Live in the Now http://www.liveinthenow.com Health. Freedom. Knowledge Fri, 19 Sep 2014 20:43:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 The Healing Benefits of Nutrient-Rich Ghee Might Surprise You http://www.liveinthenow.com/article/the-healing-benefits-of-nutrient-rich-ghee-might-surprise-you?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-healing-benefits-of-nutrient-rich-ghee-might-surprise-you http://www.liveinthenow.com/article/the-healing-benefits-of-nutrient-rich-ghee-might-surprise-you#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 16:30:25 +0000 http://www.liveinthenow.com/?p=31982 Melted butter (ghee)

The saying “everything is better with butter,” could take on a whole new meaning when you are talking about clarified butter, also known as ghee. Ghee has many positive health benefits from fighting inflammation to decreasing cholesterol, cooking with ghee or taking it medicinally might just make every part of your health better!

Made by removing the milk proteins from raw unsalted butter, this wonder food has been used for centuries in ayurvedic medicine and is a staple in Indian cuisine. Once the milk proteins have been removed, the resulting compound is a lactose-free nutty flavored butterfat that is packed with nutrients – some of which are hard to come by elsewhere.

The Health Benefits of Ghee

Ghee is chock full of vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin K – all fat soluble vitamins which are more readily absorbed when consumed in a fatty substance. Glee’s vitamin A content is of particular benefit, as vitamin A promotes skin cell growth, protects good vision and boosts the immune system. It’s also loaded with vitamin K, and its vitamin K content can help to decrease calcification of arteries and to increase bone density.

In addition to fat soluble vitamins, ghee also contains a healthy dose of carotenoids, in addition to numerous important fatty acids, such as conjugated linoleic acid, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and butyrate, a medium chain fatty acid not found in many foods. Eating a substance that contains butyrate is extremely beneficial for colon health. Healthy flora in the colon produce butyrate as a byproduct of digestion. It is the primary source of fuel for the epithelial cells lining the colon and helps to reduce inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. Butyrate has also been shown to have anti-viral effects. Because of the amount of butyrate ghee contains, it has also been shown to increase the body’s ability to absorb the fatty acid. With its ability to reduce inflammation in the GI tract and to boost the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, cooking with ghee or taking it medicinally can increase the effectiveness of other nutritional, herbal or dietary protocols.

How Ghee Helps Curb Inflammation

As you can see, ghee can do wonders for your gut, but its anti-inflammatory properties are not limited to the gastrointestinal tract. Studies have shown that ghee can reduce prostaglandin and leukotriene secretion in the body, both of which play a large role in the inflammation and aging processes. Additionally, unlike traditional butter or margarine, ghee can actually decrease serum cholesterol levels. It does so by increasing bile production and reducing body wide inflammation.

Is Ghee One of the Best Oils You Can Cook With?

The best part about using this as a part of a nutritional protocol is that it is dairy free and you can cook with it! Ghee is wonderful as a cooking oil, especially when cooking at high temperatures. Unlike butter or other oils it has a very high smoke point, making it suitable for cooking, frying or sautéing at high temperatures. In addition, its saturated bonds are very stable, meaning they are less likely to form dangerous free radicals when cooking at those higher temperatures.  Incorporating ghee into your diet is an easy way to make your body a little bit better.

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Dr. Passero completed four years of post-graduate medical education at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon after receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Biology from the University of Colorado. Dr. Passero has trained with some of the nation’s leading doctors in the field of natural medicine. In his practice, Dr. Passero focuses on restoring harmony to both the body and mind using advanced protocols that incorporate herbal therapy, homeopathy, vitamin therapy and nutritional programs. Through education and guidance patients are able to unlock the natural healing power contained within each one of us. For more information, visit his website, Green Healing Wellness, or follow him on Facebook.


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When It Comes to Memory Loss, Are the Odds Against You? http://www.liveinthenow.com/article/when-it-comes-to-memory-loss-are-the-odds-against-you?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=when-it-comes-to-memory-loss-are-the-odds-against-you http://www.liveinthenow.com/article/when-it-comes-to-memory-loss-are-the-odds-against-you#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 15:35:49 +0000 http://www.liveinthenow.com/?p=32410 Memory LossIf you expect to live into your 80s, which most of us certainly do, here is an important statistic you need to know. According to the National Institute on Aging, by the time you reach your 80s, you have a 50% chance of suffering from a significant loss of mental function. That’s right. The odds are no better than the toss of a coin. So why we are losing the fight against cognitive decline, despite all of our advances in medicine and science?

Don’t Have an “It Won’t Be Me” Mentality

Experts are increasingly alarmed by the sharp increase in the rates of brain decay, with cases surging by 46% in the past decade. The cause for this troubling increase is not known, however factors such as poor diet, environmental toxins and a less active lifestyle certainly play a role. One thing is for sure – if you want to keep your mind and memory intact as you age, you can’t risk adopting an “it won’t be me” mentality.

If You Wait for Treatment, It’s Already Too Late

If you bring up prevention with most doctors, you’ll get nowhere fast. The current medical system expects you to wait until you are showing signs of cognitive decline before treatment is even discussed. But here’s the sad truth – if you wait until you’ve been diagnosed, it will be too late. According to NIH’s National Institute on Aging, current drugs are only marginally effective at treating brain decay and have many side effects. So why is it that doctors are not focusing their attention on prevention, especially since many methods have been proven to be extremely effective?

Six Specific Nutrients Play a Critical Role

Over the last few years, I’ve read nearly every research paper ever published on brain decay and have interviewed leading experts nationwide. What I’ve learned is that amazing new research is proving that specific nutrients can be the secret remedylong overlooked by traditional medicine. The science shows that these nutrients have an undeniable, positive impact on brain health.

Based on my research, the following six nutrients are the “best of the best” and what I believe to be the most promising with regards to preventing cognitive decline.

1. CoQ10: The Brain’s Fountain of Youth

Your brain depends on the powerful antioxidant, CoQ10, to keep it healthy. Deficits of CoQ10 severely compromises brain function, leading to sluggish thinking and memory decline. According to a UCSD study, maintaining adequate levels of CoQ10 can slow brain deterioration by 44%. Furthermore, people with high levels of CoQ10 have better mental acuity, motor abilities and mental energy. CoQ10 also benefits your heart and overall energy levels.

2. DHA: The Omega-3 Your Brain Needs Most

By now you have probably heard that omega-3 fatty acids are good for your brain. However, one particular omega-3 called DHA is absolutely critical to optimal brain function. As you age, your brain cells lose the ability to absorb DHA and levels can drop significantly, starving your mind and compromising both brain function and memory retention. So having high levels of DHA literally feeds your brain. Sadly, too many people have critically low DHA levels.

3. Curcumin: India’s Brain Miracle Spice

Research shows that a compound called curcumin, a component of turmeric spice that is used in curry, can stop the build-up of a destructive plaque in brain tissue that can severely hamper mental function. In fact, studies conducted at UCLA show that curcumin can slash this plaque by up to 50%. It’s interesting to note that India has the highest consumption rate of curcumin in the world, and perhaps not coincidentally, the lowest rate of cognitive decline.

4. Berries: Nutritional Superstars for the Brain

New research is pointing to the fact that daily consumption of specific berries can literally “supercharge” brain function. Berries have powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-clotting properties, and they also contain brain-boosting antioxidants like resveratrol, quercetin and vitamins C and E. According to studies done by a leading neuroscientist, berries also protect brain cells from inflammation.

5. Alpha Lipoic Acid: The Antioxidant Your Brain Loves

Alpha Lipoic Acid (or ALA), an extremely powerful antioxidant found in vegetables such as broccoli, has a unique molecular composition that allows it to essentially “purify” brain cells. This makes ALA a highly effective antidote to age-related memory decline. However, few people get enough ALA from their diet alone to realize its therapeutic benefits.

6. Vinpocetine: Europe’s Secret Brain Booster

For decades, doctors in Europe have relied on vinpocetine, a natural extract of the periwinkle plant, as a treatment for cognitive decline. And it appears as if they have been on to something. The latest research proves that vinpocetine can improve blood flow to the cerebellum, the part of the brain responsible for motor control. Good blood flow is essential to keeping your brain nourished and working optimally. Vinpocetine is just starting to become more popular in the U.S.

So How Do You Start Protecting Yourself?

I recommend that you do your own research and learn more about these incredible brain saving nutrients. My advice is to develop a good strategy for yourself and implement it right away. If you’re looking for the easiest way to get started, I recommend Stop Aging Now’s Brain Energizer® formula. I must disclose that, as the owner of Stop Aging Now, I played a role in formulating this supplement, along with our Scientific Advisory Board and Product Development Team. However, I truly believe that it’s the best formula on the market for boosting cognitive health. Brain Energizer contains science-based doses of the 6 brain boosters I discussed above, which are known to support optimal brain function: CoQ10, DHA, alpha lipoic acid, curcumin, vinpocetine and a blend of berry extracts.

There’s a special promotion going on right now which will allow you to get Brain Energizer for as low as $19.95, which is about 35% off the regular price, as well as free shipping.

Use this link to take advantage of this special offer!


Josh CornJoshua Corn - Editor-in-Chief
Josh is a health freedom advocate and veteran of the natural health industry. He has been actively involved in the natural health movement for over 15 years, and has been dedicated to the promotion of health, vitality, longevity and natural living throughout his career. Josh has successfully overcome several personal health challenges through natural means, and believes that sharing information can empower people to take control of their health so they can solve their own problems and live life to its fullest potential. Josh is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Live in the Now. Additionally he serves as CEO of Stop Aging Now, a company that has been formulating premium dietary supplements since 1995. Josh is currently working on his first book about natural health, and is gearing up to launch the Live in the Now radio show. In addition to his work in the natural health field, Josh is an avid outdoorsman, animal lover and enjoys “living in the now” with his wife and two sons.


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Study: People Prefer Electric Shock Over Being Alone With Their Thoughts http://www.liveinthenow.com/article/study-people-prefer-electric-shock-over-being-alone-with-their-thoughts?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=study-people-prefer-electric-shock-over-being-alone-with-their-thoughts http://www.liveinthenow.com/article/study-people-prefer-electric-shock-over-being-alone-with-their-thoughts#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 14:59:43 +0000 http://www.liveinthenow.com/?p=32052 young man shocked portrait isolatedDoes the idea of sitting alone and letting your thoughts drift sound appealing? If you’re like the participants in a recent study, you’re thinking, “Perish the thought!”

A study published in Science Magazine discovered people don’t enjoy spending a few minutes by themselves in a room with nothing to do but think. Amazingly, the experience was so unpleasant that 25 percent of the women and 67 percent of the men actually preferred an electric shock over being alone with their thoughts. In fact, one man shocked himself 190 times within a 12-minute period. These surprising findings have created a stir in the psychology community.

Researchers at the University of Virginia asked college students to sit alone in a plain room for six to 15 minutes and do nothing but think. The students were required to report on how well they concentrated and how much they enjoyed themselves. The majority of them said they couldn’t concentrate, and half said they disliked the endeavor.

One might assume that people in this age bracket are overstimulated with activities like twittering and texting; however, the researchers obtained the same results when they repeated the experiment with a middle-aged church group. Factors like age and social media use made little difference.

Why Do People Have an Aversion to Contemplation?

Coauthor Erin Westgate relays to U.S. News and World Report that people are merely out of practice in the art of hard thinking and haven’t learned how. Forcing people to spend time in serious thought who are unaccustomed to it could be compared to asking people to run a marathon without having had extensive training, she says.

Another explanation is that people are trying to avoid unpleasant thoughts. “Negative and pessimistic self-talk, usually of the self-judgmental variety, is the norm for most thinkers,” psychotherapist and author Aileen McCabe-Maucher tells Live in the Now. “It’s no wonder people will do anything to escape time dedicated to ‘thinking’ and prefer those shock treatments.”

Are the Study’s Results Related to the Mindfulness Trend?

Since people aren’t good at being alone with their thoughts, mindfulness could be a type of thinking that someone might enjoy, muses Westgate. The practice is a time when a person witnesses their thoughts without actively engaging in them, describes McCabe-Maucher. “One of the easiest ways is to simply observe thoughts and watch the breath while paying attention to bodily sensation. This can quell some of the anxiety that is pervasive in our digital age,” she explains.

The Creative Power of Thought

We live in a society that values action and doing more than thinking. Perhaps it’s time to ascribe greater worth to the power of thought, as the creativity it generates can be life altering. The Wall Street Journal notes that when Newton was asked how he discovered the law of gravity, he said, “By thinking on it continually.”

Research reveals an idle mind can allow a person’s creativity to surface. Quite a few studies show that people tend to devise innovative uses for objects when they are given an easy task that permits their minds to wonder.

Rather than being a waste of time, spending a few minutes in solitary thought can ignite a mental spark, formulating an idea that can solve a problem. Our lives are incredibly fast-paced, but scheduling in some time for serious thought can be beneficial. It can release the imagination that normally may be relegated and confined to a little-traveled corner of the mind due to busyness.

Sources:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/27/sunday-review/no-time-to-think.html?_r=1

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/345/6192/75

http://online.wsj.com/articles/why-is-it-so-hard-for-us-to-do-nothing-1405697956

http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/data-mine/2014/07/22/shocking-humans-will-do-anything-but-think


Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.


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Can High Fluoride Levels in Water Lower IQ? http://www.liveinthenow.com/article/high-fluoride-levels-in-maine-water-may-lower-childrens-iq?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=high-fluoride-levels-in-maine-water-may-lower-childrens-iq http://www.liveinthenow.com/article/high-fluoride-levels-in-maine-water-may-lower-childrens-iq#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 13:57:23 +0000 http://www.liveinthenow.com/?p=32325 waterDoes the water you drink, cook and in which you bathe come from a private well at your home rather than from the public supply? If that is the case, it may be a good idea to have it tested for fluoride because well water in some communities in Maine contains dangerously high levels. The ingestion of large amounts of this mineral is linked to an array of maladies, including lower IQ.

Many residents of Maine rely on private water wells. The problem is that this water is not subject to state or federal guidelines like that from the public supply, so homeowners are encouraged to get it tested for bacteria and naturally occurring minerals. However, many haven’t heeded these recommendations and consequently, may be putting their health at risk. New data reveals 10 communities in the state have very high fluoride levels, in some cases more than twice the acceptable maximum level set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Moreover, when you factor in fluoride from toothpaste and mouth rinses, the level of exposure could be even higher.

Harmful Effects of Fluoride

While advocates of water fluoridation dispute the health concerns of the growing number of scientists and experts who are opposed to the practice, no one debates the health hazards of exposure to large amounts of the mineral. These include discolored and pitted teeth along with brittle bones that are more prone to fractures. Other studies show fluoride may increase the risk of cancer and infertility. In addition, Australian research in the 1970s discovered that as low as a 1-ppm fluoride concentration can impede the repair enzymes of DNA by 50 percent, an effect that would accelerate aging and hinder the functioning of many organs of the body.

One of the most disturbing health disorders associated with fluoride is IQ deficits. A Harvard review of studies conducted mainly in China reveals exposure to high amounts have reduced children’s IQ by approximately seven points. Published in Environmental Health Perspectives, the research notes that the developing brain of children is much more susceptible to harm from toxins than the brain of adults, and the damage may be permanent. The levels that produced this effect in China are the levels present in some private wells in Maine, State Toxicologist Andrew Smith told Scientific American.

Why Are Maine’s Fluoride Levels So High?

Experts say the problem is due to the granite that is part of the state’s geology. Granite, especially certain varieties, contains large quantities of fluoride, a factor that increases the potential for water contamination. New Hampshire and Rhode Island have much granite in their geology, so wells in these states may also be at risk for high fluoride levels.

What Can You Do to Protect Yourself?

Countertop water filters will not eliminate the problem, but reverse osmotic systems will remove most of the fluoride. The purchase price of these systems starts at $150. It’s important to get a purification device that will get rid of the mineral from your bathing water as well as drinking water.

Residents should listen to the warnings from the experts and take action to protect themselves. “The studies of high fluoride should be taken seriously,” says Harvard University environmental health professor David Bellinger. “We have a long history of first identifying adverse effects at high levels and then, with further and better studies, discovering that there are adverse effects [milder] at levels that we thought were okay.”

Sources:

http://preventdisease.com/news/14/082214_Naturally-High-Fluoride-Levels-Private-Wells-Linked-IQ-Decline.shtml

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-fluoride-in-private-wells-causing-an-iq-decline1/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2734951/Is-YOUR-tap-water-lowering-IQ-Fears-high-fluoride-levels-water-Maine.html


Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.


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Top 8 Natural Sources of Magnesium http://www.liveinthenow.com/article/top-8-natural-sources-of-magnesium?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=top-8-natural-sources-of-magnesium http://www.liveinthenow.com/article/top-8-natural-sources-of-magnesium#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 15:21:23 +0000 http://www.liveinthenow.com/?p=32316 Magnesium plays a critical role in a number of body systems and functions, including promoting muscle, bone, and nerve function, boosting the immune system, supporting energy production, and helping to control inflammation, blood sugar, and even certain cancers and heart disease. Given the importance of this essential mineral, it’s a good idea to be sure you’re getting enough magnesium in your diet. While supplements are available for those people who need them, here are some foods that serve as great sources of magnesium.
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1. Dark Leafy Greens

Not surprisingly, these foods are not only high in magnesium, but are among the healthiest foods you can eat, as well. Dark leafy greens such as spinach, Swiss chard, kale, kelp, and beet greens are all excellent sources of vitamins and minerals, while remaining low in caloric content. These properties make these foods arguably the ideal source of magnesium, along with many other nutrients.

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7 Drug-Free Ways to Boost Your Testosterone http://www.liveinthenow.com/article/7-natural-ways-to-boost-your-testosterone?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=7-natural-ways-to-boost-your-testosterone http://www.liveinthenow.com/article/7-natural-ways-to-boost-your-testosterone#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 20:20:29 +0000 http://www.liveinthenow.com/?p=32376 Old man with old woman at dock

Testosterone often gets a bad rap – things like rage, aggression and over-the-top muscle mass are all common associations. But this naturally-produced hormone is important for a number of bodily functions.

Unfortunately, levels of testosterone peak during adolescence and young adulthood, and gradually reduce as we age, so it’s important to take some extra measures to boost low levels them to maintain good health.

The Benefits of Maintaining Healthy Testosterone Levels

Among its many purposes, testosterone is critical in the production and maintenance of muscle mass and strong bones. Proper levels of testosterone also help to keep the heart healthy and promote good blood flow, feeding muscles and organs in the process. There is also growing evidence that testosterone helps to control weight and fat while increasing energy. Aside from physical benefits, testosterone promotes a better mood, and yes, increases the libido. While both men and women produce and benefit from testosterone, it is far more prevalent in men. In light of all these benefits, it is easy to see why you should maintain a healthy level of testosterone. With that in mind, here are some helpful tips to help you boost and maintain healthy levels of testosterone. Best of all, these tips are all interrelated, so the more you are able to achieve, the greater benefit you can expect to see.

1. Maintain a Lean Body

Perhaps it is easier said than done, but higher levels of body fat have been shown to disrupt the body’s natural hormones. More specific to testosterone, many studies have demonstrated that the more body fat a person has, the lower their testosterone levels tend to be. Obviously, sporting a lean body offers a plethora of other physical and psychological advantages too, so consider this yet another reason to stay lean. Even better, the first and second tips on this list go hand in hand, giving you the opportunity to amplify your progress even more.

2. Regulate Your Diet

There are a number of foods and drinks which can help boost or suppress the body’s testosterone levels. Healthy fats, such as those found in lean animal meats, fish, nuts and avocado, to name a few sources, all promote testosterone production and function. Vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower, help to remove excess estrogen and indirectly boost testosterone levels by limiting inflammation and contributing to a lean body. Starting the day with a high protein, low carbohydrate meal, such as eggs and steak with some green vegetables is productive too. On the other hand, be sure to limit your carbohydrate intake, and alcohol consumption—especially beer—as these foods are likely to reduce your levels of testosterone. Lastly, it’s important not to restrict your caloric intake too far. It is perfectly healthy to reduce your calorie consumption as you improve your diet (and become more lean), but stay within 20 percent of your base needs or you may actually lower your testosterone levels.

3. Get Enough Sleep

Finding a way to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every single night, and maybe even a nap during the day if possible, has been shown to promote optimal levels of testosterone. Getting this much sleep may be difficult in our hectic modern world, but it is very important in maintaining healthy testosterone levels, not to mention a number of other benefits.

4. Adjust Your Workout

Higher intensity workouts are ideal for generating testosterone. Intense interval training is ideal to achieve this benefit, and as such, it is wise to limit your workout session to about 45 minutes. Weight training, especially compound lifts such as squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and chin ups, are all perfect for maximizing testosterone, and you can accomplish a lot—not to mention tire yourself out—within 45 minutes.

5. Keep Your Stress in Check

High levels of stress cause the body to increase production of unwanted cortisol, which corresponds to lower levels of testosterone, in addition to other negative health effects. Fortunately, adequate sleep and a good workout regimen can help the body to naturally alleviate stress, on top of promoting testosterone production.

6. Have More Sex

To put it simply, more sex leads to more testosterone, so by all means do not hold back on that account. Not only will more sex directly improve your testosterone levels, but it is likely to help alleviate stress and promote better sleep, so it can compound the value of some of the other tips mentioned.

7. Dietary Supplements

For some people, dietary supplements are the best way to boost testosterone levels. Everyone responds to therapies differently, so the above methods may not be right or sufficient for all people. Among the most studied and effective ingredients for naturally improving men’s testosterone levels are fenugreek seed extract, nettle root extract and epimedium (horny goat weed).

Some Things to Consider

Maintaining healthy levels of testosterone is an important component in overall health, but it is possible to raise your levels too high. The physiological side effects of excess testosterone include acne, increased urination, fluid retention, and sometimes even breast enlargement and decreased testicular size. Furthermore, men with prostate or breast cancer should be particularly careful of exceeding healthy levels, and older people with sleep apnea should do so as well. Nevertheless, these conditions aside, there is a lot to be gained from boosting your testosterone levels to healthy measures. If you have any uncertainty, talk to your physician about the ideal levels of testosterone for your body and how to boost low levels naturally.


Derek is a technical writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the health care field, having first earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Delaware. He is a contributing author on a number of textbooks in the medical field, ran a nuclear cardiology licensing course, and has written a variety of other pieces from online training courses to medical software manuals. Derek pursues his personal interest in health and wellness by playing multiple sports and running marathons. An insatiable traveler, he spent 16 months working and living abroad while traveling through South America, Europe, and Southeast Asia.


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Low Levels of Vitamin D May Increase Your Risk for Dementia http://www.liveinthenow.com/article/low-levels-of-vitamin-d-may-increase-your-risk-of-dementia?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=low-levels-of-vitamin-d-may-increase-your-risk-of-dementia http://www.liveinthenow.com/article/low-levels-of-vitamin-d-may-increase-your-risk-of-dementia#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 14:10:29 +0000 http://www.liveinthenow.com/?p=32323 BrainAccording to recent research on the topic, people with low levels of vitamin D are at a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia later in life.  In fact, low vitamin D levels may more than double the risk of developing these diseases in both men and women. Given the numerous other risks already associated with low levels of vitamin D, it is now more important than ever to regularly monitor your blood levels.

The Link Between Low Vitamin D and Dementia

The results of this study, recently published in the journal Neurology, were based on data collected from the Cardiovascular Health Study between 1992 and 1993, which included the test results of vitamin D blood levels, and compared to test results from the same population in 1999. Researchers followed a cohort of 1,658 elderly adults who were free from dementia, cardiovascular disease, and stroke at baseline. By 1999, the researchers found that 171 of the participants developed all-cause dementia, which included 102 cases of Alzheimer’s disease.

By comparing these results to those of the general population, the researchers found a strong association between low vitamin D concentrations and the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. These results were true for both men and women, and indicated a 125 percent increased risk for those people with low levels of vitamin D, more than double the risk for people with normal levels of vitamin D.

What Should You Do?

The most obvious answer is to maintain normal levels of vitamin D. Not only does vitamin D possibly protect against dementia, but it has been associated with vision troubles, hypertension, and a number of other chronic diseases. In light of all these risks, it is important to monitor your vitamin D levels regularly, and to supplement your vitamin D consumption as necessary to stay within the ideal range. Past research suggests that vitamin D levels below 30 ng/mL are associated with a significantly increased risk of disease and mortality, but other studies have recommended maintaining even higher levels of vitamin D (50 to 70 ng/mL) to provide the optimal level of protection. It is always wise to talk to your physician for specific advice, but generally speaking, it is in your best interests to monitor your levels of vitamin D, and supplement them as necessary.


Derek is a technical writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the health care field, having first earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Delaware. He is a contributing author on a number of textbooks in the medical field, ran a nuclear cardiology licensing course, and has written a variety of other pieces from online training courses to medical software manuals. Derek pursues his personal interest in health and wellness by playing multiple sports and running marathons. An insatiable traveler, he spent 16 months working and living abroad while traveling through South America, Europe, and Southeast Asia.


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The 7 Best Brain Boosting Supplements http://www.liveinthenow.com/article/the-7-best-brain-boosting-supplements?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-7-best-brain-boosting-supplements http://www.liveinthenow.com/article/the-7-best-brain-boosting-supplements#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 12:00:08 +0000 http://www.liveinthenow.com/article/the-7-best-brain-boosting-supplements

Getting older may be inevitable, but memory loss and Alzheimer’s are not. That’s the conclusion of the Alzheimer’s Prevention and Research Foundation in Tucson, Arizona. More and more research is pointing to ways your lifestyle can prevent Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. By exercising and following a healthy diet — one low in saturated and trans-fats, refined sugars and white flour products, and rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fresh fruits and vegetables — you can reduce the inflammation and plaque build-up that can contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s.

These same lifestyle changes also protect you from heart disease and diabetes—two 21st century killers that can wreak havoc your brain. However, it seems that even if your brain has been inundated with the plaque that signals Alzheimer’s, you may function just fine if you remain heart healthy and free of diabetes, because your brain is able to create supplementary circulation to replace what is lost! In some cases, loss of circulation from mini strokes may be what sets dementia in motion — not the plaques themselves.

In the 10-year Nun Study, conducted by David Snowden, MD, 678 nuns donated their brains to science when they died. Researches who examined the brains found that some that were loaded with plaque belonged to women who showed no evidence of dementia, while some with lesser amounts of plaque showed a crippling level of cognitive impairment. Because such complete records had been kept on these women, researchers were able to attribute some of the differences to exercise, eating habits, education and continued learning.

While TV commercials and Big Pharma may have you believing that prescription drugs like Aricept are the only ways one can combat Alzheimer’s, that has more to do with the money drug companies have to throw around than the research available on alternative or nutritional treatments. In addition to healthy lifestyle practices, much research has indicated that certain supplements can help sustain and promote excellent brain function as we age.

The supplements recommended by the Alzheimer’s Prevention and Research Foundation, founded by Dharma Singh Khalsa, MD, author of Brain Longevity, are the same as many of the supplements covered extensively in Jean Carper’s book, Your Miracle Brain. If you’re concerned about brain function as you age, (and who isn’t?) talk to a knowledgeable doctor or nutrition-oriented health practitioner who can help you make decisions about what to take.

Here’s a list of the major helpful supplements and some of the reasons they’re helpful.

1. A Comprehensive Multivitamin

(Make sure it contains at least 400 mcg of folic acid and 500 mg of vitamin C.)

Generally speaking, multivitamins have demonstrated an incredible ability to protect the brain and improve memory. In one recent study, researchers found that supplementing with a daily multivitamin resulted in improved measurements of electrical activity in the brain while performing a memory test.

Reason: Folic acid reduces homocysteine, a known risk factor for heart disease and strokes. Dr. Snowdon discovered that the greatest brain damage was associated with the lowest blood levels of folic acid and the least brain damage with the highest levels. 400 – 1,000 mcg is the suggested dosage. Folic acid should be taken with vitamin B12.

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and promotes the transmission of messages through the brain. While under estimated in the brain health arena, adequate vitamin C is associated with a 20% reduction in risk of Alzheimer’s. 500 – 1,000 mg is suggested.

2. CoEnzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

Aging is accompanied by a reduced production of CoQ10, and without it, your brain can’t work at full power.

Reason: CoQ10 is an extremely powerful antioxidant and energy booster within all cells, and it’s particularly concentrated in the heart and brain. If you’re over 35, we recommend 200 – 400 milligrams. CoQ10 supplementation is extremely well researched and has been proven to both effective and safe.

3. Alpha Lipoic Acid

Alpha lipoic acid is a potent antioxidant with many positive effects, including preventing stroke damage and protecting the nerve cells of diabetics—but its protective properties are especially active in the brain.

Reason: Alpha lipoic acid is also one of the few nutrients you can take orally that raises levels of the antioxidant glutathione in brain cells. Low levels of glutathione predict chronic diseases, including degenerative brain disorders and early death. We recommend 50-200 mg of alpha lipoic acid a day. Diabetics may need 200 – 600 mg.

4. Gingko Biloba

Ginkgo biloba has long been associated with stabilization or improvement in memory and reasoning even with Alzheimer’s patients.

Reason: Scientists think it’s because it may have a blood thinning effect. A recent study showed that ginkgo biloba has a protective effect during a stroke, preventing or diminishing stroke related brain damage. 120 mg a day is the recommended dosage. In general, it seems to help about one out of two people. If you haven’t seen an improvement after using ginkgo for 4 – 6 weeks, you could try a double dosage. If that doesn’t help, you may not be a responder to ginkgo.

5. Phosphatidyl Serine

Phosphatidyl Serine is thought to increase communication between brain cells and restore a primary neurotransmitter that is important to memory and cognitive function.

Reason: Besides keeping cells intact, this membrane performs vital functions such as moving nutrients into cells and pumping waste products out of them. Investigators in one study determined that phosphatidyl serine shaved 12 years off the normal expected decline in specific aspects of memory performance. Shown in studies to boost cognitive function by increasing communication between brain cells, those who took 100 mg of phosphatidyl serine three times a day, with meals for 12 weeks scored 30% higher on memory and learning tests. Many other studies have corroborated these types of findings. In another study it worked just as well for people with mild to severe cognitive impairment. With advanced Alzheimer’s patients, it has not proven very effective. It works best when taken at the first signs of the disease. We recommend 100 mg of phosphatidyl serine twice a day.

6. DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid)

It’s no secret these days that omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil are critical to brain health. One of the main constituents of fish oil, DHA, has been identified as the component in fish oil that protects brains from dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Reason: More than 50 percent of your brain is comprised of DHA! Among a big group of elderly Americans, those with the highest blood levels of DHA were about half as apt to develop dementia and 39% as apt to develop Alzheimer’s as those with lower blood levels of DHA over a nine-year period. The top 25% of those with the highest blood DHA got about 180 mg DHA a day, or three servings of fish a week, researchers said. In this study, the other major fatty acid in fish oil, EPA, had no effect.

7. Acetyl-L-Carnitine

Acetyl-L-Carnitine appears to be effective in mild cognitive impairment, which may be an early signal of Alzheimer’s, as well as early stages of Alzheimer’s.

Reason: Acetyl-L-carnitine can protect the brain from neurotoxicity and oxygen deprivation, preserve cells energy-producing mitochondria and rejuvenate mental and physical function. Dosages for studies have been in the 1,500 – 4,000 mg range, divided into two or three doses. However, we recommend no more than 1,000 mg of acetyl-L-carnitine a day without medical supervision.

In recent years, researchers have also discovered that curcumin, an extract of turmeric, may also have significant implications in Alzheimer’s prevention. It is thought that curcumin may block the formation of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain, reduce inflammation and provide further antioxidant protection to brain cells. To learn more about this breakthrough research, check out our archive on curcumin and brain health.

It is estimated that 1 in 8 Americans over the age of 65 suffer from Alzheimer’s, but this devastating disease is not a normal part of aging and can be prevented! Act now to protect your brain with exercise, a healthy diet and brain boosting supplements!

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What Men Should Eat to Slash Their Risk for Prostate Cancer http://www.liveinthenow.com/article/what-men-should-eat-to-slash-their-risk-for-prostate-cancer?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=what-men-should-eat-to-slash-their-risk-for-prostate-cancer http://www.liveinthenow.com/article/what-men-should-eat-to-slash-their-risk-for-prostate-cancer#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 21:51:38 +0000 http://www.liveinthenow.com/?p=32211 pickled tomatoesAccording to a U.K. study, men who consume a diet rich in tomatoes reduce their risk of prostate cancer by nearly 20 percent. This finding adds to the body of research that links a healthful diet to a lower incidence of the disease. As prostate cancer is the second most common malignancy in men worldwide, it’s good to know what you can do to help protect yourself against it.

Prostate Cancer Dietary Index

Scientists from the Universities of Bristol, Cambridge and Oxford analyzed the diets and lifestyles of approximately 20,000 British men between the ages of 50 and 69. They found those who ate more than 10 servings of tomatoes per week had an 18 percent decrease in prostate cancer risk. Fresh tomatoes and tomato juice as well as dishes cooked with tomato sauce, such as baked beans, were counted in the number of servings.

In addition, they discovered that men who consumed the recommended five servings of fruit or vegetables per day had a 24 percent lower risk of prostate cancer than those who ate two-and-a-half servings or less. Moreover, the consumption of foods plentiful in selenium and calcium also proved to reduce the risk. The results were published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

Lead author Vanessa Er said the research shows tomatoes may play an important role in prostate cancer prevention but more studies are needed to verify the findings. However, in the meantime, she recommends that men eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, get regular exercise and maintain a healthy weight. While the researchers in the study didn’t address other dietary factors, cancer experts also advise restricting the intake of red meat, processed meat, fat and salt to lower the likelihood of developing this disease.

Why Are Tomatoes of Such Value for Prostate Cancer?

Tomatoes are the most concentrated source of lycopene, which is the pigment that gives the fruit its red color. The properties of this phytochemical antioxidant help fight toxins that can damage cells and DNA. When the DNA within cells is harmed and not repaired, the condition can lead to cancer; so any agent that protects this cellular structure is protective against malignancy. Diets rich in tomatoes are thought to be beneficial for an array of cancers.

Sources:

http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/early/2014/07/12/1055-9965.EPI-14-0322

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-28950093

http://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2014/august/tomatoes-prostate-cancer.html

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/08/27/tomatoes-may-reduce-prostate-cancer-risk-study-says/

http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/Tomatoes_and_Prostate_Cancer.htm

http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalternativemedicine/dietandnutrition/lycopene


Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.


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Surprising Study Finds Low Salt Diet Might Pose Health Risk http://www.liveinthenow.com/article/surprising-study-finds-low-salt-diet-might-pose-health-risk?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=surprising-study-finds-low-salt-diet-might-pose-health-risk http://www.liveinthenow.com/article/surprising-study-finds-low-salt-diet-might-pose-health-risk#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 21:37:54 +0000 http://www.liveinthenow.com/?p=32239 iStock_000003397346XSmallThe long-running debate over the merits of the low-salt diet is heating up, with one of the most comprehensive studies on the subject suggesting that cutting back too much on sodium may be hazardous to your health. The research concluded that unless you have high blood pressure, it may be best to eat a diet that contains what Americans consider to be an average amount of salt.

According to the World Health Association, the American Heart Association (AHA) and U.S. government agencies, the recommended maximum daily sodium intake ranges from 1,500 milligrams (mg) to 2,300 mg, an amount considerably below the average U.S. consumption of 3,400 mg. However, these advisories are projections and haven’t been determined by clinical trials. They are based on short-term studies that show a low-salt diet lowers blood pressure rather than on studies that show the resulting reduction in blood pressure lowers the risk of cardiovascular events and death. The latter research is lacking.

Could the Projections Have Been Wrong All These Years?

In the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, scientists used urinalyses to estimate sodium and potassium levels of more than 100,000 adults from 18 countries. They then followed the participants for several years to collect data on blood pressure, cardiovascular events and deaths.

Surprisingly, the group of people who consumed less than 3,000 mg of sodium per day had a 27 percent higher incidence of death or a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke, than those who consumed between 3,000 mg to 6,000 mg. The incidence of death and cardiovascular events increased in those who consumed more than 6.000 mg.

The results of this research are the latest to cast doubt on the advisability of aggressively reducing salt in the diet, especially for healthy people. Other studies also suggest a low-salt diet may not be conducive for optimal health.

New Study Reaches a Different Conclusion and Estimates Salt Is Responsible for 1.65 Million Deaths in 2010

Adding more fuel and confusion to the salt debate, a new study conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health calculated that the consumption of more than 2,000 mg of sodium per day has caused 1.65 million deaths worldwide in 2010. The conclusion of this study that villainizes salt is opposite to the PURE one that indicates too little salt is as harmful as too much.

Sorting Out the Conflicting Research

The AHA, which strongly advocates a low-salt diet, discounts the validity of the PURE study. Conversely, Suzanne Oparil, former president of the AHA and author of an editorial that accompanied the PURE study, is reluctant to endorse low sodium recommendations, although she doesn’t advocate consuming very large quantities of sodium either. She feels a randomized trial should be conducted to test the health effects of a low-salt diet but says, “In the absence of such a trial, the results argue against reduction of dietary sodium as an isolated public health recommendation.” In addition, she notes that the Harvard study with opposing findings should be interpreted with caution because it lacks high-quality data and makes many assumptions.

“My personal bias is that there are so many more important things we could do,” Oparil tells NBC News. “A diet that reduces sugary drinks and approaches the Mediterranean diet will give you more benefit rather than regulating the salt aspect of the diet.”

Sources:

http://online.wsj.com/articles/recommended-salt-levels-could-do-more-harm-than-good-study-suggests-1407964274

http://www.forbes.com/sites/larryhusten/2014/08/13/new-studies-fuel-the-debate-over-sodium/

http://www.nbcnews.com/health/heart-health/pour-salt-new-research-suggests-more-ok-n179941

http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/08/13/340164014/death-by-salt-new-study-finds-too-much-sodium-is-a-global-killer


Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.


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