part of it and different fasts have different effects.

KEVIN: OK.

GABRIEL: A 7-day fast is what we do. Now we – just to be clear, there are people who come here and fasted for 80 days.

KEVIN: Wow.

GABRIEL: 90 days, and had tremendous benefits. We will talk about that a little later. I think the one-week fast is maybe most appropriate for people and a good place to start. First of all, fasting is not a new thing. It’s 5000 years old. Almost every culture has done it.

KEVIN: A-ha.

GABRIEL: And in the animal world, dogs can fast up to 60 days. Salmon go upstream for months without food. Penguins go 3 months without food. It’s part of that – the cycle of nature.

KEVIN: OK.

GABRIEL: But why one week and why has that worked well. What we found is it takes about a week according to my research to get rid of the bowel toxins. Now, where do bowel toxins come from? Well, they come from this – most people have pathogenic bacteria in the bowel.

KEVIN: OK.

GABRIEL: And because we eat too much, and we’re not digesting well. And the …pathogenic bacteria begin to take the putrefied food, and it turns into toxins.

KEVIN: OK.

GABRIEL: That’s what we are talking about, specifically.

KEVIN: And those are being reabsorbed?

GABRIEL: And those get reabsorbed into the body. They go into the nervous system. They go into everywhere in the body. In 1917, just to make it clear, this is not some kind of a newfound idea, in 1917, Sedderly and Eldrich, two AMA physicians, okay?

KEVIN: A-ha.

GABRIEL: Now, this is the way from what the AMA people do now. But at that time, they were on it. They cited 517 cases whereby clearing the bowel toxicity, people reverse their depression, their anxiety, their paranoia, their lethargy, their stupor, their general feeling of malaise. KEVIN: Wow! GABRIEL: Really impressive! Okay, so they understood that the toxicity in your bowel was affecting your – functioning of your mind. It was affecting your mood. It was affecting your clarity. OK, and it’s true! The Russians had done some research with schizophrenics. And they took supposedly incurable schizophrenics and put them on a water fast. We don’t really recommend water fast. There is some danger to it, but I don’t even know if they have any juicers in Russia, so we’ll just put it that way.

KEVIN: [laughs]

GABRIEL: And particularly when this research was done, and what they found was 28-35 days in water which is a severe water fast. That 65 percent of the schizophrenics became healed.

KEVIN: Wow!

GABRIEL: And the only time that they relapsed is that they ate meat. Now, what’s the reason for that is schizophrenics have a certain metabolic pathway or some schizophrenics at least 65 percent.

KEVIN: A-ha.

GABRIEL: Where when they eat meat, the putrefactive bacteria produce 6 times higher 5-hydro skatole. Skatole is one of the bowel toxins. And that is what was literally making – have a schizophrenic nervous system.

KEVIN: OK.

GABRIEL: So, that’s how powerful it can be. Now in 1933, Dr. Bassler cited 5000 cases where people healed from sinus, sciatica, almost every element you can think of, you know arthritis, again emotional problems, and related again to clearing the bowel toxicity. So these are not a metaphor in other words. These are real – toxins are real things. You got skatole. I’m not going to list all, ammonia.

KEVIN: And how do you know if you have them?

GABRIEL: Well, everybody has them.

KEVIN: OK. [laughs]. So this is like, this is a blanket, everyone has this. It’s just a matter of how much and what levels they have?

GABRIEL: Exactly. Now, when you’re fasting, when we fast because we’re doing fasting all over the world, we have a fasting center in Israel as well.

KEVIN: A-ha.

GABRIEL: By the Dead Sea, so very much and they have seen kind way of being.

KEVIN: A-ha.

GABRIEL: And were having fast here, or you – you know, frequently besides our weekly 10-day detoxing. And basically if you don’t like foods, and you’re not overeating … foods then you’re fasting frequently, you’re not going to have much bowel toxins. You’ll have a little bit.

KEVIN: OK.

GABRIEL: Most people tend to build it up overtime, particularly if they aren’t taking a lot of acidophilus. So, it’s pretty endemic. And the good news is really in a pretty short time within 1 week, we measured the indican which is a measure for bowel toxicity.

KEVIN: OK.

GABRIEL: In 1 week, by day 6, most people, no excuse me, a hundred percent of the people we tested no longer were showing indican in their urine.

KEVIN: OK.

GABRIEL: So we pretty much know by day 6 on a juice fast, you’re going to be done with your bowel toxin. And that’s also about the time people’s mental state begins to clear. And they begin to get a tremendous amount of energy. There’s a lot of energy that you get when you get the toxins out. On a 60th birthday 4 years ago, we – on day 5 or 6, I did 601 push-ups.

KEVIN: OK.

GABRIEL: And that was something that I couldn’t do while I was eating. I was up to 550 something like that. I wasn’t breaking the barrier.

KEVIN: A-ha.

GABRIEL: The reason is, there’s this � even if someone who’s – you know eating the right foods, 100 percent right foods, and you know juicing, and doing all of that on a regular basis, there’s certain amount of toxins that you build up. That’s something in everyone.

KEVIN: OK Qingdao massage girls.

GABRIEL: And just that difference of 5 days juicing cleared enough the toxins to give the extra strength. Once after a 7-day fasting, we did Mount Chester that was in the ’90s. We walked up, a group of us walked up Mount Chester. Usually, it’s a 2-day trip to go to 10,000 feet, and on the 2nd day you go, and you camp out, and then you go over 2000 feet.

KEVIN: A-ha.

GABRIEL: We started at 3′ o clock in the morning. We reached the peak by about 11.

KEVIN: Wow.

GABRIEL: And we just walked straight too because we had that extra energy.

KEVIN: Wow. That sounds good. I think it probably just about everyone in this call could use a little extra energy. [laughs].

To read the rest of this transcript as well as access more information by health experts on abundance, optimum health, and longevity just like Dr. Gabriel Cousens, please visit http://fountainofyouthworldsummit.com .

Cherries Found to Be a Natural Sleep Aid 8174

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There is a tart cherry called Montmorency that contains a significant level of melatonin and hence is helpful as a natural sleep aid. The University Of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio recently discovered these properties in the tart cherry.

Melatonin was discovered in 1958 by a dermatologist named Aaron Lerner at Yale University.

Melatonin is a natural hormone that is produced in the pineal gland located at the base of the brain. It triggers sleepiness during night hours. Melatonin production can be disrupted because of staying up at night utilizing artificial light. Melatonin has been found to decrease with age. This is why elderly people often have trouble sleeping or staying asleep at night. Stress can also cause melatonin levels to drop thus causing poor sleep and insomnia.

What Foods Contain Melatonin?

Melatonin is most plentiful in tart cherries, especially the Montmorency variety. Other foods including milk, peanuts, turkey, chicken and almonds contain tryptophan. Tryptophan raises brain serotonin which then can be converted to melatonin.

Bananas also contain melatonin but the level is not high enough to be effective for inducing sleep.

Side Effects of Melatonin

Taking melatonin supplements should be done carefully Shanghai massage. A high level of melatonin in the blood can cause insomnia and nightmares instead of the desired peaceful rest. The maximum effective sleep-inducing dose is 0.1 to 0.3 milligrams.

The level of melatonin found in tart cherries provides a significant amount to positively induce sleep. Melatonin is sold in over-the-counter supplements, although these supplements often have a dosage of 2-3 milligrams and sometimes even higher. These levels are at least ten times the maximum effective dosage.

Best Melatonin for Sleep

Although melatonin is easily obtained as a supplement and can be purchased without a prescription, experts tell us that the greatest benefits of melatonin are achieved by consuming melatonin through food consumption.

An effective strategy for better sleep is to utilize nature. Cherries can be obtained in concentrate form and can be taken at the end of each day to improve the quality of resting time, to reset your biological clock and to encourage wakefulness during the day.

Other Benefits of Melatonin

Melatonin may also help delay the effects of aging. Researchers at the University of Granada in Spain recently revealed that melatonin neutralizes the oxidative and inflammation process caused by aging. This suggests that melatonin may slow the aging process. These researchers are suggesting that daily melatonin intake (especially for people from age 30 or 40) could potentially help delay some illnesses related to aging.

How to Enjoy Cherries Daily

Tart cherries are readily available year-round. Dried and frozen tart cherries and cherry juice (or juice concentrate) are easy to find. Here are some ways to incorporate tart cherries into your daily diet.

1. Add dried cherries to trail mix or granola Beijing escort.

2. Add dried cherries to your cereal, oatmeal, yogurt or pancakes.

3. Add dried cherries to tossed salads, fruit salads and chicken salads.

4. Make cherry muffins instead of blueberry muffins.

5. Add dried cherries to oatmeal cookies instead of raisins.

6. Add dried cherries to couscous, rice pilaf, grits, risotto and pasta.

7. Add frozen cherries to smoothies.

8. Thaw frozen cherries for a few minutes and then layer with yogurt and granola.

9. Make a cherry spritzer by adding cherry juice concentrate to cold seltzer water.

10. Drink cherry juice as you recover from a workout. Some experts think cherry juice may help relieve exercise tension.