INSULIN – Lower yours for better health!

INSULIN is the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels within the body. Diabetes is the most well known condition involving insulin; however, insulin resistance is a more common condition affecting 25 to 30 percent of all Americans. Insulin resistance is a precursor to type II diabetes.
Normally, insulin FACILITATES the use of blood sugar by the body. When we consume too many foods that convert easily into sugar such as refined carbohydrates, our body has to make lots of insulin to utilize that sugar. Over time, our bodies quit responding to the insulin, we have to make more and more to get our cells to respond, and we end up with excess insulin in our blood.
Excess insulin is very DANGEROUS to our health, particularly our cardiovascular health. Excess insulin increases salt and water retention leading to high blood pressure and excess weight. Insulin also aggravates high blood pressure by increasing the responsiveness of the arteries to the effects of adrenaline (stress). High insulin levels affect neurotransmitters resulting in sleep disorders.
Excess insulin is directly involved with CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH in that it creates atherosclerotic plaque. Insulin is the primary contributor to both high levels of triglycerides and low levels of good HDL cholesterol. Insulin also provokes the liver into producing more LDL cholesterol.
Even if we do not develop diabetes, insulin resistance is extremely HARMFUL. When our bodies resist insulin, our blood sugar tends to be too high. High blood sugar damages our kidneys, eyes, nerves and skin.
Insulin METABOLISM comes partly from our genetic makeup and partly from our lifestyle. The main signs of insulin resistance include weight gain around the midriff, tiredness, irritability, poor mental function and inability to lose weight. Another sign is creases in the earlobes which indicate problems with carbohydrate metabolism that lead to arterial plaqueing.
Many of the popular DIETS address insulin resistance by restricting carbohydrate intake. These diets include Paleo, Glycemic Load, Fat Flush and Sugar Busters. While these are all good diets, some of these are more balanced than others. The more balanced the diet, the greater chance of long term success.
My favorite SUPPLEMENT that helps lower blood sugar and increase the body’s responsiveness to insulin is a multi-vitamin called Glucobalance. Other supplements that help lower blood sugar are fiber, alpha lipoic acid, cinnamon, gymnema, and juniper berries. Certain fats lower insulin resistance. These include omega 3 oils DHA and EPA, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), and gamma linolenic acid (GLA). Minerals that decrease insulin resistance are chromium, magnesium, potassium, vanadium and zinc. Other supplements that improve insulin metabolism include l-carnitine, coenzyme Q10, vitamin C, B vitamins biotin and inositol, and vitamins A, D and E. .
Regular EXERCISE greatly benefits insulin metabolism. Both aerobic (walking) and isotonic (weight lifting) exercises will reduce insulin resistance.
Hopefully, after reading this, you will understand the connection between a diet high in refined carbohydrates and cardiovascular disease. If you are at risk, please take some action to bring your health into BALANCE.

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Turmeric – for your health!

TURMERIC is a herb and spice used in curries. It has a characteristic deep yellow color and a mildly spicy flavor. It comes from the rhizome of the turmeric plant which is a member of the same species as ginger. You may have heard of it because it has been mentioned by Dr. Oz and in many popular news channels.
The MEDICINAL PROPERTIES of turmeric include: strengthening the immune system, relieving inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, improving digestions, killing parasites, dissolving gallstones and alleviating PMS.
Turmeric is a strong ANTIOXIDANT that is actually more powerful than vitamins C and E. Studies have shown that turmeric is effective in halting cancer in all 3 stages, reducing the number of tumors and protecting the throat, stomach and colon against cancer. In animal studies, turmeric was toxic to cancer cells within thirty minutes.
Another powerful action of turmeric is on the LIVER. Turmeric stimulates the flow of bile, helping to metabolize fats. It is used to prevent and dissolve gallstones while cleaning out the bacteria associated with inflammation of the gallbladder. Turmeric also inhibits viruses such as hepatitis and HIV.
Turmeric is used throughout the herbal world because of its ANTI-INFLAMMATORY properties. It is sold singly for arthritis pain, for cardiovascular health and for lowering blood sugar. It is also sold in combination with other herbs, particularly for relieving inflammation common in conditions such as arthritis.
Turmeric is now being touted as the anti-inflammatory herb to take to PREVENT degenerative conditions in the brain and nervous system. Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties are enhanced when it is combined with other anti-inflammatory herbs such as rosemary, ginger, green teas and boswellia.
One particular turmeric based combination called ZYFLAMEND, which is a proprietary formula from New Chapter, is being used in clinical cancer trials on both prostate cancer and brain cancer because the anti-inflammatory properties that make this combination useful against arthritis pain, also make it useful in preventing the inflammation that can lead to cancer. Note that cancer doesn’t develop overnight; it is a progressive problem that starts with inflammation.
As with any herb, QUALITY is a major issue. If you want to get the benefit of the herbs you take, make sure they come from a quality supplier who does not use herbs that have been fumigated or irradiated upon entry into the United States.

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Bone Health – More than just calcium!

BONE HEALTH is not just about calcium. Bone health is a function of the way minerals are absorbed and used by the body. Healthy bones also depend on the right combination of minerals. Too many supplements contain only calcium and vitamin D. I have been recommending calcium balanced with magnesium and trace minerals for years.
Taking MAGNESIUM alone with no calcium will help bone health. Many Americans are deficient in magnesium. Low levels of magnesium are associated with high blood pressure, kidney stones, heart disease and diabetes. Magnesium is a natural calcium channel blocker which helps to hold calcium in solution so it is not deposited in the arteries, joints, kidneys or eliminated.
VITAMIN K is also key to bone health. Many calcium supplements contain only vitamin D with no vitamin K. Vitamin D tells the body to store calcium (not where). Vitamin K works in conjunction with vitamin D, helping the bones hold onto calcium and keeping the calcium out of arteries and other soft tissues. There are a few good calcium supplements that contain both vitamin K and vitamin D, and vitamin K is available by itself.
MANY FACTORS affect bone health. Taking supplements is just one of the actions to take when trying to increase or maintain bone mass.
DIGESTION plays a key role in bone health. Stomach acid is necessary for assimilation of minerals. The typical American diet tends to create stomachs that malfunction. Ninety percent of indigestion is caused by too little stomach acid, yet the majority of those with indigestion take acid blockers which blocks their ability to absorb any minerals.
pH is another major factor in bone health. Too many of the foods and drinks that we consume make our bodies too acid. Acidity causes our body to pull minerals from our bones to help buffer the acidity. Foods that cause acidity are meat, dairy products, sugar, caffeine, sodas, artificial sweeteners and some prescription medications. Foods that naturally buffer acid are fruits and vegetables. It is important to balance the acid forming foods with buffer foods and to maintain a balanced diet to ensure proper mineral assimilation.
CAFFEINE is linked to bone loss as are CARBONATED SOFT DRINKS that contain phosphates. Both caffeine and soft drinks are acid forming in the body, requiring some form of buffering even if it has to come from the bones.
The CORRECT BALANCE of magnesium, boron, potassium, silica, folic acid, and vitamins C, D, E and K all play vital roles in bone health. Yet many of the more popular brands of calcium are just calcium and vitamin D. There are good supplements available; it just takes some wading through the labels.
If you want BETTER BONE HEALTH take a good multiple mineral supplement, make sure that you have good digestion, eat plenty of dark green vegetables and minimize the amount of bone leaching substances like caffeine and soft drinks from your diet.

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SKIN – Get it healthy from the inside!

   SKIN is the body’s largest organ. The skin has multiple functions – one being that it is an important organ of elimination. The Chinese medical system refers to the skin as the third kidney – meaning that it functions to rid the body of excess moisture and toxins.
The HEALTH of our skin is reflected by its appearance and texture. Most of the time, issues with our skin are symptoms of internal issues. Many will try to remedy a skin condition with external treatments such as salves or lotions; however, unless the cause of the skin problem is external such as a cut or insect bite, an external remedy will almost never correct an internal problem.
Many odd RASHES are caused by problems with other organs of elimination such as problems with the liver, kidneys or colon. When any of these organs get overwhelmed, they all become overwhelmed and can affect the skin.
Many times rashes and odd itching spots, particularly lower legs are a sign of CONGESTED LIVER. The best remedies for these are gentle liver cleansers – with emphasis on the gentle. Sometimes what is cleaned out of the liver causes the kidneys to become compromised, making the skin reactions worse.
Odd skin rashes can also be PARASITIC– most commonly yeast/fungus, but sometimes other parasites. Herbal cleanses specifically for yeast/fungus or for parasites can be very helpful. HIVES almost always involve yeast/fungus.
SKIN TAGS and moles that tend to grow are viral. I love olive leaf for these. Prevention is the key, as once they are there, they usually have to be removed. But keeping more from growing with d-Lenolate is a great way to keep your skin smooth.
ACNE is another skin issue that reflects internal health. My favorite remedies for acne are dandelion and a good probiotic. It helps if you can clean up the diet – eat more vegetables and eat less fried and processed food.
Another internal problem causes that BUMPY CHICKEN SKIN on the back of the arms. This is generally 2 problems in one. The first being a liver that is not metabolizing fat properly and the second being lack of the right kind of fat such as omega 3 oils from fish or flax.
THICK SANDPAPER TEXTURED SKIN on the back of the heels and the elbows is a reflection of poor carbohydrate metabolism, low thyroid function and/or iodine deficiency.
The COLOR of the skin around the eyes relates to various organs. Greenish colors reflect liver and gallbladder problems, blues along with “bags” reflect kidney problems and yellows reflect spleen and stomach problems.
Since our skin is an ORGAN OF ELIMINATION, one of the best things to do to make it healthier is to do an herbal cleanse. Cleansing the liver, kidneys, colon, lymph and skin periodically tends to help everything work better including lower blood pressure and cholesterol, better digestion, more energy and clearer, more vibrant skin.
There are supplements and creams that are formulated for good skin, but I think a GOOD DIET is the best remedy for good skin. Fruits and vegetables are so important for keeping the skin clear and bright, and it is also important to not eat food that is too refined. Typical American fast food is one of the worst things you can eat for your skin (and the rest of you.) If you really cannot clean up your diet, at least take a GREEN SUPPLEMENT to help your whole body.
Good skin also needs WATER. Remember to drink at least 2 quarts per day.

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