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Archive for October, 2009

Alveo is a blend of 26 herbs renowned for their extraordinary healing and strengthening properties.  These herbs have been widely used and their benefits documented for thousands of years.  Although, each ingredient has been chosen specifically for its role in the Alveo formulation, it is how they work synergistically that gives Alveo its potency.  The combination and unparalleled quality and quantity of each ingredient used in Alveo formulation ensures optimal benefit for you.

The information about the effects of some herbs has been derived from the sources and bases of independent experts, as well as from special literature and technological resources.

 

alfalfa2

ALFALFA
Medicago sativa
Alfalfa leaves are rich in the green plant pigment known as chlorophyll, as well as protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, and hence has been nicknamed as the, “Father Of All Foods”.  It has developed a reputation as a natural body cleaner, infection fighter and deodorizer.  High in fiber, alfalfa also contains eight essential amino acids.  Alfalfa is rich in iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, sulfur, sodium, potassium, chlorine and silicon, and is a good source of vitamins A, B1, B6, B12, C, D, K, and E. Traditionally, alfalfa has been used as a herbal remedy in the treatment of arthritis, gout, rheumatism, and is thought to have a cholesterol-lowering effect.  It seems to alleviate asthma and other allergies.  It may act as a preventive against cancer, and appears to be able to regulate high blood pressure.

 

aloe_vera

ALOE
Aloe vera
Aloe has played a role in herbal medicine since 4th century BC, when it was externally applied to heal wounds, bruises and skin irritations.  An extract taken from the leaf was used internally as a tonic, purgative and jaundice remedy.  Modern medicine is consistently finding new users for aloe – for example: the fresh juice can be employed as a salve in the treatment of burns, sunburns and insect bites.  Aloe has been commonly used as a remedy for indigestion, hardening of the arteries, diabetes, menstrual problems, infections, tumors, skin diseases, water retention, in the alleviation of arthritis and as a cleanser for the liver, kidneys, spleen and bladder.

 

Bladderwrack

BLADDERWRACK
Fucus vesiculosus
Harvested from the oceans, bladderwrack is a seaweed. It contains both iodine and carotene which are necessary for proper thyroid function. Herbalists tend to agree that bladderwrack is effective in the treatment of an underactive thyroid gland, and is also useful in the treatment of goiter. Where obesity is associated with thyroid trouble, this herb is thought to be helpful in reducing excess weight. Bladderwrack is reputed to be helpful in the relief of rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation of the bladder, and as a remedy for high cholesterol and hardening of the arteries.

 

 

Blessed thystle 2

BLESSED THISTLE
Cnicus benedictus
Throughout the years blessed thistle has developed the reputation of being a bit of a cure-all and a potent anti-inflammatory, and it was even believed to have fought off the “great plague” in Europe.  It claims to have an ability to lower fever, dissolve blood clots, control bleeding, and reduce rheumatic pain.  It has also long been esteemed for controlling menstrual pain and regular menstrual cycle.  Also believed to offer relief for those suffering from headaches and migraines.  Blessed thistle seems to be genuinely useful in aiding digestive problems, aiding poor digestion (especially in the breaking down of fats), and revitalizing a sluggish liver.  Blessed thistle also seems helpful in alleviating stress and depression, strengthening the heart, healing a liver, and improving circulation.

 

boneset

BONESET
Eupatorium perfoliatum
The American Indians introduced the use of boneset to the early settlers for the treatment of colds, influenza, rheumatism, indigestion, constipation, and all kind of fevers.  There is a suggestion that boneset has the ability to rev up the immune system in response to infection and can clear the upper respiratory tract of mucus congestion, offering relief from colds and flu.  There is supporting evidence that as an anti-inflammatory, boneset lends itself to the treatment of arthritis and the possibility that the immune stimulants in boneset may have anti-cancer attributes.

 

 

Cardamon

CARDAMON
Elettaria cardamomum
For a centuries as a spice, cardamom is native to southern India and Sri Lanka, and is also grown in southeastern Asia and Guatemala.  Currently believed to be useful in the treatment of stomach problems, cardamom seems to improve the flow of bile out of the gallbladder, thereby preventing viruses from multiplying.  Herbalists also find cardamom useful against asthma, hemorrhoids, and bad breath, as well as beneficial in strengthening the body.

 

 

To be continued…

 

Until next time…Stay healthy

Katarzyna

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The health debate is on…

Dr. Jaromir Bertlik N.D.
Chairman of Scientific Advisory Board

One cannot deny the fact that good nutrition results in better health.  We are familiar with the dangers of trans-fats, preservatives, additives, coloring and high-sugar consumption in our diets; now, researches are pointing fingers to yet another potential health risk: the correlation between drinking cola and the weakening of bones.  Can the classic all-American refreshment be responsible for weakening our bones?  Research conducted in recent years leads to some surprising results…

In a Wall Street Journal article (October 16, 2007), Betsy McKay writes that some studies have linked the consumption of cola, the most popular soft drink, and poor bone-mineral density”.  A 1994 study based on 127 teenagers published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, and a 2000 study based on 460 high school students published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, both showed a connection “between consumption and bone fractures in physically active teen girls.  The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a Tufts University study, which reported to have “measured bone density and analyzed eating habits” and which found a “significant impact on women who drank more than three colas a week”.  On the other hand, the researches in this study, which was funded by the US Department of Agriculture and the National Institute of Health, also showed “no evidence” that bone tissue is harmed by the “occasional” cola.

Taking all this research into account, the bottom line is best summarized by Katherine Tucker, an epidemiologist at Tuft University’s USDA Nutrition and the lead author of the cola study.  Tucker has simplified by stating “the more cola that women drank, the lower their bone mineral density was”.

Is Cola the Culprit?
While so many studies have found a correlation between cola consumption and weak bone density, scientists cannot agree on why this is the case.  Some argue that the caffeine, sugar, phosphoric acid and carbonation in cola impair calcium absorption in the bones.  One can take into consideration the sugar-factor alone; an average can of soda contains about ¼ cup of sugar!  Another reason cola is the culprit is due to its effect on insulin levels, which is augmented by the fact that sugar (along with caffeine) drains the body of B vitamins, magnesium and zinc.  Based on recent studies, certain B vitamins are thought to promote stronger bones by lowering homocysteine (an amino acid) levels, which would otherwise impair collagen’s ability to hold bones together.  Magnesium plays a role in calcium metabolism and zinc aids with collagen formation.  Together, the interruption of these functions sets the stage which results in the reduction of bone health.

The Ugly Truth…
The truth is that everyone is at risk of developing osteoporosis, irrelevant of gender.  This can be a debilitating disease and the resulting pain can lead to depression, restrictive ling disease (shortness of breath due to poor posture and squashed lungs) and ultimately, even pneumonia.  An estimated 52 million men and women aged 50 and above will have osteoporosis or be at an increased risk of having low bone mass by 2010 and by 2020, that number will skyrocket to 61 million.  In addition to osteoporosis patients are more likely to sustain hip fractures that those without the condition and further, “Approximately 20% of individuals with hip fractures will die the year after the fracture usually from surgery complications, such as pneumonia or blood clots in the lung”.  In fact, a woman’s risk of hip fracture is equal to her combined risk of developing breast, uterine and ovarian cancer.  Below are some important health statistics, related to men and women:

Men

  • Approximately 2 million men live with osteoporosis and there are still 12 million more at risk of developing the disease 
  • Osteoporosis progresses 12 years slower in a man than in a woman
  •  The medical community tends to ignore the prevalence of osteoporosis in men and are therefore less likely than women to be diagnose
  •  ¼ of all men over the age of 50 will experience an osteoporosis-related bone break

Women

  • While by their late 60’s men and women lose bone mass at similar rates, women face higher bone loss in their 50’s than men do
  • ½ of all women over the age of 50 will have an osteoporosis fracture before they die
  • After menopause, the risk for women – especially white and Asian with small0thin frames – of developing osteoporosis increases
  • 2% of college-aged women may already have osteoporosis and another 15% of women in this age group may have already lost significant bone density

True for both men and women

  • Smoking and excessive alcohol increases the risk of developing the disease.

How can you reduce the chances of osteoporosis?

  • The chances of developing osteoporosis can be sharply reduced through dietary restrictions and lifestyle changes – all of which would essentially     promote better health
  • The increased consumption of vegetables will positively result in increased antioxidants in the body
  • Always opt for low-glycemic nutrition
  • Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight because fat cells generate more inflammation
  • Akuna offers a comprehensive, preventive approach to health aging for men and women – see which products are right for you.

 

Until next time…Stay Healthy

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kostWhat does all this have to do with inflammation?

Blood sugar is controlled in a very narrow range.  Extra sugar molecules attach to a variety of proteins that in turn injure the blood vessel walls.  This is what I refer to as repeated injury to the blood vessel wall and this is what leads to inflammation.  When you “spike” your blood sugar level several times a day, every day, it is exactly like taking sandpaper and sanding down the walls of your delicate blood vessels.

But for now, let’s go back to the sweet roll: That innocent looking goody not only contains sugars, it is also baked in one of many omega-6 oils such as soybean.
Chips and fries are also soaked in soybean oil; processed foods are manufactured with omega-6 oils for longer shelf life. While omega-6s are essential to the human body as they are part of every cell membrane, controlling what goes in and out of the cell — they must be present in direct correlation and balance to the omega-3s.

If this balance shifts due to excess consumption of omega-6s, the cell membrane produces chemicals called cytokines that directly cause inflammation. Today’s mainstream western diet has produced an extreme imbalance of these two fats.  The ratio of imbalance ranges from 15:1 to as high as 30:1 in favor of the omega-6s.  That’s a tremendous amount of cytokines causing inflammation.  In today’s food environment, a 3:1 ratio would be optimal and healthy.

To make matters worse, the excess weight you acquire from eating these foods creates an overload of fat cells that in turn produce large quantities of pro-inflammatory chemicals adding to the injury which your body is already enduring.  The process that began with what seemed as an innocent sweet roll turns into a vicious cycle which over time creates heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and finally, as the inflammatory process continues unabated – Alzheimer disease.

Who would willfully expose him/herself repeatedly to harmful foods and other substances that are known to cause injury to our bodies?   Only smokers perhaps, but they made their choice willfully.  The rest of us are simply following the mainstream dietary recommendations and consuming foods that are low in fat and high in polyunsaturated fats and carbohydrates, completely oblivious to the fact that we are indeed causing repeated injury to our blood vessels. 

It is this repeated injury that creates the chronic inflammation leading to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity. 

Let me repeat that: the injury, and subsequently, the inflammation in our blood vessels are caused by the low fat diet that has been recommended for years by mainstream medicine.

My recommendations:

  • Choose complex carbohydrates such as colorful fruits and vegetables.
  • Eliminate or at least cut down on the inflammation-causing omega-6 fats like corn and soybean oil and the processed foods that are made from them. Animal fats contain less than 20% omega-6s and are much less likely to cause inflammation than the supposedly “healthy polyunsaturated oils”.  The belief that saturated fat alone causes heart disease is just that: a belief and not a fact.  Actually the belief that saturated fat raises blood cholesterol at all is fairly weak itself.  Today, we now know that cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease, and therefore any concern about saturated fats simply sounds absurd.  As absurd as the fact that the whole cholesterol theory led to the no-fat/low-fat recommendations that in turn created the very foods which are currently causing the epidemic of inflammation.  We are now facing an epidemic of arterial inflammation leading to heart disease and other silent killers.
  • Choose the wholesome foods your grandmother served and not those of your mother which came from grocery shelves filled with manufactured and processed foods.  By eliminating inflammatory foods and adding essential nutrients from fresh unprocessed food to your diet, you can reverse the damage caused to your arteries and your body.
  • Choose AKUNA products to help eliminate and prevent inflammation and future disease and use them daily.  The ingredients in all Akuna products are natural; this means that our bodies can digest them in the correct physiological forms and many of the ingredients are also well known for their ability to eliminate toxins from the body.  In my naturopathic practice I have had unparalleled results with the Akuna products therefore I recommend regular use of Alveo and Take Plaster at the least.  However, if you have access to other Akuna products such as Onyx Plus, MasterVit, Pinky or Cleanse Plus, I also recommend the regular use of those.
  • Improve the quality of life for your children as well by improving their diets.

There is no escaping the fact that as we continue consuming prepared and processed foods, the more we expose ourselves to the risk and dangers of inflammation.  The human body cannot process, nor was it ever designed to process foods packed with sugars and soaked in omega-6 oils.  There is but one answer to quieting inflammation, and that is to return to consuming food close to its natural state.

With great health – Dr. Jaromir Bertlik

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We see it in scientific literature, we are continually bombarded with it at educational medical seminars, and allopathic medical doctors, as opinion setters, have for as long as I can remember insisted that heart disease is the direct result of elevated blood cholesterol.  For years, the only accepted method of therapy for heart disease has been prescribing medications to lower cholesterol and a diet that severely restricts fat intake (also intended to lower cholesterol).

rtg

 It’s Not True!

It is now becoming evident that these recommendations are no longer scientifically or morally defensible.  The turning point was the discovery made a few years ago that inflammation in the artery wall is in fact the real cause of heart disease.  This discovery is slowly leading to a paradigm shift in how heart disease and other chronic ailments will be regarded and treated.

 

What is inflammation?

Inflammation is quite simply our bodies’ natural defense to foreign invaders such as a bacteria, toxins and viruses.  If we chronically expose our bodies to injury by toxins or foods which the human body was never designed to process, chronic inflammation occurs.  In short, chronic inflammation can be very harmful.

What role does inflammation play?

Simply stated, without the presence of inflammation in the body, cholesterol has no reason to accumulate in the wall of the blood vessels.  It is inflammation that causes cholesterol to become trapped.  Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body as nature intended.

Which are the 2 biggest causes of chronic inflammation?

  •  An overload of simple and highly processed carbohydrates such as white sugar and flour
  •  And the excess consumption of omega-6 vegetable oils such as soybean, corn and sunflower that are found in many processed foods

Foods, loaded with refined sugars and simple carbohydrates, or processed with omega-6 oils for long shelf life, have been the mainstay of our diets for six decades.  These foods are slowly poisoning everyone.

What happens to our bodies?

While we savour the tantalizing taste of a sweet roll, our bodies respond alarmingly as if a foreign invader has declared war on our immune system.  So how does eating a little sweet roll create a cascade of inflammation to make you ill?  Basically, when we consume simple carbohydrates such as refined sugar, our pancreas, in response, releases insulin whose primary purpose is to drive the sugar into our cells to be stored for energy.  As our cells become filled with sugar (glucose), any extra sugar is turned away.  Blood sugar continues to rise producing more insulin and the glucose converts to stored fat.

 

To be continued…

 

Until next time…stay healthy

Katarzyna

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What you need to know about bones and joins with Dr. Jari Bertlik

In addition to ensuring a pain-free and fully mobile life, maintaining our bones and joints in good health allows us to enjoy and extended youth. For this reason the importance of maintaining a healthy bone density and proper joint function must not be undermined. Well, what is the best way to take care of our bones and joints?
Just as with any other body organ of body system, proper nutrition – plays a major role…

 

Question: What are the most common forms of bone disease?
Dr. Bertlik: When it comes to bones we are not really talking about disease but rather about their strength and consistency. First of all, when we are young and growing, proper development and healthy growth of bones is vital; later, once we reach our 20’s and from then on, it is essential to continue maintaining our bone health, meaning their strength and density.

Q: How do we maintain proper bone health?
Dr. Bertlik: Nutrition is of course central to the maintenance of healthy bones. A balanced diet is the best method; foods that are abundant in minerals – nuts and seeds should not be forgotten. Some of the most important minerals when it comes to bone health are: magnesium, calcium and phosphorous. Since we do not live in ideal world and these minerals are not obtained from the foods we eat, supplementing our diet is a smart opinion. Not meeting our required daily intake of minerals can lead to and imbalance in our bodies which when not corrected, eventually leads to a loss in bone tissue and bone density.

Q: What else is essential to maintaining good bone health?
Dr. Bertlik: Also important, is maintain a proper hormonal balance. An estrogen deficiency, for example, can and will eventually result in an impaired absorption of calcium from our gastrointestinal system. The kidneys also become less efficient in conserving calcium. As a result, there is a relative decline in the available calcium in your blood. The body works at all costs to try and maintain the normal calcium levels. The human skeletal system is the major organ for calcium storage; and estrogen deficiency will cause the body to compensate for the relative decrease in available calcium from the gut and kidney by leaching calcium from our bones. Thus not only do bones become weaker because of the estrogen deficiency, they in turn lose more calcium. The best way to reduce the loss of calcium from our bones is to increase our calcium intake from either our diets or through calcium supplementation.

Q: Do women suffer more from osteoporosis then men? Why so?
Dr. Bertlik: Yes, statistically this is true. Men do not require or produce as much estrogen as women do. Therefore, they also tend to be less affected by an estrogen deficiency. Please note however that this is not to say that men cannot and do not suffer from Osteoporosis.

Q: What are some of the problems we experience with our joints?
Dr. Bertlik: Most often the problems we have with our joints, such as arthritis and rheumatism, begin with the accumulation of toxic materials, especially acids in our joint fluid. This causes our joints to become inflamed and eventually damages our joint structure and impairs our joint function. Joint problems and join conditions are more commonly experienced with age because as we get chronologically older, so do our joints.

Q: Is there any way to prevent or reduce the risk of these conditions?
Dr. Bertlik: A healthy way of life including good nutrition and regular exercise are of course key. Avoiding inflammations and infections in our bodies is also very important; therefore, we need to tend to our immune system by keeping our body clean of toxins. And of course maintaining the recommended intake of calcium, magnesium and phosphorous, as well as zinc and other trace minerals in our daily diets is of essence. All these essential minerals are contained in Onyx Plus but let me remind you once again, that unless your gastrointestinal tract is clean, no minerals will be absorbed properly.

Until next time…Stay Healthy

Katarzyna

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