Does Exercise Help Reduce Inflammation?

Regular physical activity can offer us a multitude of health benefits.  Recent studies show just 20 minutes a day can produce anti-inflammatory effects, adding to the already lengthy list of how fitness can support our bodies.  That’s right!  In addition to reducing heart disease, lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of Diabetes type 2, reducing the risk of cancer, improving metabolism and weight loss, strengthening the heart, muscles, and bones — regular exercise can also reduce inflammation and your chances of suffering from other inflammatory conditions.

Twenty minutes a day is all it takes.  Researchers believe that Continue reading “Does Exercise Help Reduce Inflammation?”

Why is the liver so important?



This large, meaty organ sits on the right side of our belly and plays a vital role in the balancing of our metabolic system.  It is the largest organ and one of, if not the most, important.  We need the liver to process all of the nutrients in our food – protein, carbs, fats, vitamins, and minerals.  We need the liver to filter out all of the toxins that enter our body.  We rely on  the liver to convert food into energy, clean out poisons (including alcohol), help to digest our food, help produce hormones, store glycogen, and regulate generally every important function of our metabolic process.  The liver literally receives 30% of the blood circulating through your body every minute in order to perform its detoxifying and nutrient absorbing tasks.

The liver keeps you energized.  While carbohydrates can provide the body with energy, it is the liver that actually manages its distribution.  Once the gastrointestinal tract breaks the carbs down into glucose, the liver regulates and maintains the healthy levels.  Continue reading “Why is the liver so important?”

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and the hidden dangers

Acetaminophen (also labeled as Paracetamol, or more commonly known as Tylenol) is one of the most widely used OTC (over the counter) pain medications on the shelves today.  Most of us don’t even think twice about taking something we can readily obtain from a local store when the occasional ache or pain calls for such.  However, acetaminophen may just be one of the most dangerous choices on the market.  Even when taken as prescribed, acetaminophen can be potentially life-threatening.  As with many OTC medications, we tend to be a bit too liberal with dosage recommendations, rarely fearing taking 3 or 4 rather than the suggested 2 pills.  When it comes to this pain reliever, failing to adhere to the recommended dosages could prove to be lethal.  Severe health problems like liver damage and death have been reported even in so-called “mild” overdoses.  In fact, hospitals deal with more acetaminophen overdoses annually than they do opiate overdoses.  I can only imagine the shock and dismay, or your utter refusal to believe such a statistic — especially considering you’ve probably never heard of any of this….. Continue reading “Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and the hidden dangers”

Gout, uric acid, and risk of death

Gout affects an estimated 4% of the population, or around 1 in 25 people.  Evidence suggests this number is growing and is certainly affecting a larger demographic than in the past.  A lot of confusion has surrounded the specifics on how high levels of uric acid may affect the heart and kidneys, even when acute Gout attacks are not present.

There have been studies attempting to separate the mortality rates of those with other risk factors, namely cardiovascular disease and diabetes, from those with just Gout and/or high uric acid levels.  The findings seem to suggest that Gout and high uric acid levels are independently responsible for higher death rates across most age, sex, and race subgroups independent of other pre-existing conditions.  The University in Limerick found those with the high serum uric acid levels displayed at 77% higher risk of death from all causes, and a 209% higher risk of cardiovascular death.  While pre-existing conditions such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, etc. are strongly associated with a higher death risk, the results did not decrease by much when those factors were removed.

What does this mean for the Gout sufferer?  Continue reading “Gout, uric acid, and risk of death”

Is Soy Good or Bad?

Soy can provide a significant amount of protein, vitamins, minerals and polyunsaturated fatty acids.  The soybean is also a source of resveratrol, phytosterols, and isoflavones — all of which have been scientifically linked to providing benefits for a number of health conditions.

However, there is a dark side to soy, particularly unfermented soy products – dark enough to consider its inherent dangers to outweigh its benefits.  The Weston A. Price Foundation is a valuable source for accurate information about our nutrition and health.  They are dedicated to putting nutrient-dense foods back on our tables and have done a great job researching this subject to provide us with the truth and myths about soy.  Their website contains numerous studies, over several years, should you be interested diving in a bit deeper.  Weston A. Price summarizes soy dangers, myths, and truths as follow: Continue reading “Is Soy Good or Bad?”

The Danger of Artificial Sweeteners

Just how bad are fake sugars for you?  Let’s just start by making you aware that saccharin was discovered over 150 years ago by a chemist working with coal tar.  Coal tar — you know, a well-known carcinogenic material.  Studies dating back to the 1970’s concluded that saccharin was linked to bladder cancer in laboratory rats.  If that isn’t evidence enough……  Yet, a gazillion conflicting studies later and we still have an issue that remains under intense debate.  Saccharin is sold under brand names such as Sweet and Low®, Sweet Twin®, and Necta Sweet®.

In 2013, The European Food Safety Administration deemed aspartame “safe” at current usage and exposure levels, going as far as to say it won’t cause cancer.  However, the Center for Science in the Public Interest denounced this review stating it was a complete “whitewash” of the truth. Continue reading “The Danger of Artificial Sweeteners”

Low-fat Diet Myths and Our Deteriorating Health

 

Is it just a coincidence that ever since we adopted low-fat and fat-free diet plans our health deteriorated?  The craze began back in the 70’s and 80’s, and by the early 90’s foods with little to no fat were flying off the shelves.  The American Heart Association, food manufacturers, physicians, and even drug manufacturers had convinced us that all saturated fats led to obesity and heart disease.  People began trading nuts for pretzels, whole milk for skim, potatoes -hold the sour cream, and even still buying cookies so long as they were labeled “fat free.”  Dietary fats and all cholesterol were deemed to be bad for our health.  Yet, over this same 30+ year time span of ‘healthier’ eating the incidences of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease have soared to alarming rates.  In addition to all of the fat-free products flying off of the shelves, so have the cholesterol-lowering and blood pressure lowering drugs.

So wait…… Continue reading “Low-fat Diet Myths and Our Deteriorating Health”

Can Cellular Dehydration be a major cause of Disease?

Yes.  Proper hydration is a fundamental requirement to maintain the health of our bodies.  Our bodies are 75% water and 25% solid matter.  Water is needed to eliminate waste and provide nourishment, in addition to regulating billions of other activities in the body.  Hydration takes place when the minerals connect with water and provide electrolytes, cellular fluids, and tissue balance.  This balance is crucial to preserve the electrical charge of our cells, as well as maintain a healthy pH of our tissues and cells.

There is a staggering number of people who are severely dehydrated at a cellular level and virtually have no idea.  Many believe they are hydrating by drinking coffee, tea, juice, soft drinks, and even beer. Continue reading “Can Cellular Dehydration be a major cause of Disease?”

Chronic Stress, Chronic Inflammation, and Disease

We all know that stress can cause ailments such as difficulty sleeping, muscle tension, changes in appetite, headaches, stomach problems, panic attacks, and prolonged feeling of sadness or worthlessness.  But, did you also know that stress can literally alter the cells in our body and lead to chronic inflammation and serious diseases?  Prolonged, overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones can wreak havoc on the mind and body.  Chronic stress can reprogram the cells in our body and disrupt all of it’s processes. 

A region at the base of our brain, the hypothalamus, is set off in the presence of a perceived threat.  In turn, this signals the pituitary and adrenal glands to release a surge of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.  Cortisol is the main hormone responsible for Continue reading “Chronic Stress, Chronic Inflammation, and Disease”

Arthritis and Gout are no longer considered “old man diseases”……..and they are dangerous!

These painful joint conditions were once considered the inevitable outcome of old aging joints.  However, these painful conditions have more than doubled in the past 10-15 years, with a shocking amount of sufferers now found to be under the age of 40.  Doctors have seen the sharpest rise in patients in their 20’s and 30’s, some 30% since 2012, suffering from a disease that was once thought to be limited to royalty.  Not so coincidentally, the rise in obesity, Diabetes Type 2, and prescriptions such as low-dose aspirin and diuretics has occurred almost simultaneously.

Even still there is large percentage of the population that suffers silently having never been diagnosed, or sometimes misdiagnosed.  Gout especially can be overlooked by medical professionals due to inaccurate blood measurements of Uric Acid.  Unless the fluid is directly aspirated from the joint it can be difficult to identify.  Many that are under an attack at the time they are seen by a physician will have low to normal blood serum Uric Acid levels.  Why is this?  Continue reading “Arthritis and Gout are no longer considered “old man diseases”……..and they are dangerous!”