Xtend-Life Blog Blog for Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog.aspx http://backend.userland.com/rss Will Moms Who Take DHA Have Healthier Babies? <p>Most new moms work hard to give their babies the best possible start in life, beginning as soon as they realize they are pregnant.</p> <p>While experts offer a wide range of recommendations for a healthy pregnancy, a new study suggests that a simple supplement might be an ideal way to help ensure that babies are healthy , not only before birth but also during their earliest years of life.</p> <h2>Birth weight gets a boost</h2> <p>According to a study from the University of Kansas, the omega-3 fatty acid DHA – a key component of our <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Omega_3_DHA_Fish_Oil_Mini.aspx">Xtend-Life Omega-3/DHA fish oil</a> supplements – may help boost infants’ birth weight and help prevent premature births, both key factors in the health of newborns.</p> <p>While DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is found naturally in the membranes of our cells, infants obtain the DHA they need from their mother, both in utero and through breast milk after birth. But if mom isn’t getting enough DHA, neither is her baby. And that can have a big impact on that little one’s health.</p> <p>According to the study, babies born to mothers who had been given 600 milligrams per day of DHA during their pregnancies – compared to moms given a placebo - not only weighted more at birth, they were also less likely to be born before the critical 34-week gestational period.</p> <p>The results were exciting for researchers, since improved infant health can reduce health care costs for both families and health care providers.</p> <p>Fewer cases of premature births and babies with low birth weight had "clear health significance", according to Susan Carlson, a professor of Dietetics and Nutrition at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Carlson headed the study along with co-worker John Colombo, a professor of psychology and director of the Life Span Institute.</p> <h2>A brain boost</h2> <p>This research echoes a 2004 study that showed the brain-boosting benefits of DHA during the first few months of a baby’s life.</p> <p>During a baby’s first two years, the brain develops at a rapid pace. It can develop by as much as 175 percent in the first year.</p> <p>To promote that growth, many experts recommend moms continue to supplement with Omega-3 fish oil to ensure enough DHA is present in breast milk for babies to reap the benefits, potentially including an improved attention span, less chance of developing the commonly-diagnosed attention deficit disorder, and a higher level of intelligence.</p> <h2>Why supplement?</h2> <p>Women in the U.S. tend to consume less fish and nuts than women in countries where a Omega 3 rich diet is followed, experts say, so a DHA supplement can make a big difference.</p> <p>That's especially important because if there is not enough DHA to supply what the baby needs, it may be taken from mom's body, which various studies have suggested contributes to postpartum depression.</p> <p>Our <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Omega_3_DHA_Fish_Oil_Mini.aspx">Xtend-Life Omega 3/DHA Fish Oil</a> supplement provides a high level of DHA, and contains hoki fish oil sourced from the Southern Ocean off the coast of New Zealand.</p> <p>This study reinforces the importance of maintaining a healthy intake of Omega-3 rich fish in your diet.</p> <h2>Reference:</h2> <p> </p> <ol> <li><a href="http://newhope360.com/breaking-news/study-shows-prenatal-dha-leads-healthier-babies?cid=nl_nbj_weekly">http://newhope360.com/breaking-news/study-shows-prenatal-dha-leads-healthier-babies?cid=nl_nbj_weekly</a>;</li> <li><a href="http://www.webmd.com/baby/news/20040716/pregnant-omega-3-essential-for-babys-brain">http://www.webmd.com/baby/news/20040716/pregnant-omega-3-essential-for-babys-brain</a></li> </ol> <p></p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-04-16/Will_Moms_Who_Take_DHA_Have_Healthier_Babies.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-04-16/Will_Moms_Who_Take_DHA_Have_Healthier_Babies.aspx 98c61865-8f91-4305-9492-18f1ee61e0b9 Tue, 15 Apr 2014 23:43:00 GMT Should You Supplement With Iron? <p>When it comes to our health, iron is a very important element. It plays a major role in making red blood cells, which are tasked with carrying oxygen throughout our body, and feeding our cells to give us the energy we need to power through our day.</p> <p>Since two-thirds of our body’s iron is found in the hemoglobin in those red blood cells, it’s important that our body has enough iron to function properly.</p> <p>Those who don’t have enough iron often develop anemia, a condition marked by a low level of red blood cells.</p> <p>Low levels of red blood cells limit the oxygen our cells receive, leading to fatigue and a compromised immune system. It also means that we’re less able to exercise without becoming exhausted, since our cells and muscles – which are provided with oxygen through the iron-rich protein myoglobin - will quickly become depleted of oxygen and the body will have less ability to replenish it.</p> <p>Women are at an added risk of developing anemia, especially those who have heavy periods lasting longer than five days or while pregnant.</p> <p>Also a risk factor, anyone on chemotherapy – which not only kills cancer cells, but also some healthy cells including red blood cells – and those who suffer from kidney disease, which triggers a hormonal response that may limit the production of oxygen-carrying red blood cells.</p> <p>While supplements may sometimes be necessary, foods can also provide the iron we need.</p> <h2>Iron-rich food options</h2> <p>There’s a reason why a meal of liver and onions is one of the top old-school suggestions for boosting low iron levels.</p> <p>Food offers two different kinds if iron – heme iron, the kind found in meat, poultry and fish, and non-heme iron, which is found primarily in plant foods but also in some meats.</p> <p>Heme iron from meat is the form that is more readily absorbed by your body. Experts say that we are able to take in as much as 30 percent of heme iron, compared to 10 percent of non-heme iron.</p> <p>That’s not to say that vegans are destined to be low in iron. They just have to be more aware of the foods they’re eating for optimum health.</p> <p>Some iron-rich food options include:</p> <p> <ul> <li>Meats, fish and poultry including beef, turkey, lamb, liver, chicken, eggs, shrimp, tuna and scallops;</li> <li>Veggies including spinach, sweet potatoes, tomato paste, peas, broccoli, green beans, beet and dandelion greens, kale, collards and chard;</li> <li>Fortified foods including breads, cereals and pasta;</li> <li>Fruits including watermelon, strawberries, dates, figs, prunes, raisins, dried apricots and dried peaches;</li> <li>Legumes (beans, lentils, split peas, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, soybeans, etc.), nuts and related products such as tofu; and</li> <li>Condiments including black-strap molasses, maple syrup</li> </ul> </p> <h2>If you supplement</h2> <p>There are times when iron supplementation is necessary, but experts don't recommend taking this on a long-term basis. For that reason, none of our Xtend-Life products contain iron. (Our <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Kiwi-Klenz_Digestive_Supplement.aspx">Kiwi-Klenz</a>, however, may support your body better absorbing the iron you do take in through food.)</p> <p>For those with anemia, however, in the short term, an iron supplement may be advisable to give your iron level a boost.</p> <p>The American Academy of Pediatrics has some suggestions about iron supplementation for infants which you may wish to review. It is better though to make an effort to ensure that your infant is getting the iron needed through vegetables.</p> <h2>Too much of a good thing</h2> <p>While the amount of iron we absorb is heavily influenced by how much iron our body is already storing, it is possible to take in too much iron, which can potentially contribute to hair loss, joint problems and impotence while increasing the risk of diabetes, heart disease, liver cancer and arthritis.</p> <p>Some experts estimate that as many as 10 percent of the population in developed countries has iron overload, thanks to fortified foods such as cereals and pastas. In fact, iron is a pro-oxidant. It can literally ‘rust inside your body’ if you have too much of it. This in turn can lead to a host of other health issues.</p> <p>So in closing, should we use iron supplements? The answer is NO, unless blood tests and your doctor have established a clear deficiency and even then levels should be monitored until they are restored and supplementation discontinued.</p> <h2>References:</h2> <p> <ol> <li>American Red Cross – Iron Rich Foods <a href="http://www.redcrossblood.org/learn-about-blood/health-and-wellness/iron-rich-foods">http://www.redcrossblood.org/learn-about-blood/health-and-wellness/iron-rich-foods</a></li> <li>Whfoods.com - Foods rich in iron <a href="http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&amp;dbid=70">http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&amp;dbid=70</a></li> </ol> </p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-04-15/Should_You_Supplement_With_Iron.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-04-15/Should_You_Supplement_With_Iron.aspx dbdf4f69-44f9-4a1c-8c78-8ce8079e13be Tue, 15 Apr 2014 03:00:00 GMT Antioxidants – We address some of the myths <p>In our search for ways to reclaim our youth the sales of antioxidant packed fruit and vegetables have increased dramatically with the hope that consuming these powerhouse foods may have anti-aging effects.</p> <p>And rightly so, antioxidants are one of the first lines of defense that the body employs to keep free radicals in check and prevent them from causing a domino effect of damage on other cells, they also help repair cell damage caused by free radicals.&nbsp; Our bodies are battlegrounds against infection and diseases. Normal body function such as breathing and other dietary and lifestyle choices produce substances called free radicals that attack healthy cells.</p> <p>When these healthy cells are weakened, we become more susceptible to cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancers. Natural antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E and carotenoids, which include <a href="http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/product/Omega_3_DHA_Fish_Oil_Premium/Ingredients.aspx">astaxanthin</a>, lycopene and lutein, help protect healthy cells from damage caused by free radicals.</p> <p>Although the true role of a diet rich in antioxidants is much more than skin deep it is important to sort out the genuine myths from the marketing hype.</p> <div style="align-content: space-around;"> <ul> <li><strong>Antioxidants can cure any ailment.</strong> Disease-causing free radicals start trouble by traveling through the body as damaged molecules, hungrily searching for electrons, which they steal from other molecules, causing chemical reactions resulting in oxidation. Antioxidants work by sharing electrons with free radicals, restoring stability to those damaged cells, without becoming unbalanced themselves.<br /> <strong>Bottom line</strong>: Antioxidants can provide a defense against future ailments by limiting cell damage, and mopping up free radicals but they are <strong>not a cure-all treatment</strong>.</li> </ul> </div> <div style="align-content: space-around;"> <ul> <li><strong>All antioxidants are equal?</strong> &nbsp;There are many different types of antioxidants, and each plays a different role in helping to maintain good health. Some supplements offer such small levels of antioxidants that they are little better than a placebo.<br /> <strong>Bottom line:</strong> Eat a wide range of healthy food and supplement with balanced a comprehensive formula from a trusted source.</li> </ul> </div> <div style="align-content: space-around;"> <ul> <li><strong>More is always better. </strong>First and foremost you can probably never eat too many fresh fruits and veggies, supplementing antioxidants at very high levels could lead to toxicity.<br /> <strong>Bottom line:</strong> Establish good nutritional health by following an all-natural diet that is loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables.&nbsp; However with the busy lifestyle we live, many people blend the use of supplements into their diet, if you do, make sure you’re taking one that doesn’t include excessive levels of any single component. Instead opt for formulas that contain a comprehensive balanced range of ingredients such as our Xtend-Life<a href="http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/product/Total_Balance_Unisex_Premium/Ingredients.aspx"> Total Balance</a> line.</li> </ul> </div> <div style="align-content: space-around;"> <ul> <li><strong>Antioxidant levels determine health. </strong>You can take an antioxidant supplement, but that won’t erase the damage you’ll do by making unhealthy lifestyle choices. Smoking cigarettes, eating a high-fat diet and living a sedentary lifestyle will wreak havoc on your health no matter what you do. <br /> <strong>Bottom line:</strong> A healthy diet and supplement regimen should be followed up with an active healthy lifestyle for best results.</li> </ul> </div> <div style="align-content: space-around;"> <ul> <li><strong>Antioxidants can shorten my lifespan. </strong>&nbsp;A study that appeared recently in the Cochrane Review found that those who took antioxidant supplements were more likely to die earlier than those who did not supplement. Later studies rebuked those results. <br /> <strong>Bottom line:</strong> Most experts suggest a happy medium, meaning you shouldn’t expect to erase all ailments with antioxidants, but antioxidants are important and helpful. </li> </ul> </div> <div style="align-content: space-around;"> <ul> <li><strong>Antioxidants don’t have a major impact. </strong>The body has its own ability to generate antioxidants, however, due to the busy lifestyles we lead, we usually don’t generate enough to fight off all the free radicals that come our way.<br /> <strong>Bottom line:</strong> If you skip the fruits and vegetables and don’t eat a balanced diet (we don’t recommend that you do this), you’ll need the boost that a supplement can provide. For best results, combine the two in your daily regimen.</li> </ul> </div> <div style="align-content: space-around;"> <ul> <li><strong>Antioxidants lose effectiveness. </strong>While some antioxidants respond like Superman to kryptonite after restoring a free radical, others are still working hard, even after they become oxidized by giving away electrons.<br /> <strong>Bottom line:</strong> Take in a mix of antioxidants (eat a rainbow of food colors) to reap the best benefits possible.</li> </ul> </div> <div style="align-content: space-around;"> <ul> <li><strong>All antioxidants come from fruits and veggies. </strong>While fruits and veggies are packed with antioxidants, other plants – as well as meat, fish and dairy, also pack a healthy punch of the free radical fighters.<br /> <strong>Bottom line:</strong> Keeping to a mix of protein, fruits, vegetables and whole grains can further help ensure a healthy mix of antioxidants, to fight off free radicals.</li> </ul> </div> <div style="align-content: space-around;"> <ul> <li><strong>Antioxidant supplements don’t work.</strong> Certainly, there are plenty of antioxidant supplements on the market that are taking advantage of the hype and don’t contain many elements that promote better health, but that’s not the whole story.<br /> <strong>Bottom line:</strong> Firstly at Xtend-Life, we take our own products to help support better health and wellness for ourselves, With this in mind, you can rest assured that supplements like our <a href="http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/product/Total_Balance_Unisex_Premium/Ingredients.aspx">Total Balance</a> can help replenish any nutrient deficiencies.</li> </ul> </div> <p>Essentially, while a healthy lifestyle will have the most impact on our good health, eating all the food colors of the rainbow every day is tricky for most of us. Supplements such as <a href="http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/info/TB.aspx">Total Balance</a>, as well as our <a href="http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/product/Kiwi-Klenz_Digestive_Supplement.aspx">Kiwi-Klenz</a> and <a href="http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/product/Omega_3_DHA_Fish_Oil_Premium/Ingredients.aspx">Omega 3 Fish Oil</a> are a convenient and excellent way to help support your overall health.&nbsp; We believe that life is a journey and we wish to see people having a long, happy and healthy one! </p> <p>Don’t forget to sign up for our loyalty programme.</p> <h2>Reference:</h2> <ol> <li>Harvard School of Public Health:&nbsp; Antioxidants: Beyond the Hype<br /> <a href="http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/antioxidants/">http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/antioxidants/</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2126549/Why-antioxidants-causing-harm-good.html">http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2126549/Why-antioxidants-causing-harm-good.html</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/health-fitness/healthy-eating/can-you-get-too-many-antioxidants">http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/health-fitness/healthy-eating/can-you-get-too-many-antioxidants</a></li> </ol> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-04-11/Antioxidants_–_We_address_some_of_the_myths.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-04-11/Antioxidants_%e2%80%93_We_address_some_of_the_myths.aspx 80e0668e-109e-47c4-95fe-6cff3bfc3665 Thu, 10 Apr 2014 22:44:00 GMT Caring for your skin is smart at any age <p>It seems that we’re all looking for the fountain of youth, a magic elixir that keeps our skin looking and feeling young, smooth and supple.</p> <p>Why else would Botox injections be the hottest anti-aging trick in Hollywood, where wrinkles are erased but faces are often frozen into masks free from expression, making emotions impossible to gauge?</p> <p>Our mission for amazing skin probably starts when we touch the uber-soft skin of a baby, marveling at the smooth texture, even while lamenting the loss of our own baby-soft skin. Then, there we are, paging through magazines in the checkout lines, where glossy ads tempt us to try product after product, until our bathroom shelves resemble a graveyard of tubes, jars and bottles but our skin still looks the same, or maybe worse.</p> <h2>Skin: The early years</h2> <p>Unless allergies or other ailments are issues, we usually don’t think much about our skin until puberty starts. Then, our changing hormones can trigger the arrival of breakouts, oily skin and enlarged pores.</p> <p>While acne products fall into their own special categories, for those of us without acne, the focus often turns to moisturizing, erasing wrinkles and retaining a youthful glow.</p> <p>But we’re making a mistake not to think about skin care right off that bat.</p> <p>Early mistakes such as skipping sunscreen, smoking cigarettes, going to bed after a night of partying without taking off your make-up and other missteps can trigger skin problems that may not show themselves for years.</p> <h2>At the heart of anti-aging</h2> <p>If you’re still in your 20s, you probably think that washing your face with whatever product you have on hand is fine, but these are great years to start thinking about the lifespan of your skin, and establishing a routine that will keep your skin enriched, nourished and replenished.</p> <p>Establishing a skin care routine – using cleaners, masks and moisturizers that are kind to your skin – is a great defense against the appearance of aging, and a way to set the stage for skin that’s youthful for many years to come.</p> <h2>Not too late</h2> <p>If you didn't follow this path and spent too much time hitting the beach as a teen, it’s probably not too <a name="GoBack"></a>late to make up for past transgressions.</p> <p>While there are a myriad of products on the market – the skin care aisle offers countless choices – many containing chemicals that aren’t all that kind to your skin, and in cases of sensitive skin, can do more harm than good.</p> <p>Just like the things we eat, the things we put on our skin can have a big impact as well.</p> <p>Our Xtend-Life skincare products are formulated with only ingredients that are safe enough to eat, which is important since they essentially feed your skin, providing the nutrients needed to keep your skin looking fresh, young and vibrant.</p> <p>We target the main causes of the appearance of aging – dull and sagging skin and the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines – through key natural ingredients that work together to stimulate collagen, elastin and skin cell production, protect against the loss of youthful hyaluronic acid and fight free radicals.</p> <p>Cleanse your skin twice a day with Xtend-Life’s <a href="http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/skincare/foaming_facial_cleanser.aspx">Foaming Facial Cleanser</a>. For men, moisturize daily using our <a href="http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/skincare/Facial_Fluid_Men.aspx">Active Facial Fluid</a>. For women, using our <a href="http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/skincare/Day_Cream_Women.aspx">Active Day Cream</a> and <a href="http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/skincare/Night_Cream_Women.aspx">Restorative Night Cream</a> daily is an excellent regime that many customers trust for visible improvements to their skin. You can also replenish and rejuvenate your skin every two weeks using our <a href="http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/skincare/Cleansing_Mask_Women.aspx">Deep Active Cleansing</a> and <a href="http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/skincare/Hydrating_Mask_Women.aspx">Hydrating Masks</a>.</p> <p>For those looking to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, Xtend-Life’s <a href="http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/skincare/Eye_Serum_Women.aspx">Eye Contour Serum</a> is a great product to consider...in fact, you can see examples of how effective it is by <a href="http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/skincare/Eye_Serum_Women/Customer_Comments.aspx">clicking here</a>.</p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-04-09/Caring_for_your_skin_is_smart_at_any_age.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-04-09/Caring_for_your_skin_is_smart_at_any_age.aspx 05fe5547-8e44-4ee0-b696-b578a9772457 Wed, 09 Apr 2014 04:35:54 GMT Why Do Supplements Cause Urine to Turn Bright Yellow? <p>We've likely all noticed that a day after eating a meal that included sugar beets, restroom breaks are A LOT more colorful.</p> <p>While at first the bright red color palette can be scary, triggering hypochondriac-inspired thoughts of everything from internal bleeding to all manner of other conditions, beets are not the only thing we consume that reveals itself through our toilet breaks.</p> <p>The same can be true with multivitamin supplements, which often result in a bright yellow, almost neon-colored urine. (This yellow is a bolder, brighter color than standard yellow urine, and you will know it when you see it!)</p> <p>The first thing that might come to mind – after all the unnecessary thoughts of dire illness have been suppressed, of course – is that we’re flushing all the benefits of our vitamin regimen, ahem, down the toilet.</p> <p>But that wouldn't be exactly true.</p> <h2>Vitamin 101</h2> <p>There are two different kinds of vitamins – water soluble and fat soluble.</p> <p>The fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K) are stored in the liver if we consume more than our body can use at one time.</p> <p>The water-soluble cousins, however – including vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12, biotin, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) and vitamin C - are flushed out of the body every day after the body absorbs what it needs.</p> <p>Riboflavin is the one associated with that bright yellow urine. We get a clue about that distinctive yellow color from the name riboflavin itself, which is taken from the Latin word flavus, which means yellow or blonde.</p> <p>Riboflavin was discovered in the 1800s, named in the 1930s, and is found in almost all multivitamin blends. It helps support physical growth as well as the production of red blood cells. It also helps turn the carbohydrates we eat into energy.</p> <p>But riboflavin is not the only supplement ingredient to turn our bathroom breaks into psychedelic experiences. Too much vitamin C can lead to bright orange urine, brought on as the excess is excreted.</p> <h2>Are we taking too much?</h2> <p>Cheap ‘supermarket’ supplements tend to be loaded with excessive quantities of low quality, often synthetic vitamins, while the expensive nutrients (that are often most needed by the body) are completely absent. In fact, these excessive amounts of cheap synthetic vitamins can actually end up becoming pro-oxidants, and they may do more harm than good.</p> <p>Often the body cannot utilize a lot of the excessive low quality vitamins found in cheap supplement. As a result, they have to be flushed out of the system. The irony is that you’re also flushing away the money you spent on the supplement in the first place.</p> <p>A good example is vitamin C... most cheap supplements use Ascorbic acid. At Xtend-Life, we use a combination of Calcium Ascorbate and Ascorbyl Palmitiate. These two forms of vitamin C are superior and more expensive than Ascorbic acid.</p> <p>Another example is Riboflavin. Many people think that there is just one version of vitamin B2, know as riboflavin, and as a result, they think they’re getting the full benefits of this ingredient when they read the amount of it present in their recently purchased supplement. However, there is a far superior and more bio-available form of vitamin B2.</p> <p>At Xtend-Life, we use Riboflavin-5-phosphate, which is the form of vitamin B2 that your body can actually utilize it most effectively and consistently. Like the example of vitamin C mentioned earlier, your body does not have to deal with flushing out an overload of poor quality vitamins.</p> <p>That means the yellow or orange urine that often results from taking poor quality supplements is a clear indication that your body is not utilizing the product’s ingredients as it should be. By taking superior quality supplements such as Multi-Xtra and especially the Total Balance range from Xtend-Life, your body (and wallet) will benefit from the maximum bio-availability of our synergistic high quality ingredients and significantly reduced waste during the digestion process, as the nutrients are fully absorbed. Our quality ingredients and state-of-the-art delivery systems ensure maximum bio-availability, efficacy and value for money.</p> <h2>The health low-down</h2> <p>Your yellow urine reveals one key thing. Your body has taken what it can from the vitamins that you took earlier in the day, and the rest cannot be used due to their excess amounts and inferior quality.</p> <p>Taking a superior supplement such as Total Balance or Multi-Xtra will ensure that your body has enough riboflavin, vitamin C and more in order to function at its best – every day.</p> <h2>Reference: </h2> <p> </p> <ol> <li><a href="http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09312.html">http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09312.html</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2013/09/why-do-vitamins-make-urine-bright-yellow/">http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2013/09/why-do-vitamins-make-urine-bright-yellow/</a></li> <li>http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002411.htm</li> </ol> <p></p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-04-03/Why_Do_Supplements_Cause_Urine_to_Turn_Bright_Yellow.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-04-03/Why_Do_Supplements_Cause_Urine_to_Turn_Bright_Yellow.aspx b384d8e3-1cef-4650-845d-05d96f37539c Wed, 02 Apr 2014 20:59:00 GMT IBS symptoms and digestive enzymes <p>Marked by a series of unpleasant symptoms including pain or discomfort, gas and bloating and constipation or diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome was once considered to be a product of the imagination, and doctors dismissed patients’ claims of digestive distress.</p> <p>In fact, doctors often blamed IBS on stress and anxiety, a likely frustrating scenario for those suffering from the condition.</p> <p>Statistics suggest that as much as 20 percent of the population may suffer from IBS, a disorder that comes as a result of dysfunction in the nerves and muscles that make up the bowel.</p> <p>But now that the medical community is more accepting of IBS, awareness of the disorder has expanded, and experts are looking at ways to treat it.</p> <p>As we mark Irritable Bowel Syndrome Awareness Month this month, let’s look a little deeper into the disorder, and what you can do if it is impacting your quality of life.</p> <h2>The stats on IBS</h2> <p>Once known as colitis or spastic colon, IBS is almost twice as likely to be diagnosed in women as it is in men.</p> <ul> <li>IBS is most commonly diagnosed in people under 50.</li> <li>Many people have IBS and don’t know it. Almost half of all cases remain undiagnosed, experts estimate.</li> <li>IBS will not lead to other gastrointestinal problems.</li> </ul> <p>It is traditionally treated with changes in diet as well as probiotic supplements. Since experts aren’t sure how many probiotics we need for optimum digestive health, therein lies one of the biggest problems behind conventional treatment of IBS.</p> <h2>A digestive system tutorial</h2> <p>IBS is at its core a digestive system issue. And while digesting food is considered the most important role of the digestive system, there are four distinct acts that are part of the process.</p> <p>The digestive system in not only responsible for digesting food, it also is responsible for eliminating waste, absorbing nutrients and normalizing gut bacteria that can do everything from controlling metabolism to boosting the immune system.</p> <p>Our body produces a slew of enzymes to start the process by breaking down our food so that we are able to take in all the nutrients the foods we eat have to offer. Sometimes, though, there aren’t enough enzymes on hand to do the job properly, so we may miss out on essential nutrients.</p> <h2>Enzymes: Behind the scenes</h2> <p>For proper digestion and nutrient absorption, we require a mix of three different types of enzymes to break down the foods we eat.</p> <p>Amylase enzymes break down carbohydrates, and include lactase, which breaks down the lactose in milk, and cellulase, which breaks down vegetables.</p> <p>We also need lipase enzymes, which break down fats, and protelytic enzymes, which break down proteins.</p> <p>When we don’t have the right enzyme balance, our digestive system isn’t working at its best, and we run the risk of gastrointestinal problems such as IBS.</p> <p>Because a healthy digestive system is less likely to experience problems, it’s important to keep yours running smoothly.</p> <p>One way to support the health of your digestive systemis to add our supplement <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Kiwi-Klenz_Digestive_Supplement.aspx">Kiwi-Klenz</a> to your nutritional plan.</p> <p>It is designed specifically to help prevent the build-up of toxins that leave us feeling sluggish and increase the risk of ailments, and it contains the necessary digestive enzymes so we can make the most of what we eat. It also offers prebiotics to stimulate the growth of friendly flora in the gut, phenolics (from the fuzzy skin of the kiwifruit) to keep unfriendly bacteria at bay and fiber to ensure healthy bowel function to flush away toxins.</p> <h2>Tips to prevent digestive problems</h2> <p>In addition to taking a supplement such as <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Kiwi-Klenz_Digestive_Supplement.aspx">Kiwi-Klenz</a> to keep your digestive tract functioning as it should, there are things you can do to help prevent or ease digestive problems, including:<img alt="right" src="/Images/blog/April 2014/drink_water.jpg" style="float: right;" /></p> <ul> <li>Avoid foods that produce gas, such as beans, broccoli, cabbage and onions.</li> <li>Eat more slowly, and avoid overeating at meals.</li> <li>Skip carbonated beverages, which can produce gas.</li> <li>Check your food labels for the sugar substitute sorbitol, which has been linked to gas, bloating, cramping and diarrhea.</li> <li>Gum chewers can take in enough air to produce gas. If you chew gum, switch to mints.</li> <li>Some cases of IBS come from lactose intolerance. Avoid dairy products for a period to determine if your symptoms lessen or disappear.</li> </ul> <p></p> <p> It’s also important to keep hydrated and include a balance of good fats in the diet as well as an exercise routine (exercise helps promote peristalsis).</p> <p>Avoid artificial sweeteners, excess sugar (especially fructose), chemical additives, MSG, excessive amounts of caffeine, and processed foods as they are all detrimental to your gastrointestinal (and immune) function.</p> <p>For more information about our Kiwi-Klenz product and how to help support digestive health, please <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Kiwi-Klenz_Digestive_Supplement.aspx">click here</a>.</p> <h2>References: </h2> <p><a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/Blog/11-04-12/Healthy_Digestion.aspx">http://www.xtend-life.com/Blog/11-04-12/Healthy_Digestion.aspx</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.dnaindia.com/health/report-irritable-bowel-syndrome-linked-to-diet-1968309">http://www.dnaindia.com/health/report-irritable-bowel-syndrome-linked-to-diet-1968309</a></p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-04-02/IBS_symptoms_and_digestive_enzymes.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-04-02/IBS_symptoms_and_digestive_enzymes.aspx 782e97a0-d085-4aa8-a4b1-1a1b6e2ff057 Tue, 01 Apr 2014 21:00:00 GMT Younger skin from the inside out <p>The search for younger looking skin is a complex business.</p> <p>Experts say we’ll spend about $333 billion a year worldwide on skin care products by 2015 in search of the right elixir to transform our skin and restore our youthful good looks.</p> <p>There are so many products on the market, it makes it virtually impossible to choose which ones will have the most positive effects on our skin.</p> <p>Sadly, most of them offer only surface transformations. They work for a minute, moisturizing skin to plump up and temporarily erase wrinkles, but by the next day, those benefits are gone.</p> <h2>Paying the price for free radicals</h2> <p>One of the biggest enemies to healthy skin is free radicals.</p> <p>Free radicals are cells that are damaged during the process of oxidation – such as when the flesh of an apple turns brown after it has been sliced.</p> <p>While oxidation is a normal part of cellular function, a small percentage of cells – about 1 to 2 percent, according to Jeffrey Blumberg, a professor of nutrition at Tufts University in Boston – will become damaged and turn into free radicals.</p> <p>Free radicals are highly-charged cells that are missing a critical molecule. They cause carnage when they rampage through the body in search of another molecule to fill that void.</p> <p>External toxins are most often responsible for the generation of free radicals, experts say.</p> <p>Some – such as cigarette smoke and drinking too much alcohol – we can avoid, but others, such as air pollution and pesticides and other toxins lurking in our water – are harder to escape.</p> <p>Antioxidants are the good guys here, since they can donate a molecule to the damaged free radical – restoring it to an undamaged state – without resulting in damage, itself.</p> <h2>Stronger = younger</h2> <p>The loss of collagen and elastin also play a critical role in aging skin.</p> <p>“Collagen is the primary component of the body's connective tissue,” according to Dr. Mehmet Oz, who said about 80 percent of the skin below the outer layer is collagen. Collagen gives skin strength, he says.</p> <p>Elastin, on the other hand, allows skin to stretch and bounce back. When levels are low, the skin no longer bounces back when stretched, but instead, begins to sag.</p> <p>Most skin care products say they’ll help restore the collagen and elastin in your skin. And while the promises sound good, they’re about as superficial as they come. The shelves are packed with products, but most don’t work because they don’t penetrate deep enough to make a difference.</p> <h2>Going deep</h2> <p>Real cellular transformation happens deep below the skin’s surface, where collagen and elastin levels can be restored, hyaluronic acid levels get a boost and free radicals are destroyed.</p> <p>Xtend-Life’s skin care products work hard to go deep below the surface of the skin, through patented ingredients that help to erase the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, strengthen the skin’s structure and restore the youthful glow we are all searching for when we scour the endless shelves of skin care products.</p> <p>In addition to rebuilding collagen and elastin, Xtend-Life’s products contain an extract from sea kelp that not only helps to prevent the breakdown of hyaluronic acid – a step that contributes to the aging process – but also gradually encourages the increase of hyaluronic acid levels to those of a younger person.</p> <p>Xtend-Life also offers the powerful Nano-Lipobelle H EQ10, a version of coenzyme Q10 designed to penetrate deep into the skin – most stay on the surface, where they do little good – to prevent wrinkles while attacking free radicals.</p> <h2>From the inside out</h2> <p>A healthy body shows itself through healthy, supple skin, but sometimes, the most successful products work from the inside out. All the creams in the world won’t really make much of a difference if you’re not taking in the proper nutrients, experts say.</p> <p> “Unless your skin is getting the nutrients that it needs, it just won't look its best,” according to Lisa Drayer, R.D., author of “The Beauty Diet.”</p> <p>Drinking plenty of water is a good first step – hydrated skin looks younger and is less likely to show blemishes, experts say – while eating a diet rich in antioxidants and other nutrients can feed your skin from within.</p> <p>Some good choices include lycopene-rich tomatoes, salmon and flaxseed for the Omega-3 fatty acids, sweet potatoes, broccoli and other foods full of vitamin C, greens such as spinach and kale to help boost skin renewal and dark chocolate to get your sweet share of skin-friendly flavonoids.</p> <p>Foods such as gelatin can also help boost collagen and elastin production, while beans may reduce the effects of aging for women.</p> <p>Estrogen helps prevent the breakdown of collagen and elastin, but when menopause occurs, estrogen levels drop off.</p> <p>Beans – as well as split peas, flaxseed, sprouts and brans – contain phytoestrogens, which mimic the effects of estrogen on the body, erasing the damage.</p> <p>To boost the diet with supplements, consider Xtend-Life’s Omega-3 Premium, which features all the benefits of fish oil along with antioxidants. It offers a patented lycopene extract that has been shown in studies to help support skin density and thickness while decreasing scaling and roughness, restoring that youthful glow we all want.</p> <p>It also includes a form of astaxanthin, an antioxidant derived from algae that helps fight free radicals, especially those environmental ones we can’t control.</p> <h2>A two-part process</h2> <p>Essentially, skin care is a two-step process, one part moisture and nutrient boost through creams, lotions and serums, another part vitamin and mineral boost from the inside out.</p> <p>Check out the rest of our website to find the Xtend-Life products that are best suited to help you make your skin look and feel its best.</p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-03-27/Younger_skin_from_the_inside_out.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-03-27/Younger_skin_from_the_inside_out.aspx fd7faa6e-5181-4a0a-87ca-16e73b363572 Wed, 26 Mar 2014 21:00:00 GMT Getting off the office chair... Xtend-Life runs for a good cause <p>Being healthy is all about lifestyle, and we at Xtend-Life celebrated that recently by participating in the Star City to Surf Run for the Heart, which featured 6- and 14-kilometer distances for both runners and walkers.</p> <p>We ran because we know that a healthy life is about more than taking the right supplements. What you put into your body is only half the battle. It’s what you do with it that counts.</p> <p>Our staff did great too! Selena and Korina came in first and second for the 14k run, while Gia and Kirk came in first and second in the 6k. In addition to showcasing how living a healthy life can make a difference, we also enjoyed doing our part to save a few lives along the way. (Ref. 1)</p> <p>The event raised money for the New Zealand Heart Association, which assists those affected by heart disease, funds new research and provides educational programs to help people improve their heart health through healthy living.</p> <p>For us, a company dedicated to helping our customers stay healthy and live full rich lives, helping to raise awareness is one of the best things we can do.</p> <p class="text-center"><img alt="" src="/Images/blog/March 2014/City_to_surf_staff.jpg" style="margin: 5px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; vertical-align: middle;" /></p> <p></p> <h2>Heart facts 101</h2> <p>According to the Heart Association, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the nation, accounting for 30 percent of annual deaths. Sadly, many of them are preventable through lifestyle changes, which showcases just how important awareness is. (Ref. 2)</p> <p>With one million New Zealand residents classified as obese, exercise is a smart way to help begin the process of dropping extra pounds that put a strain on your heart and shorten your lifespan.</p> <p>Exercise for hearth health</p> <p>When it comes to maximizing your heart health, a regular workout program is absolutely essential. Like any other muscle, our hearts grow stronger when challenged, and the best challenge for our hearts is aerobic exercise.</p> <p>According to the Heart Association of New Zealand, 6 kilometers is the right amount of exercise to get your heart pumping, provided you do it at least three times a week. In fact, the harder you work, the greater the heart-healthy benefits, so when walking, make sure to make every step count, and pick up the pace when you can to help build strength and endurance.</p> <p>If walking’s not your thing, consider swimming, cycling, swing dance classes, martial arts or weekend basketball games with the guys. You’re most likely to stick to a workout program if you’re having a good time, so choosing fun activities that you’ll look forward to will go a long way toward making exercise a regular part of your life.</p> <p>If you’re one of the many who start a workout program but have a hard time sticking to it, find ways to make yourself more accountable. For instance, set up walking or cycling sessions with a friend. You’re not going to want to let someone else down, and neither will your friend, so you can work together to motivate one another for positive changes.</p> <h2>Tips for heart health</h2> <p>In addition to exercise, there is plenty you can do to reduce your risk of heart disease and reduce your chances of becoming another heart attack statistic.</p> <p>Smart moves include:</p> <ul> <li>Eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables but limited amounts of saturated fats – and sodium, which is linked to elevated blood pressure. (Ref. 2). Both are often hidden in processed foods, so check labels carefully to know what you’re eating if processed foods are a regular part of your diet.</li> <li>Quit smoking. One in five New Zealanders over the age of 15 smokes, putting one fifth of the adult population at increased risk of heart disease. Kicking the habit is essential for optimum health, and if you don’t smoke, you lungs won’t have to work so hard during exercise, making it easier to reach your goals.</li> <li>Keep the alcoholic beverages to a minimum. Heavy drinking has been linked to heart disease, according to the New Zealand Heart Association, which recommends no more than two drinks a day for women and three drinks a day for men.</li> <li>If you’re a diabetic, it’s important to keep your blood glucose levels in check, since elevated blood sugar can damage blood vessels and lead to heart disease.</li> </ul> <p>Supplement with fish oil. In addition to eating a healthy diet and making exercise a regular part of your life, fish oil supplements – our <a href="http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/product/Omega_3_DHA_Fish_Oil.aspx">Omega-3/DHA Fish Oil</a>, <a href="http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/product/Omega_3_DHA_Fish_Oil_Premium.aspx">Omega-3/DHA Fish Oil Premium</a> and <a href="http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/product/Omega_3_QH_Ultra.aspx">Omega-3 QH Ultra</a> – may help support heart health and function, and help you get the best out of life.</p> <h2>References:</h2> <p> </p> <ol> <li><a href="http://www.city2surf.co.nz/race-for-heart/">http://www.city2surf.co.nz/race-for-heart/</a></li> <li>http://www.heartfoundation.org.nz/</li> </ol> <p></p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-03-25/Getting_off_the_office_chair_Xtend-Life_runs_for_a_good_cause.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-03-25/Getting_off_the_office_chair_Xtend-Life_runs_for_a_good_cause.aspx 86234e52-ac7a-402a-ab76-74c9f33fc183 Tue, 25 Mar 2014 03:26:08 GMT Eat Your Fruits and Veggies - with Caution! <p>"Eat your fruits and vegetables" and "5 a day each" have always been common mantras in Nutritionland. Now the US government has taken this a step further. Forget five a day. Now, "More is better".</p> <p>The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Produce for Better Health Foundation (ref 1) have launched a national campaign with the message, "Fruits &amp; Veggies - More Matters."</p> <p>The new slogan replaces the old "5 a Day" campaign, which dates back to the early '90s. The belief is that under the U.S. government's latest food guidelines, five servings of fruits and vegetables may not be enough for adults to get all the health benefits. Hence, more is better.</p> <p>There are two big problems with this recommendation. Can you spot them?</p> <p>The first is that more of something that is nutritionally poor is hardly beneficial! For more on this topic please see our blog: <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/Blog/13-12-02/How_to_Breed_the_Nutrition_out_of_our_Food.aspx">How to Breed the Nutrition out of our Food</a> (ref 2) </p> <p>The second problem, and the subject of this blog, is the assumption that fruits and veggies are the same. They are not. They are not the same nutritionally; and have different effects on your body. </p> <p>For example, you can pretty much eat all the vegetables you want without any negative consequences if they are sourced, cleaned and prepared safely. </p> <p>In contrast, eating excess, or even moderate fruit has the potential to cause all kinds of health problems, especially if you have digestive and blood sugar disorders. </p> <p>I am not saying that fruits are to be avoided. On the contrary, they are absolutely a good source of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and more. Like veggies, their nutrients may help to lower blood pressure, fight oxidative stress and reduce the likelihood of many other disorders (ref 3). </p> <p>But unlike with veggies they must be eaten with more care and moderation. Why?</p> <h2>Fruits are higher in simple carbs</h2> <p>Fruit is said to have around three times the carbs (mainly simple carbs) as non-starchy veggies (15 g vs. 5 g per serving). This can cause your blood sugar to sky rocket, as in contrast with complex carbs, simple carbs are converted to sugar soon after they reach your bloodstream. Add the fact that most real world portions are much larger than one serving and those carbs ratchet up quickly.</p> <p>Case in point. A typical all-fruit smoothie stuffed with grapes, berries, banana, mangos, and more can pack over 100 grams of total carbs per serving.</p> <p>Compare that to a green smoothie made with spinach, cucumber, chlorella and broccoli. It has fewer than 20 grams of carbs, all of which are complex, and is unlikely to have a negative effect on blood sugar levels. If anything it will help to lower them.</p> <h2>Most fruits lack protein</h2> <p>Protein can be a dieter’s best friend. When you’re losing body fat, you naturally lose muscle mass as well. An optimal intake of protein for your body helps you preserve more of this critical lean tissue (ref 4). Protein also takes more time to digest, so it helps keep you fuller longer.</p> <p>Some fruits such as avocados, dried fruits and berries (ref 5) do have some protein. But if your goal is to add more protein into your diet, then you would want to incorporate more vegetables, beans and legumes rather than fruits.</p> <p>Non-starchy veggies for example provide about 2 grams of protein per serving. It may not seem like much at first glance, but by day’s end, a little here and there throughout the day adds up fast.</p> <h2>Fruits are high in fructose</h2> <p>Fructose or ‘fruit sugar’ is bad news for dieters or those with blood sugar issues. Our bodies can’t use fructose directly for energy. Most of the fructose you consume is shuttled to the liver to be converted to another form of sugar – glucose.</p> <p>But when your liver is on fructose overload (think of a rich fruit smoothie), it also ramps up fat production.</p> <p>The result is a double whammy: higher levels of blood lipids (potentially risky for your heart health), and very likely more belly fat, including the most dangerous type: visceral adipose fat.</p> <p>Even worse, research (ref 6) demonstrates that fructose gets turned into fat more quickly than even simple table sugar. Also, unlike table sugar, fructose does not provide a signal to your brain that you’re full.</p> <p>So not only are your chances of turning fructose into visceral fat high, you’re also more likely to finish all your dinner, your spouse’s dinner, and polish off a nice piece of chocolate cake without feeling full!</p> <h2>A Good Compromise?</h2> <p>A good way forward is to consider these strategies:</p> <p>1. If a specific nutrient like phytonutrients can be found in a fruit, ask yourself if it can also be in a veggie without the negative side effects? For example:</p> <ul> <li>Watermelon is rich in lycopene, but you can get lycopene in tomatoes and red cabbage.</li> <li>Oranges are rich in carotenoids, but carrots also have plenty.</li> </ul> <p>2. Enjoy fruit but in moderation, and choose wisely. For example, have two to three small fruit servings daily, preferably after your veggies and protein! And choose anti-inflammatory fruits more often. These include:</p> <table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="height: 32px; width: 158px;"> <p>Blackberries</p> </td> <td style="height: 32px; width: 178px;"> <p>Cherries (sweet)</p> </td> <td style="height: 32px; width: 198px;"> <p>Pomegranate</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="height: 24px; width: 158px;"> <p>Black currants</p> </td> <td style="height: 24px; width: 178px;"> <p>Concord grapes</p> </td> <td style="height: 24px; width: 198px;"> <p>Raspberries (black or red)</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="height: 25px; width: 158px;"> <p>Black plums</p> </td> <td style="height: 25px; width: 178px;"> <p>Cranberries</p> </td> <td style="height: 25px; width: 198px;"> <p>Red grapes</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="width: 158px;"> <p>Blueberries</p> </td> <td style="width: 178px;"> <p>Elderberries</p> </td> <td style="width: 198px;"> <p>Strawberries</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>I hope this information shows how fruits and veggies are not equals, and one should not be used as a substitute for the other. Both have their respective health benefits when sourced, prepared and eaten in the best way for the body.</p> <p>What do you think?</p> <h2>References</h2> <p> </p> <ol> <li>More Matters Campaign <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fruits_&amp;_Veggies_–_More_Matters">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fruits_%26_Veggies_%E2%80%93_More_Matters</a></li> <li>Blog: “How to Breed the Nutrition out of our Food <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/Blog/13-12-02/How_to_Breed_the_Nutrition_out_of_our_Food.aspx">http://www.xtend-life.com/Blog/13-12-02/How_to_Breed_the_Nutrition_out_of_our_Food.aspx</a></li> <li>Health benefits of fruits and veggies <a href="http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/vegetables-and-fruits/">http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/vegetables-and-fruits/</a></li> <li>Effects of high-protein diets on fat-free mass and muscle protein synthesis following weight loss <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23739654">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23739654</a></li> <li>Fruits highest in protein  <a href="http://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/fruits-high-in-protein.php 4">http://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/fruits-high-in-protein.php</a></li> <li>Fructose Turns to Fat Faster Than Any Other Sugar http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080724064824.htm  <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19381015">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19381015</a></li> </ol> <p></p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-03-24/Eat_Your_Fruits_and_Veggies_-_with_Caution.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-03-24/Eat_Your_Fruits_and_Veggies_-_with_Caution.aspx 0178f1cd-501a-404d-88b1-3ffc61850e3c Sun, 23 Mar 2014 22:26:00 GMT Science proves happiness is vital to good health <p>Laughter has always been some of the best medicine, and there is compelling research to prove it.</p> <p>Norman Cousins is one of the best-known proponents of the happiness-health connection, a journey that began after he was diagnosed with a debilitating illness and noticed that the depressing hospital setting seemed to exacerbate his symptoms.</p> <p>He then essentially took his health into his own hands, and after getting his doctor’s approval checked out of the hospital and into a hotel, where he watched funny movies – his favorite choices included the Marx brothers - and relaxed in an environment that was anything but a sickroom.</p> <p>His results led him to devote the rest of his life exploring the relationship between good humor and good health, and though some conventional physicians tend to scoff, there is clear evidence that Cousins was right.</p> <h2>Happier people live longer</h2> <p>A 2011 study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign reviewed research from 150 different studies, and found that happiness – less stress and less depression – did lead to better health.</p> <p>“All else being equal, happy people tend to live longer and experience better health than their unhappy peers,” researchers said.</p> <p>“We reviewed eight different types of studies,” said Ed Diener, a professor emeritus at the university and a researcher at Gallup Corp. in Princeton, N.J. “And the general conclusion from each type of study is that your subjective well-being -- that is, feeling positive about your life, not stressed out, not depressed -- contributes to both longevity and better health among healthy populations.”</p> <p>It makes a lot of sense, though, since those who see the glass as half full are less troubled by small bumps in the road, so they have more happiness reserves than the half-empties when a more serious event such as illness occurs.</p> <h2>As effective as exercise?</h2> <p>When Cousins compared a good laugh with a morning run, he might have been onto something.</p> <p>“Hearty laughter is a good way to jog internally without having to go outdoors,” said Cousins. “Laughter is inner jogging.”</p> <p>The same benefits that come with exercise – including less stress, lower cholesterol and blood pressure and a tougher immune system – also come with regular laughter.</p> <p>"The effects of laughter and exercise are very similar," psychologist Steve Wilson told WebMD.com.</p> <p>   Researchers at California’s Loma Linda University (ref.1) studied the impact of laugher on two hormones associated with hunger – ghrelin, which signals hunger, and leptin, which tells us when we’re full – and found that laughter increased levels of ghrelin about as much as a workout (ref.3).</p> <p>The study opens the doors to treating failing appetites with comedy. Failing appetites are often associated with various ailments such as heart disease, renal conditions and some eating disorders. By addressing failing appetites, this study suggests that some health benefits may come from laughter and comedy.</p> <p>“It's fascinating that positive emotions resulting from behaviors such as mirthful laughter translate into so many types of mechanism optimizations. As the old biblical wisdom states, it may indeed be true that laughter is a good medicine,” said Dr Lee S Burk (ref.2), who headed the study.</p> <p>It also has an impact on heart rates, experts say.</p> <p>In fact, researcher William Fry said it would take 10 minutes on a rowing machine to get the same heart-healthy benefits as a minute of laughter.</p> <h2>Accentuate the positive</h2> <p>In honor of the International Day of Happiness, here are some good reasons to laugh a little on March 20 – and every day after that.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Improved blood flow.</strong> Researchers at the University of Maryland showed people comedies and dramas, and later compared the impact of each activity on blood vessels. Those who watched the drama tended to be tenser, resulting in restricted blood flow, while those who watched the comedies had blood vessels that expanded and constricted normally.</li> <li><strong>A better immune system.</strong> Experts have found that stress – especially chronic stress – has a big impact on our immune systems, and makes us more vulnerable to illness. Happiness and good humor can elevate the level of infection-fighting antibodies and immune cells, making illness less likely.</li> <li><strong>Lower blood sugar.</strong> A study of people with diabetes found that blood sugar levels were lower after they laughed at a comedy than they were after they attended a boring lecture, even though the subjects had eaten the same meal before each event.</li> <li><strong>Easier rest and relaxation.</strong> In his book, “Anatomy of an Illness,” Cousins said that for every 10 minutes of laughter he was able to get two hours of pain-free, restorative sleep, better allowing him to cope with his illness.</li> <li><strong>Lower stress.</strong> Stress causes all sorts of negative reactions in the body, including a faster heart rate, higher blood pressure and a flood of stress hormones. Many of us live under an almost constant umbrella of stress, struggling to juggle home, family and work responsibilities, resulting in a flood of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Left unchecked, those stress hormones can cause heart problems, weight gain, diabetes and other serious illnesses.</li> </ul> <h2>Anatomy of a laugh</h2> <p>When we laugh, we engage our entire body in the act. At least 15 different muscles in the face are called into action, along with our respiratory system and other muscle groups.</p> <p>But more importantly, laughter sends serotonin levels soaring in the brain, erasing mild depression in just a few minutes.</p> <p>The lack of the feel-good chemical serotonin has also been linked to aggressive behavior, higher levels of irritability and lower impulse control, as well as eating and sleep problems, suggesting that laughter can prevent fights, help keep diets under control and ensure a good night’s sleep, just like Cousins said.</p> <h2>Give happiness levels a boost</h2> <p>So what if you’re not, by nature, a happy person? There are ways to give happiness levels a boost. <a href="/AddToCart.aspx?productId=37"><img alt="" src="/Images/blog/March 2014/Boost-your-happiness.jpg" style="float: right;" /></a></p> <ul> <li><strong>Natural mood boosters.</strong> Supplements such as Xtend-Life’s <a href="http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/product/Neuro-Natural_Serenity.aspx">Neuro-Natural Serenity</a>, which includes 43 ingredients designed to help support emotional wellbeing and boost mood, can help ease stress by elevating levels of feel-good chemicals in the brain.</li> <li><strong>Exercise. </strong>The quickest way to feel better is to get moving. A brisk walk can get endorphins flowing, giving you the same feel-good boost as a shot of morphine, without the risk of drug addiction. According to WebMD, exercise helps you manage pain better, helps you sleep better and helps you feel sexier, giving you incentive for the next exercise session, as well.</li> <li><strong>Fake it until you make it.</strong> If you act happy, people see you as happy, and you see yourself through their eyes. You feel happy. Start with a smile to help you break free of the doldrums.</li> </ul> <p>“Happiness is no magic bullet,” said Diener. “But the evidence is clear and compelling that it changes your odds of getting disease or dying young.”</p> <h2>Reference:</h2> <p>1. Loma Linda University – Dr Lee S Berk http://www.llu.edu/pages/faculty/directory/portfolio_activity.php?uid=lberk&amp;catid=5</p> <p>2. Dr Lee S. Berk</p> <p>http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20664125</p> <p>3. Dr Lee S. Berk’s study http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090417084115.htm</p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-03-20/Science_proves_happiness_is_vital_to_good_health.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-03-20/Science_proves_happiness_is_vital_to_good_health.aspx d88fef98-cbcd-40d4-b240-9b5833bd9431 Wed, 19 Mar 2014 21:00:00 GMT Age Gracefully With Joy <p>At the start of this blog series on foundational health and wellbeing: what is it, and how to achieve it, we invited you on a journey of discovery. </p> <p>This journey illustrated how good foundational health and wellbeing are possible at any age, once all your core systems and processes are balanced and in harmony.</p> <p>We progressed through several milestones which:</p> <p>1. Described how optimal foundational health means that all of you is in balance and in sync with your passions and purpose. In other words, you are properly nourished on cellular, molecular, biological, mental and emotional levels. Then the likelihood of degenerative disease and premature aging is reduced.</p> <p>The ‘Secret’ to vibrant health, well-being and anti-aging is inside you! Nourish and love yourself by making lifestyle choices which invigorate and motivate you at every level to be your very best.</p> <p>Forget superficial symptomatic quick fixes. However tempting!</p> <p>2. Defined what a degenerative disease is: the slow but sure deterioration of the function or structure of tissues or organs. And why aging is <strong>not</strong> a degenerative disease: rather we believe that aging is a natural part of life. You cannot reverse aging (yet) but you can help to slow it down and enjoy aging gracefully in vibrant health.</p> <p>The speed and severity with which you age is largely determined by you. Your lifestyle choices will be the key influence on how you age.</p> <div> <p>3. Explained the main causes of degenerative diseases and why they are so prevalent: Lifestyle choices, stress, environment and toxicity.</p> <p>4. Clarified the impact these main causes have on our body, health and wellbeing by showing how they lead to the development of key degenerative aging processes:</p> <ul> <li>Excess Free Radicals and Oxidative Stress</li> <li>Glycation</li> <li>Abnormal Methylation</li> <li>Chronic Inflammation</li> <li>DNA Degradation</li> <li>Hormonal imbalance</li> <li>Toxicity/impaired detoxification</li> </ul> <p>5. Suggested a Protocol which detailed the key steps for Vibrant Foundational Health and Wellbeing. Integral to this is that we hope you discover what really drives you: Your Essence. When you know that, then all the other elements: attitude, diet, supplementation, exercise, environment, work, and relationships can synchronise into one harmonious whole.</p> <p>6. Proposed that achieving this vibrant foundational health is realistic <strong>without </strong>recourse to Conventional medical solutions. We then explained the respective benefits of Conventional treatment and supplemental support, and the features of  quality supplementation</p> <h2>So where to now?</h2> <p>We hope that this information has inspired you to welcome aging as an opportunity to know and nourish yourself better – to ripen not to stagnate. It does not need to be a descent into degenerative misery!</p> <p>Rather, think like Sophia Loren who says:</p> <p><em>“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”</em></p> <p>Perhaps then, youth is a gift of nature, but aging gracefully is a work of art!</p> </div> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-03-18/Age_Gracefully_With_Joy.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-03-18/Age_Gracefully_With_Joy.aspx 74538a0e-02d5-45dd-9e6a-d48ed50666e3 Mon, 17 Mar 2014 21:00:00 GMT Ginkgo Biloba Shows Neural Stem Cells Promise <p>Ginkgo biloba has long been touted as a natural way to help support memory and mental function.</p> <p>One of the oldest living tree species – the ginkgo tree is considered a living fossil, since it has survived many ecological events – ginkgo biloba is one of the most popular supplements to come from Asia.</p> <p>And according to new research from China, the supplement may help support brain function by increasing stem cell growth in key portions of the brain.</p> <p>The study, which appeared in the journal Neural Regeneration Research, found that ginkgo biloba EGb 761 supplements (EGb 761 mean the standardized extract of ginkgo biloba leaves), may support the development of neural stem cells, which control memory and cognition.</p> <p>Neural stem cells proliferate in the area of the brain that is believed to play a role in the development of memory, though there aren’t enough of the cells available and they do not develop at a fast enough rate to prevent health concerns such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.</p> <p>Using ginkgo biloba extract, however, may help stimulate the proliferation of neural stem cells enough to slow or prevent dementia, according to Prof. Yuliang Wang and a team from Weifang Medical University in China.</p> <p>Wang and his team studied the effects of ginkgo biloba on rats with vascular dementia, and found that the supplementation not only helped boost neural stem cell production enough to improve learning and memory, the effects of the supplementation lasted for four months.</p> <h2>A long history of benefits</h2> <p>A 1997 study from researchers at the New York Institute for Medical Research in Tarrytown, N.Y., found that ginkgo supplements slowed the progression of dementia in 300 volunteers with mild to moderate cases of dementia, the majority of whom were suffering from Alzheimer’s.</p> <p>The results appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, and it opened the door to serious consideration of ginkgo as a natural supplement worth investigation by the medical community.</p> <p>Additional studies have suggested that ginkgo might be an effective tool to treat dementia because it improves blood circulation – not only by opening up blood vessels, but also by making blood less sticky – thereby increasing blood flow to the brain.</p> <h2>Ginkgo and Alzheimer’s</h2> <p>Since decreased blood flow to the brain (thanks to compromised blood supply) is common in the elderly... who are the biggest age group at risk of dementia, it makes sense that increased blood flow could help improve cognitive function and thinking for those with Alzheimer’s.</p> <p>Another key factor in the slowing of dementia, according to Dr. Scott Mendelson in a blog on the Huffington Post website, is the impact ginkgo has on the growth of amyloid deposits in brain tissue. Amyloids are insoluble proteins that have been linked to Alzheimer’s, and in animal studies, ginkgo helped support the reduction of their growth.</p> <p>Ginkgo may also support the health and function of nerve cells that are damaged through the progression of Alzheimer’s, researchers say.</p> <h2>Ginkgo in Europe</h2> <p>Research appearing in the journal Pharmacopsychiatry and the Journal of the American Medical Association found that ginkgo was an effective support supplement for brain function and health to reduce the impact of dementia.</p> <p>Those studies suggest, though, that ginkgo supplement may only help support the prevention of progressive dementia symptoms, but do not prevent the onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s.</p> <h2>Too young for ginkgo?</h2> <p>If you think that a ginkgo supplement isn’t warranted until dementia is a risk, studies have also shown that ginkgo supplements may help support the brain function of healthy adults.</p> <p>“Some studies have found that ginkgo may help improve memory and thinking in young and middle-aged people who are healthy,” according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.</p> <h2>Fighting free radicals</h2> <p>In addition to helping support brain health, ginkgo is a powerful antioxidant featuring two substances, flavonoids and terpenoids, that help fight off free radicals.</p> <p>Free radicals – which contain unpaired molecules that make them unstable - are said to speed the progression of aging, and have been linked to a range of disorders including cancer, arthritis, atherosclerosis, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.</p> <p>Antioxidants such as ginkgo are able to fight free radicals because they are capable of donating an electron to the free radical, making it stable – without becoming unstable itself.</p> <p>Ginkgo biloba extract is one of the many ingredients in Xtend-Life’s <a href="http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/info/TB.aspx">Total Balance</a> and <a href="http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/product/Neuro-Natural_General.aspx">Neuro-Natural product</a> lines.</p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-03-13/Ginkgo_Biloba_Shows_Neural_Stem_Cells_Promise.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-03-13/Ginkgo_Biloba_Shows_Neural_Stem_Cells_Promise.aspx f0194f4d-6fff-4db2-b005-86274480707f Wed, 12 Mar 2014 21:48:00 GMT Respective Benefits of Conventional Treatment and Supplementary Support <p>Conventional medicine is very good in emergency situations. It treats symptoms with medication and surgery because that works when there is no time to carefully examine causes.  It is also what doctors are largely taught by a health care system which incentivizes them to treat the symptoms rather than address the underlying causes.  In other words, not enough effort goes into prevention of illness. </p> <p>In the case of accident or injury, drug and surgery interventions are the only solution, but for chronic long term illness and degenerative disorders, like diabetes, cancer and immune diseases, this approach very rarely works. Why? </p> <p>Not only does Conventional medicine usually ignore root causes, it also encourages the use of toxic drugs with known negative side effects. Many of these drugs require further medication to suppress side effects from the first medication. So begins a vicious cycle of, and dependency on ‘pill-popping’. It’s as if Health Care has become Sick Care.</p> <p>Therefore, for chronic degenerative disorders we need to think outside the ‘Conventional’ box. </p> <p>Nutrition from most ‘normal’ i.e. processed foods just doesn’t cut it because of their toxic loading. Even non or minimally processed foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables may be inadequate because they are likely grown in poor quality soils and sprayed with chemicals. </p> <p>Therefore, quality supplementation has become a necessity, not a luxury. </p> <p>But how do you know what a quality supplement is when there is so much choice and questionable quality? </p> <p>Please consider this guide:</p> <h2>What to look for in a Quality Supplement</h2> <ol> <li>Ingredients must be in the most bio-available form, so they are properly absorbed and assimilated,   and they must use the most appropriate delivery mechanism. For example, L-Glutathione needs to be in the ‘reduced’ form so it can pass through the intestinal walls into the blood stream. Accordingly, it also needs to be protected as it passes through the stomach before being released in the upper intestine. Enteric coating is therefore the best delivery mechanism.</li> <li>Ingredients should be pure - free from contaminants, additives and preservatives.</li> <li>Solid evidence of ingredient effectiveness should be available to view.</li> <li>Mixed formulas should contain ingredients at the right doses and potency to complement each other’s effectiveness.</li> <li>The most effective and often the most expensive ingredients should not be avoided in order to keep the price lower.</li> <li>Supplements should be manufactured in a facility which is GMP compliant and meets all regulatory requirements, including hygiene and testing protocols.</li> </ol> <p>Most health supplement manufacturers are only able to claim that maybe 1 or 2 of these points apply. At Xtend-Life we are able to <strong><em>prove</em></strong> that we meet (and often exceed) all of them and more. </p> <p>We put the health of our customers first.</p> <p>Experts at Xtend-Life have spent many years researching, processing and manufacturing formulas to help you improve your health, wellbeing and longevity. Long will this continue! </p> <p>To help you understand some of the key essential ingredients necessary for your 'whole' body health and wellbeing you may find the following list helpful. (Please note these <strong><em>are not</em></strong> specialist ingredients for specific health conditions):</p> <h2>Essential Ingredients for ‘Whole’ Body Health and Wellbeing.</h2> <h3> <p>Vitamins and co-factors</p> </h3> <p>Vitamins and co-factors may help to protect against hardened arteries; excess cholesterol, environmental pollutants, heart and circulatory problems, fatigue, digestive pressure, metabolism problems, brain diseases, aging, eye and skin problems and nervous system disease… </p> <p>Examples include: Vitamins A (usually as beta carotene), B1, B2,  B3,  B5, B6, B12, folate (as folic acid), biotin, Vitamin C, Vitamin D/D3, Vitamin E, inositol, lutein, phosphatidyl choline, rutin, tocotrienols.</p> <h3> <p>Amino acids</p> </h3> <p>Amino acids are natural compounds involved in many metabolic processes related to energy metabolism, immune, nervous, and  musculoskeletal system functioning, bone and joint integrity, hormone and blood sugar balancing, cardiovascular, brain and memory health.</p> <p>Examples include: L-Arginine HCL, L-Methionine, L-Threonine, L-Tyrosine, L-Carnosine, L-Glutathione (reduced), L-Taurine, L-Proline, L-Lysine, N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine and Acetyl-L-Carnitine.</p> <h3> <p>Enzymes</p> </h3> <p>Enzymes help to break down food into usable nutrients which can be assimilated and absorbed through the small intestine. There are around 22 different digestive enzymes, each of which has a different property. Enzymes are found in fruits, vegetables, meat and other foods. </p> <p>Examples include: Amylase, Lipase, Isolase, Cellulase, Lactase, Protease, Bromelain, Papain and Betain HCL.</p> <h3> <p>Macro minerals and trace elements</p> </h3> <p>Macro minerals and trace elements may help enhance food and mineral absorption, correct mineral deficiencies, increase energy, improve blood pressure, reduce obesity, aid detoxification, promote normal cell function, help prevent osteoporosis and improve bone and joint flexibility. </p> <p>They also help central nervous system and brain function, muscle and cardiac health, hormonal health, help detoxification and protect eye health and vision. </p> <p>Examples include: calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, boron, manganese, potassium, chromium, iodine, selenium and molybdenum. </p> <p>It should be noted that all minerals are not the same.  Because you cannot ingest the actual mineral they come in a variety of different forms.  For example, calcium can come in the form of calcium carbonite, and there are different forms of that as well.  The most common form found in supplements being ‘chalk’.   Xtend-Life now uses calcium derived from a marine algae which is much more bio-available and will not build up calcium deposits in the body.</p> <h3> <p>Antioxidants</p> </h3> <p>Antioxidants fight free radical damage to your organs, tissues and cells to help protect against premature aging and disease. There are many anti-oxidants. Key is to use those with as many proven benefits as possible. We use the following: </p> <p>Examples: L-Glutathione (reduced),  red grape skin and seed, bilberry, green tea, gingko biloba, resveratrol, beta carotene (Vitamin A), lycopene, curcumin (turmeric), hawthorne berry, alpha lipoic acid, coenzyme Q10, lutein, zeaxanthin, quercetin, rutin, hesperiden, grape seed, oregon grape (Mahonia), ginger, black cumin, soy isoflavones, N-Acetyl L- Cysteine, L – Carnosine, astaxanthin, Vitamin C. Vitamin E, Tocotrienols. </p> <p>All of the above and more are used in their most bio-available form in our supplements. </p> <p>In this blog you have seen why Conventional medical solutions are largely limited to emergency situations. For longer term lasting health we need to consider holistic treatments which address underlying causes on a cellular and systematic basis. This includes, but is not limited to quality supplement support. </p> <p>You know what quality supplementation looks like. </p> <p>And now... we've covered so much ground, I think it’s time to wrap up. Please look forward to our final instalment which does just that.</p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-03-11/Respective_Benefits_of_Conventional_Treatment_and_Supplementary_Support.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-03-11/Respective_Benefits_of_Conventional_Treatment_and_Supplementary_Support.aspx 2d824daf-56c7-4010-a451-038f04a6cc77 Mon, 10 Mar 2014 23:58:00 GMT Do you have a Family member in ‘Skilled Nursing Care’? <p>About 12 years ago I wrote an article about Medical Errors being the 3rd largest cause of death in the USA (Ref. 1).  Since then there has been numerous articles on the subject all reaffirming the sad statistics of deaths which should have been preventable...due to wrong interventions either by way of surgery or incorrect medication or, even ‘correct’ medication interacting with another contributing to death.</p> <p>These statistics which first became public about 12 years ago have not really improved much. Hospitals can be dangerous places...but unfortunately, for many people they are essential.  A lot of people do owe there lives to hospitals and the staff who work in them.  </p> <p>Sadly many people who end up in hospital would never have had to go there if they had treated their body as the wonderful, self healing ‘machine’ that it is.  In other words treated it kinder by way of ensuring that it had the nutrients that it needed and kept it moving by way of exercise.   But, that is not the subject of this blog post.</p> <p>What I wanted to convey to you today is that it is not only hospitals that can be dangerous places but also facilities that care for the elderly...in other words skilled nursing facilities.</p> <p>Recently the Inspector General of the US. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) conducted a study focusing on skilled nursing care.  The results were alarming, and this is why I am raising it today.  They found that one third of skilled nursing patients were harmed.   If you have family in nursing care then it would be prudent to read the report below and then follow up with the nursing home to be certain your family member is getting the level of care you expect.  </p> <p>To access the article please <a href="http://www.propublica.org/article/one-third-of-skilled-nursing-patients-harmed-in-treatment?utm_source=et&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_campaign=dailynewsletter">click here</a> (Ref. 2).</p> <p><strong><em>Reference:</em></strong></p> <p><em>1.</em><em>http://www.xtend-life.com/News/Xtend-Your-Life/Article/02-02-06/The_3rd_biggest_cause_of_Death.aspx</em></p> <p><em>2.<span lang="mi-NZ"><a href="http://www.propublica.org/article/one-third-of-skilled-nursing-patients-harmed-in-treatment?utm_source=et&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_campaign=dailynewsletter">http://www.propublica.org/article/one-third-of-skilled-nursing-patients-harmed-in-treatment?utm_source=et&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_campaign=dailynewsletter</a>)</span></em></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="mi-NZ"><o:p></o:p></span></p> <p></p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-03-11/Do_you_have_a_Family_member_in_‘Skilled_Nursing_Care’.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-03-11/Do_you_have_a_Family_member_in_%e2%80%98Skilled_Nursing_Care%e2%80%99.aspx 026da8a1-40c9-449f-a2e3-1f1101e18869 Mon, 10 Mar 2014 19:21:00 GMT What are the Key Steps for Vibrant Foundational Health and Well-being? <p>You have seen how vibrant foundational health means that all of you is in balance and you are properly nourished on a cellular, molecular, biological, mental and emotional level.</p> <p>When you have optimal foundational health the likelihood of degenerative disease and premature aging is reduced.</p> <p>There is no one isolated cause and no one isolated solution. Your body is like a finely tuned orchestra with all the instruments playing their unique but complementary tunes. These individual tunes need to be synchronised by the conductor.</p> <p>The conductor is your Essence: what drives you – your purpose and passions. When you know that, then all the other elements: attitude, diet, supplementation, exercise, environment, work, and relationships can synchronise into one harmonious whole.</p> <p>For example, if you are stressed, bored and/or fed up with everything, moody, and disappointed with your lot, then you have no motivation to do anything, never mind exercise, change your diet etc. Even if you do decide to make small changes, they rarely last because you often don’t see positive results quickly.</p> <p>This is why you need to take a ‘wholistic’ view of you and your life and follow these five steps to vibrant foundational health and wellbeing:</p> <ol> <li><strong>Get clear:</strong> Identify what drives you, what makes you passionate and why.</li> <li><strong>Get convinced:</strong> Know and believe that you can achieve what you want.</li> <li><strong>Get motivated:</strong> When you know your destination, GO FOR IT with passionate purpose.</li> <li><strong>Get nourished:</strong> to achieve your goals, you need to be your very best. That means giving your body the nourishment, love and respect it needs to thrive on a cellular, molecular, biological, mental and emotional level.</li> <li><strong>Get results and be grateful!</strong> The more you are grateful, the more you have to be grateful for!</li> </ol> <p>To recap on No 4 above – Get nourished - please consider the following Protocol which addresses the key causes of degeneration and aging: (excess free radicals, oxidative stress, glycation, abnormal methylation, chronic inflammation, DNA Degradation, hormonal imbalance, toxicity/impaired detoxification.)</p> <h2>‘Wholistic’ Protocol for Vibrant Living</h2> <p> <strong>STOP (or at least, reduce):</strong></p> <ol> <li>Eating refined flour and sugar products, especially high fructose corn syrup. This includes liquid calories – your body doesn't feel full from them so you tend to eat more all day.</li> <li>All processed, junk or packaged foods. If it doesn't look like the food your great-great grandmother ate, stay away.</li> <li>Eating trans or hydrogenated fats which are highly processed, refined and oxidized oils used in processed foods such as: corn oil, canola oil, soy oil, margarine and shortening.</li> <li>Exposure to obvious toxins and pollutants.</li> <li>Taking, stimulants, sedatives, and drugs, such as caffeine, nicotine, medications and alcohol.</li> <li>Sources of stress: simplify, unclutter, balance and relax.</li> </ol> <p><strong>START and Continue:</strong></p> <ol> <li>Eating organic produce as much as possible to reduce the likelihood of consuming toxins.  Aim for several daily servings of raw or lightly cooked organic colourful fruits and vegetables. Specifically include cruciferous vegetables, broccoli, collards, kale and cabbage. Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, garlic and onions, can help to increase sulfur in the body, which in turn aids detoxification.</li> <li>Balancing your meals (low glycemic load) with a) healthy protein (nuts, seeds, beans, small wild fish, organic chicken), b) healthy carbs (vegetables, fruit, beans, whole grains), c) healthy fats (extra virgin olive/coconut oils, raw nuts, seeds, avocadoes, Omega 3 fish oil) and d) soluble fibre (30-50 grams per day) . By ‘healthy fats’ I mean a mix of mainly monounsaturated, Omega 3 and some saturated fats. Without them you would not live long. Fat forms the fatty lipids that make up the membrane of all your cells and it delivers nutrients to where they’re needed. Vitamins A, D, E, K and CoQ10 can’t even be absorbed without fat.</li> <li>Drinking clean water, as often as possible. Coconut water is also a great internal cleanser, anti-oxidant, PH balancer and electrolyte booster.</li> <li>Taking a broad range of anti-oxidants, especially the more potent ones, such as grape seed extract and L-Glutathione.</li> <li>Taking a range of methylating agents, and in particular SAMe.</li> <li>Taking blood sugar balancing nutrients such as chromium, vanadium, magnesium, vitamin E, biotin, the B vitamins, zinc, bioflavonoids, alpha lipoic acid and arginine. These herbs may help too: ginkgo biloba and gymnena sylvestre and bitter melon.</li> <li>Moving your bowels regularly: at least once daily. In addition to soluble fibre, consider drinking two large glasses of pure warm water each day immediately upon rising each morning.</li> <li>Balancing your fatty acid and oil ratios. Our current modern diet focuses on Omega 6 rather than Omega 3 which leads to the metabolization of chemicals causing chronic inflammation. Our prehistoric ancestors’ omega-6 to omega-3 ratio was an ideal 1:1. Ours ranges between 10:1 and 25:1. Most experts agree that the omega 6:3 ratio should range from 1:1 to 5:1 with 4 grams of O3 daily from foods such as flaxseeds, walnuts and pure fish oils.</li> <li>Regular, varied exercise to improve your cells ability to work better, respond to insulin more effectively and burn sugar faster. Use a combination of high intensity training, cardio, aerobic, stretching and yoga.</li> <li>Sweating profusely on a regular basis, using a sauna, steam or a detox bath (or just sun bathing) to speed up detoxification.</li> <li>Improving sleep quality. Research indicates that sleeping less than six hours may increase insulin resistance, diabetes, angina, coronary heart disease, heart attack or stroke. The same appears to be true when you sleep more than nine hours per night. So 6-8 hours seems to be a good compromise according to your personal needs.</li> <li>Learning to relax. Stress reduction also helps improve blood sugar control.</li> <li>Taking good quality bioavailable supplementation to help compensate for the inadequacies in our diet and lifestyle.</li> <li>Increasing exposure to Vitamin D / the sun. Countless research shows the multi-faceted health benefits of regular Vitamin D/sun exposure.</li> </ol> <p>We hope that this protocol will help guide and motivate you towards a balanced foundation for real health and wellbeing.</p> <p>During this process, we also hope that you discover what really drives you: Your Essence. When you know that, then all the other elements: attitude, diet, supplementation, exercise, environment, work, and relationships can synchronise into one harmonious whole.</p> <p>If you achieve this, you may find  that conventional medical solutions may be unnecessary.</p> <p>To clarify why we believe this is the case, we invite you to read our next blog in this series which describes what the respective benefits of conventional treatment and supplementary support are.</p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-03-04/What_are_the_Key_Steps_for_Vibrant_Foundational_Health_and_Well-being.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-03-04/What_are_the_Key_Steps_for_Vibrant_Foundational_Health_and_Well-being.aspx 71960d44-f161-4b59-969a-a2ef524795f3 Mon, 03 Mar 2014 23:44:00 GMT Status of the Weight Management Industry <p>I read an interesting article recently about ‘The Future of the Weight Management Industry’ (ref1)</p> <p>My curiosity was aroused not so much by the huge numbers quoted for those overweight/obese. Rather, I was struck by the key conclusion which really should be more widely communicated.</p> <p>This message is that ultimately weight management pills and potions may be largely ineffective without simultaneously making other healthy lifestyle choices.</p> <p>In fact the study authors commented:</p> <p><em>“Despite forecasted growth, one might expect the weight management market to be much larger given that obesity is such a widespread and serious health condition. </em><em>Yet weight management accounts for only 7% of the US$205 billion global consumer health market. </em><em>This translates into a 2013 retail sales value of US$14 billion”</em></p> <h2>Key Statistics</h2> <p>Before we look at what is limiting the weight management market growth, let’s have a quick look at some key statistics:</p> <ul> <li>According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are more than 1.4 billion overweight and obese adults 20 years or older. </li> <li>The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 12% of children aged 2 to 5 and 18% aged 6 to 11 are obese or overweight</li> <li>The prevalence of obesity is growing in emerging countries, once thought to be an issue focused in developed countries. By 2018, more than 3 out of 4 people aged 15 and older are projected to be overweight or obese in Kuwait, Venezuela, and Mexico.</li> <li>WHO claim that being overweight or obese is directly responsible for 2.8 million deaths per year. I suggest this is a contentious claim: correlation does not conform causation, especially without proven data to support the claim)</li> </ul> <p>As previously mentioned, despite the large US$205 billion value of the global consumer health market, the weight management share is only 7%. A paltry US$14 billion!</p> <p>How come? What are the limiting factors and the lessons?</p> <h2>Factors Limiting Weight Management Growth</h2> <p>The key reasons relate to:</p> <ol> <li>A general preference for 'natural' weight loss techniques (especially diet and exercise)</li> <li>Loss of consumer confidence in weight loss supplements</li> <li>Prescription obesity medicines. </li> </ol> <h3>1. Natural weight loss techniques</h3> <p>Despite the desperation of many to lose weight, and take short cuts where possible, (think starvation diets, bariatric / gastric band surgery), the majority of people still seem to be quite conservative in choosing more natural weight loss techniques, These include: “Better For You” foods and beverages such as reduced fat or sugar products. Expenditure on these is up 4% and 12%, respectively, since 2008.  Fresh food consumption has also grown 13% by volume. </p> <p>Regarding sports nutrition sales have posted 67% gains since 2008.  Also, retail value sales of sportswear have increased 8% worldwide, including 33% in Latin America and 32% in Asia Pacific. </p> <h3>2. Loss of consumer confidence in weight loss supplements</h3> <p>This loss in confidence has resulted from a series of high profile cases describing serious side effects after taking certain weight loss supplements.  One of the most notorious cases in 2013 involved the “fat burner” OxyElite Pro by USPlabs, which was linked to 48 cases of liver damage, several of which required liver transplants, and one death.  A number of weight loss supplements have also been identified as containing banned substances.</p> <p><strong><em>Please note</em></strong>: the point being made here is NOT that ALL weight loss supplements are BAD. Just that some poor quality weight loss supplements may lead to potential health risks.</p> <h3>3. Prescription obesity medicines. </h3> <p>Yet another challenge for the weight management industry is the recent development in prescription obesity medicines.  For example, Qsymia (phentermine/topiramate ER) by Vivus Inc and Belviq (lorcaserin) by Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. have increased in popularity by cutting down on undesired side effects. They are expected to gain considerable traction in the near future, and further cut into the more ‘natural’ weight management customer base. Of course, time will tell….these are still very new and unproven</p> <h2>Conclusion</h2> <p>I am glad that the weight management industry is not as ‘large’ as one may expect. It suggests that many are still cautious and conservative in choosing more natural weight loss techniques over more questionable, less proven, ‘quick fix’ options.</p> <p>As Ron White says: “You can't fix stupid.”</p> <p>This is very much in keeping with our philosophy at Xtend-Life: We need to focus on lifestyle, especially dietary and exercise choices as key weight control tools, and especially how such choices affect us physiologically, biologically and emotionally.</p> <h3>Reference</h3> <p>1.  <a href="http://blog.euromonitor.com/2014/01/the-future-of-weight-management.html?mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRojv6jJZKXonjHpfsXx7O4sWaeg38431UFwdcjKPmjr1YAESsd0aPyQAgobGp5I5FEASrXYV69rt6IMUg==">http://blog.euromonitor.com/2014/01/the-future-of-weight-management.html?mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRojv6jJZKXonjHpfsXx7O4sWaeg38431UFwdcjKPmjr1YAESsd0aPyQAgobGp5I5FEASrXYV69rt6IMUg%3D%3D</a></p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-02-26/Status_of_the_Weight_Management_Industry.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-02-26/Status_of_the_Weight_Management_Industry.aspx ce14287e-a025-4eba-9a34-65a7027e1558 Tue, 25 Feb 2014 20:26:00 GMT How Our Modern Lifestyle May Accelerate Aging: Toxicity & Impaired Detoxification <p>You now know how glycation, AGEs, excess free radicals, oxidative stress, abnormal methylation, DNA degradation, and hormonal imbalances contribute to degenerative diseases and premature aging. You also understand that chronic inflammation is arguably the root cause.</p> <p>However, there is still one key process which can result in continual, systematic stress and chronic ill health. The purpose of this instalment is to describe this process: toxicity/impaired detoxification.</p> <h2>What is Toxicity/Impaired detoxification?</h2> <p>Your body is designed to detoxify, or cleanse itself naturally (ref 1). We become ‘toxic when two key interrelated body processes fail, and our cells become saturated with waste at a faster rate than they can be disposed of. Enter…impaired detoxification.</p> <p>These two processes are:</p> <p></p> <ol> <li>Toxification by natural waste products: where the body accumulates a build-up of natural waste products from the cell, called nucleic waste. This can either result from poor liver and kidney function when all of the waste is not extracted from the intercellular fluid (fluid that surrounds cells in tissues). Or it can result from external toxin build-up on the plasma membrane, restricting all of the waste products from leaving the interior of the cell.</li> <li>Toxification by low level artificial toxins: where a toxin penetrates the cell membrane and enters into the internal structure. If the white blood cells are unable to clean the internal structure, toxic build up is likely.</li> </ol> <p></p> <p>In contrast with our distant ancestors, most dangerous toxins today originate externally. This eventually may overwhelm our internal natural detoxification systems.</p> <h2>Where do these external toxins come from?</h2> <p>Your food, drink, medications and air are all saturated with microscopic chemical debris – environmental toxins and Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) (ref 2). You can’t see, feel or smell them, but they are real and over time, very dangerous to your health and wellbeing.</p> <p>POPs work their way through the food chain by accumulating in the body fat of living organisms and becoming more concentrated as they move from one creature to another.</p> <p>The older you get the more at risk you are because these toxins accumulate as you age and are stored in your body fat.</p> <p>According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) more than 60,000 substances are registered substances with the EPA. Some of them are already known to be neurotoxins, endocrine disruptors, and carcinogens. It is estimated that the average American now has between 300 and 400 different neurotoxins circulating in their body at any one time. (ref 3)</p> <p>Without taking preventative measures, you may become like a toxic waste dump…..or, perish the thought, like the ‘King of Rock 'n' Roll’, Elvis Presley.</p> <p>Did you know that it wasn't a heart condition that killed him, as declared at the time, rather it was chronic constipation (ref 4)?</p> <p>As his personal doctor later revealed, according to the autopsy, Elvis' colon was 5 to 6 inches in diameter, nearly twice the size of the average person. It was also 8 to 9 feet long, compared with the normal 4 to 5 feet.</p> <p>Other disorders which have been associated with toxicity may include Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, dementia, heart disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, cancers, autoimmune diseases, food allergies, arthritis,  digestive diseases, like Crohn’s, ulcers, colitis, inflammatory bowel, menstrual problems like heavy bleeding, cramps, PMS, menopausal symptoms, mood changes and hot flashes.</p> <h2>How can you prevent this toxic build up in our contaminated world?</h2> <p>The key is to figure out how to enhance your body’s capacity to detoxify and eliminate waste, while minimizing your exposure to toxins.</p> <p>There are five key steps to optimal detoxification as follows:</p> <p><strong>Step One:</strong> Identify and eliminate Toxins.</p> <p><strong>Step Two:</strong> Fix your gut: Many people have dysbiosis, or imbalanced gut flora. Some of these micro-organisms are responsible for breaking down the toxins in your GI tract, so you can eliminate them.</p> <p><strong>Step Three:</strong> Get moving – to help your blood and lymphatic circulation do its job.</p> <p><strong>Step Four:</strong> Get your liver and detox system working.</p> <p><strong>Step Five:</strong> Detox your mind. Manage stress.</p> <p>On a practical basis this means:</p> <ol> <li>Drink plenty of clean water, as often as possible. Coconut water is also a great internal cleanser, anti-oxidant, PH balancer and electrolyte booster.</li> <li>Keep your bowels moving, at least once daily. One of the best remedies for this is a couple of large glasses of luke warm water immediately upon rising each morning.</li> <li>Eat organic produce as much as possible to reduce the likelihood of consuming toxins.</li> <li>Eat several daily servings of raw or lightly cooked organic colourful fruits and vegetables.Specifically, include cruciferous vegetables, broccoli, collards, kale &amp; cabbage. Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, garlic and onions, can help to increase sulfur in the body, which in turn aids detoxification.</li> <li>Stop eating refined white flour and white sugar.</li> <li>Avoid, or at the very least, reduce, stimulants, sedatives, and drugs, such as caffeine, nicotine, medications and alcohol.</li> <li>Exercise regularly using a combination of high intensity training, cardio, aerobic, stretching and yoga. Sweat profusely at least three times a week, using a sauna, steam or a detox bath.</li> <li>Take broad spectrum high quality supplements.</li> <li>Relax deeply every day to keep your nervous system in a state of calm, rest and relaxation.</li> <li>Expose yourself to at least 15 mins daily of natural sunlight/Vitamin D.</li> </ol> <h2>Conclusion</h2> <p>By now you are an expert in how to prevent degenerative disease and premature aging!</p> <p>You know the main causes: glycation, AGEs, excess free radicals, oxidative stress, abnormal methylation, DNA degradation, hormonal imbalances and toxicity/impaired detoxification. You also understand how chronic inflammation is arguably the root cause.</p> <p>Additionally, you have been given some practical steps to help you build solid foundational health.</p> <p>We think it may help to elaborate more on those steps, so you are really clear what to do. That is the aim of the next blog where you will see a suggested Protocol to follow.</p> <h2>References</h2> <p>1. Body detoxes naturally <a href="http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/detox-diets-cleansing-body">http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/detox-diets-cleansing-body</a></p> <p>2. POPS  <a href="http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/ENVIRONMENT/EXTPOPS/0,,contentMDK:20487948~menuPK:1165797~pagePK:148956~piPK:216618~theSitePK:408121,00.html">http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/ENVIRONMENT/EXTPOPS/0,,contentMDK:20487948~menuPK:1165797~pagePK:148956~piPK:216618~theSitePK:408121,00.html</a></p> <p>3. EPA stats <a href="http://www.epa.gov/international/toxics/pop.html">http://www.epa.gov/international/toxics/pop.html</a>  </p> <p>4.. Elvis Presley’s death <a href="http://www.themedicalbag.com/story/elvis-presley">http://www.themedicalbag.com/story/elvis-presley</a></p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-02-25/How_Our_Modern_Lifestyle_May_Accelerate_Aging_Toxicity_Impaired_Detoxification.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-02-25/How_Our_Modern_Lifestyle_May_Accelerate_Aging_Toxicity_Impaired_Detoxification.aspx d8572990-3666-459d-93f7-5e6c97103f31 Mon, 24 Feb 2014 21:12:00 GMT Why Do Dietary Supplements Have a Use By Date <p>‘Use by date’ technically means the last date at which a product is considered to be safe, stable, and maintain the full efficacy promised on the label under normal storage conditions.  After this the product may start degrading.</p> <p>Food manufacturers are often very concerned about their products becoming rancid too soon after production. As a result, they have no qualms about pumping in chemicals, preservatives and additives that will extend the use by date of the product.</p> <p>Whereas most food products tend to last for anything from a day to several months, depending on a variety of factors such as preservatives, chemicals, additives and packaging... supplements like those manufactured by Xtend-Life tend to have around two-year shelf lives and are still fine to take well after their use by date, albeit with reduced efficacy.</p> <p>This is because at Xtend-Life, we use extracts, dry powders, minerals and other ingredients in dry very stable forms that certainly last longer than food products... therefore <strong>removing</strong> the need for preservatives.</p> <p>We’ll discuss this in more detail later in the article.</p> <p>The AHPA (American Herbal Products Association) has a 36-page document that explains a list of GMP (Good Manufacturing Processes) guidelines pertaining to use by dates relevant to dietary supplement manufacturers.</p> <p> </p> <h2>A Closer Look At The Relationship Between Dietary Supplements And Their Use By Date</h2> <p></p> <p>Quality dietary supplements should at all times be manufactured under stringent guidelines. They fall in a category that lies in between the food and pharmaceutical industries.</p> <p>Quality control organizations do suggest that all supplements should clearly specify a use by date on their product label. The manufacturer should be able to assure consumers that the product will retain the quality as well as efficacy of the ingredients stated on the label until the use by date is reached.</p> <p>The most prominent product characteristics that affect the use by date of an edible product (including dietary supplements) are color, taste, texture and odor. For example, let’s take Xtend-Life’s <a href="http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/product/Green_Lipped_Mussel_Powder.aspx">Green Lipped Mussel Powder</a>.</p> <p>Green Lipped Mussel has been shown to help support the body’s natural ability to address inflammation. The supplement contains 100% natural ingredients with no fillers or chemical additives. The <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Green_Lipped_Mussel_Powder/More_Info.aspx#blog_usedbydate">unique processing</a> preserves the natural goodness of mussel powder so that your body is able to assimilate the supplement at the cellular level. </p> <p>Since the product is in the form of a dry powder, and the mussels are fully processed from live, to dry powder within an hour,  We are able to be very confident that this product will remain stable and highly effective for well over 2 years.</p> <p>Dietary supplements contain what are referred to as ‘active ingredients’. Active ingredients are those components of a supplement that provide actual, real-time value to your body. In contrast, inactive ingredients are ‘carriers’ or ‘fillers’ that add to the cost and bulk of the product but are not with associated with any physical benefit.</p> <p>Vitamins and minerals come under the category of active ingredients and they lose their potency over an extended period of time.</p> <p>Dietary supplements may also lose nutritional value due to enzymatic or oxidation reactions between the ingredients.</p> <p>At Xtend-Life, we pay special attention to the potency of the active ingredients during formulation. We study the potency levels of the ingredients used in our formulations.</p> <p>Oxidation is another very significant factor that plays an important role in determining use by dates on dietary supplements. In addition, some vitamins have a faster deterioration rate compared to others. For example, vitamin D is known to have a much faster oxidation rate compared to other vitamins. Vitamin C is another example of a volatile vitamin that deteriorates on contact with oxygen. Similarly, some standard supplements containing fish oil can turn rancid over time and might start to give off a bad odor, especially if they are of poor quality.</p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.6;">Calcium, on the other hand, is quite stable. As a result, dietary supplements containing calcium tend to enjoy a long shelf-life.  </span></p> <p>Similarly, enzymes and amino acids also deteriorate with time. Most supplements are available in tablet, liquid, powder or capsule form. Those supplements that are in liquid form tend to have shorter use by periods compared to tablets or capsules.  Liquids tend to undergo sedimentation over time. This means tiny particles begin to settle down and slowly separate from the parent solution.</p> <p>In order to maximize the effectiveness of your dietary supplement, ensure that you store the product in a cool, dry place away from humidity and heat. Also remember to recap the pack tightly after use to prevent air (oxygen) and moisture from getting into the formulation.</p> <p>Some dietary supplements may be extra sensitive to light exposure. Taking these simple precautions will help you preserve the potency of the supplement for a longer period of time. For example, the Xtend-Life range of supplements in dry capsule and tablet form, are normally perfectly fine well beyond the use by date, however the efficacy will be reduced.  However, products should be used within the stated shelf-life.</p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-02-20/Why_Do_Dietary_Supplements_Have_a_Use_By_Date.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-02-20/Why_Do_Dietary_Supplements_Have_a_Use_By_Date.aspx b8e6e82b-7203-49db-a148-163fa677e0d1 Wed, 19 Feb 2014 23:13:00 GMT How Our Modern Lifestyle May Accelerate Aging: DNA Degradation and Hormonal Imbalances <p>At this point, you have seen how glycation, AGEs, excess free radicals, oxidative stress and abnormal methylation are key contributors to degenerative disease. You also understand that chronic inflammation is arguably the root cause. This blog addresses two of the remaining three causes--DNA Degradation and Hormonal Imbalances.</p> <h2>DNA and DNA Degradation</h2> <p>DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid ref 1) is the chemical inside the nucleus of our cells (some is also stored in the mitochondria), which carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.  Although around 99% of DNA structure is common to all humans, while 1% is unique to each of us. This is why DNA can be used so effectively in crime detection.</p> <p>Our DNA carries around 30,000 different genes, each one of which serves a specific function in the smooth ‘running’ of our body’s organs and systems.</p> <p>An important feature of DNA is that it can replicate, or make copies of itself. Each strand of DNA in the double helix can serve as a pattern for duplicating the sequence of bases. This is critical when cells divide because each new cell needs to have an exact copy of the DNA present in the old cell.</p> <p>What this means is that as your DNA degenerates, its replacement which is an exact copy of the one before, will inherit the degeneration which took place during the previous period.</p> <p>In other words it will be copy of its predecessor after its deterioration during that cycle. This is the essence of aging itself.</p> <h3>So what causes this DNA degeneration?</h3> <p>DNA degeneration is very closely linked to free radical damage of the cells and DNA. When a cell's DNA changes, the cell becomes mutated. It grows abnormally and reproduces abnormally, and quickly.</p> <p>An excess of abnormal cells overwhelms the body’s natural free-radical defence systems. This may contribute to a host of chronic diseases, including cancer, heart complications, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.</p> <h3>How can this be prevented?</h3> <p>Preventing excess free radical damage with sensible, balanced lifestyle choices, and especially via a diet rich in antioxidants is key. For details on this please see the <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-01-30/How_Our_Modern_Lifestyle_May_Accelerate_Aging_Excess_Free_Radicals_and_Oxidative_Stress.aspx">blog on Excess Free Radicals</a>.</p> <h2>Hormonal Imbalances</h2> <p>Do you often feel unbalanced, like you’re living out of harmony with your natural biological rhythms?</p> <p>Sadly, many do. This is likely because small messenger molecules in our body, which we depend on to keep us in balance, are running haywire.</p> <p>These messenger molecules are the hormones of our endocrine system, and neurotransmitters, the messenger molecules of our brain and nervous system.</p> <p>Our hormone and neurotransmitter systems work like a symphony. When the tuning is ‘off’, you are likely ‘off’ too!</p> <h3>Let’s see what happens:</h3> <p>The command and control centre for all our endocrine glands is in our brain – the hypothalamus and pituitary glands. They send signals to distant parts of the body to control everything from our stress response through our adrenal glands, our blood sugar balance through our pancreas, our thyroid hormone via our thyroid gland, to our sexual behaviour and function through our reproductive organs. They also control growth, sleep, mood and much more.</p> <p>The three big epidemics of hormonal problems in many developed countries today are related to:</p> <ul> <li>Too much insulin (from excess sugar) leading to insulin resistance, or pre-diabetes</li> <li>Too much cortisol and adrenalin (from stress)</li> <li>Unbalanced thyroid hormones</li> </ul> <p>Probably the biggest of the three is insulin resistance / pre-diabetes, estimated in 2011 to affect approx. 280 million people globally. (ref 2)</p> <h3>Effects of insulin resistance</h3> <p>This is what too much insulin may do to your body and health. Insulin appears to:</p> <ul> <li>Act like a major switching station, or control hormone, for many processes, and the main fat storage hormone.</li> <li>Prompt the brain to increase appetite and specifically, an appetite for sugar. Despite your best efforts, as long as your insulin levels are high you will likely fight a losing weight loss battle.</li> <li>Increase LDL cholesterol, lowers HDL cholesterol, raises triglycerides and increases your blood pressure. Insulin resistance contributes to 50% of all reported cases of high blood pressure.</li> <li>Make your blood sticky and more likely to clot, leading to heart attacks and strokes.</li> <li>Stimulate the growth of cancer cells.</li> <li>Increase inflammation, oxidative stress and ages your brain.</li> <li>Increase homocysteine because sugar consumption decreases B6 and folate.</li> <li>Cause sex hormone problems like irregular, too heavy or spotty menstruation, infertility and supressed libido, hair growth where you don’t want it, hair loss where you don’t want to lose it, acne, and low testosterone in men and more.</li> <li>Encourage moodiness.</li> </ul> <p>As you can see, just balancing this one key hormone, insulin, can have wide-ranging effects on all your other hormones and brain chemicals.</p> <h3>How can you address insulin resistance?</h3> <p>Please consider and take these steps:</p> <p><strong><em>STOP:</em></strong></p> <ol> <li>Eating refined flour and sugar products, especially high fructose corn syrup. This includes liquid calories – your body doesn’t feel full from them so you tend to eat more all day.</li> <li>All processed, junk or packaged foods. If it doesn’t look like the food your great-great grandmother ate, stay away.</li> <li>Eating trans or hydrogenated fats.</li> </ol> <ol> </ol> <p><strong><em>START:</em></strong></p> <ol> <li>Accelerating the rate of sugar uptake from the gut by balancing your meals (low glycemic load) with healthy protein (nuts, seeds, beans, small wild fish, organic chicken), healthy carbs (vegetables, fruit, beans, whole grains) and healthy fats (extra virgin olive/coconut oils, raw nuts, seeds, avocadoes, Omega 3 fish oil).</li> <li>Eating plenty of soluble fibre (30-50 grams a day).</li> <li>Fixing your cell membranes with Omega 3 fats so that they can more readily receive the messages from insulin.</li> <li>Regular exercise to improve your cells ability to work better, respond to insulin more effectively and burn sugar faster.</li> <li>Learning to relax. Stress reduction also helps improved blood sugar control.</li> <li>Taking blood sugar balancing nutrients such as chromium, vanadium, magnesium, vitamin E, biotin, the B vitamins, zinc, bioflavonoids, alpha lipoic acid, arginine, and carnitine. These herbs may help too: panax ginseng, ginkgo biloba, fenugreek and gymnena sylvestre, bitter melon and garlic.</li> </ol> <ol> </ol> <h2>Conclusion</h2> <p>In this instalment you have seen how hormonal imbalances and DNA degradation are multi-causal and multi-functional. And like the other causes, they are greatly influenced by our lifestyle choices.</p> <p>Similarly, our lifestyle choices are major causes of another process, which when impaired, can wreak havoc on all of the cells that make up your body.</p> <p>This process is toxicity/impaired detoxification, which will be the focus of the next instalment.</p> <h2>References</h2> <p>1. DNA definition: <a href="http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/handbook/basics/dna">http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/handbook/basics/dna</a></p> <p>2. Pre-diabetes stats <a href="http://www.health24.com/Medical/Diabetes/Who-is-at-risk/Pre-diabetes-could-you-have-it-20120721">http://www.health24.com/Medical/Diabetes/Who-is-at-risk/Pre-diabetes-could-you-have-it-20120721</a></p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-02-19/How_Our_Modern_Lifestyle_May_Accelerate_Aging_DNA_Degradation_and_Hormonal_Imbalances.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-02-19/How_Our_Modern_Lifestyle_May_Accelerate_Aging_DNA_Degradation_and_Hormonal_Imbalances.aspx 3ab38c89-69a1-45a5-9437-0924e8a9c6d9 Tue, 18 Feb 2014 20:51:00 GMT CRN urges US Dietary Advisory Committee to include supplements in federal dietary guidelines <p>Did you know that the influential US Dietary Advisory Committee (DGAC) currently sees no role for supplements in human nutrition? Rather they argue that Americans can get all their nutritional needs from foods and beverages. As we have expressed our opinion several times (ref 1), their view is factually incorrect, whether for Americans, or other nationalities.</p> <p>Therefore, we were pleased to recently read that the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) agrees with us. The CRN is a leading trade association representing dietary supplement manufacturers and ingredient suppliers globally.</p> <p>In their statement (ref2), the CRN urged the DGAC to adopt a new posture on dietary supplements in the next round of federal dietary guidelines. Specifically, CRN want multivitamins and supplements to be viewed as a low-cost, no-calorie way to fill key nutrient gaps in most American diets. To support this, they argue that:</p> <ul> <li>The 2010 DGAC together with the National Health and Examination Survey flagged deficiencies in potassium, fibre, calcium, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Vitamin D and magnesium in most Americans, and iron, folate, and Vitamin B12 for specific groups.</li> <li>A 2001 Journal of Nutrition article shows how supplementing food with fortification and dietary supplements can significantly reduce the % of the population which falls below the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) for nutrients. Examples range from 51% to 4% for thiamine, 88% to 8% for folate and 93% to 60% for Vitamin E.</li> <li>Claims by the Annals of Internal Medicine editorial (ref 3) that supplementation with a multivitamin increases all-cause mortality, cancer incidence or mortality, are unfounded. To see why we wholeheartedly agree with this please see our blog. (ref4)</li> </ul> <p>Moreover CRN point out the large health care cost savings from supplementation. For example: Citing Frost &amp; Sullivan data, CRN wrote:</p> <p>  <em>“The annual direct health care cost of treating fractures in US women over the age of 55 with osteoporosis was over $14 billion in 2012…..If calcium and Vitamin D supplements were used at preventative daily intake levels by all US women with osteoporosis over the age of 55, the net health care cost savings would average $1.52 billion per year, with cumultive net savings of $12 billion from 2013-2020.”</em></p> <p>These statistics confirm what we discovered by reviewing a robust study (ref5) of more than 1 million adult inpatients in the US over an 11 year period. This found that oral nutritional supplementation:</p> <ul> <li>Reduced hospitalisation length by 21% (or 2.3 days)</li> <li>Reduced patient hospitalisation cost (based on inflation-adjusted 2010 dollars) by 21.6% (or $4,734)</li> <li>Reduced the probability of a 30 day readmission in certain patients </li> </ul> <p>The study experts commented: "Patients identified as having nutritional deficiencies often face a longer and more difficult recovery process, resulting in higher health care costs and an increase in complication issues... </p> <p>... Research shows that oral nutritional supplementation can lead to highly positive economic benefits and improved patient outcomes. Because oral nutritional supplements are formulated to provide advanced nutrition for patients and are relatively inexpensive, the sizeable savings they generate make supplementation a cost effective therapy." </p> <p>Let’s hope that the common sense nutritional views of the CRN win over a system focused on ‘Sick Care’, not 'Health Care', which largely ignores or denigtates simple, cost effective nutritional interventions like supplementation. </p> <h3>References</h3> <p>1: <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/Blog/13-12-02/How_to_Breed_the_Nutrition_out_of_our_Food.aspx">http://www.xtend-life.com/Blog/13-12-02/How_to_Breed_the_Nutrition_out_of_our_Food.aspx</a></p> <p>2. CRN Statement <a href="http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Regulation/CRN-says-2015-dietary-guidelines-should-include-supplements/?utm_source=newsletter_daily&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_campaign=Newsletter Daily&amp;c=DSsPcP5p7Eo1aOAhXZi9HQ==">http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Regulation/CRN-says-2015-dietary-guidelines-should-include-supplements/?utm_source=newsletter_daily&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_campaign=Newsletter%2BDaily&amp;c=DSsPcP5p7Eo1aOAhXZi9HQ%3D%3D</a></p> <p>3. The Annals of Internal Medicine editorial <a href="http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1789253">http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1789253</a></p> <p>4. Our rationale against the Annals of Internal Medicine editorial <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-01-20/More_About_the_Negative_Reports_on_Vitamins.aspx">http://www.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-01-20/More_About_the_Negative_Reports_on_Vitamins.aspx</a>  </p> <p>5. Abbot inpatient study <a href="http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Research/Use-of-oral-nutritional-supplements-cuts-hospital-stays-Abbott-study">http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Research/Use-of-oral-nutritional-supplements-cuts-hospital-stays-Abbott-study</a></p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-02-18/CRN_urges_US_Dietary_Advisory_Committee_to_include_supplements_in_federal_dietary_guidelines.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-02-18/CRN_urges_US_Dietary_Advisory_Committee_to_include_supplements_in_federal_dietary_guidelines.aspx 2727c952-8b11-440f-9841-8c1ac703165f Mon, 17 Feb 2014 20:43:00 GMT Inadequate Vitamin D Levels Can Lead To Mobility Issues <p><span style="line-height: 25.600000381469727px;">To put it simply, ‘mobility issues’ refers to one’s inability to move around freely. A person who experiences mobility problems might find it difficult (or even impossible) to walk around or may have trouble getting out of a chair and into a standing position. One of the biggest dangers of impaired mobility is the risk of falling down. Falls often result in serious wounds, broken bones or fractures. </span></p> <p> <h2>The Connection Between Vitamin D and Muscle Health</h2> </p> <p><span style="line-height: 25.600000381469727px;">Vitamin D is responsible for promoting bone and muscle health. It is typically stored in the liver from where it gets metabolized. What happens is that when there is a deficiency in vitamin D levels, the body’s ability to absorb calcium reduces significantly. Low levels of calcium can also lead to increased muscular pain and weakness.   </span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 25.600000381469727px;">Prolonged vitamin D deficiency can lead to severe limitations in mobility especially in the elderly. Vitamin D is responsible for streamlining electrical impulses along nervous passageways. Inadequate vitamin D levels can cause these electrical impulses to get relayed to the wrong muscles causing involuntary contraction and relaxation. </span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 25.600000381469727px;">Deficiencies in vitamin D (and consequently calcium) can cause muscular tingling or twitching; a condition referred to as ‘ostomalacia’. Muscular twitching can transform trivial daily functions like buttoning up your shirt into a challenging task. </span></p> <p> <h2>Research Study Indicates the Relationship between Vitamin D Deficiency and Mobility Issues</h2> </p> <p><span style="line-height: 25.600000381469727px;">A detailed study spanning a period of six years was published in the ‘Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences’. The results have indicated a strong relationship between vitamin D deficiency and mobility problems that typically develop in the elderly. The study was conducted across a sample of more than 3 000 individuals including men and women of different ethnic groups. </span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 25.600000381469727px;">Dr Denise Houston, Nutrition Epidemiologist at Wake Forest Hospital and head of the study, said that about one-third of America’s population experienced low vitamin D levels. She also added that sunshine and health supplements were good sources of vitamin D. </span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 25.600000381469727px;">The research results indicated that there was a 30% increase in risk for those who suffered from vitamin D deficiency. The group at elevated risk faced a two-fold chance of developing mobility issues. </span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 25.600000381469727px;">Dr Houston also recommended that individuals in the elderly age-group ensure that they receive at least 800 International Units of vitamin D on a daily basis through a healthy dose of sunshine, diet or alternatively through dietary supplements. </span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 25.600000381469727px;">The VU Medical Center conducted yet another landmark research study into the benefits of vitamin D for the elderly. The results, which were published in the ‘Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism’, established that there was a relationship between vitamin D levels and physical performance. </span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 25.600000381469727px;">The lead author, Evelien Sohl, said that their study was conducted on more than 1 200 participants between the ages of 65 to 88. She also explained that muscle cells were equipped with special receptors that assimilated vitamin D. </span></p> <p> <h2>Why Are Older People At Increased Risk Of Vitamin D Deficiency?</h2> </p> <p><span style="line-height: 25.600000381469727px;">The process of aging is typically accompanied by a loss in muscle bone mass. To prevent falls and mobility impairment, it’s necessary to ensure that muscle and bone mass is maintained as best as possible. </span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 25.600000381469727px;">There are several reasons for vitamin D deficiency in older people. The factors include but are not restricted to a thinning skin layer, reduced diet intake and diminished intestinal absorption. Elderly individuals particularly experience vitamin D deficiency in the form of fatigue and difficulty in rising or sitting down. There is also a general feeling of heaviness in the legs which contributes to mobility issues.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 25.600000381469727px;">Vitamin D deficiency targets the lower limb muscles directly. These are called the antigravity muscles and they are responsible for bearing the weight of the body. When these muscles are targeted...balance, mobility and posture are affected as a consequence. </span></p> <h2><span style="line-height: 25.600000381469727px;">How To Get More Vitamin D </span></h2> <p><span style="line-height: 25.600000381469727px;">Sunshine is a great source of vitamin D. In order for your body to produce vitamin D from sunlight, you need to get plenty of adequate sunlight (preferably in the middle of the day) during the warm summer months. However, common sense should prevail and keep in mind that prolonged excess exposure to sunlight can cause the skin to turn pink leading to uncomfortable sunburn. </span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 25.600000381469727px;">It’s also important to remember that merely increasing your calcium intake will not be enough to maintain healthy bones...you need adequate amounts of vitamin D to ensure optimum calcium absorption. </span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 25.600000381469727px;">You should always try to get your vitamin D from the sun in preference to high dose vitamin D supplements. The form of vitamin D that is produced in your body as a result of exposure to sunlight is called D3 or cholecalciferol and is the best (most natural) form of vitamin D your body can get. </span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 25.600000381469727px;">It doesn't matter if someone lives in a cold, dark region during the winter months, so long as they've received plenty of sunshine during summer. If the body gets sufficient exposure to sunlight during the summer months, it will store the precursor to vitamin D and release it as required at other times. However, an ongoing maintenance dose from a quality supplement would be advisable.</span></p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-02-13/Inadequate_Vitamin_D_Levels_Can_Lead_To_Mobility_Issues.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-02-13/Inadequate_Vitamin_D_Levels_Can_Lead_To_Mobility_Issues.aspx 7e794179-16b9-4de5-be01-78697d1519bf Wed, 12 Feb 2014 21:59:00 GMT How Our Modern Lifestyle May Accelerate Aging: Chronic Inflammation <p>In the previous blogs glycation, AGEs, excess free radicals, oxidative stress and abnormal methylation were described as key degenerative aging processes. Experts suggest that these are most likely triggered by the frenetic, toxic, nutrient poor lifestyle previously described.</p> <p>These same experts also agree that another degenerative process - chronic inflammation - may be the most critical of them all… This blog explains how and why.</p> <p>Robust evidence supports the view that chronic inflammation is the root cause of much degenerative disease and aging (ref 1). Let’s look at what chronic inflammation is and why it is so damaging.</p> <h2>What is chronic inflammation?</h2> <p>There is inflammation and chronic inflammation.</p> <p>‘Normal’ inflammation is healthy. It is the body's attempt at self-protection. Inflammation is an immune response to a harmful stimuli, including damaged cells, irritants, or pathogens. Think about when you hit your thumb with a hammer…it hurts and swells up. The swelling is like a cushion or protection. Without inflammation, infections and wounds would never heal. </p> <p>However, sometimes inflammation causes further inflammation; it can become self-perpetuating and long lasting. That is when ‘normal’ inflammation becomes ‘chronic’ and very dangerous. </p> <p>This happens when excessive inflammation causes toxic chemicals to eat away at body tissues. Eventually this may lead to inflammatory disorders like heart disease, dementia, arthritis, diabetes and auto-immune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and type 1 diabetes. </p> <p>An example of one of these toxic chemicals is MDA (malondialdehyde). MDA is a dangerous chemical by product resulting from the action of free radicals on the fatty membranes of your cells. It is a major factor in the production of AGEs from glycation. This same chemical, MDA, is also implicated in inflammation. </p> <p>The functioning of MDA is a good example of how nothing in the body works in isolation:  if you reduce free radicals in your body by taking anti-oxidants, then you may be able to reduce the oxidation of your cell membranes. This in turn can reduce the formation of MDA, glycation, AGEs and chronic inflammation. </p> <p>However, it is not possible to control all the free radicals. No matter how many anti-oxidants you take, MDA is still going to form…and will continue to attempt to produce AGEs which in turn can contribute to inflammation. </p> <p>Another example of the multi causal nature of inflammation relates to excitotoxicity. </p> <p>Excitotoxicity occurs when brain cells get overexcited due to excess glutamate in the diet. MSG and other flavour enhancers are the culprits here and should be kept to a minimum in your diet. </p> <p>If allowed to continue the result is the death of brain cells possibly leading to strokes and dementia. </p> <p>Another seriously dangerous chemical associated with chronic inflammation is tumour necrosis factor (TNF). TNF actively promotes the degeneration of your brain and nerves. It is activated by a combination of free radicals and AGEs.</p> <h2>How can chronic inflammation be reduced?</h2> <p>Given the extensive damaging systematic impact of chronic inflammation, how can you reduce it? </p> <p>Key to an anti-inflammatory lifestyle is balance and moderation in diet, exercise and stress levels. Excess in anything: weight, food, drink and stress is likely to prompt some inflammatory response. </p> <p>Certain nutrients are particularly anti-inflammatory such as <a href="http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/product/Omega_3_DHA_Fish_Oil.aspx">Omega3 fish oils</a>, flavonoids, alpha lipoic acid, carnosine, turmeric, glutathione and resveratrol. </p> <p>Organic, preferably raw vegetables and fruits are particularly good at helping to alkalanise the body which in turn reduces acidity and inflammation.</p> <h2>Conclusion</h2> <p>You can see how chronic inflammation is multi-causal and multi impacting. Only when it is addressed in tandem with the other key causes of aging can the likelihood of degenerative disease and premature aging be reduced. </p> <p>So far we have seen that these causes are glycation, AGEs, excess free radicals, oxidative stress and abnormal methylation. There are three more: </p> <ul> <li>DNA Degradation</li> <li>Hormonal imbalances</li> <li>Toxicity / impaired detoxification </li> </ul> <p>The next few blogs will examine how these causes contribute to degenerative disease and aging. </p> <h2>References</h2> <p>1. Key role of chronic inflammation: http://www.wellofcourse.net/articles/article/7595884/144133.htm</p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-02-11/How_Our_Modern_Lifestyle_May_Accelerate_Aging_Chronic_Inflammation.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-02-11/How_Our_Modern_Lifestyle_May_Accelerate_Aging_Chronic_Inflammation.aspx 21f71601-62c6-46fe-90ac-92ae1c958cb2 Mon, 10 Feb 2014 22:55:00 GMT The Truth About Acne: What You Should & Shouldn’t Do <p>As some of our readers may know (especially those who had acne as a teenager) acne usually occurs some time after puberty. Although acne breakouts typically begin around the time you’re in the middle of high school, it’s rather difficult to predict when the breakouts will stop recurring. </p> <p>However, for some people, acne isn’t just a ‘side effect’ of puberty...it can also occur well into adulthood. Although acne is a common skin condition, it can have a negative impact on self-confidence, often leaving a person feeling frustrated and depressed.  </p> <p>Acne breakouts can also result in facial scars or lesions that may stay behind as unpleasant reminders of earlier breakouts... especially if they’ve been squeezed or picked at. If left untreated, these scars can take a long time to heal, if at all.  </p> <h2><strong>How Do Acne Breakouts Occur?</strong> </h2> <p>There are many reasons why acne occurs...usually it’s when excess oil and dirt clog up hair follicles and skin pores. There are oil glands (technically referred to as ‘sebaceous glands’) located close to the skin’s surface. These sebaceous glands are responsible for keeping your skin hydrated and they produce ‘sebum’, a type of oil that lubricates the hair follicles and surface of the skin. </p> <p>Sebaceous glands become overactive after or just before puberty as a result of an increase in hormone levels. This excess oil blocks the hair follicles and skin pores resulting in unsightly whiteheads. If the follicles are open to the surface of the skin, dirt can enter forming blackheads. </p> <p>The accumulation of dead skin cells, oil and trapped dirt then becomes a hotbed for bacteria. The whiteheads or blackheads then become infected and inflamed, leading to the formation of cysts, nodules, papules or pustules. </p> <p>Oily and carbohydrate-rich food and poor personal hygiene may trigger bouts of acne. More uncommon causes include medication (like steroids) and oral contraceptives. Stress on its own is not a trigger, however stress can contribute to a bout of acne that has already developed. Genetic predisposition to acne is also a significant contributing factor. </p> <h2><strong>How Are Your Hormones Responsible For Causing Acne</strong> </h2> <p>According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the main cause of acne breakouts is due to the excess presence of testosterone frequently referred to as an ‘androgen hormone’. Although testosterone is predominantly associated with men, it’s also present in women in a smaller amount. </p> <p>Testosterone stimulates the activity level of the sebaceous glands, causing them to produce excess oil that in turn triggers acne breakouts. There is a spurt in testosterone production during the teenage years which explains why acne is most common at this time. In addition to affecting the sebaceous glands, testosterone can also alter the formation of skin cells holding the hair follicles. </p> <p>Adult women also experience a small increase in testosterone which is why they may experience acne during their late twenties or even early thirties. Teenage women often experience acne breakouts just before the onset of their period. This can also be attributed to hormonal spikes that occur at this time. </p> <h2><strong>What You Should Do</strong> </h2> <p>Here are some simple but effective tips and product recommendations to help you improve the health and appearance of your skin: </p> <p>Wash your face gently (avoid rubbing at your face vigorously) with warm water and a mild cleanser on a daily basis. Pat your face dry. This will keep dirt, dust and grime at bay and prevent them from clogging up your pores. Xtend-Life’s <a href="http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/skincare/foaming_facial_cleanser.aspx">Foaming Facial Cleanser</a> contains a nourishing mix of honey and kiwifruit to gently cleanse your skin while keeping it hydrated. </p> <p>Remember to exercise regularly. Brisk walking or jogging three to four times a week helps reduce stress levels. Exercising also helps you work up a good sweat. Sweating helps eliminate dead skin cells and clears up clogged hair follicles and pores.  </p> <p>It's important to eat a healthy diet with lots of dark color vegetables and fruit, especially those which are rich in beta-carotene such as pumpkin, squash and carrots, as well as tomatoes which are excellent sources of lycopene…a powerful antioxidant that may help your body combat free radicals that contribute to acne outbreaks. </p> <p>It's also recommended that you take Xtend-Life's <a href="http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/product/Omega_3_DHA_Fish_Oil_Premium.aspx">Omega 3 Fish Oil Premium</a>. In addition to its omega 3 fatty acids like DHA which may help support skin heath, this supplement also contains lycopene. Lycopene is not just an excellent antioxidant, it may also help: </p> <ul> <li>Support our skin's ability to withstand moderate doses of harmful UVA and UVB rays from the sun which have been shown to age the skin prematurely.</li> <li>Support the production and growth of skin cells resulting in younger looking skin.</li> <li>Support the production collagen, giving the skin a fuller smoother appearance. </li> </ul> <p>Don't forget to always stay hydrated by drinking lots of water…at least two liters daily. Staying hydrated ensures your skin is nourished from the inside out and helps balance the texture of your skin. </p> <p>It's important to ensure that your digestive system is also nourished and free from toxins and excess waste which can affect the health and appearance of your skin. By taking Xtend-Life's <a href="http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/product/Kiwi-Klenz_Digestive_Supplement.aspx">Kiwi-Klenz</a>, you'll be helping your body get rid of excess waste…cleansing your system from the inside out, improving your body's ability to absorb nutrients from your healthy diet and supplement regimen, as well as supporting a better immune system, all which support your body to fight against acne. </p> <h2><strong>What You Shouldn’t Do</strong> </h2> <p>Firstly, avoid squeezing or picking at pimples. This may lead to scarring and in extreme cases, can also lead to the development of secondary bacterial infections. Remember, the pimple will eventually disappear but the scar will remain. </p> <p>Avoid over-cleansing your face. It may be tempting to wash your face in a constant attempt to remove excess oil and dirt but it could result in a vicious cycle. Washing your face too many times or using a harsh soap can cause the skin to dry out. This will over-stimulate the sebaceous glands and lead to the production of excess oil. </p> <p>Instead wash it daily and at night before bed, apply Xtend-Life’s <a href="http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/skincare/Cleansing_Mask_Women.aspx">Deep Active Cleansing Mask</a> which will help rejuvenate and revitalize your skin, keeping it free from toxins. </p> <p>Avoid opting for hormone therapy unless you are aware of everything about the treatment process including costs, duration and possible side-effects. Also, get second-opinions on strong prescription drugs that some dermatologists recommend. Some drugs can have serious side effects especially for pregnant women and people who suffer from depression. </p> <p>It's also very important to avoid processed junk food and refined sugar. Processed foods contain toxins such as additives, preservatives, and synthetic colors which over a period of time can put excess strain on the liver which as a result could trigger acne breakouts. </p> <p>Refined sugars spike your blood sugar levels causing your body to produce insulin and male hormones to try and cope with the excess sugar. The result is inflammation and blocked pores due to excess sebum production on the skin's surface, increasing the risk of an acne outbreak. </p> <h2><strong>Summary</strong> </h2> <p>An acne breakout can be more than just an unsightly skin condition...it can also have a negative impact on a person’s self-esteem and emotional wellbeing. Hormonal imbalance in the body is one of the biggest causes of acne. </p> <p>It’s best to consult your doctor<a name="GoBack"></a> and have yourself checked for hormonal imbalances as well as for severe cases of acne outbreaks. High-quality health products such as our <a href="http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/info/TB.aspx">Total Balance range</a> of supplements may also help support your body’s hormone levels while following a daily skincare regimen using the Xtend-Life range of <a href="http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/skincare/Overview.aspx">skin products</a>.</p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-02-06/The_Truth_About_Acne_What_You_Should_Shouldn’t_Do.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-02-06/The_Truth_About_Acne_What_You_Should_Shouldn%e2%80%99t_Do.aspx 1e9b8979-8b56-4594-ba2d-4432f1c9f98d Wed, 05 Feb 2014 20:25:00 GMT How Our Modern Lifestyle May Accelerate Aging: Glycation and Methylation <p>In the previous instalment we saw how by controlling excess oxidation and free radicals, the likelihood of premature aging and degenerative disease can be decreased.  It can be decreased further by addressing the other key causes. In t<span style="line-height: 1.6;">his blog, let's look at the role of Glycation and Methylation.</span></p> <h2><strong>What is Glycation?</strong></h2> <p>Glycation occurs when simple sugar molecules, such as fructose or glucose, become attached to proteins or lipid fats without the moderation of an enzyme. This results in the formation of rogue molecules known as advanced glycation end products (AGEs). As their name implies, AGEs prompt systematic deterioration and accelerated aging (ref 1).</p> <p>AGEs do this by binding to cells and causing them to produce poisonous chemicals plus other toxic by-products.  As an example, AGEs appear to increase the formation of amyloid beta. This is a toxic material found in the brains of older people and in Alzheimers and dementia patients.</p> <p>AGEs also stimulate the production of free radicals which in turn eventually leads to more glycation…enter the vicious degenerative cycle.</p> <p> <h2>How can you protect yourself against Glycation and the formation of AGEs?</h2> </p> <p>Please consider these options:</p> <ul> <li>Minimize your intake of glycating foods…simple/refined carbohydrates and sugars.</li> <li>Inactivate the sugar molecules before they attach themselves to the protein.</li> <li>Prevent the protein attaching to other proteins/lipids.</li> </ul> <p>The first action is self-explanatory. The next two are fortunately possible thanks to recent scientific discoveries using a dipeptide known as Carnosine.</p> <p>Carnosine has two unique abilities – It…</p> <ol> <li>Attaches to glycating ‘agents’ and neutralizes them.</li> <li>Puts a protective shield around a protein molecule which already has a glycating agent attached to it. By providing that shield it prevents that protein molecule from ‘cross-linking’ with another protein molecule and forming an AGE.</li> </ol> <p>If Carnosine is such an effective anti-glycation agent, why is it not more widely known and used?</p> <p>As with L-Glutathione, Carnosine is not effective in most supplements for two reasons.</p> <p>One is because Carnosine is a di-peptide consisting of two amino acids. The hydrochloric acid in the stomach splits the structure of the Carnosine thus reducing its effectiveness. So it needs to be enteric coated to allow the nutrient to be released in the upper intestine.</p> <p>Cost is the second issue. Carnosine is a very expensive nutrient and not common in supplements.</p> <p>Despite these challenges, we have been using Carnosine in our<a href="http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/info/TB.aspx"> Total Balance range</a> for eight years. In fact, we were one of the first supplement companies in the world to use it.</p> <p>By addressing glycation, AGEs, excess free radicals and oxidative stress, the likelihood of degenerative disease decreases greatly. To accelerate this positive trend, we also need to reduce abnormal Methylation…</p> <h2><strong>What is Methylation?</strong></h2> <p>Methylation is a process by which a gene's behaviour is altered, but the gene itself isn't changed. The behaviour is altered by chemicals called ‘methyl groups’ which are added to various constituents of proteins, DNA and other molecules. These are needed to keep them in good ‘working’ condition (ref 2).</p> <p>In essence, without methylation, we would all be dead!</p> <p>Think of a car - methylation is the spark plug. Without it, everything stops. For example: It causes guanidinoacetic acid to become creatine (high energy). It makes adrenaline from norepinephrine, and melatonin from serotonin. If the ‘feel-good’ brain chemical serotonin is not methylated it will become inactive which may prompt feelings of depression.</p> <p>One of the most important methylation processes relates to homocysteine. Homocysteine is what remains when methionine is used to methylate proteins and DNA. Homocysteine needs to be methylated to convert it back to methionine. If this process does not happen several degenerative disorders may result including:</p> <ul> <li>Heart disease and stroke by encouraging the clumping together of platelets</li> <li>Higher levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol resulting from reacting with iron and copper ions to produce free radicals</li> <li>Dementia and Alzheimer’s</li> <li>Liver Disease</li> <li>Depression</li> <li>Aging in general, as homocysteine may accelerate the destruction of telemores</li> </ul> <p>Another aging related point is that methylation of certain DNA parts can switch off unnecessary genes and prevent abnormal DNA division. This means that these abnormalities are not passed on to future generations of cells…an important part in successful aging.</p> <p>As we age the methylation processes in our bodies start getting ‘tired’ and become less efficient. This results in a build-up of homocysteine, DNA damage and the development of the above degenerative disorders.</p> <p> <h2>How can you ensure the methylation process works properly?</h2> </p> <p>There are three groups of compounds which are helpful for methylation with varying levels of efficacy. They are the B Vitamins, B6, B12 and folic acid, Betaine, and SAMe.</p> <p>The B Vitamins are important as co-factors rather than as ‘the’ solution for methylation in their own right. This is because as we age, these vitamins tend to become ‘sluggish’ and progressively less effective.</p> <p>By far the most effective and scientifically proven methylating agent is SAMe (S-Adenosyl-Methionine).</p> <p>SAMe is a natural compound found in all living cells. It is formed by combining the amino acid methionine and ATP (adenosine triphosphate).</p> <p>SAMe can be taken as a supplement but it is not very effective for the same reasons you discovered about L-Glutathione and Carnosine: cost and susceptibility to stach acids. So it needs to be <a class="thickbox" href="http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/info/Enteric_Coating.aspx">enteric coated</a>.</p> <p>Despite the expense, we use enteric coating and use SAMe in several of our supplements along with other effective methylating agents such as the B vitamins and folic acid, methionine and ATP, and Betaine.</p> <h2>Conclusion</h2> <p>You have seen how, by addressing glycation, AGEs, excess free radicals, oxidative stress and abnormal methylation, the likelihood of degenerative disease and premature aging can be reduced. To build on this we also need to reduce Chronic Inflammation which is the topic of the next instalment.</p> <h2>References</h2> <p>1. Definition of Glycation http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glycation 2. Definition of Methylation (DNA) <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA_methylation">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA_methylation</a></p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-02-04/How_Our_Modern_Lifestyle_May_Accelerate_Aging_Glycation_and_Methylation.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-02-04/How_Our_Modern_Lifestyle_May_Accelerate_Aging_Glycation_and_Methylation.aspx 8d67cad3-38b0-4e83-9ac5-3bf9177ce532 Mon, 03 Feb 2014 11:37:00 GMT How Our Modern Lifestyle May Accelerate Aging: Excess Free Radicals and Oxidative Stress <p>In our previous blogs, we suggested how aging is not a disease, but a natural part of life which can be enjoyed in vibrant health. </p> <p>So how do we live vibrantly? We need to understand the causes of degenerative aging, and then prevent them. </p> <p>Experts (ref 1) now agree that the frenetic, toxic, nutrient poor lifestyle described in the earlier installments lead to the development of key degenerative aging processes in our body such as:</p> <ol class="position-inside"> <li>Excess Free Radicals and Oxidative Stress</li> <li>Glycation</li> <li>Abnormal Methylation</li> <li>Chronic Inflammation</li> <li>DNA Degradation</li> <li>Hormonal imbalance</li> <li>Toxicity/impaired detoxification </li> </ol> <p>Let’s look at each to understand exactly why they are so damaging. This installment addresses Excess Free radicals and Oxidative Stress </p> <h2>What are Free Radicals and Oxidative Stress? </h2> <p>Free radicals are created by oxidation or oxidative stress. "Oxidation" is the chemist's term for the process of removing electrons from an atom or molecule. (ref 2) </p> <p>In an effort to become ‘whole’ again they seek out other chemical structures in our bodies from where they can steal an electron. After they ‘acquire’ an electron the chemical structure/tissue from where they ‘stole’ that electron is left seriously damaged generating free radicals. </p> <p>Free radicals in small and controlled quantities are helpful in everyday metabolism and other normal reactions in the body. Similarly, balanced oxidation is a critical natural process: without it nothing would degrade or decompose. </p> <p>The problems start when the production of these free radicals increases, gets out of control, becomes excessive, and then leads to constant oxidative stress. </p> <p>This usually happens when we are bombarded daily with environmental and dietary toxins and the other consequences of poor lifestyle choices.</p> <h2>How can we minimize free radical damage and oxidative stress?</h2> <p>There are three options:</p> <ol> <li>Avoid pollution, toxins etc. which is pretty hard if you live in a ‘civilized’ populated area</li> <li>Neutralize  free radicals with anti-oxidants</li> <li>Increase the elimination of cells damaged by free radicals </li> </ol> <p>Probably the easiest of these options is no 2: neutralizing free radicals with anti-oxidants.  In simple terms anti-oxidants voluntarily give one of their electrons to a free radical molecule rendering it harmless. </p> <p>There are many anti-oxidants, all with varying levels of potency. For example, the common vitamins A, C and E are anti-oxidants, but they are quite weak. They can’t compete with a really potent anti-oxidant such as L-Glutathione. </p> <p>Your body can produce L-Glutathione, but only if your internal systems are functioning well. This is often not the case, so supplementation is preferable. </p> <p>However, supplementation with L-Glutathione is not effective in most supplements for two reasons.</p> <p>One is that it has to be taken in the special ‘reduced’ form. This is a smaller molecular size, as the ‘normal’ L-Glutathione will not pass through the intestinal walls into the blood stream. Related to this point is that L-Glutathione must be protected as it passes through the stomach before being released in the upper intestine. </p> <p>The second reason relates to cost. The reduced form is a lot more expensive than the normal L-Glutathione and few manufacturers use it. </p> <p>For these reasons, the supplement must be in the reduced form and enteric coated so that it is released in the upper intestine. </p> <p>We ensure that when we use L-Glutathione it is the reduced form and enteric coated. Similarly, we ensure that the other anti-oxidants we use like lutein, bilberry, grape extract, green tea extract and more, are all in the most bio-available, effective forms</p> <h2>Conclusion</h2> <p>By controlling excess oxidation and free radicals the likelihood of premature aging and degenerative disease can be decreased.  It can be decreased further by addressing the other key causes described in the installments that will be posted over the next 3 weeks..</p> <h2>References</h2> <p>1. Key degenerative aging processes <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lifestyle_disease">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lifestyle_disease</a> </p> <p>2. Definition of Oxidation http://www.chemguide.co.uk/inorganic/redox/definitions.html</p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-01-30/How_Our_Modern_Lifestyle_May_Accelerate_Aging_Excess_Free_Radicals_and_Oxidative_Stress.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-01-30/How_Our_Modern_Lifestyle_May_Accelerate_Aging_Excess_Free_Radicals_and_Oxidative_Stress.aspx b34e2ba8-4ba7-4f98-8ec9-9937515e58f7 Thu, 30 Jan 2014 01:51:00 GMT Sugar & Sex: Sure to Vex <p>After all the indulgences and ‘sweet treats’ over the festive season, have you noticed any negative effect on your libido?</p> <p>If you have, you’re not alone. It appears that an excessive and continual supply of sugar, especially refined sugar, may kill your sex life! This applies to both genders.</p> <p>By ‘high levels’, consider the statistics. In North America, the average American now eats at least &nbsp;22 teaspoons of added sugars per day (ref1) &nbsp;That is an increase of about 6% in just over three decades, says researcher Dr Miriam Vos. (ref 2)</p> <p>Even worse, is that all this excess sugar, which is metabolised quickly, increases your insulin and leptin levels - as well as your waist line.</p> <p>In turn, this may lead to a host of health problems like high levels of cholesterol, blood pressure and heart disease, as well as diabetes, weight gain and premature aging.(refs1-2)</p> <p>However, what most doctors won’t tell you (or even know), is that such high sugar levels in your bloodstream, may have at least two key disruptive effects on your hormones.</p> <p>These relate to a low libido and even impaired fertility.</p> <p>Let’s see how....</p> <h2>How Excess Sugar May Damage Your Sex Life</h2> <p><strong>1. Sex gene switches off</strong></p> <p>The simple sugars, glucose and fructose, are metabolized in your liver, with the excess stored as fat lipids.</p> <p>Excess fat synthesis deactivates your Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) gene (ref 3. The SHBG gene is a glycoprotein that binds to the sex hormones, testosterone and estradiol. So when SHGB is deactivated, the levels of testosterone and estradiol are negatively affected.</p> <p>Thus, SHGB acts as the master regulator of your sex hormone levels, maintaining the delicate balance between estrogen and testosterone critical to overall health in aging humans.</p> <p>Too much or too little SHGB in both sexes may lead to a variety of disorders. These may include diminished libido and poor sexual performance in both sexes, fatty breast tissue, cognitive decline, chronic fatigue and testicular cancer.in men, and acne, infertility, polycystic ovaries, and uterine cancer in women.</p> <p><strong>2. Impaired Fertility</strong></p> <p>According to the World Health Organisation (ref 4), one in every four couples in developing countries is infertile. Contrary to what mainstream media may say, this is actually not reflective of any recent increase in prevalence. On the contrary, as the WHO and others point out, this rate has remained similar over the last 20 years.</p> <p>What has undeniably declined however, is the male sperm count and quality. Between 1989 and 2005, studies (ref ) 5 indicate that average sperm counts fell by a third, and the amount of healthy sperm was also reduced by a similar proportion.</p> <p>The scientists said the results constituted a "serious public health warning". Moreover, they point out that the global fall in sperm counts has been accompanied by a rise in testicular cancer – rates have doubled in the last 30 years – and in other male sexual disorders such as undescended testes, which are indicative of a "worrying pattern".</p> <p>As with the decline in male fertility, experts are also indicating that female ovulation problems and polycystic ovarian syndrome (‘PCOS’) are becoming common. (ref &nbsp;6)</p> <p>What then are the causes of this impaired fertility? Experts cite a range of factors from lifestyle issues (especially stress and poor diet), environmental toxins, genetic inadequacies, and more.</p> <p>But increasingly, evidence is indicating how excess sugars, especially refined sugars are a major contributor.</p> <p><strong>Studies showing a likely excess sugar – infertility link</strong></p> <p>A study looking at female infertility published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (ref &nbsp;7) shows how excess carbs and refined sugars are linked to problems with ovulation (ovulatory infertility).</p> <p>Two measures of carbohydrate used by the researchers were the glycaemic index (GI) and glycaemic load (GL) of the diets.</p> <p>The researchers found that compared to women eating diets of lower GL values, those eating diets with the highest GL were 92% more likely to suffer from ovulatory infertility. Highest carbohydrate intakes were also linked with a 91% increased risk compared to the lowest intakes. GI was also associated with enhanced risk, but only in women who had not had children.</p> <p>Similarly, in men (ref 8) studies indicate a likely link between male infertility and excess refined sugar intake. For example, one study showed how sugar laden soda decreases male sperm count and increases female mortality.</p> <p>While this study was done on rats, the results were so striking that researchers concluded: "Our results provide evidence that added sugar consumed at concentrations currently considered safe exerts dramatic adverse impacts on mammalian health. Specifically females died at twice the normal rate and males were a quarter less likely to hold territory and reproduce….This demonstrates the adverse effects of added sugars at human-relevant levels.”</p> <h2>Summary and Recommendation</h2> <p>The message is clear: excess refined carbs and sugars spike blood sugar and insulin levels, which appear to lead to a cascade of hormonal and sexual imbalances.</p> <p>If you are suffering from sexual complications, please seriously consider how your intake of sugars and carbs, especially if refined, may be a key contributory factor.</p> <p>Please also review this in the light of your total lifestyle. Several factors in addition to diet, such as insufficient (or excessive) exercise, stress, smoking, and environmental toxins may contribute to hormonal imbalances.</p> <p>To help reduce this, you may wish to consider our natural hormone balancing supplements: <a href="http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/product/Male_Rejuvenator.aspx">Male Rejuvenator</a>&nbsp;and <a href="http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/product/Female_Rejuvenator.aspx">Female Rejuvenator</a>.</p> <p>Here are a couple of comments from customers…</p> <p>Daidree says: “I love it, it works. PMS was a nightmare, but after taking these pills, and with lots of prayer, I feel so much better.”</p> <p>While Carl comments: “I have been taking your Male Rejuvenator for over a month now and the results have been incredible. There is no doubt that your product gave me back the vitality and endurance that I had lost.”</p> <p>To potentially enjoy these benefits yourself, please click <a href="http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/product/Male_Rejuvenator.aspx">Here</a>&nbsp;for Male Rejuvenator and&nbsp;<a href="http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/product/Female_Rejuvenator.aspx">Here</a>&nbsp;for Female Rejuvenator.</p> <h2>References</h2> <p>1. Daily US added sugar consumption</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=184779">http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=184779</a> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-hidden-ingredient-that-can-sabotage-your-diet">http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-hidden-ingredient-that-can-sabotage-your-diet</a></li> </ul> <p>2. Dr Miriam Vos’s research on sugar consumption increase</p> <p>. <a href="http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/news/20100420/high-sugar-diet-linked-lower-good-cholesterol">http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/news/20100420/high-sugar-diet-linked-lower-good-cholesterol</a></p> <p>3. How SHBG works</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_hormone-binding_globulin">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_hormone-binding_globulin</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071109171610.htm">http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071109171610.htm</a></li> <li><a href="http://phys.org/news113902673.html">http://phys.org/news113902673.html</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;4. WHO Global fertility stats&nbsp; <a href="http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/topics/infertility/burden/en/">http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/topics/infertility/burden/en/</a></p> <p>. 5 Sperm count decline <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/scientists-warn-of-sperm-count-crisis-8382449.html">http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/scientists-warn-of-sperm-count-crisis-8382449.html</a></p> <p>&nbsp;6. Ovarian problems + POCS&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9745406">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9745406</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10352918">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10352918</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;7. Study showing excess carbs and refined sugars intake linked with infertility - Chavarro JE, et al. A prospective study of dietary carbohydrate quantity and quality in relation to risk of ovulatory infertility. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2009;63:78-86</p> <p>&nbsp;8. Study on sugar-male infertility and female mortality link.</p> <ul> <li>James S. Ruff, Amanda K. Suchy, Sara A. Hugentobler, Mirtha M. Sosa, Bradley L. Schwartz, Linda C. Morrison, Sin H. Gieng, Mark K. Shigenaga, Wayne K. Potts. Human-relevant levels of added sugar consumption increase female mortality and lower male fitness in mice. Nature Communications, 2013; 4 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3245</li> <li><a href="http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2013/130813/ncomms3245/full/ncomms3245.html">http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2013/130813/ncomms3245/full/ncomms3245.html<br /> </a></li> </ul> <div> <div> <div id="_com_1"> </div> </div> </div> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-01-24/Sugar_Sex_Sure_to_Vex.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-01-24/Sugar_Sex_Sure_to_Vex.aspx 79de85d0-1c34-4161-8580-6893cbecb014 Fri, 24 Jan 2014 00:50:00 GMT What Causes Degenerative Diseases and Why are they so Prevalent? <p>Today's discussion about foundational health and aging is degenerative disease. In this blog, we summarise the key causes of degenerative diseases, which are:</p> <ul> <li>Lifestyle choices</li> <li>Stress</li> <li>Environment</li> <li>Toxicity</li> </ul> <p>Subsequent blogs describe these factors and their impact on our body, health and wellbeing in more detail.</p> <h2>1. Lifestyle Choices</h2> <p>Many experts (ref 1) now acknowledge that degenerative diseases are mainly caused by our lifestyle choices.</p> <p>In recent years, products and services which promote a quick, easy convenience lifestyle rule the day.  Consumption of processed foods, denatured dairy products, refined sugars and unhealthy fats have increased dramatically. Simultaneously we are eating less fresh fruit, vegetables, naturally raised and toxin free animals and fish and minimally cooked foods.</p> <h2>2. Stress</h2> <p>Lifestyles are becoming increasingly stressful and frantic. Chronic i.e. prolonged stress (ref 2) has become ‘normal’ leading to likely imbalances in the endocrine and hormonal systems. This may prompt constantly elevated cortisol and insulin levels leading to impaired weight control and muscle building functions. Diabetes, obesity, and other metabolic disorders may develop.</p> <h2>3. Environment</h2> <p>Your food, drink, medications and air are all saturated with microscopic chemical debris – environmental toxins and Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). You can’t see, feel or smell them, but they are real and over time, very dangerous to your health and wellbeing.</p> <p>It appears that the result may be compromised digestive, metabolic and immune systems struggling to cope with toxic overload.</p> <h2>4. Toxicity</h2> <p>Toxicity may lead to all sorts of metabolic disorders like IBS and GERD. In fact, it is now becoming increasingly recognised that gut health is not only vital in itself. But also it appears that there is a very closely regulated gut-brain connection: many experts now view the gut as our second brain (ref 3). It is able to significantly influence mind, mood and behaviour.</p> <p>For example, the greatest concentration of serotonin, which is involved in mood control, depression and aggression, is found in the intestines, not in the brain. Think about ‘butterflies in your stomach’!</p> <p>Researchers are also finding that depression and a wide variety of behavioural problems appear to stem from nutritional deficiencies and/or an imbalance of bacteria in the gut.</p> <h2>5. Conclusion</h2> <p>To summarize, the words of our Founder, Warren Matthews are pertinent:</p> <p>“Our modern diet will make you fat, sap your energy, lower your immune system, destroy your vital digestive system, and make you disease susceptible. In turn this will increase your risk of cancer and brain disease, age you prematurely and literally 'take away your life'.”</p> <p>In the following blogs, we’ll see how exactly this ‘modern lifestyle’ may accelerate aging.</p> <h2>References</h2> <p>1. Effects of stress http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/effects-of-stress-on-your-body</p> <p>2. Gut-brain connection <a href="http://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/the-gut-brain-connection">http://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/the-gut-brain-connection</a></p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-01-22/What_Causes_Degenerative_Diseases_and_Why_are_they_so_Prevalent.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-01-22/What_Causes_Degenerative_Diseases_and_Why_are_they_so_Prevalent.aspx 679a3f0e-c559-435e-9117-0c59e8f57a25 Wed, 22 Jan 2014 03:05:00 GMT More About the Negative Reports on Vitamins <p>Around the middle of last month, I wrote a blog article regarding a report suggesting that vitamins were of no benefit.  Whereas we had a lot of positive feedback from that article, we did have a few customers that would have liked a more detailed response addressing some of the specific issues raised in the original article, which caused all the media fuss.</p> <p>Accordingly, I asked one of our researchers Caramia Hartley to work on preparing a more detailed response.  I thought that many of our customers might be interested in this response so we are sharing it with you here.</p> <p>Here it is...</p> <hr style="line-height: 4em;" /> <p>Dear XXX,</p> <p>Thank you for giving us the opportunity to clarify your concerns and to establish the facts.</p> <p>We have carefully reviewed the <a href="http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1789253">Annals of Internal Medicine editorial</a> and information about the studies. We offer the following comments. To ensure nothing was missed, we have inserted our comments in the relevant sections of the copied editorial.</p> <p> </p> <h2>Quote #One from Annals of Internal Medicine editorial:</h2> <p></p> <p style="margin-left: 10px;"><em>Three articles in this issue address the role of vitamin and mineral supplements for preventing the occurrence or progression of chronic diseases. </em></p> <p style="margin-left: 10px;"><em>First, Fortmann and colleagues (1)</em><em> systematically reviewed trial evidence to update the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation on the efficacy of vitamin supplements for primary prevention in community-dwelling adults with no nutritional deficiencies. After reviewing 3 trials of multivitamin supplements and 24 trials of single or paired vitamins that randomly assigned more than 400,000 participants, the authors concluded that there was no clear evidence of a beneficial effect of supplements on all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, or cancer.</em></p> <p></p> <h3>Our response:</h3> <p></p> <ol> <li> <p>We suggest that the entire premise for these studies is flawed: Why are supplements being tested for their ability to treat chronic diseases?</p> </li> <li> <p>The aim of supplements is precisely to supplement the diet NOT to treat the sort of chronic disorders tested for in the studies. Most people who take supplements know that a simple low-dose multivitamin won't properly address serious illness. They take multivitamins to keep their nutrition level high and to help prevent disease from occurring in the first place.</p> </li> <li>Moreover the very premise of Dr Miller’s third study was bizarre: He wanted to know if multivitamins helped prevent second heart attacks. Do you think a low-dose multivitamin has the ability to prevent heart attacks in someone who has already had a heart attack? Of course not!</li> </ol> <p> </p> <h2>Quote #Two from Annals of Internal Medicine editorial:</h2> <p></p> <p style="margin-left: 10px;"><em>Second, Grodstein and coworkers (2)</em><em> evaluated the efficacy of a daily multivitamin to prevent cognitive decline among 5947 men aged 65 years or older participating in the Physicians’ Health Study II. After 12 years of follow-up, there were no differences between the multivitamin and placebo groups in overall cognitive performance or verbal memory. Adherence to the intervention was high, and the large sample size resulted in precise estimates showing that use of a multivitamin supplement in a well-nourished elderly population did not prevent cognitive decline. </em></p> <p style="margin-left: 10px;"><em>Grodstein and coworkers’ findings are compatible with a recent review (3)</em><em> of 12 fair- to good-quality trials that evaluated dietary supplements, including multivitamins, B vitamins, vitamins E and C, and omega-3 fatty acids, in persons with mild cognitive impairment or mild to moderate dementia. None of the supplements improved cognitive function.</em></p> <p><strong></strong></p> <h3><strong>Our response:</strong></h3> <p></p> <ol> <li>The quoted “trial evidence” is classed in the study description as “fair” and “good quality trials”. What does that mean? No explanation is given. Would you be comfortable basing your supplementary choices on ‘fair’ trials?</li> <li>There is no evidence to prove an unbiased randomisation.</li> <li>There is no evidence describing the quality, form and potency of the multi-vitamins / vitamins. All we know is that the following were used: Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C, D, and E; calcium; iron; zinc; magnesium; niacin; folic acid; ß-carotene; and selenium. But were they in the most bio-available form? Were they natural or synthetic? The form, potency, dosage and bioavailability of vitamin ingredients make a huge difference to their efficacy. (For examples please see 3.2 below)</li> <li>Individual vitamins should rarely be taken in isolation or with just one or two others. It is best that they are a component part of a broad spectrum of synergistic vitamins and other nutrients.</li> <li>In terms of dosage, the studies “required supplement doses to be lower than the upper tolerable limit set by the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board.” The key question is ‘how much lower’? Too low, and there will be no effect at all, especially if the form and potency are poor. Take Vitamin D for example. The U.S. Institute of Medicine recommends 600 IU per day. But countless studies show that a dosage range of natural (not synthetic) Vitamin D3 should be between 6-8,000 units daily in order to attain healthy vitamin D levels.(Although we disagree with high dose Vit D.  Much better to get your Vit D needs from sunshine.)</li> <li>In this second study Dr Miller conveniently forgets to mention one critical finding: this showed a statistically significant reduction in cancer rates. If a drug got these same results, it would be big, positive news.</li> <li>There is no information about the qualifications, background and affiliations of the two investigators involved in these studies. They may well have been affiliated to Big Pharma in some way. Similarly, the claim is that “additional references from outside experts” were obtained. Which experts… what are their affiliations?</li> <li>In this context, this cautionary information about medical studies is worth noting. (<a href="http://gaia-health.com/gaia-blog/2012-03-05/big-pharmas-gaming-of-medical-studies-how-science-is-twisted-and-undermined/ ">Big Pharma’s Gaming of Medical Studies: How Science Is Twisted and Undermined</a>) </li> </ol> <p> </p> <h2>Quote #Three from Annals of Internal Medicine editorial:</h2> <p></p> <p style="margin-left: 10px;"><em>Third, Lamas and associates (4)</em><em> assessed the potential benefits of a high-dose, 28-component multivitamin supplement in 1708 men and women with a previous myocardial infarction participating in TACT (Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy). After a median follow-up of 4.6 years, there was no significant difference in recurrent cardiovascular events with multivitamins compared with placebo (hazard ratio, 0.89 [95% CI, 0.75 to 1.07]). The trial was limited by high rates of nonadherence and dropouts.</em></p> <p></p> <h3>Our response:</h3> <p></p> <ol> <li> <p>Once again, we would suggest the premise for this study is flawed: can one realistically expect to see any improvement in cognitive ability with just a multi-vitamin on its own?  Unlikely. To get improvements in this area, the health of your neuro-transmitters need to be improved, and for this they need more assistance than they can get with straight vitamins.</p> </li> <li> <p>We also have no idea about the quality, form, potency, bioavailability and dose of this multi-vitamin.</p> <p>For example, take Vitamin E. The form is critical to its efficacy. Most multi-vitamins use synthetic vitamin E in the form of alpha-tocopherol. But on its own, this has little effect. The most bioavailable Vitamin E is natural and contains a synergistic balance of eight health boosting nutrients: four tocopherols (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta) and four tocotrienols (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta). This combination has been shown to quench peroxynitrite, the vicious free radical which plays a major role in the development of age-related memory decline!</p> <p>Therefore, you need a balance of all eight nutrients to experience the maximum power of Vitamin E.</p> <p>Another  example relates to Vitamin B6. Its full healing power can only be realised if it’s in the most bio-available Pyriodoxal-5-phospate form</p> <p>It is highly unlikely that the natural combined component Vit E and the  Pyriodoxal-5-phospate form were used because they are more expensive than the synthetic versions. You can be sure that if they were used the study authors would have made a point about it!</p> </li> <li> <p>Some experts have argued that this study is very unrepresentative of the American population (as well as other populations), For example, Gladys Block, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at University of California Berkeley, points out that the group of men followed in the cognitive study were all physicians with no health problems. She says: "These are very well-nourished, very health-conscious people, who do not represent the American population as a whole. In fact none of the studies accurately represents the American population” Therefore, the conclusions drawn are of limited validity and relevance.</p> </li> </ol> <p> </p> <h2>Quote #Four from Annals of Internal Medicine editorial:</h2> <p style="margin-left: 10px;"><em>Other reviews and guidelines that have appraised the role of vitamin and mineral supplements in primary or secondary prevention of chronic disease have consistently found null results or possible harms (5-6)</em><em>.</em></p> <p></p> <h3>Our response:</h3> <p></p> <ol> <li> <p>The same issues described in 3.1 and 3.2 apply here: those of a false premise, and nature of the multivitamins</p> </li> <li> <p>The results are questionable. Even the study author’s (Dr Millar) said: “With more than 50% of patients dropping  interpretation is very difficult,"”<span style="line-height: 1.6em;"></span></p> </li> </ol> <p> </p> <h2>Quote #Five from Annals of Internal Medicine editorial:</h2> <p style="margin-left: 10px;"><em>Evidence involving tens of thousands of people randomly assigned in many clinical trials shows that ß-carotene, vitamin E, and possibly high doses of vitamin A supplements increase mortality (6-7)</em></p> <p> </p> <h3>Our response:</h3> <p></p> <ol> <li> <p>This refers specifically to studies looking at how multivitamins prevent cancer and chronic disease. Again the fundamental premise is flawed: multi vitamins are not designed to prevent cancer or chronic disease.</p> </li> </ol> <p> </p> <h2>Quote #Six and Seven from Annals of Internal Medicine editorial:</h2> <p style="margin-left: 10px;"><em>…and that other antioxidants (6), folic acid and B vitamins (8), and multivitamin supplements (1, 5) have no clear benefit.</em></p> <p style="margin-left: 10px;"><em>Despite sobering evidence of no benefit or possible harm, use of multivitamin supplements increased among U.S. adults from 30% between 1988 to 1994 to 39% between 2003 to 2006, while overall use of dietary supplements increased from 42% to 53% (9). Longitudinal and secular trends show a steady increase in multivitamin supplement use and a decline in use of some individual supplements, such as ß-carotene and vitamin E.</em></p> <p style="margin-left: 10px;"><em>The decline in use of ß-carotene and vitamin E supplements followed reports of adverse outcomes in lung cancer and all-cause mortality, respectively.</em></p> <p> </p> <h3>Our response:</h3> <p></p> <ol> <li> <p><strong><em>No the study did not conclude that</em></strong><em>!</em> The exact words are: “Beta carotene, vitamin E, and higher doses of vitamin A may be associated with higher all-cause mortality.”</p> <p>Note<strong>: “may be” </strong>NOT that they definitively “ increase mortality”</p> </li> <li> <p>We have the same issue as in 3.2. regarding the quality, form, potency, bioavailability and dose of these supplements</p> </li> <li> <p>High doses of anything can be fatal!</p> </li> </ol> <p> </p> <h2>Quote #Eight from Annals of Internal Medicine editorial:</h2> <p style="margin-left: 10px;"><em>In contrast, sales of multivitamins and other supplements have not been affected by major studies with null results, and the U.S. supplement industry continues to grow, reaching $28 billion in annual sales in 2010. Similar trends have been observed in the United Kingdom and in other European countries.</em></p> <p> </p> <h3>Our response:</h3> <p></p> <ol> <li> <p>No evidence is provided for this comment: ‘The decline in use ß-carotene and vitamin E supplements ….”</p> </li> <li> <p> No evidence is provided of the supplement forms, dosage etc.used</p> </li> </ol> <p> </p> <h2>Quote #Nine from Annals of Internal Medicine editorial:</h2> <p style="margin-left: 10px;"><em>The large body of accumulated evidence has important public health and clinical implications. Evidence is sufficient to advise against routine supplementation, and we should translate null and negative findings into action. The message is simple: Most supplements do not prevent chronic disease or death, their use is not justified, and they should be avoided. This message is especially true for the general population with no clear evidence of micronutrient deficiencies, who represent most supplement users in the United States and in other countries (9)</em><em>.</em></p> <p> </p> <h3>Our response:</h3> <p></p> <ol> <li> <p>Perhaps people are less gullible and more able to read between the lines than the ‘expects’ expect?!</p> </li> </ol> <p> </p> <h2>Quote #Ten from Annals of Internal Medicine editorial:</h2> <p style="margin-left: 10px;"><em>The evidence also has implications for research. Antioxidants, folic acid, and B vitamins are harmful or ineffective for chronic disease prevention, and further large prevention trials are no longer justified. Vitamin D supplementation, however, is an open area of investigation, particularly in deficient persons. Clinical trials have been equivocal and sometimes contradictory. For example, supplemental vitamin D, which might prevent falls in older persons, reduced the risk for falls in a few trials, had no effect in most trials, and increased falls in 1 trial. Although future studies are needed to clarify the appropriate use of vitamin D supplementation, current widespread use is not based on solid evidence that benefits outweigh harms (10)</em><em>.</em></p> <p> </p> <h3>Our response:</h3> <p></p> <ol> <li> <p>The last sentence is fundamentally flawed. It is a known fact that “the general population… who represent most supplement users in the United States and in other countries” <strong>do have</strong> micro and macro nutrient deficiencies”</p> <p><em>Please see:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malnutrition"><em>Wikipedia Source on Malnutrition</em></a></li> <li><a href="http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=56350"><em>Medicinenet.com Article</em></a></li> <li><a href="http://www.gainhealth.org/about-malnutrition/vitamin-and-mineral-deficiencies"><em>Gainhealth.org - Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies</em></a></li> <li><a href="http://www.gainhealth.org/sites/www.gainhealth.org/files/report/investing_in_the_future_pdf_11749.pdf"><em>Gainhealth.org Report - Investing in the Future</em></a></li> </ul> </li> </ol> <p> </p> <h2>Quote #Eleven from Annals of Internal Medicine editorial:</h2> <p style="margin-left: 10px;"><em>With respect to multivitamins, the studies published in this issue and previous trials indicate no substantial health benefit. This evidence, combined with biological considerations, suggests that any effect, either beneficial or harmful, is probably small. As we learned from voluminous trial data on vitamin E, however, clinical trials are not well-suited to identify very small effects, and future trials of multivitamins for chronic disease prevention in well-nourished populations are likely to be futile.</em></p> <p style="margin-left: 10px;"><em>In conclusion, ß-carotene, vitamin E, and possibly high doses of vitamin A supplements are harmful. Other antioxidants, folic acid and B vitamins, and multivitamin and mineral supplements are ineffective for preventing mortality or morbidity due to major chronic diseases. Although available evidence does not rule out small benefits or harms or large benefits or harms in a small subgroup of the population, we believe that the case is closed— supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with (most) mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful. These vitamins should not be used for chronic disease prevention. Enough is enough.</em></p> <p> </p> <h3>Our response:</h3> <p></p> <ol> <li> <p>This negative perspective of Vitamin D supplementation does not represent the facts. Nor does it specify what form of Vitamin D3 is referred to.</p> <p>The health benefits of Vitamin D, especially natural vitamin D in the form of sunlight are overwhelmingly positive. In supplement form, the combination of Vitamin D3 Calcium and Vitamin K2 has very positive effects. Please see:<a href="http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/161618.php">http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/161618.php</a></p> </li> </ol> <p>In conclusion, at best, the editorial is a poor interpretation of the facts. At worst, it's a collusion with the drug companies to undermine the integrity of supplements. Or, in Warren’s words: “Please don't be phased by this latest round of negative 'press'. Things are not as they are being portrayed.”</p> <p>We hope this addresses your concern. Please ask if you have any more questions, or say how we may assist you further.</p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-01-20/More_About_the_Negative_Reports_on_Vitamins.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-01-20/More_About_the_Negative_Reports_on_Vitamins.aspx 3ea37124-6bc6-4241-a4fd-c11bcfcfb723 Mon, 20 Jan 2014 02:46:00 GMT Our View on Foundational Health and Aging <h2>Introduction</h2> <p>Over the next few weeks, we invite you discover our perspective on foundational health and aging. This is based on our many years in the health and wellness industry pioneering natural solutions to address core health imbalances.</p> <p>This journey of Enlightenment will be presented in in ten sequential blogs, based on the information in our main Health Concerns page. The blogs will illustrate how good foundational health and wellbeing are possible at any age. We will show you how this may be achieved by balancing your core systems and processes naturally.</p> <p>As with all adventures, there may be a few surprises, twists and even ‘aha’ moments! We hope you enjoy the ride as we progress through the following milestones:</p> <h2>Contents</h2> <ol> <li>Definition of Health (Series 1 of 10)</li> <li>What is a Degenerative Disease and its Relationship with Aging? (Series 1 of 10)</li> <li>What Causes Degenerative Diseases and Why are they so Prevalent? (Series 2 of 10)</li> <li>How Our Modern Lifestyle May Accelerate Aging: The Biological Response (Series 3of 10-7 of 10)</li> <li>What are the Key Steps for Vibrant Foundational Health and Wellbeing? (Series 8 of 10)</li> <li>‘Wholistic’ Protocol for Vibrant Living (Series of 8 of 10)</li> <li>Respective Benefits of Conventional Treatment and Supplementary Support (Series 9 of 10)</li> <li>What to look for in a Quality Supplement (Series 9 of 10)</li> <li>Essential Ingredients for ‘Whole’ Body Health and Wellbeing (Series 9 of 10)</li> <li>Conclusion (Series of 10 of 10)</li> </ol> <h2>1. Definition of Health</h2> <p style="margin-left: 10px;">We agree with the World Health Organisation’s definition of general health (ref 1) as “A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”</p> <p style="margin-left: 10px;">This state of wellbeing means that you enjoy <strong>optimal foundational health</strong>. All of <em>you </em>is in balance and you are properly nourished on cellular, molecular, biological, mental, emotional, sexual and spiritual levels.</p> <p style="margin-left: 10px;">When you have optimal foundational health the likelihood of degenerative disease and aging is reduced.</p> <p style="margin-left: 10px;">So if you’re looking for the ‘Secret’ to vibrant health, well-being and anti-aging, look inside you first!</p> <p style="margin-left: 10px;">Forget superficial symptomatic quick fixes. Rather, nurture, nourish and love yourself by making lifestyle choices which invigorate and motivate you at every level to be your very best.</p> <p style="margin-left: 10px;">That means, your attitude, diet, supplementation, exercise, environment, work, and relationships need to be balanced and in sync with your passions and purpose. When you’re ‘firing on all cylinders’, nothing can stop you.</p> <p style="margin-left: 10px;">Aging gracefully’ becomes the norm and degenerative disease the exception.</p> <p style="margin-left: 10px;">Before we look at how to age gracefully, let’s be clear about what exactly degenerative disease is, and its relationship with aging. This will lead us to preventative measures.</p> <h2>2. What is a Degenerative Disease and its Relationship with Aging?</h2> <p style="margin-left: 10px;">A degenerative disease (ref 2) is characterised by the slow but sure deterioration of the function or structure of tissues or organs. This gradual deterioration may be due to normal bodily ‘wear and tear’, or poor lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise, smoking, stress, etc., or both.</p> <p style="margin-left: 10px;">Well known typical degenerative diseases include Alzheimers, Parkinsons, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and cancer.</p> <p style="margin-left: 10px;">Some experts (ref 3) even class aging as a degenerative disease because both are characterised by slow, systematic wide deterioration.</p> <p style="margin-left: 10px;">We disagree with this view.</p> <p style="margin-left: 10px;">We believe that aging is not a disease but a natural part of life. You cannot reverse aging (yet). But you can help to slow it down and enjoy aging gracefully in vibrant health by making wise lifestyle choices.</p> <p style="margin-left: 10px;">Degenerative diseases are often contrasted with infectious diseases. An infectious disease, as the name implies, is a transmissible or communicable disease where symptoms result from the infection, presence and growth of pathogenic biological agents like viruses, bacteria, parasites etc. in the individual.</p> <p style="margin-left: 10px;">Typical infectious diseases include malaria, tuberculosis, lower respiratory infections and meningitis.</p> <h2>3. Conclusion</h2> <p style="margin-left: 10px;">We have suggested that robust foundational health and wellness are possible at any age, once all your core systems and processes are balanced and in harmony. This results in a hugely reduced risk of degenerative disease and aging.</p> <p style="margin-left: 10px;">Indeed, we believe that aging is not a ‘disease’ but a normal part of life, whose speed and severity is largely determined by you. Your lifestyle choices will be the key determinant in how you age. The next blogs in this series will illustrate how.</p> <h2>References</h2> <ol> <li>WHO Definition of Health <a href="http://www.who.int/about/definition/en/print.html">http://www.who.int/about/definition/en/print.html</a></li> <li>Definition of a degenerative disease <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Degenerative_disease">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Degenerative_disease</a></li> <li>Aging as a (degenerative) disease <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3045708/">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3045708/</a></li> </ol> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-01-17/Our_View_on_Foundational_Health_and_Aging.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/14-01-17/Our_View_on_Foundational_Health_and_Aging.aspx a67fdf75-f64a-4888-8a25-5dbff52ebb8b Fri, 17 Jan 2014 02:38:18 GMT "Case closed" against Vitamin Pills <p>These are the headlines being regurgitated at the moment in the media around the world as part of the latest campaign to attempt to discredit 'vitamins'.</p> <p>I have lost count of how many times I have read these types of news releases over the last 14 years. And...news releases is what they are! Many of these are carefully orchestrated behind the scenes by vested interests...yes, I am referring to Big Pharma. It is not widely known but there are many millions of dollars spent each year by pharma consortiums with public relations companies to actively try and find negative studies about vitamins and supplements.</p> <p>A few years ago I was privy to some information in the UK which revealed 15 million UK pounds were being spent each year in a campaign to discredit supplements. Not only that, but in some cases if you dig deep enough you may find that the funders of some of the negative studies are the same organizations that oppose supplements. </p> <h3>Change in Public Attitude</h3> <p>Why? Well over the last 15 years there has been a change in the public's attitude towards their personal health. Most people are now aware that the conventional medical methods of intervention at the time a health problem manifests itself is often an ineffective solution. Agreed it can certainly help delay the symptoms of some conditions and ease pain but rarely does the intervention bring about a full cure of the condition.</p> <p>Not only is the outcome often less than satisfactory but the costs are now getting to a stage, particularly in the US that medical costs may ultimately be a major contributing factor for a major economic crisis.</p> <p>At the end of the day it is your own body that does the healing...we just need to support it!</p> <p>As a result of this increasing awareness there has been a trend for people to be more responsible for their own health by taking preventative measures. This includes awareness of lifestyle, diet and exercise...PLUS, sensible supplementation. No matter what you may read from some 'experts' in the media, much of the food eaten today are little more than empty calories (with some nasty additives thrown in) and this is the underlying reason why the overall health of the population has deteriorated.</p> <h3>Not Enough Body Fuel for good Health...</h3> <p>When I refer to empty calories I am referring to the general depletion of the nutrients in food even from what are considered to be 'quality' foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables. This is even ignoring the processed foods that form a large part of many peoples diets...and those foods are even worse when it comes to limited nutritional content.</p> <p>The stark reality is that your body is an intricate finely tuned machine. If it does not have the nutrients that your organs need to carry out all the myriad of complex chemical reactions which go on in your body every second whilst you are alive...it will simply start to malfunction. The deficiency of these nutrients is what triggers off sickness.</p> <p>If you give your body the nutrients that it needs you will simply NOT get many of the common malfunctions in your body unless you have some genetic disease which is relatively rare. I am living proof of that. I am 66 years old and have no health issues. I can do everything that I could do when I was 40 years old...more...in some activities.</p> <h3>Negative Studies based on flawed Protocols...</h3> <p>OK...you may be thinking...what about those studies that show negative results such as the widely published one over recent years that Beta Carotene and Vitamin E can shorten your life and which is being cited in the current round of media publicity?</p> <p>Well...if it wasn't so serious and misleading that particular study would have been funny!</p> <p>I'll explain:</p> <p>There is a world of difference between the synthetic versions of Beta Carotene and Vitamin E and the natural forms of these two nutrients. Additionally the Vitamin E used in the studies were in the form of Tocopherols which should never be used unless they are in partnership with the other component of Vitamin E...<strong>Tocotrienols</strong>! Unfortunately Tocotrienols are not often used as they are very expensive. (We always use them with Vitamin E Tocopherols and have done so for over a decade.)</p> <p>Additionally,individual vitamins should never be taken in isolation or with just one or two others. They should always be just <strong>a component part</strong> of a broad spectrum of vitamins and other nutrients. This study was doomed to failure before it even started...and one could wonder if that was the intention...depending upon who was funding it.</p> <h3>More is not always better...</h3> <p>In the current series of regurgitated articles giving a negative spin on vitamins there are instances where references are made to high doses of vitamins not being effective! Of course they are not! With vitamins 'more is not better'. Vitamins are basically co-factors to help the overall function of the body in <strong>conjunction</strong> with other nutrients.</p> <p>High doses are not beneficial unless you have been diagnosed with a specific deficiency. In fact, high doses can be detrimental, particularly if in the synthetic form and taken in isolation.</p> <p>I found it amusing to read in the media reports today that a study with vitamin users did not show any improvement in cognitive function! Of course not...to get improvements in this area, the health of your neuro-transmitters need to be improved and for this they need more assistance than they can get with straight vitamins.</p> <p>I could go on and on about this subject but I think that you get the gist of what I am getting at.</p> <p>Finally, don't confuse a multi-vitamin supplement with a complex nutrition supplement such as our <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/Product/Total_Balance_Range.aspx">Total Balance</a>. That is like comparing Chalk to Cheese. It is also why Total Balance is so much more valuable than a multi because it does contain a broad range of additional nutrients needed by the body but rarely available in supplements. </p> <p>In summary, please don't be phased by this latest round of negative 'press'. Things are not as they are being portrayed. If you would like to refresh yourself on what you should do for your overall health please have a look at the new copy we have just uploaded on our website and refer to the <a href="http://www.xtend-life.com/product/foundation_pack.aspx">Core Wellness Activators</a> which you will find a link to on the home page. </p> <p>Hope this helps put the media reports into a better perspective...</p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/13-12-18/Case_closed_against_Vitamin_Pills.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/13-12-18/Case_closed_against_Vitamin_Pills.aspx 5745e031-5ff6-4b00-920f-0f600ded11c0 Wed, 18 Dec 2013 03:25:24 GMT Popeye Has Spinach But Superman Has Beans <p>It’s no coincidence that the saying ‘full of beans’ is often used to describe someone bursting with energy. When we were little, my mother used to tell us that beans were Superman’s secret food and thinking back to her words now, I cannot agree more!&nbsp;</p> <p>What’s great about beans is no secret. Beans are packed full of soluble fiber, protein, and antioxidants; and yet they are one of today’s most overlooked foods, with studies showing that the average person’s diet contains less than a cup of beans per week. This is a long way from the latest dietary guidelines advising us to triple our intake to three cups per week.</p> <p>In recent years, fiber consumption has been on a steady decline and our hearts and waistlines are losing out because of it. Beans, while not the greatest dinner date choice, are great for the digestive system. One cup of cooked beans<img alt="" style="float: right;" src="/Images/blog/December 2013/beans.JPG" /> provides about 12 grams of fiber – nearly half the recommended daily amount for an adult. Fiber helps to regulate bowel movement and reduce the risk of gastrointestinal problems. It is also good news for those of us prone to snacking, as fiber helps us feel full for longer. &nbsp;</p> <p>It is this high fiber content which makes beans such a great alternative to meat. Bean digestion is slow compared to meat and produces a longer, slower release of energy, keeping us fuelled up for longer. They are also a great low-fat protein alternative. A cup of beans contains 42 g of protein – the same amount of protein as a 175 g steak – but producing that protein is much more sustainable, with much less environmental impact. All this for a fraction of the cost of meat; a can of beans costs around US$ 1.19 for two cups, while a packet of dried beans costs US$ 1.99 for eight cups.</p> <p>A study by a team of USDA nutritionists recently listed beans as the food with the highest antioxidant capacity*, with small red beans, red kidney beans and pinto beans as three of the top four foods on the list. Antioxidants are a class of phytochemicals that support your body’s cellular health, so who knows what other benefits that extra serving of beans could offer!</p> <p>While beans may not actually give us superhuman capabilities, they certainly bring us a bit closer; and for their cost and availability, they are one of the best foods we can add to our dinner table. I would encourage you to substitute meat for beans in a meal at least once a week.</p> <p><strong>Handy tip:</strong></p> <p>Canned and dried beans contain similar levels of nutrients, but if you opt for canned beans, it is a good idea to drain the juice and rinse the beans before you use them. Canned beans contain around 400 times more sodium than dried beans, but draining and rinsing will reduce this by as much as 41%.</p> <p>With dried beans, it is a good idea to soak overnight in cold water and rinse them before boiling, as it releases the indigestible complex sugars that may cause gas*. This also means a shorter cooking time is needed, which ensures more nutrients are preserved.</p> <p>If you would like, <a href="mailto:customer.service@xtend-life.com?subject=One of my favourite bean recipes">click here</a>, and I’ll email you one of my favourite bean recipes – it makes for a yummy, nutritious snack</p> <p>In good health,<br /> Madelynn Loo</p> <p>* P.S. If you want to help optimize your body’s digestion of all these great nutrients, I’d recommend <a href="http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/product/Kiwi-Klenz_Digestive_Supplement.aspx">Kiwi-Klenz</a> as a great way to get the most out of what you’re putting in. Whether or not you enjoy beans and all of the antioxidants that they offer, Xtend-Life’s <a href="http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/info/TB.aspx">Total Balance</a> products are a great source of a full range of antioxidants and many other health enhancing nutrients.</p> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/13-12-12/Popeye_Has_Spinach_But_Superman_Has_Beans.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/13-12-12/Popeye_Has_Spinach_But_Superman_Has_Beans.aspx 522e7ebd-586f-4eaa-9c5f-95a1b2e75966 Thu, 12 Dec 2013 04:00:00 GMT How to Breed the Nutrition out of our Food <p>What do cornfields, Middle East oil, and animal concentration camps (aka CAFOs - concentrated animal feeding operations) have in common?&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.6em;">They’re all part of a modern industrialised food complex which produces much of the processed, convenience foods avidly consumed by many of us today.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.6em;">But have you ever wondered why?</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.6em;">What exactly are you eating, how was it made, of what? Is it really full of “natural goodness” and as “farm fresh” as the beguiling advertising suggests?</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.6em;">Or, do we really care?</span></p> <h2>Are we becoming like Food Zombies’?</h2> <p>Sometimes it seems to me that we have strayed so far from our dietary roots, and become so disconnected from our food sources, that we struggle to know what exactly nutritious food is.</p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.6em;">For example, did you know that:</span></p> <ol> <li>Experts agree that the key cause of the global chronic disease crisis is poor dietary choices (ref 1)</li> <li>Almost 90% of the money Americans spend on food is spent on processed foods (ref 2)</li> <li>The average American aged 19-64 now regularly takes 12 prescription drugs, and those older, take 28 (ref 3)</li> </ol> <p><span style="line-height: 1.6em;">What is going on? And what exactly is the role of the industrial food complex in all this suffering?</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.6em;">To address this, let’s consider a recent Chipotle ad (ref 4)</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.6em;">It echoes the documentary ‘American Meat’ by eloquently illustrating how the modern industrialised food system is breeding the nutrition out of our food. &nbsp;</span></p> <h2>How the Industrialised Food System is Breeding the Nutrition out of our Food</h2> <p>Let’s review three critical areas which illustrate this nutrient depletion:</p> <h3>1. Soil Nutrient depletion</h3> <p>75 years ago American nutritionists and soil experts (ref 5) &nbsp;described how the industrialisation of farming and mass land desertification have stripped our soils of the trace minerals so necessary to health, growth, long life, and resistance to disease.</p> <p>They conclude that “We must make soil building the basis of food building in order to accomplish human building... and to reduce disease and our fat bellies.”</p> <p>Since then, worldwide soil nutrient values have become so depleted that they have lost between 72-85% of their minerals (ref 6)</p> <p>It’s hardly surprising then, that the quality of our food has deteriorated so badly...</p> <h3>2. Plant nutrient depletion</h3> <p>Over 10,000 years ago our ancestor hunter gatherers foraged for wild plants, non-starchy vegetables, seafood, wild meat, nuts, seeds, and fruit. In fact, according to Dr. Mark Berry, an expert in Paleolithic nutrition research, our ancestors ate 20 to 25 different plant foods each day. Today, many of us struggle to fit in the recommended five!</p> <p>There was no processed food or refined sugar – not even bread, cereal, potatoes, or pasteurized dairy – a far cry from most diets today. &nbsp;</p> <p>This fare, especially the wild plants, provided an astounding level of phytonutrients which are largely absent from our modern cultivated fruits and vegetables. For instance, wild dandelions contain seven times more phytonutrients than spinach, and Peruvian purple potatoes contain 28 times more anthocyanins than commonly consumed russet potatoes (ref 7)</p> <p>Many (but not yet all!) nutritional experts are also realising that in straightforward nutritional analyses (see following chart), organic food tends to have more in it, both in terms of dry weight and nutrients (ref 8).</p> <h3>Chart showing the component mean % increase in organic produce vs non-­organic produce:</h3> <table cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" border="1" style="width: 500px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td>Dry matter</td> <td>+26%&nbsp;</td> <td>Copper</td> <td>+34%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Potassium</td> <td>+13&nbsp;</td> <td>Manganese</td> <td>+28%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Calcium</td> <td>+56%</td> <td>Protein</td> <td>+12%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Magnesium</td> <td>+49%</td> <td>Essential amino acids</td> <td>+35%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Iron</td> <td>+290%</td> <td>Nitrates</td> <td>+69%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Phosphorous</td> <td>+6%</td> <td>&nbsp;</td> <td>&nbsp;</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><span style="line-height: 1.6em;">This difference is because organically grown produce must be cultivated without chemicals in enriched soil. As a result, it is naturally nourished and nutrient dense. Conversely, modern agrochemical farming can accelerate the growth of a plant by changing its structure to contain more water, sugar (and chemicals). So, although a conventionally grown carrot may still look like a carrot, you are actually buying less food and less nutrition, but more toxic junk.</span></p> <p>To make matters worse, we are eating more junk and not balancing it with more exercise. For example, our Stone-Age predecessors probably burned between 800 and 1,200 calories daily just hunting and dodging animals. This compares with the over 3900 calories consumed daily by the average modern city dweller inhabiting their "computer cave."</p> <p>As Professor Jimmy Bell, obesity specialist at Imperial College in London, states (ref 9)</p> <p><em>“Genetically, human beings haven't changed,&nbsp;</em><em style="line-height: 1.6em;">but our environment, our access to cheap food has."</em></p> <p>Likewise, just as genetically we haven’t fundamentally changed, the same applies to animals (unless they are genetically modified!). But for those unfortunate enough to be bred for food, so too, their environment has changed unrecognisably...</p> <h3>3. Animal nutrient depletion</h3> <p>There is a big contrast between what I call “Animal Concentration Camps”, or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations – CAFOs - and organically-raised animals.</p> <p>Differences in the animals’ diets and living conditions create very different end products. For example, most CAFO cows and chickens are fed dangerous GMO grains (ref 10). Yet cows’ natural diet consists of plain grass, and chickens are omnivorous so feed on insects, seeds and fruits.</p> <p>Add to this, the crowded, stressful, unsanitary CAFO conditions and the extra hormones, antibiotics, veterinary drugs &nbsp;and disease-causing pathogens (ref 11), how can one expect to nurture happy healthy animals?</p> <p>What do you think eating such traumatised toxic victims does to your body and health?</p> <p>In this context, I can’t help but recall a quote by Ghandi:</p> <p><em>"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."</em></p> <p>By breeding the nutrition out of our soil, plants and animals, is it any surprise that many people are getting sicker and sicker, while, arguably, the modern industrial food complex and Big Pharma are getting richer?</p> <p>Please see below the link to the Chipotle advert if you have not already seen it. I think it is well worth watching.</p> <p>Food for thought!</p> <p>Please share your thought on this matter.</p> <p>Caramia Hartley</p> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>References</h2> <p>1. Global chronic disease :</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://csis.org/event/tackling-crisis-chronic-disease">http://csis.org/event/tackling-crisis-chronic-disease</a></li> <li>Reeves MJ, Rafferty AP. Healthy lifestyle characteristics among adults in the United States, 2000. Arch Intern Med. 2005;165:854-857.</li> </ul> <p>2. Expenditure on processed food&nbsp; <a href="http://jhampton.pbworks.com/w/file/fetch/51769044/Fast Food Nation.pdf">http://jhampton.pbworks.com/w/file/fetch/51769044/Fast%20Food%20Nation.pdf</a></p> <p>3. Prescription drug numbers: Kaiser Health Foundation, Retail Prescription Drugs Filled at Pharmacies (Annual per Capita by Age), 2011&nbsp; <a href="http://kff.org/other/state-indicator/retail-rx-drugs-by-age/">http://kff.org/other/state-indicator/retail-rx-drugs-by-age/</a>&nbsp;</p> <p>4. Chipotle ad&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://newhope360.com/blog/new-chipotle-ad-highlights-industry-woes?elq=e15c0dbc5c60453da52accb8d4ecfaed&amp;elqCampaignId=1852">http://newhope360.com/blog/new-chipotle-ad-highlights-industry-woes?elq=e15c0dbc5c60453da52accb8d4ecfaed&amp;elqCampaignId=1852</a></p> <p>5. American nutritionists and soil experts’ views <a href="http://senatedoc264.blogspot.com/">http://senatedoc264.blogspot.com/</a></p> <p>6. Soil nutrient values <a href="http://www.nutritionsecurity.org/PDF/NSI_White Paper_Web.pdf">http://www.nutritionsecurity.org/PDF/NSI_White%20Paper_Web.pdf</a></p> <p>7. Food nutrient depletion <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/26/opinion/sunday/breeding-the-nutrition-out-of-our-food.html?pagewanted=all&amp;_r=0">http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/26/opinion/sunday/breeding-the-nutrition-out-of-our-food.html?pagewanted=all&amp;_r=0</a></p> <p>8. Nutrient values of organic vs. processed foods</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.organicfoodee.com/sense/betterforyou/">http://www.organicfoodee.com/sense/betterforyou/</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.soilassociation.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=cY8kfP3Q gA=&amp;;tabid=388">http://www.soilassociation.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=cY8kfP3Q%2BgA%3D&amp;%3Btabid=388</a></li> <li><a href="http://jhampton.pbworks.com/w/file/fetch/51769044/Fast Food Nation.pdf">http://jhampton.pbworks.com/w/file/fetch/51769044/Fast%20Food%20Nation.pdf</a></li> </ul> <p>9 Prof Jimmy Bell: <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-18393391">http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-18393391</a></p> <p>10. Dangers of GMOs on animals, and in general</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.responsibletechnology.org/gmo-dangers/65-health-risks/1notes">http://www.responsibletechnology.org/gmo-dangers/65-health-risks/1notes</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.responsibletechnology.org/gmo-dangers">http://www.responsibletechnology.org/gmo-dangers</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.foodrevolution.org/blog/former-pro-gmo-scientist/">http://www.foodrevolution.org/blog/former-pro-gmo-scientist/</a></li> </ul> <p>11. CAFOs</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/animal-rights-us-dairy-industry/story?id=9658866">http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/animal-rights-us-dairy-industry/story?id=9658866</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/1122016/revealed_the_secret_horror_of_the_worlds_mega_factory_farms.html">http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/1122016/revealed_the_secret_horror_of_the_worlds_mega_factory_farms.html</a></li> </ul> http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/13-12-02/How_to_Breed_the_Nutrition_out_of_our_Food.aspx Xtend-Life http://healthyskin.xtend-life.com/Blog/13-12-02/How_to_Breed_the_Nutrition_out_of_our_Food.aspx ad5478af-888e-431f-9950-413d6b80b4fc Sun, 01 Dec 2013 22:34:00 GMT