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Even Governments are Taking the Diabetes Epidemic Seriously

With one headline in Medical News Today spelling it out in no uncertain terms

Health of up to 84% of Children with Diabetes at Risk in England

it is time to take the epidemic proportions of ours and our childrens health seriously. We are eating ourselves to death, and more important we are allowing our children to eat themselves into a shortened, unhealthy lifespan.

Even the British Prime Minister is getting involved in the talk as this is a crisis for any country that it prime resource – people are under attack from their own bad choices.

Prime Minister Talks About Schoolchildren with Diabetes

Diabetes UK Response to Change4Life Announcement

Even in America they have realised that they (the government and its agencies) are going to have to do something about it:

American Dietetic Association Releases Nutrition Trends Survey”

If governments including our own are worried this much about our kids, isn’t it time we were?

Escalating diabetes figures present worrying trends

Department of Health and Aging Diabetes Trends

Come on, get your kids out of the house, into the sunshine, breathing fresh air, feed them salads, vegetables, good quality protein sources, fresh fruit, and whole grains in that order. Do you want to satisfy their taste buds now and maybe give them 2 or 3 insulin shots a day for the rest of their lives? Or run the risk of them becoming chronically tired, or developing heart disease, cancer, or other illnesses that come as a result of Metabolic Syndrome.

Or show them how to live – healthy, strong and long?

live a balanced life…

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November 14, 2008 Posted by | Health, Nutrition, Wellness | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are Your Kids Eating Well?

Pupils play dur...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

A study to come out of Australia from the CSIRO has shown that only a proportion of our kids are eating and exercising well enough to be healthy now and in the future. Are yours?

Our children are our future and many of them are setting themselves up for terminal ill health before they have even started. The article goes on to say:

“UniSA Professor Tim Olds says about one quarter of the children surveyed were overweight or obese.

‘This number hasn’t increased over the last decade or so, and that’s encouraging but it’s still far too high,’ Professor Olds says. ‘Australian children spend very large amounts of time (3-4 hours a day on average) in front of a screen of some sort – TV, computer or videogame console. Swapping sedentary behaviours like TV watching for activities that get kids moving is a great step towards getting that number down.’

Project coordinator, Dr Jane Bowen of CSIRO’s Preventative Health National Research Flagship, says since the previous surveys there have been some big changes in the Australian way of life.

‘Many children are not eating enough nutritious food, which means they don’t get the vitamins and minerals needed during their growth years,’ she says. ‘Unfortunately fruit, vegetables and dairy foods are being replaced by foods high in kilojoules, salt and saturated fat – the very dietary patterns linked to the development of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease in adults.’

The head of the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at Flinders University Professor Lynne Cobiac, says the results for teenage girls are particularly worrying.

‘As a group, teenage girls appeared to be getting insufficient amounts of calcium from foods. Eighty percent of 14 to 16 year old girls did not consume the recommended amounts of calcium. Girls this age also reported doing the least amount of physical activity. These two factors combined put them at risk of developing weak bones as they grow older.’

Dr Bowen says the survey involved more than 4,400 interviews with children aged 2 to 16 years and their parents.” (Science Centric News)

live a balances life

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October 27, 2008 Posted by | Health, Nutrition, Wellness | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Two Amazing AntiOxidants Made Right in Your Body

active site of Mn human mitochondrial superoxi...

Image via Wikipedia

Today I want to talk to you about antioxidants, these little darlings of the immune system have the capacity to keep you younger, healthier and full of energy. Wouldn’t that be great?

Most of us have heard of Vitamins A, C, D and E and we know enough to make sure we get adequate supplies of them from our food. But what about the antioxidants made right in your own body? Did you know that your body creates its own much more important antioxidants? These are the cellular antioxidants such as glutathione (the Master Antioxidant) which is made mainly from amino acids and the enzymatic antioxidants like superoxide dismutase, SOD for short. I can hear you saying thank goodness for that from here 🙂

I mention these two in particular because a great deal of research is now coming out about how many health challenges can be helped by just making sure your body either gets more of or creates more of (the better way) of these two foundation antioxidants.

Let’s take a better look at Glutathion and SOD:

Glutathione has been shown to slow down the aging process (give me a bucketful), detoxify and improve liver function, strengthen the immune system, and reduce the chances of developing cancer (according to the research, I am not making any claims here).

It has also shown to work to help improve mental function, increase energy, improve concentration, promote increased levels of exercise, improves chronic pain disorders, lowers blood pressure, improves heart and lung function, and helps to control the effects of diabetes. How can it do all this?

Glutathione is the pre-dominant antioxidant in your cells, virtually all cells require glutathione for viability and function and as Dr R Keller has said, “…if it detoxifies and benefits every cell in the body there is almost nothing it cannot help with.”

“Glutathione is a substance, the levels of which in our cells are predictive of how long we will live. There are very few other factors which are as predictive of our life expectancy as is our level of cellular glutathione. We literally cannot survive without this antioxidant,” – Earl Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D.

Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) has recently come into the spotlight for its connection with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). However research on this amazing antioxidant enzyme has been going on for many years and this has proven that SOD protect the body against free radicals by scavenging excess superoxides. Athletes take it to prevent excess free radicals from building up from excessive exercise. It has also proven to help prevent aging, protect mitochondrial function (boost energy), protect from radiation injury, heart disease and cholesterol, protects DNA and cellular health in humans, inhibits inflammatory nerve degeneration, reduces brain swelling after traumatic injuries, lowers inflammation by lowering L10, boosts the immune system (increased T cells and less T cell death), reduced lactic acid after exercise, among a stack of other health boosting effects.

How can you increase your levels of these amazing antioxidants? You need to find supplements that include n-acetyl-cysteine and other glutathione boosting ingredients or eat a lot of broccoli, garlic and asparagus as well as some of the superfruits. SOD food sources include: green barley (organic extract), broccoli, and brussel sprouts. But, if you already have health challenges you’re going to have to eat a LOT of broccoli to get the effect you need to control and perhaps reverse the inflammatory process involved.

live a balanced life…

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September 23, 2008 Posted by | Nutrition, Wellness | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Prevent Colds and Flu s With Quercetin

Mast cells are involved in allergy. Allergies ...Image via Wikipedia

This study has found that mice and people who pick up more colds and ‘flu’s because they exercise to stress raising levels and took quercetin were much less likely to come down with a virus.

“Mice given quercetin, a naturally occurring substance found in fruits and vegetables, were less likely to contract the flu, according to a study published by The American Physiological Society. The study also found that stressful exercise increased the susceptibility of mice to the flu, but quercetin canceled out that negative effect.

“Quercetin was used because of its documented widespread health benefits, which include antiviral activity, abundance in the diet and reported lack of side effects when used as a dietary supplement or food additive,” Davis said.

Although this study was done with mice, a recent human study found that people who took quercetin suffered fewer illnesses following three days of exhaustive exercise compared to those who did not. Unlike the mouse study, the humans were not inoculated with a virus.

“This is the first controlled experimental study to show a benefit of short-term quercetin feedings on susceptibility to respiratory infection following exercise stress,” said Davis. “Quercetin feeding was an effective preventive strategy to offset the increase in susceptibility to infection that was associated with stressful exercise.” Physorg.com, Science Centric News

But what is Quercetin?

Quercetin is a powerful antioxidant. It is also a natural anti-histamine, and anti-inflammatory. Research shows that quercetin may help to prevent cancer, especially prostate cancer.

Why use it?

According to About.com: Quercetin’s antihistamine action may help to relieve allergic symptoms and asthma symptoms. The anti-inflammatory properties may help to reduce pain from disorders such as arthritis. Men who are concerned about prostate problems would also benefit from quercetin. Quercetin may also help reduce symptoms like fatigue, depression and anxiety.

and to phytochemicals.info: Quercetin has many health promoting effects, including improvement of cardiovascular health, reducing risk for cancer. Quercetin has anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects. All these activities are caused by the strong antioxidant action of quercetin. It will help to combat free radicals molecules, which can damage cells.

As many other flavonoids, quercetin prevents the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol. The anti-inflammatory action of quercetin is caused by the inhibition of enzymes, such as lipoxygenase, and the inhibition of inflammatory mediators. Quercetin also inhibits the release of histamine, which causes congestion, by basophils and mast cells.
Studies have shown that quercetin reduces the cancer risk of prostate, ovary, breast, gastric and colon cells.
Quercetin also seems to reduce the production of uric acid, by inhibiting the xanthine oxidase, thereby easing gout symptoms. Studies have shown an improved lung function and lower risk of certain respiratory diseases (asthma and bronchitis) for people with high apple (rich in quercetin) intake.

So check it out and see what we mean, Quercetin is also the subject of some pretty amazing research and even coming to the attention of doctors for it’s amazing properties. After all we are all becoming immune to many antibiotics.

live a balanced life…Social Bookmarking

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September 12, 2008 Posted by | Nutrition, Wellness | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Spice Up Your Life and Live Well!

Cinnamon can be used to regulate blood sugar

Cinnamon can be used to regulate blood sugar

I don’t know about you but i love a few well chosen herbs and spices in my food. Some of my favourites are sweet chilli, nutmeg, black pepper, garlic, tumeric, sea or rock salt and my all time favourite; cinnamon.

A new study has proposed what many of us have known for a while, herbs and spices are good for you and may even protect you against many modern diseases more efficiently than many average foods.

A University of Georgia study has suggested that they are potent inhibitors of inflammation and tissue damage (one of the leading causes of cancer, heart disease and arthritis caused by high blood sugar and let’s face it this is a really common problem in today’s world).

Researchers, whose results appear in the current issue of the Journal of Medicinal Food, tested extracts from 24 common herbs and spices. In addition to finding high levels of antioxidant-rich compounds known as phenols, they revealed a direct correlation between phenol content and the ability of the extracts to block the formation of compounds that contribute to damage caused by diabetes and aging.

“Because herbs and spices have a very low calorie content and are relatively inexpensive, they’re a great way to get a lot of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power into your diet,” said study co-author James Hargrove, associate professor of foods and nutrition in the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Hargrove explained that when blood sugar levels are high, a process known as protein glycation occurs in which the sugar bonds with proteins to eventually form what are known as advanced glycation end products, also known as AGE compounds. The acronym is fitting because these compounds activate the immune system, resulting in the inflammation and tissue damage associated with aging and diabetes.

The researchers found a strong and direct correlation between the phenol content of common herbs and spices and their ability to inhibit the formation of AGE compounds. Spices such as cloves and cinnamon had phenol levels that were 30 percent and 18 percent of dry weight, respectively, while herbs such as oregano and sage were eight and six percent phenol by dry weight, respectively. For comparison, blueberries – which are widely touted for their antioxidant capabilities – contain roughly five percent phenol by dry weight.

Study co-author Diane Hartle, associate professor in the UGA College of Pharmacy, said various phenols are absorbed differently by the body and have different mechanisms of action, so it’s likely that a variety of spices will provide maximum benefit.

She added that controlling blood sugar and the formation of AGE compounds can also decrease the risk of cardiovascular damage associated with diabetes and aging. She explained that high blood sugar accelerates heart disease partly because AGE compounds form in the blood and in the walls of blood vessels. The AGE compounds aggravate atherosclerosis, which produces cholesterol plaques.

The UGA researchers tested for the ability to block AGE compounds in a test tube, but animal studies conducted on the health benefits of spices lend support to their argument. Cinnamon and cinnamon extracts, for example, have been shown to lower blood sugar in mice. Interestingly, cinnamon lowers blood sugar by acting on several different levels, Hargrove said. It slows the emptying of the stomach to reduce sharp rises in blood sugar following meals and improves the effectiveness, or sensitivity, of insulin. It also enhances antioxidant defenses.” Physorg

live a balanced life…  

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August 8, 2008 Posted by | Health, Nutrition | , , , , | Leave a comment

Antioxidants: We Know We Need Them; How Do They Work?

{{en}}Green tea leaves steeping in an uncovere...Image via Wikipedia
“Blueberries, pomegranates, green tea and dark chocolate — these are just some of the antioxidant-rich “superfoods” found in almost any supermarket today. As well as improving our general health, there is growing evidence that diets high in antioxidants may confer some protection against a long list of chronic diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and even HIV. Given their increasing popularity, the fundamental question bears asking: What exactly are antioxidants, and how do they work in our bodies?

Antioxidants come in several forms, including the vitamins A, C and E; plant-derived polyphenols, found in colorful fruits and vegetables; and also the element selenium, found in nuts and broccoli. “What these compounds share,” explained K. Sandeep Prabhu, Penn State assistant professor of immunology and molecular toxicology, “is the ability to neutralize harmful molecules in our cells.”

These harmful molecules, known as free radicals, contain unpaired electrons — which is unusual because electrons typically come in pairs. “The unpaired electrons make free radicals highly reactive, and in this state, they can cause damage by attacking the components of our cells, and can even cause cancer,” Prabhu said.

So where do free radicals come from? Some are created as a natural by-product of reactions in our cells, said Prabhu. Other sources of free radicals include cigarette smoke, air pollution and exposure to UV light or radiation. Once free radicals are formed, they can make more free radicals by scavenging electrons from other molecules, “creating a domino effect,” he added.

Antioxidants neutralize free radicals either by providing the extra electron needed to make the pair, or by breaking down the free radical molecule to render it harmless. “Antioxidants stop the chain reaction of free radical formation and benefit our health by boosting our immune system,” explained Prabhu. Because antioxidants are used up in the process of free radical neutralization, a diet rich in antioxidants is essential to ensure a constant supply.

Research has shown that antioxidants can have an important impact on serious diseases. In one recent study, the addition of a polyphenol-rich blueberry gel to the diet of oral cancer patients prevented recurrence of the cancer. Another experiment demonstrated that increased levels of selenium in the diets of a group of HIV-positive patients significantly delayed progression of the disease.

A diet containing a balance of the various forms of antioxidants will maintain overall good health, and could even impact serious diseases. For instance, the American Cancer Society encourages people to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, and emphasizes the benefits of getting antioxidants through foods rather than supplements. Prabhu himself makes sure he gets the recommended daily allowance of selenium by eating a few brazil nuts everyday. “The key,” said Prabhu, “is to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, and nuts to ensure that we are taking advantage of all the health benefits that antioxidants can provide.”

Penn State Uni -Courtesy of PhysOrg

Is your family getting all the antioxidants they need to stay healthy and live long? Fresh food is one of the most important necessities of life, many of us all around the world now rely on fast food, canned food, frozen food etc.. in our busy lives, but you need to ask yourselves:

Is this a fair trade? Time now for time taken from yours and your families life span?

live a balanced life…  

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August 5, 2008 Posted by | Health, Nutrition, Wellness | , , , | Leave a comment

Excess Sugar Linked To Male Infertility

Illustration of the changes in blood glucose o...Image via Wikipedia

Excess sugar is being linked to so many different symptoms and diseases now that it should serve as a warning to everyone. Sugar means anything that has a high glycemic index: sugar itself and; white flour,  white rice, bread, pasta, biscuits, cakes, ice cream, soda, cola, candy, pastry, etc… Now scientists are telling us it can also lead to male infertility, perhaps this might be why the y chromosome is shrinking too? I guess they will let us know when they have it all figured out.

“Sperm DNA quality is known to be associated with decreased embryo quality, low embryo implantation rates, higher miscarriage rates, and some serious childhood diseases, in particular some childhood cancers. Over the years possible causes for sperm DNA fragmentation have been suggested but to date the exact mechanism for the damage remains unknown, say the scientists.

“We found a class of compounds known as advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in the male reproductive tract. These are formed as the result of glycation (the addition of sugar),” said Dr. Mallidis, “and accumulate during normal ageing. They are dependent on life style – diet, smoking etc – and in many diabetic complications are centrally implicated in DNA damage. We believe that they play a similar role in the male reproductive system.”

The scientists intend to follow up their work by trying to determine how AGEs cause and contribute to DNA damage. They believe that they may have uncovered a new role for AGEs, and that their influence goes far beyond diabetes and its complications.

“We must now try to develop strategies to protect sperm, and to diminish the accumulation of AGEs,” said Dr. Mallidis. Such strategies could involve changes in diet, disrupting a step in the formation of AGEs, or increasing the body’s protection against AGEs, possibly through the use of dietary supplements”

Sugar and starchy over processed grains have become one of the major causes of our modern diseases and it’s time for us all to realise that we must start thinking about what we eat and get back to basics. Prescriptive treatment protocol for the modern day epidemics: lots of vegetables, good quality protein, good fats and oils, wholegrains (in that order) and lots of fresh, clean air, exercise and movement on a daily basis.

When we look at the way all animal life has evolved, we were meant to take advantage of the fruits of the earth and move, not to sit in out over-processed offices, in over-processed lighting, breathing over-processed air and eating over-processed foods. Get out and…

live a balanced life…

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July 12, 2008 Posted by | Health, Nutrition, Wellness | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Belly Fat May Affect Your Liver

Central obesity

Image via Wikipedia

Look down… is your belly fat or flat? If all you see is a rounded ball where your abs ought to be you might want to consider doing something about it. A new study has found that abdominal fat, which is called WAT or while adipose tissue, is something worth shedding. Among its many other disagreeable effects on the body these researchers have found:

“A study by the University of Southern California (USC) suggests the release of lipids from abdominal fat, which drains directly to the liver, increases overnight, providing additional insight as to how abdominal fat is associated with type 2 diabetes risk. The results of the study were presented at an oral session Monday, June 9 at the American Diabetes Association 68th Scientific Sessions held in San Francisco.

“It has been shown that people who store body fat in their abdomens are at greater risk to develop diabetes and other chronic illnesses, but why this happens has remained unclear,” says Lisa Nicole Harrison, B.S., Master’s candidate, at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and lead author on the study. “Our study found lipid release from abdominal fat was substantially elevated during the night, which may be a primary mechanism leading to insulin resistance, a strong risk factor for type 2 diabetes.”

The observed lipids drain directly to the liver, a key center of glucose and insulin metabolism, where they may accumulate as triglyceride and cause dysregulation of these important metabolic processes, Harrison says. The results highlight the importance of abdominal obesity in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes.”

University of Southern California (Physorg.com)

What can you do about it? The book “A Rainbow on My Plate” might have some of the answers.

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June 11, 2008 Posted by | Health, Nutrition, Wellness | , , , | 2 Comments

Scientists Prove We Can Change Our DNA with Nutrition!!

So guys the word is out, Dr Bruce Lipton and others like him have been right all along and now all the medical text books will have to be re-written. Scientists have proved that we can change our DNA with Vitamins and Minerals! (university of California, Berkeley)

This is a major breakthrough, as all these years we have been told we are victims of our genes and that if we are born with certain genes that pre-dispose us to cancer or heart disease or cystic fybrosis (the list goes on and on), we will certainly get those diseases whether we want to or not. BUT, now we know that we can change our genes and alter our DNA and be healthy no matter what we were born with and nutrition is the key. For those who would like to read this scholarly article and prove it for themselves go here.

Have you thought about how to get this vital daily nutrition? As a health practitioner for over 20 years I can tell you I do not believe in Multivitamins, I believe that the ‘live’ enzymes and other co-factors in whole food sources of our vitamins and minerals is the better way. For more information on my recommended way of getting your much needed vitamins and minerals and all the co-factors etc that make them work check out these pages Here.

live a balanced life…

June 3, 2008 Posted by | Health, Nutrition, Wellness | , , , | 3 Comments

Protect Your Skin – Be Sunwise From the Inside Out

acai berries

We all know about using sunscreen, and hopefully by now we also realise that by using sunscreen every time we are in the sun we are becoming deficient in Vitamin D. Vitamin D is such an important vitamin that we must increase it in our bodies or risk: osteoporosis at any age, immune deficiencies, sensitive skin and acne break outs – the list of problems associated with a lack of vitamin D is long.

So how do we protect ourselves while getting our needed dose of Vitamin D every day? From the inside out, that’s how!

Our skin can be protected via good nutritions and one of the ways we can protect our skin against sun damage is Vitamin D, yes the sun carries with it its’ own protective vitamin. What else can you do?

Here is a list of known nutritional protective foods, these foods and their associated vitamins and minerals are known to be skin protective in many ways and can help with sun damage, sun protection, help to resolve acne, pimples, dermatitis and psoriasis:

  • foods rich in lycopenes (the red in tomatoes) so top up on tomatoes (cooked), carrots, watermelon, pink and red grapefruit, goji berries
  • foods rich in Omega fatty acids like salmon, tuna, mackerel, trout and acai etc…
  • rich leafy greens especially broccoli
  • dark chocolate (not milk chocolate)
  • green tea including Oolong, Jasmine and normal Green Tea
  • berries such as acai berries, goji, and blueberries

So get a daily dose of sun for your skins sake (about 1 hour in early morning or late afternoon) and protect yourself from damage from the inside out with great nutrition.

live a balanced life

May 14, 2008 Posted by | Health, Nutrition, Wellness | , , , , | 1 Comment