• Health/ Homocysteine

    Cholesterol is no longer the bad guy!

    February is Heart Health Month and we finally see the end of Cholesterol being the bad guy. For over 50 years the Medical Profession and Governments have been telling us that we must cut down our saturated fats and cholesterol if we want to avoid obesity, heart attacks and strokes but in a dramatic turnaround they are now conceding that they were wrong. Heart disease is still a leading cause of death worldwide and obesity is far worse a problem than it was, we now have other major health concerns that have been accelerating like Diabetes, Autism, Dementia, Alzheimers, Autoimmune disease, GERD, Cancer and Chronic Fatigue – could there be a link? Could going low fat for 50 years be a causative factor?

    Cholesterol is essential, it is needed by every cell in our bodies. Here are some of the things that it does:-

    • It strengthens and protects the cell membranes -which could be vital in protecting us against diseases like Cancer and Alzheimer’s
    • It is a building block for the manufacturing of Vitamin D in the body – essential for our immune system.
    • It is essential to our neurotransmitters, nervous system and brain.
    • It enables the liver to make Bile Acids that break down fats and help us to absorb the vital fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Bile acids are essential for good digestion and transit time.
    • It is the base for all the steroid hormones; oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone, aldosterone and Cortisol

    Our bodies manufacture Cholesterol in the liver, approximately 2,000 mgs a day. If we deprive ourselves of cholesterol in the diet then the liver tries to make more. It also makes more in response to inflammation within the body in an attempt to protect and heal cells. The average daily intake of Cholesterol from food is 200-400 mgs.

    So have we been trying to look after our heart at the expense of the rest of our body? YES.

    Should we be eating eggs, quality real meat, liver, butter, ghee, duck and goose fat, coconut oil, olive oil? YES.

    Should you be concerned if your cholesterol is high? YES because it shows that you have inflammation in your body, not that you had bacon for breakfast.

    What should we be doing to cut down our health risks for all these diseases?

    • Do not eat low-fat and fat-free processed food
    • Do not consume bad Cholesterols and other fats that have been changed by processing as in processed meats, margarines, corn oil, trans -fats, hydrogenated fats, rapeseed and sunflower oil that contain inflammatory Omega -6
    • Cut down all sugars: sodas, sweeteners, fruit juice and alcohol
    • cut out all gluten grains and products
    • get your Homocysteine blood levels checked and if it is high it means that your methylation processes are not working well and therefore you may be low on Glutathione which is the body’s strongest antioxidant. If so take a Homocysteine lowering supplement that contains methyl group nutrients – Betaine, choline, methionine, Vitamin B6, B12 and Folic Acid.
    • Help your body deal with detoxification and inflammation by eating healthy foods like Beets and carrots, Tomatoes, spinach, cabbage and Avocados that all contain Glutathione or help the body produce it.
    • Eat non-farmed fish and seafood often
    • Use Celtic Sea salt to help get 80+ good minerals into your diet and not just sodium and notice how much better your food tastes.
    • Get plenty of Magnesium into your body by diet, supplements, Magnesium Spray or Magnesium Bath Flakes.
    • STATINS are not necessary in the majority of cases – discuss with your Doctor and read more about these.

    I know it is difficult to comprehend, after all this time, that we no longer need to eat low cholesterol and that we can tuck in to eggs and bacon, good quality steak, chicken, pork, lamb, duck, venison because animal fats do not cause heart disease.  We can eat Avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, butter and ghee.

    I made all these changes and:-

    1. I enjoyed my food so much more
    2. was never hungry between meals
    3. became more flexible
    4. had more energy.
    5. I also lost 1 stone in weight from all the right places
    6. no more joint pain.

    Food with natural fat in it tastes so much better. The Paleo Diet is the easy way to get recipes and ideas but we don’t actually need to go back to the Paleolithic era we only need to go back to the 1940’s-1950’s diet basics and home cooking with lots of fresh vegetables. We also need to support sustainable farming, biodiversity, and buy more seasonal products and locally produced foods so we support our local economies. Go out and forage in your local neighbourhood instead of relying on the supermarket for everything and try new things, food should be enjoyable not just a necessity.

    Good fresh food gives us vitality and health.

    Processed, factory food gives us inflammation and a poor quality of life.

    Listen to your body.

     

    Click here to visit bodykind

     bodykind stock several good Homocysteine lowering supplements and Magnesium products plus Omega 3 oils.

  • Health/ Nutritional Medicine/ Supplements

    How can you avoid infections?

    Bacteria and viruses

    Winter in the Northern Hemisphere always seems to bring with it some nasty bugs and this year has seem some especially nasty viruses, like EV-D68, that have had a big impact on children and those with lower immunity. These Enteroviruses are often found in the respiratory secretions and stools of a person. Colds and Flu, stomach upsets and coughs that upset your sleep can all be quite debilitating.  Arm yourself with a strong immune system and take sensible precautions to remain healthy or to bounce back quicker if you do catch something.

    The normal precautions to avoid infections and stop spreading viruses and bacteria apply

    • avoid contact with sick people
    • wash your hands frequently with cleanser and running water
    • cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or you sleeve, if you use your hands then wash them immediately.
    • clean and disinfect surfaces like toilet seats, handles, taps, toys, keyboards and TV remotes with toxin free anti-bacterial wipes or sprays like Faith in Nature from Big Green Smile.



     

    • use a hand sanitiser in between hand washing (but not one with Triclosan as it is a hormone disrupter and can react with chlorine to produce Dioxin)
    • get plenty of sleep
    • stay hydrated
    • get fresh air

    In addition you can put a small amount of Tea Tree cream up your nose, spray your throat with Silver Spray or gargle with Apple Cider vinegar or diluted grapefruit seed extract – these are also great precautions to take when flying. Apple Cider vinegar and honey in a little warm water also good for a sore throat and you can swallow after gargling.

    Foods, Herbs and Spices that can really help your immune system

    Zinc – get plenty in your diet by eating red meat, chicken, fish, eggs, legumes, nuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds.

    Vitamin D  – eat plenty of oily fish like sardines, eggs, & fortified milks.

    Vitamin C – in nearly all fresh fruit and vegetables but especially kiwis, tomatoes, mango, lemons and limes, broccoli, cabbage and peppers.

    Immune boosting mushrooms – all mushrooms but especially ones like Shittake and added to Tom Yum soup with the added benefit of good chicken stock, garlic, lime juice and fresh coriander.

    Rosemary -anti-viral, aids sweating and detoxification

    Ginger – soothes aching muscles and reduces fever, detoxifies by stimulating the liver and kidneys.

    Green Tea – immune boosting, reduces inflammation aids a healthier respiratory system

    Curcumin, liquorice root and Omega 3 fish oils – are all anti-inflammatory and liquorice especially good for your lungs.

    Garlic – rich in organic compounds that detoxify the body, stimulate the circulation and helps cleanse the lymphatic system.

    Honey – soothing with anti-inflammatory effect but not to be given to babies under one year due to a small risk of Botulism.

    Supplements for immune system

    • Most important Probiotics. Even babies and children can take special probiotics like Optibacs for babies and children and ProVen Probiotics and Multivitamin for toddlers (12mths -4 yrs.)
    • Vitamin D3 can be taken as capsules for adults and drops for children such as Quest Brightstart Vitamin D3 plus DHA
    • Vitamin C best taken as a high dose fizzy drink (1G per drink) or as a liquid like Sambucol (Black elderberry) for children 1-12 yrs.
    • Zinc – available as pills or as drops (like BioCare zinc plus Vitamin C) for babies from 3 -12 months old.
    • Spirulina- a super-food with Vitamin B12, essential proteins, beta carotene, trace minerals and the essential fatty acid GLA.
    • Astragalus Root is an immune system tonic and can raise white blood cells
    • Echinacea is an immune stimulant, anti-bacterial and anti-viral. both of these herbs should only be taken for short periods (up to 3 weeks) and not by anyone with known Autoimmune disease.

    All these supplements can be purchased from bodykind (USA, Europe and UK) who specialise is quality supplements.

    Click here to visit bodykind

     

    If you buy through these links I receive an affiliate commission but please be assured that I only ever recommend products and services that I personally find to be great.

  • Adrenal Fatigue/ Cancer./ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ Immune system - healing/ Integrated Medicine/ Supplements

    The Thymus gland and the Immune System

    The Thymus gland is situated under the breastbone at the top of the chest, just below the Thyroid Gland. It is the major gland of our immune system, responsible for many functions, including the production of T Lymphocytes – a type of white blood cell responsible for cell mediated immunity rather than antibody controlled immunity. Cell mediated immunity is extremely important in forming resistance to infection by mold-like bacteria, yeasts, fungi, parasites and viruses (including Epstein -Barr and Herpes Simplex). It is also critical in protecting us from the development of cancer and allergies.

    The Thymus gland also releases several hormones which regulate many immune functions and low levels of these are associated with depressed immunity and increased susceptibility to infection. Thymic hormones are frequently very low in the elderly, AIDS patients and cancer patients ( especially those who have undergone Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy) and high stress levels deplete them more.

    There are three main areas where you can do things to improve your Thymus function and boost your immunity.

    1. Prevent  Thymus damage and involution (shrinkage). The Thymus is extremely susceptible to free radical and oxidative damage caused by radiation, infection, stress, exposure to high levels of pollution or chemotherapy drugs and chronic illness. Anti-oxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, glutathione, zinc and beta-carotene, anti-oxidant herbs like Astragalus and certain mushroom extracts can all help to prevent Thymus damage and enhance cell mediated immunity.
    2. There are many nutrients that are important in the production, secretion and function of thymic hormones. Deficiencies of any one of these nutrients can result in decreased thymic hormone function and impaired immune function. Zinc is particularly effective in restoring depressed immunity and low levels of zinc usually cause a lack of sense of smell and taste. Vitamin B6 and vitamin C are also critical nutrients and because they are water soluble and not stored in the body it is vital to maintain a sufficient daily intake.
    3. Stimulation of Thymus gland activity can be by high quality thymus extracts, either by capsule supplements or by a series of injections depending on condition of the immune system. I have seen someone who had a depressed white blood cell count of 2,500-3000 for 2 years following Radiotherapy and chemotherapy (the normal range is 4,000-10,000) rise to 5,300 after one course of Thymus injections and rising to 9,400 three months later. For more information click Thymus-Therapy The immune enhancing effects of thymus extract have been can be useful in treating the following conditions:
    • Lowered resistance or susceptiblity to infection.
    • Degenerative conditions of the spine and joints, including Rheumatoid arthritis.
    • Autoimmune diseases – RA, ulcerative colitis, Chrohn’s disease etc.
    • Metabolic disturbances such as Diabetes and gout.
    • Diseases of the heart and circulation.
    • Chronic inflammatory diseases of the respiratory tract, the liver, the gallbladder, the kidneys or the prostate gland.
    • Thymus peptides can also be used as a supplementary measure in the treatment of cancer (pre- and post- operative treatment and for reduction of side effects during and after Radiation and chemotherapy)
    • Also as a prophylatic measure against precancerous conditions in people who have a hereditary predispoition to cancer.

    Other herbs which positively effect the thymus gland include liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) and European mistletoe (Viscum Album). The most well known, often taken to prevent colds, is Echinacea angustiflolia but this should be taken with care by people who have an autoimmune disease.

    If you wish to supplement with Thymus Enzyme Capsules (dirived from calf thymus) then a quality product is very important and there are many on the market. I have used products from a company called Enzymatic Therapy and they have 2 products – Thymulus and Thymuplex.