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MEET PQQ: It helps keep your mind sharp
MAY 2016
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May 2016
16 Women & Mood
Depression can be caused by a variety of factors, but
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nutrients can help.
20 Healthy Gut Secrets
Diet, supplement, and lifestyle strategies (including
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Dong quai (Angelica sinensis), pg.8.
Why healthy omega-3s fats from fish and krill oils are
crucial for optimum wellness.
Three herbal multitaskers that help ease hormonal issues
from PMS to symptoms of menopause.
The best natural remedies for clear and radiant skin.
Can the aromas of certain essential oils help curb
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How PQQ can help stave off—and even reverse—
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supplement savvy
By Vera Tweed
just how healthy
are healthy fats?
No one disputes the fact that omega-3s are essential, but lately, the
benefits of fish oil supplements have been questioned. Here are the facts:
growing body of evidence points
to the benefits of omega-3 fatty
acids for the heart, brain, joints,
and more. But the results of trials
evaluating omega-3 supplements have
been mixed. What gives? Popular media
reports often omit important discoveries,
perhaps because they’re difficult to
communicate in a sound bite, and we’re
left scratching our heads.
A study published in Circulation, a
journal of the American Heart Association, helps to put things in perspective.
Scientists at Johns Hopkins and other US
universities evaluated much of the earlier
research, and found that benefits correlate
more closely with blood levels of omega-3s
than with specific supplement doses,
because individual responses vary.
This helps explain the inconsistencies.
Let’s say 100 people take one gram of fish
oil. For some, blood levels will rise to a
therapeutic level, but for others, a gram is
not enough. A study that doesn’t test blood
levels will conclude that the supplement
isn’t consistently effective—and this has
been an all-too-common research flaw,
according to the study authors.
Genes partially account for these
differences but other, unhealthy fats are
also a major problem. Western diets are
abundant in inflammatory omega-6
fats—found in the corn, soybean, sunflower, safflower, and grapeseed oils used
in processed foods, as well as in meats and
dairy products. The research review found
the lowest rates of heart disease among
people eating a traditional, fish-rich
Japanese diet, with an omega-6:omega-3
ratio of nearly 1:1. But in Western diets,
this ratio can be as high as 20:1, with
unhealthy omega-6s dominating.
Why Omega-3s Work
“Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory,” says
Dennis Goodman, MD, director of integrative medicine at NYU Langone Medical
Center, and author of The Thrill of Krill. “We
know the background of many diseases—
atherosclerosis, arthritis, cancer, dementia,
leaky gut syndrome—is inflammation, so
why wouldn’t we use something natural to
fight inflammation?”
At least 8,000 human studies support
the benefits of omega-3s, in a variety of
ways. For the heart, they lower triglycerides and reduce inflammation that leads to
plaque deposits in arteries. And virtually
all other parts of the body benefit: joints,
the brain, the eyes, and skin.
Where to Get Them
Most research has tested omega-3s from
fish oil, but recently, krill oil has been
drawing interest. The EPA and DHA in
krill oil are attached to a fatty substance
called phospholipids, making them two to
three times more absorbable than those
found in fish oil, says Goodman. “The body
understands phospholipids because many
of the cell membranes contain phospholipids, so they know how to process it.”
This, he says, is how theory translates
into practice: “Say someone’s taking a gram
of a fish oil, they can certainly take 500 mg
of krill and have an equivalent effect.” Krill
oil also contains astaxanthin, an antioxidant that helps keep the oil fresh.
However, this doesn’t mean fish oil
should be avoided. “What’s important,”
says Goodman, “is that you take omega-3s.”
What to Take
Look for high-quality supplements in
capsules, oils, or flavored smoothie-style
forms. For krill oil, look for at least 40
percent phospholipids. A doctor can test
your blood to determine your needs, but
these dosages are generally effective.
For health maintenance: 500 mg of krill
oil or 1,000–1,500 mg of fish oil.
For coronary heart disease: 1 gram
of krill oil or 2–3 grams of fish oil.
To lower triglycerides: The American
Heart Association recommends 2–4 grams
of EPA plus DHA from fish oil. If taking
krill oil, take one-third to one-half this
amount of EPA plus DHA.
For vegans: Plant-based versions of
EPA and DHA also come from algae, as
separate supplements rather than in
combination. Follow product directions.
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA): A different
type of omega-3 fat found in plant foods,
ALA is converted in the body to EPA and
DHA, but does not raise blood levels to the
same degree as direct EPA and DHA
supplements. However, ALA-rich foods
are beneficial if eaten in place of
unhealthy oils. Try substituting walnuts,
or chia or flaxseed snacks, for conventional treats made with inflammatory oils.
MAY 2016
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healing botanicals
By Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa, DN-C, RH
top three herbs for women
These herbal multitaskers help to ease hormonal issues
from PMS to symptoms of menopause.
any women have discovered that herbal remedies can
combat monthly misery from premenstrual syndrome
(PMS) and ease the discomforts of menopause. And
considering the risk of conventional treatments such as hormone
therapies and antidepressants, safe and effective supplements are
certainly worth a look. Here are three herbs I believe every
woman should have in her medicine cabinet.
Dong quai (Angelica sinensis)
Dong quai, the Chinese “queen of herbs,” also bears the moniker
“female ginseng.” This herb is a favorite in the repertoire of
Chinese herbalists, and is often used to treat female
hormone imbalances. Although modern Western
practitioners often recommend dong quai as a
treatment for PMS, as well as for menstrual
cramps and symptoms related to menopause, it is not commonly used this way in
Chinese medicine. Instead, it is used with
other herbs to create an individualized
treatment, often in combination with peony
root or bupleurum root. These combinations are used to treat PMS, menstrual
pain, fibrocystic breast disease, and pelvic
inflammatory disease. A 2014 study showed
promise for dong quai extract in osteoporosis.
Dong quai
Use 2 grams per day in capsules.
Chasteberry (Vitex agnus-castus)
Chasteberry is a widely used European treatment for PMS,
and is especially effective for breast tenderness. Chasteberry’s
use in modern herbal medicine began in the 1950s, when a
German pharmaceutical firm produced a standardized extract,
and it has become a mainline European treatment for PMS.
The basic indication for this herb is to treat progesterone
deficiency, or said another way, estrogen excess. Chasteberry
is believed to work by suppressing the release of the hormone
prolactin from the pituitary gland. Prolactin may play a role in
cyclic breast pain and tenderness connected with PMS. Chasteberry also appears to be a sedative and an antispasmodic.
In one study comparing the efficacy of chasteberry with a
placebo, women suffering from PMS symptoms such as breast
tenderness, abdominal bloating, and migraines experienced a
40 percent reduction of symptoms compared to 10 percent in the
women taking a
placebo. Another
study of 178 women
found that treatment with
chasteberry taken over three
menstrual cycles significantly reduced
PMS symptoms. Women in the chasteberry
group experienced improvements in symptoms, including
irritability, depression, headache, and breast tenderness, and
more than double the response of women in the placebo group.
No single constituent has been identified as being the active
one, as chasteberry contains mainly constituents also found in
other plants. The total sum of constituents appears to generate
a synergistic effect. Because it lowers prolactin levels, which are
naturally elevated in pregnant and nursing women in order to
stimulate milk production, chasteberry is not suitable for
pregnant or nursing mothers.
Use 2 grams per day in capsules.
Bupleurum root (Bupleurum chinense)
Chinese herbal formulas designed to regulate the menstrual
cycle or treat PMS almost always center on bupleurum. The
main action of this herb is to relieve blood stagnation in the liver.
In women, liver stagnation can cause menstrual cramps, breast
swelling, irregular menstrual flow, irritability, and food cravings,
according to traditional Chinese medicine. Numerous studies have
found beneficial effects for the liver and have supported the herb’s
immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties.
Because bupleurum is relaxing, it can be helpful with anxiety
and irritability. Its liver-supportive qualities help to reduce sugar
cravings, a common PMS symptom. According to traditional
Chinese medicine, the “energy” of bupleurum is “bitter and cool,”
so it is good for women who are always hot or who have a fever.
The classic bupleurum patient is a woman who is hot or
feverish (maybe with chills), irritable, nauseated, and dizzy,
with menstrual pain, high cholesterol, and a tight, sore chest.
Bupleurum is sometimes combined with dong quai.
Use 2 grams per day in capsules.
MAY 2016
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natural remedy
By Michael T. Murray, ND
mind your ps & qs
PQQ may be the perfect answer to preventing
or reversing age-related mental decline.
QQ (short for pyrroloquinoline
quinone) is a vitamin-like
compound found in plant foods
that shows a wide range of benefits for
brain function and energy production.
Learn more with the following Q&A.
What Exactly Does PQQ Do?
PQQ is an extremely potent antioxidant
that is able to carry out the role of an
antioxidant in the body more than 20,000
times—which is a rare thing. For example,
other antioxidants, such as vitamin C, are
only able to accomplish this “cycling”
process about four times.
Are There Any Food
Sources of PQQ?
PQQ has been found in all plant foods
analyzed to date. PPQ-rich foods include
parsley, green peppers, kiwi, papaya, and
tofu. These foods contain 2–3 mcg of
PQQ per 100 grams. Green tea provides
about the same amount per 4-oz. serving.
While these amounts are sufficient in
helping our cells carry out their basic
functions, research indicates that
boosting PQQ through supplementation
can produce some amazing effects.
What Are PQQ’s Health
PQQ offers benefits for conditions
revolving around low mitochondrial
function, including aging, neurological
diseases (e.g., Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s), and chronic degenerative diseases.
Current research has focused primarily
on PQQ’s ability to protect memory and
cognition in both aging animals and
humans. Here are some of the effects
noted in animal studies:
PQQ protects against a gene involved
in an early stage of Parkinson’s disease.
PQQ protects brain cells against
oxidative damage in models of strokes.
PQQ blocks the formation of several
compounds that are especially damaging to brain cells.
PQQ protects nerve cells from the
damaging effects of the beta-amyloidprotein linked with Alzheimer’s disease.
Has PQQ Been Studied
on Humans?
Based on research, there is no question
that PQQ plays a role in human nutrition.
The immune system seems particularly
sensitive to low levels of PQQ.
Yes, preliminary clinical studies are
encouraging and several larger trials are
in process. While PQQ has been shown to
be effective on its own at improving brain
function, the best results have been seen
when PQQ is combined with CoQ10.
What Is the Most Important
Function of PQQ?
What is the Proper Dosage
for PQQ?
Energy production. In addition to PQQ’s
powerful antioxidant effect, the nutrient
helps protect mitochondria (the part of a
cell responsible for generating energy)
from oxidative stress. It also promotes the
Based on research, a therapeutic dosage
is 10–20 mg daily. There are also some
clinical and observational studies that
support using 20 mg daily for memory
Is PQQ an Essential Nutrient?
formation of new mitochondria within
aging cells—this effect is a “fountain of
youth” for mitochondrial function.
8 Natural Ways to Reduce Your
Alzheimer’s Risk
Alzheimer’s is a degenerative brain disorder
associated with progressive dementia. In natural
medicine, the primary areas of intervention are
prevention and treatment with measures to
improve mental function in the early stages of the
disease. Here are some therapies to consider:
Take measures to improve blood sugar control
and improve insulin sensitivity—these appear to
be important steps in preventing Alzheimer’s.
Polyphenols, found in grapes, grape seed
extract, and red wine, have been shown to prevent
beta-amyloid formation, a marker of Alzheimer’s.
A daily magnesium supplement can help
decrease absorption of aluminum, a known
Take vitamin B12 daily, particularly if you are a
senior. Studies show that a significant percentage
of the geriatric population is affected by B vitamin
deficiencies linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
Make sure you are getting enough zinc—it’s
one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in
the elderly and has been suggested as a major
factor in the development of Alzheimer’s. Studies
used 27 mg daily of zinc aspartate.
Take 1,500 mg daily of acetyl-L-carnitine:
results of using this nutrient to delay the
progression of Alzheimer’s have been outstanding.
Add a curcumin or turmeric supplement to your
daily regimen. There is considerable experimental
evidence that curcumin (a compound in the spice
turmeric) protects against age-related brain
damage and Alzheimer’s.
Consider trying huperzine A, an alkaloid isolated
from the moss Huperzia serrata. It has been shown
to potentiate the effects of the important brain
chemical acetylcholine.
MAY 2016
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Non-GMO and TRU-ID™ certification
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expert’s take
get glowing
Natural remedies for radiant & clear skin.
ho doesn’t want gorgeous, glowing skin! Many people
associate a radiant complexion with good overall
health, and they’re right. In addition to providing the
body external protection, skin has a variety of functions,
including removing waste through the pores, supporting vitamin
D production, and giving the feeling of touch.
The skin also acts as a mirror for overall health. Have you
ever noticed dark circles under your eyes when you don’t get
enough sleep, blemishes cropping up when you’re stressed, or
dull dry skin when you aren’t eating right? That’s the skin
providing a physical manifestation of what’s happening within
your body. In fact, a study published in the Dermatoendocrinology Journal found a clear link between nutrition and the skin’s
condition, which demonstrates the direct impact of supplementation and diet on the health and appearance of the skin. Here’s
your guide to get glowing by nourishing the skin from the inside
and out.
The Seed Rotation Diet
A hormone imbalance can cause a variety of symptoms
including dry or oily skin along with acne. Here’s a little-known
approach that can gently, but effectively, help balance hormones: Focus on seeds that promote, support, and metabolize
estrogen and progesterone during specific days of your
menstrual cycle.
On days 1–14 of your cycle, focus on flax and pumpkin seeds
for an optimal estrogen balance. Flax seeds pack a double punch
because they’re rich in omega-3 fatty acids that provide the
building blocks for hormones, and also contain lignans, which
help the body bind excess estrogen. Pumpkin seeds are high in
zinc, which supports the pathways of progesterone production.
From day 15 until menstruation, integrate ground sunflower
and sesame seeds for optimal progesterone balance. This
wonderful combination contains lignans, zinc, essential fatty
acids, and selenium, which balances the hormones while
supporting liver detoxification. Take one or two tablespoons of
ground seeds daily (grinding helps increase their bioavailability),
mix them into a salad, add seeds to a smoothie, or sprinkle them
over veggies.
Also known as vitex, chaste tree berry has been shown to
benefit many common conditions for women including PMS,
irregular menstrual cycles, and menopause symptoms. It can be
taken in a tincture or capsule, or even sprinkled on food to add
a hint of a peppery taste.
Burdock Root
Tired of battling problem skin? Burdock root has been long
been used in traditional medicine to treat many skin aliments
including eczema, dryness, psoriasis, and acne. This root
supports the detoxification process, increases circulation to the
epidermal tissues, and destroys harmful bacteria and fungi.
Burdock root is highly regarded as a “blood purifier” in Chinese
medicine for its ability to remove toxins from the bloodstream
while increasing the output of urine. This versatile root can be
applied topically to problem areas, taken in capsule or tincture
form, and infused in a tea. You can also juice the fresh root with
an apple.
Rose Hip Seed Oil
Are you looking for a gentle and natural approach to fighting
wrinkles? Rose hip seed oil is nature’s secret ingredient for a
youthful glow. This unique oil is rich in vitamin A and retinoic
acid, which has been proven to regenerate new skin cells,
reduce fine wrinkles, and improve pigmentation and the
texture of skin. Often regarded as the natural alternative to
Retin-A, rose hip seeds nourish the skin with essential fatty
acids, vitamins, and minerals. This amazing
oil acts on the cell membranes and
supports the keratin migration cycle
to enable a faster rate of skin cell
regeneration. Apply the oil to
your face before bed and
wake up feeling rejuvenated.
Chaste Tree Berry
Do you tend to break out right before menstruation? Low
progesterone could be the culprit. Chaste tree berry is a popular
herb used for hormonal imbalances and premenstrual acne. This
magnificent purple plant is native to the Mediterranean, but is
now found all over the globe in temperate climates. It works by
normalizing progesterone levels through the endocrine system.
HH_May16_ExpertsTake_JS.indd 12
3/30/16 12:02 PM
By Michele Burklund, NMD
Gotu Kola
Want to look younger without resorting
to harsh chemicals or invasive techniques?
Gotu kola has been used for more than
3,000 years in China, India, and Africa
as a panacea, but it never quite gained
notoriety in America. It’s considered one
of the best-kept secrets in the beauty
industry, a holy grail of anti-aging herbs
that can help rebuild collagen and decrease
the appearance of stretch marks.
Gotu kola contains a group of unique
active compounds including pentacyclic
triterpenes, asiaticosides, medacassosides,
and asiatic acid that together, promote
fibroblast proliferation and encourage the
synthesis of collagen. This helps to improve
the tensile strength of new skin while also
preventing the formation of scar tissue. A
2013 study published in the Advances of
Dermatology and Allergology revealed
that gotu kola could be effectively used in
the treatment of photoaging skin, cellulite,
and stretch marks. It can be applied
topically, infused in a tea, or taken
internally as a tincture or capsule.
Coconut Oil
Looking for the perfect moisturizer that also
has the potential to fight acne? Coconut oil
penetrates deep into the skin while also
providing antibacterial actions to battle
blemishes. In fact, a recent study published
in the International Journal of Dermatology
found virgin coconut oil to be an effective
treatment for atopic dermatitis.
Coconut oil is unique compared to other
oils because it contains a medium chain
fatty acid called lauric acid, which—when
converted into monolaurin within the
body—exhibits antimicrobial, antibacterial,
and antifungal properties. A 2009 study
published in the Journal of Investigative
Dermatology concluded that lauric acid
could be used as an effective alternative to
antibiotic therapy for acne vulgaris.
Want to really kick up your skin care
regimen? Add 1–2 tablespoons of coconut
oil in your diet, and also apply it to your
face each evening to maximize the benefits
of this unparalleled superfood. Raw
organic virgin coconut oil is best.
DIY Face Mask
Does you skin need a little pick-me-up?
Channel your inner alchemist by blending
honey and pumpkin together for a
refreshing feel. Pumpkins are loaded with
natural exfoliating acids, antioxidants,
vitamin C, and zinc, all of which translate
to smoother and brighter skin. Honey
contains antibacterial properties that
help fight acne along with soothing and
moisturizing skin and decreasing
inflammation. Simply mix ¼ cup of
pumpkin with ½ teaspoon of honey and
a hint of coconut milk. Apply this luscious
mask for 20 minutes and rinse.
Dr. Bronner’s
Pump Soap
4-in-1 Sugar Peppermint
Organic Pump Soap is ideal
for washing hands, face,
body, and hair—place by
the sink or in the shower!
Avalon Organics
Defense with
Vitamin C
This revitalizing facial serum
targets sun spots, fine lines,
and wrinkles by energizing
skin and supporting collagen
and elastin production.
Lifestyle Tips
Have you ever woken up on a very
stressful day to discover a blemish?
It’s not a coincidence, but a sign that
your body is reacting to the stress. Like
physical health, emotional well-being is
essential and can affect the body in much
the same way.
A study that was published in the
Archives of Dermatology, evaluated
the relationship between acne and
stress among a group of university
students. The study found that bouts
of acne considerably worsened during
weeks when the students were taking
exams, verifying that emotional stress
from external sources has a significant
effect on skin health. Find ways to
decompress through activities such as
exercise, meditation, or yoga. Indulge
with a cup of chamomile tea and relax
while its anti-inflammatory properties
soothe your skin.
Dr. Hauschka
gently removes dirt and
makeup prior to cleaning
with Dr. Hauschka
Cleansing Cream.
Perfect C
Advanced multitasking
vitamin C formula reduces
the appearance of lines
and wrinkles
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know aromatherapy
scents that slim
Curb your appetite and burn fat with these aromatherapy secrets
from Essential Oils for Health by Kymberly Keniston-Pond.
hatever your personal dietary goals are, using
essential oils will complement and support each
stage. How? Through the use of smell. When we inhale
anything, it streams immediately to the limbic system. This, in
turn, will make you feel good or bad, bringing back memories
wanted or unwanted. That’s why
many realtors have an apple pie
baking in an oven during an open
house … you smell the aroma, feel
warm and cozy, and look at the
property with an attitude conducive
to making it your home.
Let’s examine a few oils and how they
can help control appetite. The first is
grapefruit, which stimulates the hypothalamus. Using this oil will diminish any false urge
to eat while helping you feel confident and
positive. Keep some close at hand, and inhale deeply,
3–4 times per nostril, when cravings try to take control,
The more you do this, the better it will work.
A lack of self-confidence and self-worth sometimes
weighs on us. These negative energies can sabotage
self- improvement. Lemon comes to the rescue, making
you feel cleansed and expanding positive energy. This is
a good oil to keep on hand for inhaling when you begin to
Too Little
A study published in
Experimental Biology and
Medicine showed that
citrus scents activated
the body’s ability to
burn fat.
There are times in your life when you just
don’t want to eat. This can be due to
numerous reasons. Illness, medication,
poor diet, or depression can add to your
loss of appetite. If you haven’t really felt
like eating in a while, you should speak with
a medical professional to ensure there are
no serious underlying causes for concern.
When our bodies become dehydrated,
we can lose our appetite. So, begin by
Did You
Here’s an oil blend that can be added to your
inhaler (place directly onto the wick). Keep it
with you as you prepare and eat your meals.
drinking more water. Choose nutrient-rich
foods, and have smaller meals. Take time
to discover what you like to eat and try
new flavors. This is a wonderful way to
honor yourself!
Aromatherapy can assist you on this
journey, by both stimulating appetite and
bringing comfort to the soul. Carry an
inhaler with you (you can find these at
most stores that carry essential oils).
5 drops lemon (uplifting and energizing)
3 drops peppermint (clears stagnant
energy, stimulates creativity, supports
3 drops ylang ylang (promotes sensual
awareness; very relaxing)
MAY 2016
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by Kymberly Keniston-Pond, CIR, CFR, CCMA
feel negative about yourself. Just follow the
inhalation directions for grapefruit.
A healthy eating program will help rid your body
of toxins. When you shower, take a couple gulps
of the warm water—it helps the liver push toxins
through your skin while showering them down
the drain. Here’s a simple recipe using only two
Using a lavender-scented
essential oils: rosemary and lavender.
bath oil can support
elimination of toxins
and excess fat.
½ cup grape seed oil
15 drops lavender (supports elimination of excess fat)
15 drops rosemary (stimulates liver to support
flow of bile; supports metabolism)
Thoroughly blend all oils. After a bath or shower, massage over
the body using a circular motion. Can be used up to twice per day.
Healthy Tip
Who's Hungry for a
Finally, the evening is here and you can relax. The kids
are in bed, and you have the night to yourself. But for
many of us, this quiet time can spell disaster when it
comes to weight loss. Lounging in front of the TV with
a bag of chips or cookies is tempting!
Oils Tip
Do not use rosemary oil if you are pregnant and/or
nursing, have epilepsy or are prone to any other seizure
disorder, or have a fever. You can substitute the same
number of drops of orange oil (Citrus sinensis) instead.
Orange has properties similar to rosemary. Make sure that
your orange oil is not oxidized (cloudy) as it will make the
skin sensitive. Always keep in a dark bottle, refrigerated,
with the cap tightly closed.
How can you undo this type of unhealthy habit?
Try something different the next time a case of the
munchies strikes: Take a bath, and treat yourself to
the restorative benefits of essentials oils. Add oils
right before you are ready to step into the bath so
the running water disperses their aromatic benefits.
Here are a few essential oil suggestions for a range
of health issues:
Physical and emotional support (especially for women):
Clary Sage
Decongestant, antiviral, antibacterial, and analgesic:
Hormone balance for women: Geranium
Nausea and better circulation: Ginger
Antidepressant, antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory:
Lavender Essential Oil
Most commonly known for its relaxing effects on
the body, therapeutic-grade lavender is also highly
regarded for the skin.
Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, cooling (eases itching),
fever, decongestant, expectorant, and liver-supportive:
Emotional shock/extreme anxiety or tension: Ylang Ylang
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS): Clary Sage, Geranium,
and/or Lemon
HH_May16_knowAromatherapy_JS.indd 15
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Life is full of ups and downs. But when the downs last for weeks or months at a
time, or keep you from living your regular life, this may be an indication that there
is an underlying imbalance that needs to be addressed more closely.
Depression involves the body, mood, and thoughts,
and it affects the way you eat and sleep, the way
you feel about yourself, and the way you think
about life. It’s also a gender thing: women in North
America are nearly twice as likely as men to be
diagnosed with depression. Approximately 12
million women in the U.S. experience clinical
depression each year. It occurs most frequently in
women aged 25 to 44
There is often no single cause of depression, but
a multitude of factors can contribute, including:
Hormonal imbalances—Menstrual cycle
changes, pregnancy, low thyroid, miscarriage,
postpartum, perimenopause, and menopause.
Stress and adrenal function—Life events such
as trauma, loss of a loved one, a bad relationship, work, and caring for children or aging
Medical illness—Dealing with serious
medical illnesses such as stroke, heart
attack, or cancer.
Environmental toxins— Heavy metals such
as lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, nickel,
and aluminum, as well as pesticides,
formaldehydes, and benzenes.
Underlying Causes
Depression has been linked to a variety of hormonal and health issues, including the following:
Perimenopause/Menopause The Massachusetts Women’s Health Study observed that rates
of depression begin to decrease as women
move through perimenopause to menopause,
and are lowest for women who have been
postmenopausal for at least 27 months. These
results show that depression is moderately
More than one-half of women believe it is “normal” for a woman to be
depressed during menopause, and that treatment is not necessary
MAY 2016
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Women&Mood , cont.
As many as 90% of all women will have to deal with PMS at some time during
their reproductive years, while 30%–40% of all women will have symptoms
distressing enough to interfere with their everyday lives.
associated with perimenopause, and that
the depression is transient and will
decline about two years after
Hormones Hormone fluctuations can be
quite extreme during perimenopause,
which causes additional stress on the
adrenal glands. The adrenal glands also
become the body's main hormone
producers after a woman’s ovaries shut
down during menopause, so it’s important
to support adrenal function during
this transition.
As many as 90 percent of all women
experience PMS at some point during their
reproductive years, while 30–40 percent
of all women experience symptoms severe
enough to interfere with their everyday
lives—including depression.
Gut Health
Emerging information
suggests that leaky gut syndrome is
a strong contributor to mood disorders
such as depression. Over a long period of
time, gut-induced inflammatory
responses in the stomach wall can
compromise both the structure and repair
mechanisms of the digestive tract. When
these structures break down, the
intestinal wall becomes more permeable
to toxins or microbes that would normally
not cross into the bloodstream.
Evidence shows that bowel disorders
are often correlated with poor mood. In
fact, almost one-third of patients with
IBS have been found to have anxiety
or depression.
Depression is often a first or early
manifestation of thyroid disease, and
even subtle decreases of thyroid hormone
are suspected of producing symptoms
that impact your mood.
Adrenal Health
The primary area of the
brain that deals with stress is the limbic
system. In fact, because of its enormous
influence on emotions and memory,
the limbic system is often called the
“emotional brain.” Disturbances in the
serotonin system and the limbic hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis are
most consistently associated with
mood-altering illness.
Supporting the body's natural stress
adaptive system—the adrenal glands—
may hold the key to preventing and
treating mood disorders
Diet and Lifestyle Factors
In addition to underlying fluctuations
and imbalances in the body, other common factors that contribute to depression
can include:
Alcohol Alcohol is a depressant that
increases adrenal hormone output.
It interferes with many brain cell
processes and disrupts normal sleep
cycles. Chronic alcohol ingestion will
deplete a number of nutrients, all of
which will disrupt mood.
Caffeine Research has linked caffeine
intake and depression. For example, one
study found that among healthy college
students, those who drank moderate or
high amounts of coffee scored highest on
a depression scale.
Exercise Regular exercise may be
one of the most powerful natural
antidepressants available. Studies
indicate that exercise has profound
antidepressant effects. Much of the
mood boosting effect of exercise is
attributed to endorphins, which are
directly correlated with mood and
become elevated when you work out.
Blood Sugar
Many people who suffer
from hypoglycemia also experience
depression, so ensuring blood sugar
stability is a key dietary goal for improving
mood. Reducing your intake of refined
carbohydrates and focusing your diet on
lean, healthy protein such as free-range
chicken and turkey, fish, eggs, nuts and
seeds, and grass-fed beef can help.
Some Key Supplements
To Combat Depression
The good news is that the right combination of vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other
supportive supplements can help correct
many common issues that underlie depression, improve mood, and help you regain
your sunny outlook. These include:
Vitamin B6 Levels of B
are typically low
in depression, especially in women taking
birth control or on hormone replacement
therapy for menopausal symptoms.
Considering the many functions that
vitamin B6 performs in the brain—including the fact that it is absolutely essential
in the manufacture of dopamine and
serotonin—it is likely that many individuals with depression may be suffering as
a result of low vitamin B6.
As mentioned above,
treating the cause—the adrenal glands—
may be an important strategy for mood
disorders. Herbs such as rhodiola,
Siberian ginseng, and ashwagandha are
powerful adaptogens that help to
balance stress hormones such as cortisol.
Vitamin D New research published in
Psychiatry Research shows that low
serum levels of vitamin D are associated
with clinically significant symptoms of
depression in otherwise healthy people.
MAY 2016
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Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid Folic acid, vitamin B
, and SAM-e function as methyl
donors. That is, they carry and donate methyl molecules to important brain
compounds including the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine.
One of the key brain compounds that is dependent on methylation is
tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4). This compound functions as an essential coenzyme in the activation of enzymes that manufacture serotonin and dopamine.
BH4 synthesis is stimulated by folic acid, vitamin B12, and vitamin C.
5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)
5-HTP is the precursor to serotonin. Numerous
studies have shown that 5-HTP is as effective as pharmaceutical antidepressants, better tolerated, and associated with fewer and much milder side effects.
If liver function is compromised, estrogen metabolism is compromised, leading to excess estrogen levels and what is often described as
estrogen dominance.
Estrogen dominance may
contribute to PMS as well
as perimenopausal symptoms. Supporting the liver’s
detoxification processes can
help treat this issue.
Saffron (Crocus sativus)
Saff ron has been shown to
be an effective natural
antidepressant in several
clinical trials—without the
side effects commonly
associated with pharmaceuticals. One study compared
the effects of saff ron with
fluoxetine (Prozac), and
found that both treatments
resulted in significant
improvements in depression
symptoms and severity, with
no difference in the amount
of improvement between the
two groups. Saff ron’s
antidepressant properties
seem to be related
to serotonin metabolism.
Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus-castus) Vitex may be one of the single most
important herbs for the treatment of PMS as well as other hormonal imbalances leading to poor mood. The effect of vitex is on the hypothalamushypophysis axis. It increases secretion of luteinizing hormone and also has
an effect that favours progesterone.
Irwin Naturals
Skin &
Hair plus
Healthy skin, hair, and
nails are important not
only to appearance, but
to internal health as well.
This whole-food multivitamin supplement supports
healthy emotional balance
and stress response.
Natural Factors
BioSil Beauty, Bones,
encourages collagen
formation, essential
for beautiful skin,
hair, and nails as
well as healthy
bones and joints.
is a terrific choice for
people experiencing
occasional sleeplessness, those with jet
lag, or anyone wanting
to promote sound,
quality sleep.
Remember that a healthy microbiome promotes a healthy mood.
So support gut health and balance with friendly bacteria.
HH_May16_Feature_WomenMood_JS.indd 19
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GUT secrets
Natural relief for IBS and more.
MAY 2016
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“You want to do as much as you can to make it easy on the
digestive system,” says Axe. In that sense, the least labor-intensive
foods are bone broths and soups, made with meat or poultry with
vegetables and herbs, and cooked for a long time.
“When you cook something for 12–24 hours all together in one
pot, the enzymes, the foods, they all come together as one,” says
Axe, “It’s like being on what’s called a mono diet, where your body
only has to work to digest one thing and not all the complex parts.”
Traditional Chinese medicine, he says, has recognized the value of
such dishes, calling them “one pot,” for thousands of years.
Intermittent fasting is another way to rest the digestive tract.
For example, instead of spreading out three or more meals during
the course of the whole day, try eating only at noon, mid-afternoon, and around 6 pm, without any snacks at other times. This
leaves about 18 hours without food entering your system.
(short for irritable bowel syndrome) is
a medical conundrum because symptoms
vary, causes are unknown, and there isn’t any definitive, effective conventional treatment. When patients
see their doctor with symptoms, they are likely checked
for appendicitis, gallstones, tumors, ulcers, Crohn’s
disease, and ulcerative colitis, and if none of these
exist, the diagnosis may be IBS.
“This very broad diagnosis of IBS doesn’t tell you
more,” says Stephen Wangen, ND, cofounder and
medical director of The IBS Treatment Center in
Seattle, Wash., and Santa Monica, Calif. “Basically,
your bowel irritates you and now you know you’ve
got a syndrome called ‘my bowel irritates me.’”
Digestive discomfort is technically considered IBS
when one or more of these symptoms persists for
several months: diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating,
or abdominal pain. With Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis,
there is damage to the intestinal lining that can be
detected with a colonoscopy. While this isn’t the case
with IBS, the condition can be quite debilitating, but
there’s much that you can do.
“I’ve taken care of a lot of patients over the years
with IBS and Crohn’s and colitis,” says Josh Axe, DC,
author of Eat Dirt, “My diet for them has been an
all-vegetable and meat diet, for the most part, in a
crock pot, and it works great.” Here are his three
steps to digestive relief.
Each of us is unique in our ability to digest various foods, but
there are some common ones that trigger digestive problems for
many people. “Sugar feeds yeast,” says Axe, and can lead to an
overgrowth. Grains that are not sprouted or fermented are also
notoriously difficult to digest.
One good choice is authentic sourdough bread, because it’s
made with a starter culture—a mixture of yeast and beneficial
bacteria—that ferments the grain and makes it easier to digest.
However, commercial “sourdough” can be made with acidic
ingredients to produce a sour flavor without fermentation. The
only way to tell if sourdough bread is real or fake is to ask the
baker or make your own.
Gluten is another common trigger, but sprouted or fermented
grains can sometimes be well tolerated by people who generally
react badly to gluten. Other common trigger foods include dairy,
eggs, and soy.
Antibiotics in medicines and conventional meat and poultry,
as well as antimicrobial ingredients in tap water, hand sanitizers,
soaps, and home cleaning products, all kill off good gut bugs and
contribute to the overgrowth of bad ones. To restore balance, Axe
recommends avoiding these good-bug killers, as well as getting
probiotics from fermented foods and supplements. Gut-healing
supplements include:
Probiotics with multiple strains, including soil-based
organisms: 50–100 billion units daily;
L-glutamine: 2,000–5,000 mg daily;
Zinc: 30 mg daily;
DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice): 500–1,000 mg daily;
Formulas that contain a combination of these ingredients
and other herbs that calm digestive inflammation, such as
slippery elm and marshmallow root;
Chamomile tea.
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HEALTHY GUT secrets, cont.
DIY Hand
To make your own hand sanitizer, Axe recommends mixing pure
aloe vera gel with tea tree oil, or essential oil of lavender or
myrrh—nature’s way of fighting bad bugs without
destroying good ones. For more recipes and
DIY remedies, visit
In severe cases of IBS or other bowel
diseases, Axe tells his patients to start
adding probiotics by taking a single
teaspoon of sauerkraut juice daily, and
perhaps one-fourth of the usual dose of
a probiotic supplement, increasing the
supplement each week by one-quarter,
to reach a full dose in about four weeks.
“We’ve made an enemy of dirt and germs
and we’ve swung the pendulum too far
in one direction from where it used to
be a hundred years ago, when lack of
sanitation was the leading cause of
death worldwide,” says Axe. As a result
of an overly sanitized environment and
food supply, our digestion and immunity
suffer because we lack different types of
microorganisms, including good bacteria,
good viruses, and good fungi that we
should be exposed to.
Good viruses in our gut, called phages,
are tinier than bacteria, but powerful.
They devour harmful bacteria, helping to
maintain a healthy balance. Good fungi
help to prevent overgrowth of harmful
fungi. To correct the imbalance, he says,
we need to be exposed to beneficial
organisms in a variety of ways:
Get a dog or cat and play with it.
You’ll share some good bugs.
Walk barefoot outdoors for 5–10
minutes every day, when possible.
Swim in the ocean, the top source of
beneficial viruses. If you’re landlocked, swim in local lakes or rivers.
Eat raw local honey to be exposed
to local microbes and pollen (unless
you’re allergic to bee products).
Eat pesticide-free vegetables that
are locally grown and not overcleaned.
Carrots, for example, should not be
peeled and should retain imperfections
and natural dark specks. Wash them, but
don’t scrub or use vegetable washes.
Eat shiitake or other medicinal
mushrooms, with the stem.
At the same time, avoid substances that kill
off beneficial organisms:
Only use antibiotics when necessary.
Eat antibiotic-free meat and poultry.
Don’t drink tap water, because
chlorine and fluoride kill good bugs.
Replace conventional hand sanitizers,
wipes, personal care, and home cleaning
products with natural versions that
contain essential oils.
“Germ warfare has backfired on us,” says
Axe, “And we need to bring good dirt and
good germs back into our lives.”
Simple Ways
Udo's Choice
Super 8
This high-potency
probiotic provides friendly
bacteria to encourage
overall digestive balance.
Garden of Life
Dr. Formulated
Probiotics Once
This shelf-stable
probiotic was formulated by David
Perlmutter, MD,
especially to support
women’s specific
health needs.
Jarrow Formulas
Women's fem dophilus
contains two
patented, proven
probiotic strains,
rhamnosus GR-1
and Lactobacillus
reuteri RC-14, for
vaginal and urinary
tract health.
to Relieve Heartburn
Technically called acid reflux, heartburn
is the symptom of partially digested
food regurgitating up the esophagus.
To avoid it: don’t rush or multitask
when you eat; chew food thoroughly;
stop eating before you’re full; have
smaller, more frequent meals; and
avoid foods that you know trigger the
problem. If that doesn’t do the trick,
instead of antacids or drugs, try one
or more of these natural remedies:
Before meals, drink a tablespoon of
apple cider vinegar mixed in water.
Take a chewable form of DGL a few
times a day.
Up 4 Probiotics
Women's Probiotic
is formulated with
probiotic strains that
help to naturally
maintain vaginal
health, plus organic
cranberry for urinary
tract support.
Take digestive enzymes with meals.
MAY 2016
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Pure Food
Imagine getting the benefit of a
whole growing season in one tablet
Nutrients born from plants grown on our 100% non-GMO
organic farms make these products the “Seed of Nutrition.”
Learn more about these and other Whole Earth & Sea products at
Whole Earth & Sea
BN_Mar16_batch print.indd 6
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real radiance
stretch mark smoothers
Natural ways to improve the look of stretch marks.
tretch marks (striae) are
indented streaks that often
appear on the abdomen,
breasts, hips, buttocks, and thighs.
They’re most common during
pregnancy, but can also be caused
by significant weight gain or loss,
periods of rapid growth (like
puberty or weight training),
corticosteroids, breast enlargement
surgery, and certain genetic
disorders, including Cushing’s and
Marfan syndrome. The body’s
levels of cortisone, a hormone
produced by the adrenal glands,
can also increase the likelihood of
stretch marks.
Generally, stretch marks look
like slightly indented or sometimes
raised streaks in the skin, especially around the belly, breasts,
hips, and thighs; they may also
appear as pink, purple, or dark red
lines. They’re not painful or
dangerous, but they can interfere
with how you feel about your
appearance in a bikini.
Stretch marks are usually treated
with retinoid creams, which help
rebuild the skin’s collagen, and can
be effective if used very soon—
within a few months—after marks
appear. Microdermabrasion can
remove the top layer of skin and
speed new skin growth, and laser
therapy can encourage the
production of collagen and elastin.
But many of these treatments are
expensive, can irritate, and can
impact your baby if you’re pregnant.
If you’re looking for a natural way
to be bikini-ready, try these seven
solutions to smooth stretch marks.
Stop them in their tracks.
The best way to treat stretch marks is to
prevent them from happening; if you’re
losing or gaining weight, slow it down if
possible. If you’re pregnant, slather your
growing belly, breasts, and thighs with
oil. Coconut oil, olive oil, shea butter,
almond oil, and cocoa butter are among
the best; they’re deeply emollient and rich
in antioxidants to heal skin. Use them
straight up, or look for stretch mark
lotions and creams that contain those
oils, as well as other smoothing agents
such as elastin, collagen, and soy.
Slather them with food.
Your kitchen has some of the best
solutions. Lemon juice can lighten dark
stretch marks; egg whites boost
collagen; and potato juice contains a
compound called catecholase that helps
lighten skin. A number of studies also
show that onion gel can remove
scar-like tissue and may diminish the
appearance of stretch marks. If you’re
not interested in smearing onions on
your belly, look for scar creams that
contain onion gel or extract.
The food you consume is equally
important for encouraging skin elasticity.
Soy protein, dark leafy greens, and
red-orange vegetables promote supple
skin. Make it easy: whip up a smoothie
with carrot powder, beet juice powder,
green foods powder, and soy protein.
Eat Gelatin.
Gelatin can combat stretch marks by
increasing collagen formation and
enhancing skin’s elasticity. Unless you
love bone broth, the best way to increase
your gelatin intake is with an unflavored
gelatin powder; stir it into juices or
smoothies, add to soups and sauces, or
Coconut oil, olive
oil, shea butter,
almond oil, and cocoa
butter are deeply
emollient and rich
in antioxidants to
heal skin.
MAY 2016
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By Lisa Turner
Onion gel can remove
scar-like tissue and
may diminish the
appearance of stretch
make natural, fruit-juice Jello. Look for
gelatin from grass-fed cows, and if you
have a sensitive digestive system, choose
the collagen hydrolysate form. Or take
gelatin in capsule form for a fast, easy,
and transportable solution.
Take zinc.
Zinc promotes collagen production and is
especially important during pregnancy,
since an estimated 80 percent of
pregnant women have suboptimal zinc
levels. It can also be used topically in the
form of zinc oxide; look for it in creams
and lotions. Other supplements to
prevent or treat stretch marks:
Vitamin C, to promote the synthesis
of collagen and help reduce free
radicals, which diminish collagen
Vitamin A, to encourage the
formation of new skin cells
Omega 3, fatty acids to promote
elasticity of skin
Lycopene, to inhibit the breakdown
of collagen by blocking the collagenase enzyme
Choose the right cream.
help smooth away existing striations and
prevent new ones from occurring. Look
for natural creams that contain skinsmoothing oils like borage seed oil, sweet
orange oil, geranium, chamomile,
calendula extract, and lavender oil to
improve elasticity and diminish the
appearance of stretch marks. Green tea,
vitamin A, and vitamin C, topically
applied, boost skin’s elasticity. And look
for creams and lotions that contain
soluble collagen and hydrolyzed elastin
for extra skin-smoothing abilities.
Scrub them away.
Regularly exfoliating skin removes
dead skin cells and encourages the
production of new cells, and can diminish
the appearance of stretch marks. This
works especially well for stretch marks
that are slightly raised above the surface
of the skin. Make a DIY scrub with sea
salt or raw cane sugar mixed with a little
olive oil. Or choose a purifying, premade
body scrub—look for gentle scrubs made
from sugar, salt, or jojoba beads. Sugar
and honey also work as humectants,
attracting water to the skin and keeping
it supple. Healing ingredients such as
green tea, açai berry, seaweed, and clay
extracts smooth overall skin and make
stretch marks less visible.
Lighten them up.
If your stretch marks are dark, this may
be your best solution; if striations are
lighter in color, they’ll fade into surrounding skin. Proven skin-lightening agents:
Konica acid, produced by different fungi,
is used in many creams to lighten and
brighten skin.
Dried mulberry extract has been shown
in studies to visibly lighten skin.
Bearberry is rich in arbutin, a natural
skin-lightening compound.
Aloe vera has been shown in studies to
inhibit tyrosinase, a compound that
increases skin pigmentation.
Lemon, lime, and other citrus fruits
contain hesperidin, a bioflavonoid that
lightens skin and also protects collagen.
Topical niacinamide improves skin tone
and also decreases collagen oxidation
and breakdown.
Exfoliate with a gentle scrub
made from sugar,
salt, or
jojoba beads.
Topical creams and moisturizers
specially designed for stretch marks can
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Lavender & Aloe
Nutrient-rich botanical extracts
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soothing aloe and French lavender
essential oil to leave skin nourished
and gently scented.
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off the shelf
By Jack Challem
get some culture
Learn why probiotics are vital for immunity and more.
our digestive tract contains more than 500 different
types of bacteria and an estimated 100 trillion individual
bacteria, most of which are beneficial. In fact, you have 10
times more bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract than you have
cells in your entire body. Probiotic supplements contain some of
these bacterial species and can provide many health benefits.
The term probiotics is a general one. The names of specific
intestinal bacteria can be confusing because there are so many
different types. For example, Lactobacillus refers to a genus of
bacteria that consists of many species, including L. acidophilus,
L. rhamnosus, and L. casei. Some species, such as L. casei, have
subspecies, such as L. casei GG. There’s more—all bacteria have
two names, such as Bifidobacteria bifidum; the first represents
the genus, and the second identifies the species. The names are
usually abbreviated, such as B. bifidum.
How Probiotics Work
Intestinal bacteria contribute to our health in numerous ways,
and probiotic supplements support these functions. They help
us digest food and also make small amounts of some vitamins.
They protect against infectious bacteria in large part by
crowding them out. Intestinal bacteria secrete peptides
(protein-like substances) that help maintain immune activity
and defenses against a wide range of threats.
Health Benefits
Probiotics can help with a variety of health issues, including:
Antibiotic-related diarrhea. At one time or another, nearly
everyone has taken antibiotic drugs to help fight bacterial
infections. However, antibiotics kill both harmful pathogens
and friendly intestinal bacteria. The consequence is what
doctors call a “microbial vacuum,” which is sometimes filled by
opportunistic disease-causing bacteria, such as Clostridium
difficile. C. diff, as it is commonly known, can lead to a secondary infection and diarrhea.
Probiotic supplements are essential for fighting C. diff
and restoring normal gut health. Start taking probiotics with
antibiotics—the probiotics will not interfere with antibiotics,
but they will lessen their undesirable effects. It’s important to
ADHD and Autism with Probiotics
Gastrointestinal (GI) disturbances are common in children
with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism
spectrum disorders, including Asperger’s syndrome. One theory
is that lower levels of beneficial gut bacteria such as Lactobacillus
and Bifidobacteria lead to an increase in toxin-producing bacteria
such as Clostridium. Altered gut flora also contributes to increased
gut permeability, causing the body to absorb toxins and partially
digested bits of food, which are not normal processes. This alters
the body’s immune responses, potentially affecting brain cells.
To test this theory, researchers in Finland recruited 159 expectant
mothers and gave them 1 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) of
Lactobacillus rhamnosus or a placebo daily for four weeks before
delivery. After the babies were born, the probiotic (or the placebo)
was given to the children or the mothers (if breast-feeding) for
6 months. Results showed that ADHD or autism was diagnosed in
17 percent of the children in the placebo group, whereas none of
those in the probiotic group developed either condition.
The researchers concluded, “Probiotic supplementation early in life
may reduce the risk of neuropsychiatric disorder development later
in childhood.”
MAY 2016
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off the shelf, cont.
continue taking probiotic supplements for
at least a month after stopping antibiotics.
The reason is that the “dysbiosis” caused
by antibiotics can linger for years and set
the stage for yeast infections (see below).
Consider a supplement containing L. casei
GG or B. lactis.
Infectious diarrhea. Stomach flus and
food poisoning are often caused by
infectious bacteria. Probiotics can help
because these good bacteria secrete their
own types of antibiotics, which fight
infection-causing germs. In an analysis of
nine studies, Cornelius W. Van Niel, MD,
of the University of Washington, Seattle,
found that probiotic treatments led to
faster recovery from gastrointestinal
tract infections.
Irritable bowel syndrome.
Pathogenic bacteria cause inflammation,
damage the gut wall, and may even
contribute to irritable bowel syndrome,
food allergies, and gluten intolerance.
Probiotics containing L. plantarum can
help reduce symptoms such as abdominal
pain, bloating, and constipation.
Vaginal infections. Candida albicans, a
type of yeast, can cause both vaginal and
systemic infections. Probiotics containing
a different type of yeast, Saccharomyces
boulardii, can often eliminate vaginitis
and candida infections. Probiotic
capsules, live-culture yogurt, and even
probiotic suppositories have yielded
Hero Nutritionals
features 16 key nutrients
for a child’s healthy growth
and development.
benefits, according to several studies.
In addition, several species of bacterial
probiotics, including L. acidophilus, L.
rhamnosus, and L. fermentum can help
control candida infections.
Diabetes. A study in the journal Nature
found that probiotics typical of those in
the guts of people reduced the risk of
type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes in
laboratory mice. Animals without gut
bacteria were far more likely to develop
type 1 diabetes.
Immunity. Gerhard Pulverer, MD, of
the University of Cologne, Germany,
discovered that specific types of
intestinal bacteria secrete peptides that
help maintain normal immunity. Ironically, antibiotics can disrupt the activity
of these beneficial bacteria, but probiotics can reactivate production of many
different immune compounds that fight
infections and might even protect against
colon and breast cancers.
What You Should Take
Probiotic supplements may contain one
or several species of beneficial bacteria.
Product potency—that is, the number of
bacteria per capsule—is based on the day
of manufacture. Opt for fresh products
and keep them refrigerated to maintain
potency. Take probiotics at the end of a
meal to buffer the bacteria-killing effect
of stomach acid.
Renew Life
Ultimate Flora
Kids Probiotic
This chewable probiotic is made
with 6 scientifically studied
Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium
strains to ease occasional
tummy trouble and support
digestive and immune health, so
your child feels better.
Research Update
While the positive impact of probiotic
supplementation on digestive health
has been well documented, scientists
continue to discover new—and wideranging—benefits for these tiny-butmighty friendly bacteria, including:
Athletic Performance: When
athletes experience nausea,
cramps, bloating, pain, diarrhea,
and respiratory infections during
or after long, exhausting events, it's
because the balance of gut bacteria
has been disrupted, according to a
review of studies published in the
European Journal of Sport Science.
Because gut bacteria play a vital role
in maintaining a healthy immune
system, they affect many aspects of
physical function, above and beyond
digestion. Research shows that
replenishing beneficial bacteria with
probiotic supplements may improve
the body’s ability to withstand athletic
competition or to help fitness buffs
recover from intense exercise.
Blood Pressure: Probiotic
supplements, yogurt, or other
fermented foods can lower blood
pressure, according to research
published in the journal Hypertension.
Australian researchers examined
nine earlier studies that followed a
total of 543 people, and found that
consuming probiotics for at least eight
weeks lowered systolic blood pressure
(the top number) by an average 3.56
millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), and
diastolic blood pressure (the lower
number) by an average 2.38 mm Hg.
People with slightly elevated blood
pressure experienced the biggest
drop. The most effective supplements
contained multiple strains of
probiotics. An effective daily dose was
at least 100 billion colony forming
units (CFUs).
MAY 2016
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Welcome to the New You.
*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.
AdSizeCheckTemplate.indd 1
3/29/16 11:43 AM
the fit foodie
a toast to
organic wines
Organic wines have become increasingly popular
over the past few years. But how do they differ
from conventional wines?
ou have special house guests arriving, so you scour the farmers market
for organic fruits and veggies, you head straight for the organic cereals
at your local grocer, and you insist that your organic eggs originate with
happily pastured birds. Even your bathroom soap is derived from organic plant
sources. Great!
But now you’re looking for something to dazzle and delight. Can you do that
with an organic wine? And what exactly is organic wine? There’s only one
ingredient in wine—grapes. So if the grapes are organic, the wine must be, right?
But it’s not that simple, and it all has to do with sulfites.
Sulfites, or sulfur dioxide, are naturally occurring chemicals with antimicrobial
and antioxidant properties that allow them to function as a preservative. In
winemaking, sulfites are traditionally added to wines to allow them to age
without becoming tainted.
So the much-debated question is: Even if you have organic grapes, does adding
sulfites make wine nonorganic? Different countries have answered this question
in different ways, and therein lies the confusion.
The Great Sulfite Debate
In order for a wine to bear the “organic” imprint in the U.S., it must be free of added
sulfites and contain no more than 20 ppm of naturally occurring sulfites. In
addition to organic wines, you can also find wines with the designation “made
from organic grapes,” which means the wine contains up to 100 ppm of sulfites;
labels for these wines must say “contains sulfites.”
In Canada, Europe, and most other winemaking countries, the “organic”
designation may be used for wines made with certifiably organic grapes with
added sulfites, but there are modest restrictions on the amount allowed. When
they are imported here, however, their labels must adhere to U.S. regulations for
organic wine.
The Taste Test
A few designations that
you are most likely to see
on natural wine labels:
These wines contain no added sulfites
and have no more than 20 ppm of
naturally occurring sulfites.
“Made with Organic Grapes”
The label must say “contains sulfites,”
and the wine may contain up to
100 ppm of sulfites.
“SIP Certification”
Going a step beyond organic certification, a Sustainability In Practice (SIP)
Certification seal guarantees that growers implement a strict set of practices
to enhance the environmental and social
elements of their business.
This term refers to a specific method of
farming and philosophical approach to
grape growing developed by Austrian
philosopher Rudolf Steiner in the 1920s.
Wines that say “biodynamic” on the
label must meet strict standards of the
Demeter Association, an internationally
recognized certification organization.
In terms of body, finish, and other tasting notes, organic wines have received
mixed reviews. There is much discussion and dissension among winemakers and
wine lovers as to the quality of organic versus traditional wines. You be the judge.
Ultimately, buying organic wine ensures that the farming methods used to grow
the grapes are in accordance with certified organic standards. It’s the amount of
sulfites that affects the labeling. Check the bottle for the USDA seal for strictly
“organic,” or any one of several certifying agencies for the “made with organic
grapes” designation (see “Decoding the Label”).
MAY 2016
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By Neil Zevnik
Lentil Risotto with Leeks
Lentils pair beautifully with
salmon and make the perfect
side dish for our Salmon with
Red Wine & Tarragon Sauce.
These lentils also make a great
lunch with salad and crusty
bread. For organic sake wine, we
like SakeOne Momokawa Junmai
Ginjo of Oregon.
Tbs. olive oil
thick leek, white part only,
halved, thinly sliced, and
Salmon with Red Wine & Tarragon Sauce
Use a medium-bodied wine such as pinot. We like Frey Vineyard Organic Pinot Noir from
Mendocino, Calif., and Robert Sinskey Los Carneros Pinot Noir from Napa, Calif.
6-oz. slices salmon filet, roughly
¼-inch thick
½ cup organic red wine
Tbs. olive oil, divided
Tbs. cold organic unsalted butter
tsp. minced shallot
tsp. minced fresh tarragon leaves
cup black Beluga lentils,
2. In shallow saucepan, cook shallot in remaining ½ Tbs. oil until
translucent, about 2 minutes.
Add wine, and bring to a boil. Add
vegetable stock, return to boil,
reduce heat slightly, and reduce
liquid by half. Turn off heat, add
butter and tarragon, and swirl
pan until butter is just melted.
Keep warm.
1⅔ cups organic chicken broth
(more if needed), heated
Tbs. grated Pecorino
Romano cheese
¼ cup chopped fresh Italian
flat-leaf parsley
1. In medium saucepan, heat
oil over medium-high heat. Add
leeks, and cook, stirring often,
until translucent and slightly
charred, about 3 minutes. Add
lentils and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Add
sake, bring to a boil, and cook
until reduced by half.
3. Place fish in broiler, about
5–6 inches from heat. Broil,
watching carefully, until just
cooked through, about 3–4
minutes. Remove to platter,
drizzle with wine sauce, and
serve immediately.
2. Add hot broth ⅓ cup at a
time, boiling and stirring each
time until liquid is almost completely absorbed. Check lentils
from time to time for doneness; once they are cooked
through but still firm, turn off
heat, stir in cheese and parsley,
and serve.
PER SERVING: 160 cal; 4g pro;
9g total fat (1.5g sat fat); 9gm
carb; 5mg chol; 180mg sod; 1g
fiber; 2g sugars
½ cup organic vegetable stock
1. Preheat oven to broil. Place salmon pieces
on baking sheet, and coat evenly with
1½ Tbs. of oil.
½ cup organic sake wine
PER SERVING: 420 cal; 34g pro; 27g total
fat (8g sat fat); 1gm carb; 95mg chol; 150mg
sod; 0g fiber; 0g sugars
Wine Resource
To learn more about organic wines, discover new wines and wineries, and get food-wine pairing
suggestions, visit the Organic Wine Journal online at
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peak season
By Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, and Jeannette Bessinger, CHHC
cherry love
herries and cherry juice have long
been known to be effective
against the pain of gout, which
scientists believe is due to the fruit’s high
concentration of compounds known as
anthocyanins. Cherries (along with
raspberries) have the highest yields of
pure anthocyanins of any fruit. In one
study, the ability of cherry anthocyanins
Notes From
Chef Jeannette
It’s very easy to make these
tasty fruit and nut “truffles,” and
nutritionally they beat the pants
off of any conventional processed
granola bar. Dates simultaneously
provide a sticky binder and a gentle,
The fruit favorite makes ideal
nutrient-packed treats.
to reduce pain was found to be comparable to that of ibuprofen and naproxen.
Researchers feel that in addition to
helping with pain and inflammation,
consuming anthocyanins on a regular
basis may help lower heart attack and
stroke risk.
Worth noting: Although you can use
unsweetened sweet cherries in the
Chewy Cherry Truffles
This treat is the easiest thing in the world
to make, and it’s an even greater pleasure
to eat. Plus, making them at home is far less
expensive—and lower in sugar—than buying
nutrition bars at the store. It’s simplicity itself,
comes together in minutes, and will knock
your socks off with its rich, chewy texture and
sweet-tart flavor.
nutrient-rich sweetener. There are
½ cup loosely packed, pitted Medjool dates
many different types of dates and
(about 6—7 dates, the fresher the better)
most will work in the recipe, but
you may need to presoak the drier
varieties (such as Zahidi and Deglet
Noor) for 10–15 minutes before
using. Medjools are considered
to be the king of the date family
(and indeed were once reserved
exclusively for royalty), with a
luscious sweet, caramel-like flavor
and a unique chewy texture that
turns creamy when blended or
processed. Though they are a
bit pricey at $7–$10 per pound,
they’re worth every penny. And these
homemade truffles are still less
expensive than most organic fruit
recipe below, you can also use juicesweetened tart ones. Both varieties
are a good source of anti-inflammatory
anthocyanins, but tart cherries actually
have a lot more. Animal studies
conducted by University of Michigan
researchers suggest that tart cherries
can reduce factors linked to heart
disease and diabetes. —Dr. Jonny
½ packed cup dried, unsweetened sweet
cherries or juice-sweetened tart cherries
⅔ cup raw almonds
⅓ cup pine nuts
1–2 Tbs. water
1 Combine dates, cherries, almonds, and pine
nuts in food processor, and process 1–2
minutes, scraping down sides a couple of
times. Mixture will first come apart, and
then break down into finer crumbs,
finally holding together in a clump of
“dough” that will roll around in processor.
If dough doesn’t hold together after 1
minute processing, add water 1 Tbs. at a
time until it does. When ingredients are well
incorporated, roll dough into quarter-sized
balls. Store in refrigerator.
per truffle: 79 cal; 2g prot; 4g total fat (<1g sat fat);
10g carb; 0mg chol; <1mg sod; 2g fiber; 8g sugars
and nut bars.
MAY 2016
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Enhance the flavor of your favorite foods with the goodness of
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or adding to dressings and dips, it’s the smart cooking oil
alternative. It’s always liquid, even when refrigerated.
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HH_April16_BackPage.indd 34
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