Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Marijuana tampons may be able to eliminate cramps
(NaturalNews) Women who live in either California or Colorado now have access to workable options other than NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) for treating their menstrual woes, as companies in these two states have begun unveiling the latest in all-natural cramp relief: cannabis-infused feminine hygiene products.
You heard that right – marijuana tampons are quickly becoming all the rage in legal-access states, as both science and personal experience continue to demonstrate the powerful, pain-relieving properties of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), the two primary cannabinoid constituents found in the cannabis plant.
Foria is one such novelty company that's begun infusing the two substances directly into tampon products, which women can apply directly to their areas of pain. This transdermal delivery system provides a steady and sustained dosage of THC and CBD, offering lasting relief against cramps and other symptoms of a woman's time of the month.
"Each serving contains a specially formulated blend of THC and' target='_blank'>http://cwclabs.com/CBD-Analysis.html">and CBD, cannabinoids which are known to relax muscles and release tension and cramping in the body," explains Foria on its website. "Through the use of a suppository these antispasmodic and pain relieving properties go directly to the area in need of relief."
Anyone who's used http://www.naturalnews.com/cannabis.html>can... in complete form – THC and CBD combined – knows that CBD offsets the "high" effects of THC, rendering safe and effective pain relief without any euphoria or psychotropic effects. And when applied directly to the skin or taken orally, these effects are prolonged, making cannabis http://www.naturalnews.com/tampons.html>tamp... a better option than, say, Motrin for relieving pain.
"The plant medicine works with your body to gently, yet profoundly, shift your unique experience in a holistic and natural way," Foria adds about this unique product.
Cannabis has long been known to provide menstrual relief
It's not as though cannabis is all that new to women's health, in case you were wondering where this concept emerged from. Queen Victoria of England, who ruled from 1837–1901, actually used cannabis for this very purpose, and it was believed to have been prescribed to her directly by her personal physician, Dr. J.R. Reynolds.
It was known even way back then that cannabis extracts help to relax smooth muscles and get your mind off whatever http://www.naturalnews.com/pain.html>pain might be ailing you – a literal Godsend for every woman out there who knows full well what dealing with this monthly bout of misery is like. Cannabis is so effective, in fact, that Sir William Osler, considered to be the father of modern medicine, declared it to be the "most effective medication for treating migraine headaches," this being another common symptom of a woman's period.
What's especially great about cannabis is that it doesn't actually block pain or cover it up; it merely mitigates the debilitating effects of pain on the body, helping the body to adapt to the problem rather than having to suffer through it. Cannabis is almost adaptogenic in this regard, providing pain-free clarity and focus in a functionally restorative way.
Cannabis is also free' target='_blank'>http://www.sideeffects.news/">free of harmful side effects, which can't be said for the many drug-based therapies offered to women looking for menstrual relief. You don't have to worry about destroying your liver, for instance, or poisoning your brain; cannabis works in harmony with the body rather than in opposition to it, which is nearly unheard of within the realm of pharmaceuticals.
There's plenty of science to back this up as well, including www.medicalmarijuana.com/relief-from-painful... target="_blank">within the Natural Science Journal. Whether eaten, applied or smoked, there's a role for cannabis in your health – in this case, specifically for women's' target='_blank'>http://www.womenshealth.news/">women's health issues.
Sources for this article include:
Drug-Free Strategies to Lower Your Blood Pressure
November 30, 2016 | 103,908 views
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By Dr. Mercola
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 3 American adults (about 70 million people) have high blood pressure.1 About half have uncontrolled high blood pressure, which increases your risk for a number of serious health problems, including:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease2
- Cognitive decline, dementia and Alzheimer's disease3,4
Globally, more than 1 billion people struggle with high blood pressure, and prevalence has nearly doubled in the past four decades.5,6
Overall, men tend to have higher blood pressure than women, and while high-income nations have seen a significant decline in hypertension, prevalence in low- and middle-income countries, such as South Asia and Africa, is spiking. According to researchers, prevalence is "completely inverse" to national income.
Worldwide, high blood pressure is thought to cause nearly 13 percent of all deaths, or about 7.5 million deaths annually.
What Causes High Blood Pressure?
According to medical physiology textbooks, as much as 95 percent of hypertension is called essential hypertension, meaning the underlying cause is unknown. From my perspective, this simply isn't true. A number of factors have been identified as contributing to high blood pressure, including but not limited to:
• Insulin and leptin resistance. As your insulin and leptin levels rise, it causes your blood pressure to increase7,8
• Elevated uric acid levels are also significantly associated with hypertension, so any program adopted to address high blood pressure needs to normalize your uric acid level as well
• Poor nutrition in childhood has been shown to raise the risk of high blood pressure in adulthood9
• Lead exposure
• Pollution. As your insulin and leptin levels rise, it causes your blood pressure to increase
• Insulin and leptin resistance. Air pollution affects blood pressure by causing inflammation while noise pollution asserts an effect via your nervous and hormonal systems.
Air pollution has been shown to increase your risk of high blood pressure to the same degree as having a body mass index (BMI) of 25 to 30.
Living in an area plagued by constant noise pollution (busy city streets with night time traffic) has been shown to increase the risk of hypertension by 6 percent, compared to living in an area where noise levels are at least 20 percent lower10
The Importance of Diet and Insulin Sensitivity
As noted by the lead author Majid Ezzati, Ph.D., a professor of global environmental health at Imperial College London:11
"The perception is that people are not getting enough calories, but the reality is, they're not getting healthy calories. Making fresh, healthy food affordable and accessible for everybody should be a priority."
One of the most important dietary changes needed to improve high blood pressure is to eliminate or dramatically reduce sugar and processed fructose from your diet. The easiest way to do that is to replace processed foods with real, whole foods. This will address not only insulin and leptin resistance but also elevated uric acid levels.
One 2010 study12 discovered that those who consumed 74 grams or more per day of fructose (the equivalent of about 2.5 sugary drinks) had a 77 percent greater risk of having blood pressure levels of 160/100 mmHg (stage 2 hypertension).
Consuming 74 grams or more of fructose per day also increased the risk of a 135/85 blood pressure reading by 26 percent, and a reading of 140/90 by 30 percent. To learn more about healthy eating, please see my optimal nutrition plan, which will guide you through the necessary changes step-by-step.
To ascertain whether insulin/leptin resistance is at play, be sure to check your fasting insulin level. If your hypertension is the result of elevated insulin levels, dietary intervention will be key.
Aim for a fasting insulin level of 2 to 3 microU per mL (mcU/mL). If it's 5 mcU/mL or above, you definitely need to lower your insulin level to reduce your risk of high blood pressure and other cardiovascular health problems.
Keep in mind that the so-called "normal" fasting insulin level is anywhere from 5 to 25 mcU/mL, but please do not make the mistake of thinking that this "normal" insulin range equates to optimal.
Do You Have High Blood Pressure?
A blood pressure reading gives you two numbers. The upper or first number is your systolic blood pressure reading. The lower or second number is your diastolic pressure. For example, a blood pressure reading of 120 over 80 (120/80) means you have a systolic arterial pressure of 120 and a diastolic arterial pressure of 80.
Your systolic pressure is the highest pressure in your arteries. It occurs when your ventricles contract at the beginning of your cardiac cycle. Diastolic pressure refers to the lowest arterial pressure, and occurs during the resting phase of your cardiac cycle. Ideally, your blood pressure should be about 120/80 without medication.
If you're over the age of 60, your systolic pressure is the most important cardiovascular risk factor. If you're under 60 and have no other major risk factors for cardiovascular disease, your diastolic pressure is believed to be a more important risk factor.13
According to guidelines14,15,16 issued by the Joint National Committee (JNC) on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure in 2014, the following blood pressure classifications are used to determine whether you might suffer from hypertension:17
Blood Pressure Classification
Systolic Pressure (mmHg)
Diastolic Pressure (mmHg)
Stage 1 Hypertension
Stage 2 Hypertension
How to Avoid a False Hypertension Diagnosis
To avoid a false hypertension diagnosis, keep in mind that your blood pressure reading can vary significantly from day to day, and even from one hour to the next, so don't overreact if you get one high reading here or there. It's when your blood pressure remains consistently or chronically elevated that significant health problems can occur. The following variables can also affect the validity of your blood pressure reading:
• Incorrect blood pressure cuff size: If you're overweight, taking your reading with a size "average" blood pressure cuff can lead to a falsely elevated blood pressure reading, so make sure your doctor or health care professional is using the right size cuff for your arm.
• Incorrect arm position: If your blood pressure is taken while your arm is parallel to your body, your reading can be up to 10 percent higher than it really is. Blood pressure readings should always be taken with your arm at a right angle to your body.
• Nervousness: "White coat hypertension" is a term used for when a high blood pressure reading is caused by the stress or fear associated with a doctor or hospital visit. This can be a transient yet serious concern. If this applies to you, stress reduction is key.
To decrease your risk of being falsely diagnosed with hypertension in this situation, take a moment to calm down (be sure to arrive for your appointment ahead of time so you can unwind), then breathe deeply and relax when you're getting your blood pressure taken.
Measuring Pressure on Both Arms May Provide Valuable Health Info
More recently, researchers are urging healthcare providers to measure blood pressure twice, once on each arm. A number of studies have revealed that a significant difference between your right and left arm pressure may indicate circulatory problems that raise your risk for stroke, peripheral artery disease or other cardiovascular problems.18
Slight variations in blood pressure between left and right is normal, but when the difference is five points or greater, it could signal trouble. A British study found that people with a five-point or more difference between arms had nearly double the risk of dying from heart disease in the next eight years.19
Another analysis of 20 studies found that those with a right-to-left arm difference in blood pressure of 15 points or more were twice as likely to have peripheral artery disease in the arms and/or legs. As noted by Harvard Health Publications:20
"In younger people, side-to-side differences in blood pressure can occur when a muscle or something else compresses an artery supplying the arm, or by a structural problem that prevents smooth blood flow through an artery. In older people, it's usually due to a blockage arising from atherosclerosis, the artery-clogging disease process at the root of most heart attacks, strokes, peripheral artery disease and other cardiovascular conditions.
A less common cause of a between-arm difference in blood pressure is an aortic dissection. This is a tear inside the wall of the aorta, the main pipeline of oxygenated blood from the heart to the body. At your next doctor's visit, ask to have your blood pressure checked in both arms. If there's a difference greater than 10 point, another test called the ankle-brachial index might be in order to check for peripheral artery disease."
If you're between the ages of 18 and 59 without major health conditions, or if you're 60 or older with diabetes and/or chronic kidney disease, conventional medicine recommends drug treatment if your blood pressure is at or above 140/90. In those over 60 who do not have diabetes or chronic kidney disease, the panel suggests delaying drug treatment until you're above 150/90. According to the JNC panel members:21
"For all persons with hypertension, the potential benefits of a healthy diet, weight control and regular exercise cannot be overemphasized. These lifestyle treatments have the potential to improve BP control and even reduce medication needs. Although the authors of this hypertension guideline did not conduct an evidence review of lifestyle treatments in patients taking and not taking antihypertensive medication, we support the recommendations of the 2013 Lifestyle Work Group."22
While recommending diet and exercise is a step in the right direction, the panel didn't take it all the way. In my experience, even stage 1 and 2 hypertension can be successfully addressed with lifestyle interventions, to where drugs become unnecessary.
The key is to be sufficiently aggressive in your diet and lifestyle modifications. There are plenty of clinical success stories that vouch for this stance.23 That said, if you have seriously elevated blood pressure, it would be wise to be on medication to prevent a stroke while you implement these lifestyle changes.
Omega-3 Is Vital for Healthy Blood Pressure
Recent research highlights the importance of animal-based omega-3 fats for healthy blood pressure — especially in young adults. More than 2,000 healthy men and women between the ages of 25 and 41 participated in the study. Diabetics and those with a BMI over 35, which is considered obese, were excluded.
The findings showed that those with the highest serum levels of omega-3 also had the lowest blood pressure readings. On average, their systolic pressure was 4 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) lower and their diastolic pressure was 2 mm Hg lower compared to those with the lowest omega-3 blood levels. As reported by WebMD:24
"'This suggests that promoting diets rich in omega-3 foods could be a strategy to prevent high blood pressure,' [Dr. Mark] Filipovic said … Even a small reduction in pressure, as little as about 5 mm Hg, could prevent a great number of strokes and heart events in the general population …
Another recent study found that doses of omega-3 fatty acids as low as less than a gram a day could help those who already have high blood pressure reduce their numbers … The fish oil may work by improving blood vessel function and reducing inflammation, among other things,' Filipovic said."
Animal-Based Versus Plant-Based Omega-3s
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You can obtain omega-3 fats from both plants and marine animals like fish and krill. However, it's really important to realize that these sources provide very different types of omega-3 and, as explained by Nils Hoem, Ph.D., a Norwegian scientist specializing in omega-3 phospholipids, they are NOT interchangeable.
The short-chain fatty acids found in plants are simply food — they're a source of energy — while the long-chain fatty acids found in fish and krill, especially docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are structural elements that actually make up your cells. This is a MAJOR difference between plant- and animal-based sources.
There are specific transporters for long-chained omega-3s in your blood-brain barrier, the placenta (in pregnant women), and likely also in your liver, which transport these molecules in a very precise way into the cell membranes where they belong. No such transporters exist for the short-chained omega-3s.
So please, don't make the mistake of confusing plant-based (short-chained) and animal-based (long-chained) omega-3, as doing so could have severe health consequences. You absolutely need animal-based omega-3, and you simply cannot obtain the same benefits from plant-based sources because the conversion rate of plant-based ALA omega 3 fats to DHA is clinically insignificant.
Fish and krill also have differences worth noting. One of the most important differences is the fact that krill oil is bound to phospholipids, which allows the omega-3 fats to travel efficiently into your hepatic system; hence, they're more bioavailable. Phospholipids are also a principal compound in high-density lipoproteins (HDL), which you want more of, and by allowing your cells to maintain structural integrity, phospholipids help your cells function properly.
Finally, many vegans are using marine-based DHA supplements, which makes sense but is still less than ideal, as you not only need DHA but the whole complex of supporting fatting acids. Do your best to get your DHA from healthy, nontoxic seafood, and if that is not possible, then use a high-quality full spectrum DHA supplement like krill oil.
You can learn more about all of these differences by listening to the interview above, or reading through the accompanying article," The Critical Differences Between Omega-3 Fats From Plants and Marine Animals." A summary can also be found in the following infographic.
Embed this infographic on your website:
Learn why krill oil is a safer and smarter choice than fish oil through the Fish Oil versus Krill Oil: The Cold, Hard Facts infographic. Use the embed code to share it on your website or visit our infographic page for the high-res version.
<img src="http://media.mercola.com/assets/images/infographic/krill-oil-vs-fish-oil.jpg" alt="krill oil vs fish oil infographics" border="0" style="max-width:100%; min-width:300px; margin: 0 auto 20px auto; display:block;"><p style="max-width:800px; min-width:300px; margin:0 auto; text-align:center;">Learn why krill oil is a safer and smarter choice than fish oil through the <a href="http://www.mercola.com/infographics/fish-oil-vs-krill-oil.htm"><strong>Fish Oil versus Krill Oil: The Cold, Hard Facts</strong></a> infographic. Visit our infographic page for the high-res version.</p>
Click on the code area and press CTRL + C (for Windows) / CMD + C (for Macintosh) to copy the code
Beetroot Juice May Help Lower Blood Pressure
Another food that has been found to have a beneficial effect on blood pressure is beetroot juice.25 In one small placebo-controlled trial, one glass (250 milliliters or 8.5 ounces) of beetroot juice per day for one month reduced blood pressure in those diagnosed with hypertension by an average of 8 mmHg systolic and 4 mmHg diastolic pressure.26
This 8/4 mmHg reduction is very close to that provided by blood pressure mediations, which typically can reduce blood pressure by about 9/5 mmHg, and for many it was enough to bring their blood pressure down to normal levels. The treatment group also saw a 20 percent improvement in blood vessel dilation capacity and a 10 percent reduction in arterial stiffness.
However, within two weeks of stopping the juice, their blood pressure returned to their previous levels, so you'd have to keep drinking it consistently. For this reason, I would advise against viewing beetroot juice as a primary solution. A better strategy would be to incorporate a glass of beetroot juice as a short-term solution while you're implementing other dietary changes and exercise.
The beneficial effects are related to the nitrate (NO3) found in beetroot juice. Your body converts the NO3 into bioactive nitrite (NO2) and nitric oxide (NO), the latter of which helps relax and dilate your blood vessels, and helps prevent blood clots. Other vegetables high in NO3 include:
Garlic Is Also Helpful
Two other foods known to dilate blood vessels, albeit in different ways from beetroot juice, are garlic and watermelon. In an experiment by the British BBC series, "Trust Me, I'm a Doctor," designed to evaluate which of these three foods was the most effective for lowering blood pressure, found that beetroot produced the greatest results.
It lowered blood pressure of the 28 participants from an average baseline of 133.6 mmHg to 128.7 mmHg in one week. Garlic came in second place, lowering blood pressure to an average of 129.3 mmHg. Watermelon, in last place, lowered blood pressure to an average of 129.8 mmHg. As noted by BBC:27
"Our small study adds to a growing number which suggest that eating beetroot and garlic regularly may help reduce your blood pressure. But these aren't the only foods that can do this. The active ingredient in beetroot, nitrate, is present in plenty of green vegetables: celery; lettuce; watercress; rocket; spinach; chard; broccoli; for example.
And the active ingredient in garlic — allicin — is also present in onions, shallots, leeks, chives and spring onions. It turns out there are several foods which can help keep our blood pressure low."
Vitamin D Can Also Relax Your Arteries and Improve Blood Pressure
Vitamin D deficiency, associated with both arterial stiffness and hypertension,28 is another important consideration. According to researchers from the Emory/Georgia Tech Predictive Health Institute,29 even if you're considered generally "healthy," if you're deficient in vitamin D then your arteries are likely stiffer than they should be. As a result, your blood pressure may run high due to your blood vessels being unable to relax.
In their study, having a serum level of vitamin D lower than 20 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml) was considered a deficiency state that raises your hypertension risk. Less than 30 ng/ml was deemed insufficient. Previous research30 has also shown that the farther you live from the equator, the higher your risk of developing high blood pressure.
Blood pressure also tends to be higher in winter months than during the summer. Exposing your bare skin to sunlight affects your blood pressure through a variety of different mechanisms, including the following:
• Sun exposure causes your body to produce vitamin D. Lack of sunlight reduces your vitamin D stores and increases parathyroid hormone production, which increases blood pressure.
• Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, a group of health problems that can include insulin resistance, elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels, obesity and high blood pressure.
• Research31 shows that sun exposure increases the level of NO in your skin. This dilates your blood vessels, thereby reducing your blood pressure. (For comparison, and to show how various factors tie together, uric acid, produced when you eat sugar/fructose, raises your blood pressure by inhibiting NO in your blood vessels — the opposite effect of sun exposure.)
• Vitamin D is also a negative inhibitor of your body's renin-angiotensin system (RAS), which regulates blood pressure.32 If you're vitamin D deficient, it can cause inappropriate activation of your RAS, which may lead to hypertension.
• Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays is thought to cause the release of endorphins, chemicals in your brain that produce feelings of euphoria and relief from pain. Endorphins naturally relieve stress, and stress management is an important factor in resolving hypertension.
Key Lifestyle Strategies for Lowering Your Blood Pressure
In summary, here are several suggestions that can help lower your blood pressure naturally.
Address insulin and leptin resistance
As mentioned earlier, high blood pressure is typically associated with insulin resistance, which results from eating a diet too high in sugar. As your insulin level elevates, so does your blood pressure. Insulin stores magnesium, but if your insulin receptors are blunted and your cells grow resistant to insulin, you can't store magnesium so it passes out of your body through urination.
Magnesium stored in your cells relaxes muscles. If your magnesium level is too low, your blood vessels will constrict rather than relax, and this constriction raises your blood pressure.
Fructose also elevates uric acid, which drives up your blood pressure by inhibiting the NO in your blood vessels. (Uric acid is a byproduct of fructose metabolism. In fact, fructose typically generates uric acid within minutes of ingestion.) NO helps your vessels maintain their elasticity, so NO suppression leads to increases in blood pressure.
If you're healthy, and want to stay that way, the general rule is to keep your total fructose intake to 25 grams per day or less. If you're insulin resistant and/or have high blood pressure, keep your total fructose to 15 grams or less per day until your condition has resolved.
Eat real food
A processed food diet, loaded with net carbohydrates (non-fiber carbs like sugar, fructose and grains) and trans fat (margarines and vegetable oils) is a recipe for hypertension. Instead, make whole, ideally organic foods the focus of your diet.
Also remember to swap non-fiber carbs for healthy fats such as avocados, butter made from raw, grass-fed organic milk, organic pastured egg yolks, coconuts and coconut oil, raw nuts such as pecans and macadamia, grass-fed meats and pasture raised poultry. To learn more about healthy eating, please see my optimal nutrition plan.
Mind your sodium to potassium ratio
According to Lawrence Appel, lead researcher on the DASH diet and director of the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research at Johns Hopkins, your diet as a whole is the key to controlling hypertension — not salt reduction alone.
He believes a major part of the equation is this balance of minerals — i.e., most people need less sodium and more potassium, calcium and magnesium. According to Appel:33 "Higher levels of potassium blunt the effects of sodium. If you can't reduce or won't reduce sodium, adding potassium may help. But doing both is better."
Indeed, maintaining a proper potassium to sodium ratio in your diet is very important, and hypertension is but one of many side effects of an imbalance. A processed food diet virtually guarantees you'll have a lopsided ratio of too much sodium to potassium. Making the switch from processed foods to whole foods will automatically improve your ratios.
Load up on veggies
Juicing is a simple way to increase the amount of vegetables in your diet, and many NO3-rich veggies (which raise your NO level) are suitable for juicing, such as beets, kale, celery, spinach, carrots and more. Allicin-rich garlic, leeks, challots and chives also help improve your blood pressure, and are easy to add to salads and various dishes.
Optimize your vitamin D level
To learn more about vitamin D testing, please see my previous article, "How Vitamin D Performance Testing Can Help You Optimize Your Health."
Boost your animal-based omega-3 intake
The best way to boost your omega-3 is to eat plenty of oily fish that are low in mercury and other pollutants. Good options include wild caught Alaskan salmon, sardines and anchovies. Alternatively, take a high-quality krill oil or fish oil supplement. As noted earlier, krill oil has certain advantages over fish oil, which is why I prefer it.
Consider intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting is one of the most effective ways I've found to normalize your insulin/leptin sensitivity. It's not a diet in conventional terms, but rather a way of scheduling your eating in such a way as to promote efficient energy use.
Essentially, intermittent fasting means eating your calories during a specific window of the day, and choosing not to eat food during the rest. When you eat, your body reacts by elevating insulin and leptin.
A comprehensive fitness program can go a long way toward regaining your insulin sensitivity and normalizing your blood pressure. To reap the greatest rewards, I recommend including high intensity interval exercises in your routine.
If you are insulin resistant, you'll also want to include weight training. When you work individual muscle groups, you increase blood flow to those muscles, and good blood flow will increase your insulin sensitivity.
I also recommend training yourself to breathe through your nose when exercising, as mouth breathing during exercise can raise your heart rate and blood pressure, sometimes resulting in fatigue and dizziness. To learn more about this, please refer to my previous article on the Buteyko breathing method.
Avoid smoking and other forms of pollution
Smoking is known to contribute to high blood pressure, as are other forms of air pollution, and even noise pollution. To address these, avoid smoking, consider using ear plugs during sleep if you live in a noisy neighborhood (provided you cannot move), and take steps to improve your indoor air quality.
Going barefoot will help you ground to the earth. Experiments show that walking barefoot outside (also referred to as Earthing or grounding) improves blood viscosity and blood flow, which help regulate blood pressure.So, do yourself a favor and ditch your shoes now and then.
Grounding also calms your sympathetic nervous system, which supports your heart rate variability. This in turn promotes homeostatis, or balance, in your autonomic nervous system. In essence, anytime you improve heart rate variability, you're improving your entire body and all of its functions.
Address your stress
The connection between stress and hypertension is well documented, yet still does not receive the emphasis it deserves. In fact, it has been shown that people with heart disease can lower their risk of subsequent cardiac events by over 70 percent simply by learning to manage their stress.
Suppressed negative emotions such as fear, anger and sadness can severely limit your ability to cope with the unavoidable every day stresses of life. It's not the stressful events themselves that are harmful, but your lack of ability to cope.
The good news is, strategies exist to quickly and effectively transform your suppressed, negative emotions, and relieve stress. My preferred method is the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), an easy to learn, easy to use technique for releasing negative emotions.
EFT combines visualization with calm, relaxed breathing, while employing gentle tapping to "reprogram" deeply seated emotional patterns.
How Lingzhi Muxhrooms Combats Aging, Disease and Cancer
November 30, 2016 under Medicine
For years, I have wanted to include something from Chinese Medicine into my protocol, something universal and not needing a Chinese herbalist to prescribe it. Finally, I have found the perfect answer. Lingzhi mushrooms has literally hundreds of unique bio-active compounds that have life extending properties, stimulates brain neurons, searches out and destroys cancer cells and prevents the development of new fat cells in obese individuals. In terms of life span extension it has been shown to increase life in studies by 9% to more than 20% in animal studies.
Ganoderma lucidum, an oriental fungus, has a long history of use for promoting health and longevity in China, Japan, and other Asian countries. It is a large, dark mushroom with a glossy exterior and a woody texture. The Latin word lucidus means “shiny” or “brilliant” and refers to the varnished appearance of the surface of the mushroom. The iconic mushroom commonly known as Reishi (in Japanese) or Ling Zhi (靈芝 in Chinese) is probably the most respected medicinal mushroom in Asia.
While mushrooms such as shitake, maitake, and cordyceps, all share similar immune boosting properties, Red Reishi has also the longest history and has been known to be effective in the treatment of the widest range of health conditions. Unlike other mushrooms, only Lingzhi has many important compounds such as triterpenes (ganoderic acid) that gives them a unique characteristic of being bitter in taste.
Use of Lingzhi mushrooms as a medicine goes as far back as the Han Dynasty’s “Materia Medica” or Ben Cao Gang Mu (the earliest herbal pharmacopoeia text known, written around 1590 AD). No other plant is better at finding, decomposing and flushing out subpar cellular matter throughout the body, which then allows the surrounding organ and blood system to function at a higher level. Lingzhi is loaded with terpenes. It makes sense that one of its innate abilities is to do a similar breaking-down and dissipating action in the body.
Because of its rich history and long tradition of medicinal use, Ganoderma lucidum is now one of the few mushroom species whose DNA has been fully sequenced (16,113 genes). Paul Stamets, author of Growing Gourmet & Medicinal Mushrooms and educator of mushroom cultivators world-wide says, “Reishi is remarkable for its diversity of genes coding for cytochrome P450 enzymes. These enzymes not only afford this species a broad arsenal for producing secondary metabolites for digesting nutrients, but may also confer benefits to human health such as enhancing the degradation of toxins and free radicals and increasing the liver’s metabolic efficiency. The variety of these enzymes, among more than 400 active constituents that have been found, indicates to me that mushrooms such as Reishi are like miniature pharmaceutical factories that can produce hundreds of medicinally-interactive compounds.”
Terpenes—Nature’s Internal Solvent
Out of the functional compounds found thus far in Lingzhi, the largest group is terpenes, of which triterpenes are a derivative. You know that aroma from pine trees? From clove? Or anise, oregano, menthol, cinnamon, and citrus? That largely comes from terpenes (more commonly referred to as essential oils). Terpenes are considered the strongest anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor compounds found in nature. Numerous triterpenoids have been shown to possess rapid acetylcholine action, our brain’s main neurotransmitter. Oral administration of Lingzhi show triterpenes appearing in blood plasma in high quantities in under 20 minutes from ingestion.
Aside from this speed and breadth of effect, the more fascinating property of all terpenes is their ability to dissolve, dissipate, and decompose cellular matter. One of the first terpenes ever extracted (12th century, by Arnaud de Villanosa) from nature was turpentine—yes, the paint thinner, which is natural.
For those looking for an ultra-low cost solution to part of what Lingzhi mushrooms can do know that turpentine has what we would expect from terpenes. Turpentine and petroleum distillates similar to kerosene have been used medicinally since ancient times and are still being used as folk remedies up to the present. They were used in ancient Babylon to treat stomach problems, inflammations and ulcers.
Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), an organic sulfur compound that was used only as an industrial solvent, is also known for its positive health effects. (Look soon for an essay on the importance and use of biological solvents in medicine.) It is also important to know that marijuana is loaded with terpenes and that is one of the reasons it makes such a good natural chemotherapy agent.
The Adaptogen Concept
Regular consumption of Lingzhi mushrooms can enhance our body's immune system and improve blood circulation, thus improving better health conditions. Generally, Lingzhi is recommended as an adaptogen, immune modulator, and a general tonic. These mushrooms are also used to help treat anxiety, high blood pressure, hepatitis, bronchitis, insomnia, and asthma.
In some ways, similar to medical marijuana (which has regulatory effects of the nervous system) adaptogens are substances that work by adjusting altered body conditions back to normal, resulting in stabilization of cellular and psychological homeostasis. The traditional herbal texts, as well as these recent scientific studies, report that Lingzhi works both for insomnia and increasing mental clarity—two seemingly opposing problems. It’s also been found to work for both for high and low blood pressure symptoms; both over-active and under-active thyroids; both overactive immunity (Lupus, Fibromyalgia and other autoimmune diseases), and weak immunity (colds, flu, and viruses).
To a western approach, these health issues are seen as polar opposites, and medically treated as such. To any natural healing model, such as acupuncture, these are seen more as conditions of deficiency or excess. This is where the adaptogenic concept applied to certain herbs and plants works well, because their main end effect is homeostasis and balance.
Lingzhi fits the classic definition of an adaptogen. It has double-direction activity, meaning that it, as an example, improves functioning of the immune and organ systems, whether they are deficient or excessive. It doesn’t stimulate the liver, the kidney, the overall system. Rather, it regulates them. It doesn’t stimulate or suppress the immune system—it’s called an immuno-modulator. Lingzhi’s wide ability to repair the function of one person’s liver, while increasing the function of another’s lungs, or kidneys, or skin, or mental function, seems less odd once we view it from the adaptogen angle.
Table - Pharmacological effects of Lingzhi Mushrooms
Key active constituents :
In Chinese, the name lingzhi represents a combination of spiritual potency and essence of immortality, and is regarded as the “herb of spiritual potency,” symbolizing success, well-being, divine power, and longevity. Among cultivated mushrooms, G. lucidum is unique in that its pharmaceutical rather than nutritional value is paramount.
Part Two - Lingzhi Mushrooms - Enough Science to Drown Doctors
 Chuang MH, Chiou SH, Huang CH, Yang WB, Wong CH. The lifespan-promoting effect of acetic acid and Reishi polysaccharide. Bioorg Med Chem. 2009 Nov 15;17(22):7831-40.
 Wu Z, Zhang Y, Tan N, Zhao C, Yang J, Zhu J-S. ReishiMax extends the life span of mice: A preliminary report. The FASEB Journal. 2011 April;25(601.2).
 Chen LW, Horng LY, Wu CL, Sung HC, Wu RT. Activating mitochondrial regulator PGC-1alpha expression by astrocytic NGF is a therapeutic strategy for Huntington's disease. Neuropharmacology. 2012 May 24.
 Sun LX, Lin ZB, Duan XS, et al. Enhanced MHC class I and costimulatory molecules on B16F10 cells by Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides. J Drug Target. 2012 Aug;20(7):582-92.
 Thyagarajan-Sahu A, Lane B, Sliva D. ReishiMax, mushroom based dietary supplement, inhibits adipocyte differentiation, stimulates glucose uptake and activates AMPK. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2011;11:74.
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Home Remedies for tonsil stones
Are you suffering from a sore throat, and bad breath? Don’t panic, it is probably nothing serious, and you don’t have to call the doctor’s office. A sore throat can mean a number of things, and more often than not, it is better to try some simple home remedies.
The most common symptom of tonsil stones is bad breath, and you will see one or several small objects in your throat and mouth. You may think that you are suffering from tonsillitis, but one of the main symptoms of tonsillitis, is a temperature. There is no need to rush off to the doctor straight away as there are many home remedies you can try.
Natural and home remedies are now more popular, and many of us know that they can replace, or work together with, conventional medicine. Most home remedies to treat tonsil stones can be used when it comes to treating tonsil stones.
Gargling with warm salty water might help in the early stages. This might even dislodge the stones, but it can take some time. Continue this treatment for at least two weeks, and you might want to add some grapefruit extract to the water. Anti-septic mouthwashes are an effective alternative to salty water.
Using a toothbrush
A toothbrush can make an effective weapon against tonsil stones, but be careful you don’t trigger the gag reflex. If, you can clearly see the tonsil stones, you will be able to scrape at them and they make come away. Be careful not to scrape at the surrounding tissue as this could make your throat sore.
If, your tonsil stones are larger, you may even be able to reach them with a cotton swab. Place some antiseptic mouth wash on the swab, and gently move the swab upwards once you have been able to reach the stone.
With a medicine dropper, place a saline solution on the tonsil stone and try to expose it a bit more. When you have been able to do so, try to see if you can “suck” it up with the dropper. Gargle with antiseptic mouthwash afterwards to clear any debris. You may trigger the gag reflex so be careful when you do this
Coughing has been known to dislodge tonsil stones. It could be a good idea to have a warm drink first, and this will reflex the tissue of the throat. Cough with you mouth closed, and check if the tonsil stone is still there. It may not dislodge on the first attempt, so repeat the exercise several times throughout the day.
Other Natural Remedies
There are also some natural remedies which you can use in combination with the above home remedies. Sometimes, it is better to apply different methods to combat the problem.
Honey For Better Health
Honey is not only antiseptic but it helps to boost our immune system as well. Tonsil stones can occur as a result of a throat infection, and treating yourself with honey can help.
One alternative is to dissolve honey in some warm water, and gargle with the solution several times a day. Compounds within the honey will act as a natural antibiotic, and you may even find the tonsil stones clear up quickly.
An other alternative is to dissolve the honey in some Gingko Biloba tea. The concoction can be drunk or used when you gargle. It may sound like an odd combination, however, Gingko Biloba has the unique quality to be able to improve micro-circulation. The better our circulation works, the less likely we are to suffer from infections.
Improved micro-circulation will carry more oxygen rich blood to the affected area, and this will cause microbial based materials such as tonsil stones to reduce in size, and even fall away.
Rhus Tox – Homeopathy
If you have a good health food store near you, it would be a good idea to find out if they can supply homeopathy treatments. There are a range of homeopathy treatments which are suitable for tonsil stones, and homeopathy remedies take many factors into account.
There is one treatment that stands out, and seems to treat many conditions which affect the throat and mouth. The treatment is called Rhus tox, and is normally used to treat mouth ulcers and blisters. However, Rhus tox can improve general throat health and have been known to dissolve tonsil stones.
It will also help to ease the pain associated with tonsil stones, and poor throat health. Rhus tox will reduce the body’s overall response to any type of inflammation, and you may find that your tonsil stones disappear within days.
It is important to know how to take a homeopathy treatment. Most treatments should be taken first thing in the morning, and with tonsil stones, you should take two 30C tablets before you eat or drink anything. Place the tablets underneath your tongue as soon as you wake up. Let them dissolve and do not drink, eat anything or brush your teeth for the next hour.
Avoiding tea, coffee and acid drinks for the next couple of hours for a better response. When using homeopathy treatments, you should never drink peppermint tea or use mint based toothpaste. This will “break” the treatment, and render it completely ineffective.
There are alternative homeopathy treatments that may work as well, and you could try Apis or Aconite. Never combine homeopathy remedies as they may contradict each other, and give yourself a 48 hour break before you try a new one.
Marigold is not only a common garden flower, it is one of the most effective herbal remedies that you could have in your herbal medicine cabinet. It is normally used as a cream, but marigold tea can help your body to deal with throat infections.
You can either drink the tea or use it as a gargle. If, your tonsil stones are located further down in the throat, a tea may be more effective. When you are using a herbal tea remedy, it is important to drink it before every meal.
Herbal teas should never be drunk cold as the body finds it more difficult to absorb them. Just like certain fruits and vegetables change their properties when we heat them up, so do herbs.
When we use home remedies, or natural remedies, to treat health problems, we often at the same time support and make our immune system stronger. Herbal and natural treatments are recognized by the body, and assimilate easier. This means that the body recognizes them as natural substances, and can put them to work much quicker.
Monday, November 28, 2016
Posted on: Friday, November 25th 2016 at 1:15 pm
Written By: Jeffrey Jaxen
Originally published on JeffereyJaxen.com.
Complaint Destroying HPV 'Safe and Effective' Narrative
Piece by piece the foundation and historical legacy of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine is fast approaching the reality anticipated by former pharmaceutical industry physician with Gardasil manufacturers Merck when he stated in 2014, “I predict that Gardasil will become the greatest medical scandal of all times…”
In Europe, the ‘safe and effective’ HPV misinformation appears to have run its course. Receiving no coverage by mainstream media sources, the Nordic Cochrane Centre has filed its second complaint in five months – this time to the European ombudsman – over maladministration at the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in relation to the safety of the HPV vaccines.
According to the Nordic Cochrane Centre, its first complaint to the EMA filed on May 26, 2016 was met with replies that did not fully address their concerns. The Centre writes in its new complaint that,
“Some of our concerns were not addressed at all, and several of the EMA’s statements were either wrong or seriously misleading, or irrelevant for the criticism we had posed. We therefore now complain to the EU ombudsman over the EMA.”
This time around, the Nordic Cochrane Centre’s complaint is joined by support from other major European institutions.
The recent complaint outlines 19 points of contention and issues with the EMA’s procedures, conflicts of interest, secrecy and unprofessionalism concerning their handling of HPV data, research and whistleblowers. What many in the public and private sectors have warned for years – the relationship between regulators, researchers and the pharmaceutical industry – was once again confirmed. The Centre’s complaint states
"…experts who had declared current direct interests in a pharmaceutical company or for a particular medicinal product were allowed to participate in the Scientific Advisory Group meeting."
Specifically, a particularly glaring conflict of interest was summarized by the Centre as they stated:
“There were no restrictions for the chair of the meeting, Andrew Pollard, although he had declared several conflicts of interest in relation to the HPV vaccine manufacturers GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Pasteur MSD until 2014 and 2013, respectively.”
In the current and historical atmosphere of medical secrecy, government red tape and uncertainty around the integrity of pharmaceutically-sponsored vaccine research, it was refreshing for a prominent organization like the Nordic Cochrane Centre to counter accepted establishment positions by stating,
“We don’t have confidence that the agency [EMA] has interpreted these documents in a way that ensures openness, gives the administration legitimacy, makes it accountable to the citizens, and respects fundamental rights of access to information that is important for the citizens when they make decisions about healthcare…”
GMI - Content Leaderboard
The Centre’s complaint concludes with a call to effectively open source all the EMA's HPV-related documents and research for public viewing by stating,
“The EMA’s internal report and all other documents related to this case should therefore be made publicly available, without redactions.”
The complaint’s final discussion goes on to say, “The EMA’s procedures for evaluating the safety of medical interventions need to be fundamentally reworked and made transparent to the public.” In other words, the system is broken and needs to be scraped, overhauled and fixed. Can we trust the foxes to repair the hen house?
It is important to also remember that in January 2016 Sin Hang Lee, MD, Director of the Milford Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory in Milford, Connecticut, filed an open-letter of complaint to the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Margaret Chan. In this letter, Lee states:
“I have come into possession of documentation which leads me to believe multiple individuals and organizations deliberately set out to mislead Japanese authorities regarding the safety of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines, Gardasil® and Cervarix®”
The simplified talking points of ‘safe and effective’ and ‘one in a million’ adverse reactions heard from the mouths of governments, health ministers and medical professionals are proving untrue. Looking back, the script has been simple as country’s implement the HPV shot. Government public relations campaigns work hand and hand with pharmaceutical companies to minimize public complaints of severe adverse reactions while news outlets run damage control to omit the real story of mounting HPV vaccine injury.
The EMA ‘officials’ and their methods are now being outed and spotlighted as dishonest. As the world waits awake and staring at the European ombudsman to release their findings and statements, the global public HPV vaccine backlash is galloping forward and gaining momentum. For those involved at every level of the unfolding HPV vaccine fraud, the question posed in the Nordic Cochrane Centre’s final remarks is now in play when they state:
“Should the concerns over possible serious harms of the HPV vaccine be confirmed, the trust in the EMA and in vaccines in general may be damaged beyond repair.”
For evidence-based research on Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine, visit the GreenMedInfo.com Research Dashboard.
Jefferey Jaxen is a researcher, independent investigative journalist, writer and voice for health freedom on the front lines of society's shift towards higher consciousness. Visit his website here to learn more.
Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na)
November 27th, 2016 | 9 Comments
MRSA is short for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. It is basically a specific strain of the Staph bacteria; one that adapts quickly to suppressants, especially antibiotics.
This means that if you take one round of antibiotics for MRSA, this bacteria has a history of adapting and becoming resistant to that particular antibiotic, which usually leads to the doctor prescribing another round of stronger antibiotics.*
Now, if you have MRSA, I’m not saying that you don’t go to a doctor. Indeed, they at least have to diagnose it, and perhaps you want to be under their observation while dealing with this condition, but what if you don’t have a doctor nearby? What if medical facilities are not available? What would you do?
Wouldn’t it be wise to prepare? Right here and right now, we can learn how to become more self-reliant and independent—how to brush up on our skills should we face unexpected health challenges.
So if I had MRSA, this is what I would do.
My wonderful friends, the Drs. Banerji, have a protocol for this condition:
- Hepar sulph 200, one dose every other day, as well as…
But I also learned from another renowned homeopath and my teacher of 5 years, Dr. Ramakrishnan, that one can employ:
- Aurum arsenicum 6 three to four times a day
I have seen both protocols work, but I must admit that I have had a lot more experience with the Aurum arsenicum protocol, as I learned it years before I began the Banerji Protocols.
I have yet to see it fail. Let me share one such experience.
My cousin was nailing on a roof to his home when he accidentally whacked his thumb with a hammer in the process. He cleaned it when he came down from the roof, and never gave it another thought. It became painful over a period of days, and soon it was clear that it had become infected. He was scrupulously clean and cared for it consistently, but it got worse and worse.
In short order, he went to the doctor who diagnosed it as MRSA. I’m sure we all know that he was given an antibiotic for a period of time that I don’t recall (but I dare say this round of antibiotics lasted weeks.) The MRSA infection simmered down a bit, but then it came back with more intensity.
And this repeated over a period of many months: Antibiotic, the infection waned, then MRSA would flare; antibiotic, wane, flare. Until finally one day he called me. He asked if I knew what could be done, and I told him about my favorite protocol of that time: Aurum arsenicum 6.
It took about four days for the color to return and the pain to minimize, and about two more weeks for the pain to be permanently gone. He continue until the wound and its infection was completely clear. Meanwhile, I urged him to have his doctor look at it regularly, which he did.
And THAT is how we nailed MRSA.
Jot down these protocols and tuck them away in your personal notes. We never know when an infection might become a threat and to have such important information at your finger tips is the best way…the only way to own your and your family’s health care.
P.S. For those who are interested in becoming even more prepared should disaster strike, I am currently re-launching my popular course, Survivalist’s Guide to Homeopathy. With this weekend’s 10% off Black Friday sale (that ends at midnight EST on Monday, November 28), you can save a pretty penny on this Guide. It comes with a printed binder of all the class materials, in addition to the video lessons that accompany each chapter.
In this comprehensive Guide, I discuss how to address many infections—from the MRSA protocol mentioned above, to other unexpected accidents and emergencies. It is THE premier guide for those who seek to be prepared in any situation.
Sunday, November 27, 2016
The Dangers of Thinning Bones as Men Age
October 24, 2014 | 87,926 views
By Dr. Mercola
Osteoporosis is often thought of as a “woman’s disease,” but one-third of hip fractures occur in men. And while one in three women over the age of 50 will suffer from an osteoporosis-related fracture, so will one in five men.
In fact, a new report from the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) found that the lifetime risk of men experiencing an osteoporosis-related fracture after the age of 50 is up to 27 percent, higher than the lifetime risk of developing prostate cancer (11 percent).1
Yet, because men aren’t typically viewed as “at risk” of osteoporosis, their increasingly fragile bones may go unnoticed. As a result, while hip fractures in women are expected to decrease by 3.5 percent from 2010 to 2013, hip fractures in men are expected to increase by nearly 52 percent during the same period.
Even more concerning, hip fractures appear to be deadlier in men than in women, with 37 percent of men dying in the first 12 months after such a fracture (compared to 20 percent of women).2
What Contributes to Thinning Bones in Men?
Bone weakening is a common problem associated with aging. In most people, sometime during your 30s, your bone mass will begin to gradually decline. For women, that bone loss can significantly speed up during the first 10 years after menopause, when sex hormones often decline rapidly. This is the period when osteoporosis often develops.
In men, however, testosterone levels tend to drop gradually, which is why increased bone breakdown and decreases in bone density tend to become most severe after the age of 70 (provided you're not doing anything to counteract it, that is). Those with osteoporosis are at increased risk of height loss, fractures of the hips, wrists, and vertebrae, and chronic pain.
Poor diet, nutrient deficiencies, smoking, drinking excess alcohol, and sedentary behavior are common osteoporosis risk factors in both men and women. Certain medications also increase your risk, including steroids, anti-seizure drugs, antidepressants, and hormone-deprivation therapy for prostate cancer.
Dr. Peter Ebeling, professor of medicine at the University of Monash in Australia, who authored the IOF report, also noted that fracture rates are rising as men live longer and become more urbanized in lifestyle. By 2050, he estimates that the number of men aged 60 years and over will increase 10-fold, and with it the number of osteoporosis-related fractures is expected to increase exponentially.3
Hyaluronic Acid for Bone Health
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a key component of your cartilage, responsible for moving nutrients into your cells and moving waste out. One of its most important biological functions is the retention of water… second only to providing nutrients and removing waste from cells that lack a direct blood supply, such as cartilage cells.
HA is found in all of your bones and cartilage throughout your body, where it helps to provide resilience and rigidity to these structures. HA is particularly noted for helping to cushion your joints, however, hyaluronic acid cartilage also covers the ends of the long bones in your body, where bending occurs.
This provides a cushioning effect for your bones as well, and may help protect against wear and tear. Additionally, hyaluronic acid has been shown to reduce bone turnover and bone mineral content loss in animal studies,4 as well as induce osteoblast (cells responsible for bone formation) differentiation and bone formation in vitro.5
It’s thought that HA inhibits bone resorption and provides a protective effect on bone density. Unfortunately, the process of normal aging reduces the amount of HA synthesized by your body. Oral hyaluronic acid supplementation may effectively help most people to not only cushion their joints but also potentially protect their bone health after just 2 to 4 months.
Men Need Bone-Building Nutrients, Too
Many men think their bone health can take a backseat, but it’s just as important for you to tend to your bone health throughout your life as it is for women. No matter your gender, the formula is the same and requires attention to four nutrients, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K2, and magnesium.
In a nutshell, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K2, and magnesium work synergistically together to promote strong, healthy bones. Vitamin K2 is a particularly critical component here, because the biological role of vitamin K2 is to help move calcium into the proper areas in your body, such as your bones and teeth. It also helps remove calcium from areas where it shouldn't be, such as in your arteries and soft tissues.
Paying attention to your vitamin K2 intake becomes even more important if you're taking large doses of oral vitamin D3, as your body will create more vitamin K2-dependent proteins when you take vitamin D. These K2-dependent proteins are what helps move the calcium around in your body, but you need vitamin K2 to activate those proteins. If they're not activated, the calcium in your body will not be properly distributed and can lead to weaker bones and hardened arteries—the exact opposite of what you're trying to achieve.
So, it's important to maintain the proper balance between all of these nutrients: calcium, vitamin D, and K2, and magnesium. Vitamin K2 deficiency is actually what produces the symptoms of vitamin D toxicity, which includes inappropriate calcification that can lead to hardening of your arteries. And if you have too much calcium and not enough magnesium, your muscles will tend to go into spasm. This has consequences for your heart in particular. An appropriate ratio of calcium to magnesium is thought to be 1:1.
The Fantastic Four for Bone Health
Lack of balance between these four nutrients (calcium, vitamins D and K2, and magnesium) is why calcium supplements have actually become associated with increased risk of heart attack and stroke. One of the best ways to ensure you're getting enough of all of them is to get regular sun exposure to optimize your vitamin D levels, and to eat a diet rich in fresh, raw whole foods, which will also maximize a wide variety of other natural minerals that support bone health. This way, your body will have the raw materials it needs to do what it was designed to do. Below are some suggestions for foods that provide these bone-building nutrients (with the exception of vitamin D, which is best obtained from sensible sun exposure or tanning bed usage):
- Calcium: Raw dairy from pasture-raised cows, leafy green vegetables, the pith of citrus fruits, carob, and sesame seeds. Homemade bone broth is another excellent source. Simply simmer leftover bones over low heat for an entire day to extract the calcium from the bones. Make sure to add a few tablespoons of vinegar. You can use this broth for soups, stews, or drink it straight.
- Magnesium: Industrial agriculture has massively depleted most soils of beneficial minerals like magnesium, so this is one instance where a supplement may be warranted, especially since most people are deficient.
- It is the only mineral that I personally supplement with. That said, if you find biologically grown organic foods (grown on soil treated with mineral fertilizers), you may still be able to get a lot of your magnesium from your food.
Chlorophyll has a magnesium atom in its center, allowing the plant to utilize the energy from the sun. Seaweed and green leafy vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard can be excellent sources of magnesium, as are some beans, nuts, and seeds, like pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame seeds, and raw organic cacao. Avocados also contain magnesium.
- Vitamin K2: Sources include grass-fed organic animal products (i.e. eggs, butter, and dairy), certain cheeses such as Brie and Gouda (which provide about 75 mcg of K2 per ounce), and certain fermented foods (particularly if they’re fermented using a vitamin K2-rich starter culture). You can obtain most or all the K2 you'll need (about 200 micrograms) by eating 15 grams of natto daily, which is half an ounce. If you don't like natto, you can also get plenty of vitamin K2 from your fermented vegetables, provided you ferment your own using the proper starter culture.
- Trace minerals: Himalayan Crystal Salt, which contains all 84 elements found in your body, or other natural, unprocessed salt (NOT regular table salt!) can be used as an excellent source but there are many others especially nutrient-dense foods grown on healthy mineral-dense soils.
An Imbalanced Sodium-Potassium Ratio May Lead to Osteoporosis
Two additional nutrients that play an important role are sodium and potassium—you want the optimal ratio between these two in order to maintain your bone mass. If you eat a diet loaded with processed foods, there's a good chance your potassium to sodium ratio is far from optimal, as processed foods are notoriously low in potassium while being high in sodium.
Consider this: our ancient ancestors got about 11,000 mg of potassium a day, and about 700 mg of sodium.6 This equates to a potassium-over-sodium factor of nearly 16. Compare that to today's modern diet where daily potassium consumption averages about 2,500 mg (the RDA is 4,700 mg/day), along with 4,000 mg of sodium. An imbalanced sodium to potassium ratio can contribute to a number of diseases, including osteoporosis.
To ensure you get these two important nutrients in more appropriate ratios, simply replace processed foods with whole, unprocessed foods, ideally organically grown to ensure optimal nutrient content. This type of diet will naturally provide much larger amounts of potassium in relation to sodium, which is optimal for your bone health, and your overall health. If you find it difficult to eat the recommended amount of vegetables, give vegetable juicing a try. I would not recommend taking a potassium supplement; rather it is best to get it in your foods, primarily vegetables.
Exercise Is Crucial for Bone Health
Weight-bearing exercise is actually one of the most effective remedies against osteoporosis, because as you put more tension on your muscles, it puts more pressure on your bones, which then respond by continuously creating fresh, new bone. Resistance training and strength training are among the most popular forms of weight-bearing exercise to build your bones – and they're fine examples, but not the only ones. If you prefer, you can use bodyweight exercises to build your bones, which have the added benefit of being convenient (you can do these exercises virtually anywhere and they require no equipment).
A good weight-bearing exercise to incorporate into your routine (depending on your current level of fitness, of course) is a walking lunge, as it helps build bone density in your hips, even without any additional weights. Running and jumping are also good options. It should come as no surprise that good bone health in your later years begins in your youth, during your childhood and adolescence, as this is when skeletal growth is at its peak. Alternatively, just walking 7,000-10,000 steps a day can be another powerful strategy to not only improve your bone density but also overall health.
The time of bone development sets the stage for what's to come. Peak bone mass during childhood and adolescent years is one of the major factors that can either contribute to, or help prevent, osteoporosis down the road, so it makes sense to pay attention to building strong and healthy bones via physical activity during your early years. But what if you're a middle-aged or older adult who didn't exercise much as a kid… is it too late to build up your bones? Absolutely not!
Once peak bone mass is achieved, it begins a slow decline, but exercise can help you to maintain healthy bone mass even as you get older. Physical activity during aging can help you to reduce skeletal structural decay7 and much more. A series of studies in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, for instance, revealed that older men who stayed active by playing soccer reaped numerous rewards (even if they were previously inactive). For instance:
- Sixteen weeks of soccer and strength training for older, inactive men improved functional ability and physiological response to submaximal exercise8
- Soccer also elevated the men's maximal aerobic fitness and exhaustive exercise performance9
- Four months of recreational soccer for elderly men improved bone mineral density, increased bone turnover, and improved bone formation10
If You’re Concerned About Bone Density, Try Whole Body Vibrational Training
Whole Body Vibrational Training (WBVT) using a Power Plate, is another safe, natural way to improve bone strength and density, thereby warding off osteoporosis. Best of all, it's gentle enough even for the disabled and elderly, who may not be able to engage in exercises like leaping, hopping, sprinting, or weight lifting. The Power Plate platform vibrates in three planes: vertical, horizontal, and sagittal, meaning front to back. (There is equipment out there that only moves in two planes but the three-plane movement devices seem superior.)
These micro-accelerations force your muscles to accommodate, resulting in dramatic improvement in strength, power, flexibility, balance, tone, and leanness. The technology was actually first developed by Soviet scientists looking for a way to heal cosmonauts from the effects of being in a weightless environment. Research supporting the use of WBVT for the prevention and treatment of brittle bones include, but is not limited to, the following:
- In one six-month study, WBVT was found to produce a significant increase in hip area bone density in postmenopausal women, while conventional training was only able to slow the rate of deterioration.11
- A 2013 study found that postmenopausal women who used a vibration platform for five minutes, three times a week for six months, increased their lumbar spine bone density by 2 percent. The control group, which did not engage in WBVT, lost about 0.5 percent of theirs in that same timeframe.12
Also of note, WBVT can increase your body's natural production of human growth hormone (HGH), which plays a role in bone density development (as well as much more, such as muscle growth, brain function, metabolism, and tissue repair). Studies suggest WBVT may lead to increases in HGH of more than 400 percent,13 with at least one study showing it may increase HGH production by 2,600 percent.14
7 Healthy Bone Habits for Men and Women
What you’ll notice about bone health is that if you’re leading a healthy lifestyle, you’ll automatically be extending protection to your bones – with a balanced, whole-foods diet, exercise, and sunlight exposure being key to both. For further detail, read through the seven additional habits below, which will help men and women alike to maintain and even increase bone strength at virtually any age:
- Avoid processed foods and soda, which can increase bone damage by depleting your bones of calcium. By ditching processed foods, you're also automatically eliminating a major source of refined sugars and processed fructose, which drive insulin resistance. It will also provide you with a more appropriate potassium to sodium ratio for maintaining bone mass.
- Increase your consumption of raw, fresh vegetables, ideally organic. Vitamin C is necessary to form embryonic bone, which is made of collagen. As mentioned, vegetable juicing can help you to increase your vegetable intake significantly.
- Optimize your vitamin D levels, ideally from appropriate sun exposure or a high-quality tanning bed. Vitamin D builds your bone density by helping your body absorb calcium. If you use an oral supplement, make sure you're using vitamin D3 (not D2), and that you're also increasing your vitamin K2 intake and monitoring your levels for safety.
- Consider making your own fermented vegetables using a special vitamin K2-producing starter culture, or supplementing with vitamin K2 if you're not getting enough from food alone. Vitamin K2 serves as the biological "glue" that helps plug the calcium into your bone matrix. Also remember to balance your calcium and magnesium (1:1 ratio).
- Maintain a healthy balance between omega-6 and omega-3 fats in your diet by taking a high-quality, animal-based omega-3 supplement like krill oil, and reducing your consumption of processed omega-6, found in processed foods and vegetable oils like soy, corn, and canola.
- Engage in strength training, which produces a number of beneficial changes at the molecular, enzymatic, hormonal, and chemical levels in your body, helping to slow down and even reverse many of the diseases caused by a sedentary lifestyle, including osteoporosis. Make sure that, regardless of how many sets you do, your last rep is challenging.
- In other words, you fully fatigue that muscle—you still maintain control of the weight, but you feel like you might not be able to make it the rest of the way. As your fitness progresses, you'll want to carry each exercise to "muscle failure"—where you just can't complete all of the last rep.
You can significantly increase the effectiveness and intensity of strength training by using the super-slow technique, which shortens your sessions to 12 to 15 minutes just a couple days a week.
- Walk for 7,000 to 10,000 steps a day. This is one of the simplest weight-bearing exercises there is, and will help to maintain your bone density while also counteracting the effects of excess sitting. This should be in addition to your regular exercise. Walking is in addition to, not in place of, your normal exercise program.