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Tomato Juice Decreases Inflammation
Rich in lycopenes, a potent type of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound, tomatoes have been shown by a number of previous studies to improve antioxidant defenses and reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases. Mahsa Ghavipour, from Tehran University (Iran), and colleagues recruited a group of overweight and obese women, average age 23 years, for a study in which each subject either consumed a glass (330 mL) of tomato juice a day, or water (control beverage), for 20 days. Among the women who drank tomato juice, interleukin-8 (IL-8) was reduced by 11.77 pg/mL, and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) was reduced by 5.44 pg/mL, as compared to 6.22 and 0.07 pg/mL, respectively, among the control group. Writing that: “Tomato juice reduces inflammation in overweight and obese females,” the study authors submit that: “increasing tomato intake may provide a useful approach for reducing the risk of inflammatory diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, which are associated with obesity.”
I don't have to tell you that there isn't such thing as a pill or remedy out there that will magically make the pounds melt away, but herbs can promote weight loss in a variety of ways. The action of certain herbs "trick" the brain into thinking the stomach is full, while others function thermogenically (speed up the body's metabolism).
How Thermogenic Herbs Work
Thermogenic herbs (most classified as stimulants) contain substances like caffeine that speed up body functions like heart rate, digestion, and respiration. Their effects may get you up off the couch and keep you moving. Some thremogenic herbs like green tea, nettle, and dandelion are safe as, or safer, than prescription and over the counter weight loss drugs. Other herbs act as diuretics (water reducers) by causing water weight loss. Buchu and uva-ursi rid your body of excess fluid, but weight returns quickly when the herb is halted. Even though some can be very beneficial, others can be potentially dangerous and even toxic.
Beware These Herbs
It should be noted that the FDA (Food and Drug Commission) has linked the following to cause serious side effects and even death -- so AVOID THEM
What is Safe?
Good luck in exploring all your herbal options. Remember your health is very important and herbal remedies should be viewed with the same precaution as taking any medication. If you want to make herbs a part of your health regime, you should research and thoroughly investigate all our earth has to offer!
There might be something wrong with your inner tube, and it could be making you sick and fat.
You may not even realize you have a problem ... but if you have health concerns of any kind or you are overweight, your inner tube could be the root cause.
Of course, I'm not talking about a beach toy. I mean the inner tube of life -- your digestive system!
It is likely that you suffer from (or have suffered from) some type of digestive disorder -- irritable bowel syndrome, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, reflux, gas, and other things too gross to mention in print.
And you are not alone. More than 100 million Americans have digestive problems.
Two of the top five selling drugs in America are for digestive problems, and they cost us billions and billions of dollars.
There are more than 200 over-the-counter (OTC) remedies for digestive disorders, many of which can create additional digestive problems.
Visits for intestinal disorders are among the most common reasons for trips to primary care physicians.
And that's not even the worst news.
Most of us (including most doctors) do not recognize or know that digestive problems wreak havoc in the entire body, leading to allergies, arthritis, autoimmune disease, rashes, acne, chronic fatigue, mood disorders, autism, dementia, cancer, and more.
So having a healthy gut means more than simply being free of annoyances like bloating or heartburn! It is absolutely central to your health. It is connected to EVERYTHING that happens in your body.
That's why I almost always start helping people treat chronic health problems by fixing their gut, which is what I want to help you do today.
Today , you will learn how you can find out if you have a problem with your gut (though many of you won't need me to tell you -- your gut will speak for itself!), and I will give you 7 simple steps you can take today to heal your inner tube of life.
Fixing your digestion is the 4th key of the 7 Keys to UltraWellness or functional medicine, and it is absolutely essential that you heal this critical system in your body if you want to achieve optimum health.
Why your gut is so important? Let me explain ...
How Your Gut Keeps You Healthy or Makes You Ill
The health of your gut determines what nutrients are absorbed and what toxins, allergens, and microbes are kept out. It is directly linked to the health of your whole body.
Intestinal health could be defined as the optimal digestion, absorption, and assimilation of food. But that is a big job that depends on many other factors. Let's look at a few of them ...
First, there are bugs in your gut that form a diverse and interdependent ecosystem like a rainforest. In fact, there are 500 species and 3 pounds of bacteria in your gut which form a HUGE chemical factory that helps you digest your food, regulate hormones, excrete toxins, and produce vitamins and other healing compounds that keep your gut and your body healthy.
This ecosystem of friendly bacteria must be in balance for you to be healthy.
Too many of the wrong bacteria, like parasites and yeasts, or not enough of the good ones, like Lactobacillus or Bifidobacteria, can seriously damage your health.
So keeping a healthy balance of bugs in your intestines is one factor to good gut health.
Second, there is your gut-immune system. Your entire immune system -- and the rest of your body -- is protected from the toxic environment in your gut by a lining that is only ONE cell-thick layer. If spread out, this lining would take up a surface area the size of a tennis court, and the entire thing is covered by a sewer!
If that barrier is damaged, you can become allergic to foods you may normally be able to digest perfectly well, you will get sick, your immune system will become overactive, and it will begin producing inflammation throughout your body.
Filtering out the good molecules from the bad molecules and protecting your immune system is yet another important factor in gut health.
Third, there is your second brain -- your gut's nervous system. Did you know your gut, actually contains MORE neurotransmitters than your brain? In fact, the gut has a brain of its own. It is called the "enteric nervous system" and it is a very sophisticated piece of your biology that is wired to your brain in intricate ways.
Messages constantly travel back and forth between your gut-brain and your head-brain, and when those messages are interfered with in any way your health will suffer.
Fourth, your gut also has to get rid of all the toxins produced as byproducts of your metabolism, which your liver dumps into bile. If things get backed up when you are constipated, you will become toxic and your health will suffer.
And last but not least, your gut must break down all the food you eat into its individual components, separate out the vitamins and minerals, and shuttle everything across the one cell-thick layer mentioned above so it can get into your bloodstream and nourish your body and brain.
Your gut has quite a lot to manage. Even in perfect world it is hard to keep all of this in balance. But in our modern world there are endless insults that can knock our digestive systems off balance; it is that much more difficult to maintain excellent digestive health.
How to Know if Your Gut is Out of Balance
To fix your digestion, you first need to understand what is sending your gut out of balance in the first place. The list is short:
• Our low-fiber, high-sugar, processed, nutrient-poor, high-calorie diet, which causes all the wrong bacteria and yeast to grow in our gut and damages the delicate ecosystem in your intestines
• Overuse of medications that damage the gut or block normal digestive function -- things like acid blockers (Prilosec, Nexium, etc.), anti-inflammatory medication (aspirin, Advil, and Aleve), and overuse of antibiotics, steroids, and hormones
• Undetected gluten intolerance, celiac disease or low grade food allergies to foods such as dairy, eggs, or corn.
• Chronic low-grade infections or gut imbalances with overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine, yeast overgrowth, parasites, or even more serious gut infections
• Toxins like mercury and mold toxins, which damage the gut
• Lack of adequate digestive enzyme function, which can come from acid-blocking medication use, or zinc deficiency
• Stress, which can alter the gut nervous system, cause a leaky gut, and change the normal bacteria in the gut
What happens then is obvious. You get sick.
But what's important to understand is that many diseases that seem to be totally unrelated to the gut -- such as eczema or psoriasis or arthritis -- are actually CAUSED by gut problems. By focusing on the gut, you can get better. Here is an example ...
Can Eczema Start in the Gut?
Allison, one of my patients who suffered from eczema -- a weepy, red, oozing, scaly, itchy rash -- all over her body is perfect example of what can happen when your gut is out of balance and the extraordinary level of healing that can occur when you fix your digestion.
This woman, who saw doctor after doctor, put salves, lotions, and potions on her skin and gave her steroids and antibiotics. But none of them ever addressed the underlying cause of her problem.
Allison was 57 years old and had been suffering from severe, unrelenting eczema for eight years. She ate a high-sugar diet and had a history of frequent vaginal yeast infections.
When I saw her, I checked her gut and found she had a leaky gut -- that one-cell thick lining in her intestines was breached and wasn't working properly. She had developed 24 IgG food allergies, and her stool had no healthy bacteria and an overgrowth of yeast from years of taking antibiotics. She also had very high blood levels of antibodies against yeast.
So I helped her heal her gut. I asked her to stop eating the foods she reacted to, told her to stop feeding the yeast in her gastrointestinal tract by cutting out sugar and refined carbohydrates (which they thrive on), and killed the yeast in her gut with antifungal medications and herbs. Then I helped her rebuild her ecosystem of healthy bacteria with probiotics and provided here with healing gut nutrients that allowed her intestinal lining to resume its normal function.
Her eczema disappeared for the first time in eight years -- and it stayed away!
You can experience the same thing Allison did. You may be able to heal from many of your chronic symptoms simply by fixing your digestion. Here is how you do it.
7 Steps to Optimal Digestive Health
To heal your inner tube of life you simply need to:
1. Eat whole unprocessed foods. Make sure to include plenty of fiber from foods like vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
2. Eliminate food allergies. If you think you have food sensitivities, try an elimination diet. Cut out gluten, dairy, yeast, corn, soy, and eggs for a week or two and see how your gut feels and what happens to your other symptoms.
3. Treat any infections or overgrowth of bugs -- Parasites, small bowel bacteria, and yeasts can all inhibit proper gut function. You must treat these infections if you want to heal.
4. Replenish your digestive enzymes. When you don't have enough digestive enzymes in your gut, you can't properly covert the foods you eat into the raw materials necessary to run your body and brain. Take broad-spectrum digestive enzymes with your food to solve the problem.
5. Rebuild your rain forest of friendly bacteria. Take probiotic supplements. They will help you rebuild the healthy bacteria so essential to good gut health.
7. Heal your gut lining. Use gut-healing nutrients such as glutamine and zinc to repair the lining in your gut so it can resume its normal function.
Fixing your digestion may take some time, but it can be done. And it is absolutely essential if you want to achieve vibrant health. So work on your inner tube of life using the steps above and watch as your symptoms (and those extra pounds) disappear.
Now I'd like to hear from you ...
Did you realize how important your gut is to your overall health?
What steps have you taken to fix your digestion? How have they worked?
Why do you think the pharmaceutical industry develops and actively advertises drugs that are known to inhibit proper gut function and thus compromise health?
Does eating soy products increase cancer risk?
TUESDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News) -- Some breast cancer survivors fear that eating foods containing soy will increase the risk of a cancer recurrence, but new research suggests that those worries appear to be unfounded.
"We did not see any evidence that soy intake after breast cancer increases the risk of recurrence or deaths [from breast cancer]," said Dr. Xiao Ou Shu, a professor of epidemiology and medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.
"Our study indicated that soy food intake among breast cancer survivors is safe and may reduce the risk of recurrence," she said.
She emphasized she is talking about soy foods, such as tofu and soybeans, not soy supplements.
The research is to be presented Tuesday at the American Association for Cancer Research's annual meeting in Orlando, Fla. Results of studies presented at meetings are considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
For the study, Shu evaluated data on 9,515 women who had participated in one of three studies of breast cancer survivors: Life After Cancer Epidemiology, Women's Healthy Eating and Living and the Shanghai Breast Cancer Survival studies.
Shu reviewed information from food questionnaires on the women's soy food intake. The average time between breast cancer diagnosis and soy food evaluation was about 14 months.
After a follow-up that averaged 7.4 years, Shu found 1,348 breast cancer recurrences and 1,171 deaths from breast cancer and other causes.
Compared to the women who ate the least soy, women in the upper 10th percentile group for soy food intake had a 35 percent reduced risk of recurrence.
Those who ate the most soy also had a 17 percent reduced risk of death from all causes during the follow-up, but that finding did not reach statistical significance, Shu said.
Soy food consumption was considerably higher in the Shanghai group than among the U.S. participants.
How much soy might be protective? "Women can get the level of soy isoflavones that is similar to the top 10 percent consumption level found in our U.S. study population by consuming a cup of [soy] milk or half serving of tofu (2 oz.) per day," she said.
In the past, women who survived breast cancer tended to avoid soy foods, said Dr. Marian Neuhouser, associate member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.
The worry, she said, was that some soy foods can act as a weak phytoestrogen, and most breast cancers are estrogen-receptor positive, needing estrogen to grow.
"I think this study and a previous study support the idea that soy foods are safe for women with breast cancer," she said.
She, too, emphasized that the study is on soy foods, not supplements. Soy foods are a good source of low-fat protein, she said.
Soy contributes to an overall healthy diet pattern, and healthy diet patterns are linked with lower recurrence, she said.
"If someone has a latte with soy milk, it means they aren't having a latte with whole milk, which has a lot more fat in it," Neuhouser said.
To learn more about soy, visit the Soy foods Association of North America.
SOURCES: Marian L. Neuhouser, Ph.D., R.D., associate member, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; associate professor, epidemiology and nutritional sciences, University of Washington, Seattle; Xiao Ou Shu, M.D., Ph.D., professor, epidemiology and medicine, Vanderbilt University, Nashville; April 5, 2011, presentation, American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting, Orlando, Fla.
Vulvodynia and Acupuncture Treatments
Vulvodynia is a condition, which few in the medical profession have yet to resolve or even understand. Little research exists and little is known about its origins or how best to treat it. What does seem apparent is that for those women who do have it, it is a constant daily dis-ease. Characteristics of Vulvodynia may vary from woman to the next, what is very certain is that there is usually pain and possible burning of the vulva. The level of pain can change from mild to severe. The etiology behind the condition may vary from one woman to the next, so differential diagnosis is essential for individual patient care. This differential diagnosis is what sets Chinese Medicine aside from Western Medical approach. Two women with the same diagnosis may have completely different disharmonies, so treatment is very unique to the patient's personal body care.
Acupuncture may be a treatment option for Vulvodynia and Vestibulitis. In the proceedings workshop sponsored by the US Dept of Health in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Office of Research on Women's Health, and the National Office of Rare Diseases on April 14-15, 2003, discussion on the lack of understanding and research on the subject of vulvodynia was addressed. Dr. Elizabeth Stewart, of Harvard University had stated that physical therapy might alleviate the vulvar pain that was referred from the ligaments and joints in the spine and pelvis. One study did confirm that patients that used acupuncture to alleviate the pain showed improvement, and over all quality of life. She also did state that surgery for Vestibulitis was highly controversial because of the lack of clear pathophysiology for vulvar pain. There was great concern over cosmetic results. The overall consensus is that there is a relationship to the pudendal nerve being pinched. In Europe and in pain centers in the US, decompression of the nerve is attempted. Acupuncture is a great alternative to relieve compression of this nerve, and to strengthen overall system health.
Acupuncture is part of an ancient system of healing which incorporates all aspects of the physical and non-physical bodies. It is part of a larger doctrine called Oriental Medicine or Traditional Chinese Medicine. The belief is there is a vital energy that surrounds all living things. We call this "qi" or "prana". It seems that just about every ancient culture has a name for it. We all recognize it as being real and existing. Even allopathic, western medicine has a name for it "vitality". It is within this energy that the practitioner works his or her art. Constantly changing and creating harmony where there is disharmony, tonifiying what has been depleted and rectifying what has been in exuberance. The I ching states that all things are constantly changing and that nothing stays the same. This is the beauty of life. Every practitioner counts on this change to occur. After every treatment one anticipates the positive change in the body, hoping to rectify its disharmony. Acupuncture points are small areas of energy that spiral round, each with a different action and indication. These small energy spirals travel a pathway, which for the most part connect to an internal body organ. However there are other pathways that do not connect to any organ, these are referred to as extra ordinary pathways. Then lastly there are smaller pathways that diverge from the larger ones and cross the body. These smaller pathways allow for even the smallest communication between energy and body. The insertion of a needle into an acupuncture point creates communication between the function of the point and the body's energetics. The formulation of points creates a reaction in the body. The body accepts the information and begins a cycle of change. Cycles of change can vary from one body to the next. Gradual improvement of symptoms is what is expected.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine the body is viewed as having patterns of harmony and disharmony. A practitioner pays very careful attention to what the condition of the body is. One examines closely what the blood is doing, what the "qi" is doing, and what it is not. The practitioner further seeks to determine where the patterns of disharmony exist. Differential diagnosis is attained and treatment to restore the body is begins. Women's bodies are so diverse, that there are no two bodies alike. With treating Vulvodynia, I have noticed that even though there may be some similarities between patient's symptoms, their etiologies or rather the root cause of the disorder is very different.
I first became aware of this disharmony about five years ago around the year 2000. I began treating a young patient who complained of sheer fire burning of her external genitalia. I remember feeling a bit puzzled because I had not heard of such a condition, so naturally I began to do some research. Very few of my colleagues had even heard of it. No one in my area had ever treated it. With this I began her treatment protocol.
The response that I have seen from my patients, lead me to believe that VV is completely treatable and I will explain why. I will cite two examples of patients that were treated with Acupuncture. What follows are two brief patient cases that were treated with Acupuncture. I'd like to mention that both patient's are still receiving treatment, and are still obtaining very favorable results.
Mrs. P is a 35-year-old non-smoking married woman who was recently given a name to her burning and stinging of the vulva. For the past two years she has been treated for urinary tract infections. She has a history of low back pain and migraines. Although her migraines were a big concern for treatment, even more so was the constant irritation of the vulva. Mrs. P had a total of four treatments over the course of one month before significant results were obtained. Currently Mrs. P still comes in for treatment one time a month occasionally twice a month. Mrs. P is still undergoing treatment and is about 60 to 70 percent improved. There are many days where she is free from burning and stinging. She can remain free of discomfort for many weeks at a time.
Miss. M is a 49 year old, non-smoking non-married woman who was diagnosed
I wish to express my very concern for the lack of study on VV and treatment. Many women that I have seen have informed me of different experimental procedures that their Dermatologist, Gynecologist and Neurologists have mentioned. I say experimental because there is no significant data to show proof of success. I have even heard of a new use for botox. Injecting botox was the latest that I have heard this week. This is a desperate attempt in the medical world. Although there is no concrete evidence of a cure, in any medical model, all physicians would like to see a resolution of Vulvodynia. I hope if nothing else to bridge the gap between a woman and her options for treatment.
Notes: tea egg has aroma of tea and soy sauce, it is a good protein snack on the go.
Follow these simple steps to make smoothies for weight loss
Add mixed liquid to the blender first, this can be ½ cup water + ½ 100% juice.
Add the high quality protein powder (whey or soy protein 25-35 g).
Add 2-3 types of fruits each time (for example, one medium sized banana, one peeled orange, and one small sliced apple).
To have extra calories and protein, add one cup of plain yogurt or fresh cheese.
Blend according to your blender manufacture instructions.
Your Body Can Burn Fat on Its Own
Wouldn’t you just love it if your body decided to burn fat and calories on its own?
1. Exercise in short, intense bursts (interval training) for effective fat burning after exercise.
2. Increase the amount of resistance/strength/weight training you do, to build more lean muscle. Muscle is ‘metabolically active’ and burns more calories than other body tissue even when you’re not moving.
And of course, for best results:
3. Chill on the amount of food you are eating.
1. Our bodies are built to survive, so when you exercise for long periods of time (often and consistently) your body thinks it needs to hold on to fat for energy. Doing short (12-15 minute), intense exercise sessions builds strength and burns calories, but not fat, so it “feels safe” using fat stores for energy after exercise.
2. Resistance training (using extra weight) helps build lean muscle mass (and strong bones), and muscle burns more calories than fat.
3. If you are obsessing over things like fat grams and not eating a nutritious diet, your body will reserve energy (store fat) to survive.
1. Varying your exercise is the most effective and efficient way to stay lean and healthy. You must do some longer exercise to build cardiovascular endurance, burn lots of calories, and yes, even burn fat during exercise - your body will not click in to “save” mode unless you exercise for long periods of time, regularly and often.
2. You must do resistance training in order to build muscle and strong bones.
3. Nobody wants to exercise more - and we don’t want to train our bodies to need more exercise to stay fit. So exercise efficiently – two short, very intense (relative to your level of fitness) training sessions weekly, like a 15-minute fast run/walk or fast cycling sprint intervals, and two moderately long, moderately intense sessions (30-45 minutes) of strong walking, cycling, or yoga, with one long day (60-90 minutes) of a moderately paced walk/hike. That’s a great five-day/week training schedule.
4. Instead of adding more days to your workout schedule, add a weighted vest to your training. For more information, go to http://www.walkvest.com/.
5. Eat moderately - stop counting fat grams and calories and look at how much food is on your plate! And eat more nutritiously by eating foods that are natural and unprocessed.
Some Thoughts about Weight Loss
To keep yourself healthy, you need to choose a lifestyle that combines sensible eating with regular physical activity. Being overweight or obese increases your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, certain types of cancer, arthritis, and breathing problems. Studies have shown that weight loss improved symptoms of diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. If you are overweight, loss of 5 to 15 percent of your body weight can improve your body's ability to function, and your quality of life. Aim to lose approximately 10 percent of your weight over about 6 months. This would be 20 pounds of weight loss for someone who weighs 200 pounds. Loss of 1/2 to 2 pounds per week is usually recommended. Even if you have regained weight in the past, it's worthwhile to try again.
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Yu Kang, OMD, L.Ac. is available to give workshops and lectures on acupuncture and alternative medicine at your company, group, church or organization. Topics include stress reduction; weight loss; acupuncture for infertility; diabetes, high blood pressure, menopause and pain management.
Yu Kang, OMD, L.Ac. treats patients injured in auto accidents and is featured in Your Legal Guide
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