Archive for ‘Inflammation’

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.

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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.

May 30, 2012

Is An Imbalance Of Omega 3 to Omega 6 Fats Cause For Concern?

YES!  If unchecked, the imbalance between the two omega fats can wreak havoc on our health and pave the way for life-destroying illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, cancer and other inflammatory diseases.

Why is it so important to strike a balance between the levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fats in our body? Studies showed that an out-of-balance diet that’s high in omega-6 fatty acids disrupts the balance of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory agents in the body, promoting chronic inflammation and elevating the risk of chronic health problem such as asthma, allergies, diabetes and arthritis.

Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids both utilize the same enzymes and transport systems in your body. When there are more omega-6 fats, greater amounts of inflammatory compounds will be created, and less enzymes will be available for omega-3 fats to create chemicals that are anti-inflammatory. What’s even more shocking is that high levels of omega-6 fatty acids can actually replace and reduce omega-3 fats.

In other words, omega-3 and omega-6 fats compete with one another in our body, and the presence of one greatly affects the behavior of the other. Although omega-6 fatty acids are essential for good health, researchers believe that when they cross a certain level,  they start to edge out omega-3 fats and diminish their benefits.

What does this mean to you? If your diet is low in omega-3 fats to begin with, and most of your foods are predominantly prepared with soybean, sunflower, safflower, corn or cottonseed oil, then you’re essentially fueling an inflammatory factory even though you may be eating so-called ‘healthy’ foods!

What are Omega-3 & Omega-6 Fats?

Ask just about anyone what Omega 3’s are and they will tell you “fish oil.” But omega-3 fats aren’t only found in fish, and they don’t consist of just one type of fatty acid. Omega-3 is actually a term referring to a family of polyunsaturated fatty acids. In this family, you will find a number of members but the most nutritionally notable ones are: Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Omega 3 Fatty acids are known to support and protect:

  • Cardiovascular health
  • Joint health
  • Improve circulation
  • Fat loss
  • Memory and learning
  • Cognitive decline
  • Optimal brain function
  • Age related eye damage
  • Positive mood /behavior
  • Healthy pregnancy
  • Developing fetuses & infants

Likewise, omega-6 fatty acids also consist of a group of polyunsaturated fats. The ones of concern are: linoleic acid (LA) and arachidonic acid (AA).

The Omega-6 Fat Family

Linoleic acid (LA)–  LA is the parent in the omega-6 family. It is considered an essential fatty acid for the body which must be obtained through one’s diet. However, it’s more likely that you’ve an oversupply rather than a lack of linoleic acid due to the high levels of this fatty acid in vegetable oils.

Arachidonic acid (AA)– Arachidonic acid comes mainly from animal sources such as meat, egg and dairy products. It can also be derived from the linoleic acids in vegetable oils. In the body, this long-chain omega-6 fatty acid is found in abundance in the muscles and brain. It has a close structure to DHA so it will “plug in” to receptors and keep the DHA out.  As arachidonic acid is more readily converted to inflammatory compounds, excess levels of AA has been associated with increased inflammation & reduced anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 fatty acids.

More Omega 6= more pro-inflammatory compounds, More Omega 3= more ANTI-inflammatory compounds
The trick is to achieve a balance of the two for optimal inflammatory response.

Ideally, the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 should fall between 1:1 and 3:1, but currently, the ratio in a typical Western diet is at least 20:1. If you are currently at a 20:1 ratio of omega 6 to 3, please make a serious effort to increase your Omega 3 intake.

The imbalance of these “good” fats has occurred concurrent with technological advances that have made it possible to extract soybean oil, corn oil and sunflower oil inexpensively.  Most food manufacturers’ choice of fat is soybean oil as it is plentiful and inexpensive. It can be found in most prepackaged foods, margarine, baked goods, condiments and fast foods, and composes a substantial percentage of the calories consumed in this country. Herein lies the factor that causes the imbalance.

Scientists, researchers, and health professionals are concerned with this trend. Dr. Michael A. Schmidt, author of Brain-Building Nutrition, explains that the brain is composed of more than 60 percent fat. A balanced consumption of omega-6 and omega-3 fats is critical for proper brain function. These fats aid the nerve cells located in the brain in making connections (synapses) with other nerve cells that send information throughout the body to control important functions. Fatty acids are required in the formation of membranes that cover the nerves. He stresses, “A balance of essential fatty acids is critical. We don’t want to go overboard on any particular fatty acid.”

Through reviewing research of past studies, Schmidt concludes that 50 conditions of the brain show links to inadequate levels of fatty acids. Low levels of omega-3 fats have been associated with depression, aggression, hyperactivity, attention deficit, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and many other health issues. Studies are showing that Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), the omega-3 superstar for the brain, may have positive results in treating patients with these conditions.

BUY THE RIGHT FISH OIL!  If the thought of smelly fish or fishy burps makes you squirm, try Nordic Naturals Brand!  “Omega-3” will help you balance your Omega 3 to 6 ratios in no time, WITH NO NASTY AFTER  TASTE!

*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.

May 17, 2012

Digestive Enzymes and Benefits

Enzymes are energized protein molecules essential for the digestion of food, brain stimulation, tissue, cell and organ repairing and generating cellular energy. Even though they are a catalyst for many biochemical reactions they do not change or get consumed in the process. There are three types: metabolic, digestive and food.

Digestive

Digestive enzymes are secreted along the gastrointestinal tract and break down the food in the body so that the nutrients can be absorbed. Enzymes are present in the food you eat which is why there is great importance placed upon having plenty of raw foods in the diet. The enzymes in raw food help start the process of digestion which reduces the body’s need to secret digestive enzymes.

Food enzymes are destroyed when cooking at moderate or high temperatures. They are “turned off” at a dry-heat temperature of 150 degrees Fahrenheit and a wet-heat temperature of 118 degrees Fahrenheit.
If your body has to rely too much on its own digestive enzymes the result is more stress is placed on your system and organs leaving less time and energy for other jobs such as rebuilding and replacing damaged cells and tissue and keeping your immune system strong.
A diet that consists mainly of cooked food requires the pancreas to “work overtime” and the extra effort leaves it exhausted. If the pancreas is always having to produce enzymes that could come from food it will eventually cease to function properly. The late Dr. Edward Howell suggested that when a person eats an enzyme-poor diet consisting of lots of cooked food, the result is illness, lowered resistance to stress and a shortened life span.
Eating lots of raw foods and taking a high-quality enzyme supplement can help avoid depletion of the body’s own enzymes thereby reducing stress.

In the book, The Healing Power of Enzymes, Dr. DicQie Fuller talks about the importance of enzymes and says:
“Eighty percent of our body’s energy is expended by the digestive process. If you are run down, under stress, living in a very hot or very cold climate, pregnant or a frequent traveler, then enormous quantities of extra enzymes are required by your body. Because our entire system functions through enzymatic action, we must supplement our enzymes. Aging deprives us of our ability to produce necessary enzymes. The medical profession tells us that all disease is due to a lack or imbalance of enzymes. Our very lives are dependent upon them!”

Importance of Digestive Enzymes

There are approximately 45 essential nutrients that the body needs to carry out normal bodily functions. Essential means that the body cannot manufacture them and they must come from outside sources.
There are at least 13 kinds of vitamins and 20 kinds of minerals, in addition to fats, carbohydrates and water that are required for proper metabolic function. When food is consumed it gets broken down for absorption and transported by the blood stream.

Nutrients, including enzymes, work synergistically which means they cooperate with each other acting as catalysts. This promotes absorption and assimilation. The importance of digestive enzymes resides in the fact that the human body cannot absorb nutrients in food unless digestive enzymes break them down.

The body progressively loses its ability to produce enzymes with major drops occurring roughly every ten years of life. At the beginning it may not be that noticeable, however, later on you will discover that you cannot tolerate or enjoy certain foods like you did before. This may also be accompanied by a feeling of reduced stamina. Yes, you’re running low of enzymes.

How Do You Know if You Are Lacking Enzymes?

Heartburn, gas, constipation, bloating, allergies, ulcers, lack of energy and reduced functioning of the immune system may occur when there are not enough enzymes.

Digestive Enzymes Benefits

Digestive Enzymes can be beneficial for more things than most people think. They have been shown to benefit people with:

  • Acne
  • Rosacea
  • GERD, Indigestion
  • Candidiasis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Food allergies
  • Low Back Pain
  • Sinusitis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • and more…

*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.

March 29, 2012

Mary’s Ion Cleanse

This is Mary getting an Ion Cleanse and telling us how it has changed her life. She is a long time Baum’s Natural Foods customer.

 

*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.

March 1, 2012

Could an Unattended Fire Be Spreading Throughout Your Body Causing Disease?

We’ve all heard of inflammation, but few of us really know what it is and what causes it. Inflammation is a natural process of the body, a protective mechanism the body uses against trauma. Think of when you take a bad fall, you get bruised and pain arises. The immune system sends out an army of chemical substances to go to the injured area. That is why that area gets red and inflamed for a few days. Inflammation becomes problematic when it starts becoming chronic.

  Just as the plants in your garden need a good mixture of sun and rain to thrive, we all need a measure of inflammation to survive. Acute inflammation is the short-term immune response our bodies mount in cases of trauma, infection, and allergy. Whether you have broken a bone, burned yourself on a hot stove, or been exposed to a foreign microorganism, the body is programmed to carry out a similar response. During this response, it will identify the infectious or dangerous substance, determine which cells are non-threatening and which ones are. Assess the level of the threat, mount a response, and repair any resulting damage. In a perfect world, this response occurs just as it should, releasing pro-inflammatory compounds when needed and then turning them off with anti-inflammatory compounds when the threat has been stamped out.

Chronic inflammation arises when this response is not completely turned off or extinguished. It acts like a slow-burning fire, continuing to stimulate pro-inflammatory immune cells when they may not be needed. What happens when these excess immune cells are circulating in our systems? Chronic inflammation can slowly spread and lead to serious metabolic breakdown, with vast implications for your long-term health. You may have heard that disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and eczema stem from inflammation. But chronic inflammation has now been connected to a host of modern diseases, from obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and high blood pressure, to Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s, cancer, and a host of others; all being chronic and degenerative illnesses. Even biological aging, is rooted in chronic inflammation!

Are you inflamed?
Here is a list of symptoms commonly associated with low-grade chronic inflammation:

  • body aches and pains
  • congestion
  • frequent infections
  • diarrhea
  • dry eyes
  • Indigestion
  • shortness of breath
  • skin outbreaks
  • swelling
  • stiffness
  • weight gain/obesity

The good news is that there are so many things you can do to cool your inflammation — even if you’ve already been diagnosed with an inflammatory-related condition or have an elevated CRP.* Doing something about it now is one way to ensure aging with vitality and strength. Simple things like cutting back on dairy, red meat and soda, getting more sleep, regular exercise (without overdoing it), and supplementing with natural anti-inflammatories can  make a difference.

Natural anti-inflammatories:

  • Omega 3 fatty acids from fish or flax
  • Quercetin– great for allergies
  • Bromelain or other protein digesting enzymes
  • Resveratrol– anti-aging, protects against lung damage
  • Curcumin (Turmeric)- great for pain and swelling
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid– diabetic neuropathy, blood vessel protection.

Come in to Baum’s and check out our whole section of supplements that target inflammation of all kinds!  Why set yourself up for disease when you can get a handle on it now?!

*C-reactive protein: develops in a wide range of acute and chronic inflammatory conditions like bacterial, viral, or fungal infections; rheumatic and other inflammatory diseases; malignancy; and tissue injury or necrosis.

*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.