Xtend-Life Blog Blog for Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog.aspx http://backend.userland.com/rss Coffee vs Tea - The Real Story <p>People are usually as adamant about their choice of coffee versus tea as they are about being either a cat person or dog person.</p> <h2>I’ll take mine black, please</h2> <p>The United States and Brazil drink the most coffee, and while coffee gets a bad rap, and tea is seen as the more virtuous beverage – perhaps because of British royal penchant for the drink – it is actually pretty healthy.</p> <p>Not only can the caffeine in coffee help boost your athletic performance – several studies have shown that drinking a cup of coffee before a run or cycling event can increase both speed and endurance (Ref. 1) – it also offers antioxidants that may lower the risk of certain diseases.</p> <p>“Research over the past few years suggests that coffee consumption may protect against type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, liver cancer, and liver cirrhosis. And our latest study on coffee and mortality found that people who regularly drank coffee actually had a somewhat lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease than those who rarely drank coffee,” said Dr. Rob van Dam, assistance professor in the department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. (Ref. 2)</p> <p>Not only that, van Dam said that despite numerous misconceptions that compared coffee consumption to cigarettes or alcohol, long-term studies showed that there were no real negative health associations linked to coffee, aside from warning that pregnant women or those with high blood pressure should skip it.</p> <p>Coffee may also help lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by about 7 percent, according to a 2002 Dutch study (Ref. 3), but for those who already have type 2, the caffeine in coffee leads to elevated blood sugar levels that can exacerbate the diabetic symptoms, researchers at Duke University said in 2011.</p> <p>“Caffeine increases blood glucose by as much as oral diabetes medications decrease it. ... It seems the detrimental effects of caffeine are as bad as the beneficial effects of oral diabetes drugs are good,” said James Lane, PhD, who headed the study. (Ref. 4)</p> <p>Just remember everything in moderation...excessive consumption of coffee may lead to dehydration and potentially other ailments.</p> <h2>A global tea party</h2> <p>China and Russia dominate the tea market, and while black tea remains the most popular, green tea is quickly closing the gap.</p> <p><strong>BLACK TEA</strong></p> <p>Black tea is rich in antioxidants known as polyphenols, which can help control oxidative stress that can contribute to aging. Not only that, but they can help control plaque that leads to bad breath. (Since coffee tends to lead to bad breath, chalk one up on the tea side.) (Ref.5)</p> <p>Current evidence suggests that polyphenols also may play a role in the prevention of heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes, according to an article appearing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. (Ref. 6)</p> <p><strong>GREEN TEA</strong></p> <p>Green tea gets its power from high levels of flavonoids, also plant-based antioxidants that fight free radicals and slow the sings of aging.</p> <p>Green tea, experts say, is one of the top sources of catechins, which are more powerful than vitamins C and E when it comes to controlling oxidative damage to cells.</p> <p>According to the Harvard School of Women’s Health, studies of green tea benefits have linked the beverage to a lower risk of diseases including skin, breast, lung, colon, esophageal and bladder cancer. (Ref. 7)</p> <p>Green tea, the Harvard experts say, can also help you feel fuller longer, thanks to the phytonutrient GCG, which elevates levels of the hormone that controls feelings of satiation.</p> <p>It has also been linked to slowing the progression of dementia.</p> <p>Both black and green tea can lower the risk of heart disease by reducing cholesterol levels and improving artery function.</p> <p>So, from a health point of view Green Tea is probably the best of the options that we’ve looked at here, and we’d certainly encourage you to consider Greet Tea or other herbal teas from time to time.</p> <p>Please feel free to comment on your preferences and the healthy options that are worth considering?</p> <h2>References:</h2> <ol> <li><a href="http://anthonycolpo.com/using-caffeine-to-boost-athletic-performance/">http://anthonycolpo.com/using-caffeine-to-boost-athletic-performance/</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/coffee/">http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/coffee/</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.coffeeandhealth.org/research-centre/type2diabetes-2/coffee-consumption-and-type-2-diabetes/">http://www.coffeeandhealth.org/research-centre/type2diabetes-2/coffee-consumption-and-type-2-diabetes/</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/news/20080128/caffeine-risks-may-rattle-diabetics">http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/news/20080128/caffeine-risks-may-rattle-diabetics</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.doctoroz.com/slideshow/health-benefits-tea?gallery=true&amp;page=7">http://www.doctoroz.com/slideshow/health-benefits-tea?gallery=true&amp;page=7</a></li> <li><a href="http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/81/1/215S.full">http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/81/1/215S.full</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/benefit_of_drinking_green_tea">http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/benefit_of_drinking_green_tea</a></li> </ol> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-07-25/Coffee_vs_Tea_-_The_Real_Story.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-07-25/Coffee_vs_Tea_-_The_Real_Story.aspx 11d950b7-af39-4156-838b-ed9a8fe60a97 Thu, 24 Jul 2014 22:00:00 GMT The Hidden Secret of Natural Flavors <p>As soon as we learned the raspberry tart or vanilla pudding we were eating contained an ingredient innocently known as castoreum, but no real raspberry or vanilla, we should have been more concerned.</p> <p>While it sounds harmless, castoreum comes from the dried anal glands of beavers, and while it initially begs the question who on earth thought to substitute such a thing for berries or vanilla bean, more troubling is the knowledge that castoreum is considered a natural flavoring, and shows up that way on labels. (Ref. 1)</p> <p>While beavers are technically natural, there is no one on earth who would relish in the opportunity to consume anal glands...raising A LOT of questions about what natural really means.</p> <p>According to the U.S Food and Drug Administration guidelines, foods can be labeled natural as long as “the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances,” the agency’s website says.</p> <p>Well, that opens the door to a whole host of unnerving lab activities.</p> <p>And while it’s one thing to dye a tiny piece of apple blue and imply that it’s a blueberry on a pack of muffins or bagels, we shouldn’t be surprised that the secrecy goes much deeper, given the knowledge that most synthetic versions of vitamins are derived from coal tar, and have the potential to provide more problems than benefits when we consume them.</p> <h2>Truth be told</h2> <p>Processed food manufacturers are the biggest culprits when it comes to hiding so-called natural substances in their products.</p> <p>Former food industry insider Bruce Bradley – he was once a marketer for food companies including Nabisco, General Mills and Pillsbury – left the industry in 2008 to raise public awareness about all the things food company giants aren’t telling us about our food.</p> <p>“Don’t be fooled into thinking a brand or the food company that owns it cares about you or your health,” Bradley said in an interview with Grist.com. (Ref. 2)</p> <p>Primarily profit-driven, food companies create smoke screens that entice us to buy their foods and line their pockets, said Bradley, who now blogs about the underhanded dealings of the food industry – desperate to get us hooked on sugary, fat-laded foods that also contain so many “delicious” hidden surprises.</p> <h2>Sinfully sweet</h2> <p>When you buy certain candies, they are often covered with something called confectioner’s glaze. It sounds, of course, like something you’d make at home – confectioner’s sugar mixed with a bit of milk or lemon juice and whisked until smooth.</p> <p>No. Commercial versions of confectioner’s glaze – also called resinous glaze or shellac – are made from the secretions of the female lac bug, who leaves it behind on trees for industrious food industry workers to come by and scrape up. (Ref. 3)</p> <p>And if beaver bottoms and bug secretions aren’t distasteful enough, consider the red and orange food colorings – called cochineal and carmine - labeled as natural on food labels for things like applesauce, meat, spices and baked goods.</p> <p>It’s natural all right, and it’s made from the scaly female cochineal beetle.</p> <h2>The best defense</h2> <p>“Whether they’re disguised as natural flavors, enzymes, glazes, or colors, you deserve to know if they’re in your food, right? Unfortunately big food companies disagree,” Bradley said.</p> <p>So ultimately, what does all this mean? Stay away from processed foods whenever possible. Make your own applesauce from fresh-picked fruit, skip cookies, crackers and commercial bread and invest in a bread machine if you don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen.</p> <p>Eat foods as close to their natural state as possible, and if you do grab a processed snack now and then, read the label carefully to make sure “natural flavorings” aren’t one of the ingredients discussed here…because as we’ve learned, it could be just about anything.</p> <h2>References:</h2> <p> <ol> <li><a href="http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2011/11/11/366780/industrial-food-system-beaver-glands-human-hair-food/">http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2011/11/11/366780/industrial-food-system-beaver-glands-human-hair-food/</a></li> <li><a href="http://grist.org/food/2011-11-02-confessions-of-a-big-food-executive/">http://grist.org/food/2011-11-02-confessions-of-a-big-food-executive/</a></li> <li><a href="http://foodidentitytheft.com/“natural”-can-run-the-gamut-from-bugs-to-beaver-butts/">http://foodidentitytheft.com/%E2%80%9Cnatural%E2%80%9D-can-run-the-gamut-from-bugs-to-beaver-butts/</a></li> </ol> </p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-07-22/The_Hidden_Secret_of_Natural_Flavors.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-07-22/The_Hidden_Secret_of_Natural_Flavors.aspx 02fc57f1-f8f1-4991-91e2-4b6301fadef7 Mon, 21 Jul 2014 22:55:00 GMT Chew On This <p>Can you remember meal times with your parents when they urged you to 'slow down and chew your food properly' ?</p> <p>If you’re like most, chewing is a habit or unconscious reflex. As soon as a piece of food enters your mouth, you chew “just enough” to grind the food into manageable bits before swallowing it, often far too quickly (especially if one is in a hurry which is usually the case).</p> <p>Is there anything wrong with that?</p> <p>Yes, because it appears that the chewing process, or mastication, can have a significant impact on your health. Let’s look at some of the key benefits of chewing your food properly…</p> <h2>6 Benefits of Chewing Food Properly</h2> <h3> <p>1. Easier Digestion</p> </h3> <p>Contrary to what most people think, digestion does not start in the stomach. It starts in the mouth before food even reaches the stomach.</p> <p>Chewing breaks your food down from large into small particles which are more easily digested. It is easier for your intestines to absorb nutrients from the food particles as they pass through.</p> <p>Research presented at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting (ref. 1) showed, that when participants chewed almonds longer, the smaller particles were better and more quickly absorbed by the body.</p> <p>But in those who chewed less, the larger particles were passed through the body, while also providing opportunistic bacteria and fungi with a source of fuel during their transit. Purdue University professor Dr. Richard Mattes explained: <em>“Particle size [affects the] bio-accessibility of the energy of the food that is being consumed. The more you chew, the less is lost and more is retained in the body.”</em></p> <h3> <p>2. Less Excess Bacteria in Your Intestines</p> </h3> <p>When large particles of improperly chewed food enter your stomach and intestines, it may remain undigested. This undigested food causes an increase in bacteria in the intestines. In a healthy digestive tract, bacteria offer vital help with basic physiological processes—from digestion to growth to immunisation (ref. 2).</p> <p>But when the digestive system is constantly overloaded with undigested food, excess bacteria are created, and undigested food may start to putrefy. Worse, these molecules may "leak" out of the intestines into the blood stream leading to a disorder known as ‘Leaky Gut Syndrome (ref. 3). This can trigger an autoimmune reaction, which may develop into gastrointestinal problems such as abdominal bloating, excessive gas and cramps, fatigue, food sensitivities, joint pain, rashes and more.</p> <h3> <p>3. More Exposure to Digestive Enzymes and Saliva</p> </h3> <p>Saliva contains digestive enzymes. The longer you chew, the more time these enzymes have to break down your food, making digestion easier on your stomach and small intestine. One particularly important enzyme is lingual lipase which together with saliva, helps to break down fats and fatty acids (ref. 4). This activity is essential for fat absorption by the small intestine, as long chain fatty acids (triglycerides) cannot be absorbed. Saliva also helps to lubricate your food so it’s easier on your oesophagus.</p> <h3> <p>4. Maintain a Healthy Weight</p> </h3> <p>The longer you chew, the more time it will take you to finish a meal. Research shows that eating slowly may help you to feel fuller quicker, eat less and, ultimately, to avoid weight gain (ref. 5). For example, chewing your food twice as long as you normally would will instantly help you control your portion sizes, which naturally decreases calorie consumption.</p> <h3> <p>5. Stronger Teeth</p> </h3> <p>The bones holding your teeth get a ‘workout’ when you chew, helping to keep them strong. The saliva produced while chewing is also beneficial, helping to clear food particles from your mouth and wash away bacteria so there may be less plaque build-up and tooth decay.</p> <h3> <p>6. Enjoying Your Food</p> </h3> <p>If you rush through your meal with little chewing, you’re also not really tasting or enjoying the food. When you properly chew your food, it forces you to slow down, savour each morsel and really enjoy all the flavours your food has to offer.</p> <p>Given all these benefits, how does one actually chew food properly? After all we weren’t taught it in school were we?</p> <h2>Tips on How to Chew Your Food Properly</h2> <p>Clearly, how you chew is unique to you, and it is probably deeply ingrained by this point in your life. So you may need to make a conscious effort to change the way you chew.</p> <p>There are many theories about how frequently you should ideally chew each piece of food. According to Horace Fletcher, a late-1800s health-food guru (also known as “The Great Masticator”) you should chew each bite 100 times before swallowing! As a result of this, he attributed his good health, strength and endurance (ref. 6)</p> <p>You needn’t be that extreme! The amount of chewing obviously depends on the food type and texture, but here are some tips to help you chew in a way that will support your health.</p> <ol> <li>Eat in a relaxed environment</li> <li>Take smaller bites of food</li> <li>Chew slowly and steadily until your mouthful of food is liquefied or has lost all of its texture</li> <li>Finish chewing and swallowing completely before taking another bite of food</li> <li>Drink fluids after swallowing.</li> </ol> <p>In summary, the chewing process is the first step to proper digestion. Chewing too quickly may cause large particles of food to enter your stomach and intestines, potentially leading to digestive problems. Whereas chewing food thoroughly may allow you to absorb more nutrients from the food, help you maintain a healthy weight, allow for easier digestion, and lead to fewer digestive issues like gas and bloating.</p> <p>Meal time should be a time to relax and enjoy the pleasure of good food. Taking the time to chew each bite thoroughly, is not only good for the body, but can help feed the soul!</p> <p>Or, in the words of the ‘Great Masticator’:</p> <p style="text-align: center;">“Chew, masticate, munch, bite, taste everything you take into your mouth.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Nature will castigate those who don’t masticate.”</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Horace Fletcher (1849-1919)</p> <h2>References</h2> <ol> <li>Research presented at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists <a href="http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263541.php">http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263541.php</a></li> <li>Beneficial role of intestinal bacteria <a href="http://www.livescience.com/32761-good-bacteria-boost-immune-system.html">http://www.livescience.com/32761-good-bacteria-boost-immune-system.html</a></li> <li>About Leaky Gut Syndrome <a href="http://www.sharecare.com/search?query=Could Leaky Gut Be What is Troubling You?">http://www.sharecare.com/search?query=Could+Leaky+Gut+Be+What+is+Troubling+You%3F</a></li> <li>The critical role of lingual lipase in helping tobreak down fats and fatty acids   <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lingual_lipase">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lingual_lipase</a></li> <li>Study showing how eating slowly and chewing frequently helps to increase a feeling of ‘fullness’ <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18589027">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18589027</a></li> <li>The Great Masticator</li> </ol> <ul> <li><a href="http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2209&amp;dat=19870308&amp;id=Q09KAAAAIBAJ&amp;sjid=zJMMAAAAIBAJ&amp;pg=5642,3209569">http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2209&amp;dat=19870308&amp;id=Q09KAAAAIBAJ&amp;sjid=zJMMAAAAIBAJ&amp;pg=5642,3209569</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9693596">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9693596</a></li> </ul> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-07-17/Chew_On_This.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-07-17/Chew_On_This.aspx babbe923-c673-4b00-9601-7d710b16d185 Thu, 17 Jul 2014 04:09:00 GMT Kids these days need a health boost and DHA may be it <p>It's been a rough few decades when it comes to kids' health.</p> <p>According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity in the United States has doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years.</p> <p>Not only that, but they're eating a diet made up primarily of hot dogs, hamburgers, cheese, sweetened, ready-to-eat cereals and other processed foods, so they're taking in too much fat, complex carbs and sodium.</p> <p>As a result, kids are developing type 2 diabetes, a disease that was once reserved for people much older, as well as high blood pressure and the early signs of cardiovascular disease. (Ref. 1)</p> <p>Kids who are obese are more likely to be obese as adults as well, putting them at a higher risk of stroke, osteoarthritis and a wide range of cancers including cancers of the breast, colon, kidney, pancreas, gall bladder, thyroid, ovary, cervix, prostate and esophagus, the CDC said.</p> <p>While eating a healthy diet and getting an hour of exercise each day are the best moves kids can make for better health, there are other things that can be part of a healthier future.</p> <p>According to the experts, if there’s one ingredient that can make a difference in children’s health, it’s DHA.</p> <p>One of the two main fatty acids in fish oil (the other being EPA) DHA or docosahexaenoic acid, has been linked to a wide range of health benefits, but it’s woefully lacking in our diets, thanks to the consumption of less fish as well as there being less nutrients in our vegetables and grains we eat due to overused and nutrient-depleted soils.</p> <p>DHA is the primary structural component of the human brain, and is essential for brain health. Recent studies have linked a lack of DHA to a wide range of health problems, especially in children, so it’s a good time to take a closer look at this important fatty acid.</p> <h2>DHA and the war on obesity</h2> <p>Omega-3 fatty acids play a key role in how we metabolize calories, so the lack of DHA in our diets could contribute to the increased weight gain in children, nutritional experts say.</p> <p>A 2010 National Taiwan University study found that DHA may help regulate inflammation, which has been linked to not only obesity, but also a wide range of diseases including type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The presence of DHA helped two metabolic regulators – white adipose tissue and the liver – function better, leading to improved metabolism so the body is better able to burn calories and stored body fat efficiently. </p> <p>Low levels of DHA while in utero have also been linked to obesity in kids, meaning moms should supplement during pregnancy to ensure that their babies have enough DHA for healthy body function at the beginning of their lives as well.</p> <h2>The brain benefits of DHA</h2> <p>“Children require omega-3 fatty acids the same way they require vitamins,” says Evelyn Tribole, a registered dietician and author of the books “The Ultimate Omega-3 Diet” and “Intuitive Eating. “ </p> <p>She compares the need for DHA for brain health to the need for calcium for bone health, and said that kids who don’t get enough of the essential element especially during early childhood, when the brain experiences rapid growth, are putting their emotional and intellectual development at risk.</p> <p>Studies have shown that kids who have lower levels of DHA also have lower than average reading scores and less retention and memory.</p> <p>A study from Australia found that children without learning disabilities who had poor reading skills were more likely to have low levels of omega-3s than their classmates who were better readers, suggesting that the brain’s ability to learn and function is closely linked to DHA.</p> <p>The 2011 study – which appeared in the journal Nutrition - also found that those with lower levels of DHA were also more likely to have behavioral issues, according to their parents.</p> <h2>ADHD and the DHA connection</h2> <p>According to the CDC, more than 10 percent of children ages 4 to 17 were diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in 2011, a number that has been rising steadily since 1996. (Ref. 2)</p> <p>Research suggests that DHA deficiency could be a major contributor.</p> <p>Studies have also shown that kids who have less DHA in their diets are more likely to have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other learning or behavioral issues. In fact, according to ADHD Clinic, a website devoted to educating people about the disorder, low levels of certain essential fatty acids including DHA and EPA have been linked to ADHD. </p> <p>According to estimates, an ADHD diagnosis costs as much as $17,000 per year to treat, and some of the drugs used are showing up on lawsuit advertisements because some have been revealed to disrupt hormones and lead to physical abnormalities as serious as enlarged breasts (gynecomastia)  – and sometimes lactation – in boys when they hit puberty.</p> <p>In a study of 100 boys, those with low levels of the two omega-3 fatty acids showed more learning and behavioral problems including temper tantrums and sleep disturbances than those with higher levels.</p> <p>In animal studies, low levels of DHA have been linked to low levels of dopamine and serotonin, the feel-good chemicals that are also related to attention span and motivation.</p> <h2>DHA and sleep</h2> <p>A new study also found that kids who have higher levels of DHA sleep better, which could be linked to not only the improved learning skills, but also the behavioral issues. (Imagine how hard it is for you to function after a night spent tossing and turning. Kids are no different.)</p> <p>As part of the study from Oxford University in England – the first to link sleep and fatty acids in healthy kids children who took omega-3 DHA supplements for 16 weeks slept nearly an hour longer per night than those who didn’t, and also reported fewer waking episodes. (Ref. 3)</p> <p> “Various substances made within the body from omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids have long been known to play key roles in the regulation of sleep,” said lead author Paul Montgomery, Ph.D. “For example, lower ratios of DHA have been linked with lower levels of melatonin, and that would fit with our finding that sleep problems are greater in children with lower levels of DHA in their blood.”</p> <p>At the start of the study, parents reported than four in 10 of those participating reported clinical-levels sleep problems. By study’s end, the sleep problems had improved significantly for those taking the DHA supplements compared to those taking a placebo.</p> <p>“Previous studies we have published showed that blood levels of omega-3 DHA in this general population sample of seven to nine-year-olds were alarmingly low overall, and this could be directly related to the children’s behavior and learning,” said co-investigator Dr. Alex Richardson of Oxford University. “Poor sleep could well help to explain some of those associations.”</p> <h2>Our latest pint-sized product</h2> <p>With so many health benefits linked to this important nutrient, it seemed obvious we needed to add this to our range of nutritional supplements.</p> <p>Our <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Omega_3_DHA_Fish_Oil_Mini.aspx">Omega/DHA Fish Oil Mini</a>’s are half the size of traditional fish oil supplements, so they’re easier to swallow but they offer all the same benefits as our full-sized soft gels, making them perfect for kids.</p> <p>It has high levels of DHA for brain and heart health support, and as well as the many other benefits associated with Omega 3’s.</p> <p>This is a great option for your kids or adults who prefer smaller soft gel capsules. </p> <h2>References:</h2> <p> </p> <ol> <li><a href="http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm">http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/data.html">http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/data.html</a></li> <li><a href="http://psychcentral.com/news/2014/03/11/higher-levels-of-omega-3-tied-to-better-sleep-in-kids/66980.html">http://psychcentral.com/news/2014/03/11/higher-levels-of-omega-3-tied-to-better-sleep-in-kids/66980.html</a></li> </ol> <p></p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-07-16/Kids_these_days_need_a_health_boost_and_DHA_may_be_it.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-07-16/Kids_these_days_need_a_health_boost_and_DHA_may_be_it.aspx f7fcef11-bb70-4f4a-8ad0-708d4292f84d Tue, 15 Jul 2014 22:01:42 GMT Think before you click <p>I am at our Thailand office at the moment and received an email from the Bangkok Post a short while ago.  It raised some thoughts that everyone should be aware of and that is not to believe everything you see or have shared with you on social media.</p> <p>It is interesting how so often a bit of inaccurate information can be shared extensively and then people end up believing it particularly if it comes from a trusted friend.</p> <p>We already know that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. But when facing desperate health issues it is hard to resist promises of miracle cures.  Sometimes these outrageous claims would actually be humorous if it was not for the fact that they can be dangerous for some desperate and less knowledgeable people.</p> <p>Social media can spread misinformation rapidly…usually inadvertently by well-meaning people who feel their friends may benefit from it.  When it is widely circulated people tend to accept it as the truth…even if it is far from the truth.</p> <p><em>Social media has a lot going for it and we at Xtend-Life are high users of it.  However, we go to great pains to ensure that information that we post is accurate and verifiable and will in some way benefit the lives of our readers.</em></p> <p>I have reproduced the article written by the Bangkok Post below in the hope that it helps stimulated readers to carefully consider the information they receive on social media before they either act on it or pass it on to others.</p> <p>For the full article click the link here <a href="http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/health/419394/busting-online-health-hoaxes">Busting online health hoaxes</a>.</p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-07-14/Think_before_you_click.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-07-14/Think_before_you_click.aspx ce867993-ac86-4ddb-8447-3254cd6c951d Mon, 14 Jul 2014 05:13:00 GMT Want to earn $90,000 daily? Become a US Healthcare CEO <p>This is an unusual blog because it aims to encourage debate, rather than to describe specific health issues.</p> <p>The subject relates to the US Health Care system, though the issues are global. Indeed, I encourage both our US and non US customers to share thoughts and experiences, so we may all learn and benefit. </p> <p>Before I continue, I must say that we do not believe that there is one right way to run a health care system, and every system has both its advantages and disadvantages. I was prompted to write this blog following a chat with an American colleague about ObamaCare.</p> <p>He was complaining bitterly about “being forced to buy expensive health care insurance for me and my family which we don’t need, and can’t afford”. </p> <p>What upset him most, was that in his opinion, “The $Millions that should be spent on saving lives, is actually wasted on US$30 Million pay checks for Health Insurance CEOs. One is even paid $90,000 a day”.</p> <p>Can you believe that? Indeed, his numbers shocked me, so I decided to investigate.  I wanted to share these findings with you, and to encourage your thoughts.</p> <h2>What I Discovered….</h2> <p>As many of you know, in essence ObamaCare (officially called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) is supposed “to increase the quality, accessibility and affordability of private health insurance.” (ref. 1).</p> <p>In reality, as reported in The Associated Press (ref. 2), it appears that not only is it causing people to lose their existing health insurance, it has also resulted in higher insurance premiums. For example, people paying $700 or $100 monthly would now need to pay around $1275 and $600 monthly respectively. </p> <p>Has this also been your experience? </p> <p>Moreover, while the masses appear to be unable to afford premiums, Health Insurance Corporate CEOs rake in millions, earning as much as $90,000 per day. For example:</p> <ul> <li>Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna: $30.7 million ($90,029 per day) (A 131% increase over his 2012 compensation.)</li> <li>Joseph Swedish, CEO of Wellpoint: $17.0 million ($49,853 per day)</li> <li>Michael Neidorff, CEO of Centene: $14.5 million ($42,560 per day)</li> <li>David Cordani, CEO of Cigna: $13.5 million ($39,589 per day)</li> <li>Stephen Hemsley, CEO of UnitedHealth: $12.1 million ($35,484 per day)</li> <li>Bruce Broussard, CEO of Humana: $8.8 million ($25,807 per day)</li> </ul> <p>Financial proxy statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission show that average compensation for the top nine health insurance CEOs rose by more than 19% in 2013 (ref. 3).</p> <p>What do you think of such $ amounts? </p> <p>The disclosures of higher CEO pay coincided with these same companies announcing better-than-expected earnings in the first quarter of 2014. Despite this, they indicated that patients and businesses should prepare for increased insurance premiums in 2015. </p> <p>Is that appropriate? </p> <p>Perhaps the words of Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) are pertinent here: “For far too long, private health insurance executives have received outsized compensation packages – subsidized by the ever-increasing premiums of hardworking Americans – while millions of low income individuals and those with pre-existing conditions went uninsured. The United States’ healthcare sector has been in need of repair for decades, and over-the-top executive compensation is emblematic of the failure of our private health insurance system.” </p> <p>Similarly Benjamin Day, Director of Organizing at Healthcare-NOW comments: “Families and patients are being asked to tighten their belts in the face of rising healthcare costs, while our premiums are being used to subsidize even more astronomical compensation for the already wealthy. </p> <p>As a result, many now argue that a shift to a national "single payer" government run health care system is appropriate. Supposedly, this would remove for-profit companies from the equation</p> <h2>Is a National "Single Payer" Health Care System the Solution?</h2> <p>Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) believes so. He says: “While the Affordable Care Act is a good first step, truly universal coverage and meaningful reform to our healthcare system can be provided only through a single-payer system. I have introduced H.R. 676 – the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act – since 2003 to live up to this aim of universal care and establish health insurance as a basic right rather than a for-profit industry,” </p> <p>However, Rep. Conyers seems to have ignored the known inefficiencies and corruption of the US Government-run health care system (ref.  4). Indeed as Uwe Reinhardt, a single-payer supporter ironically argues: “The reason the United States shouldn't have a single-payer system is that it's too captured by special interests to manage one well.” </p> <p>A very good and sad example of that was highlighted just this past May. You may have heard about the travesty at the Phoenix VA (Veterans Affairs) hospital, supposedly a ‘perfect model’ of government-run health care. Here, according to a report by the VA’s acting Inspector General (ref.  5), “At least 1,700 war veterans were denied desperately-needed health care services because of ‘inappropriate scheduling practices’” </p> <p>For many veterans, the wait time to see a doctor -- even for a serious health emergency -- exceeded 100 days. </p> <p>The death toll has still not been confirmed, because these ‘inappropriate scheduling practices’ appear to be ‘a systemic problem nationwide.’ </p> <p>It is pertinent to recall the 2007 campaign words of presidential candidate Barack Obama to veterans. He specifically addressed waiting lists, denied care and poor treatment of vets. He promised his administration would be different “No veteran should have to fill out a 23-page claim to get care, or wait months -- even years -- to get an appointment at the VA. When we fail to keep faith with our veterans, the bond between our nation and our nation's heroes becomes frayed. When a veteran is denied care, we are all dishonored."</p> <h2>What is the Solution?</h2> <p>If, as Benjamin Day (above) says: “We face the highest healthcare costs and have among the worst health outcomes of any country in the developed world because we allow private health insurers and dozens of other intermediaries to act as for-profit middlemen in the health care system”...</p> <p>...do you think that reducing excessive pay, eliminating all those middlemen, and introducing a ‘single payer system’ really addresses the fundamental issues? I don’t think so. </p> <p>I suggest that the ‘Powers that be’ don’t want to properly identify and resolve those issues, because it is not in their financial interest to do so.. As Dr Guylaine Lanctot says: “The bottom line is that the medical systems are controlled by financiers to serve financiers. Since you cannot serve people unless they get sick, the whole medical system is designed to make people sicker and sicker.” </p> <p>But it goes far deeper than just the medical systems doesn’t it? </p> <p>The US medical system is just one cog in the huge wheel of political greed. As long as there is the cosy collusion between Big Pharma and government, the endless processed food industry subsidies, the perpetuation of drugs and toxins, the denial of alternative and preventative health solutions, the plunder of natural resources, and many more factors, health care will remain sick care. </p> <p>Until these issues are confronted, analysed and addressed, and people educated and empowered to take responsibility for their own health and healing, little will change. </p> <p>But the critical point is, YOU can change. </p> <p>You can take control by deciding to live a healthy lifestyle as best you can. Imagine if enough people did this, and the population was in a state of optimum health….what would life be like then? </p> <p>Isn't that an amazing thought? </p> <p>Please do share your health care experiences wherever you are located. Consider too, if you were the ‘Boss’ and could dictate health care policy for your country, what would you like to see? (Please don’t expect $90,000 pay days! Though frankly if you could transform a country to a state of optimal health, you would surely deserve it!) </p> <h2>References</h2> <ol> <li>The Affordable Care Act explained simply <a href="http://obamacarefacts.com/obamacare-explained.php 2">http://obamacarefacts.com/obamacare-explained.php </a></li> <li>The Associated Press look at some of the people impacted by cancelled policies   <a href="http://bigstory.ap.org/article/sticker-shock-often-follows-insurance-cancellation">http://bigstory.ap.org/article/sticker-shock-often-follows-insurance-cancellation</a></li> <li>Independent report showing the compensation for the top nine health insurance CEOs.<a href="http://www.healthcare-now.org/health-insurance-ceo-pay-skyrockets-in-2013">http://www.healthcare-now.org/health-insurance-ceo-pay-skyrockets-in-2013</a></li> <li>For an interesting debate about health care corruption and how this may effect health care policies and practices see <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/01/16/is-the-u-s-too-corrupt-for-single-payer-health-care/">http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/01/16/is-the-u-s-too-corrupt-for-single-payer-health-care/</a></li> <li>VA hospital system problems</li> </ol> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/veterans-phoenix-va-hospital-waited-115-days-appointment-watchdog-article-1.1808590">http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/veterans-phoenix-va-hospital-waited-115-days-appointment-watchdog-article-1.1808590</a></li> <li><a href="http://edition.cnn.com/2014/04/23/health/veterans-dying-health-care-delays/">http://edition.cnn.com/2014/04/23/health/veterans-dying-health-care-delays/</a></li> </ul> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-07-12/Want_to_earn_90_000_daily_Become_a_US_Healthcare_CEO.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-07-12/Want_to_earn_90_000_daily_Become_a_US_Healthcare_CEO.aspx 206ee9dc-dd73-4a58-bceb-b742bfde80f3 Fri, 11 Jul 2014 22:18:00 GMT 'Re-Boot' Your Brainpower with Exercise <p>Do you exercise, and if so, does it benefit you?</p> <p>Most of us exercise because we know it is good for our physical health. The opportunity for fun with friends and social interaction is enjoyable too.</p> <p>Would you also agree that exercise makes you feel better….more invigorated and positive? It’s a great way of lifting those occasional sombre moods and of ‘re-booting’ your brain. I certainly feel sharper and more focused after a good swim, walk or workout.</p> <p>But is there any solid ‘scientific’ explanation for how and why exercise apparently boosts brainpower?</p> <p>Yes. Empirical research shows exactly how exercise works not only to tone your mid-section, but also your mind! Your brain is no different to your muscles in the respect that--you either use it or you lose it!</p> <p>As John Ratey (ref. 1) Harvard Medical School psychiatrist and author of “Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and The Brain,” says, “Exercise is the single best thing you can do for your brain in terms of mood, memory and learning.”</p> <h2>How exactly does Exercise Re-Boot Your Brain?</h2> <p>Physical exercise has positive effects on brain function in many ways ranging from the cellular to the behavioural. For example, exercise has been shown to:</p> <ol> <li>Increase the heart rate, pumping more oxygen rich blood to the brain, and, thereby improving memory formation in healthy young adults, as well as improving reaction time (ref. 2 ) Better yet, the physical activity doesn’t have to be gruelling to increase blood flow. Mild activity like a leisurely walk may help to increase blood flow, fend off memory loss and keep skills like vocabulary retrieval strong.</li> <li>Aid the release of several hormones, including growth factors, all of which help to provide a nourishing environment for the growth of brain cells. This in turn boosts our learning capacity. Research from UCLA (ref. 3) demonstrated that exercise increased growth factors in the brain - making it easier for the brain to increase plasticity and grow new neuronal connections.</li> <li>Encourage the same antidepressant-like effects associated with "runner's high". A Stockholm study (ref. 4) showed that the antidepressant effect of running was also associated with more cell growth in the hippocampus, an area of the brain responsible for learning and memory.</li> <li>Increase levels of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, three brain-soothing chemicals which ease tension and stress. Researchers from the UCSF claim this benefit happens with only 30 minutes of jumping on a treadmill or cross trainer.</li> <li>Further, according to the same study (ref. 5), not only will exercise reduce stress, it may reverse the toll stress takes on the aging process by intervening on a cellular level. After stressed-out study participants exercised an average of 45 minutes a day over a three-day period, their cells showed fewer signs of aging than inactive study participants’ cells.</li> </ol> <p>In a nutshell, working out keeps you younger!</p> <h2>Different Exercise Styles = Different Brain Benefits</h2> <p>Interestingly, several studies show how differences between exercise styles, such as cycling versus walking have different brain benefits. For example, one study (ref. 6) showed how ballroom dancing has a greater benefit on cognitive functioning, especially in protecting against age-related cognitive decline, than exercise or mental tasks alone.</p> <p>This indicates that the best brain health workouts may involve those integrating different parts of the brain such as coordination, rhythm, and strategy. Ballroom dancing involves all these as well as physical demands as dancers must carefully coordinate and synchronise with their partner.</p> <p>A meta-analysis (ref. 7) on the effects of exercise on cognitive function in older adults concluded that:</p> <ul> <li>exercise programs involving both aerobic exercise and strength training produced better results on cognitive abilities than either one alone</li> <li>more than 30 minutes of exercise per session produces the greatest benefit</li> </ul> <p>All these examples illustrate the brain boosting benefits of exercise, but they don’t really explain the underlying biological mechanism behind WHY exercise has positive benefits on boosting brain power, and especially memory ability.</p> <p>Do you have any idea?</p> <p>I didn’t until I unearthed a pivotal Irish study.</p> <h2>The Key Biological Reason Why Exercise Boosts Brainpower</h2> <p>The Irish study (ref. 8) is significant because it clearly showed how and why exercised volunteers performed significantly better on memory tests than the volunteers who had rested and did not improve. </p> <p>Using blood samples before and after exercise, and samples from the non-exercisers, the researchers noted that immediately after the strenuous activity, the cyclists had significantly higher levels of a protein known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF. This is known to promote the health of nerve cells (refs 9-10). The men who had sat quietly showed no comparable change in BDNF levels.</p> <p>For some time, scientists have believed that BDNF helps explain why mental functioning appears to improve with exercise. However, they haven’t fully understood which parts of the brain are affected or how those effects influence thinking.</p> <p>The Irish study, as well as other research, suggests that the increases in BDNF prompted by exercise may play a particular role in improving memory, recall and possibly other brain functions.</p> <p>Perhaps the most revealing of the recent experiments is one involving aging human pilots (ref. 11). For the experiment, scientists at Stanford University School of Medicine asked 144 experienced pilots ages 40 to 65 to operate a cockpit simulator three separate times over the course of two years.</p> <p>For all of the pilots, performance declined somewhat as the years passed. A similar decline with age is common in all of us.</p> <p>But in this case, the decline was especially striking among one particular group of men. These aging pilots carried a common genetic variation that is believed to reduce BDNF activity in their brains. The men with a genetic tendency toward lower BDNF levels seemed to lose their ability to perform complicated tasks at almost double the rate of the men without the variation.</p> <p>While the pilot experiment wasn’t an exercise study, it raises the question of whether strenuous exercise could slow such declines by raising BDNF levels, thereby salvaging our ability to perform skilled manual tasks well past middle age.</p> <p>One of the researchers Dr Salehi says: “So many studies have shown that exercise increases levels of BDNF. Other growth factors and body chemicals are “upregulated” by exercise, but BDNF holds the most promise. The one factor that shows the fastest, most consistent and greatest response is BDNF,” he says. “It seems to be key to maintaining not just memory but skilled task performance.”</p> <p>In other words, appreciating how BDNF works, helps us understand how exercise positively affects the brain in so many ways.</p> <h2>Is Too Much Exercise Bad for the Brain?</h2> <p>As with too much of anything, excess exercise may have negative effects on the body and brain. Not only does it appear to reduce BDNF levels, it also shrinks the brain!</p> <p>Studies (ref. 12) show how extreme sports such as ultramarathons, may lead to “a volume reduction of about 6% “. Compare that with ‘normal’ physiological brain volume reduction during aging of less than 0.2% per year. Fortunately, it appears that the shrinkage is reversible in time, as long as the excess exercise does not continue.</p> <p>Exercise responsibly!</p> <p>Here are some exercise tips to help you boost your brain and body power:</p> <h2>Exercise Tips for Boosting Brain and Body Power</h2> <p>Remember how you read above that different exercise styles have different brain benefits? So, the key recommendation is to aim for a well-rounded fitness program which includes:</p> <ol> <li>High-Intensity Interval (Anaerobic) Training: This is when you alternate short bursts of high-intensity exercise with gentle recovery periods.</li> <li>Strength Training: You need enough repetitions to exhaust your muscles. The weight should be heavy enough that this can be done in fewer than 12 repetitions, yet light enough to do a minimum of four repetitions. It is also important NOT to exercise the same muscle groups every day. They need at least two days of rest to recover, repair and rebuild.</li> <li>Core Exercises: Your body has 29 core muscles mostly in your back, abdomen and pelvis. They provide the foundation for movement throughout your entire body. Strengthening them can help protect and support your back, make your spine and body less prone to injury and help you gain greater balance and stability. Exercise programs like Pilates and yoga are also great for strengthening your core muscles.</li> <li>Stretching: Particularly recommended is “Active Isolated Stretching” where you hold each stretch for only two seconds. This works with your body's natural physiological makeup to improve circulation and increase the elasticity of muscle joints. </li> </ol> <h2>Conclusion</h2> <p>As I hope this blog has made clear, re-booting and maximising your brain and body power are inter-related. The body is like a finely tuned orchestra and nothing happens in isolation. The ball room dancing illustration above showed how exercise activities which combine several attributes – physical, intellectual and social - may positively affect different aspects of the brain and help with better overall synchronisation. When done in moderation of course!</p> <p>No matter how busy you are, fit in 30 minutes of exercise daily. It is likely to benefit your biceps and your brain! I try to combine several of the above tips with daily short bursts of running on the beach followed by five minutes of speed swimming in the sea. It really gets me going for the day!</p> <p>What exercises do you enjoy? Can you see and feel the body and brain boosting benefits?</p> <h2>References:</h2> 1. For more on John Ratey, see <a href="http://johnratey.typepad.com/">http://johnratey.typepad.com/</a><br /> <p>2. Benefits of  boosting  oxygen rich blood to brain, including the impact on memory:</p> <ul> <li>Scholey, A.B., Moss, M.C., Neave, N. &amp; Wesnes, K. 1999.</li> <li>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences <a href="http://www.pnas.org/content/108/7/3017.full">http://www.pnas.org/content/108/7/3017.full</a></li> </ul> 3. Research from UCLA showing how exercise increases growth factors in the brain <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15159540">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15159540</a> <br /> <p>4. Stockholm study showing antidepressant effect of running <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15769301">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15769301</a></p> <p>5. UCSF study showing the effect of exercise on stress and aging <a href="http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2010/05/4411/brief-exercise-reduces-impact-stress-cell-aging-ucsf-study-shows">http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2010/05/4411/brief-exercise-reduces-impact-stress-cell-aging-ucsf-study-shows</a></p> <p>6. Different exercise styles have different brain benefits <a href="http://www.google.com.ag/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;ved=0CCcQFjAA&amp;url=http://www.heritagepines.net/picture/save_your_brain_ways_to_fight_age.doc&amp;ei=Y9JvU5jvNte2sAT7kIHwDg&amp;usg=AFQjCNFbmH-AWcDHAWVySu5dV0Pt9SCDCg&amp;bvm=bv.66111022,d.cWc">http://www.google.com.ag/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;ved=0CCcQFjAA&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.heritagepines.net%2Fpicture%2Fsave_your_brain_ways_to_fight_age.doc&amp;ei=Y9JvU5jvNte2sAT7kIHwDg&amp;usg=AFQjCNFbmH-AWcDHAWVySu5dV0Pt9SCDCg&amp;bvm=bv.66111022,d.cWc</a></p> <p>7. Meta-analysis on the effects of exercise on cognitive function in older adults: Colcombe, S. &amp; Kramer, A.F. 2003. Fitness effects on the cognitive function of older adults: A meta-analytic study. <em>Psychological Science, 14,</em> 125-130.</p> <p>8. Irish study showing the underlying biological mechanism – BDNF -  for some of the beneficial effects of exercise on the brain  <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21722657">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21722657</a></p> <p>9-10. How BDNF supports the survival of existing neurons, and encourage the growth and differentiation of new neurons and synapses</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain-derived_neurotrophic_factor">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain-derived_neurotrophic_factor</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21983475">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21983475</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131010204803.htm">http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131010204803.htm</a></li> </ul> <p>11. Study on Pilots <a href="http://www.nature.com/tp/journal/v1/n10/full/tp201147a.html">http://www.nature.com/tp/journal/v1/n10/full/tp201147a.html</a></p> <p>12. Negative effects of too much exercise on the brain</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/10/170">http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/10/170</a></li> <li>Tomporowski,P.D. 2003. Effects of acute bouts of exercise on cognition. Acta Psychol (Amst), 112, 297-324.</li> </ul> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-07-11/Re-Boot_Your_Brainpower_with_Exercise.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-07-11/Re-Boot_Your_Brainpower_with_Exercise.aspx d7136fbe-02d0-4b92-bec1-1d0fd5d6224b Thu, 10 Jul 2014 21:00:00 GMT Do I need single-ingredient supplements if I'm taking Total Balance? <p>We often get questions from customers using our Total Balance products about when they might need to add a single ingredient supplement? Total Balance is designed to offer the essentials that your body needs, feeding your cells to help slow the effects of aging, fortify your general health and boost your immune system.</p> <p>It’s a comprehensive, whole-body formula that’s packed with dozens of different nutrients, enzymes and minerals to promote and support energy and vitality.</p> <p>So do you really need anything else? Well, in some cases, you might.</p> <h2>Omega-3 fatty acids</h2> <p>An omega-3 fish oil supplement is a good way to ensure that the nutrients you take in actually do what they’re meant to, and most natural health experts say no supplement regimen is complete without an omega-3 supplement.</p> <p>At its core, it helps support circulation, which in turn supports cardiovascular health.</p> <p>Omega-3s are also essential for brain health, and may play a role in preventing depression.</p> <p>Omega-3s may also help support the body’s response to inflammation (often linked to disease), support the loss of unhealthy body fat, stabilize blood sugar levels, erase signs of attention deficit disorder, improve the look of skin and ease the symptoms of arthritis.</p> <p>While we have designed Total Balance to meet the needs of virtually everyone – we’ve designed it to work in tandem with our other <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Core_Wellness_Activators.aspx">Core Wellness Activators</a>, including our omega-3 fish oil line and our Kiwi-Klenz.</p> <h2>Kiwi-Klenz</h2> <p><a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Kiwi-Klenz_Digestive_Supplement.aspx">Kiwi-Klenz</a> is manufactured from the fruit, seeds and skin of the superfood, New Zealand kiwifruit, and helps boost and support digestion, which helps improve the body’s ability to absorb the nutrients it takes in.</p> <p>It also offers prebiotics that help the good bacteria in the digestive system. This is especially important if you’ve taken antibiotics, since in killing any bad bacteria, they also tend to wipe the good guys out, potentially causing digestive problems.</p> <p>Our fiber-rich Kiwi-Klenz also helps prevent toxic buildup in the colon, so you may feel more energized and see improved skin as toxins are released from the body.</p> <h2>Coenzyme Q10</h2> <p>This power-packed antioxidant (also known as CoQ10) is produced naturally by the body, and plays a role in how we convert food into energy.</p> <p>Sometimes, our bodies don’t make enough of it, and supplementation may help.</p> <p>However, did you know that there is more than one form of CoQ10? In fact, there’s is a form of CoQ10 called Ubiquinol that is significantly more potent than ordinary CoQ10 (often referred to as Ubiquinone). Ubiquinol is the ‘reduced’ (sometimes called non-oxidized) form of CoQ10 that helps support heart health and function as well as and boosting your energy levels.</p> <p>Ordinary CoQ10 doesn’t produce much energy. Your body has to convert it to Ubiquinol to do this. As we get older, many of us cannot make that conversion and those who can require very large doses of Ubiquinone.</p> <p>Those taking cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins are especially at risk of low levels of CoQ10 as statins reduce the body’s ability to produce the amount it needs for optimum health. These people, as well as those who aren’t on statins yet are over the age of 30, may also benefit from supplements such as our Omega 3 QH Ultra...a potent blend of omega 3 fish oil, lycopene, astaxanthin and Ubiquinol. You can read more about the <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Omega_3_QH_Ultra.aspx">Ubiquinol in our Omega 3 QH Ultra here</a>.</p> <h2>Iron</h2> <p>While most of us get the iron we need from the foods we eat, some may need an iron supplement to boost their health. (Ref. 3)</p> <p>Those with low levels of iron often develop anemia, which includes low energy levels from a low red blood cell count. When there aren’t enough red blood cells – which provide oxygen to every cell in our bodies – we are tired and have a weakened immune system.</p> <p>Women are especially at risk of developing anemia, especially those who have heavy flows during their menstrual cycle or during pregnancy.</p> <p>Those people on chemotherapy, which kills off not only cancer cells, but also healthy red blood cells, may also benefit from an iron supplement,</p> <h2>Folic Acid</h2> <p>Folic acid (vitamin B9) is very important for both those women looking to get pregnant as well as those who have found out that they are in fact pregnant.</p> <p>The reason is that folic acid plays a significant role in helping prevent neural tube defects (NTDs)—serious birth defects of the spinal cord (such as spina bifida) and the brain (such as anencephaly). (Ref 4.)</p> <p>It’s estimated that neural tube defects affect about 3,000 pregnancies a year in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that women who take the recommended daily dose of folic acid starting at least one month before conception and during the first trimester of pregnancy reduce their baby's risk of neural tube defects by 50 to 70 percent.</p> <p>Folic acid is actually very important to all of us, not just pregnant women and their babies. Folic acid is vital to help make normal red blood cells and for the production, repair, and functioning of DNA, our genetic map and a basic building block of cells.</p> <p>These are just a few examples of the special circumstances when you might need to consider using single-ingredient supplements.</p> <p>It is important to seek medical advice before using Iron or other supplements to address a specific health condition. If you are pregnant, it is important to take medical advice on the use of any supplements.</p> <h2>References:</h2> <ol> <li><a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-04-15/Should_You_Supplement_With_Iron.aspx">http://www.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-04-15/Should_You_Supplement_With_Iron.aspx</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Omega_3_QH_Ultra.aspx">http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Omega_3_QH_Ultra.aspx</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.babycenter.com/0_folic-acid-why-you-need-it-before-and-during-pregnancy_476.bc">http://www.babycenter.com/0_folic-acid-why-you-need-it-before-and-during-pregnancy_476.bc</a></li> </ol> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-07-08/Do_I_need_single-ingredient_supplements_if_I_m_taking_Total_Balance.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-07-08/Do_I_need_single-ingredient_supplements_if_I_m_taking_Total_Balance.aspx 0235d84e-0da0-40c3-92e0-f465a9e8d4f1 Mon, 07 Jul 2014 21:00:00 GMT How Fish Oil May Help Support Normal Blood Pressure <p>Health experts have believed for decades that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil may help support blood pressure levels.</p> <p>High blood pressure is dangerous because it means the heart is pumping blood through the arteries too hard, causing the walls of the arteries to overstretch and weaken, making them more likely to rupture and trigger aneurysms and strokes.</p> <p>The over-stretching of the arteries can also cause small tears and scar tissue than can attract cholesterol and plaque, elevating the risk of dangerous blood clots, blockages and other potentially dangerous issues, including tissue and organ damage caused when narrowed or blocked arteries don’t deliver enough blood and oxygen to the intended parts of the body. Kidney failure is a very important risk. (Ref. 1)</p> <p>While there are a wealth of medications prescribed to treat high blood pressure, some may have side effects such as causing blood sugar levels to rise...increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes, negatively impacting sexual function, as well as insomnia, depression, asthma and fatigue. (Ref. 2)</p> <p>That’s what makes natural supplements like our range of omega-3 fish oil products so popular amongst our customers as they don’t have any side effects.</p> <h2>Go fish</h2> <p>Experts in this field believe that fish oil works by strengthening blood vessels and keeping them pliable, creating an environment where blood pressure won’t build up and cholesterol and plaque are less likely to be attracted to artery walls. (Ref. 3)</p> <p>According to the American Heart Association, the omega-3s in fish oil may help reduce cholesterol, slow the development of plaque in the arteries, reduce the risk of irregular heartbeat and reduce the chance of heart attack or stroke, all of which can be linked to high blood pressure. (Ref. 4)</p> <p>In a 1993 study, researchers from the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health found that in a study of more than 1,000 people, those who took fish oil supplements saw significant reduction in blood pressure. (Ref. 5)</p> <p>Even more importantly, the findings showed that the effects were more measurable in those with existing high blood pressure or heart disease, researchers said.</p> <p>Twenty years later, a new study echoes those promising results.</p> <h2>Could DHA &amp; EPA reduce blood pressure?</h2> <p>We can’t say for sure but consider the following...</p> <p>According to researchers at the Center for Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Computational Biology, Exponent, Inc., - which has locations in both Illinois and Colorado – 31 percent of Americans have high blood pressure, another 31 percent are on the verge of developing it and 20 percent of those who have high blood pressure have no idea. Not only that, almost half – about 47 percent – have hypertension that is not adequately controlled. (Ref. 6)</p> <p>To determine the impact of the fatty acids in fish oil – DHA and EPA – on high blood pressure, researchers analyzed data from 70 clinical studies and found that the omega-3s helped significantly lower blood pressure, especially in those with high blood pressure that had previously gone untreated.</p> <p>Researchers compared food sources as well as fish oil supplements against placebos, though supplements were used in the majority of the studies, which were gathered from the United States, Europe and Australia. In most of those studies, supplements were found to be more effective than food sources at controlling blood pressure, researchers said.</p> <p>Both systolic and diastolic numbers were reduced, and researchers said that their analysis showed that EPA and DHA are as effective “and in some cases more effective,” than lifestyle interventions including increased exercise and alcohol and sodium restrictions at lowering blood pressure for those not taking prescriptions drugs to treat their condition.</p> <p>“From a clinical and public health perspective, provision of EPA+DHA may lower blood pressure and ultimately reduce the incidence of associated chronic diseases,” said researchers.</p> <p>The study appeared earlier this year in the American Journal of Hypertension.</p> <h2>Higher quality, better results</h2> <p>It’s important to note that the studies used in the recent analysis used standard fish oil supplements, rather than our Xtend-Life fish oil products, which are manufactured under the strictest possible standards and independently tested for purity.</p> <p>Click on any of these links to read more about our <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Omega_3_DHA_Fish_Oil.aspx">Omega 3/DHA Fish Oil</a>, our <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Omega_3_DHA_Fish_Oil_Premium.aspx">Omega 3 Premium</a> and <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Omega_3_QH_Ultra.aspx">Omega 3/QH Ultra</a> products.</p> <p><strong>FOOTNOTE:</strong>  Although we are not suggesting this may be the reason but you may like to know that our Chairman and Founder Warren Matthews who will be 67 next month has a blood pressure of 119/75 which is exceptional for someone of his age.  He has been taking 4 soft gels a day of our <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Omega_3_QH_Ultra.aspx">Omega 3/QH Ultra</a> for some years.</p> <h2>References:</h2> <p> </p> <ol> <li><a href="http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/AboutHighBloodPressure/What-is-High-Blood-Pressure_UCM_301759_Article.jsp">http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/AboutHighBloodPressure/What-is-High-Blood-Pressure_UCM_301759_Article.jsp</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/guide/side-effects-high-blood-pressure-medications">http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/guide/side-effects-high-blood-pressure-medications</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.webmd.boots.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/high-blood-pressure-fish-oil-supplements">http://www.webmd.boots.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/high-blood-pressure-fish-oil-supplements</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyDietGoals/Fish-and-Omega-3-Fatty-Acids_UCM_303248_Article.jsp">http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyDietGoals/Fish-and-Omega-3-Fatty-Acids_UCM_303248_Article.jsp</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8339414">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8339414</a></li> <li><a href="http://ajh.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/03/06/ajh.hpu024.full">http://ajh.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/03/06/ajh.hpu024.full</a></li> </ol> <p></p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-06-30/How_Fish_Oil_May_Help_Support_Normal_Blood_Pressure.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-06-30/How_Fish_Oil_May_Help_Support_Normal_Blood_Pressure.aspx 4a0efa50-5e57-4fe7-bae2-8e595c3b7979 Mon, 30 Jun 2014 03:10:00 GMT Medical Microchips: The Greatest Drug Delivery Discovery? <p>For animal lovers and security personnel, the practice of inserting microchips under your custodian’s skin is common. They act as an effective means of identification and location targeting. </p> <p>Now imagine a specialised medical microchip with a reservoir of drugs and wireless communication technology being inserted under <strong><em>Your</em></strong> skin. </p> <p>It is remotely programmed by your medical professional to automatically release your daily dose of medications when required in the right dose. And it can sense biochemical changes and communicate wireless with patients and caregivers. </p> <p>How would you like that? </p> <p>If this sounds like science fiction, it’s not. As reported by CNN (ref 1) it’s fact and happening today.</p> <h2>The Facts</h2> <p>The idea originated in the 1990’s with Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers. They developed an implantable chip with micro-reservoir technology designed to release drugs into the body by a wireless signal. </p> <p>This technology was further developed by the MicroCHIPS company (ref 2), and by 2012 they were ready to ‘go live’ on humans. </p> <p>In a study (ref 3) they implanted a drug ‘infused’ microchip under the skin of eight women with osteoporosis. Over four months the device delivered regular doses of an osteoporosis drug normally given by injection. The study showed this method was not only safe and effective, but that it specifically increased bone formation. Patients also stated that the implant did not negatively impact their quality of life. </p> <p>“Since then the device has improved considerably, and can deliver more drugs than before”, says MicroCHIPS CEO </p> <p>The company intends to release its first product to the public in 2017. This will likely be a hormonal contraception device that can be turned on and off wirelessly and releases a consistent daily dose. It will have the ability to offer progestin and estrogen together, like a combination birth control pill. </p> <p>The first version of this device may last five years in the body, but it’s possible to create one that could effectively deliver drugs for up to 16 years. </p> <p>Additionally other versions are being developed for chronic conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS). </p> <p>I shudder at the thought. Why? </p> <p>Because 15 years ago, I suffered from a severe form of MS. The only ‘solution’ was toxic and unproven drugs. Today, some of these drugs are known to be fatal. </p> <p>So I ask myself, how would I feel if I had one of these medical microchips implanted and pumping toxic gunk in me? Let me share my thoughts about the respective advantages, disadvantages and broader issues…</p> <h2>The Advantages</h2> <p>For sure, I would have appreciated no more pill popping. No more forgetting when to take what combination of medications. No more having to remember my medical records because they would be ‘electronically stored’ in my unique chip and transmitted to my medical reps. </p> <p>I can even see how it may be a great birth control mechanism, because there are no excuses about forgetting to take the pill! And eventually the medical microchip may even serve as a rescue device, remotely releasing medications for heart attack, stroke or allergic reactions in at-risk patients. </p> <p>Indeed, as MicroCHIPS reps say: “The device can provide or enhance patient treatment without direct intervention by either the user or caregivers. This has the potential to improve patients lifestyle and outcomes as well as reduce healthcare costs by delivering therapy outside of traditional point-of-care.” </p> <p>In sum, according to MicroCHIPS’ CEO, “The MicroCHIPS implantable drug delivery device is the greatest advancement in delivering medicine since the first tablet/pill was developed in 1876." </p> <p>Really? </p> <p>Let’s consider the disadvantages and broader issues….</p> <h2>The Disadvantages and Broader Issues to Consider</h2> <p>If I had this thing in me I’d be asking: </p> <ol> <li>What ‘control do I have? What if I and my medical professional disagree on what’s right for me? Will they force me to be micro-chipped?</li> <li>How would a chip get all the new drugs appearing regularly? Maybe through walk-in clinics for medical chip updates?</li> <li>If I want to wean myself off the drugs, how can I do that if my choices are determined by the person controlling the ‘switch’, and they disagree with me?</li> <li>How might this technology be disrupted, misused or hacked, potentially delivering obscene amounts of drugs into my and other's systems?</li> <li>How does this technology affect the role of medical professionals?</li> </ol> <p>Perhaps, worst of all is the question: How might this technology enable drug companies to gain an even tighter grip over the lives of sick people, or just those who take contraception pills? Think of the increased profits for drug companies, potentially at the further expense of our health and liberty. </p> <p>I’m sure you can think of many more issues, and we’d love to hear them. </p> <p>So in conclusion, should we be afraid? </p> <p>I think we should be cautious, and ready to question as above. Personally, the idea repulses me. But I am reassured because I just don’t see this working en mass due to the ethical and practical issues involved. Then again, who ever thought some vaccinations would become compulsory (ref 4)? </p> <p>One thing is for sure: IF this goes ahead, especially en mass, the Disclaimer will need be as long as the Obamacare bill! </p> <h2>References</h2> <p> </p> <ol> <li>CNN report   <a href="http://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2014/04/health/the-cnn-10-healing-the-future/?frame=1&amp;hpt=he_c1">http://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2014/04/health/the-cnn-10-healing-the-future/?frame=1&amp;hpt=he_c1</a></li> <li>The Company who invented the Medical Micro chip <a href="http://www.mchips.com/">http://www.mchips.com/</a></li> <li>The study:”First-in-Human Testing of a Wirelessly Controlled Drug Delivery Microchip <a href="http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/early/2012/02/15/scitranslmed.3003276">http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/early/2012/02/15/scitranslmed.3003276</a></li> <li>Compulsory vaccinations <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaccination_policy">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaccination_policy</a> + <a href="http://www.historyofvaccines.org/content/articles/government-regulation">http://www.historyofvaccines.org/content/articles/government-regulation</a></li> </ol> <p></p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-06-29/Medical_Microchips_The_Greatest_Drug_Delivery_Discovery.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-06-29/Medical_Microchips_The_Greatest_Drug_Delivery_Discovery.aspx c077f5f4-4d07-4099-a2c5-7a07f7327d7e Sat, 28 Jun 2014 22:00:00 GMT Can you overdose on skin care products? <p>When the satirical newspaper The Onion printed the article “Girlfriend Overdoses on Lotion,” the story of course was a joke.</p> <p>“When we arrived, Ms. Nagler’s blood-lotion level was 0.45. That’s four times the lethal limit,” said emergency responder Anne Jones. “We’re guessing that by the time her boyfriend found her, she had been inhaling cocoa butter and eucalyptus fumes for over 45 minutes. One more Buf-Puf of jasmine serum and it would have been too late.”</p> <p>Funny stuff. But given that most good jokes are steeped in reality, is the idea really so far-fetched?</p> <p>After all, most of us are familiar with the following skin-care routine: We purchase a product containing an ingredient geared toward erasing a blemish, maybe a spot treatment, maybe a cleanser, and we use it several times a day, hoping to rid ourselves of the annoying spot. When it doesn’t work, we try another, and another and another and another, maybe until our skin is dry and flaky – and probably now has a few more blemishes than we started with.</p> <p>While overdosing on a single ingredient is common, we can also go overboard on products, experts say. When we use a cleanser, a toner, a serum and a moisturizer – each with its own key ingredients – they may not be designed to work together, and they may overload your skin, causing confusion as each product counteracts the other.</p> <p>In fact, many products contain ingredients that are toxic to the skin, but we buy into the hype and have no idea that the product we’re using could be responsible for the some of our skin problems.</p> <p>Parabens are used as a preservative in many skin care products, but they’ve been linked to cancer as well as early puberty in both boys and girls. Benzoyl peroxide, used to treat acne, and a common ingredient in acne medications, has been linked to cancer and DNA mutation. Synthetic colors are usually made from coal tar, and they leave deposits on the skin that can lead to irritation. The chemicals in sunscreens have been known to generate free radicals, which damage skin and result in various signs of aging.</p> <p>Using even one problematic ingredient can result in damage, especially to the skin’s protective outer layer. When mixed, you could generate a sea of toxicity that leaves skin looking very different to the youthful promises on the packaging. So essentially yes, you can overdose, but usually it is when your skin has a particular sensitivity, or problematic ingredients, or an unsuitable mix of different products.</p> <p>However, you won’t end up in the emergency room of The Onion’s imagination.</p> <p>The solution?  Do your research and know exactly what you’re putting on your skin.</p> <p>Check the ingredients, and use products designed to work together to protect against ingredient overload. Xtend-Life skin care products are designed with only the most safe and effective ingredients... that help boost the production of collagen and elastin, reducing the signs of aging and improving the look of skin – no overdose required.  We do not use any ingredients that are not safe to ingest.</p> <p>We recommend a two-part approach to healthy skin. First, use a line of products that are designed to work together to protect against the signs of aging. (Our <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/skincare/mens_foaming_facial_cleanser.aspx">Foaming Face Wash</a> combined with the <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/skincare/Day_Cream_Women.aspx">Age Defense Active Day Cream </a> and the <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/skincare/Night_Cream_Women.aspx">Restorative Night Cream</a> is a good start.)</p> <p>Also, be sure you’re nurturing your skin from the inside out by eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water and taking supplements aimed at preventing the signs of aging, such as our <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/Product/Total_Balance_Range.aspx">Total Balance</a> and <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Omega_3_DHA_Fish_Oil_Premium.aspx">Omega-3</a> lines.</p> <p>Our skin is our largest organ, so working on our health from the inside out is essential to looking and feeling your best.</p> <h2>References:</h2> <p>The Onion, satirical story<br /> <a href="http://www.theonion.com/articles/girlfriend-overdoses-on-lotion,34884/">http://www.theonion.com/articles/girlfriend-overdoses-on-lotion,34884/</a></p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-06-26/Can_you_overdose_on_skin_care_products.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-06-26/Can_you_overdose_on_skin_care_products.aspx f02bc056-1b7e-4d4f-a93b-96aaa3150c0a Wed, 25 Jun 2014 22:00:00 GMT How’s Your BO Today? <p>You may have heard the recent media frenzy about the actress Cameron Diaz proclaiming that she hasn’t worn deodorant in over 20 years. (ref. 1). She says:  “It’s really bad for you. You’re stinky, because you use antiperspirant. It keeps all the stink in.”</p> <p>Twenty years ago I would have thought such behaviour and comments bizarre.</p> <p>Today, I agree with her. In fact, although I live in a Caribbean climate where temperatures can reach 40°C, and humidity is up to the max 100%, I don’t wear it either!</p> <p>That’s because I don’t need it, or the toxic chemicals in it. When I do, I use essential oils in rose water.</p> <p>However, I and Cameron are not average. Most people wear it because they need it to disguise a rather unpleasant odour.  It's the reason why Americans alone spent over US$2.9 Billon on antiperspirants /deodorants in 2012 (ref. 2), while completely ignoring the primary causes.</p> <p>What then are those causes, and why do some need deodorants and not others? This blog addresses those questions.</p> <h2>What Causes Body Odour (BO)?</h2> <p>First let’s get clear about what BO is and isn’t. Many conventional doctors will tell you that BO is caused by bacteria living in your armpits.</p> <p>This is only partly true. The fact is bacteria live all over and in you. It is neither possible nor wise to try and eliminate all of them because they offer vital help with basic physiological processes—from digestion to growth to immunisation (ref. 3).</p> <p>Secondly, BO is triggered only when bacteria living on the skin break down the protein in sweat into acids - a chemical called 3-methyl-2-hexenoic acid. But, note that the sweat itself is odourless to humans, though dogs and other animals can smell it. </p> <p>The smell itself is determined by many factors such as medical conditions (diabetes, liver/kidney disease, gastrointestinal problems, hyperthyroidism etc.), hormones, fungal infection and alcohol consumption.</p> <p>But by far the most significant cause is dietary.</p> <p>BO is the by-product of your body cleaning itself and eliminating toxins originating in the foods we eat and the environment we live in.</p> <p> So by using deodorant products, you block the exit door and force those toxins to stay in your system!</p> <h2>BO Basics</h2> <p>Your body is masterfully designed with a series of metabolic processes that help keep it clean on the inside. </p> <p>They include urination, bowel movements, exhaling carbon dioxide and other toxins through your lungs, and expelling mucus and dust through your nose when you sneeze and blow.  As your skin is the largest organ, it plays the most significant part in purging toxins.</p> <p>Now you may be wondering…"Where do all these toxins come from?"</p> <p>Your internal garbage pile is a messy mix of toxins from environmental chemicals, smoking, pollution and medications. The biggest sources of inner junk are eating processed "non-foods" and poor digestion. In essence: garbage in, garbage out!</p> <p>Your body is designed to be nourished by real foods—a variety of fresh, preferably organic vegetables, fruits, meats/fish, nuts, seeds and healthy fats.  When it gets these nutrients, enzymes break down each kind of food, so that all the nutrients can be assimilated. Any excess unusable residue is easily eliminated by your bowel movements.</p> <p>When someone instead exists largely on processed, packaged low quality--aka "non-foods", your body is not designed to know what to do with them.</p> <p>It tries to break them down to absorb whatever scant "vitamins and minerals" might be in them. But a large part ends up as acid waste and toxins that your body (especially your skin, liver and kidneys—your main organs of detox) has to get rid of.</p> <p>Over time, the situation may become serious when poorly broken down food molecules may "leak" out of the intestines into the blood stream leading to a disorder known as ‘Leaky Gut Syndrome (ref. 4). This can trigger an autoimmune reaction, which may develop into gastrointestinal problems such as abdominal bloating, excessive gas and cramps, fatigue, food sensitivities, joint pain, rashes and more.</p> <p>In the process, your body’s ability to produce digestive enzymes is impaired and nutrient absorption reduced. This in turn may lead to overeating, excess weight, or to the development of deficiency diseases.</p> <p>It’s hardly surprising then, that BO is becoming such a revealing symptom of more fundamental internal strife.</p> <p>So how can one avoid this internal toxic war, and promote a more ‘appealing’ body odour?</p> <h2>How to Prevent the Causes of BO</h2> <p>Remember garbage in, garbage out - the way to eliminate BO, is not to mask it with unhealthy deodorant products. Rather you need to clean up your body from the inside out, and develop a lifestyle that encourages healthy vibrant living.</p> <p>We have described how to do this in detail here <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-03-04/What_are_the_Key_Steps_for_Vibrant_Foundational_Health_and_Well-being.aspx">"What are the Key Steps for Vibrant Foundational Health and Well-being"</a></p> <p>There are two great advantages of following this Protocol. Not only will you eliminate or reduce your BO, you will also address the key causes of degeneration and aging: (excess free radicals, oxidative stress, glycation, abnormal methylation, chronic inflammation, DNA Degradation, hormonal imbalance and toxicity/impaired detoxification.)</p> <p>Imagine looking and feeling younger, more energised, and smelling fresher, naturally!</p> <p>On a side note, I expect that some of you may say. “Well I survive on processed foods and don’t have BO. So how do you explain that?”</p> <p>My response is “I can’t give you a personal explanation because I don’t know all the factors about you and your lifestyle. What I am sure of however, is that you can’t defy Nature and Natural Laws forever. Eventually the body will break down under the stress of fundamental imbalances and toxic overload.</p> <p>Who was it who said: “Most people work hard and spend their health trying to achieve wealth. Then they retire and spend their wealth trying to get back their health.”</p> <h2>References</h2> <p> <ol> <li>Cameron Diaz and deodorant <a href="http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/celebrity-life/cameron-diaz-says-she-hasnt-worn-deodorant-in-20-years/story-fn907478-1226895651869">http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/celebrity-life/cameron-diaz-says-she-hasnt-worn-deodorant-in-20-years/story-fn907478-1226895651869</a></li> <li>US deodorant expenditure in 2012 <a href="http://store.mintel.com/deodorants-and-antiperspirants-us-february-2012?cookie_test=true">http://store.mintel.com/deodorants-and-antiperspirants-us-february-2012?cookie_test=true</a></li> <li>How bacteria in and on the body are good for us <a href="http://www.livescience.com/32761-good-bacteria-boost-immune-system.html">http://www.livescience.com/32761-good-bacteria-boost-immune-system.html</a></li> <li>About Leaky Gut Syndrome <a href="http://www.sharecare.com/search?query=Could Leaky Gut Be What is Troubling You?">http://www.sharecare.com/search?query=Could+Leaky+Gut+Be+What+is+Troubling+You%3F</a></li> </ol> </p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-06-24/How’s_Your_BO_Today.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-06-24/How%e2%80%99s_Your_BO_Today.aspx 7a4b7b93-077a-4ad9-a323-3f800bbb731f Mon, 23 Jun 2014 22:00:00 GMT Can A Fat Make You Thin? <p>Yes, one fat in particular can do this as part of a balanced healthy diet and lifestyle.</p> <p>Can you guess which one?</p> <p>After decades of controversy, experts are finally agreeing with our ancestors that Virgin coconut oil is “the healthiest oil on earth”. Courtesy of its many nutritional and pharmaceutical properties, including a clinically proven fat burning ability, Virgin coconut oil is now getting the recognition it deserves.</p> <p>However, in the 1950’s, the story (ref. 1) was very different.</p> <p>The powerful soy bean and corn industries, supported by the American Heart Association, claimed that coconut oil is an unhealthy saturated fat causing elevated cholesterol and heart disease. Despite many unsubstantiated claims, decades of saturated and coconut fat bashing ensued, so that the more profitable – and unhealthy - polyunsaturated fats could take over.</p> <p>The result is that today unhealthy polyunsaturated fats (ref. 2) dominate many diets. Simultaneously, heart disease and obesity have become two of the major global health crisises.</p> <p>Now many experts admit the tragedy of this misrepresentation, and agree that coconut oil is not just a ‘good’ saturated fat, but an exceptional healthy healing agent with many beneficial and weight management applications. This blog shows why it is so good, and specifically its powerful weight loss role.</p> <h2>What makes Virgin Coconut Oil so Good?</h2> <p>Before I answer that question, it’s key to understand the difference between Virgin and non-Virgin coconut oils. The former is pressed from fresh coconut flesh by purely mechanical or manual means. In comparison, non-Virgin oils usually come from dried coconut flesh (copra), extracted with chemicals and then bleached to sanitize the oils. Bleaching is necessary because the copra may be stored in poor conditions.</p> <p>Most of the studies showing the health benefits of coconut oil were done on Virgin oils.</p> <p>So, what makes Virgin coconut oil different from all other oils, especially other saturated fats?</p> <p>The key difference is in the fat molecule. All fats and oils are composed of molecules called fatty acids. There are short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), and long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs). The majority of saturated fats consumed today are LCFAs.</p> <p>The molecular size or length of the carbon chain within each fatty acid is very important. This is because our bodies respond to and metabolize each fatty acid differently depending on its size.</p> <p>It is the MCFAs in coconut fat products (oil/milk) which act as a powerful weight and cholesterol management method. Indeed, a key reason why coconut oil leads to a feeling of fullness and deceased fat storage is because when MFCAs are metabolized, ketone bodies are created in the liver. Research has shown these to have a strong appetite reducing effect helping you to lose fat faster. The fast rate of oxidation of MCFAs relative to LCFAs also leads to greater energy expenditure resulting in less body weight gain and decreased size of fat depots after several months of consumption.</p> <p>So the easy to digest and absorb MCFAs appear to tell your body to burn fat for fuel, instead of storing it.</p> <p>In contrast LCFAs are not metabolised in the liver. Rather, they are transported into the lymphatic system, deposited into adipose tissue and stored as fat.</p> <p>Let’s now see some studies which show the above in action!</p> <h2>Studies of the Weight and Fat Loss Properties of Virgin Coconut Oil</h2> <p>A major study published in the Journal Lipids (ref. 3) consisted of testing the effects of either 2 tablespoons of Virgin coconut oil or 2 tablespoons of soybean oil on a group of 40 women over 28 days.</p> <p>Results showed that the group who had the coconut oil enjoyed a decrease in abdominal fat, while the soybean oil group actually showed a slight increase in belly fat.</p> <p>Additionally, the group who ate the coconut oil showed increased HDL ‘good’ cholesterol levels, while the soybean oil group had decreased HDL cholesterol and increased LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol (ref. 4).</p> <p>These results are further confirmed by extensive research summarised in The Journal of Nutrition (ref. 5) which showed how:</p> <ul> <li>Diets rich in saturated MCFAs, especially coconut oil, prompted a boost in metabolism, increase in energy, decrease in food consumption, reduced body weight and lower body fat mass.</li> <li>One study specifically tested how coconut oil reduces body fat. Body weight and fat storage were assessed relative to three different types of diets, including a low-fat diet, high-fat diet with LCFAs, and a high fat diet with MCFAs. At the end of the research period (44 days), the low-fat diet group stored an average of 0.47 grams of fat per day, the LCFA group stored 0.48 grams of fat per day, and the MCFA group stored a mere 0.19 grams per day (despite intentionally increasing calories).</li> <li>The MCFA group enjoyed a 60 % reduction in stored body fat compared to the other diets.</li> <li>MCFAs help increase feelings of fullness and lead to a reduction in calorie intake when compared to the same amount of calories from other fats.</li> </ul> <h2>Other Health Benefits of Virgin Coconut Oil</h2> <p>As if these weight and fat reducing effects of Virgin coconut oil are not impressive enough, there are even more health benefits you can enjoy. These include how coconut oil may help with brain boosting, wound healing, skin rejuvenation, inflammation reduction, fungal infection control and more (ref 6).</p> <p>Perhaps another reason why Virgin coconut oil has so many health benefits is because it is considered an anti-oxidant. According to physiologist and biochemist Ray Peat, Ph.D. (ref. 7) ‘it has both direct and indirect antioxidant activities and helps prevent free radical formation.“</p> <p>This anti-oxidant effect is enhanced by the fact that in addition to MCFAs, coconut oil has the very rare lauric and capric acids. Lauric acid is converted in the body into monolaurin. This has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-protozoa properties. Capric acid, also has antimicrobial activity.</p> <p>Hopefully, by now you may be impressed enough by what you’ve read, that you are asking: “How do I use Virgin coconut oil’?</p> <h2>How to use Virgin Coconut Oil and Dose?</h2> <p>I use it extensively. I add about two tablespoons to most of my meals, whether cooked or raw, and apply it regularly as a skin and hair moisturiser. It is particularly good for cooking courtesy of its high smoke point. This means it doesn’t burn quickly and release toxic fumes like some other oils.  This source (ref. 8) lists no less than 122 creative uses for this remarkable natural ingredient!</p> <p>Perhaps you can think of more!</p> <p>What is the recommended intake?</p> <p>There really isn’t one size fits all. It totally depends on your body’s needs and your taste preferences. If you are new to Virgin coconut oil, then start gradually with a couple of teaspoons daily. See how you feel and adjust accordingly.</p> <p>I hope this article has helped to dispel the myth that saturated fats, and especially coconut oil are ‘bad’. On the contrary this ‘healthiest oil on earth’ may just be what your body yearns for. Please do share your experiences of using Virgin coconut oil, and especially how it may have helped you.</p> <h2>References</h2> <ol> <li>For more on the fascinating history of the Rise and Fall of coconut oil, see: Dr. Bruce Fife, a naturopathic doctor, coconut oil expert and  author of  The Coconut Oil Miracle <a href="http://www.coconut-connections.com/vco.htm">http://www.coconut-connections.com/vco.htm</a><span style="text-decoration: underline;"> </span>The Oiling of America by Mary Enig, PhD, and Sally Fallon <a href="http://coconutoil.com/oiling_america/">http://coconutoil.com/oiling_america/</a></li> <li>For a discussion about the different saturated fats by our founder Warren Matthews, see <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/News/Xtend-Your-Life/Article/02-12-18/Fat_the_good_bad_and_the_ugly.aspx">http://www.xtend-life.com/News/Xtend-Your-Life/Article/02-12-18/Fat_the_good_bad_and_the_ugly.aspx</a></li> <li>Journal of Lipids study: Effects of Dietary Coconut Oil on the Biochemical and Anthropometric Profiles of Women Presenting Abdominal Obesity. <a href="http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11745-009-3306-6?no-access=true#page-1">http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11745-009-3306-6?no-access=true#page-1</a></li> <li>Study showing how coconut oil elevates HDL Cholesterol and reduces abdominal fat.<a href="http://www.greenmedinfo.com/article/dietary-coconut-oil-elevates-hdl-and-reduces-abdominal-obesity-women">http://www.greenmedinfo.com/article/dietary-coconut-oil-elevates-hdl-and-reduces-abdominal-obesity-women</a></li> <li>The Journal of Nutrition excellent summary of the many studies reviewing the physiological Effects of MCFAs: Potential Agents in the Prevention of Obesity.  <a href="http://jn.nutrition.org/content/132/3/329.full">http://jn.nutrition.org/content/132/3/329.full</a></li> <li>More health benefits of Virgin coconut oil.  <a href="http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/13-evidence-based-medicinal-properties-coconut-oil?page=1">http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/13-evidence-based-medicinal-properties-coconut-oil?page=1</a></li> <li>Physiologist and biochemist Ray Peat, Ph.D. considers coconut oil an antioxidant. <a href="http://www.naturodoc.com/library/nutrition/coconut_oil.htm">http://www.naturodoc.com/library/nutrition/coconut_oil.htm</a></li> <li>The many and varied uses of coconut oil.  <a href="http://www.deliciousobsessions.com/2012/01/52-uses-for-coconut-oil-the-simple-the-strange-and-the-downright-odd/">http://www.deliciousobsessions.com/2012/01/52-uses-for-coconut-oil-the-simple-the-strange-and-the-downright-odd/</a></li> </ol> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-06-19/Can_A_Fat_Make_You_Thin.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-06-19/Can_A_Fat_Make_You_Thin.aspx 4e978c5c-3e4a-45ce-9ba8-8fbffda42a3d Thu, 19 Jun 2014 01:01:00 GMT How Important Is It To Take Supplements At The Recommended Dosage? <p>So you're looking at the back of the label of your <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Total_Balance_Unisex_Premium.aspx">Total Balance Premium</a>, wondering if you really need to take all seven of those tablets.</p> <p>While it may seem like a lot, this supplement is formulated so that you’re getting the nutrients you need – in the right amount.</p> <p>Cutting back on the number of pills you take and consuming a smaller dose will not offer optimum results.</p> <p> “There are many special nutrients necessary for supporting the health of all the organs of your body, and they simply cannot be fitted into any lesser number of tablets without compromising the results”, according to Warren Matthews, founder of Xtend-Life.</p> <p>We carefully formulate our products, with reference to the best science available - to achieve synergy between the ingredients that offer real results. But many of those benefits won’t be realized if you aren’t getting an effective amount of each nutrient.</p> <p>And here’s the thing. If you purchased all the nutrients offered in Total Balance separately, you’d be taking dozens of tablets each day. Given that, seven doesn’t seem like all that much, does it?</p> <p>We recommend either splitting the dose into two lots during the day or taking them all at once hit first thing in the morning, depending on which is more convenient for you.</p> <p>In addition, our supplements are designed to provide the right nutrients in the right way. They’re not time released, but instead are enteric coated to be released when and where they can provide the most benefits in their bio-available form.</p> <h2>Is overdosing a possibility?</h2> <p>Some experts say that if you eat a healthy diet and take supplements you run the risk of getting too much of some key nutrients.</p> <p>“Quite a few people who take a multivitamin and eat a healthy diet are getting twice what they need,” Diane Birt, Ph.D., director of the Center for Research on Botanical Dietary Supplements at Iowa State University, told Women’s Health Magazine. (Ref. 1)</p> <p>Especially risky for too-large doses are calcium, beta-carotene, iron, vitamin A and zinc, Birt said.</p> <p>Again, here’s the thing. Most supplements on the market are a hodge-podge of synthetic ingredients, with no real regard to how much of any one nutrient is the optimum amount for health benefits. If studies show the ingredient is beneficial, and it is cheap, and consumers know to look for it, in it goes.</p> <p>We’ve invested years of research determining not only how much of a nutrient will be beneficial, but also how it interacts with other nutrients in the supplement. The harmony between ingredients – like a partner who inspires you to be your best – also helps determine how much of any nutrient we include in the mix.</p> <p>Since most people get enough iron from their diets, we don’t include iron in any of our formulas.</p> <p>And as for the others on Birt’s list, the inherent risks come from taking synthetic versions of nutrients, which are often made from coal tar and are viewed as foreign invaders by our bodies. The same risks don’t hold true for nutrients in their natural forms.</p> <p>If the cost is a concern or the number of tablets is a concern, consider the <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Total_Balance_Unisex.aspx">standard version of Total Balance</a>. This formula only requires four tablets a day, and still offers great general health benefits, as well as real anti-aging benefits.  However, this cannot offer the optimal anti-aging benefits we can offer with the Total Balance Premium.</p> <p>We all know that feeling our best is a mix of things – a smart diet and exercise, along with a nutrient blend such as Total Balance that is formulated with good nutrition in mind. Because it provides essential nutrients that when missing from the diet may trigger cravings, it helps keep late-night refrigerator raids to a minimum, while providing the energy and endurance necessary to hit the gym or lace up your shoes for your morning run.</p> <p>It’s our mission as much as yours to help you defy the aging process and live life to the fullest, every day.</p> <p>What does living life to the fullest mean to you? What are you doing now to make this happen?</p> <h2>References:</h2> <p> </p> <ol> <li><a href="http://www.womenshealthmag.com/nutrition/regulate-your-vitamin-intake">http://www.womenshealthmag.com/nutrition/regulate-your-vitamin-intake</a></li> </ol> <p></p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-06-16/How_Important_Is_It_To_Take_Supplements_At_The_Recommended_Dosage.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-06-16/How_Important_Is_It_To_Take_Supplements_At_The_Recommended_Dosage.aspx 11460a6c-4c8b-4266-ba38-563758b8ebd6 Sun, 15 Jun 2014 23:07:00 GMT Fatherhood is good for your health <p>Most experts say that becoming a dad is a great way to get healthy.</p> <p>Traditionally, men pay less attention to their health than women. (Think the stereotypical burger lover or the armchair sports fan on game day).</p> <p>But fatherhood – when dad becomes king of his castle and responsible for somebody other than himself – tends to change all that.</p> <p>According to WebMD.com, of the top 15 leading causes of death, men lead women in all categories except Alzheimer’s disease, but the reason for that is in its own way disheartening. Seems men don’t live long enough to develop the disease. (Ref. 1)</p> <p>While the experts recommend a healthy diet, exercise and regular visits to a health care professional, becoming a dad can also make a difference. Dads – especially contemporary dads - tend to recognize the importance of paying more attention to their health so they’ll be around for their kids.</p> <p>But that’s not the only benefit, experts say.</p> <p>“Fatherhood comes with a lot of great health perks,” Dr. Marcus Goldman, author of “The Joy of Fatherhood: The First Twelve Months,” told Parenting magazine. “Not only does it inspire men to take better care of themselves physically, but it also fills them with a sense of purpose that genuinely enhances their psychological well-being.” (Ref. 2)</p> <p>Becoming a parent not only encourages men to make better decisions – statistics show that men who smoke are more likely to quit when they become fathers – they also, maybe by default, become more active. (Ref. 3)</p> <p>That’s especially good news since, for men, heart health plays the biggest role in overall health.</p> <p>“Heart disease and stroke are the first and second leading causes of death worldwide, in both men and women,” according to Dr. Darwin Labarhe, director of the Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “It’s a huge global health problem,” he said, especially in the United States, where a high-fat diet is the norm. (Ref. 1)</p> <h2>A Father’s Day gift he’ll remember</h2> <p>So what to do for your dad this Father’s Day? Forget the boring tie and choose something that will help him focus on his heart so he’ll be around to love for a long, long time.</p> <p>What better way to show your dad you love him?</p> <ul> <li><strong>Help him find his Zen. </strong>Stress takes a big toll on people, and if Dad has a high-pressure job, he probably experiences some, putting him at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure and heart disease. Giving him the gift of exercise can help him keep his stress in check. Enroll him in a sports club that he might like - football, basketball, cycling, swimming, etc. – or hire a professional trainer to help him learn good strength training moves to protect his heart. Exercising 15 to 20 minutes a day helps lower the risk of diabetes, heart attack and stroke, says the Harvard School of Public Health (Ref. 3) and those feel-good endorphins exercise releases will make him crave his next session.</li> <li><strong>Make him laugh.</strong> Norman Cousins isn’t alone in the belief that laughter is the best medicine. According to researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, laughing improves circulation, lessening the risk of heart disease. According to their study, those who watched a funny movie had 22 percent better blood circulation than those who watched a stressful movie, instead (Ref. 3).  Take Dad to see his favorite comedian or buy him a DVD of his favorite comedy or a season of a sitcom he loves.</li> <li><strong>Fuel him up.</strong> Instead of that sausage log or brick of cheese, try a healthier gift geared toward heart health this year. Many experts will say if there’s one supplement that effectively targets heart health, it’s fish oil. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil protect the heart by helping cholesterol and blood pressure. While some people used to get enough from  diet, we no longer do, in part because we’re eating less fish, but also because plants no longer provide optimum levels of omega-3s because they’re growing in soil that offers fewer nutrients. One to try: Our Omega-3 fish oil supplements are made from Hoki fish harvested from the waters off the coast of New Zealand as well as highly concentrated Tuna oil, and because of the exceptional quality, you won’t experience any fishy aftertaste.</li> </ul> <p>What are you planning on doing for your dad this Father’s Day? Any extra tips for those looking for help?</p> <h2>References:</h2> <p> <ol> <li><a href="http://www.webmd.com/men/features/6-top-health-threats-men">http://www.webmd.com/men/features/6-top-health-threats-men</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.parents.com/parenting/dads/101/health-benefits-of-fatherhood/">http://www.parents.com/parenting/dads/101/health-benefits-of-fatherhood/</a></li> <li><a href="http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2012/06/13/keep-dad-around-with-a-healthy-gift-for-fathers-day?page=2">http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2012/06/13/keep-dad-around-with-a-healthy-gift-for-fathers-day?page=2</a></li> </ol> </p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-06-15/Fatherhood_is_good_for_your_health.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-06-15/Fatherhood_is_good_for_your_health.aspx b1656b90-fab4-4f38-be19-709755dd44d8 Sat, 14 Jun 2014 22:00:00 GMT How to Naturally Heal the Skin from Too Much of Sunshine <p>Now that you understand the many health benefits of regular moderate sun exposure from our previous blog, what happens if you end up sun burned anyway? Are there natural ways to limit the damage and encourage faster healing?</p> <p>Yes, the purpose of this blog is to show you some of the most effective natural herbs to soothe and calm the skin, help it to heal faster, and to reduce long-term damage.</p> <p><strong>1. Aloe vera</strong></p> <p>Long known as the 'burn plant', the juice and oil from the aloe vera plant have been effectively used to treat burns, wounds and skin irritations for centuries. This effectiveness comes courtesy of its natural components - almost 20 amino acids, minerals like calcium, magnesium and sodium; enzymes; polysaccharides and more. It penetrates quickly and deeply, moisturizing and nourishing at the lower levels of skin. These properties also make aloe a great ally in reducing the visible effects of aging.</p> <p>If you are lucky to have a local aloe plant, simply slice off a branch, open it with a knife, scoop out the gel, mash it well and apply it directly to the burned skin. Immediate relief! In fact, if you apply it in its purest form, sometimes the burn may disappear entirely.</p> <p><strong>2. Cucumber</strong></p> <p>Like Aloe vera, cucumber naturally cools and calms skin after a burn. It contains vitamin C and caffeic acid, which help reduce swelling. Simply refrigerate a fresh, preferably organic cucumber, cut into slices and place directly on the skin.</p> <p>You can also blend cucumber slices with aloe vera juice or oil for a doubly powerful sunburn treat!</p> <p><strong>3. Green tea</strong></p> <p>Green tea contains powerful antioxidants called catechins, which protect cells and DNA from free radical damage. As result, when applied externally as a powdered extract, or when taken as a drink, it may help promote wound healing and skin regeneration.</p> <p>In several scientific studies, green tea extract was shown to neutralize damage from exposure to UV rays.</p> <p>For example, a 2000 study by Case Western Reserve University (ref 1) showed that green tea protects against sunburn. Volunteers had green tea extract applied to the skin on their buttocks, which was then exposed to solar radiation. At a concentration level of 4 milligrams per 2.5 cm square of skin area, the subjects obtained complete protection from sunburn. Some protection was observed at lower concentrations down to 1 milligram per cm square of skin area.</p> <p>A 2007 study conducted in the UK revealed that those who drank two or more cups per day of green tea had a 65% lower risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma. Interestingly, the same study noted that drinking tea with lemon boosts its anti-cancer properties.</p> <p><strong>4. Tamanu Oil</strong></p> <p>Tamanu oil is well studied for its anti-inflammatory skin healing properties especially when applied immediately to burns and sun damage.  The oil causes the rapid formation of new, healthy skin tissue. Some claim that it turns red skin into tanned skin overnight!</p> <p><strong>5. Comfrey</strong></p> <p>Like Tamil oil, comfrey is known as a “cell proliferate,” which means it stimulates cells to regenerate, and repairs damage from UV rays. You can make a strong tea of comfrey and use a cotton ball to swab it on the sunburn several times per day. Or, try making a poultice out of boiled comfrey leaves.</p> <p><strong>6. Calendula</strong></p> <p>Calendula (oil) has anti-oxidant, antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal properties. This helps to soothe burns, especially sun burns, prevent infections and encourages scabbing formation to help wounds heal. Tinctures, ointments, and washes made with calendula encourage healing, ease bruising and help treat infections associated with wounds. This also means calendula effectively helps to treat insect bites and stings.</p> <p><strong>7. Plantain</strong></p> <p>Plantain contains allantoin which is a natural anti-inflammatory. This helps to soothe and heal flushed skin, and it also may deter itchiness as the sunburn starts to heal.</p> <p>You can make a poultice out of the leaves and apply directly to skin, or mix with green tea and aloe vera juice and apply with a cotton ball. Add a little honey and baking soda for more healing and calming benefits.</p> <p><strong>8. Turmeric</strong></p> <p>Tumeric is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Mix fresh or organic turmeric powder with virgin coconut oil and apply it directly to the burned area.</p> <p>Please try to use fresh or organic forms of these herbs if possible. Store bought herbs may have been sitting in plastic or glass containers for a long time, and contain traces of preservatives and heavy metals, as well as other ‘unsavoury contaminants’.</p> <p>In fact a research report by the FDA (ref 2) showed how roughly 12% of all imported herbs and spices are contaminated. The FDA’s testing showed that these contaminants can include things like whole insects, hair, faeces and salmonella.</p> <p>So next time you get a burn or sun burn,  please consider the above natural ways to help heal damaged skin, before buying storebought lotions which may irritate the problem more. Your body will thank you!</p> <p>In this context, you may also like to read our Chairman, Warren Matthew’s views on why <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/Blog/10-04-05/Why_don_t_we_use_an_SPF_factor_in_our_skin_care_products.aspx">we don’t use an SPF factor in our skin care products</a> (ref 3)</p> <p></p> <p>We hope that these two blogs have helped to dispel the hype about sun exposure, as well as to guide you should you get sun burned.</p> <p>Ultimately, as with many matters of your personal health and wellbeing, you are your best Doctor.</p> <p>You don’t need media hype to tell you that you shouldn’t feel great when enjoying some moderate regular sun. Because the fact is who doesn’t feel energised and happy?</p> <p>As always, we welcome your thoughts.</p> <h2>References</h2> <p> </p> <ol> <li>Case Western Reserve University studyon green tea  reported by Clinical Cancer Research http://clincancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/6/10/3864.long</li> <li>FDA report on contaminated imported herbs and spiceshttp://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/FoodScienceResearch/RiskSafetyAssessment/UCM367337.pdf</li> <li>Warren Matthew’ s views on why we don’t use an SPF factor in our skin care products http://www.xtend-life.com/Blog/10-04-05/Why_don_t_we_use_an_SPF_factor_in_our_skin_care_products.aspx</li> </ol> <p></p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-06-12/How_to_Naturally_Heal_the_Skin_from_Too_Much_of_Sunshine.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-06-12/How_to_Naturally_Heal_the_Skin_from_Too_Much_of_Sunshine.aspx e9ce4e52-de7f-4180-a0c0-c48ccfb9bb7c Thu, 12 Jun 2014 02:26:00 GMT The Health Benefits of Sunshine <p>As warmer weather approaches, you may be hoping to turn heads with an enviable golden tanned body. </p> <p>Of course, it would also be great to enjoy the many health benefits of moderate and regular sun exposure, without experiencing any painful sunburn!   </p> <p>Indeed, one of the key purposes of these two related blogs is to show you some of the most effective natural ways to limit sunburn damage and encourage faster healing. </p> <p>However, to dispel the paranoia of the anti-sun proponents, it’s critical that you first understand why we agree with the well-researched and clinically robust evidence supporting the health benefits of moderate UVB ray sun exposure, and it’s production of Vitamin D.  This first blog therefore presents the essential evidence.</p> <h2><strong>Evidence Supporting the Health Benefits of Moderate Regular Sun Exposure</strong> </h2> <p>1.The Harvard School of Public Health provides an excellent summary of Vitamin D’s many health benefits (ref. 1): “Being “D-ficient” may increase the risk of a host of chronic diseases, such as osteoporosis, heart disease, some cancers, and multiple sclerosis, as well as infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis and even the seasonal flu.” </p> <p>They also point out how Vitamin D deficiency has become ‘a global concern’ – “Worldwide, an estimated 1 billion people have inadequate levels of vitamin D in their blood, and deficiencies can be found in all ethnicities and age groups. In industrialized countries, doctors are even seeing the resurgence of rickets, the bone-weakening disease that had been largely eradicated through vitamin D fortification.” </p> <p>2. UVB exposure has many other health benefits unrelated to vitamin D production. For example, evidence presented in a Dermato-Endocrinology article (ref. 2) confirms how regular and moderate sun exposure helps to:</p> <p> </p> <ul> <li>treat skin diseases, such as psoriasis, vitiligo, atopic dermatitis, and scleroderma</li> <li>regulate melatonin and sleep patterns</li> <li>induce nitric oxide (NO), which helps protect your skin against UV damage and offers cardiovascular protection, promotes wound healing through its antimicrobial effect, and may have some anti-cancer benefits.</li> <li>and other benefits</li> </ul> <p></p> <p>3. An excellent article by Richard J. Wurtman (ref. 3), shows how going back 40 + years  that many health benefits of sunlight were known</p> <p>4. Although organisations like the Skin Cancer Foundation (ref. 4) claim that a person’s risk of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, doubles if they have had had five or more severe sunburns, there is even more solid evidence to suggest that sensible sun exposure actually p<em>rotects</em> against Melanoma. As documented in The Lancet (ref. 5) <em>"Paradoxically, outdoor workers have a decreased risk of melanoma compared with indoor workers, suggesting that chronic sunlight exposure can have a protective effect."</em></p> <p>5. Another related study in Medical Hypotheses (ref. 6) suggested that indoor workers may have increased rates of melanoma because they're exposed to sunlight through windows. Only UVA light, unlike UVB, can pass through window glass. It is UVA rays that may be associated with skin damage and skin cancer.</p> <p>The study even noted that indoor UV actually breaks down vitamin D3 formed after outdoor UVB exposure. This would therefore make vitamin D3 deficiency and melanoma risk even worse.</p> <p>6. Several other associations between regular sun exposure and decreased melanoma risk can be found in the medical literature. For example:</p> <ul> <li>Occupational exposure, such as farmers and fishermen, and regular weekend sun exposure are associated with <em>decreased</em> risk of melanoma</li> <li>Sun exposure appears to protect against melanoma on skin sites not exposed to sun light, and melanoma occurring on skin with large UV exposure has the best prognosis</li> <li>Patients with the highest blood levels of vitamin D have thinner melanoma and better survival prognosis than those with the lowest vitamin D levels<span style="font-style: italic;"> </span></li> </ul> <h2>Know Your Good Vs Bad Sun Rays!</h2> <p>While sun exposure is your best source for vitamin D, It is important to understand that not all sun exposure will allow for vitamin D production. The only wavelength that makes your body produce vitamin D are UVB-rays, when they hit exposed skin.</p> <p>Due to the physics and wavelength of UVB rays, they will only penetrate the atmosphere effectively when the sun is above an angle of about 50° from the horizon. When the sun is lower than 50°, the ozone layer reflects most of the UVB-rays but lets through the longer UVA-rays which can more easily penetrate the ozone layer and other obstacles (like clouds and pollution). It is thought that these UVA-rays may increase your risk of skin damage and photoaging</p> <p>By now you may be asking: “What if I can’t get regular sun exposure…will supplements help?”</p> <h2>What About Vitamin D Supplements?</h2> <p>Yes, they can be appropriate if in the right form.</p> <p>Many people know that Vitamin D2 – the synthetic version commonly prescribed by doctors – is not as potent as Vitamin D3 especially Cholecalciferol, the natural form of Vitamin D3 produced by your body. Each microgram of orally consumed 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 is about five times more effective in raising serum 25(OH)D than an equivalent amount of Vitamin D2 (ref 8)</p> <p>Also, besides being less potent, Vitamin D2 supplements may do more harm than good overall.</p> <p>A meta-analysis by the <em>Cochrane Database </em>(ref. 9) looked at mortality rates for people who supplemented their diets with Vitamin D2 versus those who did so with Vitamin D3, highlighting the significant differences between the two. The analysis of 50 randomized controlled trials, which included a total of 94,000 participants, showed:</p> <ul> <li>A 6% relative risk reduction among those who used vitamin D3, but</li> <li>A 2% relative risk increase among those who used D2</li> </ul> <p>We believe that most vitamin D should come from sensible exposure to the sun.  However moderate supplementation is also very helpful.  This is why our <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/Product/Total_Balance_Unisex_Premium/Ingredients.aspx">Total Balance range</a> of products includes 500IU/day dosage.  This can help to maintain healthy vitamin D levels.</p> <p>As to sun UVB ‘dosage’, please use your common sense! If you are fair skinned and burn easily, then limit your exposure to short regular bursts. If you are less sensitive, then a bit more should be fine.</p> <p>If you unfortunately get sunburn, then please read on to Part Two of this blog series. Here you will learn some great natural sun healing remedies.</p> <h2>References:</h2> <ol> <li>The Harvard School of public health summary of Vitamin D’s health benefits http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamin-d/</li> <li>The Dermato-Endocrinology article showing the beneficial effects of UV radiation other than via vitamin D production http://www.landesbioscience.com/journals/dermatoendocrinology/2012DE0169R.pdf</li> <li>Richard J. Wurtman’s article http://web.mit.edu/dick/www/pdf/286.pdf </li> <li>Skin Cancer Foundation on Melanoma</li> <li>The Lancet on Melanoma http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2804%2915649-3/fulltext</li> <li>Study in  Medical Hypotheses on Melanomia http://www.medical-hypotheses.com/article/S0306-9877%2808%2900599-9/abstract</li> <li>Vitamin D supplementation, 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations, and safety https://www.grc.com/health/pdf/Vitamin_D_Supplementation_25hydroxy_D_concentrations_and_safety.pdf</li> <li>The D2 vs D3 Cochrane Database  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21735411</li> </ol> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-06-10/The_Health_Benefits_of_Sunshine.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-06-10/The_Health_Benefits_of_Sunshine.aspx cbd79f1a-c32f-41df-a5ea-3550e8c0f4c3 Mon, 09 Jun 2014 23:45:00 GMT How Healthy is Barbequed Food? <div> <p>As a child, I loved the flavourful succulent smell, sizzle and taste of barbequed foods, especially fish and meat. Mum conjured up colourful pungent spicy marinades, while dad donned his apron, chef’s hat and grill paraphernalia.</p> </div> <p>It was fun to watch and yummy to eat!</p> <p>Little did I know that there's an 'Art' to healthy grilling and barbequing. While they are often regarded as healthy techniques adapted by our Paleo ancestors, improper grilling methods may be hazardous to our health.</p> <p>This blog aims to help you to understand what the potential risks are, and how you can avoid them to enjoy your grilled goodies.</p> <h2>The Potential Risks and Evidence</h2> <p>The key concern with cooking meats and fish at high temperatures (whether grilled, broiled, fried or seared) is the accelerated conversion of proteins into possible carcinogenic – cancer causing – compounds. These are known as HCA's (heterocyclic amines) and PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons).</p> <p>Numerous experiments and studies on both animals (ref. 1) and humans (ref. 2) show how HCAs and PAHs are mutagenic - that is, they cause changes in DNA which may increase the risk of cancer.</p> <p>Even charring vegetables on the grill can create different carcinogens such as acrylamide, which appears to be a cancer-causing and potentially neurotoxic chemical (ref. 3).  </p> <p>However, I suggest that we need to be cautious about such findings. Here’s why.</p> <h2>How Reliable is this Evidence?</h2> <p>As studies published in PubMed (ref. 4) reveal, HCAs and PAHs become capable of damaging DNA <strong><em>only after</em></strong> they are metabolized by specific enzymes in the body, a process called “bioactivation.”</p> <p>In other words, the individual’s specific biology and cellular terrain will greatly influence whether these potential carcinogenic compounds contribute to causing cancer.</p> <p>Also, many of the human studies were epidemiological. They mainly used detailed questionnaires to examine participants’ meat consumption and meat cooking methods to estimate HCA and PAH exposures.</p> <p>I ask: can one really make valid conclusions based primarily on self-reported questionnaires?</p> <p>Indeed, by their very nature, epidemiological studies can never prove causation. That is, they cannot prove that a specific risk factor actually causes the disease being studied. Epidemiological evidence can only show that this risk factor is associated (correlated) with a higher incidence of disease in the population exposed to that risk factor. The higher the correlation the more valid the association, but it cannot prove the causation.</p> <p>So to properly understand the relationship between the consumption of HCAs and PAHs and cancer risk in humans, more robust clinical trials need to be conducted. These are indeed being initiated by US and European researchers (ref. 5)</p> <p>As the investigation continues, how can one enjoy grilling and barbequing while minimising the potential health risks?</p> <h2>Safe Grilling + Barbequing Tips</h2> <p>It looks like Mum and Dad certainly knew a thing or two when it came to healthy barbequing! These are the tips they would recommend: </p> <p><strong>1. Counteract the effect of HCAs and PAHs by loading up on herbs and spices</strong>: Marinating meats/fish for hours beforehand in liquid mixtures containing herbs/spices can dramatically reduce any carcinogens that normally would form on grilled meat. The antioxidants in rosemary and thyme from a marinade were specifically cited in a study (ref. 6) as being powerful inhibitors of HCA formation when grilling meats. It was also noted that other spices such as garlic, ginger, turmeric and others can help to prevent HCA formation, so use a variety and slather on the marinade! As an added bonus, marinated meat tastes better and cooks faster.</p> <p><strong>2. Use lean, ideally organic meats/fish : </strong>When fat from the meats drip down into the coals or fire they may generate a carcenoginic smoke - PAH - polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons which get deposited on food. This is minimized when you use leaner cuts of meat/fish.</p> <p><strong>3. Don’t overcook :</strong> The more that meat/fish is cooked, the higher the concentration of potentially carcinogenic HCA’s, so rare, medium-rare, or medium are healthier choices than well-done. If you are not too fond of the rare state, use a meat thermometer and stop cooking when it shows the right temperature (ref. 7).</p> <p>The use of marinades and meat tenderisers also helps to prevent over cooking. A store bought meat tenderiser will typically have either papain (enzyme from papaya) or bromelain (enzyme from pineapple), salt and a host of other preservatives. I use a home made  papaya based tenderiser with all natural herbs and spices + red wine! Remember the greener the papaya, the more papain power!</p> <p>Also if you cut the meat/fish into smaller pieces, the cooking time will be shorter</p> <p><strong>4. Precook: </strong>This is especially useful for meats that have bone in them like chicken drumsticks thighs etc. Half cooking the meat in a stove top or oven and then popping on the grill will greatly minimize formation of HCA’s since less cooking time is required. This will also ensure evenly cooked meats.</p> <p><strong>5. Use the grill packet method:</strong> Wrapping meats, fish, and veggies in a foil packet cooks evenly, seals in flavour and minimizes formation of HCA’s. Using a grill basket does the same. I always use this method for fruits and veggies to prevent them from drying out and getting charred.</p> <p><strong>6. Clean grill:</strong> Clean the grill in between uses. Removing old gunk will reduce smoke, quicken cooking time and reduce HCA formation. Cleaning and scrubbing the grill will also make the food taste better.</p> <p><strong>7. Fire Safety: </strong>Know how to control and extinguish your fire!</p> <p>I hope that these tips will help you enjoy healthy and happy grilling and barbequing. If you have any of your own, please do share them for all of us to savour!</p> <h2>References:</h2> <p>1. Animal experiments showing how HCAs and PAHs are mutagenic <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15072585">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15072585</a></p> <p>2. Human experiments showing how HCAs and PAHs are mutagenic and may be carcenoginic:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20215514">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20215514</a>  </li> <li><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12351162">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12351162</a> </li> <li><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16357191">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16357191</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19808637">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19808637</a>  </li> </ul> <p>3. Acrylamide appears to be a carcenoginic and potentially neurotoxic chemical <a href="http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf020302f">http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf020302f</a></p> <p>4. PubMed studies showing the ‘bioactivation’ process</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7586210">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7586210</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16157215">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16157215</a></li> </ul> <p>5. The following clinical trials on HCAs, PAHs are underway:</p> <ul> <li>the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19165862">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19165862</a></li> <li>the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study II <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16492907">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16492907</a></li> <li>the Multiethnic Cohort <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19549810">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19549810</a></li> <li>the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18309547">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18309547</a></li> </ul> <p>6. Benefits of marinading <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19241593">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19241593</a></p> <p>7. Here’s a list of safe cooking temperatures <a href="http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/mintemp.html">http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/mintemp.html</a></p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-06-05/How_Healthy_is_Barbequed_Food.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-06-05/How_Healthy_is_Barbequed_Food.aspx fc2d635a-0660-47e8-aa63-95de1d7dfc40 Wed, 04 Jun 2014 21:43:00 GMT Do supplements make your body nutritionally lazy? <p>When we’re constipated, a by-product of a wide range of prescription drugs, a diet low in fiber and low intake of fluids, our first reaction might be to reach for a laxative to speed things up and solve the problem.</p> <p>While it may work in the short-term, if you find yourself taking laxatives too often, you run the risk of doing long-term damage, resulting in a digestive tract that’s ‘lazy’ and dependent on the product. (Ref. 1)</p> <p>Nasal sprays to combat the stuffy, runny noses of allergy season also have the potential for addiction, because chronic use leads to inflammation that results in swelling, essentially requiring more and more of the spray to get the same effects.</p> <h2>The story of addiction</h2> <p>Drugs and alcohol addiction is similar, and as users grow more accustomed to their drug of choice, they need more and more to feel the same effects.</p> <p>Food - at least junk food, which we reach for when we’re not getting the vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids our bodies need for fuel - is no different.</p> <p>Experts believe that fat and sugar activate the same pleasure responses in the brain as drugs like heroin or cocaine, making an addiction hard to break.</p> <p>Of course all this raises the question: If supplements provide the feel-good nutrients we need, does the same theory hold true?</p> <h2>Supplements: Do our bodies become immune?</h2> <p>Not so fast.</p> <p>Generally speaking, even though a supplement like Total Balance provides us with the nutrients we need to feel our best, it does not over time lose effectiveness, and we don’t require more and more of the supplement in order to achieve the same results.</p> <p>Our supplements are created with synergy in mind, and are designed to work as a whole – not as a series of separate ingredients. Each ingredient encourages the others to provide more benefits, creating an environment that inspires your body to work harder and better no matter what activity you might be involved in.</p> <p>Although experts recommend taking dietary supplements daily in order to get the full benefits, some also recommend taking a break from supplements for a week or two, every six months to a year.</p> <p>However, taking a break does leave you without the nutrients that you won't be getting from diet alone, so it’s important to eat a healthy diet to maintain good health.</p> <p>And if you don’t want to take a break, don’t.</p> <p>“We consider this to be a matter of personal preference,” our experts say. “If you do decide to take a break, we recommend that it is limited to two weeks once per year. Otherwise the benefit of the product will be reduced.”</p> <p>The break can be used as a time to develop more awareness of your body and how it feels, or to determine any changes to sleep patterns or energy, allowing you to reassess your health goals and how to reach them.</p> <p>Supplementing a baby’s diet, however, may  pose some risks.</p> <p>Supplementing at an early age can cause a degree of “laziness,” because the body may miss the opportunity to learn how to use the nutrients it takes in, supplementation may have the potential to trigger a dependence on supplements. (Ref. 2)</p> <h2>Hormones: A different story</h2> <p>Hormone supplements, too, come with risks.</p> <p>Because our bodies have the ability to make the hormones we need, when we supplement with either natural or synthetic hormones – often prescribed during menopause for women who have not developed cancer or for men who have sexual dysfunction related to low testosterone -  our bodies become lazy and we slow our own production of the hormones. (Ref. 2)</p> <p>Given that hormone therapy is associated with a variety of known risks - so much so that testosterone is banned by professional sports organizations – a better idea is to create an optimum environment for our bodies to do their jobs. </p> <h2>References:</h2> <ol> <li><a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/healthconditions/Digestive_Health.aspx">http://www.xtend-life.com/healthconditions/Digestive_Health.aspx</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/News/Xtend-Life-Newsletter_Archive/Article/11-02-01/Xtend-Life_News_Issue_12_2011.aspx">http://www.xtend-life.com/News/Xtend-Life-Newsletter_Archive/Article/11-02-01/Xtend-Life_News_Issue_12_2011.aspx</a></li> </ol> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-06-01/Do_supplements_make_your_body_nutritionally_lazy.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-06-01/Do_supplements_make_your_body_nutritionally_lazy.aspx 0883c735-c34e-4d61-8ee4-3b8c1313f3d4 Sat, 31 May 2014 23:50:00 GMT Split the difference: Morning and late afternoon doses yield best results <p>With most things in life, timing is important, and the same holds true when it comes to taking your supplements.</p> <p>Our bodies are busy virtually all the time – except for a short period at night when it shuts down for deep, restorative rest. Otherwise, it’s on the go, even when we’re sitting down to watch our favorite television program.</p> <p>But just as in the biblically-inspired Byrds song “Turn, Turn, Turn,” there is a time for everything, and experts say knowing the best time to tackle things can help your body work at its best.</p> <p>Since the beginning of mankind, we’ve been hardwired to follow an internal body clock, which lets our body know when it’s time to sleep, eat, move or ovulate, among other things.</p> <p>Known as the circadian rhythm – and a cycle also followed by plants and animals – our internal clock impacts not only impacts sleep and mealtimes, but also body temperature, brain activity, cell regeneration, hormone production and myriad other biological activities.</p> <p>Lots of things can throw us off – a late-night movie fest, a missed lunch, sleeping late on the weekends – potentially leading to a wide range of health risks including weight gain, depression and a host of illnesses and diseases.</p> <p>“If you can get your innate body rhythms in sync with the food, activity, and rest you need, you can not only get healthier but even feel better day to day," Dr. Matthew Edlund, author of “The Body Clock Advantage,” told WebMD.com. (Ref. 1)</p> <h2>Improving the process</h2> <p>So what does this have to do with supplements?</p> <p>We need fuel for all that work, and taking your supplements properly – we recommend splitting the dose between morning and late afternoon, when your stomach is empty – ensures that your body has the proper fuel on board to complete all of its functions.</p> <p>Our <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/Product/Total_Balance_Range.aspx">Total Balance formulas</a> are designed to feed your cells so your body is able to perform all of those biological activities better. </p> <p>We've spent a long time researching the synergy behind the product – how all the ingredients work together to create one powerful whole – to determine how much of each nutrient is most beneficial and when it should be released to do the most good.</p> <p>We also researched the delivery of those nutrients – and rather than the traditional tablet or capsule, our Total Balance supplements are created with a special <a class="thickbox" href="http://www.xtend-life.com/popup/info/Enteric_Coating.aspx">enteric coating</a> that ensures the nutrients aren't damaged by stomach acids during the digestion process and can instead travel to the upper intestine where they can be released.</p> <p>The right amount of nutrients are packed into doses ranging from four to seven tablets, allowing them to be split between morning and late afternoon, ensuring that your body has the fuel it needs for the activities it performs during the day as well as the right fuel for those things it tackles at night while we’re sleeping. Because nighttime is such a busy time for our bodies – we rebuild muscle that we injure during exercise, we create new cells, we release hormones – providing some nutrients closer to bedtime will ensure a well-fed system that will be functioning at its best, even when we’re not awake to keep an eye on things.</p> <p>As we said, timing is important.</p> <p>In fact, because of our circadian rhythms, timing is a crucial element to the effectiveness of the nutrients.</p> <h2>Story of synthetics</h2> <p>Synthetics, of course, are a different story.</p> <p>Most experts will say to take synthetic vitamins with food – ideally breakfast or lunch - to generate the most benefits. That’s because synthetic vitamins are ineffective and can’t be used by the body without having the essential micronutrients provided by the food on board. If you take them without food, they have to hunt for the micronutrient, and will grab it from elsewhere in the body, potentially triggering nutrient deficiencies.</p> <p>According to naturopathic physician Dr. Daniel Chong, a wide range of studies have shown that some synthetic nutrients are similar to refined foods, so far removed from the real thing that they are unlikely to do any real good.</p> <p>In fact, our bodies can treat them as foreign substances, and instead waste precious energy rejecting them.</p> <h2>Vitamins: A closer look</h2> <p>One of the reasons why we recommend splitting the dose of many of our supplements including Total Balance is that it contains some water-soluble vitamins such as vitamin C, which dissipates quickly in the body, so replenishing it often ensures that it will be available to your body when you need it.</p> <p>Fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K should be taken with some kind of fat – preferably our <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Omega_3_DHA_Fish_Oil.aspx">Omega-3/DHA fish oil</a> – so that they can be best put to use.</p> <p>Our <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Core_Wellness_Activators.aspx">Core Wellness Activators</a> – our Total Balance formulas for cell health, our Kiwi-Klenz for digestive health and maximum nutrient absorption and our Omega-3 fish oil supplements for circulation and lubrication – are designed to work together to ensure that the nutrients you take in are used to the best of your body’s ability, creating an environment where energy and well-being will flourish.</p> <p>Although, this is all depends on the person taking the supplement. Some of our customers follow a strict regimen where they even set reminders for themselves to take their morning and afternoon split doses of Total Balance.</p> <p>However, for many others (including our Chairman, Warren Matthews), it’s far more convenient taking the whole lot first thing in the morning. “I really don’t think it makes a significant difference,” says Warren.</p> <p>“Some people feel that they get greater benefits when they split the dosage between morning and afternoons. Others, myself included, prefer taking our supplements in one hit and we still find we’re getting the benefits of the product. The first reason is convenience and the second is that some customers find that if they take their supplements after 3pm, the nutritional boost to their system sometimes affects their sleep. Personally, I take my full daily dose of <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Total_Balance_Unisex_Premium.aspx">Total Balance Premium</a>, <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Kiwi-Klenz_Digestive_Supplement.aspx">Kiwi-Klenz</a>, <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Male_Rejuvenator.aspx">Male Rejuvenator</a> and <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Omega_3_QH_Ultra.aspx">Omega 3/QH Ultra</a> in one hit first thing in the morning before I start my day.”</p> <h2>Reference:</h2> <ol> <li>WebMD – The Best Time of Day <a href="http://www.webmd.com/women/features/the-best-time-of-the-day">http://www.webmd.com/women/features/the-best-time-of-the-day</a></li> </ol> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-05-29/Split_the_difference_Morning_and_late_afternoon_doses_yield_best_results.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-05-29/Split_the_difference_Morning_and_late_afternoon_doses_yield_best_results.aspx 6991a6de-6195-4fc2-abdc-e97518b75dd4 Wed, 28 May 2014 20:47:00 GMT Total Balance: How long will it take to notice the benefits? <p>For many of us, waking up feeling good is our most important goal of the day.</p> <p>We want to have the energy we need to tackle responsibilities at home and at work while finding time to cook healthy meals and grab a workout, and with our fast-paced, info-at-our fingertips lifestyle, we want it now.</p> <p>Eating a healthy diet – one that supports energy and provides us with the foundation we need to perform – is half the battle.</p> <p>But many of us still are looking for a pill or product to make us feel better, ease stress and protect us from future illness. In fact, in 2006 alone, Americans spent almost $23 billion on supplements as a way to improve health, most commonly popping multivitamins, calcium, vitamin C, fish oil and vitamin A. (Ref. 1)</p> <h2>The big supplement scam</h2> <p>Then, late last year, an editorial suggesting that supplements aren’t really worth the money captured worldwide attention.</p> <p>Experts on both sides weighed in, and a lot of good information about the supplement industry was revealed, most importantly, the overwhelming instance of synthetic nutrients that occupy most supplement bottles. (Ref. 2)</p> <p>That’s something Xtend-Life founder Warren Matthews has known ever since he embarked on his search for his own synergistic formula for good health, and turned up little more than disappointing news about how synthetics are processed - using coal tar and other toxins – and how they are made to look identical to natural nutrients, but actually aren’t.</p> <h2>Total Balance is different</h2> <p>When Matthews started on his journey, he realized most of the supplements on the market were what he called “a joke,” so he decided to do something about it.</p> <p>He teamed up with an industry expert, Dr. Munem Daoud, and the two worked together to create Total Balance, a supplement that is much more than a multivitamin. It contains more than 70 different ingredients including enzymes, vitamins, amino acids and micro-nutrients that have been shown to help fight off health problems and slow down the aging process.</p> <p>It is designed to offer a complete system of nutrients to feed and revitalize all of your cells, providing the energy we’re all looking for when we get out of bed.</p> <h2>When will I notice results?</h2> <p>For someone who is suffering from nutrient deficiencies, eating an unhealthy diet or isn’t getting much exercise, you’ll likely notice the effects of Total Balance right away, as cells that were starved for nutrients start to be nourished. (Ref. 3)</p> <p>Total Balance also features ingredients that encourage the release of toxins, which may initially cause unexpected – but normal – adjustments.</p> <p>“Depending upon the state of your health you may experience symptoms such as slight nausea or headaches over the first few days,” our experts say. “This can occur if you have high levels of toxins in your body. Total Balance helps to activate your system to get rid of them, sometimes resulting in these mild temporary feelings.  If you experience this we recommend that you reduce the dose rate until they pass.”</p> <p>Women who suffer from hot flashes, PMS or stress may also experience pretty rapid results, but for others – especially those who have a healthy lifestyle at the start of their regimen – the nutrients and their beneficial effects may build up over the course of two or three months.</p> <p>Most people taking <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/Product/Total_Balance_Range.aspx">Total Balance</a> may experience an increase in energy and an improved sense of well-being, but for some, changes may be so subtle they won’t be noticed unless you stop taking the supplement. In fact, the benefits can be so gradual that you really don't notice them at all until you realize that last year you didn't get the usual one or two colds or, didn't catch the flu.</p> <p>To get an idea of how quickly the products might start working for you, consider the following testimonials:</p> <blockquote> <p>“After two months taking <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Total_Balance_Womens_Premium.aspx">Total Balance Women's Premium</a> and <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Omega_3_DHA_Fish_Oil_Premium.aspx">Fish Oil Premium</a>, I am noticeably healthier and more relaxed with increased energy and resistance to the winter bugs.”</p> <p style="text-align: right;">Nikki in Australia.</p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p>I had cancelled my loyalty order last year around this time and I have to say it was the worst decision I made. My wife had started on them and she noticed a big difference quickly (who doesn't) and that was on half the recommended amount. I also have missed the noticeable benefits. I have taken vitamins my entire life. Everything from local store brands up to the top of the line commercially available products. No line of product has affected me as dramatically and as quickly as Xtend-life Supplements. Thank you for a great product.”</p> <p style="text-align: right;">Trevor in the US</p> </blockquote> <p></p> <p>In the years since the development of <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/Product/Total_Balance_Range.aspx">Total Balance</a>, the formula has been tweaked as more research has been unearthed about the ingredients in the supplement and how they are used in the body.</p> <h2>References:</h2> <ol> <li><a href="http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/vitamins-supplements-test-your-knowledge">http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/vitamins-supplements-test-your-knowledge</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.ystark.org/page/good-health">http://www.ystark.org/page/good-health</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Total_Balance_Mens_Premium/FAQ.aspx">http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Total_Balance_Mens_Premium/FAQ.aspx</a></li> </ol> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-05-28/Total_Balance_How_long_will_it_take_to_notice_the_benefits.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-05-28/Total_Balance_How_long_will_it_take_to_notice_the_benefits.aspx 4a01f640-5eb5-4df3-b180-c348d57b2b9e Wed, 28 May 2014 02:51:00 GMT The Bee's Knees <p>Honey is incredible for your skin thanks to its antibacterial properties and hefty serving of antioxidants.</p> <p>However before you go slapping the sticky stuff onto your face understand that if you want the maximum beauty benefits of Honey - you need to make sure you’re heading for the right pot!</p> <p>While Manuka Honey has proven healing benefits for our skin, the unique enzymes found in Manuka Honey are one of the key qualities that have been proven for to contribute to its healing properties. </p> <p>Methylglyoxal is the compound identified as the active ingredient primarily responsible for the antibacterial activity in Manuka Honey. The higher the level of methylglyoxal, the greater the level of antibacterial activity.</p> <p>Methylglyoxal is rich in natural antioxidants that have anti-microbial properties. As a general rule the darker the honey the greater and more potent the antibacterial and antioxidant power.</p> <p>The wide range of proven healing benefits for the skin include -</p> <p> </p> <ul> <li><strong>Pores:</strong> Open and cleanse pores.  Making them easy to unclog.</li> <li><strong>Acne:</strong> Natural antibacterial.   Manuka Honey is great for acne treatment and prevention.</li> <li><strong>Aging: </strong>With loads of antioxidants.  Manuka Honey is great for slowing the appearance of aging.</li> <li><strong>Complexion:</strong> Moisturizing and soothing.  Helps your skin glow.</li> </ul> <p></p> <p>Xtend-Life Natural Products has long understood the benefits of applying Manuka Honey topically, and we have harnessed the power of these bees hard work in most of our beauty products. </p> <h2>Cleanse</h2> <p>A good starting point is our <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/skincare/foaming_facial_cleanser.aspx">Foaming Facial Cleanser</a>. This product helps restore and hydrate skin, improving skin tone and helping your skin to look younger and softer.  Packed with natural ingredients, it’s great for your skin, and such a simple addition to your daily routine.</p> <p>Let the bees do all the work - all you have to do is wash your face.</p> <h2>Moisturize</h2> <p>To further harness the full power of the bee’s great work our <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/skincare/Night_Cream_Women.aspx">Restorative Night Cream</a> is a product you should not go past.  Formulated to penetrate deeply into your skin, targeting the three main causes of aging skin which are loss of collagen and elastin, lower levels of hyaluronic acid and oxidation through the action of free radicals. Finally…a truly effective product that works to support healthy, youthful skin while you are sleeping.</p> <h2>Correct</h2> <p>Our eyes show the first signs of aging,  so our range would not be complete without our <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/skincare/Eye_Serum_Women.aspx">Eye Contour Serum</a>. This soothing and delightfully refreshing serum backed by a sophisticated formulation which includes Manuka Honey will work to protect, firm and revive the delicate skin around your eyes.</p> <p>Mother Nature does have her own healing benefits, which is something our ancestors instinctively knew. Manuka Honey gives simplicity, purity and vitality to our unique skin care range. Packed with  unique blends of natural &amp; botanical ingredients working in harmony with Mother Nature.</p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-05-21/The_Bee_s_Knees.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-05-21/The_Bee_s_Knees.aspx 6402ecb6-3b2b-476f-a228-8a762ed5aa33 Tue, 20 May 2014 21:00:00 GMT GOED Health Claims petition on blood pressure benefits of omega-3s <p>The US FDA has started the initial review of a petition received from GOED, asking the agency to allow a new authorized health claim about the benefits of omega 3’s.</p> <p>The petition, filed by the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED) (Ref. 1), calls for an authorized health claim regarding the relationship between the consumption of EPA and DHA – the two fatty acids in fish oil – and a reduction in blood pressure.</p> <p>Hypertension impacts almost a billion people worldwide, and because it puts stress on the blood vessels, can lead to heart disease and stroke. High blood pressure is often called “the silent killer,” because many sufferers aren’t even aware they have it.</p> <p>According to the petition, a meta-analysis of 70 randomized studies found that supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids significantly reduced blood pressure – and may be more effective than reducing sodium or alcohol and equally effective as increasing exercise. (Ref. 2)</p> <p>Those with existing high blood pressure saw the best results, though those at risk of developing hypertension also benefitted from omega-3 supplements.</p> <p>“Overall, available evidence indicates that provision of EPA and DHA reduces systolic blood pressure, while provision of less than 2 grams reduces diastolic blood pressure,” wrote researchers from the Center for Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Computational Biology at Exponent, Inc., who headed the study.</p> <p>Previous studies had shown a link between omega-3s and lower blood pressure, but the research has been limited in scope and has included food sources. The current study – which appeared in March in the American Journal of Hypertension – focused on supplements, and cast a wider net while analyzing data published over the last two years.</p> <p>Researchers found that compared to a placebo, supplements containing both DHA and EPA significantly reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressures, reducing the risk of disease.</p> <p>The American Heart Association previously acknowledged that omega-3 fatty acids can help lower blood pressure, and the group recommends eating at least two servings of fatty fish a week. (Ref. 3)</p> <p>The results were welcomed – but not unexpected – by longtime proponents of the health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids.</p> <p>“Results from this study build on a wealth of prior data indicating that EPA plus DHA intake reduced the risk of cardiovascular events,” said Adam Ismail, executive director of GEOD. “It is now well-established that EPA and DHA reduce triglycerides and blood pressure and even highly critical meta-analyses have found that they reduce cardiac death risk by 9 percent.” (Ref. 4)</p> <p>The FDA received the petition on April 24 and now has 100 days to either file for a comprehensive review of the request – which would include a review of all 70 studies including in the March research - or deny it. A denial could come as official action from the FDA or a lack of action from the group during the 100-day time period.</p> <p>If the petition is submitted for review, the FDA will publish proposed regulations for the requested use of the health claim in the Federal Register and will announce the availability of the petition for public review. If the petition goes to review, a final ruling from the FDA will come within 270 days, although the review period could be extended.</p> <p>The petition was initially submitted in November, but the FDA required additional information, which it received and acknowledged on April 24.</p> <p>The 100-day decision period ends on Aug. 1. You can read more about the <a href="http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=4ae075406cd789efec4e9ff09&amp;id=6706a9e937&amp;e=03a19ffb67">GOED petition here</a>.</p> <p>GOED is the leading industry organization representing omega 3’s.  It is GOED’s mission to research the health benefits of omega 3 DHA &amp; EPA, promote the health benefits and promote the highest standards throughout the industry.</p> <p><img alt="" src="/Images/Seals/GoedMember_62x80.png" style="float: right;" />Xtend-Life Natural Products is a member of GOED, and we fully support GOED’s efforts to promote the health benefits of omega 3’s and the highest standards in the industry.</p> <p>For further information on Xtend-Life’s Omega3 products, please <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Omega_3_Fish_Oil_Supplements.aspx">click here</a>. </p> <h2>References:</h2> <p>1. GOED website: <a href="http://www.goedomega3.com">http://www.goedomega3.com</a></p> <p>2. American Journal of Hypertension - A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials<br /> <a href="http://ajh.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/03/06/ajh.hpu024.abstract?sid=13a718e4-4272-4406-a9e2-e2ba496d7ed7">http://ajh.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/03/06/ajh.hpu024.abstract?sid=13a718e4-4272-4406-a9e2-e2ba496d7ed7</a></p> <p>3. American Heart Association - Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids<br /> <a href="http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyDietGoals/Fish-and-Omega-3-Fatty-Acids_UCM_303248_Article.jsp">http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyDietGoals/Fish-and-Omega-3-Fatty-Acids_UCM_303248_Article.jsp</a></p> <p>4. NUTRA Ingredients-USA<br /> <a href="http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Research/Significant-clinical-impact-Meta-analysis-finds-omega-3s-equal-lifestyle-changes-for-blood-pressure-benefits">http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Research/Significant-clinical-impact-Meta-analysis-finds-omega-3s-equal-lifestyle-changes-for-blood-pressure-benefits</a></p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-05-19/GOED_Health_Claims_petition_on_blood_pressure_benefits_of_omega-3s.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-05-19/GOED_Health_Claims_petition_on_blood_pressure_benefits_of_omega-3s.aspx f78efff6-e82e-42d9-8b32-8158b13d016a Mon, 19 May 2014 00:14:00 GMT Are Human Supplements Safe for Pets? <p>We consider our pets to be members of our families, mostly because their “welcome home, I missed you” wags, licks and purrs can erase the stress of even the worst of days. So of course we want what’s best for them. </p> <p>We take them on hikes with new scenery, buy them sweaters to wear during colder weather and scan the supplement aisles at the pet store or the pet aisle at our local supermarket in search of products to boost their health.</p> <p>According to estimates, as many as a third of the dogs and cats in the United States are taking supplements, including multivitamins for overall health, glucosamine for arthritic joints, probiotics for digestive issues and Omega-3s for a shiny coat. </p> <p>Consumers spend approximately $2 billion per annum on pet supplements, analysts say.</p> <h2>Pet products under the microscope</h2> <p>Glucosamine/chondroitin is a common recommendation for older pets suffering from arthritis or other joint pain.</p> <p>A study from the National Animal Supplement Council also found pet products lacking . Its study revealed that 25 percent of companies marketing joint support products for animals were offering supplements that didn’t meet label claims.</p> <p>Pet products also carry the same concerns as most standard supplements for humans; because they are often synthetic versions of the natural nutrient, the body may not recognize it or absorb it, which only exacerbates the problem.</p> <p>“The quality of these products is a major, major concern,” said Dawn M. Boothe, director of the clinical pharmacology lab at the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine.</p> <p>Given the questions surrounding pet products, are human-grade options a better choice?</p> <h2>Vitamin overload a risk for dogs</h2> <p>According to the experts, pets too can get too much of a good thing, maybe not with belly rubs, but absolutely when it comes to vitamins. </p> <p>Too much calcium can cause skeletal problems, especially in large-breed dogs, vitamin A in high levels can damage blood vessels and too much vitamin D can trigger a dog to stop eating, among other health risks.</p> <p>Many experts recommend that our pets get their nutrients primarily from pet food, supplemented with fruits and veggies to ensure that they take in a wide range of nutrients.</p> <p>But given that many pet foods are lacking when it comes to essential nutrients, and are made with questionable products under questionable circumstances, our pets still may not be getting the nutrients they need for optimum health.</p> <h2>Are human-grade options a better choice?</h2> <p>Because there is more regulation of human-grade supplements, they are essentially safer than pet-grade products, but there are still plenty of questions.</p> <p>As we’ve mentioned, many of the supplements on the market not only don’t do much good – studies have shown that supplement users often show no signs of having consumed nutrients when tested – they often do a little bit of harm. Even though synthetic versions of vitamins look the same under a microscope, they aren’t structurally identical and may be missing a key micronutrient required for our bodies to absorb them. To make up for the missing micronutrient, they take it from elsewhere in the body, potentially creating a nutritional deficit.</p> <p>Natural options are best for humans and pets, and omega-3 fish oil – including Xtend-Life’s four <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Omega_3_Fish_Oil_Supplements.aspx">Omega-3/DHA</a> options – is an especially a good option for our furry friends, who often are at risk for joint pain as they age.</p> <p>“The fish oil is certainly OK,” says Nicolien De Vries, former medical herbalist at Xtend-Life. “I would not give one daily but every now and again one squeezed soft gel in food, or just by itself. The same health benefits from Omega 3 apply for cats [and dogs] as well as for us. It is very good for the immune system, cardiovascular health and joint disorders, or simply as a preventative supplement.”</p> <p>“Both cats and dogs benefit greatly from frequent squeezing of the contents of our Omega 3 DHA out of soft gels on to their meal.  This can help keep their coats nice and shiny and healthy looking,” said Xtend-Life founder and chairman Warren Matthews.  </p> <p>Warren also suggests <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Kiwi-Klenz_Digestive_Supplement.aspx">Kiwi-Klenz</a> could very well benefit your pet’s digestive system too. </p> <p>Dogs with joint pain may also benefit from our <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Green_Lipped_Mussel_Powder.aspx">Green Lipped Mussel Powder</a>, designed to ease joint pain and ease movement.  Just open the capsule and add to food.</p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-05-19/Are_Human_Supplements_Safe_for_Pets.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-05-19/Are_Human_Supplements_Safe_for_Pets.aspx 0f8c8159-46ac-42fc-a7ac-e0bdb433e42f Sun, 18 May 2014 21:55:00 GMT Joint Health - Start Now <p>More than 175 million people worldwide – at least 10 percent of the global population above the age of 60 - suffer from at least one of the myriad forms of arthritic diseases.</p> <p>It is the most common reason we head to the doctor’s office (ref. 1), and while hundreds of conditions fall into the category of arthritis, the most prevalent forms are osteoarthritis, a degeneration of the joint caused by an injury or age that leads to a loss of cushioning, and rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation – specifically to the joints.</p> <p>Both cause difficulty moving, pain and stiffness, and the two combined help make arthritis-related diseases the fourth leading causes of disability, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Ref. 2). To raise awareness of the preventative measures we can take to protect our joints and connective tissues and keep them healthy, May has been designated Arthritis Awareness Month in the United States to draw attention to arthritis in all its forms.</p> <h2>Battle of the sexes</h2> <p>Like many other health conditions, arthritis looks very different for women and men.</p> <p>Sixty percent of all arthritis sufferers are women, and they are more likely to develop issues after the age of 50, while men are more likely to experience the joint pain of arthritis before the age of 45.</p> <p>There are a variety of factors at play here. Men tend to develop problems in their wrists, hips or spine – in part because of work-related repetitive motions or sports injuries - while women more often see problems develop in their hands, knees, ankles and feet, often related to repetitive motion. (Ref. 2)</p> <p>The same key factors contribute to joint pain for both sexes, however, including age, injury, inflammation, weight and loss of muscle mass.</p> <p>Many of these problems can be prevented by taking the right steps toward good health, experts say.</p> <h2>Low Impact Exercise Helps</h2> <p>One of the most effective ways to east joint pain is walking (Ref. 3). It has been shown to not only lessen pain, but also decrease fatigue and improve the quality of life for people who suffer from any form of joint pain.</p> <p>It can be done virtually anywhere – outside to enjoy nature or inside at the gym or mall to avoid the added stress of hills or rugged terrain – and walking needs absolutely no equipment, aside from a good pair of shoes.</p> <p>Experts suggest at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week for good health – that’s 30 minutes per day, five days per week - and walking is a low-impact exercise that isn’t too hard on your knees, hips or joints.</p> <p>If pain is a problem, the 30-minute walk can be broken into 10-minute, more manageable sessions throughout the day – perfect for walking the dog or taking a trek around the grocery store.</p> <p>Making sure to get enough exercise – swimming and yoga are other low-impact choices - can also help control your weight. Carrying extra weight puts added stress on your joints, putting you at greater risk of developing problems. (Ref. 5)</p> <h2>Diet</h2> <p>The primary cause of arthritis is often a diet lacking in essential nutrients (ref. 4), which doesn’t really bode well for the kids who are growing up on drive-through dinners and processed foods.</p> <p>Eating a healthy diet – especially the highly-touted Mediterranean diet, which focuses on fish, veggies, nuts, olive oil and seeds – is one of the best things we can do to keep ourselves healthy throughout our lives.</p> <p>The right foods can keep bones and muscles strong as well as ensure that our joints are naturally lubricated and protected against future ailments.</p> <p>But given how difficult it can be to take in all the nutrients we need on a regular basis, supplements can make a big difference.</p> <h2>Why Vitamin D is Important</h2> <p>According to a recent study, low levels of vitamin D have been linked to knee pain, and could ultimately predict future problems. (Ref. 6)</p> <p>Vitamin D is important for bone, cartilage and muscle function, but it is not found in many foods.</p> <p>A study, from the University of Tasmania in Australia, focused on both men and women aged 50 and above, found that those whose blood showed lower levels of vitamin D at the start of the study were more likely to experience knee pain at the end of the five-year study.</p> <p>Additional vitamin D supplements for those with normal levels who also had knee pain did not yield any results, however.</p> <p>“Moderate vitamin D deficiency independently predicts incident, or worsening of, knee pain over 5 years and, possibly, hip pain over 2.4 years,” researchers said. “Therefore correcting moderate vitamin deficiency may attenuate worsening of knee or hip pain in elderly people but giving supplements to those with a higher 25-OHD level is unlikely to be effective.”</p> <p>Xtend-Life Chairman, Warren Matthews, shares his experience of having a healthy level of vitamin D in his system. “I am almost 67 years old and do not have a hint of arthritis or joint pain. When tested recently for vitamin D levels, mine were very high. I do not take any vitamin D supplements other than what is present in our <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/Product/Total_Balance_Range.aspx">Total Balance</a> but I get a lot of healthy exposure to sunlight which is likely why my vitamin D levels are high”.</p> <h2>Omega-3, GLM benefits</h2> <p>According to multiple studies, the omega-3 fatty acids in fish and fish oil supplements have been shown to may help support joints health and reduce joint pain and stiffness. (Ref. 2)</p> <p>And while the supplements were not shown to slow the progression of existing disease, maintaining proper lubrication through our <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Omega_3_Fish_Oil_Supplements.aspx">Omega-3/DHA fish oils</a> and other supplements such as our <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Green_Lipped_Mussel_Powder.aspx">Green Lipped Mussel Powder</a> may help maintain healthy joints, ease existing joint pain and manage inflammation that can wreak havoc on the body.</p> <p>Without the proper lubrication, the joint isn’t properly cushioned and won’t work as it should, leading to degeneration and inflammation that often result in pain. After the problem arises, corrective steps include injections of fluid or other surgical interventions, so preventative measures just make sense.</p> <h2>References:</h2> <ol> <li><a href="http://edition.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/02/27/CL.joint.health/index.html?_s=PM:HEALTH">http://edition.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/02/27/CL.joint.health/index.html?_s=PM:HEALTH</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.cdc.gov/features/arthritisawareness/">http://www.cdc.gov/features/arthritisawareness/</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.webmd.com/arthritis/caring-your-joints">http://www.webmd.com/arthritis/caring-your-joints</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/healthconditions/Arthritis.aspx">http://www.xtend-life.com/healthconditions/Arthritis.aspx</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arthritis/basics/risk-factors/con-20034095">http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arthritis/basics/risk-factors/con-20034095</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23595144">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23595144</a></li> </ol> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-05-19/Joint_Health_-_Start_Now.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-05-19/Joint_Health_-_Start_Now.aspx 2a808769-e211-4ad2-a10e-ca9174eca1e8 Sun, 18 May 2014 21:00:00 GMT Making Simple Changes to your Diet: Anti-Inflammatory Eating <p>If you need more proof that you are what you eat – perhaps to ease your guilt over last night’s double cheeseburger – look no further than a new study out of New Zealand, which found that simple dietary changes can have a profound effect on inflammation, even in as little as six weeks.</p> <p>Inflammation  - the body’s response to injury or infection as a way to heal itself  - is an important factor in many chronic conditions including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, autoimmune disorders and some cancers. (Ref. 1)</p> <p>The links to disease come when that inflammation triggers more inflammation, creating a cycle that ultimately impacts the body’s ability to repair itself.</p> <h2>Foods and inflammation: The link</h2> <p>We know that eating a diet high in fats and sugars can leave us feeling tired and grumpy because the meals are digested and converted to blood glucose almost immediately. This provides a quick burst of energy that just as quickly dissipates, causing us to crash and burn.</p> <p>We then usually find ourselves turning to more food to restore our energy, a move that leads to weight gain, continued lethargy and a host of other health problems, including inflammation.</p> <p>When Morgan Spurlock ate nothing but McDonald’s meals for 30 days as fodder for his 2004 documentary “Super Size Me,” he not only gained weight and put his heart at risk, he also suffered from mood swings and sexual dysfunction.</p> <p>One of the culprits was inflammation, a by-product of his poor diet.</p> <p>Fast food is closely linked to inflammation, along with fried foods, processed foods, trans-fats, sugar and sugar substitutes, cured meats, dairy products, gluten and food additives. (Ref. 2)</p> <p>The end result – and evidence that if you eat junk, you’ll get junk in return - is joint pain, fatigue and chronic high blood sugar, which can damage blood vessels, cause type 2 diabetes and trigger heart disease.</p> <h2>Food: A love story</h2> <p>When Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food” – way back in 431 B.C. – we should have paid more attention. But he hardly expected the trajectory the food world would follow, including the advent of TV dinners, processed foods with no natural ingredients and fruit juices that contain little more than sugar and water.</p> <p>Most likely the man who touted herbal remedies for most ailments – and is today considered the father of modern medicine - would be turning in his grave given a look at what we often call a meal.</p> <p>To cement the link between diet and inflammation, Lynette Ferguson, a professor of nutrition at Auckland University, launched a study that focused on tweaking the diets of otherwise healthy volunteers who weren’t really eating right.</p> <p>In place of the foods that had been eating, including refined, processed foods, study participants were encouraged to switch to a healthier diet – one including fish (with salmon at least once per week), fruits and veggies, good fats from foods including nuts, olive oil and avocados  - for six weeks.</p> <p>To access the results, Ferguson looked at several key factors, including the biomarker, C-reactive protein (CRP), which has been linked to inflammation.</p> <p>After the six-week study – intended to serve as a pilot to encourage further research – the CRP biomarkers were significantly lower in all participants.</p> <p>“This is a remarkable result,” Ferguson said. “since it shows that average people, many of them young and with no health conditions, can, through an improvement in diet,  significantly modify the biomarkers that indicate the risk that they could develop a chronic disease later.“</p> <h2>Dietary tips for better health</h2> <p>Previous studies have linked omega-3 fatty acids, berries, nuts, veggies including tomatoes, beets, leafy greens, garlic, onions and ginger as well as the antioxidant-rich spice turmeric to lower inflammation. (Ref. 4)</p> <p>But there are other things we can do to keep inflammation – and the potentially life-threatening diseases that it triggers – at bay.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Fiber up.</strong> It’s important to get enough fiber in your diet, not only to help maintain healthy digestion, but also because fiber has been linked to lower levels of CRP, the biomarker for inflammation. (Ref. 3)</li> <li><strong>Limit sugar.</strong> Sugar hides in many processed foods including crackers, yogurt, bread and other unexpected places, so it can be easy to get too much if you don’t keep an eye on what you’re eating. Read labels, and limit sweet treats. (A daily bite of dark chocolate is full of antioxidants, making it a smart choice for soothing even a savage sweet tooth.)</li> <li><strong>Choose healthy fats.</strong> Good fats like olive oil, avocado and the omega-3s of fatty fish can help fight inflammation, but sometimes our diets don’t include enough of the good stuff. <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Omega_3_DHA_Fish_Oil/Inflammation.aspx">Omega-3 fish oil</a> has also been shown in studies to help fight inflammation, and can accentuate the positive effects of a healthy diet.</li> <li><strong>Get moving.</strong> Researchers in Texas recently found that those who exercised saw lower inflammation markers than those who did not (Ref. 4), more proof that diet – and exercise – are the most critical steps to good health.</li> </ul> <p>Our <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Omega_3_Fish_Oil_Supplements.aspx">Xtend-Life Omega-3/DHA fish oil supplements</a> also contain ingredients vital to brain health, giving us the ability to make smarter food choices every time we sit down to a meal.</p> <p>There is increasing evidence from many studies showing fish oils have a beneficial impact on inflammation. We believe that our fish oil, based on lab testing are superior to most others in this regard. We believe that this may be a result of the combination of highly concentrated Omega3 from Tuna, combined with non-concentrated New Zealand Hoki oil, which also retains fractions that are usually missing from concentrated oils.  In fact, our chairman about a year ago had his CRP-levels checked and the lab was amazed that his levels were the lowest they’ve ever seen! The only thing he can put it down to is his daily intake of Xtend-Life’s <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Omega_3_DHA_Fish_Oil/Inflammation.aspx">Omega-3/DHA fish oil</a>.</p> <h2>References:</h2> <ol> <li><a href="http://www.foodnavigator-asia.com/Policy/Kiwi-study-shows-diet-change-can-have-rapid-impact-on-inflammation/">http://www.foodnavigator-asia.com/Policy/Kiwi-study-shows-diet-change-can-have-rapid-impact-on-inflammation/</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.care2.com/greenliving/top-12-foods-that-cause-inflammation.html?page=1">http://www.care2.com/greenliving/top-12-foods-that-cause-inflammation.html?page=1</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20705881_4,00.html">http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20705881_4,00.html</a></li> <li><a href="http://experiencelife.com/article/fighting-inflammation/">http://experiencelife.com/article/fighting-inflammation/</a></li> </ol> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-05-14/Making_Simple_Changes_to_your_Diet_Anti-Inflammatory_Eating.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-05-14/Making_Simple_Changes_to_your_Diet_Anti-Inflammatory_Eating.aspx 5d5abae8-587a-46f2-b2cd-11059eeec510 Tue, 13 May 2014 23:18:00 GMT Lack of sleep: Can it make you sick? <p>You might think that a sleepless night here and there does little more than leave you feeling tired and reaching for the coffee.  In reality, though, the health problems that come from sleepless nights can be pretty alarming.</p> <p>So are the numbers. Did you know that as many as 64 million Americans (Ref. 1), about 1 in 3 people, regularly experience insomnia for a wide range of reasons.</p> <p>With all that exhaustion in the air, Better Sleep Month is a perfect time to take a closer look at the importance of getting our ZZZs.</p> <h2>The big sleep</h2> <p>Every night when we turn in, we give both our body and brain a chance to rest and recover from the day’s events.</p> <p>Far from being unproductive, our bodies work almost as hard during the one-third of the lives we spend sleeping as they do when we’re awake. During REM sleep, especially, we rebuild and repair our muscles and tissue and release a wide range of hormones including growth hormones and hormones related to hunger and blood glucose (Ref. 2). After a few hours of hard work, our entire body shuts down, taking a much-needed break after powering us through our busy day.</p> <p>After a good night’s sleep, we wake up feeling rested and restored, ready to start all over again.</p> <h2>What happens when we don’t sleep?</h2> <p>According to experts, sleepless nights can not only leave us feeling grumpy and irritable, it also makes us a walking time bomb. Chronic fatigue leads to impaired alertness that puts us at risk of getting into a car accident, experiencing work-related accidents and compromises our ability to make smart decisions.</p> <p>When we don’t sleep – or when we experience restless sleep – we miss out on the period of time when we shut down, a critical aspect of true rest.</p> <p>Lack of sleep also weakens the immune system (Ref. 1), leaving us more vulnerable to viral and bacterial infections and skin problems and slows healing from injuries and wounds.</p> <p>Not only that, lack of sleep can also leave us prone to headaches and depression and potentially a higher risk of obesity and diabetes.  (Ref. 3).</p> <h2>The story behind bad sleep</h2> <p>While some reasons for sleeplessness are pretty clear – caffeine just before bedtime, a colicky baby, stress (maybe from neighbors who love a good all-night party) – other reasons are trickier to determine.</p> <p>More than 80 percent of those suffering from sleep apnea – a disorder that causes breaks in breathing that erode quality sleep – have no idea, especially if they’re singletons with no partner to point out snoring or breathing abnormalities.</p> <p>Other sleep disruptors include (Ref. 4):</p> <ul> <li><strong>Pets in bed.</strong> Fido may make a great snuggle companion, but if he moves around a lot in his sleep, he could be disrupting yours.</li> <li><strong>A nightcap before bed.</strong> While it might seem that a drink or two helps you fall asleep faster, alcohol tends to disrupt sleep rhythms, so even if you fall asleep quickly, you may wake up a few hours later, and face a struggle falling back to sleep.</li> <li><strong>Somebody’s snoring.</strong> According to the Mayo Clinic, about half of all people snore from time to time. For couples with a partner who’s the snoring culprit, as many as 80% end up in separate bedrooms because the snoring is keeping the partner awake. If you stay in the same room, sleeplessness is a likely result. If you’re the snorer, you’re also likely to wake yourself up if you snore loud enough.</li> </ul> <p>Other issues include chronic pain, undiagnosed sleep disorders and restless leg syndrome, among other things.</p> <h2>Tips for a restful, restorative night</h2> <p>There are things we can do to help ourselves fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.</p> <p>Going to bed and getting up at set hours every night (Ref. 1) can make a big difference, experts say, as can skipping naps that may prevent you from falling asleep later. Getting regular exercise, especially vigorous exercise, can also help encourage a good night’s sleep.</p> <p>In your bedroom, create a cozy environment that’s conducive to sleep. Keep electronics and TV’s out of the room..</p> <p>And while we might be tempted to pop a sleeping pill, dependency is a real issue and the risks are high. Numerous people have reported injuries from driving or other activities they performed while under the influence of prescription sleeping pills when they thought they were asleep.</p> <p>Some natural sleep aids include warm milk, lean turkey or natural supplements.</p> <p>Our <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Neuro-Natural_Sleep.aspx">Neuro-Natural Sleep</a> features multiple ingredients designed to help encourage healthy sleep, including valerian, chamomile, hops and passionflower, along with 45 other ingredients that work in synergy to help promote a calm, restful night.</p> <h2>References:</h2> <ol> <li><a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Neuro-Natural_Sleep.aspx">http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Neuro-Natural_Sleep.aspx</a></li> <li><a href="http://sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/what-happens-when-you-sleep">http://sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/what-happens-when-you-sleep</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/not-enough-sleep-7-serious-health-risks">http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/not-enough-sleep-7-serious-health-risks</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/6-surprising-sleep-wreckers">http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/6-surprising-sleep-wreckers</a></li> </ol> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-05-13/Lack_of_sleep_Can_it_make_you_sick.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-05-13/Lack_of_sleep_Can_it_make_you_sick.aspx ec401203-d806-4713-8aa4-5f737b4c4a5d Mon, 12 May 2014 22:00:00 GMT The Magic of Mother's Love <p>Moms have a big job, so of course they deserve a day all to themselves to be honored. (Even if sometimes that day means burnt toast, a mess in the kitchen and a gift of flowers plucked from the flower bed she’s painstaking weeded the day before.)</p> <p>But even as you’re settling in to enjoy that charred breakfast and clean-up afterwards this May 11<sup>th</sup>, remember that as far as your kids are considered, the love you show them will reveal itself in throughout their lives.</p> <p>Mothers are the first person a child connects to on an emotional level, and studies show that when children have good relationships with their mothers, the benefits are far-reaching.</p> <h2>Long-term benefits of nurturing</h2> <p>While psychologists through the ages have pointed to mothers for a host of different psychological issues – Freud’s Oedipus complex, for one – mothers are more likely to have a positive impact on their children, having an effect on everything from healthy weight to heart disease.</p> <p>In fact, recent studies have shown that a loving mother plays a much bigger role in her child’s development than she may realize.</p> <ul> <li>A study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that children who were nurtured as babies have a bigger hippocampus – the portion of the brain responsible for learning, remembering and responding. The difference was measurable, too. Kids whose moms were loving had a 10 percent bigger hippocampus compared to kids whose moms showed little affection. (Ref. 1)</li> <li>Kids with loving moms also have a lower risk of obesity, according to researchers. Researchers at the University of Ohio found that kids who had a weak emotional bond to their mothers were more likely to be overweight or obese later in life. Kids who were closer to their moms were less likely to have weight problems.</li> <li>Kids raised in nurturing families tend to have stronger, more secure romantic relationships. Research appearing the journal Psychological Science found that those who were less nurtured as babies were less nurturing as adults, causing rifts when it comes to romance.</li> <li>While growing up in poverty increases the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke, a study from the University of British Columbia found that having a loving mother reduced those risks. Researchers say that a good relationship between mother and child helps kids learn coping skills required to overcome the risks. (Ref. 2)</li> <li>Belgian researchers found that girls with good relationships with their mothers were less likely to engage in risky sexual behavior, even if exposed to thsi through the media. The attitudes about sex for boys, however, didn’t change.  (Ref. 1)</li> </ul> <h2>Loving moms kept sons on the right path</h2> <p>That’s not to say boys don’t benefit from having a loving mom.</p> <p>According to a study from the United Kingdom, boys who grew up having a loving, warm relationship with their mother were less likely to get into trouble with the law later in life. (Ref. 3)</p> <p>Researchers found that boys who were able to turn to their mothers for help and advice were calmer, more self-confident and more empathetic toward others.</p> <p>Those who didn’t were more likely to be aggressive and suffer from mental health problems, according to the study, which appeared recently in the journal Child Development.</p> <p>Ultimately, when boys were unable to seek support from their mothers they instead sought other coping mechanisms, putting them at risk of developing behavioral problems after childhood, said Pasco Fearon, associate professor of psychology at the University of Reading and head of the study.</p> <h2>Healthy things every mom should do</h2> <p>So this mother’s day, feel free to bask in the glory of all the good your love will do for your kids now and later in life. But don’t forget to take care of yourself along the way.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Eat a healthy diet.</strong> When we eat the right foods, we have the energy we need to chase after not only the kids, but later on, the grandkids, as well.</li> <li><strong>Exercise regularly.</strong> Bodies in motion tend to stay in motion, which means, essentially, move it or lose it. Those who exercise have a lower risk of developing a host of different health problems that can negatively impact later life.</li> <li><strong>Get a good night’s sleep.</strong> Without proper sleep – 7 to 8 hours a night - your body doesn’t get a chance to shut down and recharge, a vital component for true, restorative rest.</li> <li><strong>Keep stress in check.</strong> Stress can do a lot of damage, especially because when we’re stressed, we release the fight or flight hormones including cortisol and epinephrine, which have the potential to deplete energy and lead to ulcers, weight gain and depression, among other things. Exercise is a good way to combat stress, but meditation, a hot bath, deep breathing and creating an environment free from clutter can also do the trick.</li> <li><strong>Be aware of health risks.</strong> Moms who developed gestational diabetes during pregnancy have a higher risk of not only developing type 2 diabetes later in life, but also cardiovascular disease. Being aware of your health risks can help encourage you to make healthier choices to combat them.</li> <li><strong>Supplement smartly.</strong> Our Xtend-Life <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Core_Wellness_Activators.aspx">Core Wellness Activators</a> – our <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/Product/Total_Balance_Range.aspx">Total Balance formulas</a>, <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Kiwi-Klenz_Digestive_Supplement.aspx">Kiwi-Klenz</a> and <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Omega_3_Fish_Oil_Supplements.aspx">Omega-3 fish oils</a> – are designed to help our bodies be the best that they can be by providing targeted nutrients to our cells, giving both energy and well-being a boost.</li> <li><strong>Take care of your skin.</strong> When we look good, we feel good, and a good skin care regimen can make a world of difference. Our natural skin-care line offers ingredients that target free radicals and help resist the signs of aging, so you can head into those golden years looking radiant and younger.</li> </ul> <h2>References:</h2> <ol> <li><a href="http://www.everydayhealth.com/womens-health-pictures/benefits-of-a-mothers-love.aspx#/slide-7">http://www.everydayhealth.com/womens-health-pictures/benefits-of-a-mothers-love.aspx</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.ohbaby.co.nz/baby/growth-and-development/why-loving-mothers-improve-their-babys-health/">http://www.ohbaby.co.nz/baby/growth-and-development/why-loving-mothers-improve-their-babys-health/</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9041576/Mothers-love-can-prevent-illness-in-middle-age.html">http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9041576/Mothers-love-can-prevent-illness-in-middle-age.html</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/7514256/Mothers-love-keeps-sons-on-the-straight-and-narrow-study-finds.html">http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/7514256/Mothers-love-keeps-sons-on-the-straight-and-narrow-study-finds.html</a></li> </ol> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-05-09/The_Magic_of_Mother_s_Love.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-05-09/The_Magic_of_Mother_s_Love.aspx 1a6b0744-e2de-44b2-a219-0159935b7eb0 Fri, 09 May 2014 04:00:00 GMT Synergy is essential for effective supplements <p>Synergy, essentially, is the idea that when multiple elements come together and interact, the result is greater than could be achieved by each individual element on its own.</p> <p>When it comes to supplements, synergy is especially important.</p> <h2>The synergy of supplements</h2> <p>Because many ingredients interact really well with others – but some, not so much – it’s important to be aware of how each nutrient in a supplement interacts with the others before it’s included in the formula.</p> <p>It’s sort of like creating the perfect group – the book club where everyone is on the same page, the wine aficionado group with no wine snob in sight. One bad apple, essentially, has the potential to spoil the whole thing, just by being there.</p> <p>Providing the perfect balance of nutrients, enzymes and vitamins – all working in harmony – is essential to creating the perfect supplement, and it’s something we’ve researched extensively at Xtend-Life to ensure our product range is the best it can be.</p> <h2>Standard supplement standards aren't that high</h2> <p>When we consume a standard supplement, we are often taking a mix of ingredients that have been determined in separate studies to each have health benefits, all packed into a single tablet or capsule. </p> <p>What’s missing is raw knowledge about how those ingredients interact not only in our bodies, but also together.</p> <p>Some may get along just fine, but others may hinder absorption of one another, essentially reducing the efficacy of each other out.</p> <p>In the same way that a synthetic vitamin requires a missing micronutrient in order for our bodies to use it, some essential vitamins require a partner to do their best work.</p> <p>That’s where synergy comes in.</p> <h2>Nutrients in perfect harmony</h2> <p>When barbershop quartets wax poetic, it’s often about the elusive “fifth note,” a single note that is heard only when the group’s four voices come together in perfect harmony. They couldn’t experience it without each voice at its most perfect, and it’s the goal of every group.</p> <p>That’s what we’re looking for with our supplements, especially our <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/Product/Total_Balance_Range.aspx">Total Balance</a> formulas.</p> <p>“Studies have established that the correct combination of active ingredients can increase the efficacy of the individual components by as much as fifteen times,” wrote Phyllis Balch in the book “Prescription for Nutritional Healing." </p> <p>But in order to create these wonderful effects, it’s essential to combine these different ingredients carefully and specifically in order to maximize the benefits.</p> <p>Some examples of synergy include:</p> <ul> <li>Many herbal sleep remedies include both valerian and hops. The addition of the hops amplifies the effects of the valerian, so less of the herb – which can cause stomach pain in large doses – is needed to garner the same sleep-benefiting effects. (Ref. 1)</li> <li>When many people begin experiencing joint pain, they often reach for glucosamine – a recommended supplement to help support pain relief during the early stages of arthritis. Studies, however, have shown that glucosamine loses its beneficial effects over time as the body becomes accustomed to the ingredient, even in high doses. Mixing three different members of the glucosamine family - Glucosamine sulphate, Poly-N-acetyl-Glucosamine, and D-Glucosamine hydrochloride – each with subtle molecular differences, enhances the benefits and creates a synergy so those benefits don’t lessen over time.</li> </ul> <p>Essentially, when different nutrients are combined, the resulting effects can be more powerful than the results seen from taking an individual nutrient.</p> <p>With a formula such as <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/Product/Total_Balance_Range.aspx">Total Balance</a>, which is constructed with a sum of parts that becomes one harmonious whole, the results can be truly impressive – and very different to the results experienced when popping a poor quality supplement from the supermarket.</p> <p>It’s the synergy that is a key element in making it happen.</p> <h2>Refferences:</h2> <ol> <li><a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/Blog/10-11-09/Synergy_-_What_does_it_mean.aspx">http://www.xtend-life.com/Blog/10-11-09/Synergy_-_What_does_it_mean.aspx</a></li> </ol> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-05-08/Synergy_is_essential_for_effective_supplements.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-05-08/Synergy_is_essential_for_effective_supplements.aspx 52fe9aae-2cbc-4ff1-874c-046c8340766e Wed, 07 May 2014 22:00:00 GMT How Supplements May Help Support Against Allergy Symptoms <p>Pollen allergies can erase the fun of even the sunniest of spring days, and can mean trading stopping to smell the roses for sneezes and itchy, watery eyes for a chance to watch the sun set. </p> <p>Are you one of those people who dread the arrival of spring, thanks to flowers and trees in bloom? If the answer is yes, you are not alone. More than 40 million people worldwide suffer from some form of outdoor allergy.</p> <p>Today let’s look at ways we can help keep allergy symptoms at bay.</p> <h2>The bee’s knees</h2> <p>Natural herbalists have long touted bee pollen as a way to boost your immune system and bolster your defenses against allergies.</p> <p>A 2008 study in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that bee pollen may inhibit activity in the cells that respond to allergens by releasing histamine, an act that triggers the symptoms associated with allergies.</p> <p>Bee Pollen is a key ingredient in Xtend-Life’s <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Natural_Energy_with_NZ_Bee_Pollen.aspx">Natural Energy</a> supplement – you’ll also have the energy to take advantage of spring’s warmer weather – bee pollen is packed with powerful enzymes, and may also play a role in reducing the tendency toward allergies by supporting the body’s coping mechanisms and immune system.</p> <h2>Nature’s best</h2> <p>In addition to bee pollen, nature offers some other ingredients to help support the immune system and keep allergy symptoms from ruining your day.</p> <p>One of the most popular ingredients on the market today, Echinacea has a long history as a supplement to help support the health and function of the immune system.</p> <p>Also known as purple coneflower, Echinacea may have been used for centuries by Native Americans as a way to treat infections and wounds. And according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, several different studies have suggested that the herb contains active substances that enhance the immune system.</p> <p>Another plant-based immune booster is olive leaf extract.  According to experts, olive leaf works at a cellular level to help boost the body’s immune response, supporting its ability to resist bacteria, infections and viruses.</p> <h2>The spice of life</h2> <p>Nature also gives us a wide range of spices and extracts that are touted as immune boosters.</p> <p>Turmeric is a bright yellow spice common in Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian cuisine. It has a mild flavor but packs a big punch. Rich in antioxidants, turmeric is thought to help protect against inflammation and infections.</p> <p>One of the most powerful natural immune boosters, black cumin extract has been used to help support the immune system in resisting infections.</p> <h2>Supplement for better health</h2> <p>Supplements are an excellent way to take advantage of these natural immune boosters, and Xtend-Life <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/Product/Total_Balance_Range.aspx">Total Balance</a> may indeed help support your immune system, thanks to its wide range of synergistically-blended substances including black cumin, olive leaf and turmeric.</p> <p>Those who spend a lot of time in a job, hobby or any other environment where the immune system might be at risk, may consider using our <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Immu-Stay.aspx">Immu-Stay</a> supplement. This supplement offers enhanced benefits, including Echinacea and the flavonoid quercetin, found in cilantro, capers and dark, leafy greens.</p> <h2>The bottom line</h2> <p>In addition to taking supplements, there are other steps you can take to stay healthy:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and healthy fats.</strong></li> <li><strong>Stamp out the cigarettes.</strong> If you smoke, quitting is the single-most important move you can make for improved health.</li> <li><strong>Find your favorite exercise. </strong>You won’t exercise if you aren’t doing something you like, so find an activity that suits your style and go for it.</li> <li><strong>Maintain a healthy weight.</strong> Excess pounds can strain your immune system.</li> <li><strong>Wash your hands.</strong> Washing regularly can prevent the spread of germs, especially since we all touch our faces – eyes, nose and mouth, the portals through which germs enter – much more often than we think.</li> <li><strong>Get enough sleep.</strong> Not getting your ZZZs can compromise your immune system.</li> </ul> <p>If you are interested in reading more about the immune system health, the following article from the Harvard Medical School may be of interest…</p> <p><a href="http://www.health.harvard.edu/flu-resource-center/how-to-boost-your-immune-system.htm">http://www.health.harvard.edu/flu-resource-center/how-to-boost-your-immune-system.htm</a></p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-05-05/How_Supplements_May_Help_Support_Against_Allergy_Symptoms.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-05-05/How_Supplements_May_Help_Support_Against_Allergy_Symptoms.aspx 6ef8aeee-280d-40fd-b0cc-5926167b38d4 Mon, 05 May 2014 00:15:09 GMT Is Obesity Contagious? <p>I recently saw a shocking documentary called “Globesity: Fat's New Frontier,” (ref 1) which shows that by 2030 more than one billion people worldwide will fall into the ‘obese’ category - a person is classed as 'obese' if they have a Body Mass Index of more than 30 (Kg=m2).</p> <p>The primary causes of these statistics are what we know: over-eating processed foods, lack of exercise, stress, environmental toxins, imbalances in key biological functions, and so on.</p> <p>However, experts are becoming aware of another key cause, which is often ignored: the role that our social connections have on our health and happiness.</p> <p>Indeed, it has been argued, as well as empirically proven, that that obesity may be "contagious" – it is a social disease which requires, at least partly, a social cure. Let’s see how.</p> <h2>How our social connections influence our health and obesity</h2> <p>Key empirical research was conducted by Harvard researchers (ref 2) using the Framingham data. They found 5,124 friends with 53,228 connections from 1971 to 2003. Their results were striking, showing how obesity appears to break out in social clusters:</p> <ul> <li>People are 57% more likely to be obese if they had a friend who became obese.</li> <li>People are 20% more likely to be overweight if their friend’s friend is overweight, and 10% more likely to become overweight if the friend of a friend of a friend became overweight.</li> <li>Even more striking is what the researchers call ”directionality” - If John thought that Steve was his best friend and John gained weight, Steve would gain weight too. But if John didn’t think Steve was his best friend (just a friend), John was less likely to gain weight if Steve gained weight.</li> </ul> <p>What we are seeing is that people within three degrees of separation from us shape our behaviour, maybe even if we have never met them! And, critically, the more a person feels connected to someone else the more his or her behaviours affect them. </p> <p>The researcher’s conclusion was: “Network phenomena appear to be relevant to the biologic and behavioral trait of obesity, and obesity appears to spread through social ties. These findings have implications for clinical and public health interventions.”</p> <p>Indeed, look at what Microclinic International (ref 3) have achieved. Their motto is “Social networks and healthy behaviour = Contagious health”.  Their premise is that healthy and unhealthy behaviours are transmittable across social networks, so they work in and educate small groups to address both non-infectious and infectious disease epidemics such as diabetes and HIV/AIDS.</p> <p>To date, they have established and evaluated over 1,500 microclinics across four continents. As an example, Bell County, Kentucky has some of the highest rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes in the country. After the 40 weeks pilot program, 95% of the participants had dramatically improved blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, waist circumference and weight (BMI).</p> <h2>What are the Implications of these social connections?</h2> <p>These studies and evidence helped me to understand that our approach to addressing the 'epidemics' of obesity, diabetes and chronic disease may be backwards!</p> <p>That’s because much of Conventional medicine focuses on the individual as if they had no social context. So ‘personal responsibility’ and ‘self-control/restraint’ are highly recommended.</p> <p>But how can that be the whole story if you are more likely to gain weight if the friend of a friend ains weight?</p> <p>Perhaps, we need to rethink our approach to obesity and chronic disease? So, the 'patient' may not be a person but the community, a social network of people who influence each other.</p> <p>Think of the power of this approach. </p> <p>Most of us are linked in some way to many others, all of whom we can theoretically make healthier and happier by our behaviour. How we act, what we eat, if we gain or lose weight will influence the behaviour of many others, most of whom we don’t even know. </p> <p>I agree with the Harvard researchers and members of the microclinics that the way we will change our health and happiness is not only though the usual dietary, exercise etc. interventions. </p> <p>Rather, we also need to find fun and focused ways to get healthy together. Think of it as “friend power” rather than will power. Or, as I heard on the radio: “everybody needs a buddy.” </p> <p>What do you think?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!</p> <h2>References</h2> <p></p> <ol> <li>The documentary Globesity: Fat's New Frontier <a href="http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/globesity-fats-new-frontier/">http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/globesity-fats-new-frontier/</a> and <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/foreign/content/2012/s3547707.htm">http://www.abc.net.au/foreign/content/2012/s3547707.htm</a></li> <li>The Harvard study in the New England Journal of Medicine, “<a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17652652">The Spread of Obesity in a Social Network over 32 Years</a> “  <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17652652">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17652652</a></li> <li>Microclinic International <a href="http://microclinics.org/">http://microclinics.org/</a></li> </ol> <p></p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-05-02/Is_Obesity_Contagious.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-05-02/Is_Obesity_Contagious.aspx e8c0bbf9-4280-403d-bd76-03a2c50ac9da Thu, 01 May 2014 22:00:00 GMT Know your nutrients - Pregnancy and nutrition <p>If you’re a woman, the most important time to make sure you’re taking in enough nutrients is during pregnancy, when you’re responsible not only for your own health, but also for the health of your baby.</p> <p>While you should stop taking most of your supplements – or continue them with your doctors blessing – the following supplements may help support a healthy pregnancy and birth...however, it is always recommended that you confirm this and all other food, supplements and beverages with your doctor, health professional or GP.</p> <h2>Omega-3 fish oil</h2> <p>It’s important to emphasize the importance of DHA for both the brain development of the child and also to help reduce the risk of post natal depression. During pregnancy, the baby ‘robs’ the mother’s supply of DHA (an important essential fatty acid found in fish oil).  As DHA is a major factor in maintaining a good sense of well being, it is believed DHA deficiency is a significant factor in post-natal depression. Because the body cannot make DHA, it must come from the diet.  Eating fish and fish oil supplements are the most effective ways to get this.</p> <p>Research has shown that the DHA in fish oil helps support healthy birth weights and gestational periods for newborns, as well as intelligence and attention span in early years (ref 1).</p> <p>Our <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Omega_3_DHA_Fish_Oil.aspx">Omega-3/DHA fish oil</a> is a good option, including during pregnancy, however our other two versions – Omega 3/DHA Premium and Omega 3/QH Ultra – while containing safe and effective ingredients in addition to the fish oil for normal everyday use, are not recommended during your pregnancy without you seeking your doctor’s advice.</p> <h2>Kiwi-Klenz</h2> <p>Making sure your body can absorb nutrients effectively is one of the first steps toward getting enough nutrients to feed you and your baby.</p> <p>Because it is made exclusively from the whole fruit of the kiwi, there is nothing in <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Kiwi-Klenz_Digestive_Supplement.aspx">Kiwi-Klenz</a> to put you or your baby at risk during pregnancy. It is essentially the equivalent of eating several whole kiwifruits (ref 2). In fact, because it helps the body absorb nutrients more efficiently, it could ensure that the foods you eat help nourish you and your baby throughout your pregnancy.</p> <h2>Folate</h2> <p>According to experts, folate, also known as the B vitamin folic acid, is one of the most important nutrients pregnant woman can take to reduce the risk of serious birth defects (ref 3).</p> <p>Found in leafy greens including kale and spinach, zucchini, orange juice and enriched grains, low levels of folate have been linked to neural tube defects, including spinal bifida (the incomplete closure of the spinal cord and spinal column), anencephaly (the underdevelopment of the brain) and encephalocele (a condition in which the brain protrudes from an opening of the skull).</p> <p>Because most of these conditions occur in the earliest stages of pregnancy, it’s important to seek advice from your doctor and ensure that your folate intake is adequate at the earliest opportunity.</p> <h2>Magnesium</h2> <p>Magnesium and calcium work hand in hand, magnesium relaxing muscles while calcium stimulates them so they contract.</p> <p>During pregnancy, proper levels of magnesium may help limit the risk of premature birth by preventing early uterine contractions. It can also help prevent poor fetal growth, preeclampsia and miscarriage, experts say.</p> <p>Magnesium is an important building block for healthy bones and teeth. It also is important for tissue repair as well as regulating insulin and blood sugar and supporting the function of certain enzymes.</p> <p>It is found at its highest levels in seeds including pumpkin and sunflower, millet, salmon, bran, wheat germ, quinoa, nuts, brown rice and spinach.</p> <h2>Vitamin D</h2> <p>It’s important that pregnant women get good sensible sun exposure during their pregnancy. In fact, a new study shows that moms who get adequate levels of vitamin D during pregnancy give birth to babies with stronger muscles, not only at birth, but also in early childhood. (ref 4)</p> <p>Because poor muscle strength in young adulthood is linked to some serious health conditions and other unfavorable outcomes later in life, the lack of nourishment during pregnancy could follow a child throughout his or her entire lifespan.</p> <p>Research from the Medical Research Council at the United Kingdom’s University of Southampton appeared in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism earlier this year.</p> <p>The body manufactures vitamin D after time spent in the sun, but it is also found in fish, eggs, fortified cereals and milk.</p> <h2>Things to avoid</h2> <p>To help prevent putting your baby at risk, during pregnancy, it’s crucial to follow common sense and strictly avoid alcohol and drugs during pregnancy. However there are additional things to avoid during pregnancy, including:</p> <ul> <li>Artificial sweeteners</li> <li>MSG (often found in take-outs)</li> <li>Diet sodas</li> <li>Vegetables oil</li> <li>High fructose corn syrup</li> <li>Artificial food dyes or colors</li> </ul> <p>Instead, focus on healthy living. Take the supplements your doctor or GP recommends and make sure to eat a diet rich in high quality protein, vegetables, healthy fats (from avocado, coconut oil, olive oil and nuts, especially) and a mixture of whole fruits and berries.</p> <h2>Reference:</h2> <p> <ol> <li>Psychology Today – Fish Oil Makes Smarter Babies <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/complementary-medicine/200907/fish-oil-makes-smarter-babies">http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/complementary-medicine/200907/fish-oil-makes-smarter-babies</a></li> <li>Xtend-Life Kiwi-Klenz <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Kiwi-Klenz_Digestive_Supplement/FAQ.aspx">http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Kiwi-Klenz_Digestive_Supplement/FAQ.aspx</a></li> <li>Wellness Mama - Supplements for Pregnancy and Nursing <a href="http://wellnessmama.com/4403/supplements-for-pregnancy-and-nursing/">http://wellnessmama.com/4403/supplements-for-pregnancy-and-nursing/</a></li> <li>Medical News Today - Vitamin D levels during pregnancy linked to offspring muscle strength <a href="http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270823.php">http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270823.php</a></li> </ol> </p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-04-29/Know_your_nutrients_-_Pregnancy_and_nutrition.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-04-29/Know_your_nutrients_-_Pregnancy_and_nutrition.aspx 1f58b9b4-e7a3-4f18-98f6-cd8426bbcb99 Mon, 28 Apr 2014 22:23:00 GMT