Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pomegranate For Erectile Dysfunction

The inability to achieve or sustain an erection and/or an inability to ejaculate, is known as erectile dysfunction (ED), or impotence. The condition is common among men over 40, where about 5 percent will experience ED and rates increase with age. Men with chronic illnesses, low testosterone, those taking certain medications or alcohol users may increase their chances to experience ED. Other causes can include emotional instability, exhaustion, injury or damage.
Erectile dysfunction can be situational, when the occurrence may be related to a recent event, but repeated experiences should be discussed with your doctor. Failure to perform 20 percent of the time or less is common among adult men, but higher rates may signal an underlying problem. Young men who experience ED can often relate the condition to underlying health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and side effects of certain drugs and medications. Psychological trauma can also be the cause ED in men under 40 and treatment may involve counseling.
Erections normally occur when a man is stimulated mentally or physically. Reading sexually suggestive books, looking at photos in men’s magazines or dwelling on sexual fantasies also trigger an erection. Physical contact with potential sexual partners should have the same reaction as the brain transmits signals to the penis. A complex process that involves blood flow, enzymes and the nervous system team up to produce erections. Any problems with the participating factors can prevent a man from achieving erections or affect his ability to ejaculate.
ED Treatments
Treatments for impotence vary with the cause and only a doctor can suggest medical options based on the underlying cause of the erectile problem. Options for physical causes can include drugs such as sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), avanafil (Stendra) and vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn). Other treatments include the use of alprostadil (MUSE) by injection or suppository, penis pumps, constriction bands and implants.
Natural remedies can act as supplements to other treatments or as part of an overall health plan. Supplements known to improve erectile function include carnitine, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, horny goat weed and others. Foods that aid in blood circulation and/or reduce stress are also effective in improving erectile function. For example, the pomegranate (fruit, juice or supplement) is thought to be very effective in treating and preventing erectile dysfunction.
Every health food store, nutrition center and even the big box stores sell fresh pomegranates and juices. This amazing super-food is a bit difficult to eat, so men should consider taking pomegranate supplements for EDwhen they don’t have the time to eat the fruit. Supplements offer the same benefits, are easy to consume and they support long-term use.
Boundless Benefits
Several university studies have examined pomegranate’s ability to fight disease progression for men with prostate cancer and its benefit as a treatment for erectile dysfunction was originally discovered as a valuable side effect. Long-term use provides the most significant results, and the health benefits reach beyond fighting prostate cancer and treating ED.
In addition to fighting prostate cancer and treating ED, pomegranate benefits can include potentially reducing PSA levels, killing breast and lung cancer cells while preventing deterioration of cartilage and inflammation (valuable in preventing and treating arthritis). Additionally, pomegranate products help lower cholesterol and high blood pressure, improving heart health. Pomegranate can also aid in weight management, exercise recovery and diabetes management. The pomegranate is also credited with playing a role in slowing the development of Alzheimer’s disease, boosting the immune system, and improving overall health with antioxidants, fiber, potassium, niacin and vitamins.
The benefits of pomegranate are hard to ignore, so everyone should take advantage of the many benefits, and add daily doses to their diets. The fruit has a pleasant taste, and can be mixed with other juices or sparkling water to create a real treat!

New Fast Food Danger

It’s no secret that fast food can doom your health. But researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found some truly frightening physiological developments that accompany those burgers, fries, chicken wings and sweet soft drinks we devour so greedily.
Turns out that those greasy calories and sugary drinks don’t just add inches to your waist, they actually induce your cells to self-destruct in a kind of cellular suicide. Overwhelmed by toxic food, small strands of RNA in the cells’ nuclei that normally build proteins begin creating cellular damage. That damage makes you vulnerable to conditions like diabetes.
This damage can threaten your life, especially when the cells that kill themselves are cells in the heart muscle. Heart failure eventually results.
Much of this has been a surprise to researchers.
“When we set out to find genes causing cellular damage due to excess fat, we were expecting to find genes that code for proteins,” says researcher Jean E. Schaffer. “Instead, we identified an entirely new function for three small nucleolar RNAs. Unrelated to their well-defined role in the cell’s protein-making machinery, we discovered they participate in how cells go on to die from overload of nutrients.”

Bacteria In The Food You Ate Today Changed Your Brain Function

As you go about your daily life, various areas of your brain communicate with each other, influencing your perceptions and emotions. But you have microscopic friends that shape how these connections are made: the bacteria in your food.
Researchers at UCLA have produced evidence that the bacteria in food affect brain function. They found that women who regularly consume beneficial bacteria (probiotics) in yogurt have altered brain activity.
“Many of us have a container of yogurt in our refrigerator that we may eat for enjoyment, for calcium or because we think it might help our health in other ways,” says researcher Kirsten Tillisch. “Our findings indicate that some of the contents of yogurt may actually change the way our brain responds to the environment. When we consider the implications of this work, the old sayings ‘you are what you eat’ and ‘gut feelings’ take on new meaning.”
By demonstrating how probiotics can affect the brain, the study also raises the question of what happens when we take antibiotics. Antibiotics are used extensively in neonatal intensive care units and in childhood respiratory tract infections, and such suppression of the normal microbiota may have long-term consequences on brain development.
America’s #1 Joint specialist discovers ultimate relief
It took three clinical trials to convince Dr. Craig Mintzer (not a fan of natural remedies) to try out a natural supplement. As the supplement used the same clinical strategy which Harvard and Johns Hopkins called the 'Future of Joint Care', it was worth trying.

Once Dr. Mintzer tried the natural remedy, he was so impressed with the results that it’s now his first choice for treating joint discomfort.

The supplement works by preventing cartilage wear and tear and joint erosion.

Click here, to get the joint relief you're looking for!
The Best and Worst Ways to Cook Vegetables
Think raw veggies are the way to go for optimal nutrition? Think again. Cooking vegetables can actually help loosen up all the nutritional good stuff that lies inside. The only problem is, not all cooking methods are the same. Some boost nutrient content; some take it away. 
Click here for the best and worst ways to cook vegetables »
12 Great Asian VegetablesJazz up your next stir-fry with these produce picks.Read more here »
Your Happy Hour Herb GardenReward yourself with a homegrown cocktail! Read more here »
The Miracle Food You're
Not Eating
Add this to your meals for a supercharged source of plant protein. Read more here »

Low-carb cover-up
Dear Reader,

I've been telling people for years how great low-carb diets are for your health. And I feel blessed to have worked with the pioneer in this field, Dr. Robert Atkins.

My New Hamptons Health Miracle is a modified version of his dietary approach. And without him, my medical career wouldn't be what it is today.

But as you may know, Dr. Atkins took a lot of slings and arrows for his opinions--even though many of them hold true to this day. That's one reason why I'm thrilled to see research continue to vindicate the low-carb lifestyle.

And make no mistake--it definitely does. Just take the results of this new study, for example.

Researchers recently found that a low-carbohydrate, protein-rich diet can cut insulin, blood sugar, and triglyceride levels in diabetic patients. (As part of a weight-loss program featuring regular exercise, of course.)

But what's more, this type of diet also seemed to ward off left ventricular diastolic dysfunction--a condition associated with diabetes and high blood pressure that can contribute to eventual heart failure in severe cases.

Now, we've always known that carb restriction can decrease insulin and help with the triglyceride and blood sugar levels. But this may be among the first studies of its kind to show that low-carb living can actually improve your heart's function.

This is major! And yet, sadly, no news coverage. Again. But before I address that little problem, let me explain a few of this study's details.

Once again, this research put the low-carb diet head to head with the traditional (and ridiculous) recommendation of a low-fat diet. And guess which eating plan came out on top?

Within three weeks, subjects eating low-carb were able to cut their use of oral diabetes drugs by a whopping 86 percent. (That's compared to just 6 percent among the subjects eating low-fat.)

But that's not all. The low-carb diet group also saw a nine-point drop in systolic blood pressure (that's the top number) in those three weeks. And by the end of the study, diastolic (the bottom number) pressure fell, as well.

Neither measure changed among the subjects on a low-fat diet.

Echocardiogram results also showed that more than half of the subjects started this study with abnormal diastolic function. But in almost all of these cases, this dysfunction normalized after following a low-carb diet.

And once again, the same couldn't be said for a low-fat lifestyle.

Keep reading...

Researchers attributed these improvements to an increase in the heart muscle's ability to use energy on a low-cab diet. (A decline in available energy to your heart seems to be the main pathway by which insulin resistance and diabetes lead to diastolic dysfunction.)

But whatever the mechanism at work was, the payoff was clear as day. Subjects eating a low-carb diet were able to take fewer oral diabetes medications while reducing both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

And a low-fat-diet? Well, it had no obvious effects on diastolic function, blood pressure, or medication use.

So, let's see here... simply by reducing the amount of carbohydrates you eat, you can improve your health while reducing your dependence on blood sugar and blood pressure medications. (Two of the most highly prescribed drugs in the country, I should add.)

Is it any wonder this study got no attention???

Obviously Big Pharma wants to keep the lid on any solutions that might keep you off of their drugs. So of course this breakthrough study wasn't splashed on banners across the world--even though it should have been.

It goes without saying that dietary changes are much safer than medications. Not to mention cheaper--a particularly important factor in the health of developing nations.

The solution here isn't complicated. In fact, it really couldn't be simpler. My New Hamptons Health Miracle is the way to go if you want to prevent diabetes and improve your heart function.

All I ask is that you think about that the next time you're tempted to reach for a cookie.

Until next time,

Dr. Fred 
Miracle Food Liquidates Cancer!
"What's going on? The cancer is melting away!" Those are the very words of a South Carolina doctor who'd given the same patient only six months to live. He didn't know she was curing her cancer at home with perhaps the most effective cancer-killing miracle food on the planet. Get all the facts. Visit here now and watch a new video presentation from a cancer expert who's advised thousands of patients. He reveals the secret that kills cancer better than chemo, as proven by the Nobel Prize nominee who discovered it. It sure worked for Richard L. He walked out of a hospice where he was waiting to die, started on the miracle food, and was alive and well four years later! Visit here for more
Increase Your Happiness: Just Do More of This
Studies have shown achievements have little to do with your happiness, and that it can be identified as simply as this. That's good news, because anyone can structure their life to do more of it starting today. Plus 12 more simple tips to boost your happiness on any budget...

Study: Forget a Word? Make a Fist
This simple body-movement trick may boost your ability to recall memories by up to 15 percent! Give it a try the next time you have a brain fart.

Does Wheatgrass Turn Gray Hair
Back to Its Natural Color?

ray hair: The ultimate telltale sign of aging.  Approximately half of all 50-year-olds are at least 50% gray.  Try as you may to postpone the inevitable with expensive, foul-smelling and messy dyes, the battle against gray is predictable... gray is pretty much the undefeated champion.  Or is it?

     Regular consumption of the young grass of a common wheat plant can recolor those grays so that you can enjoy your lush, natural color well into your senior years.  And it doesn't just stop at the gray.  This young cereal grass slows down the entire aging process by rejuvenating your cells, detoxifying your body, fighting tumors and tightening loose and sagging skin.

Gray Isn't Just a Sign of Age

The age-old healing system of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) links hair pigmentation to the quality of your blood and the strength of your kidneys.  According to TCM, gray doesn't mean old as much as it points to weak kidneys and blood.

     Made up of 70% chlorophyll, wheatgrass, from the wheat plant triticum aestivumrestores the health of your kidneys and blood.

     Chlorophyll helps to strengthen, build and oxygenate the blood.  It is remarkably similar to hemoglobin, a compound that carries oxygen to the blood.  Once consumed, chlorophyll is transformed into blood.  It then transports nutrients, such as oxygen, to your cells, tissues and organs, rejuvenating, protecting and strengthening.

     Renowned nutritionist, Dr. Bernard Jenson, discovered that wheatgrass and other green juices high in chlorophyll are nature's best blood builders.  In his book Health Magic Through Chlorophyll From Living Plant Life, he cites several cases in which he was able to boost red blood cell count in a matter of days simply by having patients soak in a chlorophyll-water bath.  Consuming wheatgrass and other green juices regularly has been proven to boost red blood cell count even more rapidly.

Beyond Beautification and into Total Body Health

Wheatgrass is made up of an impressive array of nutrients that reinforce and rejuvenate everything from our cells and tissues to our organs and bodily systems.  In addition to its 70% chlorophyll makeup, wheatgrass contains 17 essential amino acids, 90 minerals, 13 vitamins and 80 enzymes.  Prominent research scientist Dr. Earp-Thomas says that,"15 pounds of wheatgrass is the equivalent of 350 pounds of carrots, lettuce, celery and so forth."

     Wheatgrass delivers an impenetrable line of defense against disease.  An all-natural and powerful detoxifier, wheatgrass protects the liver and purifies the blood by neutralizing toxic substances such as cadmium, nicotine, strontium, mercury and polyvinyl chloride.

     Detoxifying is the first step.  From there, wheatgrass takes the offensive as a proven anti-cancer agent that stops tumors in their tracks. 

     Fact: Cancer cells cannot develop in oxygen rich environments!

     Wheatgrass is an abundant source of liquid oxygen.  Boosting the production of red blood cells and increasing oxygen in the blood helps fight cancer cells because cancer cannot survive in such alkaline rich environments.

     A recent study published in the journal Mutation Research pitted chlorophyll against beta-carotene and vitamins A, C and E. Chlorophyll had a greater anti-cancer effect than all the other nutrients.  Wheatgrass truly is total body nutrition in one gulp!

Why Has This Proven Anti-Aging Cure Been Hushed Up?

Practically every week, new alternative health breakthroughs are discovered.  Most of these anti-aging and longevity cures are already scientifically proven to heal a wide variety of diseases... eliminate pain... slow down or reverse the aging process... and enhance total body wellness.  Yet, these powerful health alternatives—most of which are inexpensive or free—are unknown to most people because mainstream media rarely reports them.  To the contrary, these powerful health solutions are systematically suppressed and even banned.

     The reason for this is simple: these inexpensive natural treatments threaten the profits of mainstream medicine and the pharmaceutical industry.  Imagine what would happen to the earnings of Big Pharma and the medical industry if people had the information they needed to heal themselves of virtually any disease or health problem?  Everyone would be able to optimize his or her own health and well-being... and no one would ever need medical treatment again—except for emergencies and natural disasters.

     Click here to discover the cutting age, unconventional, top-secret cures for health problems ranging from A to Z—virtually every ailment in existence!  You'll discover the No. 1 anti-aging food, and the North American fruit tree extract proven in a National Cancer Institute-funded experiment to be a million times more powerful than chemotherapy, with no harmful side effects.

     Gain access to hundreds of other scientifically validated natural cures for life-threatening diseases, including thediabetes remedy with a 100% success rate... the non-drug arthritis cure that reverses the breakdown of cartilage... the mind technology that causes spontaneous remission from disease... and more.  Discover thesingle best source of "underground" health breakthroughs that most people will never know.

Wishing you the best of health,
Danica Collins

Top 10 Arthritis Mistakes

Making mistakes is OK when dealing with health and trying to recreate a better quality of life. But when you don’t realize you are making mistakes, serious problems occur that put success out of reach. This is a serious issue in the 10 most common mistakes people make when dealing with arthritis.
Mistake #1 — Waiting Too Long To Address Arthritis
Even though there is no cure for arthritis, once you have been diagnosed, you must become proactive in managing, treating and slowing its progression. Reduction of symptoms and changes in lifestyle are essential from the start. Waiting too long to do something about arthritis is one of the biggest mistakes; it allows the condition to entrench itself in the body, to progress and to wreak havoc. There is no time like the present: Go ahead and make the decision to begin the rest of your life today by taking control of your arthritis.
Mistake #2 — Undergoing Arthroscopic Surgery
Plenty of research indicates without doubt that arthroscopic surgery, to “repair” arthritic joints and the space between them does not work. When it comes to fixing your arthritic condition, it is a mistake to go ahead with physician-recommended arthroscopic surgery. Given the number of years this practice has been in place, I can understand why this doesn’t seem like a mistake, but it is. So if your primary care physician or orthopedic specialist suggests you have this procedure, please say, “No, thank you.”
Mistake #3 — Avoiding Exercise, Being sedentary
I know you are in pain, it is difficult to do what you used to do, and it takes serious effort to get up and keep moving. But it is a mistake to allow the symptoms of arthritis to keep you from enjoying a vibrant life. In fact, immobility and a sedentary lifestyle are contraindicated when it comes to arthritis. Physical activity lubricates the joints, maintains their range of motion, improves blood flow and stabilizes the muscles around arthritis joints. All of this reduces inflammation and pain as long as the exercise is within a range that you can perform without injury or further damage to your joints.
Mistake #4 — Assuming If You Are “Physically Fit” And “Eat Right” You Won’t Get Arthritis
The physically fit and active among us are great at creating a worldview and building a lifestyle around being healthy, fit and vibrant. I would like active people to know that they are not safe from arthritis. You see, a condition like rheumatoid arthritis can come on at any time and for various unknown reasons; it is a result of an autoimmune disorder that has nothing to do with how physically fit you may be. And people who train hardest, run most intensely and jump the most over prolonged periods are most susceptible to osteoarthritis. They are at the highest risk for wearing down joints and damaging the cartilage between them. A look at the people being treated at a physical therapy center shows this to be true. Anyone can suffer arthritis, not just the sedentary and sick. It is a mistake to think otherwise.
Mistake #5 — Not Believing Diet And Nutrition Play A Major Role In Arthritis
One of the key components of osteoarthritis prevention and reversal is embracing an organic, nutrient-dense diet, and taking nutritional supplements to reduce symptoms and shore up wellness. Our bodies are created from the stuff we eat. The quality of our cells and blood and tissues derive from the quality of our nutritional intake. Taking natural supplements to reduce inflammation and ease pain and improve joint motility is always easier on the body than taking artificial drugs. Don’t fall victim to diet and nutrition mistakes. Instead, put nutritionally dense food into your body.
Mistake #6 — Thinking Medical Specialists Have All The Answers
Americans are taught to believe in a healthcare system that incorporates two practitioner categories: generalists and specialists. When it comes to arthritis, the specialist is usually an orthopedist or immunologist. In either case, it is a mistake to think these people have all the answers; they don’t. Yes, they are highly educated in their specific field of treatment, but they are often ignorant of the available natural and holistic options. Oftentimes, they dismiss such options as so much hocus-pocus. It is important to note, however, that a medical specialist may have the right option for you. So keep an open mind in all cases and do look for multiple opinions and resources when considering the path you will take on your road to a better life.
Mistake #7 — Not Giving Natural Therapies Enough Time To Work
Natural therapies like herbal remedies, supplements, dietary changes, energy medicine and manual therapies that gently work the energy lines (meridians), the soft tissue and the skeletal system are effective. As a matter of fact, they work very well, but only when given the time to do their job. They are gentle and take time to correct the imbalances within the body that cause arthritis or allow the condition to continue on its destructive course. Please do not give up on natural therapies and solutions. It is a mistake just to “try” them for a short period, or even a single time, and say they don’t work because they didn’t meet your expectation of immediate relief.
Mistake #8 — Continuing On A Treatment Plan That’s Not Working
If you do give a natural remedy the time necessary to work as it should, and it falls short for you or does not seem to help you, then it is a mistake to keep doing it. Additionally, continuing to take a medication to mask arthritic symptoms without altering the condition in a positive way is a mistake; discontinue it. Move on to the next therapy and find the mix of products, treatments and practices that, when combined, do what you need them to. Everyone reacts differently to therapies.
Mistake #9 — Believing There Are No More Options Left
Believing there are no options left — that you have exhausted all options within the medical profession for arthritis relief — is a mistake. There are many causes and triggers for arthritis and its symptoms. And the good news is that within the treasure chest of alternative medicine and holistic therapies are hundreds of options that can work for you. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to arthritis.
Mistake #10 — Failing To Take Personal Control Of Your Situation
No one cares about your arthritic condition as much as you do. You are the one suffering, not others, so to rely on others to take care of your condition is a big mistake. You must take personal control of your arthritis. You are the only one who can change your lifestyle, removing the things that negatively impact your health and wellness. It is only you who can eat right and take supplements and administer pain relieving creams and gels. It is only you who can stretch, walk, exercise and meditate. It is a mistake to think otherwise.

Why Scary Mosquitoes Are Coming To Your Neighborhood

Diseases spread by infected mosquitoes are a growing problem. Unfortunately, some areas of the United States are potentially excellent breeding grounds for mosquitoes able to bestow illnesses like West Nile fever and chikungunya fever. The problem: Our environment can hamper the mosquito immune system, making these critters more vulnerable to the viruses they pass on to humans.
According to Virginia Tech scientists, mosquitoes born in cooler temperatures, like those in the northern U.S., have weaker immune systems.
“Our data offers a plausible hypothesis for how changes in weather influence the transmission of these diseases and will likely continue to do so in the future,” says researcher Kevin Myles.
“Mosquitoes like to breed and lay their eggs in dark, cool places because that means the water will last longer,” adds researcher Zach Adelman. “They don’t lay their eggs in sunny spots because that will dry the water out in a day or two. Although this has been known of some time, we are just learning about its potential effects on the mosquito immune response. Hopefully, this information can be used to build better models that more correctly predict when we’ll have disease transmission.”
In any case, disease spread by mosquitoes is on the rise. The rate of transmission has increased with outbreaks occurring in unexpected places: West Nile virus arrived in New York in 1999, and chikungunya virus began to spread in Italy and France in 2007 and 2010.

Your Office Can Give You Insomnia

If you toss and turn with insomnia night after night, your problem may be the office in which you spend your daylight hours. Office architecture, according to research at Northwestern University in Chicago, can defeat your best efforts at getting a good night’s sleep.
The sleep problem at night starts with a lack of windows during the day. Workers who sit in windowless offices get 173 percent less white light than they’d get in windowed rooms and they sleep, on average, 46 minutes less per night.
“The extent to which daylight exposure impacts office workers is remarkable,” says study co-author Ivy Cheung.
According to the scientists, the architectural design of office environments should take into account the ways in which natural daylight exposure contributes to health.
“Day-shift office workers’ quality of life and sleep may be improved via emphasis on light exposure and lighting levels in current offices as well as in the design of future offices,” says Cheung.
"How to Make a Cancer Tumor
Dissolve in 40 Seconds"
     There's an amazing video that shows how a woman's cancer tumor was dissolved in 40 seconds!

     The orange-sized tumor disappeared in front of everyone's eyes without surgery—and without anyone ever touching her body—while a video camera filmed the ultrasound screen showingthe tumor dissolving in real-time.

     The video footage is incredible.  Click here to watch the 5-minute video that will convince you that cancer is, indeed, curable.

     The touch-free healing practice that dissolved the tumor is just one of the top natural cancer cures that health practitioners have hailed as the "best of the best."  In the video, you'll discover 5 equally powerful natural cancer cures that deliver stunning results.  You're not likely to hear about these from your doctor.

     Click here now to watch this amazing video.
The Best of the Best Natural Cancer Cures

If the links above are not working, just copy & paste the following
website address onto your Internet browser:
The Ultimate Snack Scorecard
Want to keep hunger at bay? We analyzed 50 common snacks and snack combinations, and we tallied what percentage of those calories came from protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Pack a few of our highest performers into your day to fight hunger, energize your body, and watch the body fat melt away.
Click here for the ultimate snack scorecard »
The Bacteria That's Good for Your BrainResearchers explain the odd link. Read more
here »
The Summer Soup That Lowers Blood PressureAnd how to make it at home. Read more here »
The Best Location for
Burning Fat
Take your workout to this outdoor spot. Read more here »
Unexpected Health Risks from a Mineral Nearly Everyone Assumes They Need More Of
You're used to hearing about deficiencies in this... but most people don't know they can have too much, which is actually more common. So who's usually deficient and who has too much? Revealed inside. Take a peek... but please ask your doctor to perform this simple test.

Both Air And Noise Pollution Increase Cardiovascular Risk
Your heart may be doubly at risk if you live in an area exposed to heavy air pollution and noise.

You Need To Be Friends With These Bacteria

you-need-to-be-friends-with-these-bacteria_300When we were growing up, we were often taught that bacteria are bad — that they are, in fact, synonymous with disease. We washed our hands frequently, took antibiotics and generally did everything possible to steer clear of these “dangerous” microbes. But now scientists are taking another look. New research is showing we have trillions of bacteria colonizing our bodies. Termed our “microbiota,” these organisms perform a number of functions. Only a small amount of them are considered potentially harmful. But harm comes only if they’re allowed to get out of balance.
To get a sense of the sheer size of the microbiota: It is believed that 99 percent of the DNA found in the human body comes from microbes. Over many millennia, we have evolved a symbiotic relationship with these bacteria — and it’s a good thing. Our microbiota influence digestion, immunity, metabolism, vitamin synthesis and even mood. On the road to good health, friendly bacteria travel with us; and we even pick up some others along the way.
Jeopardizing Diversity
In a sense, this whole concept of good bacteria brings us full circle. In the past, we worried about pathogens like Salmonella, Streptococcus aureus and E. coli. While those are still very real concerns, our emphasis has expanded to gain a better understanding of how we can maintain a healthy internal ecosystem. For example, what happens if friendly flora get out of balance, with certain bacterial strains taking over and others dying out? How do our bodies respond?
Preliminary studies are pointing out the benefits of diversity. There are many complex relationships, both between our bodies and resident bacteria, and between the bacteria themselves. Research indicates that having (or not having) the right bacteria in place can make a big impact on health. Specific microbes may help reduce inflammation; fight autoimmune disorders; and combat conditions like diabetes, heart disease, allergies and asthma. Extinguishing them may put us at greater risk for a number of chronic diseases.
For example, over the past decades, farmers have given small doses of antibiotics to livestock to make them grow fatter. No one really understood why this worked, but we are beginning to understand that antibiotics may be destroying bacteria that maintain healthy weight and favoring bacteria that encourage rapid weight gain. Early studies suggest that this may also be a factor in America’s obesity epidemic. Bottom line: It’s important not to upset these careful balances.
Unfortunately, however, that seems to be exactly what we are doing. Overusing antibiotics, keeping our environments squeaky clean with chemical solvents, eating a highly processed “Western” diet — these habits play a role in minimizing the diversity and health of our microbiota.
We may also be endangering our microbiota in other ways. A recent study of microorganisms in poultry found that they react badly to glyphosate, the active chemical in the ubiquitous herbicide, Roundup®. Specifically, beneficial bacteria are killed, while dangerous pathogens, such as Salmonella, become virulent. There’s also concern that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) may be damaging our microbiota. This collateral damage may help explain the significant increase in allergies, autoimmune disorders and other chronic conditions since the mass introduction of GMOs into our food supply over a decade ago.
Gut Reaction
Efforts to study our microbiota are relatively new; caution is in order. Sometimes, as research becomes more focused, we gain new information that may contradict earlier recommendations. So it’s important not to overreact.
On the other hand, we have enough data to make some informed decisions. For example, scientists who have studied microbiota in indigenous cultures cut off from Western influences have found more variety in their gut microbes. These peoples tend to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and less meat — a diet plan I have emphasized for decades. Eating a variety of sprouted, whole grains may also feed our microbiota. This can be likened to providing specific fertilizers for different plants.
We should also be eating fermented foods, such as kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, kefir, yogurt and many others. These probiotic foods are full of beneficial bacteria.
Definitely avoid processed foods. In addition to being nutritionally inert, they may be starving our favorite, most beneficial microbes. The various chemicals and additives used in these food products may also harm probiotic bacteria. At least one researcher has noted that processed foods may be influencing microbes to make our gut linings more permeable, allowing toxins to leak into the bloodstream, which can lead to chronic inflammation and allergies.
A diet high in fiber helps to build a foundation for healthy microbiota in the digestive tract, with raw cabbage being a top recommendation. Cabbage is very high in fiber, enzymes and beneficial bacteria, along with numerous other phytonutrients that support digestive, immune and overall health.
Beyond Diet: Supplements For Protection
When looking at the big picture of microbe imbalances, we see a relationship between poor digestion, immune issues, chronic inflammation and toxic body burden from pesticides and other pollutants. These issues can ultimately lead to serious chronic illnesses, so it’s important to actively support and protect our microbiota in our efforts to ward off more severe imbalances.
In addition to eating probiotic-rich, fermented foods, I recommend a high-quality probiotic supplement, which can support numerous areas of health by helping to populate the digestive tract with beneficial bacteria. Also incorporate prebiotic supplements, such as FOS (fructooligosaccharides), which act as a food source for the beneficial microbes.
For removal of toxins, pesticides and other pollutants that harm friendly microbes, I recommend modified citrus pectin (MCP), derived from the pith of citrus fruits. MCP is shown to safely remove heavy metals and toxins, boost immunity and bind to an inflammatory protein called galectin-3 to block its pro-cancer, degenerative effects throughout the body.
For immunity, medicinal mushrooms are also an excellent choice. The beta-glucans and other therapeutic compounds found in many medicinal mushrooms seem to act with an uncanny intelligence in the body, energizing individual immune cells and helping to train our immune system to better respond. This can be especially helpful when treating allergies and autoimmune reactions. Medicinal mushrooms also help detoxify the body of harmful pollutants.
For overall digestive health, I recommend a comprehensive digestive formula that includes pomegranate seed, lesser galangal root, black pepper fruit, cinnamon and Chinese cardamom extract, as well as other traditional Chinese herbs and nutrients. Improving digestion helps keep our beneficial bacteria healthy and happy.
We are only scratching the surface on our understanding of the complex human microbiota, but what we’re finding reinforces a holistic approach to overall health. First, do no harm: Stay away from processed foods, antibiotic soaps and non-organic foods. Take antibiotics only when absolutely necessary. Then, nourish your friendly microbes with a diverse array of whole foods, including fresh fruits, vegetables, cultured foods and targeted supplements. The health benefits may be as vast as our own internal ecosystems.