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Without our heart, we die, so why do people insult our heart with poor nutrition?

Posted by: | Posted on: October 22, 2019

Under 6 hours of sleep per night increases the risk of death from stroke and heart disease, new study

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sleep-issues(NaturalHealth365) It used to be that “burning the midnight oil” and being sleep deprived was a badge of honor, a sort of bragging right among “busy” people trying to get ahead in life. But science is catching up to all of us who used to proudly decry sleep.  A new study reveals just how significant the health risks of chronic sleep deprivation are, especially if you’re already living with a health problem.

If you or a loved one has a chronic disease, prioritizing your sleep is one of the most important lifestyle changes you can make.  And if you struggle with falling or staying asleep (like many people do), keep reading for some natural sleeping tips.

Risk of death from stroke and heart disease increased for people with chronic disease who sleep less than 6 hours per night, study says

According to the National Health Council, 40% of Americans have at least one chronic illness like hypertension and diabetes. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 3 of us aren’t getting enough sleep.

Knowing what we know about chronic sleep deprivation, we’re not surprised to hear of a significant correlation between these two concerning statistics.

Consider a recent paper published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.  The paper’s authors analyzed sleep laboratory data and overall health status of more than 1,600 people from the Penn State Adult Cohort.

Don’t underestimate the healing power of a good night’s rest

Incredibly, they found that people with high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes who slept less than 6 hours per night were TWICE as likely to die of heart disease or stroke compared to people with the same health conditions but slept more (6 hours or more).

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The data is clear:  just about everyone needs to get an average of 8 hours of sleep per night.  Of course, there’s always the exception.

But, for most people, it really is that important!  And it’s even more imperative for people with chronic illness, for whom “targeted treatments to lengthen sleep and improve their long‐term prognosis” may be beneficial, as the authors conclude.

Need better Zzz’s? Most of us do – here are 5 natural sleeping tips to try

Research from scientists like Dr. Matthew Walker – author of Why We Sleep – suggests that a better night’s sleep doesn’t exactly “rest” with over-the-counter or prescription sleeping pills. Such remedies can lead to poor sleep quality at best and dependency at worst.

So, what’s a tired person to do?  Try these five natural sleeping tips for better sleep:

  1. Commit to a regular schedule: Go to bed at the same time every night, and wake up at the same time every morning – even on weekends. According to Dr. Walker, if you could only make one change to improve your sleep, this would be it.
  2. Power down your electronic devices: Staying plugged into televisions and cell phones late into the night can keep you up for two main reasons. First, the stimulation can make it hard to relax.  Second, the late night exposure to bright lights – especially blue light – disrupts your body’s internal clock, aka its sleep-wake cycle.  So, go digital-free for at least an hour before bed and dim the lights in your house.
  3. Create a relaxing bedtime routine: Try a warm shower or bath about 90 minutes before bed, a guided meditation, journal writing, puzzling, reading – any type of nurturing and calming routine you can look forward to.
  4. Opt for natural remedies: Many substances found naturally in nature, like lemon balm, melatonin, chamomile tea, and passionflower, are shown by scientific and anecdotal evidence to help you relax, ease stress, and fall asleep/stay asleep more effectively.
  5. Sleep in a pitch dark and cool room: Set your bedroom temperature between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit (ca. 19 °C) and remove or block any sources of ambient light – blackout curtains work well.  Hint: do your children have nightlights in their room? Consider removing them to improve their sleep, too!

Sources for this article include:

Posted by: | Posted on: October 14, 2019

Health Benefits of MSM — A Powerful Sulfur Donor

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Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola – Medically reviewed by Dr. Stephanie Seneff
Fact Checked – October 14, 2019
msm health benefits


  • Sulfur is the third most abundant mineral in your body and plays important roles in many bodily processes, including metabolism and detoxification
  • Sulfur bonds are required for proteins to maintain their shape, and these bonds determine the biological activity of the proteins. Sulfur is also required for the proper structure and biological activity of enzymes
  • Sulfur is crucial for healthy liver function and the prevention of liver disease. A derangement in sulfur amino acid metabolism is found even in mild forms of liver disease
  • Excellent sources of sulfur include homemade bone broth, organic pastured eggs, grass fed meats, seafood, cruciferous vegetables and alliums like onions and garlic. Sulfur can also be obtained through supplementation with MSM and/or by taking Epsom salt baths
  • MSM is widely used in the treatment of pain, especially pain associated with arthritic conditions. Research has shown it can significantly decrease pain and improve physical function in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee

Sulfur is a somewhat “forgotten” nutrient you don’t hear mentioned very often, but it’s very important for optimal body function and health. You get most of your sulfur from certain proteins in your diet, specifically the amino acids methionine, cysteine, cystine, homocysteine, homocystine and taurine.1

Of these, the two most important sources are methionine and cysteine. Methionine is an essential amino acid, which means it cannot be synthesized by your body and must be supplied through your diet. Cysteine is conditionally essential, because it can be synthesized from methionine but not from inorganic forms of sulfur.2

Neither of these primary sulfur-containing amino acids is stored in your body per se, although glutathione is a key storage form for sulfur.3 Glutathione is composed of three amino acids: cysteine, glutamate and glycine, and is your body’s most potent antioxidant.

Glutathione also keeps many other antioxidants performing at peak levels, and cysteine availability is thought to be a rate-limiting factor for glutathione synthesis.4

While sulfur is found in many foods, sulfur deficiency may still be quite common5 — in part due to sulfur deficiency in crops,6 and in part due to low consumption of sulfur-rich foods7 such as leafy greens, cruciferous veggies, alliums8 such as garlic and onions, seafood, grass fed meats and organic pastured eggs.

Frequent use of drugs that require sulfur for excretion and/or detoxification can also contribute to an inadequate sulfur status. Acetaminophen is one such example.9 A vegan diet can also put you at increased risk for sulfur deficiency, because plant-based foods contain fewer sulfur-containing amino acids than animal-based foods.10

The Importance of Sulfur

According to Stephanie Seneff, Ph.D., who has written several papers11,12,13,14 on sulfur and sulfur metabolism and its role in human disease, sulfur plays a role in many biological processes, including metabolism15 and the sulfonation of hormones,16 and deficiency appears to play a role in a wide range of health problems and diseases, including:

  • Obesity
  • Heart disease
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Autism17

Required in the creation of connective tissues such as cartilage, tendons and ligaments, sulfur is also essential for healthy joints, and deficiency has been linked to joint pain and joint-related diseases.18 Other benefits, uses and sources are also noted in the paper “Sulfur in Human Nutrition and Applications in Medicine”:19

“Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), a volatile component in the sulfur cycle, is another source of sulfur found in the human diet … Organic sulfur, as SAAs [sulfur-containing amino acids], can be used to increase synthesis of S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), glutathione (GSH), taurine, and N-acetylcysteine (NAC).

MSM may be effective for the treatment of allergy, pain syndromes, athletic injuries, and bladder disorders.

Other sulfur compounds such as SAMe … taurine, glucosamine or chondroitin sulfate, and reduced glutathione may also have clinical applications in the treatment of a number of conditions such as depression, fibromyalgia, arthritis, interstitial cystitis, athletic injuries, congestive heart failure, diabetes, cancer, and AIDS.”


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Sulfur 101

As explained by the featured study above, sulfur is the third most abundant mineral in your body, based on percentage of total body weight.20 Sulfur bonds are required for proteins to maintain their shape, and these bonds determine the biological activity of the proteins.

For example, hair and nails consist of a tough protein called keratin, which is high in sulfur, whereas connective tissue and cartilage contain proteins with flexible sulfur bonds, giving the structure its flexibility.

With age, the flexible tissues in your body tend to lose their elasticity, leading to sagging and wrinkling of skin, stiff muscles and painful joints. A shortage of sulfur likely contributes to these age-related problems.

In addition to bonding proteins, sulfur is also required for the proper structure and biological activity of enzymes. If you don’t have sufficient amounts of sulfur in your body, enzymes cannot function properly.

A cascade of health problems may thus ensue, since your metabolic processes rely on biologically active enzymes. You can learn more about this in “Enzyme Fundamentals.” Sulfur also plays an important role in:

Your body’s electron transport system, as part of iron/sulfur proteins in mitochondria, the energy factories of your cells21
Synthesizing important metabolic intermediates, such as glutathione — one of the most important antioxidants that your body produces — SAMe, taurine and NAC22
Detoxification23 — Without sulfur, glutathione (your body’s built-in detoxifier) is rendered ineffective
Thiamine (vitamin B1) and biotin (B7) conversion, which in turn are essential for converting carbohydrates into energy
Proper insulin function24 — The insulin molecule consists of two amino acid chains connected to each other by sulfur bridges, without which the insulin cannot perform its biological activity25
Glucose metabolism — One hypothesis26 is that if a sufficient amount of sulfur is available, it will act as a decoy to glucose, effectively diverting it to reduce the sulfur rather than glycating and causing damage. This would have the beneficial effect of reducing chronic inflammation, as sugar (glucose) is highly inflammatory and wreaks havoc in your body

Sulfur for Liver Health

Sulfur is also crucial for healthy liver function and the prevention of liver disease. As noted in one study,27 “a derangement in sulfur amino acid metabolism, possibly located at various steps along the trans-sulfuration pathway” is found even in mild forms of liver disease.

Part of its influence on your liver has to do with its influence over glutathione. As noted in the 2015 paper,28 “Metabolism of Sulfur-Containing Amino Acids in the Liver: A Link Between Hepatic Injury and Recovery”:

“The transsulfuration pathway is connected to the production of glutathione (GSH), which has potent antioxidant capacity in the liver. Accumulating data show that GSH depletion renders the liver vulnerable to oxidative stress and prone to progression of liver disease.”

Similarly, the journal Nutrients reports that MSM has been shown to attenuate “cytokine expression in vivo for induced colitis … and liver injury,” and that MSM has also been shown to have a beneficial effect on liver cancer.29

Another crucial nutrient for liver health and the prevention of chronic liver disease, including nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, is choline,30 detailed in “Choline Is Crucial for Liver Health.”

MSM for Osteoarthritic Knee Pain

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is known as a sulfur donor, being 34% elemental sulfur by weight.31 Many of the benefits of MSM supplementation are related to its ability to reduce inflammation, regulate the balance of reactive oxygen species and antioxidant enzymes,32 and modulate your immune response.33

As a supplement, MSM is widely used in the treatment of pain, especially pain associated with arthritic conditions. One clinical trial34 found that people with osteoarthritis of the knee who took 3 grams of MSM twice a day for 12 weeks experienced significantly decreased pain and improved physical function, compared to a placebo.

Another randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study35 found patients with mild to moderate osteoarthritis benefited from oral glucosamine and MSM, both individually and in combination. Here, the treatment groups received 500 milligrams (mg) of glucosamine and/or 500 mg of MSM three times a day for 12 weeks. According to the authors:36

“Glucosamine, MSM and their combination produced an analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect in osteoarthritis. Combination therapy showed better efficacy in reducing pain and swelling and in improving the functional ability of joints than the individual agents.

All the treatments were well tolerated. The onset of analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity was found to be more rapid with the combination than with glucosamine. It can be concluded that the combination of MSM with glucosamine provides better and more rapid improvement in patients with osteoarthritis.”

Sulfur’s Role in Heart Disease

In 2011, I interviewed Seneff about the influence of sulfur on health and disease. I’ve included that interview above for your convenience. In it, Seneff discusses the crucial connections between sulfur, cholesterol and vitamin D.

Her research suggests heart disease may actually be related to cholesterol sulfate deficiency, and in the interview, she explains how elevated LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is a sign of this deficiency.

To summarize, high levels of LDL cholesterol is your body’s way of compensating for cholesterol sulfate deficiency. When LDL is turned into plaque, blood platelets inside the plaque produce cholesterol sulfate, which your heart and brain need for optimal function.

Seneff also explains why lowering LDL with statins can lead to heart failure. Essentially, by elevating LDL, your body is protecting itself from the harmful effects of cholesterol sulfate deficiency. When you simply remove the LDL, you remove this “backup” mechanism aimed at keeping your heart going strong. As a result, heart failure becomes a distinct possibility.

That said, high LDL is correlated with cardiovascular disease, so the question then becomes: How can your body produce cholesterol sulfate without having to create harmful LDL?

Under normal, healthy conditions, your skin synthesizes both cholesterol sulfate and vitamin D3 sulfate when exposed to sunlight. These two sulfated sterols are water soluble and can travel freely in your bloodstream.

If you have sufficient amounts of cholesterol sulfate in circulation, your body does not need to produce more cholesterol-transporting LDL. This results in less plaque buildup in the arteries of the heart, because cholesterol sulfate is plentiful.

In essence, sensible sun exposure may be an important part of heart and cardiovascular health. In fact, studies have shown that those who live in countries with abundant sunlight have a lower risk to heart disease. Vitamin D3 supplements, on the other hand, are unsulfated. This is a significant drawback, as the unsulfated form needs LDL as a vehicle of transport.

Seneff believes that vitamin D is basically a signaling molecule that informs the tissues that there is an abundant supply of cholesterol sulfate, and cholesterol sulfate is the real beneficial product of sunlight exposure to the skin. Her suspicion is that the oral nonsulfated form of vitamin D is unlikely to provide the same benefits as the vitamin D created in your skin from sun exposure, since it is not accompanied by cholesterol sulfate, and therefore provides a false signal.

Sulfur Intolerance May Be a Sign of Toxicity

As mentioned earlier, sulfur-rich foods37 include leafy greens, cruciferous veggies, alliums,38 seafood, grass fed meats and organic pastured eggs. Another excellent source, and perhaps the best one, is homemade bone broth made from organically raised animals.

Either drink the broth regularly, or use it for soups and stews. Connective tissues are sulfur-rich, and when you slow-cook the bones, you dissolve these nutrients out of the bone and into the water.

If you have poor tolerance for foods high in sulfur, it may be an indication of an overgrowth of sulfur-reducing bacteria in your gut. These bacteria, such as Desoulfovibrio and Bilophila wadsworthia, produce hydrogen sulfide gas from sulfur-based food sources, which can destroy the gut lining and cause gastrointestinal discomfort.

A defect in the enzyme that oxidizes sulfur to sulfate, called sulfite oxidase, will lead to an overgrowth of these sulfur-reducing bacteria, and toxic chemical exposures may disrupt sulfite oxidase.

Furthermore, these bacteria also convert mercury to a toxic organic form called methyl mercury. When sulfite oxidase is deficient, mercury cannot be converted to mercury sulfate, which is the nontoxic form of mercury that can be excreted by the body. Thus, disruption of sulfite oxidase results in impaired sulfation capacity and increased mercury toxicity.

Other food additives such as food dyes can also exacerbate problems in your phenol sulfur-transferase (PST) sulfation pathway by suppressing PST enzyme activity. Sulfation is a critical step in detoxification of toxic phenols.

To address this situation, it’s recommended you initially go on a low-sulfur diet and reduce your toxic exposure by eating organic and avoiding household toxins of all kinds.

As your toxicity level is reduced, you can start adding sulfur-rich foods back into your diet, one at a time. Next, it’s important to enhance your body’s detoxification process by supplying more sulfate, either through diet or supplementation.

How to Boost Your Sulfur Intake — Diet and Supplementation

Aside from sulfur-rich foods, sulfur can also be obtained through supplementation with MSM. You can learn more about MSM in my interview with Rod Benjamin.

Benjamin is the director of technical development for Bergstrom Nutrition, the largest producer of the highest quality MSM produced by distillation purification. In his interview, we discuss suggested dosages and how to identify a high-quality supplement.

The sulfur-containing amino acids cysteine and taurine can also be used, both of which are available in supplement form. The supplement form of cysteine is NAC, the benefits of which I expounded on in “The Many Benefits of NAC — One of the Most Important Supplements You’ve Likely Never Heard Of.”

Another excellent source of sulfur is taking regular Epsom salt baths. Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) is made up of magnesium, sulfur and oxygen. While most of the benefits associated with Epsom salt baths relates to magnesium39 — such as improved sleep, stress reduction and reduced pain and muscle cramping — its sulfur content is also important for health.

Epsom salt baths are often preferable if you’re toxic, as the sulfur in Epsom salt is readily available to your body without having to be converted. As a general recommendation, use 1 to 2 cups of Epsom salt to a tub of water. The warmer the water, the more of the salt will be dissolved, and the more your body will be able to absorb as the heat opens your pores.

If you experience a negative reaction, such as irritability or hyperactivity, decrease the amount used and incrementally increase the amount based on your tolerance. Alternatively, use 1 part Epsom salt to 2 parts water for a foot bath. Soak your feet for about 30 minutes.

Toxicity data shows MSM is extremely safe and can be taken at high doses. As noted in the journal Nutrients, “As a Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) approved substance, MSM is well-tolerated by most individuals at dosages of up to 4 grams daily,”40 although toxicity studies have reported no observed adverse effects up to a level of 5 grams per kilo per day.41

That said, potential side effects at higher doses include intestinal discomfort, ankle swelling and skin rashes. These are likely detoxifying effects that can typically be mitigated or minimized by cutting back on the initial dosage and slowly working your way up.

 Sources and References
Posted by: | Posted on: October 14, 2019

The link between gum disease, hypertension and heart attacks


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(NaturalHealth365) Did you know that nearly half of all people over the age of 30 have some degree of gum disease?  According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this means many Americans either already have poor oral health or are well on their way to developing it.

This may come as surprise, but bad teeth and foul breath aren’t the only problems gum disease causes. A September 2019 meta-analysis and systematic review published in Cardiovascular Research finds that having periodontitis – an advanced form of gum disease – increases your chances of having hypertension, a major heart attack risk factor.

3 shocking ways poor oral health affects heart health

The scientific and medical communities overwhelmingly agree – poor oral health can damage your heart and increase your risk for:

  1. High blood pressure
  2. Heart attacks
  3. Strokes

But how?

In the new Cardiovascular Research paper, researchers analyzed 81 studies of the link between gum disease and hypertension (high blood pressure).  Based on this large collection of data, they found that moderate to severe gum disease increased a person’s risk of hypertension by 22%.

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Severe gum disease increased a person’s risk by as much as 49%!

In other words: poor oral health can significantly increase your risk for hypertension, which we know is a major stroke and heart attack risk factor.  Investigators believe the increased inflammation caused by gum disease and oral bacteria are major phenomenons behind this link.

Their findings have major implications.  They note that even just a modest rise in blood pressure (say, +5 mmHg) may increase a person’s risk of death from heart attack or stroke by as much as 25%!

And as if this isn’t – pardon the pun – heartbreaking enough, poor oral health can also increase a person’s risk for diabetes, cancer, and (in pregnant women) low birth weight and premature delivery.

Now for the good news: Proper oral healthcare can improve your lifespan

A 2011 cohort study published in Journal of Aging Research found that brushing teeth every night, flossing daily, and visiting the dentist regularly were associated with increased longevity in older adults.

And, even though this study has some flaws, the findings make sense: by keeping your teeth and gums healthy, you can reduce your risk of the many health problems associated with poor health, and thus increase your life expectancy.

Plus, it’s reasonable to say that a person who is committed enough to practice daily healthy teeth habits is also likely to practice other healthy habits, too, like exercising, avoiding sugary drinks and foods, and not smoking.

What’s the takeaway?  Be the kind of person who brushes and flosses daily – it could save your life!

Understand the top warning signs of gum disease

You might assume that if you have gum disease, you’d know it.  True, most of the signs and symptoms of gum disease are fairly noticeable, but some – like a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down or persistent bad breath – are easy to miss.

Here are the other top warning signs to look out for:

  • Gums that bleed while brushing, eating hard foods, and flossing
  • Red, tender, and swollen gums
  • Gums that recede from the teeth, which makes the teeth look longer
  • Pain, tenderness, or sores in your mouth
  • Loose teeth

Even if you think your teeth and gums are perfectly healthy, you should still visit a qualified, biological (or holistic) dentist at least once or twice per year.  Naturally, if you have serious oral health issues, you may need to see a dentist more often for check ups.

At home: oil pulling, sea salt rinses, the use of a hydrofloss and herbal mouthwashes can also be quite helpful.

Editor’s noteClick here for access to the Holistic Oral Health Summit, hosted by yours truly, Jonathan Landsman – featuring the best ways to avoid cavities, gum disease plus much more!

Sources for this article include:

Posted by: | Posted on: October 11, 2019

Alarming report: Energy drinks have life-threatening side effects

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(NaturalHealth365)  According to the National Institutes of Health, “a growing body of scientific evidence shows that energy drinks can have serious health effects, particularly in children, teenagers, and young adults.”  So, why are these products still being sold – to this day?!  After reading this report, you’ll understand why we think these products are a big mistake.

Thousands of people to date have faced serious, sometimes deadly side effects as a result of consuming energy drinks, and an alarming number of these victims have been children.  In fact, the lead author of research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association has said, ‘the public should be aware of the impact of energy drinks on their body, especially if they have other underlying health conditions.”

The severe side effects from these drinks included seizures, elevated blood pressure and irregular heartbeat.  And, the fact remains: most of these kids didn’t even know what they were consuming.  They simply found them left around the home by an adult.

The grim realities of energy drinks

To be blunt, most of these beverages are loaded with sugar and caffeine – a recipe for disaster.

However, the manufacturers also blend in other compounds such as l-carnitine, taurine, guarana, amino acids and ginseng. Despite this veritable mystery punch of ingredients, studies have not found that these drinks boost energy, focus or stamina any better than having a cup of coffee.

In truth, the marketing hype of these beverages don’t tell the whole (ugly) story.

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Along with this lack of efficacy, the drinks come with very real dangers.  Dr. Steven Lipshultz and his colleagues have been examining the effects of these drinks for a number of years, and in 2011 noticed a marked surge in reported illnesses linked to their consumption.

A separate study conducted by the United States government found emergency-room visits between 2005 and 2011 that were related to energy-drink consumption surged as well. A host of alarming side effects were also reported, including seizures, liver damage, heart issues and in some cases, premature death.

Drinks with additives like plant extracts and amino acids were found to be worse for people than those with just caffeine.  Some theories hold that these assorted extracts might have components with unknown, undocumented effects, especially when combined with caffeine and other food additives.

A call for action: Why we need better labeling

A great number of the people who consume these energy drinks simply aren’t aware of their potentially dangerous side effects and their specific hazards to children. This causes adults to consume copious amounts of them while sometimes leaving the beverages unattended and accessible to young children.

Dr. Lipshultz recommends that even as these energy drinks are studied more closely, they should be affixed with a label similar to the Surgeon General warning placed on alcohol and cigarette packages. Doing so could alert adults to protect children (and themselves) from exposure to these controversial drinks.

Experts warn about the dangers of energy drinks:

The World Health Organization (WHO) says, “the full impact of the rise in popularity of energy drinks has not yet been quantified, but the aggressive marketing of energy drinks targeted at young people, combined with limited and varied regulation have created an environment where energy drinks could pose a significant threat to public health.”

The extreme level of caffeine (mixed with other suspicious ingredients) can cause palpitations, hypertension, vomiting, convulsions and in extreme cases heart failure leading to sudden death. An even greater risk is the mixture of these energy drinks with alcohol and food additives – which many younger people tend to consume in excess.

In August 2014, professor Milou-Daniel Drici, from France, gave a presentation to the European Society of Cardiology in which he said:

”So-called ‘energy drinks are popular in dance clubs and during physical exercise, with people sometimes consuming a number of drinks one after the other. This situation can lead to a number of adverse conditions including angina, cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and even sudden death.”

Dr. Steven Lipshultz, pediatrician-in-chief at Children’s Hospital of Michigan, in Detroit, says ‘although the target markets for energy drinks are typically teens and young adults, more than 40 percent of reports to U.S. poison control centers in a three-year period involved children under the age of 6.’

Young or old, energy drinks are putting both children and adults at risk. Regardless of age, the potential dangers are the same: seizures, heart issues, high blood pressure, and kidney problems. With coffee providing a similar benefit, it’s hard to see how the health risks are worth the chemically-induced “boost” that energy drinks provide.

Sources for this article include:

Posted by: | Posted on: October 9, 2019

Leading cause of death accessed with one medical test

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(NaturalHealth365) It’s the medical test that could save your life, but has your doctor performed it?  NMR Lipoprotein – a blood test that directly measures the amount of LDL circulating in the body – is more efficient at determining your risk of cardiovascular disease than what 90 percent of doctors still look at.

Cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the United States, still ahead of cancer, takes the lives of over 600,000 Americans each year – but could largely be prevented, or at least managed way better, with this simple test.  You may be wondering how – right?

Because it looks at how cholesterol is transported through the body (not necessarily just the blood), but how it interacts with the endothelium that lines the arteries.  This test could be the tool used to spark a change in your lifestyle habits.

How can I get the NMR lipoprotein medical test now and prevent the leading cause of death?

While your doctor may not be aware of the test, he or she can easily order via most major lab companies. In addition, NMR lipoprotein testing is generally covered by insurance.

By the way, if you experience difficulty having a provider order the test, it can be obtained – on your own behalf – online, as well.  And, please keep in mind, one medical test is not the only thing you need to avoid heart disease.  But, in many cases, it’s a good place to start.

Should I be eating fatty foods or not?

“The mantra that saturated fat must be removed to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease has dominated dietary advice and guidelines for almost four decades. Yet scientific evidence shows that this advice has, paradoxically, increased our cardiovascular risks.

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Furthermore, the government’s obsession with levels of total cholesterol, which has led to the over-medication of millions of people with statins, has diverted our attention from the more egregious risk factor of atherogenic dyslipidaemia.” – Aseem Malhotra, interventional cardiology specialist registrar, Croydon University Hospital, London

It was once believed that eating saturated fats was going to put your risk of developing cardiovascular disease through the roof, but a recent British Medical Journal frankly states above, “saturated fat is not the issue.”

We have long-known these health-promoting foods help stave off certain diseases, but until recently, research literature focused on a very immature and short-sighted approach to clinically evaluating the role cholesterol plays in cardiovascular disease development.

I tell patients, “high cholesterol does not cause cardiovascular disease, we need cholesterol to live, to thrive. It’s what happens to cholesterol particles in the body that can cause them to affect us negatively.” A wide variety of fats are necessary for the body to manufacture cholesterol, a necessary component of neuro-hormonal synthesis and protection, immune and cardiovascular health.

The crucial point is that we need an ideal ratio of fats that are unoxidized to stay healthy and prevent disease.

To maintain ideal cholesterol levels:

  • Increase physical activity during the day while focusing on regular, restful sleep at night.
  • Avoid excessive amounts of refined carbohydrates, sugars, flours and seed oils.
  • Improve gut health because maintaining healthy flora reduces whole-body inflammation and helps control insulin-resistance.

Remember, cardiovascular disease depends on many factors such as genetics, lifestyle activity, environmental pollution and overall diet. Researchers and clinicians are always taking a closer look at how these variables affect one another in an integrative fashion.

About the author: Christine M. Dionese L.Ac, MSTOM is an integrative health expert, medical journalist and food writer. She’s dedicated her career to helping others understand the science of happiness and its powerful effects on everyday human health. Christine practices, writes and speaks on environmental functional medicine, epigenetics, food therapy and sustainable living.

Sources for this article include:

Posted by: | Posted on: October 9, 2019

Low level lead exposure killing over 400,000 Americans a year, study reveals

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lead-exposure(NaturalHealth365) Heart disease, the number one cause of mortality in the United States, is currently responsible for over 800,000 deaths a year.  The primary risk factors for this potentially deadly condition are thought to include high blood pressure, lack of exercise, obesity, cigarette smoking and diabetes. But, with the results of a shocking study published in The Lancet, researchers are now pointing to another likely culprit – lead exposure.

Natural health experts have long warned that lead is a dangerous neurotoxin – for which there is no safe level of exposure.  The startling study shows that lead exposure is not only associated with cardiovascular disease – but is responsible for the premature deaths of 412,000 (close to half a million!) Americans every year.

Even more troubling, the deaths were not linked to acute exposures, but to relatively low blood levels of lead.

Lead exposure is grossly ignored as a cause of heart disease and premature death

To conduct the large-scale, long-term population study, researchers examined the connection between lead concentrations, heart disease and all-cause mortality in over 14,000 adults.

The study was the first to examine the link between low-level lead exposure (characterized as under 5 micrograms per deciliter of blood) and cardiovascular disease.  Keep in mind, according to Harvard Medical School, average levels for Americans currently hover around 1 ug/dL.

When the team specifically examined results for participants with blood lead levels between 1 ug/dL (the threshold of detection) and 5 ug/dL, they discovered that the risk of premature death increased substantially.

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In addition, the team found that people with higher lead levels (6.7 ug/dL) had a 70 percent greater risk of death from heart disease – when compared to those at the low end of the scale.

But that wasn’t all.

The researchers calculated that exposure to lead caused an 18 percent higher risk of dying from any cause, which translates to 412,000 deaths a year.  Around 256,000 of those deaths occurred from heart disease, the team reported.

The researchers called low-level lead exposure an “important, but overlooked” risk factor for premature death in the U.S. – particularly for death from heart disease. The team stressed the importance of continuing efforts to reduce environmental lead exposure.

Additional studies support evidence of harm from lead exposure

Animal studies have shown that chronic, low-level lead exposure not only causes high blood pressure (a contributor to heart disease) but – by inactivating the body’s stores of beneficial nitric oxide – can also trigger atherosclerosis.

Lead exposure also contributes to atherosclerosis by inhibiting the repair of fragile, easily-damaged arterial linings.  In addition, low-level lead exposure promoted the formation of blood clots – thereby directly raising risk of stroke and heart attack.

Not surprisingly, additional studies have reflected the findings of the Lancet study, linking higher concentrations of lead with high blood pressure, peripheral arterial disease and heart disease deaths.

Significantly, these findings directly contradict the prevailing wisdom concerning levels of lead at which harm can occur.

New research is causing experts to revamp views on low level exposure

Levels of 10 ug/dL to 25 ug/dL are considered proof positive that lead exposure is occurring – with levels of 25 ug/dL to 40 ug/dL considered “elevated.”

And, levels are considered “seriously elevated” between 40 ug/dL and 80 ug/dL, while levels over 80 ug/dL are “dangerously elevated” – with irreversible damage to health likely to occur.

As recently as 2013, only lead levels of 10 ug/dL, and above, were considered cause for concern.  In fact, the National Toxicology Report previously described evidence linking blood lead levels under 10 ug/dL with heart disease-related mortality as “limited.”

Yet, participants in the recent study only had to average a modest 2.7 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood to see their heart health and mortality affected – in a negative way.

Warning: Children are much more susceptible to damage

With smaller, still-developing systems, children under age six are much more susceptible than adults to the physical and mental effects of lead poisoning.  Sadly, symptoms may not appear – in children and adults alike – until dangerous and damaging amounts of lead have already accumulated in the body.

Signs of lead exposure in children include learning difficulties, irritability, fatigue, weight loss, vomiting and diarrhea. Pica – a craving for non-edible substances, such as paint chips or dirt – can also indicate lead poisoning in children.

Lead exposure in newborns is manifested by premature birth, lower birth weight and slow growth.

Adults exposed to lead may experience high blood pressure, joint and muscle pain, headaches, impaired concentration and memory loss – along with reproductive problems such as reduced sperm count in men and miscarriage and premature birth in women.

Of course, very high levels of exposure to lead can cause seizures, unconsciousness and premature death.

Deteriorating lead paint in older homes threatens children’s health

While lead-based paints for homes, toys and furniture have been banned since 1978, lead exposure can still occur in older homes.  The most common sources of lead poisoning in children are flakes of deteriorating lead-based paint – especially if the children nibble on them. Contaminated dust can also be released during home renovations in older buildings.

In addition, lead can persist in soil in the yards of older homes.

According to the New York State Department of Health, lead may still be found in batteries, solder pipes, pottery, bullets, roofing materials and various imported cosmetics and candies.  Adults who perform renovations on older houses – particularly involving plumbing, roofing and painting – are at greater risk for exposure, as are those who work in auto shops and with batteries.

Worth noting: If lead exposure from an older home is a concern, the Harvard School of Public Health advises employing an EPA-certified lead abatement professional to replace lead plumbing pipes.  You may also want to look into hiring a building biologist to ensure you’re living in a healthy home.

Vitamin C can effectively help to remove heavy metals from the body

Chelation, a protocol for treating lead exposure, features the use of edetate calcium disodium, or EDTA. This compound binds with and removes heavy metals, including lead, iron and copper.

There is now clinical evidence that vitamin C, a potent antioxidant, can potentiate and enhance the detoxifying effect of chelating agents.

In a recent study published in Life Sciencesresearchers found that EDTA and vitamin C together are more than twice as effective as either substance given alone.  The team noted that the combination is particularly effective in removing lead from the central nervous system.

And, optimal levels of vitamin C can protect against high lead levels.

In a study conducted by University of California at San Francisco and published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association, the researchers found a direct association between high levels of vitamin C and lower blood levels of lead.

Adults had blood levels reduced by 68 percent with higher vitamin C intake, while children with higher vitamin C intake fared even better. Researchers found that those in the top one-third of vitamin C levels displayed an 89 percent lowered incidence of lead toxicity.

It is important to consume enough vitamin C to protect against the effects of lead exposure – whether through vitamin C-rich foods (such as citrus fruits, bell peppers and Brussels sprouts) or supplements.

Natural health experts note that at least 1,000 mg of vitamin C a day is required to reduce lead levels and enjoy other benefits – including stronger overall immune function.

Sources for this article include:

Posted by: | Posted on: October 7, 2019

Blood Thinners

Written by Brenton Wight – LeanMachine, Researcher.

Normally, the clotting ability of blood is a good thing, otherwise we could bleed to death from a small cut. But sometimes blood clots can be dangerous. They can prevent blood flow to the lungs, heart or brain (ischemic stroke).
However, if blood cannot clot properly, a hemorrhagic stroke (brain bleed) can happen, and around 10% of strokes are this type, many of those due to an overdose of warfarin or similar blood-thinning medication.
So one must use caution and common sense for using any prescription and/or natural blood thinner.

Prescription Medications

Prescription blood thinners are normally anticoagulants or antiplatelets, and are commonly prescribed to seniors if doctors presume the patient is at risk for a blood clot, particularly for DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis).
Anticoagulants such as warfarin do not thin the blood, they make the blood take longer to clot.
The blood test to measure the time to clot is the PT (prothrombin time, or protime) test, and reported as the INR (International Normalized Ratio).
Common Anticoagulant drugs include:

  • Heparin
  • Warfarin (Marevan, Coumadin, Jantoven)
  • Dabigatran (Pradaxa)
  • Rivaroxaban (Xarelto)
  • Apixaban (Eliquis)

Common Antiplatelet drugs decrease platelet aggregation (clumping together), inhibit thrombus (clot) formation and include:

  • Clopidogrel (Plavix)
  • Ticagrelor (Brilinta)
  • Prasugrel (Effient)
  • Dipyridamole
  • Dipyridamole/Aspirin (Aggrenox)
  • Ticlodipine (Ticlid)
  • Eptfibatide (Integrilin)
  • Aspirin

Common Thrombolytic Agents (clot-busting drugs):

  • Eminase (anistreplase)
  • Retavase (reteplase)
  • Streptase, Kabikinase (streptokinase)
  • Activase (alteplase, t-PA or tissue plasminogen activator)

Side effects of prescription drugs

Anticoagulants can all have bleeding side effects.
Symptoms such as these must be reported to your doctor immediately, or go to your nearest hospital, or in Australia call the Poisons Information Centre: 13 11 26:

  • Blood in urine (red or dark brown)
  • Blood in poop, red or black poop
  • Severe bruising
  • Prolonged nosebleeds
  • Bleeding gums
  • Vomiting blood
  • Coughing up blood
  • Heavy periods
  • Purplish & mottled toes
  • Prolonged bleeding from cuts
  • Swollen ankles
  • Painful swelling or discomfort
  • Stomach pain
  • Chest pain
  • Joint pain
  • Persistent headache or fever
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Severe skin wounds
  • Non-healing wounds, lesions or mottling of skin
  • Persistent diarrhoea

Warfarin (Marevan, Coumadin, Jantoven) – was originally developed as a rat poison, designed to cause bleeding to death, as warfarin is a very strong anticoagulant.
For this reason, those taking this drug for the first time need regular blood tests (INR test) to find the correct dosage.

Warfarin and other trade names use a colour chart for the different dose prescribed. If traveling to a different country, ensure that the dose prescribed is the dose you are receiving if you are filling a prescription, as these colours may vary in different countries.
In Australia, warfarin is sold as Marevan in doses of 1 mg (fawn), 3 mg (blue) and 5 mg (pink), and all are scored and bevel edged with “M” embossed on one side above the score and “1”, “3” or “5” embossed below.

Many foods and supplements will increase or decrease the effectiveness or warfarin, so diet must be completely controlled. Because one of the antidotes for warfarin overdose is Vitamin K (phylloquinone), which comes mainly from leafy greens, then all foods containing Vitamin K must be consumed on a regular basis, including the amount, quality and type. This control can be difficult for many people, and combined with inaccurate dosing, can be lethal. Many seniors, especially those with conditions leading to warfarin medication, have poor memory and cognitive ability, and can easily skip a dose, or worse, double up a dose if they forget they had already taken a dose. This is why warfarin overdose is one of the leading cause of Emergency Room visits for those over 65.
In a life-threatening bleeding situation, the hospital will administer PCC (Prothrombin complex concentrate), a medication made up of several blood clotting factors, and in addition, up to 10mg of Vitamin K administered by IV.
In a less serious overdose, Vitamin K is adminitered by IV at first, then oral supplementation until INR levels have stabilised, which can take up to 2 weeks.
Warfarin side effects:
Because warfarin, heparin, and other anticoagulants are Vitamin K antagonists (they deplete Vitamin K from the body), they can interfere with bone metabolism and cause osteoporosis and fractures, as the job of Vitamin K (mainly K2 MK7, or menaquinone) is to remove calcium from blood and from blood clots (which are high in calcium) and place it into bones and teeth. Study results are mixed, some showing no effect (but possibly distorted by who funded the study). Another issue is that without Vitamin K, blood will be higher in calcium, which ends up in blood clots, heart valves, liver, kidneys, etc, causing many other health problems.
Patients receiving dialysis for kidney issues should not take large amounts of Vitamin K.

Commonly used medicines and products that can interfere with Marevan/Warfarin include:

  • Aspirin
  • Medications for arthritis, including glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Medications for blood clots, heart attacks or angina
  • Antihistamines or any cough or cold preparations
  • Some antibiotics
  • Laxatives
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • St John’s Wort
  • Some herbs, e.g. garlic, ginseng, feverfew, gingko biloba, ginger
  • Alcohol
  • Cranberry juice
  • Large amounts of green leafy vegetables and/or significant diet changes

In spite of all of the dangers of warfarin, it is the most commonly prescribed anticoagulant drug.

Heparin is listed above as an anticoagulant because it works faster, but normally only used in emergency situations in a hospital, given by IV or as an injection into subcutaneous fat.

Rivaroxaban (Xarelto) is a newer (Factor Xa Inhibitor) anticoagulant drug.
At December 2018 it is not listed on the TGA website, so no antidote such as Andexxa is available in Australia. A bad bleed can more easily be fatal compared to warfarin.
In the USA, Andexxa (Andexanet alfa) was approved by the FDA in May 2018 for limited release, and appears to work as an antodote for Xarelto and Eliquis.
In 2016 there were more than 117,000 hospital admissions in the USA for uncontrolled bleeding, where Andexxa could have been used, but the wholesale price of Andexxa is reported to be US$27,500 (AU$37,500) for one patient dose, and a typical treatment would be about US$53,000 (AU$75,000) so LeanMachine would advise those wanting blood thinners to be very careful and ask the following questions:
1. Does my local doctor or Hospital carry the appropriate antidote for my blood-thinning medication?
2. What happens if for example I fall and hit my head, or I am in an accident where I have large wounds? Is there any treatment?
3. How much would I have to pay for the antidote?
More info on this antidote
Common side effects of Andexxa include pneumonia and urinary tract infections. Severe side effects include blood clots or cardiac arrest.
Because Xarelto and Eliquis work in a different way (Factor Xa Inhibitors) from warfarin, Vitamin K will have no effect on Factor Xa Inhibitors.

More info on benefits and side effects to follow here soon.

Natural blood-thinners

When adding supplements or foods to the diet, and if already taking prescription blood thinners, be aware that the combination of drugs with some natural products can make blood too thin, while others can interfere with the function of some drugs, reducing their effectiveness. Always discuss diet and supplements with your doctor.

Rutin also called rutoside, quercetin-3-O-rutinoside and sophorin, combines the flavonol quercetin and the disaccharide rutinose and is a citrus flavonoid found in citrus fruits and other plants.
Rutin is a far better alternative to Aspirin, which has been used for a hundred years to reduce fever, inflammation and blood thinning.
The famous 1918 Pandemic (Spanish flu or Russian flu) killed 50 million people worldwide, but aspirin significantly contributed to these deaths by reducing fever and suppressing immunity. Combined with poor sanitation and poor foods at the time, this led to pneumonia and death.
Fever is the body’s automatic defence against infection as the higher temperature kills the pathogens. When the fever is artificially reduced by aspirin, the pathogens multiply.
Aspirin also plays a part in internal bleeding (mainly in the gut) and in Macular Degeneration by causing blood vessels in the eye to leak, distorting the retina.
Rutin actually strengthens the endothelial lining of blood vessels and improves flexibility, preventing leakage, while improving blood flow at the same time.
Rutin also helps heal bruises, spider veins, and varicose veins, and prevents mucositis, a side effect of cancer treatment.
Another benefit: Rutin increases bone density by slowing down bone resorption.
Read more about Flavonoids in my article here.

Bacopa Bacopa Monnieri has many benefits, including thinning the blood, especially in the brain, reducing pain and anxiety, improving memory, protecting against oxidative stress, improving communication between neurons, reducing β-amyloid accumulation (a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease), and has been used to treat ADHD.
Uncommon side effects include increased bowel movements, stomach cramps, nausea, dry mouth and fatigue.

Co-Enzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is traditionally used for improving heart health and mitochondrial function, especially to counteract the effect of statin drugs that destroy CoQ10 production (and precursor to Vitamin D3) in the liver.
But blood-thinning is a less well-known side effect. This is one of LeanMachine’s mustr-have supplements for those over 40.
Mild side effects may including stomach upset, appetite loss, lower blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and allergic skin rashes in some people.

Garlic is well-known for the blood-thinning properties, either in supplemental or original form. The supplemental form here is aged for potency and odourless for those who dislike garlic odour.
Other benefits beside blood-thinning are cardiovascular benefits.
Side effects of real garlic include bad breath, body odour, heartburn, indigestion, mouth irritation, and probably should not be eaten raw.

Ginkgo Biloba not only thins the blood, but strengthens endothelial cell lining of all blood vessels.

Cayenne Pepper has blood-thinning properties owing to the high salicylate content, although more famous for cardiovascular health properties. Supplements are preferred when the patient does not like or tolerate real cayenne peppers.

Turmeric, a spice giving curry the yellow colour, has long been used for many health conditions, and the main ingredient curcumin is a natural antiplatelet.
Also good for joints, cardiovascular, cancer and many more health conditions.

Ginger is in the same family as turmeric and contains salicylate, an acid found in many plants. Acetyl salicylic acid (Aspirin) is derived from salicylate and can help thin blood, but has side effects noted above. Foods containing salicylate include avocados, berries, chilies and cherries can also reduce blood clotting.

Nattokinase helps prevent or reduce blood clots by breaking down fibrin, a mesh-style substance that holds a clot together. This particular version has all of the Vitamin K removed.

Vitamin E is mild anticoagulant.
Vitamin E has 2 main types: Tocotrienols and Tocopherols, with each type containind alpha, beta, gamma and delta sub-types. Tis product contains all typres.
Beware: Cheap Vitamin E products contain only d-alpha tocopherols and none of the other 7 types. Nuts are one of the best food types containing Vitamin E.

Clot-busting supplements

Recently, a study confirmed that a mixture of two herbs, Gotu Kola and Pine Bark improved artery health in one study. Pine bark extract reduced areas of plaque and fat deposition in atherosclerotic mice, while decreasing total cholesterol and triglycerides and increasing beneficial HDL cholesterol. Gotu kola protects the hard cap that naturally forms over existing arterial plaques, reducing the chance of a rupture which can cause a fatal cardiovascular event. A study showed those taking gotu kola had a 41% lower risk of a cardiovascular event.
But the study of the combination of the two, with 150 mg of pine bark and 225 mg of gotu kola daily caused a beneficial increase in plaque density, while decreasing plaque length, height and number, and 95% of the study participants had significantly improved blood flow and reduced cardiovascular events.
Best to go with the natural products that work:
Gotu Kola
Pine Bark

Another study on Pomegranate Juice, including subjects with carotid artery stenosis (70–90% blockage), found that one glass of pomegranate juice daily reversed plaque accumulation. I do not know of any prescription drug that comes anywhere near this result. Standard medical practice is to insert a stent in the artery via a medical procedure, but these can have many problems.

“The mean intima media thickness the left and right common carotid arteries in severe carotid artery stenosis patients that consumed pomegranate juice for up to 1 year was reduced after 3, 6, 9 and 12 months of pomegranate juice consumption by 13%, 22%, 26% and 35%, respectively, in comparison to baseline values.”

Blood-thinning Foods

Foods known to help improve blood flow include:

    • Vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, garlic and onions
    • Fruits such as berries, grapes, grapefruit, pineapple and pomegranate
    • Nuts such as walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios and brazil nuts
    • Fish such as salmon, trout, herring and tuna
    • Drinks such as pomegranate juice, green tea, grape juice, cranberry juice and pineapple juice
    • Dark chocolate (high cocoa content)
  • Cacao (unrefined cocoa)

More info coming here soon…


LeanMachine is not a doctor, and everyone should consult with their own health professional before taking any product to ensure there is no conflict with existing prescription medication.
LeanMachine has been studying nutrition and health since 2010 and has completed many relevant studies including:
Open2Study, Australia – Food, Nutrition and Your Health
RMIT University, Australia – Foundations of Psychology
Swinburne University of Technology, Australia – Chemistry – Building Blocks of the World
University of Washington, USA – Energy, Diet and Weight
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Health Issues for Aging Populations
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – International Nutrition
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Methods in Biostatistics I
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Methods in Biostatistics II
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Principles of Human Nutrition
TUFTS University, USA – Nutrition and Medicine
TUFTS University, USA – Lipids/Cardiovascular Disease I and Lipids/Cardiovascular Disease II
Technical Learning College, USA – Western Herbology, Identification, Formulas
Bath University, England – Inside Cancer
WebMD Education – The Link Between Stroke and Atrial Fibrillation
WebMD Education – High Potassium: Causes and Reasons to Treat
Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands – Anatomy of the Abdomen and Pelvis
MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) – A Clinical Approach to the Human Brain
LeanMachine has now examined thousands of studies, journals and reports related to health and nutrition and this research is ongoing.

Updated 7th October 2019, Copyright © 1999-2019 Brenton Wight and BJ & HJ Wight trading as Lean Machine abn 55293601285

Posted by: | Posted on: October 7, 2019

Seafood Can Resolve Many Nutrient Deficiencies

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola  – Fact Checked  – October 07, 2019
seafood high in omega 3


  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are long-chained omega-3 fats found in cold-water fatty fish like wild-caught Alaskan salmon, sardines, anchovies and certain other sea creatures, including krill
  • DHA and EPA are key structural elements of cells; they’re not just simple fuel. If you don’t have enough DHA and EPA, your body’s ability to repair and maintain healthy cell structures is seriously impaired
  • The omega-3 index is expressed as a percent of all fatty acids in the red blood cell membrane. Research suggests an ideal, healthy range of omega-3 is between 8% and 12%
  • Data suggests omega-3 deficiency may be more prevalent than suspected. Of the first 135 participants in the D*action + Omega-3 home testing project, 85% had an omega-3 index below 8%, which puts them at increased risk for chronic health problems
  • Recent research suggests many nutrient deficiencies could be resolved by eating more seafood, and retaining more of the local fish catches for the local population rather than exporting them

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are long-chained omega-3 fats found in cold-water fatty fish like wild-caught Alaskan salmon, sardines, anchovies and certain other sea creatures, including krill.

Along with vitamin D testing, measuring your omega-3 level at least once a year is strongly recommended, as being low in this vital nutrient can spell trouble for your health in more ways than one.

One of the reasons why DHA and EPA are so crucial is because they’re actually key structural elements of cells; they’re not just simple fuel. If you don’t have enough DHA and EPA, your body’s ability to repair and maintain healthy cell structures is seriously impaired.

Marine-Based Omega-3 Protects Heart Health

Marine-based omega-3 is particularly important for your heart health. According to a 2016 analysis1,2 of 19 studies, higher blood levels of DHA were found to lower the risk of a fatal heart attack by 10%. This effect held true even after accounting for confounding factors like age, sex, ethnicity, diabetes and use of aspirin or cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Studies have also shown that, when taken after a heart attack, omega-3 fats can significantly improve your odds of survival.3 A large Italian trial4 found that heart attack survivors who took 1 gram of omega-3 fat per day for 3.5 years had a “clinically important and statistically significant” reduction in the risk for death, nonfatal heart attack and stroke. Animal-based omega-3 fats, especially DHA, protect and support your cardiovascular health by:5

  • Lowering blood pressure and improving endothelial function
  • Counteracting or preventing cardiac arrhythmia
  • Lowering triglyceride concentrations
  • Helping prevent thrombosis (a blood clot within a blood vessel) by decreasing platelet aggregation
  • Counteracting inflammation

Most recently, results from five years of study by The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), the VITAL study (which is looking at both omega-3 and vitamin D) show fish oil supplementation lowers your risk for heart attack.6,7 Results8 were presented at the September 25 through 28, 2019, NAMS meeting in Chicago. Contemporary Clinic reported the results, noting:9

“People with dietary fish intake below the cohort median of 1.5 servings per week saw the greatest treatment benefit. Meanwhile, participants whose intake was above that level did not see as much as a benefit.”

Nutrient Requirements Could Be Met by Local Fish Catches

An interesting study10,11,12 published September 25, 2019, suggests fish is an excellent source of a variety of nutrients, including iron and zinc, and that many micronutrient deficiencies could be resolved by retaining more of the local fish catches in any given area rather than exporting them.

As reported in a press release,13 the data “showed important nutrients were readily available in the fish already being caught but they were not reaching many local populations, who were often most in need.”

In most areas of the world, a majority of fish is caught by international companies and subsequently sold to other, typically more affluent, nations, while locals often end up forgoing their native diets for processed food. As reported by, 90% of the fish caught in Mauritania is caught by foreign fishing fleets and never enters the local market.

In other areas, such as Namibia, even though a majority of the fishing fleets are locally owned, the fish is still exported. Edward Allison, professor at the University of Washington’s School of Marine and Environmental Affairs told,14 “These transformed diets suck fish towards the mouths of the better-off, meaning that not everyone who might benefit from consuming fish gets to eat it.”


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Fairer Fish Trade Would Curtail Nutrient Deficiencies

For example, common nutrient deficiencies plaguing West Africa are zinc, iron and vitamin A deficiency. Yet these three nutrients are readily available in the fish caught off the West African coast, the researchers found, and in amounts sufficiently high to meet the nutritional needs of those living within 100 kilometers of the coast. As explained by the authors:15

“Micronutrient deficiencies account for an estimated one million premature deaths annually, and for some nations can reduce gross domestic product by up to 11%, highlighting the need for food policies that focus on improving nutrition rather than simply increasing the volume of food produced.

People gain nutrients from a varied diet, although fish — which are a rich source of bioavailable micronutrients that are essential to human health — are often overlooked.

A lack of understanding of the nutrient composition of most fish and how nutrient yields vary among fisheries has hindered the policy shifts that are needed to effectively harness the potential of fisheries for food and nutrition security.

Here, using the concentration of 7 nutrients in more than 350 species of marine fish, we estimate how environmental and ecological traits predict nutrient content of marine finfish species … and compare nutrient yields to the prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies in human populations …

For a number of countries in which nutrient intakes are inadequate, nutrients available in marine finfish catches exceed the dietary requirements for populations that live within 100 km of the coast, and a fraction of current landings could be particularly impactful for children under 5 years of age.

Our analyses suggest that fish-based food strategies have the potential to substantially contribute to global food and nutrition security.”

As reported by,16 were Namibia to retain just 9% of its local fish catches, it would resolve the nation’s iron deficiency. In Kiribati, a mere 1% of the fish catches would help resolve calcium deficiencies affecting 82% of the island nation’s population.

In conclusion, the study proposes a number of policy recommendations aimed at improving the availability of fish around the world. Among them, supporting small-scale local fisheries and implementing global fish trade guidelines to ensure fairer distribution. As noted by

“Xavier Basurto, an associate professor at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University in the United States, believes that the processing of highly nutritious fish into low-nutrient products for developed countries, including pet food, should also be curtailed.

‘For instance, one could regulate certain types of catch not to be used as fish meal for export because of its nutritional value for low-income populations,’ he suggested.”

Your Blood Level, Not the Dosage, Is Key

Getting back to omega-3, data suggest deficiency in these important nutrients may be more prevalent than suspected.18 One of the reasons for this is because omega-3 testing is rather new. The assay to measure omega-3 in your red blood cells was developed by William Harris, Ph.D., in 2004. Before that, an assay was not available.

The omega-3 index is expressed as a percent of all fatty acids in the red blood cell membrane.19 Data from studies Harris performed showed an ideal, healthy range of omega-3 is between 8% and 12%.20

Importantly, the only way to determine your omega-3 status is through testing, which is now easy to do. GrassrootsHealth, a nonprofit public health research organization, has several cost-effective options available as part of its various consumer-sponsored nutrient research projects,21 the aim of which is to establish population-based recommendations based on science-backed data.

For example, ongoing research by GrassrootsHealth has firmly established that a vitamin D level of 20 ng/mL is nowhere near sufficient; the ideal range for disease prevention is actually between 60 and 80 ng/mL. Their research also shows a whopping 80% of cancer recurrences could be prevented simply by raising vitamin D to 60 ng/mL.

GrassrootsHealth is conducting the same kind of consumer-sponsored research for omega-3 and magnesium. For omega-3, you have four test options:

Each kit contains instructions for how to collect your blood sample. You then mail in your sample and fill out a quick online health questionnaire through GrassrootsHealth.

Your participation in this research project will enable GrassrootsHealth researchers to provide accurate data about the omega-3 status in the population, the level at which disease prevention is actually obtained, and guidance on dosing to achieve optimal levels.

All of this is crucial information that can go a long way toward improving public health. Your test results will be emailed to you in about 10 to 20 days after your samples are received. Based on your index result, you will then be able to use GrassrootsHealth’s omega-3 index calculator22 to determine the dosage you may require to raise your current level to your chosen target level.

Your health data are used anonymously. Please note that 100% of the proceeds from the kits go to fund the research project. I do not charge anything extra as a distributor of these test kits.

Don’t Assume Your Intake Is Adequate

I strongly urge you to avoid the temptation to assume that your omega-3 index is sufficient just because you’re eating fish or taking a supplement. Many fish do not contain high omega-3 levels (you have to eat cold-water fatty fish to reap that benefit), and many fish oil supplements are synthetic with questionable efficacy.

As reported by GrassrootsHealth,23 of the first 135 participants in the D*action + Omega-3 home testing project, a surprising 85% had an omega-3 index below 8%, which is the lower threshold for sufficiency, putting them at increased risk for heart disease24 and other chronic diseases, as well as death from any cause. To learn more about the benefits of optimizing your level, see “How Much Omega-3 Do You Need?

omega-3 home testing project
Source: GrassrootsHealth

As reported by GrassrootsHealth:25

“In studies using a measurement called the Omega-3 Index test, individuals with a low Omega-3 Index were shown to have a 10-fold higher risk of death compared to those with a high index … An Omega-3 Index between 8% and 12% was associated with lower risk for death from cardiovascular disease, versus an index less than 4%.”

omega-3 index test
Sources and References
Posted by: | Posted on: October 7, 2019

Artificially sweetened products threaten heart health, study reveals

Reproduced from original article:


artificial-sweeteners(NaturalHealth365) Just about everyone knows that sugary beverages not only destroy weight loss plans, but also trigger negative health effects.  Unfortunately, as a replacement for sugar-laced beverages, too many people still turn to soda with artificial sweeteners – with the hope of cutting out “empty calories.”

However, there’s a growing body of scientific evidence that suggests it’s a really bad move.

Excessive sugar consumption continues to be a problem in the Western diet, contributing to health conditions like diabetes, obesity plus much more.  However, while diet soda and other diet drinks are popular, one new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that artificially sweetened beverages have the potential to increase the risk of heart disease and other serious health conditions.

Discover what artificial sweeteners can do to your cardiovascular system

The study looked at regular consumption of soda and found that individuals who consume soft drinks regularly have a higher risk of mortality over 16 years compared to those who drink them infrequently.  Data from more than 450,000 men and women who were a part of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) was considered, with initial dietary assessments done on the type and number of soft drinks consumed daily, weekly and monthly when individuals enrolled.

Individuals who consumed two or more glasses of soda a day had a 17% higher risk of dying from any cause during the 16.4-year follow-up period.  For those who drank beverages with artificial sweeteners, their mortality risk was 26% greater.

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Among those who had a high intake of sweetened sodas, the risk of dying of heart disease was 27%.  Shockingly, people that drank sodas with artificial sweeteners had a 59% greater risk, far higher than in those who consumed the sugary sodas.

Beyond heart disease, drinking a glass a day of sugary beverages was also linked to a 59% higher risk of digestive diseases.

Don’t be fooled: Fruits juices can be just as bad as soda

While some people turn to fruit juices thinking they’re a healthier beverage choice, they can be just as bad as sodas. Regular consumption of commercially-produced fruit juices has also been linked to premature death.

Consuming 10% of more of your daily calories from sugary drinks increases the risk of dying from heart disease by 44%, and that includes drinking store-bought fruit juice.

Both sugary beverages and soda with artificial sweeteners come with serious health risks, and this recent study showed that drinking artificially sweetened beverages was even more dangerous than consuming the sugary ones.

And remember, artificial sweeteners don’t just show up in sodas, they’re often found in juices, coffee drinks and “diet” sweets like cupcakes and donuts.  Even some ‘healthy-sounding’ beverages contain them.

Bottom line: Instead of drinking sugary sodas, artificially sweetened beverages or fruit juices, try staying well hydrated with plenty of clean (purified) water – every day.  If you want something sweet, go for an organic apple or a bunch of blueberries.

And, if you’re having trouble with your blood sugar levels – you might want to look at the value of alpha lipoic acid.

To learn more about the dangers of artificial sweeteners, listen to this mind-blowing NaturalHealth365 Podcast with Jonathan Landsman.  You’ll never look at artificial sweeteners the same again.

Sources for this article include:

Posted by: | Posted on: October 2, 2019

6 Bodily Tissues That can be Regenerated Through Nutrition

© 20th September 2019 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here
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6 Bodily Tissues That Can Be Regenerated Through Nutrition

It may come as a surprise to some, especially those with conventional medical training, but the default state of the body is one of ceaseless regeneration. Without the flame-like process of continual cell turnover within the body – life and death ceaselessly intertwined – the miracle of the human body would not exist

In times of illness, however, regenerative processes are overcome by degenerative ones. This is where medicine may perform its most noble feat, nudging the body back into balance with foods, herbs, nutrients, healing energies, i.e. healing intention. Today, however, drug-based medicine invariably uses chemicals that have not one iota of regenerative potential; to the contrary, they almost always interfere with bodily self-renewal in order to suppress the symptoms against which they are applied.

Despite the outright heretical nature of things which stimulate healing and regeneration vis-à-vis the conventional medical system which frowns upon, or is incredulous towards, spontaneous remission in favor of symptom suppression and disease management, over the course of the past few years of trolling MEDLINE we have collected a series of remarkable studies on the topic…

nerve cell regeneration

Nerve Regeneration – There are actually a broad range of natural compounds with proven nerve-regenerative effects. A 2010 study published in the journal Rejuvenation Research, for instance, found a combination of blueberry, green tea and carnosine have neuritogenic (i.e. promoting neuronal regeneration) and stem-cell regenerative effects in an animal model of neurodegenerative disease.[1] Other researched neuritogenic substances include:

  1. Curcumin
  2. Lion’s Mane Mushroom
  3. Apigenin (compound in vegetables like celery)
  4. Blueberry
  5. Ginseng
  6. Huperzine
  7. Natto
  8. Red Sage
  9. Resveratrol
  10. Royal Jelly
  11. Theanine
  12. Ashwaganda
  13. Coffee (trigonelline)

There is another class of nerve-healing substances, known as remyelinating compounds, which stimulate the repair of the protective sheath around the axon of the neurons known as myelin, and which is often damaged in neurological injury and/or dysfunction, especially autoimmune and vaccine-induced demyelination disorders. It should also be noted that even music and falling in love have been studied for possibly stimulating neurogenesis, regeneration and/or repair of neurons, indicating that regenerative medicine does not necessary require the ingestion of anything; rather, a wide range of therapeutic actions may be employed to improve health and well-being, as well.

[View the first-hand biomedical citations on these neuritogenic substance visit our Neuritogenic Research page on the topic]

Liver Regeneration – Glycyrrhizin, a compound found within licorice, and which we recently featured as a powerful anti-SARS virus agent, has also been found to stimulate the regeneration of liver mass and function in the animal model of hepatectomy. Other liver regenerative substances include:

  1. Carvacrol (a volatile compound in oregano)
  2. Curcumin
  3. Korean Ginseng
  4. Rooibos
  5. Vitamin E
[view the first-hand biomedical citations on the Liver Regeneration research page]

Beta-Cell Regeneration – Unfortunately, the medical community has yet to harness the diabetes-reversing potential of natural compounds. Whereas expensive stem cell therapies, islet cell transplants, and an array of synthetic drugs in the developmental pipeline are the focus of billions of dollars of research, annually, our kitchen cupboards and backyards may already contain the long sought-after cure for type 1 diabetes. The following compounds have been demonstrated experimentally to regenerate the insulin-producing beta cells, which are destroyed in insulin dependent diabetes, and which once restored, may (at least in theory) restore the health of the patient to the point where they no longer require insulin replacement.

  1. Gymenna Sylvestre (“the sugar destroyer”)
  2. Nigella Sativa (“black cumin”)
  3. Vitamin D
  4. Curcumin (from the spice Turmeric)
  5. Arginine
  6. Avocado
  7. Berberine (found in bitter herbs such as Goldenseal and Barberry)
  8. Bitter Melon
  9. Chard (yes, the green leafy vegetables)
  10. Corn Silk
  11. Stevia
  12. Sulforaphane (especially concentrated in broccoli sprouts)
[view the first-hand biomedical citations on the Beta Cell Regeneration research page]

Hormone Regeneration – there are secretagogues, which increase the endocrine glands’ ability to secrete more hormone, and there are substances that truly regenerate hormones which have degraded (by emitting electrons) into potentially carcinogenic “transient hormone” metabolites. One of these substances is vitamin C. A powerful electron donor, this vitamin has the ability to contribute electrons to resurrect the form and function of estradiol (estrogen; E2), progesterone, testosterone, for instance. [2] In tandem with foods that are able to support the function of glands, such as the ovaries, vitamin C may represent an excellent complement or alternative to hormone replacement therapy.

Cardiac Cell Regeneration – Not too long ago, it was believed that cardiac tissue was uniquely incapable of being regenerated. A new, but rapidly growing body of experimental research now indicates that this is simply not true, and there is a class of heart-tissue regenerating compounds known as neocardiogenic substances. Neocardiogenic substances are able to stimulate the formation of cardiac progenitor cells which can differentiate into healthy heart tissue, and they include the following:

  1. Resveratrol
  2. Siberian Ginseng (Eleuthero)
  3. Red Wine Extract
  4. Geum Japonicum
  5. N-acetyl-cysteine

Another remarkable example of cardiac cell regeneration is through what is known as fetomaternal trafficking of stem cells through the placenta. In a recent article we discussed the amazing process known as “fetal microchimerism” by which the fetus contributes stem cells to the mother which are capable of regenerating her damaged heart cells, and possibly a wide range of other cell types.

Cartilage/Joint/Spine Regeneration – Curcumin and resveratrol have been shown to improve recovery from spinal cord injury. Over a dozen other natural compounds hold promise in this area, which can be viewed on our Spinal Cord Injury page. As far as degenerative joint disease, i.e. osteoarthritis, there are a broad range of potentially regenerative substances, with 50 listed on our osteoarthritis research page.

Ultimately, regenerative medicine threatens to undermine the very economic infrastructure that props up the modern, drug-based and quite candidly degenerative medical system. Symptom suppression is profitable because it guarantees both the perpetuation of the original underlying disease, and the generation of an ever-expanding array of additional, treatment-induced symptoms.

This is the non-sustainable, infinite growth model which shares features characteristic of the process of cancer itself – a model, which by its very nature, is doomed to fail and eventually collapse. Cultivating diets, lifestyles and attitudes conducive to bodily regeneration can interrupt this pathological circuit, and help us to attain the bodily freedom that is a precondition for the liberation of the human soul and spirit, as well.

Additional related articles: 

Additional References

[1] NT-020, a natural therapeutic approach to optimize spatial memory performance and increase neural progenitor cell proliferation and decrease inflammation in the aged rat. Rejuvenation Res. 2010 Jun 29. Epub 2010 Jun 29. PMID: 20586644

[2] Photo-induced regeneration of hormones by electron transfer processes: Potential biological and medical consequences. Radiat Phys Chem Oxf Engl 1993. Updated 2011 Aug ;80(8):890-894. PMID: 21814301

Article originally published 2012

Article updated: 10-01-29

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.