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Parasites

Posted on March 26, 2009 | Filed Under Articles

The infestation you might not know you have

Research suggests that three out of five North Americans will be infected by a parasite during their lifetime. Conservative estimates are that 10 percent of North Americans are infected at any given time and most don’t even realize it.

Your five year old complains nightly of stomach aches, has difficulty sleeping and complains of hunger only a short time after eating a full meal. Just the ups and downs of growing up you figure-he’ll grow out of it, you hope. On the other hand, a mounting chorus of health practitioners are sounding the alarm bells of parasitic infection with wide ranging symptoms including itching (ears, nose, anus), gas and bloating, loss of appetite, eating more than normal but still feeling hungry, blurry vision, muscular pain, lethargy, diarrhea and constipation, indigestion, rashes, hives, allergies, and mental confusion – the list goes on.

What is a parasite?

Any notion that parasites are friendly guests along for the ride is to deny the potential health hazard they present. A parasite is a live creature that invades and lives off it’s host, most often causing harm. They have a mind and will of their own. They multiply inside you as they eat your food, steal your nutrients, and in some cases, live off your flesh.

Parasites vary in form, from tiny microscopic organisms to worms growing several feet in length, to lice and ticks. They can be transmitted by air, food, water, insects, animals and people.

Standard testing, which involves stool samples, can detect the most common types; however, with some 6000 different types of parasites, the chances of some going undetected are high. In fact, health practitioners only check for perhaps six different types. If you’ve been travelling abroad or eating exotic foods you could have a parasite that will not be detected by standard tests.

Common parasites

One of the tiniest and most common parasites is a protozoa called Giardia lamblia. This highly contagious parasite is estimated to infect 30 percent of the world’s population. Here in North America, it is believed to infest much of the ground water. People become infected by drinking or swimming in infested waters. Symptoms are usually diarrhea, cramps and gastrointestinal upsets.

Day cares are also prime breeding ground for giardia and other parasites. A Toronto study of 900 children and 140 day care workers showed an overall parasitic infection rate of 19 percent among children and 14 percent among staff.

Another common parasite is the pinnworm. Usually these tiny white worms will first infect the children, then eventually the whole family. The usual sign that someone has pinworms is itching in the anal area that intensifies around bedtime. Digestive upsets may also occur. Pinworms are most active at night when they make their way to the opening of the rectum to lay their eggs. They are usually discovered when one or more, or their eggs, turn up in bedding or night clothing.

One mother, upon discovering her child had pinworms, phoned the doctor only to hear in horror that most adults are infected without even knowing.

If the thought of tiny pinworms makes you uneasy, wait, because there are more. Roundworms and tapeworms from eating tainted pork and beef; hookworms, Guinea worms and filaria that enter and inhabit the blood system are among the many worm-type parasites that can infect people. Roundworms alone infect some 25 percent of the world’s population. They are the second most common intestinal worm next to
pinworms in the United States and are particularly common in the Apalachian Mountains and adjacent areas.

Parasitic infection is not something to take lightly according to Dr. Leo Gallard, M.D., of New York City, a specialist in parasitology. Even mild parasitic infection can cause major health problems. His own experience is that over half of the people diaggnosed as suffering from irritable bowel syndrome had intestinal parasites. The majority were cured of their symptoms by treating the parasite infection. Of chronic fatigue patients, 82 percent were relieved of their symptoms by treating a parasite infection.

According to Dr. Gillard’s findings, any person with chronic gastro-intestiinal complaints (bloating, diarrhea, abdominal pain, flatulence, chronic constipation, multiple allergies) and unexplained fatigue should be tested for parasitic infection.

Treatment options

Conventional treatment involves antibiotics and other parasite medication. A more natural approach is to use herbs and diet to expel the parasites and kill the eggs. Some time honoured herbs include black walnut, garlic, wormwood and ginger. NSP’s Para Pak combines several proven herbal remedies in convenient packets for a lO-day cleanse program of many common parasites.

How to avoid parasitic infections

There are several precautions which will help you avoid becoming home to parasites:

From Food

  • Don’t eat raw beef-it can be loaded with tapeworms and other parasites.
  • Don’t eat raw fish-you are almost certain to get worms if you eat raw fish
  • Wash hands after handling raw meat or fish (including shrimp)-don’t put your hands near your mouth without washing them first.
  • Use a separate cutting board for meat and vegetables-spores from meat can seep into the board and contaminate vegetables or anything else you put on the board.
  • Wash utensils thoroughly after cutting meat.
  • Wash vegetables and fruit thoroughly-particularly salad items as they often harbour parasites. Wash in one-half teaspoon of bleach per one gallon of water. Soak for fifteen to twenty minutes. Then soak in fresh water for twenty minutes before refrigerating.
  • Don’t drink from streams and rivers.

From Pets

  • Don’t sleep near your pets-they harbour many worms and other parasites.
  • Deworm your pets regularly and keep their sleeping areas clean.
  • Don’t let pets lick your face.
  • Don’t walk barefoot around animals.

General

  • Always wash your hands after using the bathroom
  • Wash your hands after working in the garden-the soil can be contaminated with spores and parasites.

When travelling

  • Don’t drink the water
  • Start taking supplements two weeks before traveling and continue them while you travel.

Source: Alternative Medicine. The Definitive guide.

Buy Nature’s Sunshine Products Para Pak Here

Building Better Bones

Posted on March 21, 2009 | Filed Under Articles

Lurking at the doorstep of every adult North American over age 50 is osteoporosis, known as the “silent thief”. It occurs without notice or symptoms and ultimately leads to bone fractures (mostly the hip, spine and wrist), disfigurement, immobility and loss of independence.

Building A Foundation For Bone Health:

Traditionally, diets and supplements high in calcium, magnesium and vitamin D have been recommended for people with osteoporosis or weakening bones. These three nutrients are important for good bone density and lasting bone health. Without an adequate dietary source of calcium the body will take calcium from bone to support higher-priority body systems like circulation and nervous systems.

Calcium also helps maintain proper pH balance. An internal environment that is too acidic from a high acid-forming diet will cause calcium to be leached from bone tissue to restore an alkaline balance.

In order for calcium to find its way into bone tissue it requires two important nutrients sadly missing from the modern diet: magnesium and vitamin D. Magnesium produces calcitonin which draws calcium out of soft tissue and into bone tissue. Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and requires magnesium to convert it into its most active form.

Calcium, magnesium and vitamin D are the foundational nutrients for long-term bone health. However, be cautioned. Studies have shown that although calcium does support the slowing of bone loss, on it’s own it has not been able to reverse or prevent osteoporosis. In fact, individuals without a calcium deficiency have still developed osteoporosis. For a truly healthy skeletal system, or if you need to increase bone density or reverse bone loss, vitamins and minerals are important, but only the beginning.

Beyond Vitamins And Minerals

Greens: Scientists were able to improve bone health by giving osteoporosis patients a quality green drink supplement similar in composition to Nature’s Sunshine superfood green drink GreenZone. The 36 ingredients in GreenZone work synergistically to deliver an array of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fats, amino acids and chlorophyll. Green drinks normalize acid-to-alkaline ratio in the body, creating a healthy environment for bone building and better health in general. Nature’s Sunshine Products: GreenZone and Liquid Chlorophyll

Balance your body’s pH: A diet high in acidic foods will cause rapid mineral loss from bone and eventually weaken bone structures. All processed foods, caffeine, alcohol, sodas and cigarettes should be avoided. Red meats should be grass fed (not grain) and raised organic to produce a less acidic product. Adding a green drink or taking calcium/magnesium supplements with a meal can also reduce its acidity. Nature’s Sunshine Products: Liquid Chlorophyll, GreenZone, SynerPro Calcium/Magnesium with Vit. D

Vitamin K2: Researchers have found that vitamin K2 “ignites’ proteins to escort calcium into bone and out of soft tissue. Both calcium and vitamin D3 are dependent on vitamin K2 for bone formation. Nature’s Sunshine Products: Vitamin K2 is not available for over-the-counter sale in Canada. Available sources include leafy green vegetables, chlorophyll-rich green drinks such as GreenZone and Liquid Chlorophyll.

Omega 3 fatty acids: Inflammation causes several disease states, one of which is osteoporosis. Omega 3 fatty acids reduce inflammation. Studies showed that higher levels of omega 3 increase bone mineral density in hips and spine – results were publsihed in the American Journal of Clinical Research, 2004. Other research has showed that omega 3 fatty acids reduced overall inflammation and increased bone- mineral density in people with arthritis. Nature’s Sunshine Products: Super Oil, Flaxseed Oil (short-chain omega 3 oil and therefore should be taken with the more complete long-chain omega 3 oil Super Oil), GreenZone

Lecithin: Missing from the modern-day, low fat, processed food diet, Lecithin has emerged as a super nutrient in both memory retention and bone building. Nature’s Sunshine Products: Lecithin Capsules, GreenZone

Silicon: An important mineral for the repair and growth of bone tissue. Research has shown that silicon deficiencies are characterized by abnormalities in tendons, ligaments and bone structures. Silicon is required for the proper functioning of an enzyme necessary for the formation of collagen in bone. One of the most abundant sources of this mineral is the herb horsetail. Nature’s Sunshine Products: HSN-W Combination

Natural Growth Factors: Bovine colostrum has been used as a powerful elixir of health, usually reserved only for royalty. Today, compounds found only in colostrum are being heavily researched in the battle against numerous diseases, including osteoporosis. Colostrum’s growth factors have been used to stimulate an increase in bone density and bone tissue repair and maintenance. Nature’s Sunshine Products: Colostrum Capsules

Bones and Protein: Contrary to popular belief protein is not detrimental to bone health. Vitamins D, K and calcium cannot produce healthy bone mineraliztion without adequate protein. Protein is a major building block of new bone. Caution: despite protein’s benefits, diets high in acid-forming animal protein and grains can accelerate bone breakdown. However, high protein diets are fine when balanced with alkaline-producing fruits and vegetables, calcium supplements and green drinks. Nature’s Sunshine Products: Nutri- Burn, GreenZone.
Article Source: Nature’s Sunshine – Sunshine Today

All products listed in this article can be purchased here.


Children’s Health

Posted on March 21, 2009 | Filed Under Articles

Every parent will agree: ensuring your child receives proper nutrition is nearly impossible! Sweets, chips and fast food are very appealing to children. But as we all know, these “foods” are filled with sugar, hydrogenated fats and empty calories – a nutritional disaster! Worst of all when your children are out of sight – at school or at play – you have even less control over their eating habits.

Five healthy habits for healthy children
(excerpted from “Back-to-School Wellness Plan,” by Sue Frederick, Delicious July 1997)

  • Provide your child with a healthy diet including two servings of protein and plenty of fruits and vegetables daily
  • Limit the amount of sugar your child consumes, including fruit juice. Get your child to drink water instead, or dilute fruit juice with water
  • Go easy on dairy products which can exacerbate ear infections during cold and flu season
  • Encourage your child to get plenty of physical activity
  • Teach your child to wash his or her hands regularly to prevent the spread of germs

Nature’s Sunshine Herbasaurs For Children was developed with proper nutrition in mind, because good nutrition should start early. Herbasaurs are a totally unique concept in children’s herbal and nutritional supplements. They are designed specifically with children’s special nutritional needs in mind, and carry their own colourful label. They are manufactured with only the finest ingredients according to the highest quality standards in the industry.

Herbasaurs Elderberry Plus Chewable
Research indicates that elderberry has significant anti-viral properties, particularly against viruses normally associated with influenza and the common cold. Nature’s Sunshine combines the great taste and nutritional benefits of elderberry with immune-stimulating and adaptogen herbs, reishi mushroom and astragalus root. The medicinal properties of elderberry have been recognized since early Greece. And elderberry jams and pies are still a favourite treat. Combining elderberry with reishi mushroom and astragalus creates a supplement specially designed to help children overcome seasonal changes and upsets.

Herbasaurs Bifidophilus
In this formula, Nature’s Sunshine Products uses four strains of friendly bacteria that are specific to the needs of children’s intestinal tracts. Remember, different bacteria populate the intestinal tracts of children, so giving them a friendly flora product designed for adults would not be as beneficial as one specifically designed for children. And with today’s prevalent use of antibiotics, poor diets and other factors, many children need to have their bodies repopulated with the friendly bacteria so essential to digestion. To get the bacteria off to a good start when it reaches the intestinal tract, this product also contains fructo-ogliosaccharides, a fibre that provides necessary food so the friendly flora can thrive.The intestinal system is home to millions of friendly bacteria that play an important part in maintaining a healthy internal environment and immune system. Bifidophilus is a supplement that helps replenish friendly bacteria in children. Here’s a partial list of the good things friendly bacteria do:1. Make it difficult for unfriendly organisms like fungus and yeast (candida) to live in the colon.2. Normalize bowel movements. 3. Improve the ability of the immune system. 4. Help produce B vitamins and vitamin K.5. Help produce lactose, an enzyme necessary to digest milk products.

Herbasaurs Children’s Chewable Multiple Vitamins and Iron
Being a healthy child takes a lot of energy. Herbasaurs Multi Vitamins contain thirteen essential vitamins and iron and are designed to help parents meet their child’s everyday nutrient needs. Herbasaurs multi-vitamins contain thirteen essential vitamins and iron to give your child a nutritious start to each day. Each tablet is sweetened with fructose and natural-source, lemon-lime flavour in a base of bioflavonoids and herbs (rose hips, choline, inositol, wheat germ and myrrh gum, kelp).

Other Great Suplements For Kids
TNT (Total Nutrition Today)Nature’s Sunshine has designed a unique nutritional beerage and convenient bars to keep your family nutritionally topped up. It contains all essential vitamins and minerals, lus fibre, lant extracts and herbs for otimal nutition. TNT is an explosion of energy, nutrition and taste. So, when they can’t always eat right, give them TNT. New gluten-free formula.

Zambroza and Zambar
The whole family will love the taste and nutritional goodness of Zambroa juice blend and Zambar fruit bars. The most healthful fruits and nutritional supplements from around the world Rich in bioflavonoids and antioxidants Scavenges damaging free radicals Contains mangosteen with compounds called xanthones, offering powerful immune and cardiovascular support

Products listed in this article can be purchased here.


The Endocrine System – Our Master Regulator

Posted on March 21, 2009 | Filed Under Articles

While most of us don’t consider our endocrine system (glandular system), this delicate array of glands, hormones and neurotransmitters control all our life functions, from beginning to end. Growth and development, sexual activity, body temperature, heart rate, immune response and all other body functions are dependent on hormones released by different glands.

The greater endocrine glands are the hypothalamus and pituitary, adrenals, thyroid, and to a lesser degree, the pancreas, female ovaries and male testes.

When hormone levels reach a certain ‘normal’ amount in the blood to do their job, further secretion is controlled by other body mechanism to maintain balance o homeostasis. For instance, when the thyroid gland has secreted the appropriate amount of its hormone, the pituitary gland senses the normal level of thyroid hormone in the bloodstream and adjusts its own release of the thyrotropin, the pituitary hormone that stimulates the thyroid to secrete thyroid hormones.

This balancing act is critical to the proper development, maturing, and aging of the entire human body.

Hormones are vital for the repair and regulation of our cells and body systems. As we age we lose hormone production, which in turns results in loss of self-repair and self-regulation. Lifestyle also plays a vital role in the health of this system. The loss of one hormone or malfunctioning of one gland can result in the loss of several others, speeding up the aging process. Take for instance the epidemic of syndrome X and type II diabetes. In most cases the North America lifestyle has lead to an imbalance of glucose or the hormone insulin in the blood. In other cases the pancreas itself has malfunctioned, worn out from years or refined carbohydrates. The end result is a host of symptoms that are seemingly unrelated to the pancreas or insulin levels: high blood pressure, weight gain, high cholesterol and triglycerides, high cortisol levels and ultimately heart disease. Hormone systems are highly dependent upon one another, and the malfunctioning of one will affect the health of other body systems.

In recent years anti-aging researchers have studied the effects or replacing diminished hormones with dramatic results. Others see hormone replacement as nothing more than tinkering with nature’s delicate balance. Only time will decide this debate.

One thing is for sure: A healthy endocrine system that continues to secrete adequate amounts of hormones will slow the aging process and keep you vibrant and healthy as you age.

Thyroid

The thyroid gland is walnut-size, butterfly-shaped gland at the base of the neck, extending around the Adam’s apple. Weighing in a 1 ounce, its hormones exert enormous control throughout the body. Thyroid hormones control the growth, temperature and function of every cell in the body. The gland acts as the metabolic engine of the body-if it secrets too little hormone the body slows and dies; if it secrets too much the body burns out and dies. The thyroid malfunctioning is widespread due to environment pollutants.

Adrenals

Located one on top of each kidney, the adrenals are triangular shaped glands that regulate the body’s response to stress. Adrenal glands are made up of two parts, each secreting a separate set of hormones. The outer part of the glands (adrenal cortex), produces corticosteroid hormones that regulate the balance of salt and water, stress response, metabolism, immune function, and sexual development and function. The inner part (adrenal medulla) secretes adrenaline hormones that increase blood pressure and heart rate in response to stress.

Hypothalamus /Pituitary

The hypothalamus gland is really a collection of specialized cells that provide the primary link between the endocrine system and the central nervous system. Nerve cells and hormones in turn signal the pituitary gland to secret or suppress the release of various hormone messages to the other glands. Although no larger than pie, the pituitary gland is considered the master gland because it secrets hormones that control several other endocrine glands. It is also responsible for secreting growth hormones (HGH).

Pancreas

The pancreas is both a gland and an organ. As an endocrine gland, the pancreas produces insulin and glucagon-two hormones that work together to supply the body`s cells with a constant supply of energy in the form of glucose. The pancreas secretes its variety of hormones directly into the bloodstream. As a digestive organ, the pancreas secretes digestive enzymes directly tract through a system of ducts. Diets high in refined carbohydrates put this gland under tremendous stress.

Endocrine Nutrition

Master G Formula #2874-6, Essential Liquid Minerals # 4037-1, Chinese Chi # 1818-3
The endocrine system is nourished by trace minerals to facilitate the production of both neurotransmitters and hormones. Master G Formula provides nutritional support for all the glands to ensure balance and harmony. Essential Liquid Minerals and Chinese Mineral Chi contain potassium along with other vital minerals in suspension. These minerals come from ancient plant deposits in central Utah and provide varying amounts of naturally-occurring, easily assimilated minerals. Chinese Mineral Chi has the added benefit of Chinese botanicals including licorice, ginseng and schizandra for additional glandular support

Adrenal Support # 1507-0, Vitamin C # 1727-2
The adrenal glands are responsible or preparing the body to respond to stress. Modern dietary habits and stressful lifestyles have a ‘burn out’effect on the adrenal glands. The formulation includes adrenal glandular substance (from New Zealand BSE-free bovine) to compensate for weakened adrenal gland function plus vitamins and herbs to help nourish the glands back to health. Research has shown that high levels of vitamin C help individuals respond better to stress. The adrenal glands have one of the highest concentrations of vitamin C in the body.

Chromium GTF #1802-4, P-14 # 1023-0
Chromium helps cells use glucose or energy through the action of the hormone insulin. With the efficient use of insulin the pancreas is not overworked and blood glucose levels are kept in balance.

MACA # 1117-2, Siberian Ginseng # 660-9, Korean Ginseng # 665-4
It is believed that maca works by stimulating the thymus/pituitary axis to balance hormonal secretions. It has been particularly beneficial for older adults who are experiencing a reduction in hormonal secretions. Reported benefits include increased libido, increased stamina, and general reversal of glandular aging. Body builders report that it stimulates the secretion of growth hormone. Other well known glandular tonic herbs to help bring about homeostasis in the endocrine system are Korean ginseng (for men) and Siberian ginseng (for sexes).

F.E. Formula # 81-4, Women’s Formula # 891-0, Men’s Formula # 3111-3, P-14 # 1023-0
These formulas are specifically to nourish the female and male reproductive glands, respectively. Women’s Formula contain black cohosh and dong quai, both containing steroids that help balance estrogen and progesterone levels. Men’s Formula contains saw palmetto to prevent prostate inflammation. Zinc and stinging nettle are included to free up testosterone from building to h membrane of cells on the prostate gland and thus reducing symptoms of BPH and maintaining higher natural free testosterone levels in aging men

TSII # 1092-0, Kelp #410-3
TS II is designed to nutritionally support the thyroid gland with the trace mineral iodine. It contains kelp plant, Irish moss plant, parsley plant, hops flower and capsicum fruit. Kelp contains an above average amount of iodine, which is a nutrient essential for proper thyroid function. The thyroid is susceptible to damage from environmental toxins, especially chlorine, fluorine and bromine which are chemically related to iodine and compete with it for receptor sites on the thyroid gland.
Article Source: Sunshine Today

Products listed in this article can be purchased here.


High Blood Pressure

Posted on March 21, 2009 | Filed Under Articles

Excessive arterial tension can cause the heart to pump harder in order for blood to reach the extremities of the body. This results in high blood pressure. With high blood pressure there can be dizziness or headache, but often it mat not manifest any symptoms. High blood pressure increases the risk of stroke. High blood pressure may be caused by arteriosclerosis, fluid retention, kidney or hormonal imbalances, excess weight, stress, hyperinsulinemia or a combination of these factors. Determining the causes of high blood pressure will help a person select effective natural remedy support.

Hardening of the arteries can cause high blood pressure. The arterial plaque is obstructing circulation and must be removed to restore normal blood flow. Oral chelation using certain supplements can be used to gradually help remove arterial plaque from the lining of the arteries in order to improve circulation. The main product used is MC (Mega-Chel). Minerals, liver support, kidney support and heart & circulation support could also be considered when on the MC program.

Fluid retention or edema can also cause elevated blood pressure. Diuretics can be used to remove fluid from the tissue. Herbs to consider are Combination K, Cranbery & Buchu, Uva Ursi, K-C, Cornsilk KB-C.

Stress can cause nervous tension that can elevate blood pressure. There is some truth to people’s blood pressure rising the moment they step into the doctor’s office because they get nervous. Adaptagenic herbs such as ginsengs have been helpful in relieving some cases of high blood pressure caused by stress. Oher stress-reducing remedies that may help blood pressure include Magnesium, Stress Formula and Passion Flower.

Excess weight is a cause of high blood pressure because adipose tissue adds more blood vessels that the heart has to pump the blood through. Weight loss is therefore very important to normalizing blood pressure. Products to consider for weight-loss are Fat Grabbers, Carbo Grabbers, Collatrim, Chromium and Bod-E-Klenz.

Hyperinsulinemia or Syndrome X is a hidden contributing factor to high blood pressure and the developing of arterial plaque. This problem also contributes to weight gain. Dealing with this condition has resulted in dramatic reduction in blood pressure. Hyperinsulinemia is a condition where the body is overproducing insulin because of a diet full of simple carbohydrates. Reducing simple (high glycemic) carbs in favor of more complex carbs (low glycemic) and balancing protein fat and carbohydrate consumption can help. For herbal support consider GlucoReg, HY-C, LIV-J, Super Oil, and P-14.

Other general products which can help to support blood pressure are Hawthorn, Ginkgo & Hawthorn, Blood Pressurex.

Consider checking your thyroid and supporting your adrenals, as well as food and environmental sensitivities.

Products listed in this article can be purchased here.


Liver and Gallbladder Flush

Posted on March 21, 2009 | Filed Under Articles

An at-home, 3-day liver and gallbladder flush

Adapted from Age Defying Diet by Dr. Robert C. Atkins, M.D.
Do not perform if you have known liver disease

  1. From Monday until noon on Saturday, eat your normal diet and take your usual supplements. In addition, drink as much fresh lemon juice as your appetite permits. Dilute it with pure water to taste and sweeten it with stevia.
  2. Eat a normal lunch at noon on Saturday.
  3. Three hours later, dissolve 2 teaspoons of sodium diphosphate (milk of magnesia) as a laxative in one ounce of warm water. You may substitute the milk of magnesia for two servings of the NSP’s herbal laxative LBS II.
  4. Repeat step 3 two hours later.
  5. For your evening meal, have only fresh grapefruit, grapefruit juice, or other citrus fruits or juices.
  6. At bedtime, have either 4 ounces of unrefined olive oil followed by 6 ounces of grapefruit juice, or 4 ounces of unrefined olive oil blended with 4 ounces of lemon juice.
  7. Follow step 6, go immediately to bed and lie on your right side with your right knee pulled up close to your chest. Maintain that position for 30 minutes, then go to sleep.
  8. The next morning, before breakfast, take 2 teaspoons of milk of magnesia or LBS II in 2 ounces of warm water. From now on, continue with your normal diet and supplements.

To know if the cleanse worked you should notice small, light-green, irregular shaped objects in your stool the next day. Don’t be alarmed as this is normal.

The Liver

Posted on March 21, 2009 | Filed Under Articles

The liver is our largest internal organ. Performing over 500 chemical functions, it’s a real workhorse. Without it we would die in 24 hours.

Yet for all the liver does and must do to keep us living and healthy, it remains overlooked and largely abused by our modern diet and lifestyle practices.

As science learns more about the liver it is becoming apparent that it is a high illustrate, here is a short list of liver functions:

  • Converts food into stored energy (glycogen) for fuel
  • Converts food into chemicals necessary for the functioning of the entire body
  • Detoxifies medications, environmental pollutants, toxins, poisons, xenoestrogens, and alcohol and then processes them for removal
  • Regulates blood sugar levels
  • Breaks down ammonia and creates urea for elimination by the kidneys
  • Creates bile to metabolize fats and allow the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients
  • Manufactures more than 1000 different enzymes, blood, clotting factors, and proteins
  • Hormone regulation and metabolism
  • Hormone conversions ( ie, thyroid hormone)
  • Manufacturing approximately 50 percent of the body’s cholesterol

As you can see by the list of functions, the liver is no slouch. However, all this activity makes it highly susceptible to damage. For this reason, liver tissue has the amazing ability to regenerate itself to keep functioning. But like anything, work it too hard and eventually it will wear out. And this is what we are seeing today: more and more, seemingly health people have the sings of poor liver health.

At the root of this is poor diet and sedentary lifestyle. Next, sheer abuse of the liver by alcohol, medications, processed food and environmental pollution. Eventually, the older we get the less the liver is able to rejuvenate itself, and we become more susceptible to liver disease.

A seriously damaged liver develops a condition called cirrhosis. Cirrhosis develops when normal liver tissue is replaced by scar tissue. Scar tissue distorts the functioning of the liver and restricts the flow of blood. Aside distorts abuse, disease such as hepatitis B, C and D, autoimmune liver disease and genetic/inherited conditions can also result in cirrhosis.

Another liver condition is called fatty liver. Unlike its name, fatty liver has nothing to do with eating too much fat. The condition involves excess fat inside the liver cells. Leading cause include low protein diets, poor nutrition, starvation, hormone disorders, obesity and alcoholism. Fatty liver is associated with large amounts of free radical formation, inflammation of the liver disease.

Being kind to your liver means understanding how it works, avoiding those activities that harm it, and supplying it with the right nutrients for optimum function. Read on to find out how you can be your livers’ best friend.

The 4 Stages of Detoxification

Every moment you liver is busy working like a chemical factory and filtration/removal plant for the body. Removing both internal and external toxins and cleansing the blood involves a four step process. Each step is highly dependent on diet and lifestyle factors:

1. Filtration: Approximately two quarts of blood are passed through the liver for cleaning every minute. This important filtration process removes toxic substances and bacteria that enter the blood. Once all these substances are removed, the filtered blood returns to general circulation.

2. Phase 2 detoxification: The liver uses a two- step enzymatic process (Phase I and II) to neutralize undesirable substances (ie. Medications, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizer, hormones, artificial sweeteners, MSG, birth control pills, alcohol, etc.) First the Phase I enzymes (know as the cytochrome P450 system) either directly neutralize the toxins or prepares them for neutralization by Phase II. However. According to nutrition researcher Brad King, if the liver is not health this process can do more harm than good. “The drawback to this first system is that in order for Phase II enzymes to be able to render the original toxins harmless to the body, the Phase I enzymes must first convert them into highly reactive chemicals – including destructive free radicals-that are even more damaging to the body that the original toxins.”

3. Phase II detoxification: In order to neutralize the newly formed toxins from Phase I, the Phase II enzymes, with the help of the antioxidant/enzyme glutathione, bind to the toxins and render them harmless. Once neutralized they can be safely excreted from the body. “If the liver can’t use the Phase II pathways,” says Dr. Marianne Labklanc, M.D., of Optimal Health Solutions in Vancouver, “bioactivated intermediates can accumulate and be more harmful to the body that if no detoxification had taken place at all.” If the diet is high in phytonutirents, Phase II can efficiently neutralize toxins and eliminate them. It is the presence of whole natural foods and good protein in the combination with select antioxidant nutrients that facilitate efficient detoxification.

4. The bile system: The final phase of detoxification is the liver’s production and secretion of bile. Bile detoxifies the body by literally carrying excess toxins through the intestines for elimination. Bile is also responsible for emulsifying dietary fats and fat soluble vitamins for proper digestion and absorption in the small intestine.

Don’t neglect the health of your liver

With the overwhelming amount of toxins the liver has to process every day, it’s easy to see how it can become overwhelmed. When your liver becomes over- stressed, it affects every organ in the body. But there is a lot you can do to strengthen and protect the liver. Below are some supplements that will keep your liver functioning properly and your friend for a long time.

The link between liver health and weight loss

A healthy liver not overloaded with toxins can be the body’s most efficient fat burning organ because it is so highly metabolic. Many studies have demonstrated a direct link between obesity, liver health and weight loss. To determine liver health researchers measure the levels of certain enzymes within the liver. Elevated liver enzymes are usually taken to indicate poor liver function and in many cases are associated with excess body fat. Here’s a round up of some of the research:

– In an assessment of liver health in 534 moderately obese (30-50 percent over their ideal weight) non- drinkers 24 percent had abnormal liver enzyme levels and 47 percent had fatty livers (hepatic steatosis). This study clearly indicates that moderately obese people frequently suffer from liver dysfunction and don’t know it.

– At the Occupational and Environmental Health Research Group at Stirling University in Scotland researchers found evidence that the body’s metabolism does not function properly in obese people. They went on to conclude that human exposure to synthetic, organic and inorganic chemicals were damaging many of the body’s weight- control mechanisms, especially the liver.

– Research from the University of Occupational and Environmental Health in Kitakyshu, Japan studied liver function and obesity in 1,591 people over a 10-year period. Their conclusion was that “obesity is more closely related to lover dysfunction than to any other abnormalities.”

– Researchers from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in New York discovered that elevated liver enzymes are frequently found in healthy obese people.

Healthy Liver Supplement Guide

Water: carries toxins and detoxification by- products through the system and out of the body. Drink at least eight glasses of filters or pure water a day. Avoid chlorinated and fluorinated water as these chemicals are a burden on the liver.

Cruciferous Vegetables: The Nature’s Sunshine SynerPro line contains a plant-based concentrate that includes cruciferous vegetables. They strengthen production of detoxifying enzymes.

Spice It Up: Include spices in your cooking or take in supplement from such as ginger, garlic, and turmeric. All these contain compounds that protect liver cells from damage and are potent antioxidants. For example, turmeric is an effective regenerative liver tonic. It boosts the synthesis of glutathione, a primary liver antioxidant/enzyme. Ginger has been found to be protective against alcohol-induced damage to liver tissue. And garlic has a powerful antioxidant effect that protects liver cells from free radical damage due to its high selenium content.

Heavy Metal Detox: This is a primary herbal/vitanutrient combination for liver health. All ingredients work synergistically to protect liver cells and help in regenerative processes. Of note is N-acetyl cysteine and l-methionine-both amino acids necessary for the production of glutathione, the body’s master antioxidant/enzyme that is vital to detoxification and protection of the liver. Next is alpha lipoic acid which effectively strengthens the liver’s antioxidant defenses and stimulates the production of new liver cells. Only use for a limited period of time with rest periods.

Milk Thistle: In alternative health, milk thistle (silymarin) is used extensively to support, protect and regenerate the liver. The success of milk thistle is partly due to its antioxidant protective potency and partly because it stimulates the regeneration of liver tissue. In a review of clinical studies using milk thistle, Dr. Daniel B. Mowrey, Ph.D. writes: “Not only will milk thistle arrest the course of the disease, but it will stimulate individual liver cells to become site for local regeneration of liver tissue. Over time, complete restoration of the live is possible.”

Herbal Cleanse (Bod-E-Klenz): Bod-E-Klenz accelerates weight-loss by stimulating the body’s own digestion and elimination processes to begin ridding itself of unwanted buildup, and activates body systems for efficient metabolism of proteins and carbohydrates. It’s an ideal cleanse to rid the liver of fatty buildup. This 30-day cleansing program includes herbs, vitamins and minerals that are time-honoured in supporting liver health-which includes: dandelion, ginger, turmeric, blessed thistle, goldenrod, and the mineral selenium, to name only a few.

Chlorophyll: Chlorophyll is a green pigment in plants that is a result of the energy-producing process known as photosynthesis. Reported health benefits of this green substance include liver health, elimination of body odour, cleansing of the digestive tract and neutralizing of toxins. Because chlorophyll from green plants has the ability to directly neutralize toxins, it reduces the detoxification load on the liver and has a general mild strengthening effect.
Article Source: Sunshine Today

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Make A Difference – Grab Some Kleenex

Posted on March 17, 2009 | Filed Under Fun Stuff, Inspirational, Videos

Each and every time I watch this video I can’t hold back the tears!

Who says we can’t make a difference?

Grab some kleenex and watch this real short video: http://www.makeadifferencemovie.com

Don’t say I didn’t warn you about the kleenex!

Today Is A Great Day!
Frank

Never Give Up Your Dreams

Posted on March 17, 2009 | Filed Under Fun Stuff, Inspirational, Videos

Paul Potts the most famous “telephone salesman” has truly been an inspiration too so many … Never give up your dreams!

How to get back up…Nick Vujicic (life without limbs)

Posted on March 17, 2009 | Filed Under Fun Stuff, Inspirational, Videos

My new hero Nick Vujicic

Attitude and desire are the first steps to opening your heart. Once you do that, it’s amazing what you discover… about yourself and others.

I’d like to share a video that is the most inspiring thing I’ve ever, ever seen. This man puts EVERYTHING into perspective. I know you’re busy, but this is really important.

keep looking »
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Health and Wellness By Frank Filippo, Herbalist and Iridologist.
Herbal Health Supplements by Nature's Sunshine Products Distributor. Holistic Health through Iridology, WISE Analysis and Herbs.
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