Archive for ‘Immune System’

April 19, 2013

What Should I Be Taking Daily to Stay Healthy?

brick_wall2We get this question a lot  from customers when they come in for the first time. Although we can never prescribe, we can give great information on the highest quality products available, because that’s all we carry!

A standard for everyone who wants lifelong, vibrant health are the “FOUNDATION 4” supplements. They include: Vitamin/minerals, Omega 3 fatty acids, Digestive enzymes and Probiotics. Anyone, from seniors down to toddlers can benefit with those four products. Of course dosages will be different depending on age and health status, but the foundation four products carry over through all generations.

It’s important to remember that many of our foods are depleted of certain nutrients as modern corporate farming methods have resulted in soils that are lacking in many nutrients. Add to this extensive processing, improper storage, etc., and its little wonder that many of the foods that reach our tables cannot meet our nutritional needs. This means for optimum health, it is necessary to get nutrients in the form of supplements.

#1.  A High Potency, Whole-Food Based, All-Natural Multivitamin/Mineral

Not all vitamins are created equal!  Vitamin supplements can be divided into two groups; synthetic and natural.  Synthetic vitamins are produced in labs from chemicals that mirror their counterparts found in nature. Natural vitamins are derived from food sources so your body recognizes them as food and utilizes them more efficiently.

Supplements that are not labeled natural may also include coal tars, artificial coloring, preservatives, sugars, and starch, as well as other additives like aluminum (YES, aluminum!). You should be aware of these harmful elements when you purchase any supplements. Even vitamins that state they are natural, may not be extracted from whole food sources. Read labels carefully and remember that you get what you pay for! Don’t expect to feel more energy when taking a mass produced, low-potency “once daily” that you picked up in the vitamin aisle at the local grocery or dollar store. You may as well take the money you spent and flush it right down the toilet because with the coatings and binders used manufacturing synthetic multis, they aren’t going to break down and absorb anyway.

Look for a vitamin that is extracted from whole food concentrates that does not contain an entire list of “other ingredients” like binders, fillers, artificial colors, coatings and such. Natural vitamins do not contain any of those things. One to try:  Pure Essence Lab’s One ’n Only or Life Essence.  They are long-time Baum’s Best Sellers!

#2. Essential Fatty Acids from Fish Oil

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are considered “essential fats” because they are required for good health but cannot be produced by our bodies.  Research has determined that in order to prevent deficiency and ensure optimal health, EFAs should be taken daily.

Proper cell function is dependent on a balanced intake of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fats. The American diet is so overloaded with Omega-6 fats from processed foods, refined vegetable oils and meat that it is nearly impossible to maintain a proper balance. When Omega 6 is out of balance in the body, it causes inflammation. Chronic inflammation causes disease. Omega 3’s are absolutely necessary to keep the Omega 6’s in check, keep inflammation to a minimum and help prevent disease. The list of the benefits of Omega 3 is long. It includes:

  • Cardiovascular Health
  • Joint Health
  • Brain/Memory/Attention
  • Eye/Vision Health
  • Healthy Skin
  • Healthy Mood
  • Immune System Support

Quality is extremely important when purchasing fish oil.  If you open a bottle of fish oil and it stinks or smells “fishy,” throw it out!  Good quality fish oil, should never smell bad or give you rancid fish burps. Baums only buys the highest quality fish oils on the market, so YOU can too! One to try: Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega with D3

#3 Digestive Enzymes

One of the major theories behind the inclusion of digestive enzymes as a foundation supplement stems from the work of physician Edward Howell. In the 1930s and 1940s, he did extensive research on enzymes and declared them essential. He noted that the cooking and processing of foods, destroys enzymes that naturally occur in foods.  According to Dr. Howell, “our overly cooked and processed diet led to dramatic changes in the ability of modern men and women to digest foods and remain healthy.”

Let’s use beans as an example. You rinse them, drain them and cook them for a long time. Any enzymes contained in the beans were destroyed by this process. Without enzymes, what happens? You eat the beans, you get bloated, gassy and uncomfortable. The beans haven’t digested properly and they ferment instead, causing gas. If you had taken a digestive enzyme supplement prior to eating those beans, they would have been better digested and the chance of gas would have been greatly reduced. You also are able to absorb much more of the nutritional value when enzymes are available to help break down foods.

Beans are just one example. Anything you see in a box, sitting on the shelf of the grocery store, has almost certainly been stripped of its enzymes.  Without  enzymes, packaged foods can sit on the shelf much longer without spoiling.

Enzyme Experts recommend that you take a digestive enzyme blend prior to meals to ensure proper digestion. A blend will cover all types of food, including protein, carbohydrates, fiber & fats.
What to Try? Baums Veggie Zymes (Adults) or Nature’s Plus Tummy-Zyme (Kids)

#4 Probiotics (good bacteria)

Chances are you’ve heard of probiotics – especially if you’ve seen a yogurt commercial in the last couple of years – but do you have any idea as to what they really are, how they work, or why we really need them?

Probiotics are naturally occurring bacterium that live in our intestinal tract. The most abundant being acidophilus and bifidobacterium. Probiotics help keep balance in our bodies, from fighting-off harmful bacteria we ingest, to fighting off allergies.

Most people don’t know that most of their immune system is located in the gut as a vast network of lymph tissue referred to as GALT (gut associated lymphatic tissue). The probiotics in our gut are constantly interfacing with the GALT and essentially priming the immune system for contact with other bacteria. One way probiotics keep us healthy is by breaking-down other bacteria in the foods we eat. This helps prevent food-born illnesses such as salmonella. They also populate themselves in healthy numbers so that when other bacterium are ingested, the healthy ones crowd them out, preventing illness.

It’s important to remember that when anyone takes an antibiotic that is prescribed by a doctor, it kills ALL bacteria in the body. Both good and bad. Often this causes diarrhea or even constipation. It is vitally important to restore those good bacteria for optimal health and wellness. You can take probiotics and antibiotics at the same time, just take them as far apart from each other as possible.

Baums carries probiotics for everyone, from newborns all the way through the senior years. Come in and pick up more great information on probiotics and the wonderful ways they keep us healthy!
Baums Best Seller: Jarrow Formulas, JarrowDophilus EPS or Baums 35 Billion Probiotic

Please purchase your supplements from a health food store where the employees are knowledgeable and the quality of supplements is top shelf.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

February 14, 2013

Support Your Immune System!

Your immune system needs proper nutrients to work efficiently at hunting down invading germs and destroying them. Eating healthy, of course, is your first line of defense, but unless you have all day to shop and prepare healthy meals, supplements can fill in any vital cracks in your diet.

Baums carries a variety of immune support formulas for the whole family!  Get started on one TODAY to help keep everyone well throughout the entire flu season.

Wellness Formula from Source Naturals– This best selling immune formula has been flying off our shelves since Thanksgiving! It contains a combination of vitamins, minerals, and herbs that can either be used as a daily immune formula or used at a higher dosage for acute symptoms.  Make sure you have it in the house so if you feel like you’re coming down with something, you can start taking it right away!

Probiotics– 70% of your immune system is within your digestive tract, making a healthy gut a major focal point if you want to maintain optimal health. Remember, a robust immune system is your number one defense system against ALL disease.

Silver Hydrosol from Sovereign Silver– This positively charged collodial silver is easily absorbed because the particle size is much smaller than most other silver products on the market. This means that less is more and it’s perfectly safe for the whole family to use. You won’t find a higher quality silver than Sovereign Silver.

Baum’s Immune Support– Medicinal mushrooms, vitamins, and other herbs make up this unique blend of powerful flu-fighters. All of the herbs are standardized so you get the most bang for your buck, and medicinal mushrooms have been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine. Immune system support is just one of their many attributes.

I’m Already Sick! What Should I Do?

There are various natural remedies one can utilize to combat the dreaded virus. To boost your chances of staying well, there are a few supplements you should keep on hand that just may tip the scales in your favor if flu strikes.

Oscillococcinum
Difficult to spell and hard to pronounce, Oscillococcinum is the best-selling natural flu remedy in the world, because it works! “Oscillo,” as it is more commonly known, is a homeopathic preparation. It is taken at the very first sign of the flu. The moment you feel symptoms coming on, you take a few pellets of Oscillo. Don’t wait until you’re already sick, get some now! Keep it in your medicine cabinet so you’ll have it if you need it!

Elderberry
Purple pigments, known as anthocyanins, are powerfully antioxidant, but also appear to possess anti-viral activity. Elderberry is widely available in supplement form, in liquids, capsules and tablets. Like Oscillo, it is most effective when taken at the first sign of flu.

Both Oscillo and Elderberry are safe for children.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

January 3, 2013

It’s A New Year! Another Year Older But Much, Much Wiser!

Time flies, so they say, but with every year that passes, we get a little bit older. And when we get older, our bodies get older too. Some of us look it, some of us don’t. Some of us feel it, some of us don’t. Why is that? Well genetics plays a bit part in it, but so does your environment and lifestyle.

Stress, diet, lack of exercise and environmental pollutants are all major contributors to early aging. Luckily there is something you can do right now to undo some of the harmful effects of all of these things. Keeping yourself healthy, balanced, and free of toxic build-up are ways to stay vital into your very senior years.
How Would You Like to Increase Longevity?

Strengthen the immune system.

From stress to pollutants to disease-causing bacteria, the list of invisible enemies that can damage our health is huge. And the immune system, our bodies’ frontline defense, deals with all of them. A strong immune system can mean the difference between life and death when we are older. To stay finely tuned, the immune system requires proper nutrition, which can include supplements, such as vitamins, antioxidants and herbal formulas that keep it strong.

Maintain cardiovascular health.

Cardiovascular health is essential for optimal performance and longevity. The heart and vascular system distribute blood, which provides oxygen, carries nutrients, and removes waste from cells. When the heart and lungs are strong, the body can obtain more oxygen; remove more waste products and perform at higher levels for longer periods of time. We can protect our cardiovascular health by using specific supplements that support this system, including Omega 3 Fish Oil, herbs such as Hawthorn, Vitamin E, and various minerals and amino acids.

Prevent bone loss.

In our skeletal system, bone is constantly being broken down and rebuilt by bone-building cells called osteoblasts. A healthy skeletal system is vital in any endeavor since it protects the internal organs, provides support for the muscles, and gives us the incredible range of motion we require. With age, our bones gradually become weaker. Fortunately exercise and proper diet, including supplements such as calcium, vitamin D3, magnesium and vitamin K2, can help slow the loss of bone mass.

Restore hormone levels.

With age, levels of many of our hormones decline, including growth hormone. This can result in slowed mental alertness and memory; declines in strength, endurance, and lean mass; lowered sex drive in men; and even those telltale signs of aging—lines and wrinkles in our skin. Researchers theorize that by naturally increasing levels of hormones with supplementation, our bodies’ hormones, along with their benefits, may be restored to youthful peaks. Hormone testing is a great place to start. When you know your levels, supplementing with progesterone creams or testosterone boosters can make a big difference in how you feel.

Prevent free radical damage.

Imperfect diets and active lifestyles take a toll, not just on our muscles, but on our entire bodies, by increasing the release of free radicals. Fortunately, the use of antioxidants may help minimize the amount of free radicals that damage cells. The proper use of antioxidants may improve recovery time, reduce muscle soreness, postpone fatigue, boost immune functioning, and perhaps even defy the aging process. There have been studies on the benefits of Resveratrol, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Vitamins A, C, E and Selenium on their antioxidant and anti-aging benefits.

Detoxify the body.

You change the oil in your car to keep it running smoothly, but how often do you think about your liver? A clean and healthy liver allows our bodies to quickly eliminate toxins and waste products that otherwise get stored in our tissues, making us sluggish, achy, and foggy-headed. Key herbs such as milk thistle, burdock, and dandelion root support the detoxifying abilities of the liver and keep it healthy.

Not sure about detoxing? We can help!
Baums has a variety of ways that we can help you start the detox process. Ask us about it and we’ll help you decide which method is just right for you.

Detox kits–  These handy kits have everything you need in one box!  Cleanses generally differ in the length of the cleanse and what they target. Depending on how you want to go about it, there a few to choose from. They can range from days to weeks. Talk to our experts about the different cleanse kits we offer and be sure to pick up our Detox Tip Card so you’ll know what to expect from a cleanse. One to try: Michael’s Ultimate Detox & Cleanse (It’s on sale this month too!)

Juices and Super Green Foods– If you’re green inside, you’re clean inside!  Grab a fresh, organic juice at one of our juice bars and a shot of super-cleansing wheat grass juice. If you’re not able to obtain fresh juices everyday, try picking up a container of powdered greens that you can mix in with your own juice at home. We carry some great new flavors that are sure to please even the pickiest palate!
One to try:  Barlean’s Greens in Strawberry Kiwi flavor.

Ion Cleanse, Infrared Saunas, Body Wraps & Massage– All of these services that Baums offers are great ways to move harmful, stored toxins out of the body!  Ask us for details and make an appointment today! Do it for YOU!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

December 27, 2012

Are You Taking Vitamin D3?

It is not always practical to get your vitamin D from sunshine, and quite difficult to get adequate amounts from your diet so for many people, a vitamin D3 supplement is a great way to ensure adequate levels of this important protector are always available in your bloodstream. There is a vast body of science showing the many health benefits of Vitamin D

  • Maintains Your Calcium Balance
    • Maintenance of blood calcium levels within a narrow range is vital for normal functioning of the nervous system, as well as for bone growth, and maintenance of bone density.
  • Aids Your Cell Differentiation
    • Cellular differentiation results in the specialization of cells for specific functions in your body. While cellular proliferation is essential for growth and wound healing, uncontrolled proliferation of cells with mutations may lead to diseases like cancer.
  • Boosts Your Immunity
    • Vitamin D is a potent immune system modulator that may enhance your immunity and inhibit the development of autoimmune diseases such as, Parkinson’s Disease and MS.
  • Has a Role in Insulin Secretion
    • The active form of vitamin D plays a role in insulin secretion under conditions of increased insulin demand.
  • Blood Pressure Regulation
    • Adequate vitamin D levels may be important for decreasing the risk of high blood pressure.
  • Vitamin D and Mood
    • Higher dosages of Vitamin D have been shown to help relieve symptoms of SAD (seasonal affective disorder) such as depression and lethargy.
  •  See your doctor about having your Vitamin D levels checked.

How much Vitamin D is recommended?

Vitamin D Council recommended amounts Based on the body’s indicated daily vitamin D usage, Vitamin D Council recommends the following amounts of supplemental vitamin D3 per day in the absence of proper sun exposure.

  • Healthy children under 1 year – 1,000 IU.
  • Healthy children over 1 year – 1,000 IU per every 25 lbs of body weight.
  • Healthy adults and adolescents – at least 5,000 IU.
  • Pregnant and lactating mothers – at least 6,000 IU.

Stop at one of our 3 locations or visit our website to pick up some Vitamin D today!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

November 30, 2012

Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Stop Taking Your Fish Oil

By Michael A. Smith, MD, Life Extension

Despite the flawed conclusions of a recent meta-analysis claiming fish oils do nothing for your heart, we strongly suggest that you continue as usual with your daily omega-3 supplement.

The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, co-authored by  Seung-Kwon Myung, MD, of the Center for Cancer Prevention and Detection in Ilsan, Korea, reviewed 14 trials involving 20,485 adults ages 40 to 80 with a history of heart disease.

FishOilThe meta-analysis reported throughout mainstream media is wrong and is on the verge of malpractice. If your doctor ever tells you to stop taking fish oils … find another doctor fast … one who is not blinded by conventional “wisdom.”

The researchers failed in their analysis because of their inclusion of poorly designed clinical trials. Let’s look at three reasons for rejecting their conclusion that fish oils are ineffective for preventing a second cardiac event in people with known heart disease.

What you are about to read is proof of the authors’ bias toward toxic Big Pharma chemicals and why you should not listen to these doctors.

They included low dose studies

Half of the studies included in the meta-analysis used an omega-3 dose of less than 1000 milligrams daily. That is way too low. We suggest for our clients between 2 and 4 grams a day. Using a low dose is a common strategy employed by researchers who want to discredit the effectiveness of supplements.

Take for instance the randomized, placebo controlled trial that studied the effects of EPA and DHA on the heart. In that study, the researchers used 1.8 grams of combined EPA and DHA and found that this dose was associated with a 10% lower rate of cardiac events, 12% lower rate of non-fatal infarctions and 10% lower rate of cardiac deaths.

So why did the authors include studies with less than 1 gram of omega-3 fats in their meta-analysis? Because they want to discredit supplements as ineffective. With readily available fish oils out of the way, more people will turn to Big Pharma’s toxic chemicals.

They included studies of short duration

The conclusions made by the authors of this flawed meta-analysis used studies that were only two years long. This is not long enough for secondary prevention trials in people with previous heart conditions. A longer timeframe is necessary to draw any conclusions.

They used a limited number of studies

Only 20 of 3,635 studies the authors examined were used in this meta-analysis. This is a very limited representation of the research on fish oil for cardiovascular disease events.

And why would they use only 20 studies in their analysis? Could it be because they purposely searched for studies that were under-dosed — meaning less than 1 gram a day?

Any credible scientist or doctor wanting to study omega-3 fish oils and the effects on the heart would know to use a daily dose of 1.5 grams or more. And that’s exactly the dose that most fish oil studies use.

fish_oil_pillsTake your fish oil supplements

The current meta-analysis making its way through mainstream media outlets represents the use of fish oil in suboptimal dosages, over a short period of time, and largely in populations with a history of cardiovascular disease.

The results of this new study conflict with other meta-analyses that have found fish oil supplementation beneficial in relationship to cardiovascular events. Also, studies examining higher dose fish oil have found a protective effect against cardiovascular events and risk factor reduction.*

What should you buy?

Always remember, if your fish oil smells fishy, it’s probably rancid and you should throw it out. Are you bothered by nasty fish burps?  Try Nordic Naturals brand. It’s as clean as you’re going to find and guaranteed to not cause burping.

*References:  1. JAMA. Association Between Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation and Risk of Major Cardiovascular Disease Events. A Systemic Review and Meta-analysis. Available at: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1357266. 2. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. 1997;11(3):485-91. 3. Ann Med. 2009;41(4):301-10.4. Clin Cardiol. 2009;32(7):365-72.  5.  BMJ. 2008;337:a2931.6. Am J Med. 2002;112(4):298-304.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

October 4, 2012

Do You Have Time for a Cold or the Flu?

In today’s fast-paced world, it seems we’re all under constant pressure just to keep up, and that’s been harder these past few years than ever before.  Growing financial hardships, environmental deterioration and new “super viruses” lurk behind every corner. Each of us is bombarded daily by anxiety, toxins, dangerous pathogens and overwhelming personal and professional demands. It’s no wonder immune support has become so important for folks of all ages.

These ever-present pressures of our lifestyles often catch up to us, affecting our immune system and overall sense of wellness. Who has time to get sick, let alone deal with a more serious virus? Who can handle any kind of medical set back?

People are looking for ways to maintain their health. Many have no healthcare and are turning to natural products that are less expensive and have far fewer side effects than prescriptions.

The Immune System is the body’s defense mechanism to handle invaders. It is an amazing work of nature. It does a very good job of fighting off illnesses and infections when it is in good condition. It is absolutely vital that you have a good strong immune system to fight off diseases, infections and all manner of illness. Naturally boosting your immune system will build it into your best defense mechanism throughout the cold and flu season and all year long.

Keep your body MOVING, which means to be sure you get regular exercise. This keeps the blood circulating oxygen and nutrients into the cells and helps the lymph system circulate and flush out harmful waste. Your lymph system is your first line of defense when an invading microbe (virus, bacteria) is detected in the body. Keeping the lymph system in good working order will help keep your immune system strong.

  • Drink plenty of fresh, clean water each day. You should drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of filtered water a day to drain the ‘waste’ fluids from your bodies cells.
  • Get plenty of sleep, at least 8 hours, 9 is better. Your body is in repair mode when you’re sleeping. Give it the rest it needs.
  • Reduce stress as much as possible. Stress of most kinds weakens the body and lowers immunity.

Here’s What You Can Do To Improve Immunity

Immune boosters are a great tool for supporting & stimulating your immune system. It needs to be ready when someone sitting across from you starts sneezing and launching nasty virus germs your way. Most immune boosters contain vitamins such as: Vitamins A,C & E which is a great place to start! Vitamin D is also a must for cold and flu season!

Immune formulas also contain minerals such as selenium and zinc.  Herbs play a big role in many immune formulas, too. Herbs such as Echinacea, Astragalus, Olive Leaf, Oregano, Garlic, Elderberry and Golden Seal all help fight infection and keep you healthy.  In addition, medicinal mushrooms contain compounds that keep the immune system in tip-top shape.

Get to Baums today and get the whole family started on an immune formula before it’s too late! When you purchase a bottle of Baums Immune Support this month, you get a bottle of Vitamin D3 (over a $9 value) for FREE! Stop in today to keep your family healthy this cold and flu season.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

September 27, 2012

Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

Reblogged from organicfacts.net

The health benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, dental care, and bone strength. These benefits of coconut oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, soothing, etc

How is Lauric Acid Used by our body?

The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which is claimed to help in dealing with viruses and bacteria causing diseases such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV. It helps in fighting harmful bacteria such as listeria monocytogenes and heliobacter pylori, and harmful protozoa such as giardia lamblia. As a result of these various health benefits of coconut oil, though its exact mechanism of action was unknown, it has been extensively used in Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medicinal system. The Coconut Research Center has compiled various references on scientific research done on coconut oil.

Hair Care:

Coconut oil is one of the best natural nutrition for hair. It helps in healthy growth of hair providing them a shiny complexion. Regular massage of the head with coconut oil ensures that your scalp is free of dandruff, lice, and lice eggs, even if your scalp is dry. Coconut oil is extensively used in the Indian sub-continent for hair care. Most of the people in these countries apply coconut oil on their hair daily after bath. It is an excellent conditioner and helps in the re-growth of damaged hair. It also provides the essential proteins required for nourishing damaged hair. It is therefore used as hair care oil and used in manufacturing various conditioners, and dandruff relief creams. Coconut oil is normally applied topically for hair care.

Skin Care:

Coconut oil is excellent massage oil for the skin as well. It acts as an effective moisturizer on all types of skins including dry skin. The benefit of coconut oil on the skin is comparable to that of mineral oil. Further, unlike mineral oil, there is no chance of having any adverse side effects on the skin with the application of coconut oil. Coconut oil therefore is a safe solution for preventing dryness and flaking of skin. It also delays wrinkles, and sagging of skin which normally become prominent with age. Coconut oil also helps in treating various skin problems including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and other skin infections. Therefore coconut oil forms the basic ingredient of various body care products such as soaps, lotions, creams, etc., used for skin care. Coconut oil also helps in preventing premature aging and degenerative diseases due to its antioxidant properties.

Heart Diseases:

There is a misconception spread among many people that coconut oil is not good for the heart. This is because it contains a large quantity of saturated fats. However, coconut oil is beneficial for the heart. It contains about 50% lauric acid, which helps in preventing various heart problems including high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. The saturated fats present in coconut oil are not harmful as it happens in case of other vegetables oils. It does not lead to increase in LDL levels. It also reduces the incidence of injury in arteries and therefore helps in preventing atherosclerosis.

Weight Loss:

Coconut oil is very useful in reducing weight. It contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that help in taking off excessive weight. It is also easy to digest and it helps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and enzymes systems. Further, it increases the body metabolism by removing stress on pancreases, thereby burning out more energy and helping obese and overweight people reduce their weight. Hence, people living in tropical coastal areas, who eat coconut oil daily as their primary cooking oil, are normally not fat, obese or overweight.

Digestion:

Internal use of coconut oil occurs primarily as cooking oil. Coconut oil helps in improving the digestive system and thus prevents various stomach and digestion related problems including irritable bowel syndrome. The saturated fats present in coconut oil have anti microbial properties and help in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, parasites, etc., that cause indigestion. Coconut oil also helps in absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids.

Immunity:

Coconut oil is also good for the immune system. It strengthens the immune system as it contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which is claimed to help in dealing with viruses and bacteria causing diseases such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV. It helps in fighting harmful bacteria such as listeria monocytogenes and heliobacter pylori, and harmful protozoa such as giardia lamblia.

Healing and Infections:

When applied on infections, it forms a chemical layer which protects the infected body part from external dust, air, fungi, bacteria and virus. Coconut oil is most effective on bruises as it speeds up the healing process by repairing damaged tissues.

Infections:

Coconut oil is very effective against a variety of infections due to its antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. According to the Coconut Research Center, coconut oil kills viruses that cause influenza, measles, hepatitis, herpes, SARS, etc. It also kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and gonorrhea, etc. Coconut oil is also effective on fungi and yeast that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, diaper rash, etc.

Liver:

The presence of medium chain triglycerides and fatty acids helps in preventing liver diseases as they substances are easily converted into energy when they reach the liver, thus reducing work load on the liver and also preventing accumulation of fat.

Kidney:

Coconut oil helps in preventing kidney and gall bladder diseases. It also helps in dissolving kidney stones.

Pancreatitis:

Coconut oil is also believed to be useful in treating pancreatitis.

Stress Relief:

Coconut oil is very soothing and hence it helps in removing stress. Applying coconut oil to the head followed with a gentle massage helps in removing mental fatigue.

Diabetes:

Coconut oil helps in controlling blood sugar, and improves the secretion of insulin. It also helps in effective utilization of blood glucose, thereby preventing and treating diabetes.

Bones:

As mentioned earlier, coconut oil improves the ability of our body to absorb important minerals. These include calcium and magnesium which are necessary for development of bones. Thus coconut oil is very useful to women who are prone to osteoporosis after middle age.

Dental Care:

Calcium is an important element present in teeth. Since coconut oil facilitates absorption of calcium by the body, it helps in getting strong teeth. Coconut oil also stops tooth decay.

HIV and Cancer:

It is believed that coconut oil plays an instrumental role in reducing viral susceptibility of HIV and cancer patients. Preliminary research has shown indications of the effect of coconut oil on reducing the viral load of HIV patients (Reference).

Finally, coconut oil is often preferred by athletes and body builders and by those who are dieting. The reason behind this being that coconut oil contains lesser calories than other oils, its fat content is easily converted into energy and it does not lead to accumulation of fat in the heart and arteries. Coconut oil helps in boosting energy and endurance, and enhances the performance of athletes.

Coconut Oil and Alzheimer’s Disease:

There are reports of  research conducted by Dr. Newport stating that coconut oil is useful for treating Alzheimer’s disease. Apart from this there is no scientific evidence or traditional knowledge or coconut oil being used for treating Alzheimer’s. It was also not known traditionally that coconut oil helps in the brain function.

Why is Coconut Oil Solid?

Unlike most other oils, coconut oil has a high melting point – about 24 to 25 degress Celcius or 76-78 Farenheit. Therefore it is solid at room temperature and melts only when the temperatures go high. Hence, if you buy a bottle of coconut oil and find it solid, don’t think that there is some problem with it. Coconut oil is like this only. And of course, don’t keep it in your refrigerator.

How to Use Coconut Oil?

If you are using coconut oil for topical purposes, especially hair care, just melt the oil (if it is solid) by keeping the bottle in the sun or warm water. You can also take some coconut oil out and put it in a small bowl and heat the bowl over a flame (do not use microwave). Then take the oil on your palm and apply it to your hair. If you want to use it for internal consumption, simply replace butter or vegetable oils with coconut oil in your recipes. Remember, you need not switch to coconut oil completely, as you will miss the benefits of other oils and dairy products.

Can I Use Coconut Oil for Cooking?

Yes, in most of the tropical coastal regions, people use coconut oil for cooking.

I Don’t Like the Taste of Coconut Oil. What Should I do?

Try using coconut oil in some different recipe. That may help. If you get nauseated after eating coconut oil, don’t force yourself. As it happens with any other food item, your body may be allergic to coconut oil and it is best not to consume it.

For more information on coconut oil check out our other blog post here or stop in at any of our locations! Baums carries several high quality brands of coconut oil for every purpose!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

August 9, 2012

Health Benefits of Taking Probiotics

From Harvard Medical School’s Family Health Guide

Bacteria have a reputation for causing disease, so the idea of tossing down a few billion a day for your health might seem — literally and figuratively — hard to swallow. But a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that you can treat and even prevent some illnesses with foods and supplements containing certain kinds of live bacteria. Northern Europeans consume a lot of these beneficial microorganisms, called probiotics (from pro and biota, meaning “for life”), because of their tradition of eating foods fermented with bacteria, such as yogurt. Probiotic-laced beverages are also big business in Japan.

Enthusiasm for such foods has lagged in the United States, but interest in probiotic supplements is on the rise. Some digestive disease specialists are recommending them for disorders that frustrate conventional medicine, such as irritable bowel syndrome. Since the mid-1990s, clinical studies have established that probiotic therapy can help treat several gastrointestinal ills, delay the development of allergies in children, and treat and prevent vaginal and urinary infections in women.

Self-dosing with bacteria isn’t as outlandish as it might seem. An estimated 100 trillion microorganisms representing more than 500 different species inhabit every normal, healthy bowel. These microorganisms (or microflora) generally don’t make us sick; most are helpful. Gut-dwelling bacteria keep pathogens (harmful microorganisms) in check, aid digestion and nutrient absorption, and contribute to immune function.

The best case for probiotic therapy has been in the treatment of diarrhea. Controlled trials have shown that Lactobacillus GG can shorten the course of infectious diarrhea in infants and children (but not adults). Although studies are limited and data are inconsistent, two large reviews, taken together, suggest that probiotics reduce antibiotic-associated diarrhea by 60%, when compared with a placebo.

Probiotic therapy may also help people with Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Clinical trial results are mixed, but several small studies suggest that certain probiotics may help maintain remission of ulcerative colitis and prevent relapse of Crohn’s disease and the recurrence of pouchitis (a complication of surgery to treat ulcerative colitis). Because these disorders are so frustrating to treat, many people are giving probiotics a try before all the evidence is in for the particular strains they’re using. More research is needed to find out which strains work best for what conditions.

Probiotics may also be of use in maintaining urogenital health. Like the intestinal tract, the vagina is a finely balanced ecosystem. The dominant Lactobacilli strains normally make it too acidic for harmful microorganisms to survive. But the system can be thrown out of balance by a number of factors, including antibiotics, spermicides, and birth control pills. Probiotic treatment that restores the balance of microflora may be helpful for such common female urogenital problems as bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, and urinary tract infection.

Many women eat yogurt or insert it into the vagina to treat recurring yeast infections, a “folk” remedy for which medical science offers limited support. Oral and vaginal administration of Lactobacilli may help in the treatment of bacterial vaginosis, although there isn’t enough evidence yet to recommend it over conventional approaches. (Vaginosis must be treated because it creates a risk for pregnancy-related complications and pelvic inflammatory disease.) Probiotic treatment of urinary tract infections is under study.

Probiotics are generally considered safe — they’re already present in a normal digestive system — although there’s a theoretical risk for people with impaired immune function. Be sure the ingredients are clearly marked on the label and familiar to you or your health provider. There’s no way to judge the safety of unidentified mixtures.

In the United States, most probiotics are sold as dietary supplements, which do not undergo the testing and approval process that drugs do. Manufacturers are responsible for making sure they’re safe before they’re marketed and that any claims made on the label are true. But there’s no guarantee that the types of bacteria listed on a label are effective for the condition you’re taking them for. Health benefits are strain-specific, and not all strains are necessarily useful, so you may want to consult a practitioner familiar with probiotics to discuss your options. As always, let your primary care provider know what you’re doing.

One to Try:

Strains in Jarro-Dophilus EPS® promote healthy intestinal microflora, which in turn helps to support intestinal health and immune function. Bifidobacteria Iongum BB536 has been clinically shown to stimulate immune response and promote healthy intestinal microfloral balance. L. rhamnosus R0011 is a unique, high producer of polysaccharides that facilitate colonization and stimulate intestinal immune response. L. helveticus R0052 assists in breaking down lactose (milk sugar), which may improve digestion of dairy products by those individuals who are lactose intolerant. Lactococcus and Pediococcus help reduce spoilage caused by unfriendly bacteria in fermented foods.

Jarro-Dophilus EPS® is on sale for $5 off all this month at Baum’s!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

August 2, 2012

Introduction To Probiotics

Our intestinal tract is filled with an enormous number of helpful bacteria called probiotic bacteria. They are called probiotic bacteria because the term “probiotic” means “for life,” as opposed to the term “antibiotic” which means “against life.” Our bodies are actually designed to have a symbiotic relationships with these probiotic bacteria. They help us digest our food, kill harmful microorganisms and keep us functioning properly in a number of ways.

As we look into the intestinal tract we find that there are only a few probiotic bacteria in the stomach because it is highly acidic. However, the further down the intestinal tract we move, the number of these good bacteria increases dramatically with the biggest numbers being found in the large intestine.
We need to have a large population of probiotic bacteria to aid with digestion and to keep the harmful, disease-causing microorganisms in check. If the percentage of good bacteria is too low, compared to the bad bacteria, our bodies function poorly. Over time we are likely to have many health problems.

For the average adult, the intestinal tract will contain about 4 pounds of bacteria. Normally there should be a balance of about 85% probiotic bacteria and 15% harmful bacteria, but many people are so far off that their intestinal tract contains only 15% probiotic bacteria and 85% harmful bacteria.
Scientists are studying the benefits of taking probiotics and are finding it to be very beneficial.

Why We Need Probiotic Supplements

Our bodies are designed to function best with millions of friendly probiotic bacteria living in our intestinal tract. In the past, we replaced the probiotics in our system by constantly eating organic vegetables grown in dirt that was rich with soil-based organisms or drinking raw milk straight from the cow. I myself remember walking into the garden, pulling up young carrots, brushing as much dirt off them as possible and eating them on the spot. Think of the probiotics that were going into my system before I could wash them down the kitchen drain or boil them for 15 to 20 minutes.

Today we need probiotic supplements because there are so many influences that prevent us from getting the probiotics our bodies need.

Today, at least in the United States, many people eat a horrible diet composed of highly processed foods that are filled with chemicals and simple sugars and carbohydrates. Potato chips and Oreo’s are utterly devoid of anything living as are most of the boxed and prepared foods sold in the grocery stores.

Because of the modern agricultural practices, such as the heavy use of pesticides and fertilizers, the soil-based microorganisms are no longer living in the dirt of most farms. We need probiotic supplements to replace what is missing in our food.

The use of antibiotics (remember the “anti” means “against”) directly kills all bacteria in our intestinal tract.

Drinking chlorinated water destroys our intestinal flora. The reason we put chlorine in the water is because it is able to kill bacteria and, unfortunately, it gets the good ones along with the bad when we drink it.

The medical treatment of radiation and chemotherapy also destroys our intestinal flora as well as damaging our immune systems. Any course of chemotherapy absolutely must be followed with heavy doses of probiotic supplements.

Farm animals are continuously fed antibiotics to keep diseases down. When people eat them they also are taking in these antibiotics which then harm the beneficial bacteria in their systems.

Many people who are concerned with health use colonics for detoxification. These practices can wash some of the good bacteria out of their systems.
Alcoholic beverages tend to harm probiotics by killing them directly, encouraging harmful bacteria and yeast overgrowth.

Unfortunately most people simply do not know that the health they experience right now has a direct connection to the billions of beneficial microorganisms that live in their gastrointestinal tract. These are microorganisms which help the body to break down and absorb foods, produce essential elements, while at the same time helping to clean putrefaction and waste, plus kill harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi and yeast.

One to Try:

Strains in Jarro-Dophilus EPS® promote healthy intestinal microflora, which in turn helps to support intestinal health and immune function. Bifidobacteria Iongum BB536 has been clinically shown to stimulate immune response and promote healthy intestinal microfloral balance. L. rhamnosus R0011 is a unique, high producer of polysaccharides that facilitate colonization and stimulate intestinal immune response. L. helveticus R0052 assists in breaking down lactose (milk sugar), which may improve digestion of dairy products by those individuals who are lactose intolerant. Lactococcus and Pediococcus help reduce spoilage caused by unfriendly bacteria in fermented foods.

Jarro-Dophilus EPS® is on sale for $5 off all this month at Baum’s!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

July 19, 2012

Health Benefits of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)

Many people are taking CLA as an expensive supplement for the benefits described below. But wouldn’t it make much more sense to get it for free in your food? There is a new reason why it may be beneficial to allow cows to graze on pasture. That reason involves a compound called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).

CLA is a fatty acid found in beef and dairy fats. Scientific interest in CLA was stimulated in 1988 when a University of Wisconsin researcher discovered its cancer-fighting properties in a study of rats fed fried hamburger. CLA cannot be produced by the human body, but it can be obtained through foods such as whole milk, butter, beef, and lamb.

“The interesting thing is that dairy cattle that graze produce higher amounts of CLA in their milk than those which receive conserved feed, such as grain, hay, and silage,” says Agricultural Research dairy scientist Larry Satter. This is true even when the nongrazers eat pasture grass conserved as hay. Satter, who is based at the Dairy Forage Research Center in Madison, Wisconsin, conducted a study comparing the amount of CLA in milk from cows grazing on pasture to the amount from cows fed hay or silage. His findings: Pasture-grazed cows had 500% more CLA in their milk than those fed silage. Larry Satter is at the USDA-ARS U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center, 1950 Linden Lane, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706

CLA may be one of the most potent cancer-fighting substances in our diet. In animal studies, as little as one half of one percent CLA in the diet has reduced tumor burden by more than 50 percent.

CLA has also been shown to reduce body fat in people who are overweight

by Mary Shomon
A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study, published in the December 2000 issue of the Journal of Nutrition found that CLA reduces fat and preserves muscle tissue. According to the research project manager, an average reduction of six pounds of body fat was found in the group that took CLA, compared to a placebo group. The study found that approximately 3.4 grams of CLA per day is the level needed to obtain the beneficial effects of CLA on body fat.

Dr. Michael Pariza, who conducted research on CLA with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, reported in August 2000 to the American Chemical Society that “It doesn’t make a big fat cell get little. What it rather does is keep a little fat cell from getting big.”

Pariza’s research did not find weight loss in his group of 71 overweight people, but what he did find was that when the dieters stopped dieting, and gained back weight, those taking CLA “were more likely to gain muscle and not fat.”

In a separate study conducted at Purdue University in Indiana, CLA was found to improve insulin levels in about two-thirds of diabetic patients, and moderately reduced the blood glucose level and triglyceride levels.

CLA has been the subject of a variety of research in the past several years, and findings also suggest that some of the other benefits of CLA include the following:

Increases metabolic rate — This would obviously be a positive benefit for thyroid patients, as hypothyroidism — even when treated — can reduce the metabolic rate in some people.
Decreases abdominal fat — Adrenal imbalances and hormonal shifts that are common in thyroid patients frequently cause rapid accumulation of abdominal fat, so this benefit could be quite helpful.
Enhances muscle growth — Muscle burns fat, which also contributes to increased metabolism, which is useful in weight loss and management.
Lowers cholesterol and triglycerides — Since many thyroid patients have elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels, even with treatment, this benefit can have an impact on a thyroid patient’s health.
Lowers insulin resistance — Insulin resistance is a risk for some hypothyroid patients, and lowering it can also help prevent adult-onset diabetes and make it easier to control weight.
Reduces food-induced allergic reactions — Since food allergies can be at play when weight loss becomes difficult, this can be of help to thyroid patients.
Enhances immune system — Since most cases of thyroid disease are autoimmune in nature, enhancing the immune system’s ability to function properly is a positive benefit.

If you’re interested in taking CLA to help with weight loss, keep in mind that it’s not a magic, and you will need to start a program of diet and exercise in order to successfully lose weight and keep it off.

One to try! Iron Tek CLA 1,000 mg softgels. 3 a day help melt fat away! Baum’s Natural Foods has it on sale for $5 off this month only!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.