Archive for April, 2009

Dr. Oz and Sauna Therapy

April 30, 2009 Written by JP

Recently I was flipping through the channels on my TV and spotted a segment on The Oprah Winfrey Show that featured Dr. Mehmet Oz. He was discussing all sorts of unconventional medical treatments and natural therapies that he felt were legitimate. One of the items on his radar was an infrared sauna. He cited benefits ranging from lowering blood pressure to increasing metabolism (calorie burning), and even eliminating toxins through the skin. Oprah conducted part of the interview with Oz in the sauna itself. They got out just prior to breaking a sweat.
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Detoxification, Heart Health, Mental Health | 5 Comments

Grape Antioxidants for Heart Health and Diabetes

April 29, 2009 Written by JP

Grapes are one of the most scientifically studied foods in the modern diet. Researchers tend to focus on grape seed and grape skin extracts, but juice and red wine frequently get attention as well. The reason for so much interest is that this richly pigmented fruit is chock full of powerful antioxidants and phytochemicals that are known to promote good health. Today’s blog presents an update of the most current findings on these nutritional superstars.
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Posted in Diabetes, Heart Health, Nutrition | 5 Comments

Swine Flu Prevention

April 27, 2009 Written by JP

There are few people who are not aware of the current public health concern surrounding the “Swine Flu”. Words like “pandemic” and “quarantine” are being bandied about in such a way that it could very well provoke anxiety and, even, panic. In particular, many citizens of Mexico and the United States are on edge right now because this threat is at our doorstep. But even those living in other parts of the world understand the potential of a highly infectious virus to spread beyond manmade borders.

I won’t cite figures and theoretical projections about the course of this most recent “crisis”. Instead, I’d like to focus on the positive side of things. As hard as it may be to believe, there is something constructive that can come out of situations such as this. There are proactive measures that can be taken to help support immune function and, possibly, improve the odds of avoiding any viral invaders you encounter on a daily basis.
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Nutritional Supplements | 54 Comments

Duma – Movie Review

Written by JP

A highway cuts through the heart of a nighttime desert landscape. On it we find an orphaned cheetah cub carefully testing the pavement with every trembling step. His eyes are wide open, his ears stand at full attention. What is this place? He wonders why a bright light is heading right toward him, making an unfamiliar sound. The light draws brighter and closer with each second. The sound roars louder and the ground begins to vibrate. The cub holds steady, not so much out of courage, but rather confused paralysis.

At the last possible moment, the on-coming motorcycle swerves away! Two figures, a man and a child, hop off the bike and approach. The smaller of the two carries a net and places it over the cub, scooping him up just before a thundering commercial truck barrels past. So begins Duma.
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Posted in Movies | 5 Comments

Green Tea News

April 24, 2009 Written by JP

It’s not always easy to adopt new healthy habits. Sometimes we read about the benefits of a natural food or remedy and start implementing it. But, over time, it’s easy to become lax. Eventually the new healthy practice fades away. Part of the reason may be that we need reminders about why it’s important to be vigilant in our pursuit of wellness through the use of natural approaches.

Green tea is one example that fits into this category. It’s like a really good friend that lives thousands of miles away. The benefits of tea are always there for the taking, but are often neglected. Fortunately the scientific community continues to scatter reminders throughout medical journals that can help rekindle interest in this extraordinary tonic. It’s no accident that green tea is one of the most popular and historically significant beverages in human history.
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Posted in Nutritional Supplements | 11 Comments

Aging Skin and Ellagic Acid

April 23, 2009 Written by JP

The foods we eat contain a multitude of chemicals that we’re often not aware of. Some of these substances tend to promote health while others are associated with an increased risk of disease. Ellagic acid is an example of a regularly consumed phytochemical (plant chemical) that may very well contribute to the betterment of our health.

The question many people have is, “How do we really know if something is healthy for us?”. In the case of ellagic acid the answer is found in the condition of the skin. But this is a unique substance, in that it helps whether you consume it in a food/supplement form or apply it directly to the skin.
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Posted in Nutritional Supplements | No Comments;

Gluten Intolerance and Schizophrenia

April 22, 2009 Written by JP

A fascinating case report was presented in the February 2009 issue of the journal Nutrition and Metabolism. It documents the transformation of a 70 year old woman who had suffered from schizophrenia since the age of 7. The most remarkable aspect of her return to wellness is that it was prompted by a simple shift in her diet. What’s even more important to note is that this miraculous healing is not an isolated event.
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Posted in Food and Drink, Mental Health | 9 Comments

The Truth About Soy

April 21, 2009 Written by JP

Soy is one of the most controversial foods in both the conventional and natural health communities. Because current research on soy is still not conclusive, many conventional doctors take the position that moderation is the best policy. The holistic community is generally split on this topic. Some alternative practitioners claim that soy is a virtual super-food. Others warn of serious side effects associated with its use. My goal today is to provide a balanced update on the newest findings regarding soy consumption and women’s health.
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Posted in Nutrition | 9 Comments

Anti-Aging Nutrition

April 20, 2009 Written by JP

When you look at yourself in the mirror, do you see a “beer belly”? Do you sometimes have trouble with balance, coordination and memory? Is it more difficult to exercise and catch your breath when you do? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions then you’re in good company. Most people experience some or all of these symptoms and others as a “normal” consequence of growing older.

But just because something could happen doesn’t mean that it’s inevitable. Why should we accept the current model of aging when science is telling us that we can exert some control over it? I’d like to share with you three delicious foods that may help counter some of the most common signs of aging.
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Posted in Diabetes, Nutrition | No Comments;

Happy Go Lucky – Movie Review

Written by JP

You probably know somebody like Poppy Cross, the lead character in director Mike Leigh’s Happy-Go-Lucky. Someone whose cheerful and positive nature never seems to fade. In good times and bad, her effervescent personality and smile simply cannot be contained. It’s her point of view about life and when others don’t share it, she feels compelled to help them join in her happiness parade. But have you ever wondered what really goes on in the head of someone like that? What makes them tick? Happy-Go-Lucky takes us deep inside the life of one such character. It’s a journey that invariably provides glimpses of joy and laughter, but also a certain sadness that finds any individual who marches to the beat of their own drummer.
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Posted in Movies | 2 Comments

Vitamin B12 and Eczema

April 18, 2009 Written by JP

One of the more difficult things for a parent to endure is seeing a child suffer from a chronic condition. It’s especially hard if the condition affects the skin, which often attracts unwanted attention and can cause psychological distress as well.

Eczema is one of the most common skin disorders in young children and some adults. It may affect as many as 20% of children in the USA. Eczema is defined by an irritation and swelling of the skin that frequently involves extreme dryness and itchiness.
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Posted in Children's Health | 15 Comments

Laughter and Heart Disease

April 17, 2009 Written by JP

May 3rd, 2009 is World Laughter Day. Normally I wouldn’t go out of my way to mention something like that. But I feel it’s especially relevant to do just that today. You see laughter is no longer simply the domain of clowns and stand up comedians. These days, scientists want in on the hilarity as well, and are focusing on the very serious side of humor in promoting heart health.
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Posted in Heart Health | 4 Comments

Multivitamins in the News

April 16, 2009 Written by JP

The risk of bone fractures is a very serious danger that faces everyone who reaches their senior years. As we age, bone density typically declines, sometimes dramatically. It’s also generally true that the ability to heal from injuries slows down with advancing age. So it’s important to do what is possible to strengthen one’s skeletal system and sense of balance in order to prevent such bone damage. Taking a daily multivitamin is one of the simplest and least appreciated tools for avoiding bone fractures and the falls that can lead to them.
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Posted in Bone and Joint Health, Nutritional Supplements | 13 Comments

The Fat Burning Diet

April 15, 2009 Written by JP

We’re all aware that a nutritious diet and exercise are vital components of a healthy lifestyle. You can benefit from one without the other, but you’ll get the best results by combining them. Modern research is demonstrating that the manner in which we incorporate these two elements into our lives can have a powerful impact on the results. Today’s blog looks at a simple strategy that may help you to burn more fat, improve your work-outs and curb your appetite.
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Posted in Exercise | No Comments;

Luo Han Guo – Another Sugar Alternative

April 14, 2009 Written by JP

I have an online friend who lives in Japan. He recently asked me about a product that he has been seeing in stores in his part of world. The product label claims that it’s a natural, low calorie alternative to sugar. My first thought was that he must be referring to stevia. I know that stevia is commercially available in Japan and has been used there for several decades now. But as it turns out, the product that caught his eye was something quite different. It’s an exotic fruit extract known as luo han guo.
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Posted in Nutrition | 31 Comments

Probiotics and Mood

April 13, 2009 Written by JP

One of the primary differences between holistic and conventional medicine is that they often have different objectives. In conventional medicine, you’re often given prescription medications or surgical interventions to help address problematic symptoms. In the holistic medical model, your physician will often want to discover the root cause of your “dis-ease” and try to help heal the imbalance. The difference may seem ambiguous, but it essentially boils down to actual healing as opposed to simply masking or getting rid of troublesome symptoms. Read more »


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Posted in Bone and Joint Health, Mental Health | 7 Comments