As a drug chemist, I used to fear going to work. I risked numerous health hazards like being exposed to a cancer-causing substance or even losing my wedding ring in a chemical drain. Cancer is bad, but having your wife think you are being careless about your marriage is worse. Unknown to her, I was washing off DNA-twisting molecules that burned my skin and eyes while people vacuumed the air from my lungs. My ring fell off somewhere between stripping off my clothes, pulling the lab’s evacuation button, and yanking the emergency shower cord. I naively assumed that these were necessary risks for making so-called life saving drugs. I was wrong.
Outside of emergency medicine, prescription drugs are just as deadly as the substances used to make them. Antibiotics, anti-virals and vaccines are a perfect example. Some would argue that this arsenal of anti-infectious agents is a cure. This is almost true. They make us feel better and can even save us from the perils of death in an emergency. But using them outside of an emergency can cause them to become a growth medium for producing stronger and deadlier infectious agents. Think drug-resistant super bugs like the flesh-eating, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, MRSA. If that isn’t bad enough, these super bugs can give rise to other nasty health problems. Think depression, cancer, and liver and kidney failure.
Five-year-old Jennifer learned this the hard way. Ten days after taking an antibiotic for an earache, Jennifer asked, “Why are my eyes yellow Mommy?” Cured of her earache, Jennifer lost her life to liver failure a few months later.
This is hardly a cure. And vaccines and anti-virals present the same dangers.
Yet, there is a way to beat infectious disease and still avoid the serious health risks associated with these over-prescribed drugs. Mother Nature’s healthy immune-boosting nutrients are a wiser option. In my previous job as a pharmaceutical chemist, Mother Nature was my guide for the design and synthesis of drugs. I learned that that real science, not pharmaceutical hype, dictates that we “go natural first.”
Prescription drugs only mimic a single isolate and rely on a single mechanism of action for effectiveness. However, their safe plant-based counterparts contain a multitude of active substances that are effective infection fighters. Instead of one single process of protecting the body, they work together to increase the power of the whole immune system. This is called the adaptogenic effect.
Whether you are fighting flu, getting over whooping cough, or warding off the next super bug, adaptogens are your key to beating them! They are so potent in fact, that Big Pharma has been attempting to make counterfeits in their top-secret labs for over 15 years!
Here are two examples of natural adaptogenic infection fighters.
Garlic is known as “the poor person’s” antibiotic. I call it the smart person’s adaptogen. Not only will it help you live young, but it will also protect against a whole host of biological “nasties” including TB. A new infection of TB occurs at a rate of one per second! Western Medicine contributes to this by yielding drug-resistant strains.
Garlic is different. Thanks to its adaptogenic effects, the active ingredients provide super powers to the whole immune system, allowing us to eradicate “nasties” as they enter our system and before they can replicate into resistant strains.
And garlic can be made even more potent when it is enhanced with the adaptogenic herb, andrographis.
Andrographis was first successfully used in treating snakebites and overcoming malaria and dysentery. It is especially effective in clearing heat from the body and blood. Andrographis is even used in treating heart conditions which often include infection in the lungs, urinary tract, and throat (including strep throat). Even research conducted by Big Pharma has shown that andrographis can be beneficial at removing blood clots, stopping the spread of multiple types of cancer, and increasing the number of immune-enhancing white blood cells. The Journal of Ethnopharmacology1 recently showed andrographis to be more effective than the better known astragalus and echinacea for warding off the flu.
I no longer fear going to work. Since tendering my resignation as a corporate drug cook, I don’t face the health hazards associated with toxic substances (and have since acquired a new wedding ring and reaffirmed my vows). I chose the natural route for health and if you do the same, you’ll no longer fear infectious diseases, nor will you be cornered into using Western Medicine’s arsenal of toxic counterfeits.
1. Han-Chieh Ko et al. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 107(2), 19 Sept. 2006, pp. 205-210
[Ed. Note: Shane Ellison is known as "The People's Chemist." He holds a Master's degree in organic chemistry and has first-hand industry experience with drug research, design and synthesis. He is the author of Health Myths Exposed and The Hidden Truth about Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs. To learn more, click here. ]
By Joseph McCaffrey, MD
You may not have heard of homocysteine, but you should. In this case, what you don’t know might kill you.
In 1968 Dr. Klimer McCully, then at Harvard, proposed that homocysteine might be a risk factor for vascular disease and was promptly ridiculed by the powers that be. Dr. McCully was essentially exiled into academic oblivion. His vindication didn’t come in time to save his career, but it has come.
High homocysteine levels are now definitely associated with both heart attacks and stroke. They also are associated with diseases of the kidney, liver and eye, along with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and depression.
Without going into too much detail, homocysteine is an amino acid that is produced as a byproduct of an important metabolic pathway. Like many metabolic pathways, it’s a continuous cycle.
Homocysteine is produced as a by-product of the methione cycle. Normally, metabolic pathways convert it back into harmless compounds. Then the cycle begins again. If that doesn’t happen, problems begin.
For one thing, elevated homocysteine levels directly attack the lining of blood vessels. Dr. McCully ran afoul of the medical establishment when he noticed that children who died of a rare metabolic disease associated with elevated homocysteine levels had blood vessels that under the microscope looked like those of old folks who died of heart disease.
Fortunately, most of us can readily get homocysteine under control. Two of the major pathways for metabolizing it depend on adequate vitamin levels. Specifically, folic acid, B6 and B12 are crucial for the successful metabolism of homocysteine.
Assuring an adequate dietary intake of these nutrients goes a long way toward normalizing homocysteine levels. For many of us, supplements provide additional benefit.
Homocysteine levels can be measured. Some forward thinking physicians routinely check levels for their patients. If your physician doesn’t, you should request this blood test. Although levels up to15 umol/L are generally accepted as normal, aim for levels of 8 umol/L or less.
[Ed. Note: Dr. Joseph McCaffrey is a board-certified surgeon with extensive experience in alternative medicine, including certification as a HeartMath Trainer. His areas of expertise include mind-body interaction and cognitive restructuring. Dr. McCaffrey strives to help people attain their optimum level of vitality through attention to all aspects of wellness. For more information, click here. ]
By Douglas R. Ramm, PhD
For the many people who find themselves overwhelmed making the holidays “merry” for family and friends, it can become the least joyous and most stressful time of the year. To make matter worse, as a means of coping they often overeat goodies filled with calories and fat and indulge in too much alcohol. That’s why finding the time for healthy relaxation may be the best gift you can give yourself during the busy holiday season.
One way to keep your feet on the ground, to avoid gaining ten pounds, and to keep your muscles from turning into flab, is to take care of yourself by finding the time for healthy relaxation. If you are a person who has developed the art of meditation, now is the time to make sure to practice your techniques. Use this process to rid your mind of the demands and distractions with which you are being bombarded.
If you have never practiced meditation, you can do some things that will have a similar effect. First, pick out a time of day when you can get away from the demands of your life for at least 20 minutes and set that time aside to spend by yourself.
Find a place where you are comfortable and where no one will be intruding or interrupting. Get a CD player and put on some soft and soothing instrumental music. Lie down or sit back in a comfortable chair where you can close your eyes and feel your body relaxing. Take some deep breaths and slowly exhale while you reach back in time to the memory of a place where you felt happy, content, and satisfied with life.
Focus your attention on that image and begin to recall the details of that moment in your life. If thoughts about your current stressful situation begin to intrude, push them away by going back to your pleasant scene or some other treasured recollection from your past.
Once you have spent about half an hour escaping from the daily demands on your time and energy, you should feel refreshed and renewed. You will be better able to deal with the stresses of your situation without turning to food or alcohol as a means of trying to retain your balance.
And don’t forget to make time to exercise, because working up a sweat is just as important as taking time to relax when it comes to having a happy holiday.
[Ed. Note: Dr. Douglas Ramm is a psychologist, philosopher, author and leading researcher in the field of emotional well-being, contentment and life satisfaction. He has appeared on numerous radio and television talk shows where he shares insights for enhancing quality of life. For more information click here. ]
By Craig Ballantyne
In only 90 days, I’ve had clients lose well over 21 pounds simply by following a simple nutrition program and using my short burst workout programs. If you’re interested in the same dramatic success, then just follow these simple tips and you’ll lose inches with each passing week in 2008.
First, you need to tackle your nutrition. Without a doubt, what you eat has the greatest impact on your fat loss success. In as little as 10 seconds, you can overeat hundreds of calories and wipe out the benefits of even the greatest workout. So stick to these 3 rules at all times.
1. Don’t eat any foods with added sugar or that come in a bag or box. This will help you avoid high-calorie processed carbohydrates.
2. Avoid all liquid calories. This tip alone can result in almost overnight fat loss, and often adds up to over 10 pounds of weight loss.
3. Fill up on fiber rich foods at every meal. From oatmeal in the morning, to almonds between meals, and fruits and vegetables at lunch and dinner, you’ll control your appetite by increasing your fiber intake.
While nutrition is the key to fat loss, you can’t maximize your fat burning without doing some type of exercise. The most important factor here is consistency, so choose something you like. When you are ready for advanced workouts, these tips will make them even more effective.
1. Do three 20-minute total body strength-training workouts per week. Have a trainer show you how to do squats, pushups, rowing exercises, and other multi-muscle exercises that allow you to train lots of muscle groups in a short amount of time.
2. Do three 20-minute interval sessions per week immediately after strength training to complete a 45-minute workout. By alternating between hard exercise and easy exercise, you demand more from your muscles during the workout, and that burns more calories after the workout.
3. Stay active with fun, relaxing activities on your four “non-workout” days. Have fun with your kids, do yoga, walk the dog, or play sports.
You don’t need to be in the gym every day to get the results you want. Make this plan your nutrition and exercise lifestyle and you’ll be over 10 pounds lighter in 90 days.
[Ed. Note: Craig Ballantyne is an expert consultant for Men's Health magazine. If you're looking to burn fat, build muscle and quickly step into the body you have always wanted with just three workouts each week, check out Craig's fat-loss system, click here. ]
By Scott Martineau
As health conscious individuals we are all continuously aware of the things that we put in our bodies. Health guru Cathy Smith is the first to point out that it is both our diet and our nutrition that affects our health. She has much to say about protein. Did you know for instance that protein actually helps stabilize blood sugar thereby helping you avoid food cravings?
Improves recovery from workouts
Helps build lean muscle tissue
Increases your feeling of fullness and satiety, making you less hungry between meals
Protein is vital because it is made up of amino acids. Amino acids help build and repair your muscles, tendons, red blood cells, and enzymes. Your body needs more than twenty different amino acids, eleven of which it can produce on its own. The remaining nine must come from your food. These are called “essential” amino acids and come from the protein that you eat.
While meat provides all of the essential amino acids our bodies need, many vegetables are also good protein sources. These include:
Pinto, kidney, and black beans
Nuts and seeds
Soy beans and tofu
Wheat protein (known as seitan)
There is an easy way to determine your daily protein requirements by doing some simple math:
And that’s it. Use this simple calculation to ensure that you’re getting enough high-quality protein every day.
[Ed. Note: Scott Martineau is a powerful motivational speaker and has been successful at helping thousands with his inspirational messages and pioneering ideas for self-improvement. To learn how you can unleash the true power of you, click here now. ]
Recipes & Nutrition:
By Kelley Herring
This simple, holiday appetizer is packed with the antioxidant mineral selenium and is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. To keep with tradition, serve with whole grain rye crackers.
Time to Table: 10 minutes
Healing Nutrient Spotlight
Excellent source of selenium
Good source of protein andomega-3 fats
1 pound sliced wild, smoked salmon
1/4 cup organic sour cream
2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
16 organic whole grain crackers
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper (optional)
Arrange salmon slices on large platter. Mix sour cream and dill in a small bowl to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if desired. Spoon sour cream mixture in center of salmon. Sprinkle shallots and capers over salmon. Serve salmon platter with crackers.
88 calories, 2 g total fat, 0.7 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0.9 g monounsaturated fat, 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 345 mg sodium, 9 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 0 g sugars, 8 g protein