Certain Foods Tied to Increased Depression Risk

Certain Foods Tied to Increased Depression Risk

This article came as no surprise to me! The new and exciting field of nutritional psychiatry is so key to cognitive and mental health. Of course what we eat matters to our brain! And how we feel emotionally is clearly linked to our physical state.

Our brains need many varied nutrients to function properly and also need a healthy gut microbiome. The health and happiness of the bacterial civilization inside our colons has an immense impact on the status of our brains. They make byproducts from the foods we eat, with a great emphasis on the fermentation products of fiber from vegetables, called short chain fatty acids, which circulate and enter our brains and keep all working well and helping us to feel happy.

A diet which mostly consists of processed foods and animal products and is short on vegetables and some fruits will leave our gut microbiome hungry and our brains unhappy.

So what is the recipe for happiness? It seems clear now that a diet with lots of vegetables and fiber from whole grains, along with lots of healthy fats from plant materials, with  just a small amount of animal protein and fat, is the ticket to health and happiness!!

Read the full article here: http://bit.ly/2pnkCTI

Grey Hair Linked with Increased Heart Disease Risk in Men

Grey Hair Linked with Increased Heart Disease Risk in Men

You thought of your grey hair as a cosmetic burden to deal with, along with being an outright nuisance … and considered that to be plenty to contend with. Now it turns out that the grey is so more than “hair strand deep!” It’s now been shown, confirming what many thought already, myself included, that grey hair also meant that your insides were, at least theoretically, greying as well!

Yes – we now must add a dangerous veneer to the pain of greying hair, as it has been shown in men (ladies this most definitely should apply to you too, though your gender has yet to be studied) that it indicates a very real increased risk of cardiovascular events.

But why would this be? Why should grey strands on your noggin foretell of a disastrous heart attack or stroke? The reason for this correlation is so simple to grasp. Grey hair is a sign of oxidative stress, of an imbalance favoring free radicals! Free radicals are molecules carrying an unmatched electron,

making it exist in a state of oxidative stress – it needs an electron to balance its charge and neutralize it! It’s now an oxidant in search of an antioxidant!

In women in menopause in particular, lack of estrogen predisposes to oxidative stress and lots of free radicals. Another way to think of this is that grey hair is a sign of inflammation!! And inflammation breeds disease! If oxidative stress and free radicals exist in one place in the body, you can be safe extrapolate  that they exist everywhere! And free radicals at the level of the scalp leads to a state of inflammation and oxidative stress at the hair follicle – and hence the greying of hair!

Rather than freaking out about this, better to just swallow and take the steps needed to reduce your level of inflammation and be grateful you know the score prior to a bad event! Together we can lower your state of inflammation and lower your risk of a cardiovascular event (heart attack or stroke, or heart or kidney failure … down the line!)

With a whole foods, organic diet, filled with fiber and an array of vegetables and fruits, along with exercise, proper sleep, stress control, and detoxification – your body can be restored to a much healthier state.

And will the grey hair disappear? This has yet to be tested … so let’s see how your hair reacts!! No promises for the hair, but for sure your arteries will smile!!!

See: https://www.escardio.org/The-ESC/Press-Office/Press-releases/grey-hair-linked-with-increased-heart-disease-risk-in-men?hit=wireek

Does Taking Antidepressants During Pregnancy Cause Autism?

Does Taking Antidepressants During Pregnancy Cause Autism?

The data on the effects of taking antidepressants during a pregnancy  on the developing brains of babies is not definitively known, as no one can do a controlled trial with such drugs. All data is based upon women’s memories and data obtained from medical records – all well recognized to be often faulty and downright erroneous!

Add to that the fact that antidepressants come in different doses and chemical contents and can be taken for variable lengths of time and at different stages of a pregnancy. All of that goes to making the crazy and widespread recent announcement that the use of antidepressants during pregnancy does not have a link with autism or ADHD or any other brain issues – absolutely unfounded.

Let’s take the ubiquitous SSRI’s – drugs like Prozac, Lexapro, Celexa, Paxil, and Zoloft, and the “cousins” Effexor and Cymbalta. These drugs are designed to alter the levels of neurotransmitters! Serotonin is the predominant one impacted. Serotonin is really both a neurotransmitter and a hormone and it has enormous effects all over the body, including the gastrointestinal system, where it is made in huge quantities, surpassing the levels of the brain. And this critically important substance delivers information around the body and is very critical to the development of neural networks in both the gut and brain. To put it mildly, it should be assumed that the potential for harm from antidepressants is great and other measures to deal with depression and anxiety should be taken. There is no way to guarantee safety with these drugs.

It is now understood that moods are heavily determined by the level of inflammation in the body and brain, the overall nutrient status, and hormonal balances and imbalances. Changing the diet to include huge amounts of vegetables and healthy fats, including some saturated fats, eliminating processed food, sugar, and high fructose corn syrup, sleeping better and getting better sleep habits, reducing electromagnetic exposures, exercising, getting out in nature and under the sun, seeing the sunset, working on stress and on relationships, and reducing one’s toxic load, all have amazing benefits for mood and will improve the health of the mom and the baby.

Giving pregnant women drugs which impact the very development of the gut and brain is like playing with fire. A brain is a precious thing and there is only one opportunity to create the perfect brain. Mood disorders are much more common in women and it so easy to prescribe drugs and to take them … and it is a challenge to change ones lifestyle habits. But there is no more motivated group than pregnant women to do what is needed to have a healthy baby! So please get the word out that taking antidepressants is NOT OKAY in pregnancy!! Much better options for mental wellbeing exist, which will help, and definitely not harm, the growing and developing new life!

See: http://time.com/4743467/antidepressants-pregnancy-autism/

PCOS and Fatty Liver - The link between grows stronger!

PCOS and Fatty Liver: The Link Between Grows Stronger!

The incredible link of the gut microbiome and overall gut health with the metabolic manifestations of PCOS just keeps growing more clear! A new study was just recently published, the key points shown in the attached below piece, indicating that women with PCOS do indeed carry a higher risk of developing fatty liver.

The intestinal tract links directly with the liver, through a passageway called the enterohepatic circulation. Inflammatory products from the gut head right to the liver. This connecting passage exists to allow the liver, in concert with the brain, to regulate the glucose and fat levels in our blood and to regulate our appetites.

Never did Mother Nature anticipate that humans would eat huge amounts of animal fats and transfats, inordinate quantities of sugar, and high fructose corn syrup in particular, eat nonstop and late into the night, and eat chemicals toxic to our intestinal microbial guests! The outcome of this unfortunate gut environment is gut dysbiosis (the wrong sorts of bacteria living in the gut) and impaired gut barrier function (also called Leaky Gut).

Leaky gut occurs when the wrong gut composition of bacteria develops and toxic particles are produced by them, called Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) – also called endotoxin – which pass through the gut lining and into the adjacent immune cells, called the Gut Associated Lyphoid Tissue (the GALT). These immune cells feel that they must defend the body against these toxins, as they are assuming the body is undergoing a serious infection, and a severe inflammatory reaction develops in the liver and a chronic state of inflammation develops throughout the body.

This occurs as the immune cells release their own inflammatory products, designed to protect us from invading bacteria, fungus, parasites, and such, but in this case, these “helpful” immune cells are actually furthering the damage being done by creating an unremitting state of chronic inflammation in the liver and throughout the body. This also manifests are severe inflammatory acne!

The occurrence of this inflammation in the liver worsens insulin resistance, causing more testosterone to be made and further interfering with the natural hormonal functions of the ovary.

The first thing all women with PCOS must do is to change the diet to help heal and restore a healthy gut. Food can and indeed should, be thy medicine!!

And that will be the topic of my next PCOS blog!

7 different ways to look absolutely fabulous

7 Different Ways to Look Absolutely Fabulous

As an integrative medical practice, we take a broad view of beauty. Though seen on the outside, beauty is truly a reflection of the physiological processes taking place throughout the body, on both the outside and from deep within our bodies. Skin problems result from hormonal imbalances, deep-seated inflammation, and oxidative stress, manifesting outwardly on the body’s surface.

Our recommendations begin with healing from within and working from there to the part of you that’s visible to the whole world – your skin.

Here’s what you can do to look absolutely fabulous:

  1. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet. The very same nutrients that support cardiovascular, metabolic, and cognitive health help the skin shine. Focus on choices that are organic, with lots of fruits and vegetables. Everything that goes in your mouth should be real, whole food, and, most importantly, everything you eat should taste fabulously delicious.
  2. Heal the gut. Your intestinal tract’s job is to absorb the good nutrients, while keeping the bad stuff (artificial and natural toxins) out. Eating a good diet helps, but sometimes you need extra supplementation to get the job done and lower system-wide inflammation. A detox program can help with this.
  3. Avoid environmental exposures. None of us can escape living in the 21st Century with its abundance of chemical pollutants virtually everywhere. But you must do all you can to minimize your exposures and their terrible harms.
  4. Never use cosmetics and personal care products made with toxic and carcinogenic chemicals. Find good alternatives and toss out the harmful ones.
  5. Have a daily skincare regimen. Don’t wait until the last moment before the big event and then try to hide blemishes under a layer of caked-on cosmetics. Come to our presentation on April 20, and Karen will show you how a daily routine can make your skin radiant every day of the week.
  6. Use organic – or as close to organic as possible – skincare products that have no toxic ingredients.
  7. Consider being proactive by addressing the unwanted effects of age and nature. Aesthetic treatments can make a big difference. And you can make the effects last longer with a daily skincare routine that nourishes the skin and reduces inflammation and oxidative stress. We provide free aesthetic consultations and all that we offer will be discussed – with no pressure to make any purchases.
Hormonal contraceptives and hair dyes increase breast cancer risk

Hormonal Contraceptives and Hair Dyes Increase Breast Cancer Risk | University of Helsinki

I’m anti the use of Progestin embedded IUDs (intrauterine devices), and have been for a long time. Here is now another reason, based on a just published study from Finland. There are several such IUDs, which are different from the copper containing ones.

The progestin containing IUD was found to increase the risk of breast cancer by 52% in postmenopausal women. Granted this is a retrospective observational study … but it makes sense to me!! With such an IUD, you’re putting into the uterus a progesterone endocrine disruptor! Progestins (phony progesterone) block the natural and protective effects of real progesterone!! These IUDs do not contain hormones … but rather contain “anti-hormones,” toxic substances which interfere with real hormones. After all, that’s their purpose – to prevent the natural hormones of the female body from being produced and working in the ways intended for females to work!

I’m also anti oral, and otherwise delivered, chemical endocrine disruptors, known as birth control pills!! These apparently increase the risk of breast cancer by about a third. I’ve been opposed to them for some time as well. It’s especially horrifying that we place these acknowledged toxins into the bodies of young teen girls, whose bodies have not yet fully matured … including their brains!

It’s no wonder that in the USA that over a quarter of adult women use SSRI’s for depression! Of course there are other toxins entering the brains of women, and lots of other issues as well, but often women are kept, unaware of the risks, on those disgusting BCP chemicals for decades!!

I know I’m full of venum on this topic … but why on earth is no one questioning this practice and thinking about the true ramifications of such a thing? Well … at least in Finland there are some who feel as I do!!

And we won’t go over the issue of mammography right now! That was also mentioned in the study. That’s another giant topic for another day!

I know I’m an outlier on the use of chemical endocrine disruptors as contraceptives. I am universally opposed to the intentional placement of endocrine disruptors in humans.

As for the hair dye issue – at the very least, those who do dye their hair should know what the risks are. That’s the entire point of informed consent – to understand the opening and make choices intelligently, with full awareness of the options and risks!

https://www.helsinki.fi/en/news/hormonal-contraceptives-and-hair-dyes-increase-breast-cancer-risk

PS: I’m on the fence now … as I do dye my hair … in this regard I’m a phony! I will immediately look into natural wash-in hair coloring. I want to be true to my pronouncements!

The Two Flavors Of PCOS

The Two Flavors Of PCOS

Until relatively recently, I was of the understanding that Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) was simply one condition, with many different degrees of severity. Some women had very irregular cycles, while others were fairly normal. Some had terrible facial hair, some cystic acne, some thinning hair, some were obese while some couldn’t put on a pound. Variety abounded!

While all of that remains true, it turns out that there really are two quite different conditions, with many similarities, yet with foundational differences. The two distinct types of PCOS are the type with high levels of testosterone, and the other type, characterized by high levels of DHEA-S. This is not “new” news. We’ve known for a long time that different androgens can be elevated in different women with PCOS. But all were still lumped together under the single umbrella of PCOS.

Here are my observations. Please understand that these are generalizations. Women with high testosterone PCOS are easier to treat regarding their acne and weight issues compared with the elevated DHEA-S group. The women I see with very high DHEA-S tend to have recalcitrant cystic acne, often very severe. And their excessive fat tissue is very difficult to burn. Though I am opposed to the use of oral contraceptives in general, I’ve had women with high DHEA-S go on oral contraceptives and in general they do poorly. Their skin doesn’t improve and they gain more weight. Similarly with Spironolactone, it simply doesn’t help.

I’ve treated the high DHEA-S women group in the same ways I treated the high testosterone group, and I now think that may not be the best approach. They are indeed different.

I believe that the women with the high DHEA-S need to work on reducing stress and improving sleep more than the high testosterone group. Getting to bed by 10:30 PM, getting some sun most days, and controlling stress should be very beneficial and high priorities.

The DHEA-S comes from the adrenal glands, not the ovaries, and it’s the adrenal glands which respond so dramatically to stress. It’s so essential for those women to keep stress levels low. Exercise would be even more important for the women with high DHEA-S, in part to lower stress and also to increase metabolism. Getting on a diet with low amounts of animal meats and high amounts of varied vegetables, should be a mainstay of treatment as well. I’ve also found a high percentage of women with elevated DHEA-S levels to be poor detoxifiers. Emphasizing cruciferous vegetables and taking a great B vitamin complex, with methylated B’s, should be tried. And be sure the levels of Vitamin D are around 50. Getting genetics checked is also reasonable.

I’d like to end by saying that much more needs to be learned about these two quite different types of PCOS. But one thing which has been found out is that women with high DHEA-S have no higher risk for diabetes and heart disease than does the general population. This is amazing and encouraging news! The unpleasantness of today will be the anti aging foundation of the future. There is indeed much to celebrate and to look towards. There is, to put it simply, much hope and much happiness ahead.

Veggies and Fruits are Magical!

It’s been scientifically proven a significant number of times – vegetables and fruits are magical! They contain an array of amazing ingredients which perform amazing things for our bodies and our health.

The magical phytonutrients found in these plants can turn on and off genes, as do hormones, and do special things to help our microbiota, the trillions of bacteria within our colons and intestines, to thrive. In turn, the healthy microbiota, known collectively as the gut microbiome, can perform their magic to optimize our health.

Autoimmune disease has been reversed, cancers placed into remission, and Alzheimer’s Disease reversed, solely with lifestyle programs. The foundational ingredient of each program is and must be – nutrition. So aim to eat a dozen vegetables daily and 2-3 fruits … and see your body truly thrive!

Read more: High Fruit and Vegetable Intake Linked to Reduced Risk for CVD, Cancer, and Mortality

Losing weight – and keeping it off!

In a previous blog, we discussed how difficult it is to maintain weight loss, and that one of the key strategies used most successfully by long-term weight losers is to exercise about an hour per day. The same, by the way, goes for losing weight in the first place. You need to exercise for about an hour per day to burn enough calories to have a significant impact on weight loss. Of course, the more elements of a healthy lifestyle you add to your daily routine – good sleep, reduced stress, healthy diet, avoidance of toxic exposures, and others – the more effective your weight loss efforts will be.

But, you may ask, how practical is it to spend an hour every day “working out?” Don’t you already have way too much to do without adding even more “chores,” especially ones you don’t particularly look forward to doing?

Well, without diving too deeply into the motivation discussion – how important is living long and well to you really? – let’s focus, instead, on how practical it is to exercise for that hour each day.

First off, exercise doesn’t have to be a knock-down, drag-out affair to be effective. Walking at a moderate pace – 3.0 to 3.5 mph (about a mile in 20 minutes or a little less) – is enough for most people. Your heart rate quickens a little, and you breathe a little harder. You probably won’t want to do this in high heels; but you also don’t need a sweat suit, running flats, and a shower afterwards.

So, it doesn’t have to be a “big deal” or annoyingly disruptive to a normal life. But the question then is: when do you do it? Not surprisingly, the answer varies according to the specifics of the life you lead. Some people like to set aside an hour during the day, and get their exercise done and over with. For some, early in the morning, before getting swept up in the day’s activities, works best. Others prefer late in the afternoon in the slot between the end of the workday and dinner. If you happen to be retired, then you have even more flexibility in your choices.

An effective alternative to the all-in-one-shot approach is to break up your exercise into three 15-20 minute walks following breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you do this within 15 minutes of finishing your meals, you get the additional benefit of cutting your after-meal insulin spike in half and giving your weight-loss efforts a significant boost. It’s also an incredibly pleasant experience, whether you do it alone or share your walk with someone who can share your thoughts. Try it, you’ll like it!

Detoxing and Weight Loss

The obesity epidemic is still increasing, but the efforts to lose weight are declining. Weight loss is rarely successful when done in the traditional manner of trying to simply consume fewer calories, and many are simply giving up hope! Obesity is associated with an increase in all health problems, and is a very serious matter.

It’s now becoming apparent that gaining a healthy gut microbiome – having a healthy balance of bacteria in the intestines – is essential for the successful and permanent loss of excess body fat. As well, dealing with the high body burden of environmental toxicants is equally important for permanent weight management. Environmental pollutants actually alter metabolism so that fat is accumulated, which is why they are now labeled “obesegens.”

Successful weight loss and maintenance of a healthy weight requires detoxing the body, improving gut health, getting proper sleep to nurture our Circadian Rhythm, managing stress, increasing physical activity, and having all essential nutrients onboard so as to enable the body’s metabolic machinery to function optimally – to successfully burn fat!

This isn’t a simple process, but it is worth the effort – as living a life of optimized health brings with it a level joy and exuberance otherwise unattainable!

Read more here:  http://time.com/4692274/americans-lose-weight-obesity/

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