Blog posts tagged with 'facts'

by Karen Masterson Koch

Millions of people, both young and old, are cheating themselves of a fun and productive long life because of Blood Sugar Imbalance. Blood sugar (glucose) can run both high and low. Each has similar symptoms and causes, even though different parts of the body are involved. Both control the body’s energy output and functions including the brain and emotions. Feeling good demands a balanced blood sugar. You can control it!

Balanced Blood Sugar Support

  1. Daily Healthy Nutrition
  2. Supplements (as desired)
  3. Exercise & Water

Diabetes is the disease of High Blood Sugar (HBS) and insulin resistance. It leads to poor circulation in the body that, if not addressed, impacts quality and length of life. Statistics are skyrocketing with younger diagnosis. It is the fifth leading cause of death, yet also a factor in the development of other diseases, to include: Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) and stroke, cancer, high blood pressure, kidney failure, neurological disease, traumatic amputations, and other metabolic imbalances like Metabolic X Syndrome (MXS), characterized by weight gain.

Hypoglycemia, on the other end of the spectrum, is Low Blood Sugar (LBS). Every year, thousands of emergency visits are diagnosed as Low Blood Sugar Hypoglycemia and increasing suicides are linked to LBS. Some cases are from diabetic patients who take too much medicine. However, the most common causes are alcohol and drug addiction, excess caffeine, mal-nutrition and food abuse, plus high stress.

Psychologist MD, Michael Lesser states, “Nine out of ten neurosis (mental illness) patients have Low Blood Sugar.” He has written at length about the importance of nutrition in his book, The Brain Chemistry Diet, 2002. Hypoglycemia can be a living hell. Not feeling good, inability to think, outburst of anger or aggressive behavior, crying, depression, even disorientation, are all part of the emotional roller coaster of LBS and body imbalance.

Thankfully both High and Low Blood Sugar can be brought back into a much healthier range, often without medication, by adding a few common sense steps: nutrition, supplements, exercise and daily hydration with water. Feeling good, again, is all about fueling the body with good nutrition, regardless of what ails you. Decreasing stress and increasing circulation by walking, running and movement the best you can is important. To speed the process, research supports taking some nutritional shortcuts that won’t conflict with medication and may even help to avoid them — what a bonus!

High Blood Sugar Facts

  1. The 2014 Center of Disease Control (CDC) statistics are up. One in eleven people, adults and children (10 to 20 yrs. of age), live with symptoms of pre-diabetes, or a diagnosis of Type I or Type II Diabetes. Blood Sugar Glucose levels are best in the 70 – 100 range with HbA1C below 5.7.
  2. Symptoms include fatigue, moodiness, non-quenchable thirst, frequent urination, always hungry, weight loss, blurred vision, loss of eyesight, tingling, numbness and pain in hands and feet, very dry skin, slow healing of wounds and sores, increased infections, stomach pains, nausea and potential unconsciousness (coma).
  3. Diabetes is both a deficiency and absence of the insulin hormone that is produced in the pancreas gland, designed to assist glucose into cells for energy. Secondary, insulin resistance may exist when insulin is sufficient, yet the cells need more help to absorb the glucose into the cell to create energy. Glycogen stores are also a factor.
  4. Genetics has a factor in body health, especially in Type I Diabetes, often developing at birth or in the first years of an infant’s life, requiring insulin medication. Type II was seen in older adults 40 yrs. and above, yet recent studies from the CDC show a tripling of cases from 1980 – 2009 and now effecting younger people.
  5. An autoimmune factor has also been studied in several countries called Latent Autoimmune Diabetes (LADA). This repeatable work has validated nutritional support as an important modality to lower the oxidative stress associated with inflammation to achieve immunity balance for body wellness.

Low Blood Sugar Facts

  1. Hypoglycemia involves the adrenal gland and occurs when blood sugar decreases to below normal levels of 70 – 150 glucose level. Also, check your...
  2. levels of HbA1C for HBS. Stored fat reserves called glycogen are also important and not always available when the body is requiring glucose, as in a fasting state.
  3. Symptoms include clumsiness, trouble-making, confusion, slow learning, loss of consciousness, seizures, or death. A feeling of hunger, sweating, shakiness and weakness may also be present.

Nutrition, Exercise & Water
Support Blood Sugar

American Diabetes Association trained Melissa Joy Dobbins, RD, of Chicago, IL, states, “Breakfast is the most important meal of your day and is especially important for diabetics. It’s key to keep your carbs between 30 ‒ 45 grams daily with more protein foods, lean meats, eggs, fish, low fat Greek yogurt, cheddar and Swiss Chess, vegetables, nuts and seeds (raw), beans and fruits.”

Melissa continues, “Optimize digestion with smaller meals and healthier snacks. Spread your food throughout the day every few hours. Make sure to make Heart Healthy choices with lower sodium and fried foods, while increasing vegetables and fruits.” Excessive oils, as well as sugars, will cause your Blood Sugar to fluctuate more.

  1. Exercise, as tolerated, at least 30 – 45 minutes daily helps circulation to stabilize blood sugar.
  2. The Mayo clinic suggests women drink two quarts of water daily and men three quarts.

Supplement Support

Researches in multiple studies have found people living with diabetes mellitus tend to be very low in important nutrients to include antioxidants (Vitamin C and E), Phase II Enzymes (liver enzymes) and minerals. These may be sourced from vegetables, fruits or herbs. Poor digestion is another factor to consider if patients are eating a variety of good foods and still have failing health due to poor absorption.

Several trace minerals were found to play a factor in insulin metabolism, in particular, vanadium, chromium, zinc, iron, copper and manganese. A most significant human study, conducted in Mahidol Medical University of Bangkok, India, reported in 2004 by Ken Jones, PhD, NNFA, concluded that using an oral treatment of Aloe Vera (abundant in minerals) with meals, plus an increase in dietary fiber (beans or low gluten grains), resulted in 3,000 diabetic heart patients reducing blood sugar levels over 60%, with many back to normal in 14 – 60 days. A significant decline in triglycerides was also experienced (10). In 2012, published studies with Maitake SX-Fraction Mushrooms also showed favorable results in lowering blood glucose in animals and some individuals when taken with medication.

  1. Maitake SX-Fraction Mushroom
  2. Nopal Cactus
  3. Vitamin C & E
  4. GTF Chromium
  5. Cinnamon

Health begins in the kitchen. More and more people are visiting their local health food store to purchase tastier local produce and quality supplements. Give any new herb or supplement three months to judge its effectiveness, as a rule of thumb, for support.

Even though these supplements are not contra-indicated with medication, you may find they will reduce the amount of medicine you need. Ancient traditional text mentioned Aloe Vera for blood sugar and digestion and it just may put the FUN back in your daily life with Healthy Energy — Enjoy!

[article reposted with permission from developinghealthyhabits.com]

by Natasha Trenev

Probiotics are defined as “live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host,” or, as we like to think of them, simply beneficial microbes, most often of the bacterial kind. Prebiotics are defined as “a substrate that is selectively utilized by host microorganisms conferring a health benefit,” or simply thought of as the food source for the probiotics.

Prebiotics are a class of simple carbohydrates that are non-digestible by humans and are found naturally in foods such as leeks, asparagus, chicory, Jerusalem artichoke, garlic, onion, wheat, banana, oats, as well as soybean. However, you would need to consume a large quantity of these foods for them to have any useful prebiotic effect.

Prebiotics are designed to feed the probiotic supplements and encourage their growth and to feed the bacteria already found in our gut. It sounds like it makes common sense to combine them so you have the total package of the probiotics and the food they need to survive and thrive. Unfortunately, that’s only half of the story.

Prebiotics Feed the ‘Bad’ Bacteria, Too

Prebiotics are designed to provide the beneficial bacteria in your GI tract with a food substance that encourages their growth. However, when you take a prebiotic, you have no control over which bacteria are benefiting and proliferating because of it. Therefore, you may be feeding the bad bacteria along with the good bacteria. Scientific evidence has shown that by taking a prebiotic, we are also encouraging yeast growth and the growth of potentially harmful bacteria such as Klebsiella, E. coli, and Salmonella. Klebsiella has been identified as one of the “big three” gram-negative pathogenic bacteria with growing antibiotic resistance in the United States and abroad.

If the balance of bacteria in your gut is already unhealthy and skewed in favor of bad or potentially pathogenic bacteria, taking a prebiotic may just help these species proliferate and make the balance worse.

Prebiotic Side Effects Can Be an Issue

In addition, studies have shown that one commonly used prebiotic known as Fructooligosaccharide (FOS) actually can impair the intestinal barrier (this is exactly what most people are trying to prevent by taking probiotics in the first place). And you might be shocked to know that the list of side effects associated with FOS include diarrhea, abdominal rumbling, bloating, cramping and excessive flatulence. Many people take probiotics to help with digestive upsets, so why would they want to add on a prebiotic with known side effects like this?

Another commonly used prebiotic is called inulin. Inulin is a complex sugar found and extracted from the roots of various plants. Researchers from the University of Helsinki and the University of Montana studied mice fed with inulin prebiotic diets, and discovered shifts in the total bacterial community, including the discovery of previously unknown bacterial strains. Other studies have reported the increased potential for intestinal tumors and colon cancer in mice fed inulin supplemented diets. These studies strongly suggest a negative aspect to the use of inulin as a prebiotic.

The Intrinsic Supernatant

All probiotics are live organisms that require nourishment in order to survive and flourish, and what sets some probiotics apart from the rest is knowing if they contain their own intrinsic supernatant or not. During the process of making probiotics, the live bacteria must be provided with a nutritionally-balanced food base formulation that is specifically selected for each bacteria strain to optimize the potential health-promoting properties of the bacteria. This food source allows them to grow, multiply and thrive. As the bacteria grow, not only do they transform this surrounding ‘food’ (aka culturing medium) into an active and very essential byproduct known as the supernatant, but they also produce and release very powerful active substances like hydrogen peroxide and acidophilin and vitamins into the supernatant. These byproducts then enhance the health properties of the probiotics.

The supernatant becomes the natural food source and therefore the natural prebiotic specific to the probiotics being grown. The problem is, during the manufacturing process, many companies exclude this important growth medium in favor of collecting higher numbers of bacterial cells into their final product. It’s an added expense to include the intrinsic supernatant in the final probiotic product. However, the benefit to the consumer is that probiotics that include the intrinsic supernatant (aka growth medium) are carrying their own food source with them so there is no need to combine them with additional prebiotics. Since the supernatant already provides specifically designed food for the good bacteria, there is no need to add fillers such as FOS or inulin to these probiotics.

[article reposted with permission from developinghealthyhabits.com]

by Natasha Trenev

The idea that the bacteria that live in the warm, dark recesses of your gut have health benefits is an intriguing one. After all, most people think bacteria are the “bad guys.” These days, it’s clear that not all bacteria cause illness and some types of bacteria you might actually want to have around. The “good” bacteria you want to cultivate help support the health of your gut and your gut associated lymphoid tissue — the portion of your immune system that lies in your intestinal tract. After hearing so much about the health benefits of gut-friendly bacteria, called probiotics, you’re probably convinced you need more of the beneficial ones — but why? How do probiotic bacteria exert their benefits?

Probiotic Bacteria Aid Digestion

As you know, your intestinal tract is where the nutrients you take in through diet are absorbed. However, only some of the food components that enter your digestive tract can be broken down and absorbed by your body. Humans lack the enzymes to break down some types of plant material. Some of the fiber and resistant starch you can’t digest conveniently becomes lunch or dinner for bacteria that live in your gut.

When these hungry gut bacteria break down the fiber for you, they produce compounds called short-chain fatty acids, two of the most common of which are butyrate and acetate. These compounds help keep the lining of your colon healthy. The cells in your colon use these short-chain fatty acids to produce the energy they need to fuel the functions necessary to keep your colon healthy. Some preliminary studies suggest short-chain fatty acids made by good gut bacteria might lower the risk of colon cancer. Production of short-chain fatty acids by gut bacteria may partially explain why high-fiber diets seem to offer some protection against this.

Probiotic Bacteria Help Balance the Gut

When probiotic bacteria produce short-chain fatty acids, it also lowers the pH or acid-base balance of the lining of your intestinal tract. That’s beneficial, since disease-causing bacteria typically don’t grow well in an acidic environment. Therefore, probiotic bacteria create a hostile environment that discourages the growth of bacteria that cause illness. Probiotic bacteria can also block the growth of sinister bacteria by competing for the resources they need to survive. When good bacteria are around they use up vital nutrients, making it harder for bad bacteria to get the nutritional components they require to stay alive. Some probiotic bacteria produce substances called bacteriocins that directly block the growth of harmful bacteria, as well as chemicals like hydrogen peroxide, that stymie the development of bad bacteria and yeast.

Probiotic Bacteria and Absorption

Probiotic bacteria also produce beneficial substances. These organisms release enzymes that break down components from the foods you eat so you can absorb them more easily. In addition, the acidic environment probiotic bacteria create, increases the absorption of minerals, including calcium, magnesium and zinc. Having a healthy population of gut bacteria helps you maximize absorption of these essential minerals.

Probiotic Bacteria and Immunity

Another way probiotic bacteria exert their benefits is by their effects on immune function. Your immune system is your first line of defense against viruses, bacteria and fungi and plays a protective role in many diseases. As researchers point out, one of the reasons older people have a harder time fighting off infection is that their immune system doesn’t function the same as that of a younger person. We know that a huge portion of your immune system, between 70% and 80%, is in your gut, making it the largest immune organ in your body. Gut bacteria have the ability to communicate with immune cells and influence their function, giving them the capacity to subtly alter immune function.

Research suggests probiotic bacteria help maintain immune balance as well. Your immune system is designed to launch an organized attack against foreign invaders, but an overly zealous attack can harm normal tissues, leading to inflammation. Probiotic bacteria help preserve immune system balance.

Because some food allergies involve an overreaction by the immune system, there’s thought that probiotic bacteria could help children avoid food allergies. More recently, some experts point out that some food intolerances, which are different from a food allergy, may be due to a damaged gut lining, also known as a “leaky gut.” The lining of your gut is very thin, only a single cell layer thick and is held together by connections called tight junctions, which are easily damaged. When the gut lining and its tight junctions are injured, which can happen when you take certain medications or due to stress, it allows food components and even bacteria to enter your bloodstream. These proteins, once in the bloodstream, can theoretically activate the immune system and lead to inflammation and tissue damage. By helping maintain a healthy gut lining, probiotic gut bacteria could be beneficial for people with food sensitivities, intolerances and for leaky gut. The lining of your digestive tract serves as a barrier that protects you against bacteria and other harmful components in the food you eat and probiotic bacteria help to strengthen this barrier function.

Bacteria “Talk” to Each Other

Another interesting way probiotic bacteria may benefit your intestinal health is by the messages they send to bad bacteria. Infection-causing bacteria communicate with each other through a process called “quorum sensing.” Through this form of communication, bacteria get a better idea of what’s going on around them. For example, the bacteria in your gut want to know whether there are enough nutrients to support their growth. If there’s a lack of nutrients, they slow their replication to ensure their survival.

Research suggests some types of probiotic bacteria have the ability to block communication pathways bad bacteria use to “talk” to each other. When infection-causing bacteria can no longer communicate with each other, their chances for survival drops because they’re less aware of what’s going on around them. Blocking communication pathways between bad bacteria is a way to limit their growth and survival.

In addition, communication between good bacteria can be beneficial. For example, probiotic bacteria have the ability to enhance the growth of other good bacteria within the ecosystem. One species of gut-friendly bacteria might send a message to another species of probiotic bacteria, letting it know conditions are favorable and to reproduce more. As a result, your gut becomes healthier.

The Bottom Line

Despite the fact that the research explaining how probiotics work is still in its infancy, their health-related benefits have been noted for hundreds of years. Research continues to uncover the characteristics and habits of the probiotic bacteria that live in our gut and it’s exciting to better understand exactly how they are benefiting us and how we can supplement this unique eco-system within our bodies. Having a healthy population of gut bacteria is essential for optimizing your health. Don’t underestimate the potential of your gut bacteria.

[article reposted with permission from developinghealthyhabits.com]