Protect Your Skin From the Sun With 3 Easy Steps

With all this beautiful weather and summer upon us, many people are spending time outdoors enjoying the sun.

And let’s face it, after being cooped up for the winter, many of us may even be overdoing time in the sun!

While most experts are finally agreeing that sunshine has its health benefits, it’s still vitally important to practice a healthy balance of sun exposure and sun protection. 

Healthy Sun Exposure Has Great Benefits 

When it comes to health and healing, I recommend that everyone spend at least 10 minutes in the sun per day (without sunscreen) as the best way to keep your serum vitamin D at optimum levels for good health.

Why Healthy Sun Protection Is Critical Too

But what do you do when beautiful weather arrives and you want to be outside all day? How do you protect your skin from the sun?

This question comes up a lot because of the sunscreen controversy in natural health circles today. The thing is, most sunscreens on the market have toxic chemicals that are harmful to your health. And if you’ve been reading our newsletters and articles, we’re certain you really care about creating your best health.

Choosing a good sunscreen is just as important as choosing good, healthy, toxin free foods. After all, your skin eats everything you put on it!

In fact, toxic chemicals from sunscreen absorb straight into your skin and ruin your health by disrupting your hormonal systems and increasing the production of free radicals.

Let’s discuss skin protection for those times when you are in the sun for more than 40 minutes or there is a possibility of sunburn based on the intensity of the sunlight.

Top Sunscreen Ingredients to AVOID

Shopping for the best sunscreen can be confusing at best. Here’s are sunscreen ingredients to avoid:

  • Spray or Powdered Suntan Lotion with Micronized and Nano-Scale Zinc Oxide and Titanium Oxide –Micronized and nano-scale zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in sunscreen provide strong UVA protection and while these ingredients have not been found to penetrate healthy skin, powder and spray products are often inhaled. You can actually inhale these small particles and they can potentially damage your lungs. European companies are already phasing out the use of these products.
  • Oxybenzone - a widely utilized ingredient that rates poorly due to high absorption through skin, high rates of allergic reactions, and growing concerns about hormone disruption

Animal studies indicate oxybenzone has estrogenic effects. Numerous other studies have linked   oxybenzone to hormone disruption, cell damage, and cancer.

  • Fragrance -it is always best to avoid fragrances unless they are plant based. Unfortunately, a loophole in federal law doesn't require companies to declare any of the dozens of toxic chemicals that a single product's fragrance mixture could contain.
  • Parabens (Methylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben, Isoparaben, etc.) – a common preservative used in sunscreens. Parabens can mimic the hormone estrogen, and some studies show it plays a role in the development of breast cancer and urogenital abnormalities.
  • Octinoxate (Octyl Methoxycinnamate or OMC) – this common ingredient in sunscreens has estrogenic effects, causes disruption of thyroid hormone and brain signaling and reacts when exposed to sunlight.
  • Octisalate - a penetration enhancer that may increase the amount of other ingredients passing through the skin.
  • Avobenzone - an unstable ingredient that breaks down in to unknown chemicals in sunlight.
  • Octocrylene -produces free radicals in UV light, like sunlight.
  • Homosalate -a weak hormone disruptor that forms toxic metabolites.
  • Ensulizole (Phenylbenzimidazole Sulfonic Acid) - known to produce free radicals in sunlight, causes DNA damage and may cause cancer.
  • Padimate O (Octyl Dimethyl PABA / PABA Ester) -a paba derivative, releases free radicals, damages DNA, has estrogenic activity and causes allergic reactions in some people.
  • Menthyl Anthranilate – produces free radicals and has been banned in Europe and Japan.

If your own health isn’t reason enough to avoid these ingredients, do it for the sake of our oceans. National Geographic presented a theory where they implicate toxic chemicals from sunscreen in the death of coral reefs around the world.  

So How Do You Protect Your Skin From Too Much Sun?

There are healthier sunscreens and I am going to share my favorites with you. But first, it’s important to know that what you eat actually has more importance on your skin health than you think!

Eat For Sun Protection

Sun protection starts from the inside because what you eat can naturally protect your skin from the sun. Here are two great examples of how you can nourish yourself to better skin: 

  • Antioxidants- a diet rich in antioxidants, like vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, lycopene and selenium has been shown to protect your skin from sun damage.

The reason for this is because antioxidants fight the free radicals from the sun’s UV light. These free radicals contribute to cell damage, aging and the risk of skin cancer. [1]

A study in 2007 showed that the antioxidants carotenoids and flavonoids can reduce skin sensitivity to the sun.[2]

If you want to get carotenoids, eat your carrots, kale, spinach, collard greens, sweet potatoes, papaya and tomatoes. Flavonoids can be found in foods like apples, pears, berries, black beans, cabbage and parsley.

  • Probiotics – live good bacteria, called probiotics, can contribute to skin health by enhancing your digestion (for example, you can eat antioxidants, but if you can’t digest them well, you won’t get their full benefits!) and reducing systemic inflammation.

A study published in 2010 found that a supplement containing probiotic and carotenoids reduced skin damage from UV light.[3]

Consuming probiotic foods, drinks and supplements http://store.pbhealthcenter.com/category_s/14.htm) can have many benefits for your overall health!

So is diet alone good enough for sun protection? Well, it helps, but I also recommend choosing an all-natural sunscreen for added protection.

Choose Healthy, Natural Sunscreens

Here are some of my favorite all-natural sunscreens:

  • Zinc Oxide - a physical sun blocker similar to oxybenzone, but without the toxic side effects.
  • Sun Defense Minerals by Emnence Organics - provides intense SPF 30 sun protection in the form of a make-up powder. The tinted powder is sweat-proof and water-resistant, hypoallergenic and anti-inflammatory. Plus it is naturally anti-bacterial and will not clog your pores. Eminence does a great job with sustainable packaging too for an extra bonus!
  • Tomato Suntan Lotion (SPF 22) by Organic Skincare - filters the sun's harmful rays with tomato and other natural ingredients like sesame oil, carrot, aloe and titanium dioxide. The handpicked, organically grown ingredients are rich with body beautifying and protecting antioxidants like lycopene, bioflavonoids, and carotenoids.
  • Antioxidant Sun Butter Level 18 Sunblock Cell Protection by ISun Organic Skincare - blends mango seed butter with zinc oxide and Phytoplankton Phytolyase enzymes into a butter that not only guards against sunburns, but also repairs damged skin.
  • SPF 30+ Sunscreen No Fragrance by California Baby – this sunscreen isn't just for babies! California Baby is safe for sensitive skin, free of artificial scents, and has no irritating chemicals while still providing UVA-UVB broad-spectrum protection. California Baby is also very conscious to use earth friendly packaging.

It All Comes Down to 3 Easy Steps

For a worry-free summer, follow these 3 easy steps:

  1. Keep your skin sunscreen free for a short period (about 10 minutes), so you can keep your vitamin D levels healthy.
  2. Consume a probiotic and antioxidant-rich diet for good digestive health and UV light protection.   
  3. Use a chemical free natural sunscreen to protect yourself when in the sun for longer periods.

And most of all, enjoy your summer outside!


[1] Sun and Skin Damage: Is Nutrition Important in Sun Protection? http://www.optiderma.com/en/they-talk-about-it/interviews-skin-experts/sun-et-skin-damage-is-nutrition-important-in-sun-protection.html

[2] Carotenoids and Flavonoids Contribute to Nutritional Protection against Skin Damage from Sunlight. http://www.springerlink.com/content/t34970046j826u74/ 

[3] Clinical evidence of benefits of a dietary supplement containing probiotic and carotenoids on ultraviolet-induced skin damage. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20545689

 


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Are You One of 50 Million Americans Suffering With This Type of Bowel Pain? Here’s Your Solution…

If you suffer from bowel pain, you are not alone. In fact, while there are many reasons for bowel pain, one of the most commonly diagnosed is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

About 20% or 1 in 5 Americans have been diagnosed with IBS. That’s 50 million people! [i]

In this article, you will learn the symptoms that help doctors diagnose IBS and what to do if you have an IBS diagnosis. The good news is, there are natural solutions for IBS!

Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

While 50 million people have received an IBS diagnosis, it is estimated that another 50 million people live with these symptoms but never seek medical care:

  • Bloating
  • Chronic abdominal pain and discomfort
  • Constipation or diarrhea (or alternating constipation and diarrhea)

What Causes IBS?

What causes IBS is still unknown. However, having spent 18 years treating thousands of patients with IBS, I have discovered some common threads in all my patients with an IBS diagnosis or IBS symptoms.

5 Common Findings in IBS Diagnosis

Here are the 5 basic things common to all people suffering with IBS:

1) Loss of normal intestinal contraction - All people with IBS have somehow lost the normal muscular contractions of the intestines that are necessary for normal elimination.  This leads to congestion and spastic release of the intestines.

2) Overgrowth of pathogens - Every IBS patient has pathogenic organisms in their bowel.  Yeast, fungi, parasites, and bacteria are the most common bugs that prefer to inhabit the sluggish, dysfunctional environment of the intestines of the IBS patient.

3) pH Imbalance - The intestinal pH is altered, which in turn causes a systemic pH imbalance.

4) Suppressed Immunity - The immune system of the intestines is suppressed.

5) Lack of good bacteria - There are not enough beneficial probiotic bacteria.

The good news is, there is hope!  You don’t have to live with the uncomfortable symptoms of IBS.

Here are 5 steps you can take to begin the reversal of symptoms associated with IBS:

1)   Reduce stress - Experts believe that emotional stress plays a large role in creating or exacerbating the symptoms of IBS. [ii]

This is backed by the fact that studies have shown that constant stress from life events have either exacerbated IBS symptoms, or lead to the development of IBS in asymptomatic individuals.

Stress reduction is one of the best first steps to alleviate the symptoms of IBS.

Exercise, Yoga, and meditation are different forms of stress reduction that many of my patients have found to be beneficial in dealing with the symptoms of IBS.  Patients with IBS have also shown to have a higher incidence of traumatic events such as physical and sexual abuse.

Emotional clearing techniques like Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and the Lifeline Technique are very effective at releasing stored emotional traumas from the body and eliminating the associated IBS symptoms.

2)   Avoid trigger foods - Foods in the diet are frequently the source of symptoms in IBS.

Some of the most common foods that are most likely to cause IBS symptoms are: dairy products, eggs, and wheat.  Other potential food triggers include high fatty foods, caffeinated drinks, and raw fruits and vegetables. Foods like beans, onions, bananas, and carrots have been associated with increased gas and the source of IBS symptoms in some patients.

3)   Dehydration is a key factor in IBS.  The colon helps with water absorption for the body.  If the water levels in the body are low the symptoms of dehydration will be felt first in the colon and the dryness in the colon can lead to inflammation and irritation in the lining of the digestive tract.  This can trigger IBS symptoms.  Drink your water!

4)   Supplement with Chlorella - Chlorella is a fresh water algae that restores the normal muscular contractions of the large intestine.

Chlorella also binds to toxins in the intestinal tract and eliminates them from the body. Although there are few clinical trials using chlorella with IBS patients, I have been using it for 18 years, and find it to be one of the most effective products I have used.

5)   Supplement with Probiotics - Many research articles have concluded that probiotics are an effective treatment for IBS.  Spore form probiotics are best at passing the acid barrier of the stomach and triggering a healthy immune response in the gut tissue. These probiotics are most effective for the IBS patient.

After decades of experience with detoxification and treating bowel pain, I began to search for an all natural solution to IBS that would be easy for my patients to take. Several years ago, I decided to design an all natural remedy that would combine the benefits of the right type of chlorella and probiotics to alleviate the symptoms of IBS.

What resulted is Living Fiber. Living Fiber is the first product of its kind that combines cracked shell chlorella and Bacillus subtilis probiotic. Bacillus subtilis is a spore form probiotic that attacks pathogenic yeast and bacteria, while changing the environment of the intestines.

This unique combination makes Living Fiber a gentle intestinal cleanser that restores the normal muscular contractions of the intestines, while shifting the pH of the bowel, killing off intestinal pathogens, boosting immune response, and creating an environment conducive to the colonization of beneficial probiotic organisms.

While I highly recommend all of the 5 steps above to break the IBS cycle, Living Fiber is a simple way to achieve steps 4 and 5 with one effective supplement.

Ingrid and I would love to support you in your recovery from IBS and bowel pain! Please comment below with your questions. We will be monitoring your IBS related questions and comments and respond to them by video over the next month.

As always, we want to provide information that is relevant to you and your family’s health needs!

 


[i] National Digestive Disease Clearinghouse (NDDCH). A service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), National Institutes of Health (NIH). A Division of the US Department of Health and Human Services. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/ibs/

[ii] ibid.


Goal Setting That Works: 3 Easy Secrets for Your Success

 If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there.        -- Lewis Carroll   

Sometimes, even our best intentions don’t result in the changes we want to make. And, well, let’s face it, sometimes we set an intention and then can’t even make it to the first step. 

So why are some people so good at meeting goals and others either can’t get started or lose steam before the finish line?

The real key to meeting your goals is first being clear about where you are going and second, using surefire goal setting techniques!

The good news? Goal setting techniques are not rocket science! In fact, there are really 3 simple steps that anyone can take to make goal setting easy and successful.

Here Are Your 3 Easy Secrets to Goal Setting Success:

1. Set Specific Goals:

“I want to lose weight” is not a specific goal.  Instead, you can make your goal more specific by using the 6-W’s:

  • Who: “I”
  • What: What do I want to accomplish-specifically: “… want to lose 10 lbs … ”
  • When: Establish a time frame. “… in 8 weeks …”
  • Which: Which methods will you use? “… by following the rejuvenation program eating guidelines and exercising …”
  • Where: Where will you do this? “… in the gym …”
  • Why: Why do you want to do this? “… so I can be healthy, energetic, and in great shape.”

Specific Goal Makeover Example: “I want to lose 10 lbs in 8 weeks by following the rejuvenation program eating guidelines and exercising in the gym so I can be healthy, energetic, and in great shape.”

That is a specific goal!

Here’s our free gift to you for creating your specific goal: Here are some free rejuvenation program fitness routine videos (fitness routine #1 and fitness routine #2) to support your gentle detoxification and lifestyle transformation!

These free fitness videos show simple exercise routines can be performed from the comfort of your own home. Exercise plays an important role in enhancing the detoxification process, and these routines will improve your flexibility and strength while turning your body into a fat burning machine!

2. Set Attainable Goals:

Another reason goals often fail or lose steam is because they are not attainable from the start!

Creating reasonable, realistic, and attainable goals for yourself will make a big difference in goal success. This will also keep you motivated.  Nothing takes the wind out of your sail like failure.  Goals can always be adjusted if your progress is quicker than anticipated. However, lowering your goal can often feel like failure, which increases the likelihood of not following through.

To support you in setting your realistic, attainable goals and find out how we’re here to help, read: Why 88% of People Fail in Their Resolutions and How To Keep Yours on Track.

3. Celebrate Your Success!

Project managers have learned to include “milestones” in each project plan. Milestones are opportunities to check in at certain points in a project, well before the final end goal. At each milestone, the best project managers build in celebrations for short-term wins and a final celebration at the end of the project.

Why? Celebrations keep us motivated and allow us to feel rewarded for a job well done.

When you achieve a success along the way to your goals, tell your family and friends, pat yourself on the back, plan a celebratory evening out or maybe choose a nice reward for yourself.

Your Health Is A Journey

And remember: your health is a journey. Failure is a destination…and you only fail if you give up. Continue focusing on your goals and you will succeed! If you stumble along the way, come back to these 3 steps and start again. We learn most when we embrace the fact that life is not about attaining perfection on the journey, but loving every step of the way, bumps and all.

 

 


Sunlight provides Vitamin D

Vitamin D and Your Health

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin  we obtain mostly from sunlight and in small amounts from certain foods.  Sunlight contains ultraviolet (UV) rays and it is the UV-B rays that are capable of producing vitamin D in your body by acting on the cholesterol in your skin.  For almost 30 years the conventional thought around vitamin D has been that 10 minutes of sunlight on your arms and legs every day will provide the necessary amount of D.

Although this sounds like great advice it is really an oversimplification of some complicated biochemistry in your body.  In order for the D producing UV-B rays to reach your skin and produce vitamin D depends on a variety of different factors:

Skin Color: Lighter skin color allows deeper penetration by UV-B rays, which decreases the amount of sunlight exposure needed for adequate vitamin D production. That means darker complexions will need longer amounts of sunlight to produce the same amount of D.

Season: if you live above 35 degrees latitude north or below 35 degrees latitude south there are little to no UV-B rays from early autumn to late spring.

Altitude: The higher you live above sea level, the greater exposure you have to UV-B rays.

Pollution and Clouds: Both of these factors influence the number of UV-B rays  reaching  your skin.

Age: Aging creates changes that make it difficult for UV-B rays to convert cholesterol to vitamin D. Elderly people need to rely almost exclusively on food sources rather than sunlight for their vitamin D needs.

Vitamin D Facts:

Vitamin D has been shown to influence over 2,000 genes in your body. That is why it influences so many diseases like cancer, autism, heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis. A study by Dr. William Grant, Ph.D., internationally recognized research scientist and vitamin D expert, found that about 30% of cancer deaths (that is 2 million worldwide and 200,000 in the United States) could be prevented each year by simply correcting levels of vitamin D.

Vitamin D is you best defense against colds and flu.  Vitamin D regulates the expression of genes that influence your immune system to attack and destroy bacteria and viruses. People with optimal levels of Vitamin D rarely get sick.

Many research studies have concluded that up to 95% of U.S. senior citizens are deficient in Vitamin D.  Those same studies show that all Americans are upwards of 85% deficient regardless of age.

Vitamin D deficiency is epidemic in adults of all ages who have a darker complexion such as those whose ancestors are from Africa, the Middle East, or India.

The increased public fear around skin cancer and the use of sun blocking agents also keeps the beneficial UV-B rays from penetrating the skin thereby adding to the Vitamin D deficiency.  Many people limit their outdoor activities preventing them from getting the needed sun exposure.
Vitamin D helps your body regulate its blood sugar levels, playing an important role in preventing type II diabetes.  Research shows that 60% of type 2 diabetics have vitamin D deficiency.

Studies also show very low levels of vitamin D among children, the elderly, and women.

One U.S. study of women revealed that half of African American women of childbearing age could be vitamin D deficient predisposing their children to both immune and developmental disorders.

The current Dietary Reference Intakes by the Institute of Medicine range from 200 to 600 IU per day depending on age, with the U.S. upper limit for vitamin D being 2,000 IU per day.

These numbers are out of date.  They do not take into account a great deal of research on vitamin D and its effect on human health that's been published over the last several years.

To recommend a particular dose for everyone is ridiculous given the different influences we have already discussed.  I recommend that everyone get their blood levels monitored to be certain that there is a need for Vitamin D therapy, and to ensure the therapy is effective.  Some will not need vitamin D while others can need as much as 50,000iu for short periods of time.

I find the majority of patients that I work with in the Chicago area need 5,000-7,000iu in the fall and winter and 3,000-5,000iu in the spring and summer. It is important to understand that in the summertime, when you sunbathe for 30 minutes, your body produces about 20,000 IUs of vitamin D.  So the quantities I am recommending are not too high.  No matter where you live have your serum vitamin D levels checked.  Ask your doctor or laboratory for the 25(OH)D test, also known as the 25-hydroxyvitamin D test. Please note that some labs do a similar test called 1-25(OH)D test, which is not as accurate a marker of your vitamin D status.

Most people should also strive to eat some foods that are naturally rich in vitamin D, such as:

Food Sources             Serving                 Vitamin D (IU)
Wild salmon               3 ounces                        530
Cod liver oil                1 teaspoon                    400
Sardines, canned      3 ounces                        231
Organic egg yolk       1 medium                         25

For those that require supplementation I ask you to be very careful which brands you use.  Vitamin D is fat soluble, and like many fat soluble nutrients, manufacturers use toxic chemical solvents to extract and separate the vitamin D.  These solvents will leave residues in your vitamin D that you want to avoid.  My favorite Vitamin D is D3 serum from Premier Research Labs.  It is not manufactured with any toxic solvents and it contains a full 2200iu per drop.  That makes it the cleanest and most cost effective vitamin D I have been able to find.

Be sure to have your Vitamin D levels checked at your next doctors visit.

If you require supplementation you should work with someone that is experienced in vitamin D supplementation to create a customized plan based on your specific needs.


Woman with arms around man

Fiber and Probiotics: Why This Little-Known Combination is Key for Good Digestive Health

For years, fiber has been touted as one of the most important parts of a healthy diet and healthy elimination. And it’s true...to a degree.

Enter probiotics. Over the past decade, probiotics have been growing in worldwide popularity in the medical and natural health community. Everything from yogurt to ice cream and beauty products are now boasting "live cultures" to improve digestion and elimination, boost your energy, and even restore a youthful appearance.

Separately, fiber and probiotics are important additions to your diet. But did you know that together, they can create a powerhouse of health benefits?

The Incredible Health Benefits of Fiber and Probiotics

Fiber is an indigestible substance found in carbohydrates, like whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, vegetables and fruits. A great deal of research has been done on the health benefits of fiber.

Here are some of fiber’s health benefits:1

  • Fiber helps maintain a normal weight.
  • Fiber helps relieve constipation and hemorrhoids.
  • Fiber has a role in disease prevention, like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, gall stones, kidney stones and diverticular disease.

Although fiber is an important part of a balanced diet and plays a role in regulating the digestive system, fiber does NOT address the core problems that lead to poor digestive health.

Here's why:

  • Fiber does not address the cause of digestive problems. Fiber is inert, it is more analogous to the use of a roto-rooter to unclog a pipe and improve the flow through that pipe; this is important but it does not fix the original cause of the clogged pipe.
  • Fiber does not balance your gut ecology. Your gut ecology plays a key role in digestive health. Your digestive system is incredibly complicated and serves several functions beyond digestion of food and nutrient absorption. In fact, your digestive system is an ecological system housing good bacteria and yeast living in homeostasis with bad bacteria and yeast. This combination of microflora -- the good guys and bad guys in your digestive tract -- make up your gut ecology. If your gut ecology is out of balance, you experience poor digestive health. Probiotics (good bacteria and yeast) means "for life" and they actually help us live healthier lives by aiding digestion and assimilation, boosting immunity, increasing energy and improving the nutrients in our food. They also help to balance out your gut ecology by keeping the bad bacteria and yeast at bay.

So you might think of fiber as a facilitator of the digestive process and probiotics as the team of microflora that create a healthy environment in your gut.

Now that you know about probiotics, there’s another critical fact to be aware of: most people don’t have enough of them in their gut. Unfortunately, in our modern, on-the-go lives, we often encounter the very things that kill good bacteria and yeast (probiotics): the typical American diet (yes, what you eat matters!), alcohol and drugs (prescription, over the counter and recreational) and environmental toxins.

Chief among the probiotic-killers are things many people face daily: stress and processed foods (sugar, bread, fast foods and packaged foods).

All of this means that your gut - and your digestive health - starts to break down.

And this is when most people begin to notice symptoms, like gas, bloating, abdominal pain, GERD, food allergies, IBS, Chron’s disease and more.

What If You Put Fiber and Probiotics Together?

With a deep background in detoxification and the application of nutrition and botanical medicine for creating digestive health, the question of fiber and probiotics began to pique my curiosity.

What happens if you put them together?

After all, the probiotics can facilitate gut health and the fiber can help move things along in your digestive tract. Seems like a winning combination, right?

The answer is a resounding YES, BUT...you need the RIGHT probiotics and the right combination of ingredients to truly make this winning combination come alive.

Research demonstrates that most strains of probiotics don’t make it past your stomach. The reason is that as soon as these good bacteria and yeast strains hit your stomach acid, they essentially die.

Does this mean that probiotics are not good for you?

Not at all! Even dead, probiotics have beneficial affects on your digestive system and immunity. However, they do not seem to re-colonize (or re-populate) in a gut that is lacking the necessary probiotics to begin with.

And that’s the goal...to re-colonize your intestines with plenty of good bacteria and yeast so that your gut ecology balances out and contributes to your overall health, energy and well-being.

To learn more, read: Six Foods to Eat and Avoid for Your Best Detox Diet.
So what strain of probiotics can make it past your stomach acid and change the environment of your intestines?

How to Balance Your Gut Ecology and Improve Your Digestive Health

With the goal of finding a probiotic that would change the environment of the intestines, I began to study the soil organisms. This lead me to a probiotic strain that is widely known and used in other countries: Bacillus subtilis.

Bacillus subtilis has a long history of use, along with research studies showing:

  • Bacillus subtilis has been shown to fight human bacterial pathogens.2
  • Bacillus subtilis has been shown to inhibit the growth of H. pylori, a pathogen that is the major cause of chronic gastritis and peptic ulcer disease (16) and is a risk factor for gastric cancer in humans.3
  • Bacillus subtilis has beneficial effects on the immune system and has been shown to have anti-tumor effects.4
  • Studies on female chickens found that Bacillus subtilis may lower cholesterol in the liver and carcass, reduce abdominal fat and reduce fat in the liver.5
  • The Bacillus subtilis strain of bacteria actually excretes the coveted nattokinase, known to have health benefits like dissolving blood clots and preventing heart attack and stroke. In fact, the Japanese reap health rewards from eating “natto,” which is a soy product fermented with Bacillus subtilis.
  • Bacillus subtilis balances your gut ecology and promotes the growth of probiotics in your intestines.

Bacillus subtilus has been studied since the 1800's and has GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status after hundreds of years of use both by health practitioners and in scientific studies.

Even better, Bacillus subtilis is a spore form bacteria. That means it survives the stomach acid 100% intact. It reaches your intestines live and immediately starts to work on improving your gut ecology.

So where does the fiber come in?

Well, Bacillus subtilis needs two types of food in order to thrive:

  1. Fiber
  2. Protein

When you combine Bacillus subtilis with the fiber and protein it needs to thrive, it's like sending in the Navy Seals to rid your body of the bad guys (bad bacteria and yeast) and clean up your intestines -- so the good guys (good bacteria and yeast) can set up shop.

A Winning Combination for Your Digestive Health and Immunity

Upon learning all of this, I wanted to find a way for my clients to benefit from Bacillus subtilis.

But there was nothing on the market that combined this soil probiotic with the right amount (and quality) of fiber and protein to allow it to thrive, thus improving gut ecology.

So I formulated my own product, called Living Fiber. Living Fiber is a unique product that combines the power of Bacillus subtilis with a proprietary form of the superfood, Jade Chlorella Pyrenoidosa (protein for the Bacillus subtilis) – one of the world’s oldest foods, and a proprietary prebiotic (fiber that feeds Bacillus subtilis).

To learn more about Jade Chlorella, read: Fall into Health: The 4 Steps to Great Health Through Detoxification.

This combination creates a cleansing and detoxification powerhouse that can help improve the motility of your intestines, balance the good and bad bacteria in your gut and boost your energy and immunity.

Living Fiber is for you if you:

  • Want to start a cleanse or detoxification program (In which case, I recommend Living Fiber and Seigen for an even more effective cleanse).
  • Experience IBS – There is already promising research showing the benefits of Bacillus subtilis on IBS, so I have already started my own research trial on Living Fiber and benefits for IBS.Jade Cholorella is also promising for IBS. Last year an independent research trial on the health benefits of Jade Chlorella demonstrated excellent results with IBS symptoms. One of the outcomes from the study was the suggestion by the review board that a larger scale IBS specific study be performed.
  • Suffer from constipation, Chron’s disease, gas, bloating or diverticular disease.
  • Have candida, parasites or a bacterial infection.
  • Have a healthy digestive system and wish to maintain digestive health and overall well being.

Living Fiber is not native to the human intestinal tract, so it provides its benefits while inside your body and is excreted out. What it does, is leave behind clean, balanced intestines, so that you can re-colonize your intestines with healthy bacteria and yeast.

Once your gut ecology is balanced with Living Fiber, you can reap even more rewards by consuming fermented foods and drinks, like cultured vegetables and probiotic liquids.

Living Fiber is FREE of: sugar, salt, wheat, soy, magnesium stearate, corn, milk, fillers, binders, flow agents, artificial colors and artificial flavors.

Click here to learn more about Living Fiber.

You deserve to feel your best and now you can, with the power of the right probiotics and fiber in Living Fiber!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, cure, or prevent any diseases.

 


Sources

1 What Are the Health Benefits of Fiber? eHealthMD.com. http://www.ehealthmd.com/library/fiber/FIB_benefits.html

2 Irina V. Pinchuk, Irina,V., Bressollier, Phillipe, Verneuil, Bernard, Fenet, Bernard,Irina B. Sorokulova, Irina B., Mégraud, Francis and Urdaci1, Maria C. In Vitro Anti-Helicobacter pylori Activity of the Probiotic Strain Bacillus subtilis 3 Is Due to Secretion of Antibiotics. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2001 November; 45(11): 3156–3161.doi: 10.1128/AAC.45.11.3156-3161.2001. http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=90797

3 ibid.

4 Kavetsky, R.E., Gromashevsky, V.L. Anticancer And Immunostimulatory Effects Of Nucleoprotein Fraction Of Bacillus Subtilis 7025 Culture Medium Filtrate. Experimental Oncology 25, 199 – 123, June 2003. http://www.exp-oncology.com.ua/en/archives/15/body281.pdf

5 Kalavathy, R., Abdullah, N., Jalaludin, S., Wong, C.M.V.L. and Ho, Y.W. Effect of dried Bacillus subtilis culture on growth, body composition and hepatic lipogenic enzyme activity in female broiler chicks. Br-J-Nutr. 1995 Oct; 74(4): 523-9.


Digestive Health

Bowel Health and Seasonal Allergies - Approaching it from the Inside Out!

As spring approaches we are busy supporting many patients who have a history of seasonal allergy symptoms. We are focused on strengthening them now before the weather changes and they are exposed to allergens. In our practice we focus on creating a personalized approach for our patients over a cook book approach. That said, there are some things that we see repeating among different patients with similar symptoms. Would it surprise you to know that many patients who suffer from seasonal allergies have a weak digestive system? What connection does our gut have to seasonal allergies?

A healthy digestive tract is a strong barrier that allows nutrients to be absorbed into the blood stream and waste products are pushed through the tract until they are passed out as a bowel movement. There are many scenarios where a digestive tract becomes dysfunctional, and a good health detective will be able to identify your specific imbalance. As we follow food through the digestive tract we can better understand where and how dysfunction occurs. Digestion begins in the mouth. Food is broken down and mixed with saliva, and passed into the stomach. In the stomach hydrochloric acid breaks proteins down to amino acids. The food mix then moves to the small intestine where bile from the gall bladder and enzymes from the pancreas mix with the food to complete the breakdown portion of digestion.

If someone does not chew properly, or if their stomach, gall bladder, or pancreas are working inefficiently then the food will not be completely broken down. These larger food molecules move lower into the digestive tract. They are too big to be absorbed so they sit in the intestines and rot. Proteins putrify, fats turn rancid, and carbohydrates ferment. This process causes pH imbalances which cause yeast to overgrow in the intestines. As the yeast multiply in the bowel they anchor themselves to the intestinal lining to ensure that they will be in line for the next partially digested meal you eat. They literally punch a hole through the digestive tract and anchor themselves to the inner lining of the intestines. These “holes” in the gut are what led to the term leaky gut.

Over time the intestinal tract can look more like swiss cheese than a tube running through your body. At this point large molecules of undigested food will frequently pass through the holes and into the bloodstream. Now the immune system has to get involved. Once the immune system has helped digest a food that has crossed into the blood you now have a sensitivity/allergy to that food. Your immune system is now hyperactive. Overreacting to everything you come in contact with. Many of our seasonal allergy patients have chronic digestive weakness that has led to an extreme state of inflammation in their body, and an immune system that hyper-reacts to everything in their environment. This is especially true of the patient who presents to our office with onset of seasonal allergies as an adult.

There is a clear answer for these patients.

 

Digestive HealthTo start we have to change the environment of the intestines. We have to clean out all the undigested food and restore healthy intestinal elimination. We have to shift the pH of the intestines to its healthy acidic state so that beneficial organisms will replace the unwanted yeast and fungi. We use a combination of Living Fiber and Seigen to accomplish this shift. This is the quickest way to change the intestinal environment. Support of digestion with a plant based enzyme like Pancnzyme will ensure that all food is broken down to its smallest components while allowing the stomach, gall bladder, and pancreas to rest and heal. Finally, L-Glutamine will act like spackling to patch the holes in the leaky gut and return the intestinal tract to its normal state. While we are addressing the underlying cause with digestive support another piece of the puzzle needs to be addressed. Often the stress response to the substance will still be present even though the source of the stress has been corrected. That is because the substance association stress response is a neurological event that is orchestrated by the central nervous system, specifically the autonomic nervous system.

To put it simply, it is a faulty wiring and timing issue within the body itself that if left uncorrected will lead to the same outcome of seasonal allergy symptoms. This is an abnormal reflex response that the body has when it comes into contact with the offending allergen. Complete healing requires the nervous system and immune system to be reset. Neurological stress reduction therapy is a non-invasive treatment we use in conjunction with intestinal cleansing and support to eliminate the programmed reflex response to the allergen. This combination therapy is the best solution for final resolution of seasonal allergy symptoms.


Tired

Fall into Health: The 4 Steps to Great Health Through Detoxification

New Beginnings

The kids are back in school, the weather is starting to change and the sun is setting earlier. Summer is just about over and fall is officially setting in.

If you are feeling rushed, overwhelmed or just plain tired, you are not alone. The time between seasons can be “trying” for even the most balanced among us.

In Chinese medicine, fall is the season of new beginnings. We have just left summer, a time of high energy and are moving into autumn, which tends to be a more introspective time. This shift in seasons carries a shift in energy and health.

And in fact, symptoms like colds, sore throats, digestive pain and headaches are often a sign to take time for self-care during a seasonal change.

In holistic medicine, we believe in your body’s natural ability to heal. So healing with the seasons can bring you into harmony with nature…allowing you to feel your best.

How do you move from the excesses of summer into introspective fall, while feeling your best? Detoxification!

Why Detox?

So why do we need to detox?

Detoxification is how your body rids itself of toxins. Toxins are everywhere: in food, the environment, even in products in our own homes!

The 5 most common toxins are:

  1. Pesticides and herbicides in your food supply.
  2. Heavy metals (like mercury, aluminum, arsenic, lead and cadmium) from pollution in the environment.
  3. Chlorine in cleaning supplies, water and in the air near industrial plants.
  4. Phthalates in plastics, like plastic wrap and food storage containers.
  5. VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) in dry cleaning, paints, carpets, deodorants, moth repellants and air fresheners.

Our modern lifestyles are certain to expose us to toxins in one way or another. You can see from the list above, that toxins are in just about everything you come into contact with on a regular basis.

But did you know that your eating habits and stress levels contribute to a buildup of toxins as well?

It’s true. Too much sugar, processed foods, soda pop, not chewing completely and eating on the run all contribute to poor digestion. When you are not digesting, absorbing and eliminating properly, toxins build up in your body.

Is there any good news to this picture? YES!

Your body is always detoxifying on a minute-by-minute and day-to-day basis, so it’s a natural part of how we stay healthy. In essence, your body knows how to help you detoxify!

Your body has five major detoxification pathways:

  1. Skin
  2. Lungs
  3. Liver
  4. Kidneys
  5. Intestines

Unless you get serious about the toxins you are exposed to, your body may not be able to keep up with detoxification.Over time, your detoxification pathways get clogged, making it difficult to get rid of toxins. This has ramifications on your health AND well being.

How You Know It’s Time to Detoxify

If your detoxification pathways are not functioning properly, you may start to feel tired, sluggish and achy.

It’s common to have respiratory and digestive symptoms as well, like coughing, allergies, constipation, gas, bloating or diarrhea.

In addition, if one detoxification pathway is clogged, you may experience symptoms of detox in another. For example, if you are constipated, you may get a rash on your skin. Toxins are always looking for a way out of your body.

Besides physical symptoms, you may feel emotional symptoms like depression, anger, rirritability or feeling overwhelmed. When your body’s detoxification pathways are clogged, it also affects your moods.

Other signs you may need to detox are:

  • Digestive pain, like food allergies, gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea.
  • Headaches and migraines.
  • Respiratory issues like coughing, sneezing, wheezing, post nasal drip, sinusitis, and runny nose.
  • Skin problems, like acne, rashes, hives, eczema and psoriasis.
  • Difficult gaining or losing weight

When to Detoxify

First of all, one of the best times to detoxify is at the change of seasons!

Most people notice physical and emotional symptoms during seasonal changes and this reminds us of our deep connection to nature.But don’t wait for the change in seasons. If you are noticing any of these symptoms of toxicity, the time to detox is now!

When we discuss the idea of NATURAL detoxification we are looking at accomplishing 2 things:

  1. Enhancing the function of your primary organs of detoxification (skin, intestines, liver, lungs, kidneys) through the use of lifestyle and dietary modifications and food supplements.
  2. Identifying and treating the stressors to your detoxification systems (e.g., food allergies, infections, nutritional deficiencies, maldigestion, malabsorption, or toxins from environment).

Bringing your detoxification systems back into balance is a process that involves supporting your body AND it’s systems to nourish them back to a healthier state. At PureBalance Health Center, we focus on eliminating some of the habits that created toxic buildup in the first place.

We then work with you to target a plan to create natural health.

How To Reduce Your Exposure to Toxins and Detoxify Now!

How can you protect yourself from toxins? Well, unless you move far away to live “off the grid,” toxins are pretty much a fact of life.

However, you CAN reduce your exposure to toxins with these 4 dietary tips:

    1. Choose organic foods – When you eat organic foods, you avoid all of the chemical pesticides and herbicides that are in conventional foods.
    2. Eliminate processed foods – Eating a diet of whole, natural foods takes the toxic load off of your body. If you would like guidance on foods that will support your best health, including how to deal with digestive pain and food allergies, come in for a diagnostic appointment and we’ll give you a personal roadmap tailored for your needs.
    3. Heal your digestion – Digestive problems are on the rise in America. In fact, a recent survey found that 2/3 of Americans find it harder to maintain digestive health than financial health!1In fact, digestive pain is often one of the leading complaints we see today.All good detoxification plans will start with a gentle yet effective way of eliminating wastes from the intestines, while changing your diet and supporting digestion to ensure that all food that is eaten is properly digested.Some good diagnostic testing is recommended in order to identify the root cause of symptoms you are experiencing.
    4. Supplement with high quality chlorella - To support your detoxification and overall digestive health, we recommend [volusion link="PB22810-094"]Jade Chlorella[/volusion]. Chlorella is a fresh water algae and one of the oldest foods on the planet. It is also one of the gentlest intestinal cleansers available.

Chlorella has the following benefits:

      1. Retrains your intestinal muscle contractions.
      2. Binds to chemical or heavy metal toxins and helps eliminate them from your body.
      3. Brings your small intestine to a more alkaline state.
      4. Rids your body of unwanted organisms and encourages the growth of beneficial organisms.
      5. Boosts your immunity.
      6. Balances your blood sugar levels.
      7. Provides important amino acids.
      8. Fights bacterial and viral infections.
      9. Contains antioxidants that go after free radicals that are known to cause aging and disease.
      10. Contains vitamins and chlorophyll to support your digestive health.

Jade Chlorella is special because it retains the important tough outer shell that helps bind to and remove toxins. AND the shell is also cracked, so you get all the benefits of the nutrients inside the tough outer shell. This is also referred to as “broken-cell wall” chlorella.

Fall into Good Health

Make this fall a new beginning in your digestive health! Our 4 dietary tips are a great start and stay tuned for our next newsletter, which will contain easy lifestyle tips that make detoxification a breeze.


Flu Shots

Swine Flu, What Should We Do?

Since 1 in every 3 emails we receive seems to somehow be related to the swine flu, we decided to give our perspective on the statistics to date, the science of swine flu, and prevention and treatment. The recent rash of fear-based media alerts may lead you to believe that half the people in the U.S. will get very sick from the swine flu. It does not stop there as estimates from Europe have really cranked up the fear factor saying 10's of millions could die this winter. The seasonal flu has a death rate between 250,000 and 500,000 worldwide. To date, 500 people have died worldwide from the swine flu.

Last week the CDC issued a statement urging people not to panic. They stated that the virus does not appear to be a pandemic type of flu, and that we should not expect large numbers of deaths from this flu.

The truth is that swine flu has been producing mild symptoms in healthy adults and children, with much fewer cases requiring hospitalization than this year's typical "seasonal" flu. That's the current reality.

Why all the fear then?

I believe, like many things in life, this fear based propaganda is designed to drive the profits of big business.  Big Pharma stands to make a lot of money with vaccinations and antiviral meds.  Billions of dollars are at stake and fear sells.  You wouldn't want your baby to die would you?

Vaccination fears come directly from the profession that provides them as The British Medical Journal reported that there is a growing worldwide opposition to accepting the swine flu vaccine. Many doctors and nurses indicate they won't accept the vaccine for themselves due to fear of side effects and questions about its efficacy. (BMJ 2009;339:b3461)

Antiviral medications may well be an appropriate treatment once a diagnosis has been made; however, the irresponsible overuse of Tamiflu and other antiviral drugs as "preventive" treatments only serves to encourage mutations and mounting viral resistance, which only makes people more vulnerable.

We believe the best strategy for the swine flu is the same strategy you should have every flu season to keep your family healthy.  We believe this strategy should be both safe and effective.  You can keep yourself and your family healthy with safe, natural, holistic health care.

The best thing you can do for your health is to get an individual assessment of your health status and allow us to create a customized plan that serves as a template to restore or maintain your health.  Contact our office directly for more information on this.

Tips to prevent the flu:

  1. Decrease your sugar intake. Sugar suppresses  your immune system.  1 tsp. of sugar will depress the natural killer cell activity of the white blood cells by 50% for 2 days. ("Lick the Sugar Habit" by Nancy Appleton)
  2. Get proper rest
  3. Hydrate your body
  4. Wash your hands.  Keep your fingers away from your nose and mouth.
  5. Take vitamin D, research shows that vitamin D deficiency may be the common link between deaths from any type of flu-swine or seasonal.  Add 2000iu per day to your diet and do your best to get 10minutes of sunlight on your skin per day.

At the onset of flu symptoms take:

  1. Homeopathic and herbal flu remedies work wonders by boosting your immune response, decreasing mucus in the lungs, and killing the virus.  We use the anti-viral triple play of Metal, Flu-tone, and temple guardian.  Metal is a combination spagyrically prepared herbal remedy that I personally formulated for its immune system benefits.  It is safe for children, pregnant and breast feeding women.  Flu-tone is a combination homeopathic remedy that is also gentle yet effective in treating viral symptoms.  Temple Guardian is a Chinese herbal remedy designed to work specifically on lung symptoms.  There is no flu that stands a chance against the triple play!
  2. Elderberry extract is a potent lung remedy that helps combat viruses.
  3. Oil of oregano is an aromatic oil that kills viruses on contact
  4. Vitamin C has been known to shorten the duration and severity of viral infections. According to Dr. Leo Galland, MD it is safe for children ages 5 - 10 to take up to 2,000mg per day and it is safe for adults to take 1,000 - 3,000 mg per hour. If your stools become loose, you will know that you have taken as much as your body can absorb for that day. Discontinue use until the following day.

Foods containing lots of calcium

Calcium Good or Bad?

The worldwide calcium supplement market is worth a whopping $3 billion a year.

Every day women all over the world take calcium tablets and capsules under the premise that they are doing something healthy for themselves. They are told by doctors and specialists calcium will prevent osteoporosis.

A study in the British Medical journal showed that calcium supplementation actually increases the likelihood of heart attacks and strokes in elderly women.

How could this be? Atherosclerosis is the progressive narrowing and hardening of the arteries due to calcium deposits in the lining of the arterial wall, and it is a precursor to cardiovascular disease.

How does the calcium get in the arterial walls? The typical diet that is high in protein, dairy, and phosphorus (from carbonated drinks) acidifies the body causing large amounts of calcium to be pulled from the bones and calcium supplements in order to offset the acid. The large amount of circulating calcium gets deposited in the arterial walls and forms atherosclerotic plaques which weaken the vascular system and increase the likelihood of heart attacks and strokes. A published report in the New England journal of medicine confirmed that the accumulation of calcium in coronary arteries was a better predictor of future heart attack or other heart issues than cholesterol, or other standard risk factors.

So, what's a person to do?

  • Step 1: add more vegetables and green food supplements to alkalinize your system.
  • Step 2: Your calcium supplement should be balanced with all the alkaline mineral cofactors like magnesium, boron, manganese, zinc and potassium. But most importantly you need to take vitamin K2. Numerous research studies have demonstrated that Vitamin K2 is a calcium transporter-carrying calcium to the bones.The studies go further to show that small amounts of K2 actually remove calcium from plaques in the arteries (improving your cardiovascular health) and deposits the calcium in the bones (improving your bone health).

And get this, Gouda and Edam cheese have high levels of K2. Taking a slice of these cheeses daily is good for your heart and bones! If Vitamin K2 is not part of your calcium supplement be sure to add K2 today! Your heart and bones depend on it!